German divisional numbers system

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MagnusEriksson
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German divisional numbers system

Post by MagnusEriksson » 03 Nov 2022 15:26

Hello everyone.

It's been a very long time since I've been trying to figure out the system behind German divisions' numbering, but so far, I've not found anything particularly explaining. So, my question is, were there any clear system according to which German divisions were assigned their numbers? A mobilisation plan or something like that, perhaps?

This question has been really disturbing for me for a long time. Like, the first Heer divisions raised before September 1st of 1939 seem to be more or less consistent, but then there are 200+ numbers just out of the blue. There's 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th armour divisions, and then suddenly 10th, sometimes there are bizzare gaps in numbers, etc. Comparing to division numbers of other WW2 participants, the German one seems the most arbitrary, but I suspect there's system there, the system that I fail to see. Somehow, this question hasn't been addressed in all the information sources I've found so far, even Mueller-Hildebrand couldn't help.

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Re: German divisional numbers system

Post by Richard Anderson » 03 Nov 2022 20:30

MagnusEriksson wrote:
03 Nov 2022 15:26
Hello everyone.

It's been a very long time since I've been trying to figure out the system behind German divisions' numbering, but so far, I've not found anything particularly explaining. So, my question is, were there any clear system according to which German divisions were assigned their numbers? A mobilisation plan or something like that, perhaps?

This question has been really disturbing for me for a long time. Like, the first Heer divisions raised before September 1st of 1939 seem to be more or less consistent, but then there are 200+ numbers just out of the blue. There's 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th armour divisions, and then suddenly 10th, sometimes there are bizzare gaps in numbers, etc. Comparing to division numbers of other WW2 participants, the German one seems the most arbitrary, but I suspect there's system there, the system that I fail to see. Somehow, this question hasn't been addressed in all the information sources I've found so far, even Mueller-Hildebrand couldn't help.
As originally set up, the Infanterie divisions of the standing active army were numbered from 1.-36., and 46. That included the four motorized infantry divisions (2., 13., 20., and 29.). The 44. and 45. Infanterie-Division, formerly part of the Austrian Bundesheer, were included as well as later the 50. Infanterie which was mobilized from Grenztruppen and assigned an open number in the active series.

Infanterie divisions of the 2. Welle - fully trained and organized reserve divisions - were numbered from 52.-87. and were closely associated with the active army, drawing key personnel from affiliated active divisions on mobilization. 60. Infanterie was mobilized from the Danzig Landes-Polizei and 72. Infanterie from Grenztruppen and were assigned open numbers in the 2. Welle series.

Infanterie divisions of the 3. Welle - formerly Landwehr divisions comprised almost entirely of older reservists and associated with the Wehrkreis - were numbered from 205.-246., with some gaps.

Infanterie divisions of the 4. Welle - organized in 1938 partly from the Ersatzheer who comprised the active component of the divisions but otherwise were newly trained reservists - were numbered from 251.-269.

The divisions raised in later Welle were assigned numbers in open blocks as needed. For example, four of the leichte Infanterie-Divisionen (97., 98., 99., and 100.) were assigned those numbers in the open blocks, while 5., 8. and 28. were simply redesignated from Infanterie divisions rebuilding after being withdrawn from the Ostfront.

Part of the reason for the gaps was simply that the organization was growing but also as a simple means of deception but ultimately it was for convenience and to avoid duplication.

The "gaps" in the Panzer division number sequence is actually much easier to explain. When the 10. Panzer Division was organized 1 April 1939 in Prague, it was already anticipated that when sufficient tanks were produced, the mostly single-Panzer battalion leichte Panzer-Divisionen would be converted to Panzer-Divisionen and would be redesignated in the open sequence 6.-9., which occurred October-December 1939.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: German divisional numbers system

Post by MagnusEriksson » 04 Nov 2022 16:27

Thanks for the response!

