German Long Distance Transport

Discussions on the economic history of the nations taking part in WW2, from the recovery after the depression until the economy at war.
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Der Alte Fritz
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German Long Distance Transport

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 29 Mar 2015 11:37

JonG
Prior to the outbreak of war the Germans had organized their higher echelon motor transport assets into three regiments, collectively referred to as the Grosstransportraum:

Regiment 602, which was the only active regiment in peacetime, was organized with staff company, field police section, and three battalions each with five companies, a repair platoon and an information (?) platoon. Regiment 602 had mainly four-ton trucks with four-ton trailers for transport vehicles. At full strength the regiment had 2200 vehicles and a load capacity of 4500 tons.

The two other Grosstransportraum regiments - 605 and 616 - were organized along similar lines as Regiment 602, but only their officers were active army ranks - all rank and file, drivers, mechanics etc. were civilians, and the vehicles on strength were 'conscripted' civilian trucks - i.e. not built to military specifications and with a great variety of truck types present in each regiment. Regiment 605 had a tonnage of 6000 tons while Regiment 616 had a tonnage of 9000 tons which implies that truck size, rather than geographical location, decided which regiment a civilian vehicle was conscripted to.

Combined, the tonnage of these three regiments corresponds reasonably well with the 20,000 figure which is usually given as Grosstransportraum size at the onset of the Polish campaign. It's also frequently stated (in van Creveld and elsewhere) that GTR losses during the campaign in Poland were a very serious 50% - losses caused, mostly, by wear and tear from poor roads.

I'm interested in knowing how these c. 50% losses were distributed among the three Grosstransportraum regiments; subsidiarily I am also interested in knowing how these losses were made good prior to the campaign in the west in 1940. Was the distribution still approx. 4500 tons' worth of military trucks in Regiment 602 vs. about 15,000 tons of tonnage in conscripted civilian trucks in regiments 605 and 616?

Just a few days into the 1940 campaign in the west the Germans were forced to conscript even more civilian vehicles due to losses suffered - or perhaps because the rapid progress of the campaign put additional strains on the GTR? When you consider that the 1940 campaign was fought in good weather over one of the densest road networks in the world, it's remarkable if large parts of the GTR had to be written off just after a few days of war.

The Grosstransportraum was expanded from 20,000 tons to 60,000 tons in preparation for the 1941 Barbarossa campaign. A great many trucks were confiscated from the occupied countries, mostly from the civilian economy - but at least some vehicles were taken from the defeated French army (eg. some US-built White 3-tonners), and there were also several thousand captured trucks from the Dunkirk war booty.

I'm interested in knowing how this expansion was handled - were the three original GTR regiments simply expanded three-fold, or were additional motor transport regiments raised? Did the Germans make any attempt at standardizing truck types into individual regiments/companies? What was the approximate proportion of military grade trucks (i.e. all-wheel drive types) to civilian trucks?
Last edited by Der Alte Fritz on 29 Mar 2015 11:50, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: German Long Distance Transport

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 29 Mar 2015 11:49

Article on the NSKK (National Socialist Transport Corps)
http://www.ifz-muenchen.de/heftarchiv/1984_4.pdf

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Re: German Long Distance Transport

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 30 Mar 2015 12:15

gtr2.jpg
gtr1.jpg
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Re: German Long Distance Transport

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 02 Apr 2015 08:04

Organisation of three GTR Regiments 1940 from Leo Niehorsters site

http://www.niehorster.org/011_germany/3 ... ransp.html

see also
http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... derung.htm

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Re: German Long Distance Transport

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 03 Apr 2015 12:00

Regiments of the GTR (Kw. Trsp. Verbande) from May 1941 to Sept 1942
Kw. Trsp.jpg
Regiment of the NSKK attached to Wehrmacht
Kw. Trsp 2.jpg
source T78 R404 available from http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 8&t=208630 or Sturmpanzer http://www.sturmpanzer.com/Default.aspx ... em=3&sec=0
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Re: German Long Distance Transport

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 03 Apr 2015 13:20

GTR Organisation Feb 1941 (ie. before expansion for Case Barbarossa)
Kw. Trsp Nov 1940.jpg
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Re: German Long Distance Transport

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 03 Apr 2015 14:16

The point to note is that this organisation does not change right up to the Kriegsgliederung des Feldheers of Summer 1943.
Yet each of these regiments deploys in total 22,320 tonnes of load (602 = 4,800 605 = 6,400 and 616 = 8,120 plus 612 and 611 Battalions = 1,500 each).

Yet the GTR is always quoted as having 60,000 tonnes of load for 1941 and around the same for 1942.

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Re: German Long Distance Transport

Post by GregSingh » 04 Apr 2015 10:17

Perhaps they included all remaining Kraftwagen-Transport-Abteilungen?
Coincidentally they add up to 37000 tonnes, making the summary of 60000 tonnes...
If we become increasingly humble about how little we know, we may be more eager to search.

