German replacements in winter/spring 1942

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German replacements in winter/spring 1942

Post by Qvist » 01 Oct 2005 00:28

I am just going through a document (BA-MA RH2-429-232-233) that I thought might be of some general interest, as it seems to provide a very comprehensive picture not just of the extent of the allocation of new manpower at least in January and February 1942, but also of where it came from and exactly where it was planned to go. It should provide some insights into the general workings of the German replacement system, for those who are interested in that - further comments or questions are very welcome. Also, I have some questions that I am hoping someone can assist me with. :)

Unfortunately, the date does not emerge from the document (or at least not from my copy of it). It is however clear that it refers to planned allocations, not ones already made. Hence, it seems very likely that it is from December or perhaps early January. How closely it corresponds to actual reality is unclear. Not surprisingly, the planning character of the document is also revealed in that it conatins much less for the period March-May than for the period probably immediately at hand, January and February. This certainly was not due to any absence of allocations in the second quarter, which witnessed peak figures of replacement arrivals in the East. The stated allocations for these later months simply reflects the more limited state of planning at the point at which this document was produced.

Over the whole period January-May, 794,800 men were slated for allocation to the Field Army. These breaks down among the following sources:

From Ersatzheer (incl. returning wounded): 239,800
Year Class 1922 (Which was called up from June 1941 I believe. These were of course also from the Ersatzheer, but are separated here as a category of its own): 177,200
UK-gestellten (ie, previously excempted due to war-related tasks in industry), trained: 207,000
UK-Gestellten, untrained: 144,300
Various ("Sonstige"): 26,500


1. "Rheingold"*: 73,000 (66,700 UK-g., tr., 6,300 from EH)
2. Replacements for Ostheer: 140,000
- 100,000 in Marschbataillone (55,700 from EH, 44,300 from UK-g. tr.)
- 14,000 Genesene (ie, returning convalescents) in Marschkompanien (all from EH)
- 16,000 Genesene over "Gesammelpunkte" (assembly points) (all from EH)
- 10,000 Genesene through "Christophorus" (all from EH)
3. Drivers, "Christophorus": 12,500 (9,500 from EH, 1,000 UK-g. tr., 2,000 UK-g.untr.)
4. Forming of 11 Jagdkommandos : 7,000 (all from EH)
5. "Landesbau Balt. für Krauchplan": 7,000 (all from EH)
6. 3 March Batallions for Heerestruppen (ie, minor combat units): 3,000 (all Genesene from EH)
7. Stug-Abt (Presumably for new formation): 600 (All from EH)
8. Flak-Btl (Presumably ditto): 500 (all from JG 22)
9. Individual transfers for new units: 7,000 (all from EH)
Total; 250,600


1. Replacements for the Ostheer: 153,000
- 139,000 in Marschbtl. (25,000 from EH, 35,000 from JG22, 64,000 UK-g. tr., 15,000 from Westheer)
- 17,000 Genesene over Gesammelpunkte (all from EH)
- 7,000 Leaders for Horse supply (Horsehandlers?) (all from UK-g. tr.)
2. Replacements for Norway: 32,500
- 11,000 "Auffüllung" (ie, bringing units up to strength) (5,000, 6,000 UK-g. untr.)
- 13,000 for 20 Fortress batallions (All Landesschützen, 1,500 of whom came from EH, the rest under "sonstige")
- 3,500 for 4 Construction batallions (all from EH)
- 1,500 for 9 Panzerjäger companies for 181., 196. and 199.ID (500 from EH, 1,000 UK-g. untr., to be exchanged for other personnel within the divisions)
- 3,500 for Coastal artillery ( all UK-g. untr.)
3. Replacements for the West: 46,000
- 29,000 replacements (all UK-g. untr.)
- 15,000 replacements for men released to the Ostheer (see pt.1) (All UK-g. untr.)
- 12,000 Auffüllung for Divisions being readied for transfer East (all UK-g. untr.)
4. Replacements for Southeast (Balkans): 5,000 (2,500 UK-g. tr., 2,500 UK-g. untr.)
5. to 3.Gebirgsdivision: 11,000 (1200 EH, 2,000 UK-g. tr., 7800 UK-g. untr.)
6. To 22. and 23. PzD: 2,000 (All EH)
7. To 71.ID: 2,500 (all UK-g.untr.)
8. Railway Construction batallions: 3,000 (All from EH)
9. To GrossDeutschland: 7,000 (All JG22)
10. To form Divisions of the 19th Wave: 60,000 (All UK-g. untr.)
11. StuG-Abt: 600 (JG22)
12. Flak. Btl.: 500 (JG22)
Total; 323,100


1. Replacements for the Ostheer: 140,000
- 96,000 in Marschbtl. (15,000 EH, 66500 JG22, 14500 UK-g. tr.)
- 17,000 Genesene (EH)
- 17,000 leaders for horse supply (JG22)
2. StuG-Abt.: 600 (JG22)
3. Flak.Btl.: 500 (JG22)
Total; 141,100


1. Replacements for the Ostheer: 67,000
- 67,000 in Marschbtl. (18,000 EH, 49,000 JG22)


- 3,000 for Heeresflakartillerie (UK-g. untr.)