However, if I were to be honest, I'm afraid that it still does not explain everything, alas.
Richard Anderson wrote:
03 Nov 2022 20:30
As originally set up, the Infanterie divisions of the standing active army were numbered from 1.-36., and 46. That included the four motorized infantry divisions (2., 13., 20., and 29.). The 44. and 45. Infanterie-Division, formerly part of the Austrian Bundesheer, were included as well as later the 50. Infanterie which was mobilized from Grenztruppen and assigned an open number in the active series.
Here we can see that the original, pre-war infantry divisions were assigned their numbers in a consistent line, from 1 to 36. But then we see a gap up to 44-46. Then there is again a gap to 50. AFAIK, 60th and 72nd infantry divisions were rather retroactively included in the 1st wave, btw. Weren't they?
Richard Anderson wrote:
03 Nov 2022 20:30
Infanterie divisions of the 2. Welle - fully trained and organized reserve divisions - were numbered from 52.-87. and were closely associated with the active army, drawing key personnel from affiliated active divisions on mobilization. 60. Infanterie was mobilized from the Danzig Landes-Polizei and 72. Infanterie from Grenztruppen and were assigned open numbers in the 2. Welle series.
Basically the same here. Why 52 to 87, why not start with 51?
Richard Anderson wrote:
03 Nov 2022 20:30
The divisions raised in later Welle were assigned numbers in open blocks as needed. For example, four of the leichte Infanterie-Divisionen (97., 98., 99., and 100.) were assigned those numbers in the open blocks, while 5., 8. and 28. were simply redesignated from Infanterie divisions rebuilding after being withdrawn from the Ostfront.
I can understand the bizzare numbers if a division has been redesignated as another type and retained its number (if possible), but this still does not explain much, I fear.
Richard Anderson wrote:
03 Nov 2022 20:30
Part of the reason for the gaps was simply that the organization was growing but also as a simple means of deception but ultimately it was for convenience and to avoid duplication.
To be honest, I can't get that - yes, Heer was growing in numbers as permanent mobilisation progressed, but why should new formations get such arbitrary numbers instead of filling the gaps?

The deception, however... I didn't think of that, mainly because I understood deception primarily as creating phantom formations, as did USA and Britain, but trying to decept the enemy by imposing numbers solely (like with 700-series divisions) seems like one hell of a tall order. Still, it does make some sense indeed.

But I can't see how is it convenient, though, let alone one wouldn't think that duplication was an issue, considering that the high command has to keep records of all the raised formations, hasn't it? Perhaps, ad hoc formations weren't tracked, but they were mostly named, as I understand (like Armeeabteilung Kempf, or how was it).
Richard Anderson wrote:
03 Nov 2022 20:30
The "gaps" in the Panzer division number sequence is actually much easier to explain. When the 10. Panzer Division was organized 1 April 1939 in Prague, it was already anticipated that when sufficient tanks were produced, the mostly single-Panzer battalion leichte Panzer-Divisionen would be converted to Panzer-Divisionen and would be redesignated in the open sequence 6.-9., which occurred October-December 1939.
That's interesting, because I heard the opposite. From what I heard, these 4 light divisions were converted to armoured mainly on the basis of Polish campaign experience, and not according to some plan. However, your explanation seems more plausible as to my concern about numbers.

By the way, looking at WK I and 1st, 11th, and 21st infantry divisions raised there, I suspect that number assignment might have something to do with WK number. Any idea if it can actually be the case?

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Re: German divisional numbers system

Post by MagnusEriksson » 04 Nov 2022 16:29

What is even more bizzare to me, SS divisions hadn't got any gaps, their numbers were strictly consistent. Why then such an arbitrary system in Wehrmacht?

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Re: German divisional numbers system

Post by Richard Anderson » 04 Nov 2022 22:56

MagnusEriksson wrote:
04 Nov 2022 16:27
Thanks for the response!

