Primary sources on time settings used by Wehrmacht

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Sam Wren
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Primary sources on time settings used by Wehrmacht

Post by Sam Wren » 26 Mar 2020 05:32

Still to this day, publications continue to present contradictory arguments about German time vs. Allied time as used in NW Europe. Some authors state that they both used the same time (or 08.00 for the Allies was 08.00 for the Germans) while others - most perhaps - state that German time was 1 hr behind the Allies (or 08.00 for the Allies is 07.00 for the Germans). While I have a primary source from the UK National Archives that explains in detail how time was established and reported in the Allied Armies in France, I have never seen any equivalent primary source for the Wehrmacht. I would appreciate any help with finding this info and give thanks in advance.

GregSingh
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Re: Primary sources on time settings used by Wehrmacht

Post by GregSingh » 26 Mar 2020 06:13

That would be decrees of Der Ministerrat für die Reichsverteidigung published in official government gazette - Deutsches Reichsgesetzblatt Teil I. They specified time zones and summer time dates. You can find scans online at National Library of Austria.

Basically, occupied France was in the same time zone as Berlin for most of the time, but 1944 was a bit complicated, as Allies introduced double summer time on 25th of August and Germans kept original summer time.
If we become increasingly humble about how little we know, we may be more eager to search.

CNE503
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Re: Primary sources on time settings used by Wehrmacht

Post by CNE503 » 26 Mar 2020 10:06

I read somewhere that in Russia, Germans were always using the Berlin time for their DTG. It was in a testimony from a German general heading a Luftwaffe field division in December 1942, near Stalingrad, IIRC.
It was not practical, according to him, because some actions were launched at 4am while the sun was high in the sky, or at 2pm when night had fallen!

CNE503
"Sicut Aquila" / "Ils s'instruisent pour vaincre" / "par l'exemple, le coeur et la raison" / "Labor Omnia Vincit"

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Yuri
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Re: Primary sources on time settings used by Wehrmacht

Post by Yuri » 26 Mar 2020 11:33

CNE503 wrote:
26 Mar 2020 10:06
I read somewhere that in Russia, Germans were always using the Berlin time for their DTG. It was in a testimony from a German general heading a Luftwaffe field division in December 1942, near Stalingrad, IIRC.
It was not practical, according to him, because some actions were launched at 4am while the sun was high in the sky, or at 2pm when night had fallen!

CNE503
In fact, you get used to it quickly.
In the Soviet Union, Railways, air transport, and post offices used Moscow time throughout the territory.
For example, I was born in the Urals, where the difference with Moscow time is +2 hours. In our village, all enterprises, organizations and institutions belonging to the Ministry of Railways used Moscow time: a car repair plant, a hospital, a school, a shop, a cafe, etc.The same enterprises, institutions and organizations that do not belong to the Ministry of Railways used local time. I went to a railway school (this school was much closer to my home than the other one) and used Moscow time.
After graduating from the Institute, I worked at a company that performed work simultaneously on the entire territory of the USSR, so we used Moscow time. For example, if the work was performed simultaneously and synchronously in Kaliningrad/Konigsberg (Baltic sea) and Kamchatka (Pacific coast), the difference between local time and Moscow time was (- 1 hour) and (+9 hours). When it was 00-01 in Kamchatka, it was 15-01 in Moscow the previous day, and 14-01 in Kaliningrad.
It is more convenient to use one time on a territory that has a large length of longitude (in the East-West direction).

CNE503
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Re: Primary sources on time settings used by Wehrmacht

Post by CNE503 » 26 Mar 2020 12:14

Yes, I totally understand that (living in a country not that wide, it is not natural but I get the interest of the thing). But did the Germans really act this way?
CNE503
"Sicut Aquila" / "Ils s'instruisent pour vaincre" / "par l'exemple, le coeur et la raison" / "Labor Omnia Vincit"

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