Several questions about Bautruppen (construction troops)

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militaryhistoryvisualized
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Several questions about Bautruppen (construction troops)

Post by militaryhistoryvisualized » 26 Mar 2016 09:54

Recently I got some copies from Müller Hillebrand's "Das Heer" (The Army), it offers a lot of statistical data.

What caught my attention was the huge number of "Bautruppen" (construction troops) listed. They are listed two times for the Army (at war entry) with 426 798 ("nach Truppengliederung" - according to organization/structure, e.g., all troops in the infantry divisions, mountain divisions, etc.) and 463 065 ("nach Waffengattung" - according to "arm of the service", e.g., all troops that are classified as infantry, engineers/pioneers are different than construction troops).
Now that is in both cases more than 400 000 of a total of 2 741 064 or about 16 % of the troops for the lower number. Yet, I can't find (I don't have the book right now) any information on what these construction troops did.

My questions are as follows:
1) Were the construction troops part of the Organisation Todt? (as far as I know, no)
2) How did the number of construction troops progress throughout the war? (I assume their number was increased before Barbarossa, but due to the high losses more of them would be pulled into the fighting ranks).
3) What exactly did they do?
4) Any useful sources or further information on them.

thx in advance

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Re: Several questions about Bautruppen (construction troops)

Post by AHK » 26 Mar 2016 13:50

Off hand, many of them were foreign troops who could no longer be trusted, i.e. Czech, Turks.
AHK

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Re: Several questions about Bautruppen (construction troops)

Post by ML59 » 26 Mar 2016 16:40

OT was not part of the Armed Forces, neither were NSKK, RAD, TeNo, Polizei that were all involved, in various degree, in supporting the WH. In 1939 almost all existing RAD units were incorporated into the Heeres Bautruppen. RAD (Reichsarbeitsdienst) was a state organization, officially unpolitical (but every member had to wear the nazi svastika armband!) that took care of all German male citizens performing their compulsory work duty, after which they were transferred to the WH, As the war progressed, RAD training became more and more military oriented with disciplines like anti-tank defense, anti-aircraft defense and light infantry tactics being taught. By the end of war some RAD infantry divisions were organized and thrown into the furnace of the collapsing Home Front.

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Re: Several questions about Bautruppen (construction troops)

Post by Leo Niehorster » 28 Mar 2016 08:00

Your questions are answered in Tessin, Vol. 1, Section F, Part II: Bautruppen (Baupioniere).
I would request that someone who has a scanner copy pages 235—238 and send them to you.


(Sorry, I cannot, as I am still looking for a scanner that also does microfiche and microfilm).
Information not passed on is lost.
URL: World War II Armed Forces

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Re: Several questions about Bautruppen (construction troops)

Post by militaryhistoryvisualized » 28 Mar 2016 10:25

thank you Leo! And thank you for your great site!
I am living next to a library that has Tessin, thus no need to scan.

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Re: Several questions about Bautruppen (construction troops)

Post by jpz4 » 28 Mar 2016 13:52

Tessin is hard to find here in the Netherlands so I'd very much appreciate a copy of those pages as well it it's not too much trouble. Could use some solid research on Bautruppen for a project I'm working on.

Thanks in advance,
Niels

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Re: Several questions about Bautruppen (construction troops)

Post by militaryhistoryvisualized » 28 Mar 2016 13:56

Niels, if I don't contact you within a week, drop me a message. I need to go to the library tomorrow, not sure if I have enough time to copy, but I put it on my list.

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Re: Several questions about Bautruppen (construction troops)

Post by jpz4 » 29 Mar 2016 11:00

Thanks!
Will do. There's no rush for me, so please take your time.

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Re: Several questions about Bautruppen (construction troops)

Post by militaryhistoryvisualized » 29 Mar 2016 11:19

made the copies, I probably will type down the pages in a few days, easier to search and anything.

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Re: Several questions about Bautruppen (construction troops)

Post by jpz4 » 29 Mar 2016 18:43

If you scan them with OCR (text recognition) software you may have to do a lot less typing. Usually still plenty to correct though.
Just a thought.

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Re: Several questions about Bautruppen (construction troops)

Post by militaryhistoryvisualized » 29 Mar 2016 19:04

thx, but I don't have a scanner. Any free OCR out there that works sufficiently with photos? Although considering the many different naming schemes and numbers, I will just type and listen to some music/youtbe.

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Re: Several questions about Bautruppen (construction troops)

Post by AHK » 30 Mar 2016 00:54

I thought WH Bautruppen and RAD formations were two completely different units/organizations.
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Re: Several questions about Bautruppen (construction troops)

Post by jpz4 » 03 Apr 2016 13:24

militaryhistoryvisualized wrote:thx, but I don't have a scanner. Any free OCR out there that works sufficiently with photos? Although considering the many different naming schemes and numbers, I will just type and listen to some music/youtbe.
There are some free websites that allow you to upload a .jpg and do the OCR thing for you. I could always give it a try for you.

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Re: Several questions about Bautruppen (construction troops)

Post by militaryhistoryvisualized » 03 Apr 2016 14:46

first of eleven parts:

Tessin, Vol. 1, Section F, Part II: S. 235-238
"
II. Bautruppen (Baupioniere)

1
Die bei Mobilmachung aufgestellten Bautruppen gliederten sich in
Oberbaustäbe,
Abschnitts-Baustäbe und
Bau-Bataillone.
Die Oberbaustäbe (mit eigenem Verpflegungsamt, Druckerei- und Vermessungszug und einem Feldpostamt: mit Nummer um 600) waren durch die Festungs-Pionier-Kommandeure aufgestellt worden (31-35 für Ostpreußen) und schon 1939 teilweise in diese zurückgebildet, teilweise jedoch aufgelöst worden. Die Oberbaustäbe 5, 7, 15 und 16 wurden 1940 in Kommandanturen der Befestigungen Oberrhein, Ostfrankreich, Saarpfalz und Eifel umgewandelt; die übrigen und die neu errichteten erhielten bei Auflösung der Waffengattung Bautruppen am 19. 8. 1943 die Bezeichnung Höhere Pionierführer (9, 10, 14, 17-19, 22, 23, 30 und 32) (siehe E I. Pioniere Abschnitt 6).
Die Abschnitt-Baustäbe (mit Nummern zwischen 1 bis 47, 71 bis 79 und – für Ostpreußen – 101 bis 111) waren durch den Reichsarbeitsdienst aufgestellt worden und wurden mit Verfügung vom 29.1.1940 als Kommandeure der Bautruppen in das Heer übernommen. Bei Auflösung der Waffengattung Bautruppen wurden sie 19. 8. 1943 zu Pionier-Regimentsstäben z.b.V. mit gleicher Nummer (siehe E. I. Pioniere, Abschnitt 5). Die Kommandeure der Bautruppen 17, 38, 41, 44, 46, 47 waren schon vom 1.2.1941 ab in die Pi. Rgts. Stäbe 514, 515 und 517-520 umgebildet worden.
"

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Re: Several questions about Bautruppen (construction troops)

Post by jpz4 » 13 Apr 2016 15:29

militaryhistoryvisualized wrote:first of eleven parts
Thanks for posting!

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