However, if I were to be honest, I'm afraid that it still does not explain everything, alas.
You may be trying to read too much into it than there is. :D
Here we can see that the original, pre-war infantry divisions were assigned their numbers in a consistent line, from 1 to 36. But then we see a gap up to 44-46. Then there is again a gap to 50. AFAIK, 60th and 72nd infantry divisions were rather retroactively included in the 1st wave, btw. Weren't they?
Because the Austrian Bundesheer divisions were incorporated into the Reich after the Anschluss but there were still plans to increase the active army so they were assigned placekeeper numbers under the assumption more active divisions would be raised. Part of the problem was the financial recession of 1937, which prevented the expansion of the regular army that year. Its effect was felt into 1938, when expansion was limited essentially just to the Bundesheer accession and the addition of 46. Infanterie-Division late-year from odds and sods of units as garrison for the new Wehrkreis XIII in the Sudetenland.

The idea that 50., 60,. and 70., Infanterie-Division were counted as part of the 1. Welle is basically speculative AFAICT. All were artifacts of the wartime mobilization and were not active in the standing army prior to that but were active units. 50. was Grenzkommandantur Küstrin and was formed by redesignating existing Grenztruppen. 60. was formed from the existing Danzig Landes-Polizei. 72. was like 50, and was formed from Grenz-Kommandantur Trier. So they were all standing units but not of the Heer until mobilization. The numbering was a matter of convenience upon mobilization.
Basically the same here. Why 52 to 87, why not start with 51?
Because they decided not too. :D All the 2. Welle divisions were formed upon mobilization on 26 August 1939.
I can understand the bizzare numbers if a division has been redesignated as another type and retained its number (if possible), but this still does not explain much, I fear.
The divisions of the 3. Welle were redesignated from their Landwehr Division numbers (names in some cases) on mobilization too and so were assigned numbers from the blocks available. They couldn't use the original numbers because the 21 Landwehr divisions had been assigned numbers between 1. and 99. Ooops!

Might make you wonder just how much thought they put into this process prewar. :lol:
To be honest, I can't get that - yes, Heer was growing in numbers as permanent mobilisation progressed, but why should new formations get such arbitrary numbers instead of filling the gaps?
Once mobilization began the prewar system was essentially over with and numbers were assigned as convenient and without overlaps. Somewhere in the files of the Organisation-Abteilung im Generalstabes des Heeres there are a series of charts laid out with blocks of numbers for assignment to units. It was quite a feat to prevent duplication prior to computer spreadsheets. Keeping open blocks within series helped.

Things really got complicated though when the French Campaign ended so suddenly. The mass of divisions hastily raised in the 5.-10. Welle suddenly weren't needed, while their manpower was badly needed in the civilian sector due to the hasty over-mobilization and so they were disbanded with many only partly organized and their numbers became vacant again only to be reused in some cases later in the war (again none of that fits with the idea that this was all very well thought out ahead of time).
The deception, however... I didn't think of that, mainly because I understood deception primarily as creating phantom formations, as did USA and Britain, but trying to decept the enemy by imposing numbers solely (like with 700-series divisions) seems like one hell of a tall order. Still, it does make some sense indeed.
The 700-series divisions were true wartime artifacts created initially for a single purpose, which was to be coastal defense and occupation divisions in France and the Low Countries.
But I can't see how is it convenient, though, let alone one wouldn't think that duplication was an issue, considering that the high command has to keep records of all the raised formations, hasn't it? Perhaps, ad hoc formations weren't tracked, but they were mostly named, as I understand (like Armeeabteilung Kempf, or how was it).
Try keeping track of all of them with and Excel spreadsheet and then think of trying to do it without Excel.
That's interesting, because I heard the opposite. From what I heard, these 4 light divisions were converted to armoured mainly on the basis of Polish campaign experience, and not according to some plan. However, your explanation seems more plausible as to my concern about numbers.
Like the stories associated with the 50., 60., and 72. Infanterie when that assumption is checked it doesn't really fit the facts. Either the Germans were remarkably prescient when they organized 10. Panzer-Division in April 1939 or they were already planning on converting the leichte-Panzer divisions.
By the way, looking at WK I and 1st, 11th, and 21st infantry divisions raised there, I suspect that number assignment might have something to do with WK number. Any idea if it can actually be the case?
Yes in some cases. The seven original Infanterie divisions of the Reichsheer were each associated with the seven original Wehrkreis and spawned two divisions each. However, the Wehrkreis also increased so it didn't hold true throughout. For example, 8. Infanterie was organized from Artillerieführer III in Wehrkreis III and had nothing to do with Wehrkreis VIII.
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Re: German divisional numbers system