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Re: German Long Distance Transport

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 04 Apr 2015 13:12

This is the full listing of the units according to Tessin:
Tessin 2.jpg
Tessin.jpg
About the reorganisation of late 1942.
Frank 2.jpg
Frank 1.jpg

Kw. trsp. Truppen seems to have referred mainly to the GTR long distance transport troops and Kraftfahr to the local motor transport units but as you can see from this the terms were somewhat interchangeable.
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Re: German Long Distance Transport

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 04 Apr 2015 13:37

War Organisation December 1942
Image5.jpg
Image6.jpg
Image7.jpg
Image8.jpg
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Re: German Long Distance Transport

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 04 Apr 2015 13:45

Image10.jpg
So if you add up the Kw. Trsp. Truppen on these sheets you get a total of 54,700 tonnes of load

Repeating the exercise for July 1943 gives you 71,705 tonnes load and then there is an additional 25,920 tonnes of load provided by the Kraftfahr Abteilung
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Re: German Long Distance Transport

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 04 Apr 2015 14:31

Repeating the exercise again for 31st May 1941 and you get 61,055 tonnes Kw. Trsp. Truppen plus 6,000 tonnes provided by the NSKK. (We definitely know that NSKK 499 Regt was deployed with HG Sud to support Supply District South

However it needs to be borne in mind that this represent the total for the Field Army and not all these units were deployed into the Ostheer

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Re: German Long Distance Transport

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 11 Apr 2015 00:38

The Auxillary Troops of the Wehrmacht
These comprised four main units:
NSKK - Nazionalsozialistisches Kraftfahrkorps
RAD - Reichsarbeitdienst
OT - Organisation Todt
from Sept 1944 Deutscher Volksturm
Size of these organisations ranged from 1,200,000 in 1939 to 3,800,000 in 1944
NSKK:
* NSKK. 1939 28 Motorgruppe (5 regiments) 1 Motorbrigade (3 regiments) totalling 100 regiments (500,000 men but by 1942 this had fallen to 220,000 men as personnel and whole units were absorbed into the Wehrmacht. By 1944 9 Motorobergruppe with 28 Motorgruppe and 6 Motorbrigades. Regiment had 3 – 6 battalions each of 3-10 companies of 3-4 platoons or 3-4 sections each 8-16 men
* NSKK Transportgruppe Luftwaffe (1941 NSKK Gruppe Luftwaffe)(roughly 20,000 men)
*** comprises 1 Division, 2 brigades each of 6,100 men and 2,758 vehicles plus NSKK Staffel Niederlande. Each brigade comprised 3 regiments (2,014 men) of 2-3 battalions (985 men) of 3 companies or Main Columns (Hauptkolonnen). It recruited 4,000 Belgians, 2,000 French and 4,000 Dutch. 2nd Brigade (Regts 4, 5 and 6) served in Russia and units were lost at Stalingrad.
* NSKK Transportgruppe Todt (October 1942 70,000 men, by September 1943, 50,000)
comprised NSKK Transportbrigade Todt and NSKK Transportbrigade Speer
**NSKK Transportbrigade Todt which provided transport for OT units
****NSKK Kw. Ltg bei OT Einzengruppe. Staff attached to each OT Einsatzgruppe working in rear areas. Staffs controlled Transportstaffeln (transport battalions) and Transporthauptkolonnen (Main Columns)
***** Russland Nord (1942) – Transportstaffeln 16, 42, 43 and THK 2, 17, 18
***** Russland Mitte (1942) – Tr St 40, 41, 46, 47 and THK 12 and 16
***** Russland Sud (1942) – Tr St 48 and 49

****NSKK Lw.Ltg beim OT-Verbindungsfuhruer. Special staff attached to OT units working in forward areas.
***** Nord (1942) Tr St 5, 14, 23, THK 1
***** Mitte (1942) Tr St 1, 11, 12, 13, 18, 32, THK 5
***** Sud A (1942) Tr St 2, 4, 6, 20, 28 THK 13
***** Sud B (1942) Tr St 3, 17, 25

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Re: German Long Distance Transport

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 11 Apr 2015 00:44

From 1943 these two staffs were replaced by
**** NSKK Abscnittsfuhrung:
***** Russland Nord – Abteilung I, II, III, IV, (19 companies) THK 17 and 18
***** Russland Mitte – Abteilung I, II, III, IV, V (37 companies) Kw. Tr. Rgt 8
***** Russland Sud – Abteilung I, II, III, IV, V (18 companies)
**** NSKK Lw.Ltg beim OT-Verbindungsfuhruer:
***** Jacob Nord – Abteilung I, II, III, IV (14 companies)
***** Jacon Mitte – Abteilung Tr Sp 1, 11, 12, 13 18, 32, THK 5
***** Jacob Sud – Tr Sp 3, 17, 25
***** Jacob Kaukasien – Abteilung I, II, III, IV
**** NSKK Kw. Tr. Abt bei OT:
***** Russland Sud (15 companies)

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Re: German Long Distance Transport

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 11 Apr 2015 00:45

**NSKK Transportbrigade Speer which provided transport for Luftwaffe supply. June 1941 3 Motor Transport Regiments reaching 10 Regiments by 1944. Regiments 1-6, 10 transported goods from factories to the Luftwaffe bases in Germany while Regiments 7-9 were used by the Army. Regiments 1, 2, 3, 8 and 9 served on the Eastern Front and 1/3rd Regiment was lost at Stalingrad. Also included in 1941 were NSKK Transportabteilung 496-500 which later were used to form 5, 6 and 10th Regiments, Kw. Abt. Sud and OT-Regt Speer. November 1944 it comprised 47,727 men (17,000 German, 20,000 Foreigners, 800 Hiwis and 35,000 lorries)

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