German Inf.Rgt. signals equipment

Discussions on the equipment used by the Axis forces, apart from the things covered in the other sections. Hosted by Juha Tompuri
Gary Kennedy
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German Inf.Rgt. signals equipment

Post by Gary Kennedy » 12 Jan 2017 23:27

I'm trying to delve into a less familiar area for me, namely German Army communication equipment. Not the easiest task when you're not technically minded and not a German speaker, but I'll have a go anyway.

The germandocsinrussia site includes a few schematics of what equipment was issued to the Inf.Rgt. at the start of the war, and under the 1944 Neue Art organisation, and I'm trying to understand what was what.

1939 Inf Bn Sigs Pl - two light field telephone teams, with total 10km of wire, 6 handsets and a switchboard; four pack radio teams, each with one D set; 2 signal lamps. Also a Sammerladegerat, but I don't know what that is.

1939 Inf Regt Sigs Pl - three field telephone teams (one light, two medium), with total 22km of wire, 12 handsets and two switchboards; four pack radio teams, each with one D set. Another Sammerladegerät and also a TE, which best I could find is a Tornisterempfanger, or a receiver only set.

1944 Gren Bn Sigs Pl - three light field telephone teams (one Type 6 and two Type 3), with total 14* lengths of wire, 10 handsets and a switchboard (10 line); four pack radio teams, each with one D set.

1944 Gren Regt Sigs Pl - four light field telephone teams (two Type 6 and two Type 3), with total 18 lengths of wire, 14 handsets and two switchboards (10 line); four pack radio teams, each with one D set. Again it seems a TE, a Sammerladegerät and also Prüfgerät, which I think was a testing device.

A few questions then; four radio sets for an Inf Bn doesn't seem very many for 1944, was that the full official allocation? Was the idea one out to each Rifle Coy and one with Bn HQ? What was the purpose of the TE at Regiment level; was it akin to the 'rear link' of a British unit? Also, the introduction of a number after the title of the field telephone team I understand refers to the lengths of wire they carried, is this correct? (*If so I would think the 1944 Gren Bn would have 12 lengths, not 14?). Was there a standard length of cable?

This all ignores the kit with the MG, Rifle and Infantry Gun Coys for the moment, which I'd like to look at as well.

Cheers,

Gary

shamirnewell
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Re: German Inf.Rgt. signals equipment

Post by shamirnewell » 13 Jan 2017 02:02

Gary Kennedy wrote:I'm trying to delve into a less familiar area for me, namely German Army communication equipment. Not the easiest task when you're not technically minded and not a German speaker, but I'll have a go anyway.

The germandocsinrussia site includes a few schematics of what equipment was issued to the Inf.Rgt. at the start of the war, and under the 1944 Neue Art organisation, and I'm trying to understand what was what.

1939 Inf Bn Sigs Pl - two light field telephone teams, with total 10km of wire, 6 handsets and a switchboard; four pack radio teams, each with one D set; 2 signal lamps. Also a Sammerladegerät, but I don't know what that is.

1939 Inf Regt Sigs Pl - three field telephone teams (one light, two medium), with total 22km of wire, 12 handsets and two switchboards; four pack radio teams, each with one D set. Another Sammerladegerät and also a TE, which best I could find is a Tornisterempfanger, or a receiver only set.

1944 Gren Bn Sigs Pl - three light field telephone teams (one Type 6 and two Type 3), with total 14* lengths of wire, 10 handsets and a switchboard (10 line); four pack radio teams, each with one D set.

1944 Gren Regt Sigs Pl - four light field telephone teams (two Type 6 and two Type 3), with total 18 lengths of wire, 14 handsets and two switchboards (10 line); four pack radio teams, each with one D set. Again it seems a TE, a Sammerladegerät and also Prufgerat, which I think was a testing device.

A few questions then; four radio sets for an Inf Bn doesn't seem very many for 1944, was that the full official allocation? Was the idea one out to each Rifle Coy and one with Bn HQ? What was the purpose of the TE at Regtl level; was it akin to the 'rear link' of a British unit? Also, the introduction of a number after the title of the field telephone team I understand refers to the lengths of wire they carried, is this correct? (*If so I would think the 1944 Gren Bn would have 12 lengths, not 14?). Was there a standard length of cable?

This all ignores the kit with the MG, Rifle and Infantry Gun Coys for the moment, which I'd like to look at as well.

Cheers,

Gary
Sammerladegerat is a battery charger.

http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/field-equ ... er-513013/

Funksammler
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Re: German Inf.Rgt. signals equipment

Post by Funksammler » 25 Jan 2017 14:03

I am not sure which specific KStN's you are quoting, but it seems that these are the allocations of the signals platoon in the in the regiment's staff company. The individual companies in the regiments would have a similar allocation on top of this. These signal platoon's sets where primarily there to establish the links to the infantry companies and control the units in the staff company itself. The exact allocation of the radio sets would depend on the mission.

The radio links from division into the regiment was the responsibility of the Divisional signals company. More radio equipment could also be allocated from higher echelons if the mission required this.

The Torn.E.b was a general purpose receiver, covering from 0.1 to 7 Mhz so it could be used to listen to general broadcasts, higher level command radio networks were all encrypted (with the enigma machine), so I doubt the Torn.E.b was of much use for tactical communication.