Post by Art » 05 Nov 2022 15:54

MagnusEriksson wrote:
04 Nov 2022 16:27
That's interesting, because I heard the opposite. From what I heard, these 4 light divisions were converted to armoured mainly on the basis of Polish campaign experience, and not according to some plan.
Reorganization of existing light division as 6-9 Panzer Division was ordered by OKH on 1.4.39, the new organization was effective beginning from 19.9.39. Since the war started earlier, this planned reorganizaion wasn't carried out in full. See organizational diagrams and planned disposition of the army units beginning from September 1939:
https://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/ru/ ... ect/zoom/6
https://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/ru/ ... rid/zoom/1
Pay attention that the same reorganization plan provided for formation of several new infantry division from existing border fortification troops. That explains some gaps in the numbering system. 50 Infantry Division included in this plan was actually formed with the start of mobilization, and 72 Infantry Division somewhat later.
Here we can see that the original, pre-war infantry divisions were assigned their numbers in a consistent line, from 1 to 36. But then we see a gap up to 44-46.
I suspect, that numbers beginning from 37 were supposed to belong to 2nd wave divisions according to the earlier mobilization plan. Hence, Austrian divisions were given numbers 44 and 45, not 37. But that's just a hypothesis.

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Re: German divisional numbers system

Post by MagnusEriksson » 09 Nov 2022 13:58

Richard Anderson wrote:
04 Nov 2022 22:56
You may be trying to read too much into it than there is. :D
Perhaps. Yet still, somehow, I'm utterly convinced that there has to be some system in it, it can't be just "oh, I like this number, let's assign it to a new division! And I don't like that number, so let's not keep the numbering consistent and create a gap", can it?

Because the Austrian Bundesheer divisions were incorporated into the Reich after the Anschluss but there were still plans to increase the active army so they were assigned placekeeper numbers under the assumption more active divisions would be raised. Part of the problem was the financial recession of 1937, which prevented the expansion of the regular army that year. Its effect was felt into 1938, when expansion was limited essentially just to the Bundesheer accession and the addition of 46. Infanterie-Division late-year from odds and sods of units as garrison for the new Wehrkreis XIII in the Sudetenland.

The idea that 50., 60,. and 70., Infanterie-Division were counted as part of the 1. Welle is basically speculative AFAICT. All were artifacts of the wartime mobilization and were not active in the standing army prior to that but were active units. 50. was Grenzkommandantur Küstrin and was formed by redesignating existing Grenztruppen. 60. was formed from the existing Danzig Landes-Polizei. 72. was like 50, and was formed from Grenz-Kommandantur Trier. So they were all standing units but not of the Heer until mobilization. The numbering was a matter of convenience upon mobilization.
Now that's an interesting implication. Actually, I've also recently heard that in fact, the original plan was to give all divisions one and the same line of numbers. In that regard, after the first 36 infantry divisions there were to be the first 3 armoured divisions and 4 light divisions. Indeed, the gap between 36th and 44th divisions contains 7 free numbers, so that might be true - however, this plan was later abandoned in favor of different numbering systems, but the gap wasn't closed.

As to 50th, 60th, and 72nd divisions, yet again I fail to see convenience in their numbers, tbh.

