German term equivalent to " passage of lines"

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pamak
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German term equivalent to " passage of lines"

Postby pamak » 17 May 2017 08:42

Hello everybody,

I am trying to find the German term for the "passage of lines" type of operations.

I often find this term in English manuals (forward or rearward passage of lines) which signifies the type of operation during which a unit passes through the area of a friendly unit in order to continue an attack (as in the case of the forward passage of lines) or to withdraw towards the rear (as in the case of the rearward passage of lines). However, I cannot find this type of operation in the German manuals I have. I also tried to find the German term in the TM 30-506 (German-English Dictionary) but I could not find it. I am somewhat surprised that the German manuals I have (including Truppenführung) do not include the " passage of lines" operation together with the the classic ones of march, attack, defense, delay, withdraw, etc. On the other hand, it does not make sense to assume that the Germans ignored and did not teach the principles of the "passage of lines" this operation. So, there must be somewhere a German term equivalent to the "passage of lines." Can anybody help?

Thank you

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Hohlladung
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Re: German term equivalent to " passage of lines"

Postby Hohlladung » 17 May 2017 19:03

Hi Pamak,
I'm not quite sure, if this is the one your are looking for, but I think the reward passage of lines could be this:
Aufnahme
Operation, bei der eine Truppe aus Stellungen das Ausweichen anderer Kräfte überwacht und nach drängenden Feind so lange aufhält, bis die aufzunehmenden Truppen durch die Stellung geschleust oder in dieser abwehrbereit sind.

Embodiment (Inclusion)
Is an operation, in which a unit monitors from positions the retreating of other forces and hinders pressing enemy as long as the embodied troops are guided through their positions or are ready for defence in it.

Best Regards
Hohlladung
"Ihr verfluchten Racker, wollt ihr denn ewig leben?" Friedrich, II. in der Schlacht von Kolin am 18.Juni 1757 zu seinen zurückgehenden Grenadieren.

pamak
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Re: German term equivalent to " passage of lines"

Postby pamak » 17 May 2017 22:13

Thank you for the reply Hohlladung.

The description seems equivalent to the rearward passage of lines operations mentioned in English manuals. I wonder if the same term (Aufnahme) is used to describe the forward passage of lines (passage of lines during attack).
By the way, I found that the term "Aufnahme" is also mentioned on page 88 of the "Panzer Tactics: German Small-Unit Armor Tactics in World War II" (in English). Even though it is part of the chapter on delaying actions, the word "Aufnahme" itself is translated as "Passage of Lines." So, perhaps the same term is used for the case of a forward passage of lines and in the case of Large-Unit Armor Tactics. I still find it interesting that this subject gets a thorough and detailed treatment in English manuals but is mostly absent in the few German manuals I have. Perhaps, it is that I do not have the right German manuals, but it is still strange that it is not mentioned in Truppenfuhrung: German Army Manual for Unit Command in World War II.

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Jeff Leach
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Re: German term equivalent to " passage of lines"

Postby Jeff Leach » 18 May 2017 07:56

If you haven't seen Taktische Grundbegriffe. There is a diagram for 'Aufnahme'.

I have read a large number of wartime documents and don't remember anything like you are describing. The records are mainly corps, divisional and some regimental (all infantry) records so the scale may be wrong. The closest thing I can think of is 'Ablösung' (relieve, rotating unit out of the line) but some of the operations are more like 'Aufnahme'.

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Sheldrake
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Re: German term equivalent to " passage of lines"

Postby Sheldrake » 18 May 2017 08:41

pamak wrote:Hello everybody,

I am trying to find the German term for the "passage of lines" type of operations.