The 3 and 6 behind the light field cable troops were the length of wire they carried, so a "3" carried 3 km, a "6" 6 km etc. A spool of "Schweres Feldfernkabel" holds 1 km (so it should indeed be 12 rather than 14 spools).

regards,

Funksammler

Gary Kennedy
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Re: German Inf.Rgt. signals equipment

Post by Gary Kennedy » 29 Jan 2017 18:12

Thanks both for the replies, particularly Funksammler for the extra info.

The KStN I'm checking against for the 1939 period are 221 (Inf Regtl Sigs) and 111R (Sigs Pl in Inf Bn), both of 1st Oct 1937, and the 1944 130n (Sigs Pl in the Regtl Staff Coy) and 111n (Sigs Pl in Gren Bn). The 1st Oct 1943 Gren Coy indicates four messengers in Coy HQ, with two Feldfunksprecher b sets, rising to four such sets in the 1st Dec 1943 KStN (plus two more for the 8-cm Mortar Sec). I've seen a suggestion the idea was to send one set out to each Rifle Pl, leaving the fourth with Coy HQ to provide a basic net, while the Mortar Sec could conceivably send an observer team out and keep in touch with the firing dets using its pair of sets. Is that correct?

Gary

Funksammler
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Re: German Inf.Rgt. signals equipment

Post by Funksammler » 31 Jan 2017 19:10

Indeed, since it's introduction in 1941, the Feldfunksprechers, especially the "b" types, were increasingly used in the lower echelons of the infantry. Mind you, the primary means of communications was always field telephone, the Feldfunksprechers were typically placed at the telephone line terminals and were for emergency use only, in case the telephone lines were severed. The Feldfunksprechers could also be used during mobile action, but only after contact with the enemy had been made. The Germans generally prohibited the use of radio during the approach march or in defensive positions. Likewise with the forward mortar observation teams, their main mode of communication would be by field telephone with a Feldfu.b as a backup to cover the most vulnerable stretch of telephone wire. The typical range of the Feldfu.b and b1 was about 1200 meters, the later Feldfu.b2 slightly less, so the range is probably only just about sufficient for an 8 cm mortar battery.

regards,

Funksammler

Gary Kennedy
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Re: German Inf.Rgt. signals equipment

Post by Gary Kennedy » 04 Feb 2017 13:58

Funksammler,

Thanks very much for the info included in your posts, it's certainly helped me better my understanding.

There's one particular question on nomenclature that's confusing me at the moment. The later period Gren Bn looks to have used the Tornisterfunk d Ukw (pack radio d, ultra SW) and the Feldfunksprecher b (field radio b). Are the terms Torn and Feld interchangeable based on the usage of the set, or are they completely different builds? I can find details for tornisterfunktruppes with b, d, f, g and k sets, but not for feldfunksprech sets.

The 1945 US Army Handbook refers to a Feldfu.b transceiver with a 3/4 mile (approx. 1.2 km) range, but not a Torn.Fu.d, however the details for a Torn.Fu.a2 look very similar to a Torn.Fu.d2 as detailed here;

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_ ... n_Army_WW2

Is this a typo in the US book?

Thanks,

Gary

Funksammler
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Re: German Inf.Rgt. signals equipment

Post by Funksammler » 05 Feb 2017 19:02

Torn.Fu's and Feldfu's are significantly different radios. Torn.Fu's are typically heavier, one or two box sets with a medium range. Most are for CW and voice and can be operated by trained operators only. Feldfu's are simple radiotelephones with a short range that can be operated with a minimum amount of training. They were the world's first practical "Walky-Talkies".

The Tornister Funktrupp d (UKW) used the Torn.Fu.d2. The Torn.Fu.d only existed in prototype form and was never taken into production. UKW stands for UltraKurzWelle or VHF to indicate the frequency band used. The Torn.Fu.d2 is a two box set, the second box containing the batteries and accesories. The Torn.Fu.d2 was designed to be used during the march, unlike most other sets contemporary sets like the Torn.Fu.b1/f. which had to be placed on the ground before operation. The range is larger than quoted on the Wiki page, probably closer to 10km voice/15 km cw, although good placement can achieve significantly greater range.

Although the quoted Wiki page contains some useful information be carefull because it is riddled with mistakes, for example the vehicle equipment set were called "Fu" and not "FUG", the latter were used for aircraft equipment sets used by the Luftwaffe. Also the use of the Feldfu's is incorrectly stated (this goes back the the misquoting of a earlier source, which gets re-quoted again and again....) In fact the Feldfu.b, b1 and b2 operate on the same frequency and are fully interchangeable. The were all used by infantry/grenadiers/panzergrenadiers.

regards,

Funksammler

Gary Kennedy
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Re: German Inf.Rgt. signals equipment

Post by Gary Kennedy » 07 Feb 2017 17:43

Thank you. I can see now the mistake I was making was thinking of the Feldfunksprecher as something in the same class as the Tornister range, when it's a bit more like the British usage of the No.18 Set (handled by members of the Sigs Pl) and the No.38 Set (allocated to subunits which had no dedicated signaller).

Fingers crossed I'll get round to be baffled by the Panzer arm sets, but not for the moment.

Thanks again for the assistance,

Gary

RandJS
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Re: German Inf.Rgt. signals equipment

Post by RandJS » 15 Oct 2018 19:33

Hi,

Don't want to be a thread necromancer, but would anyone have similar information regarding the telephone equipment of the other parts of a 1944 Neue Art Infantry Division?

Especially interested in the Artillery Regiment telephone equipment.

Any information is appreciated.

thanks,
Rand

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