Because they decided not too. :D
So you imply they were that arbitrary?

The divisions of the 3. Welle were redesignated from their Landwehr Division numbers (names in some cases) on mobilization too and so were assigned numbers from the blocks available. They couldn't use the original numbers because the 21 Landwehr divisions had been assigned numbers between 1. and 99. Ooops!

Might make you wonder just how much thought they put into this process prewar. :lol:
Obviously, not much. Nevertheless, even if some numbers between 1 and 99 were already taken, why not to assign them in line and fill the gaps? Like, the gap between 36 and 44 was yet unexploited back then, why not assigning these numbers?

Once mobilization began the prewar system was essentially over with and numbers were assigned as convenient and without overlaps. Somewhere in the files of the Organisation-Abteilung im Generalstabes des Heeres there are a series of charts laid out with blocks of numbers for assignment to units. It was quite a feat to prevent duplication prior to computer spreadsheets. Keeping open blocks within series helped.

Things really got complicated though when the French Campaign ended so suddenly. The mass of divisions hastily raised in the 5.-10. Welle suddenly weren't needed, while their manpower was badly needed in the civilian sector due to the hasty over-mobilization and so they were disbanded with many only partly organized and their numbers became vacant again only to be reused in some cases later in the war (again none of that fits with the idea that this was all very well thought out ahead of time).
I see. While I find some points hard to believe, it is still a plausible explanation, I think.

Try keeping track of all of them with and Excel spreadsheet and then think of trying to do it without Excel.
Ahem... Actually, I did xD

That is the very reason why I started thinking about it in the first place. You see, I'm a big fan of PC games, especially strategies. In a wargame-like strategy - for what it's worth, it was Hearts of Iron 3 - I kept track of all my formations, without Excel. It was in the standard-issue Windows notepad, I placed there all my army groups, armies, corpses, divisions, even regiments and battalions at some points! I organised them by level, type, status, etc. - the same was done for airforces (wings, groups, airborne formations if any, etc.) and navies (ship formations such as submarine or destroyer divisions, task forces/groups, etc.). And I must say it wasn't that difficult at all (perhaps because I really enjoyed it). Of course, that was far from being a complete list of all military formations, but then I again, I did it alone, without my personal HQ. So I am convinced that a dedicated section of a general staff can do it pretty easily most of the time, even without advanced tools such as Excel.

All in all, at first, I used my own made up numbers, but then I became interested in actual real lists of formations - and that's where I found out that actual German divisional numbers were confusing. I'm trying to figure it out ever since - so far, to no avail, lmao.

Like the stories associated with the 50., 60., and 72. Infanterie when that assumption is checked it doesn't really fit the facts. Either the Germans were remarkably prescient when they organized 10. Panzer-Division in April 1939 or they were already planning on converting the leichte-Panzer divisions.
Perhaps, but that's what gave me the idea:
...Die leichten Divisionen konnten während des Überfalls auf Polen im September 1939 die in sie gesetzten Erwartungen nicht erfüllen. Sie waren zu schwach, um als Panzerverbände eingesetzt zu werden, aber zu schwerfällig, um die Kavallerie zu ersetzen. Sie wurden daher nach und nach in Panzer-Divisionen umgewandelt. (c)
https://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gl ... derung.htm
Yes in some cases. The seven original Infanterie divisions of the Reichsheer were each associated with the seven original Wehrkreis and spawned two divisions each. However, the Wehrkreis also increased so it didn't hold true throughout. For example, 8. Infanterie was organized from Artillerieführer III in Wehrkreis III and had nothing to do with Wehrkreis VIII.
I see. By the way, even the WKs designation seemed to be arbitrary too, at first - but later I found a plausible explanation.