I often find this term in English manuals (forward or rearward passage of lines) which signifies the type of operation during which a unit passes through the area of a friendly unit in order to continue an attack (as in the case of the forward passage of lines) or to withdraw towards the rear (as in the case of the rearward passage of lines). However, I cannot find this type of operation in the German manuals I have. I also tried to find the German term in the TM 30-506 (German-English Dictionary) but I could not find it. I am somewhat surprised that the German manuals I have (including Truppenführung) do not include the " passage of lines" operation together with the the classic ones of march, attack, defense, delay, withdraw, etc. On the other hand, it does not make sense to assume that the Germans ignored and did not teach the principles of the "passage of lines" this operation. So, there must be somewhere a German term equivalent to the "passage of lines." Can anybody help?

Thank you


You are right. The concept does not get any great coverage in German doctrine. It isn't in the Truppenfuehrung. There is a clue in Appendix D to the English translation by Cordell and Zabecki, which are the comments made in 1953 by some ex wehrmacht officers including Franz Halder about the US Army manual FM 100-5. The section on Chapter 2 tactics includes the comment that "the importance given to relief while an action is under way is out of all proportion to the importance it actually plays. The impetus of rested troops cannot be denied, but the timing of relief requires careful consideration. Relief is best executed at the end of an attack or after a phase has ended", and "familiarity with the enemy and terrain... often outweighs the increase in strength that fresh troops would bring. " i.e. they did not think it needed a special procedure and best resolved with initiative and judgement. This also fits with the Clauswitizian approach. Passage of lines is likely to be very messy with the chaos and grit at its maxium.

In both world wars the Germans found themselves committing troops from one formation in advance and withdrawal through the positions of another. The "flexible defence" introduced in 1917 was all about committing reserves/ counter attack formations. This too was apt to be messy, and the implications for "passage of Lines" has the historians and doctrine wondering. This topic emerged in a discussion by members of the British Commission for Military History on the 1917 Aisne battlefield of berry-au-Bac with Tony Cowan, Tim Gale, Jack Sheldon and jim Storr to the fore in analysing what happened. . What in theory appears to be a formation counterattacking through anther was in practice much more messy. Units of the reinforcing/counterattacking formation were committed piecemeal, often as reinforcements to the unit holding the line. The commander of the defence sector (the static troops) would take command because he would have best knowledge of the terrain. If command then passed to a new formation the exercise was one of re grouping not passage of lines.

pamak
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Re: German term equivalent to " passage of lines"

Postby pamak » 19 May 2017 05:54

Thank you everybody for your inputs

I found the modern equivalent terms in the German army from

Multinationale Befehlsausgabe: English for Military Leaders

https://books.google.com/books?id=LK8hE ... es&f=false (page 58 -free preview)

Ablösung durch Angriff is the "forward passage of lines"

Ablosung durch Aufnahme is the "rearwards passage of lines"

To be literally accurate, it seems that the Germans actually say "relief by attack" instead of "forward passage of lines" (Ablösung is translated as relief)

and "relief by reception" instead of "rearwards passage of lines (Aufnahme is translated as "reception" on page 64

Of course, as I said all the above are modern terms.

Sheldrake, I found your comments regarding the German war theory after WWI very interesting...

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Sheldrake
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Re: German term equivalent to " passage of lines"

Postby Sheldrake » 19 May 2017 08:10

pamak wrote:Thank you everybody for your inputs

I found the modern equivalent terms in the German army from

Multinationale Befehlsausgabe: English for Military Leaders

https://books.google.com/books?id=LK8hE ... es&f=false (page 58 -free preview)

Ablösung durch Angriff is the "forward passage of lines"

Ablosung durch Aufnahme is the "rearwards passage of lines"

To be literally accurate, it seems that the Germans actually say "relief by attack" instead of "forward passage of lines" (Ablösung is translated as relief)

and "relief by reception" instead of "rearwards passage of lines (Aufnahme is translated as "reception" on page 64

Of course, as I said all the above are modern terms.

Sheldrake, I found your comments regarding the German war theory after WWI very interesting...


That is probably because the Bundeswehr needs to work to US dominated NATO doctrine


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