* "Rheingold" here refers, unless I am much mistaken, either to the four divisions of the 17. Welle (328., 329., 330. and 331.ID) or those of the 18. Welle, for whose speedy formation (predominantly from trained personnel released from industry) in case of need previous steps had been taken.

According to Müller-Hillebrand, the year class of 1922 was transferred into the Field Army between February and April, with some 270,000 men. The strength is somewhat higher than reflected in this document, and if MH is correct concerning the time period, the commitment if these seem to have taken place somewhat later than planned here.

Analysis s to follow.

Couple of questions:

1. Does anyone know what "Christophorus" refers to?
2. What is "Landesbau Balt. für Krauchplan"? A construction programme in the Baltic states?


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Post by Qvist » 01 Oct 2005 12:59

The January and February figures seem to illustrate both some general traits of the German replacement system and some peculiarities of this specific period. The Ersatzheer would release personnell to the Field Army on the various fronts, some of these would be Genesene. Not surprisingly, the major allocations are for replacements for the Eastern Front, for the formation of new units and for Auffüllung of worn-out (or incompletely formed) divisions.

An additional source during these months (and I think, to an unusually large degree) are the UK-gestellten - men excempted from service due to war-related work and now recalled. Some of them were already militarily trained, some were not. Hence, the manpower available were divided into groups of differing quality, or at least of different immediate utility. The figures show (as has also been frequently pointed out in the literature) how manpower from the EH and the trained UK-g. were rather consistently deployed to the Ostheer, to units slated for the Ostheer ("Rheingold", 22.&23.PzD, 3.Geb.D.) along with significant transfers of trained personnell from the West to units in the East. These transfers were then made good from untrained UK-Gest., who also supplied most of the other personnell sent to the West, the Balkans and Norway.

The UK-g. is a key part of the German manpower potential, as they represented the only unutilised source of German manpower apart from the natural addition of new year-groups as t hese reached military age (and these were not nearly numerous enough to cover needs). One of the appendices to the overview (Anlage 21) provides closer information on the Uk-g.

As of 4 December 1941, there were 5,560,000 UK-g. altogether. However, only 1,680,000 of these were of JG08 or younger (and hence 33 or younger in 1941). Of these again, 679,000 were specifically protected against call-up.

This left a total of 1,001,000 suitable men as the total immediate mobilisation potential of men from industry and other war-related work. Of these, roughly a fourth (281,000) were militarily trained, while the remaining 720,000 were not.


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Post by Michate » 01 Oct 2005 18:29

2. What is "Landesbau Balt. für Krauchplan"? A construction programme in the Baltic states?
Qvist, perhaps the programme is named after Karl Krauch, director of the IG Farben and, IIRC, the Krauch-Plan was the masterplan for the synthetic fuel programme. I vaguely remember for some time it was considered to use the Oelschiefer (sorry, lack the English word at the moment) from the Baltic as an additional source for crude oil.

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Post by Qvist » 01 Oct 2005 20:21

Ah, that sounds like a plausible lead - thanks Michael.


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Post by Andreas » 01 Oct 2005 20:28

Michate wrote:Oelschiefer (sorry, lack the English word at the moment)
I believe that is oil shale in English.
In 2004, regional domestic production totaled roughly 20,000 bbl/d, with Lithuania producing roughly 14,000 bbl/d and Estonia producing around 6,000 bbl/d. Most of Estonia's oil production comes from oil shale. Latvia produces no oil domestically and is entirely dependent on imports.


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Re: German replacements in winter/spring 1942

Post by Lars » 04 Oct 2005 15:06

Qvist wrote: Year Class 1922 (Which was called up from June 1941 I believe. These were of course also from the Ersatzheer, but are separated here as a category of its own): 177,200

Fascinating figures. Regarding calling up the year classes, I found the following on the net a year or so ago (I forgot from where):

1916 - 1/10/37

1917 - 1/10/38

1918 - 26/8/39

1919 - 26/8/39

1920 - 1/10/40

1921 - 1/2/41

1922 - 5/9/41

1923 - 15/4/42

1924 - 15/10/42

1925 - ?/5/43

1926 - ?/12/43

1927 - ?/7/44

1928 - End 1944

1929 - End March 1945

Quite old folks, the German army, at the beginning of the war. Only a week before Poland on the 26th of August 1939 are the mostly 20 year olds of the year 1919 called up. More than a year later on October 1st 1940, is the year of 1920 called up.

Then things speed up with two years called up in each of the years of 1941, 1942, 1943 and 1944. The 1924-class is called up on 15th of October 1942: Most of them are 18 but some are just 17 (those born from 16th October to 31st of December 1924). But as it probably took at least the rest of 1942 to train that class, none of the 1924-class will enter battle before 1943, when all are 18 years old.

The last class 1929 (read fx. the book "The Bridge") are called up late March 1945. Most of those are just 15 (those born in late March 1929 and onwards).

It is a mystery why the year 1923 wasn´t called up before 15th April 1942. The terrible losses of the winter fighting in 1941/42 should have meant an earlier call up. Add to that, that the usual training period of the German army (12 weeks or 3 months, I believe) meant that the recruits would only reached the front well into Case Blue. AFAIK, this was "solved" in a grotesque manner by cutting the training time of the 1923-class.

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