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Re: German divisional numbers system

Post by MagnusEriksson » 09 Nov 2022 14:23

Art wrote:
05 Nov 2022 15:54
Reorganization of existing light division as 6-9 Panzer Division was ordered by OKH on 1.4.39, the new organization was effective beginning from 19.9.39. Since the war started earlier, this planned reorganizaion wasn't carried out in full. See organizational diagrams and planned disposition of the army units beginning from September 1939:
https://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/ru/ ... ect/zoom/6
https://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/ru/ ... rid/zoom/1
Pay attention that the same reorganization plan provided for formation of several new infantry division from existing border fortification troops. That explains some gaps in the numbering system. 50 Infantry Division included in this plan was actually formed with the start of mobilization, and 72 Infantry Division somewhat later.
I see - like I said in the previous post, that's the remark from Lexikon der Wehrmacht that gave me theidea. Thanks for the docs btw, they're really peculiar!

But Iater I somewhat missed the point - how does that explain some gaps? Could you please elaborate?

I suspect, that numbers beginning from 37 were supposed to belong to 2nd wave divisions according to the earlier mobilization plan. Hence, Austrian divisions were given numbers 44 and 45, not 37. But that's just a hypothesis.
Actually, mobilisation plans and their changes could explain a lot of gaps, yes.

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Re: German divisional numbers system

Post by Art » 09 Nov 2022 17:17

MagnusEriksson wrote:
09 Nov 2022 14:23
But Iater I somewhat missed the point - how does that explain some gaps? Could you please elaborate?
Numbers 43, 47, 49, 50, 59, 63, 72 were supposed to be occupied by new peacetime divisions after September 1939, so they were left vacant by 2nd wave division formed at mobilization. Admittedly, more than just these numbers.

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Re: German divisional numbers system

Post by Richard Anderson » 09 Nov 2022 18:58

MagnusEriksson wrote:
04 Nov 2022 16:27
Thanks for the response!

However, if I were to be honest, I'm afraid that it still does not explain everything, alas.
Alas, I think you may be suffering from apophenia. :D
Here we can see that the original, pre-war infantry divisions were assigned their numbers in a consistent line, from 1 to 36. But then we see a gap up to 44-46. Then there is again a gap to 50. AFAIK, 60th and 72nd infantry divisions were rather retroactively included in the 1st wave, btw. Weren't they?
Indeed and now due to Art's sleuthing we see that those inconsistent numbers were assigned long before the mobilization, so in fact were not retroactively included but were planned to be part of the 1. Welle. Why the "gaps" remained remains unexplained.
Basically the same here. Why 52 to 87, why not start with 51?
I doubt there is an answer other than they didn't use it.
I can understand the bizzare numbers if a division has been redesignated as another type and retained its number (if possible), but this still does not explain much, I fear.
Because some were new and others were rebuilt. The former needed a new number, the latter retained their old number.
To be honest, I can't get that - yes, Heer was growing in numbers as permanent mobilisation progressed, but why should new formations get such arbitrary numbers instead of filling the gaps?
Remember there were many types of divisions within the infantry division sequence. the leichte-Infanterie Divisionen, Sicherungs Divisionen, and Divisions-Nummern/Reserve-Divisionen were all within the same sequence. It might be more profitable to ask why the Gebirgsjäger-Divisionen were not? :D

Seriously, there were also pseudo-divisions it appears within the numbering sequence that are not perfectly transparent. For example, 38., 39., and 65. Infanterie-Division were formed in July 1942 by redesignating existing Ausbildungsverband of the Ersatzheer that were numbereed 38., 39., and 65. Despite searching I remain uncertain as to when those were organized and assigned numbers.
The deception, however... I didn't think of that, mainly because I understood deception primarily as creating phantom formations, as did USA and Britain, but trying to decept the enemy by imposing numbers solely (like with 700-series divisions) seems like one hell of a tall order. Still, it does make some sense indeed.

