An apt translation of "Kommandierter " and "Spiess"

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mrwolfe1988
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An apt translation of "Kommandierter " and "Spiess"

Post by mrwolfe1988 » 23 Oct 2018 21:36

Hello there, my great grandfather was an Austrian national and was in the Austrian Legion, the Wehrmacht and the Gebirgsjägers. He wrote his life memoirs on a very small scale, he wasn't a very educated man, and had them self published for the family and the like. English is my first language and of all the English speaking part of my family I have taken the greatest interest in languages and I am firstly copying the text across to preserve it as well as translating it into English.

As part of these translations I am coming across many military terms which I am having difficulty translating and so I have set up an account here. I understand it is full of history enthusiasts who may be able to help elucidate some of the ranks and the like.

At the moment many of these ranks such as "Feldwebel", "Unteroffizier", "Oberführer" etc, I am keeping in the original German. In order to make everyone's relations to each other apparent, some are translated e.g. "Zugführer" is at the moment being translated as "Squad Leader".

Two terms which I am having much difficulty with at the moment are "Kommandierter" and "Spieß". I have so far left "Kommandierter" untranslated and I am translating "Spieß" as "Sarge". I don't feel that these terms are flowing very well and I am looking for a better understanding of these two roles and if anyone can give me some good examples of places where these terms have already been translated into English professionally so that I can compare I would be immensely grateful.

For reference I have seen the rank "Spieß" being used both during his time in the Austrian Legion and in the Wehrmacht. "Kommandierter" I have only come across so far during his time in the Gebirgsjägers.

Thanks.

mrwolfe1988
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Re: An apt translation of "Kommandierter " and "Spiess"

Post by mrwolfe1988 » 23 Oct 2018 23:38

"Zugführer" is being translated as "platoon leader", apologies.

Bergedorf
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Re: An apt translation of "Kommandierter " and "Spiess"

Post by Bergedorf » 24 Oct 2018 01:43

The "Spieß" is the Kompaniefeldwebel" or "company sergeant major", who is responsible for administration of the Coy.

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kstdk
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Re: An apt translation of "Kommandierter " and "Spiess"

Post by kstdk » 24 Oct 2018 07:49

Hello

I would say that "Kommandierter" is translated into "Ordered" - but could you write the whole sentence please?

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Kurt
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mrwolfe1988
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Re: An apt translation of "Kommandierter " and "Spiess"

Post by mrwolfe1988 » 24 Oct 2018 18:34

kstdk wrote:
24 Oct 2018 07:49
I would say that "Kommandierter" is translated into "Ordered" - but could you write the whole sentence please?
not in this instance I would have thought, it sounds more akin to a rank:

>>>

Eines Tages gingen wir zu fünf Mann in die Stadt, besuchten das Hotel „Deutsches Haus „ wir wollten ein zünftiges Schnitzelessen veranstalten. Und wo gab es schon bessere Wienerschnitzel, als im „Deutschen Haus.“
Die von Uffz. Walzl noch warmen, als Löhnung empfangenen Rentenmark in der Tasche zogen wir los. Das Geld mußte ja schnellstens weg, sollte uns nicht in der Tasche schlecht werden. Ich kann mich noch gut an alle Beteiligten erinnern. Wir waren fünf Gefreite: Schröter, Schweiger, Itter, Zopf und meine Wenigkeit. Schröter, ein Schuhmacher aus Kassel war ein sogenannter Kommandierter und wurde von uns allen viel auf den Arm genommen. Zopf ein baumlanger Jager aus der Loferer Gegend, Itter klein und etwas rundlich, Schweiger mit einer militärischen Idealfigur aus der Regensburger Gegend.

.....

„Mir platzt bald der Bauch von dieser Fresserei,“ meinte Schröter und putzte die letzten Reste auf seinem Teller sauber zusammen.
„Ja, Fressen und Saufen und den Tag über Faulenzen ist so das Richtige für euch Kommandierte.“ Zopf war es, der dabei uns Außendienstler aus der Seele sprach.
„Ist ja nur Neid, blanker Neid,“ Schröter strich sich genüßlich über den vollen Bauch.
„Die Kommandierten,“ meinte Itter, „müßten alle auf halben Sold gesetzt werden, verbrauchen ja kaum Kalorien diese Faulpelze.“
„Wir arbeiten eben mehr mit dem Kopf, aber das versteht ihr Schwachköpfe ja nicht.“ Schröter nahm einen kräftigen Zug aus dem Bierglas.