But I can't see how is it convenient, though, let alone one wouldn't think that duplication was an issue, considering that the high command has to keep records of all the raised formations, hasn't it? Perhaps, ad hoc formations weren't tracked, but they were mostly named, as I understand (like Armeeabteilung Kempf, or how was it).
The "Namenverband" is a whole other level of complication. :lol:
That's interesting, because I heard the opposite. From what I heard, these 4 light divisions were converted to armoured mainly on the basis of Polish campaign experience, and not according to some plan. However, your explanation seems more plausible as to my concern about numbers.
Art has demonstrated conclusively that what we "heard" was incorrect, which resolves the apparent paradox.
By the way, looking at WK I and 1st, 11th, and 21st infantry divisions raised there, I suspect that number assignment might have something to do with WK number. Any idea if it can actually be the case?
And in some Wehrkreis there was no correlation. While 111. Infanterie-Division was organized 6 November 1940 in WK XI and 123. Infanterie-Division was organized 5 October 1940 in WK III (oooo!), 121. Infanterie-Division was organized in WK XI on 19 September 1940...and then redesignated 131. Infanterie-Division on 21 September 1940, possibly because it was organized from a cadre of 31. Infanterie-Division?

Yet again, we may be reading too much order into a somewhat chaotic system.
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Re: German divisional numbers system

Post by MagnusEriksson » 11 Nov 2022 21:18

Richard Anderson wrote:
09 Nov 2022 18:58
Yet again, we may be reading too much order into a somewhat chaotic system.
Perhaps. Anyway, I've recently found some new info:
https://www.feldgrau.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=32528

That explains some principles, but it still does not cover the reasons behind actual numbers. But now we figure out that the office in charge of all that was actually OKH/Chef H R2st/BdE/AHA/Ic - if anything is left of its archive, answers may be there.

Any idea where to search for those?

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Re: German divisional numbers system

Post by Richard Anderson » 12 Nov 2022 01:46

MagnusEriksson wrote:
11 Nov 2022 21:18
Richard Anderson wrote:
09 Nov 2022 18:58
Yet again, we may be reading too much order into a somewhat chaotic system.
Perhaps. Anyway, I've recently found some new info:
https://www.feldgrau.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=32528
I had forgotten about that. Thanks for the reminder.
That explains some principles, but it still does not cover the reasons behind actual numbers. But now we figure out that the office in charge of all that was actually OKH/Chef H R2st/BdE/AHA/Ic - if anything is left of its archive, answers may be there.
Yes, but as of the late war perspective...Gerber was apparently only with OKH/Chef H Rüst/BdE/AHA/Ia (I) at the end of the war. Until c. mid-January 1945 he was the Ia on the staff of 711. Infanterie-Division until then when he was promoted from Major to Oberstleutnant and transferred to OKH.

Also, be careful of OCR from PDFs of old documents, there was no "OKH/Chef H R2st/BdE/AHA/Ic", it was "OKH/Chef H Rüst/BdE/AHA/Ia (I)" or to loosely translate, the 1st Personnel Office of the General Army Office of the Commander of the Replacement Army/Chief of Armament in the High Command of the Army. :lol:

I have never delved deeply into those records, especially for prewar and early war.
Any idea where to search for those?
Sturmpanzer has PDFs of the guidebooks to the NARA microfilms but it can be difficult to find the records of a particular OKH office like that. I doubt that BA-MA has microfilmed those yet - they seem to be concentrating of operational war diaries for the Feldheer?
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Re: German divisional numbers system

Post by Urmel » 28 Nov 2022 23:30

If anyone can make sense of this, they're a better person than I am:

https://www.axishistory.com/various/145 ... ehrkreis-i
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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Re: German divisional numbers system

Post by Richard Anderson » 29 Nov 2022 00:02

The Lexikon entry is easier. :P
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Urmel
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Re: German divisional numbers system

Post by Urmel » 29 Nov 2022 08:38

It is totally logical!

WK 1 has: 1., 11., 21. ID, all ending in '1' and 117., 120., and wait... what?
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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