<<<<

mrwolfe1988
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Re: An apt translation of "Kommandierter " and "Spiess"

Post by mrwolfe1988 » 24 Oct 2018 18:36

Bergedorf wrote:
24 Oct 2018 01:43
The "Spieß" is the Kompaniefeldwebel" or "company sergeant major", who is responsible for administration of the Coy.
I have been translating this as "Sarge" up until now. But I feel that this doesn't directly correspond properly. To be fair, I don't know enough about english speaking army roles and am as such quite uncomfortable with thsi translation of the word.

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Re: An apt translation of "Kommandierter " and "Spiess"

Post by Bergedorf » 24 Oct 2018 23:53

Iin the 1944 war establishment it is spelled "Company serjeant-major", http://www.warestablishments.net/Great% ... 201944.pdf

That´s exactly the Spieß/Kompaniefeldwebel. He was sometimes also (nick-)named "Mutter der Kompanie" (mother of the company).

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Re: An apt translation of "Kommandierter " and "Spiess"

Post by mrwolfe1988 » 25 Oct 2018 00:06

Bergedorf wrote:
24 Oct 2018 23:53
He was sometimes also (nick-)named "Mutter der Kompanie" (mother of the company).
I have a point where one of the men of this rank, when giving his opening address to the rest of the men, refers to himself as the "Mutter der Kompanie", and I have faithfully translated this as well as him stating that he is the mother of the company, that his men can come to him with any and all issues and will find a willing ear in him. Or something to that effect. The meaning of that term changes for me, knowing now that this term "Mutter der Kompanie" was in regular use as opposed to being only used for this one Spieß in that chapter of the book. I had taken that term as being an exception to the rule to be honest. Thank you for sharing that with me :)

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Re: An apt translation of "Kommandierter " and "Spiess"

Post by history1 » 25 Oct 2018 11:20

The Kommandierte/-r sounds in regards to the text to me that he/they were soldiers of the office duty, referrs to "we work more with his head/brain = Wir arbeiten eben mehr mit dem Kopf, aber das versteht ihr Schwachköpfe ja nicht.“" than his collegues.
They were often picked out/assigned from the whole troop and had and still have many privileges in contrary in the army to the others. Eg. in the 80ies they were allowed to sleep at home while the rest of the company had to be in the barracks the latest at 11.59pm. They rode to training grounds, eg shooting ranges, while the others had to march, etc.. No problem to get a few days leave either as they work closely with the Spieß and the company commander.
Hence the permanent complains and disputes.

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Re: An apt translation of "Kommandierter " and "Spiess"

Post by kstdk » 25 Oct 2018 14:17

Hello

Could the "kommandierter" simply be the drafted/ enlisted men and opposite the volunteers??

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Kurt
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Re: An apt translation of "Kommandierter " and "Spiess"

Post by history1 » 25 Oct 2018 17:13

Hi Kurt, that´s what came in my mind at first also.
BUT the text passage "Ja, Fressen und Saufen und den Tag über Faulenzen ist so das Richtige für euch Kommandierte.“ Zopf war es, der dabei uns Außendienstler aus der Seele sprach." = "Yeah, feeding and swigging and the whole day being lazy that´s the right thing for you "Kommandierte". Zopf was it, he did speak us field crew/party from the heart" is a hint that a Kommandierter did have a different duty than the field crew. That´s why I think they were office staff.

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Re: An apt translation of "Kommandierter " and "Spiess"

Post by mrwolfe1988 » 25 Oct 2018 17:53

I'm thinking of the English translation for the term itself. I am considering using the word "Commanders" for example, but I am not aware of what roles a "Commander" would have in the British army and if it would be comparable.

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Re: An apt translation of "Kommandierter " and "Spiess"

Post by history1 » 25 Oct 2018 20:22

A commander is commanding a group of soldiers, eg. a platoon or company. A Kommandierter is someone assigned/detached to do something/a certain duty. I doubt that there´s a direct translation possible, maybe clerk/typer would fit. But I´ve never been in the British military and don´t know how they call such function.

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Re: An apt translation of "Kommandierter " and "Spiess"

Post by mrwolfe1988 » 25 Oct 2018 22:00

I'll maybe have to leave it as "Kommandierter" then, as I have for other German ranks.

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Re: An apt translation of "Kommandierter " and "Spiess"

Post by Bergedorf » 26 Oct 2018 01:07

I think that "kommandierter" in this text isn´t an official term. It seems to be sensed opposit to "Außendienst"
, what means something like beeing in the fields. So I would agree to history1 proposal to translate it as "clerk". But I have to commit, I feel this not to be the only solution.

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