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Wehrmacht Identification Handbook
Intelligence Handbook on the Wehrmacht
81 pages; 6 chapters and 1 appendix
The Wehrmacht Identification Handbook is a British Intelligence
handbook for combat intelligence personnel. With the Wehrmacht
Identification Handbook, intelligence officers could obtain valuable
Order of Battle information from German prisoners of war regarding
engagements and campaigns in which enemy units have taken part, their
battle reputations, morale, and probable casualties; WWII German
military symbols and abbreviations; methods of training and mobilizing the
German Army. In addition, the Wehrmacht Identification Handbook
enabled American and British intelligence officers to understand
outlines of the high command and general bases of organization of the
Wehrmacht. In addition, the Wehrmacht Identification Handbook
enabled intelligence officers to interpret uniform symbols, identification
tags and pay book information.
"Enemy unit identification makes Order of Battle information of such great practical value to intelligence officers.
Publications based on collected Order of Battle data on the German Army ordinarily show the composition of known
German divisions. They may be cross-indexed in such a way as to enable one who has identified a particular German
regiment to identify the division of which it is a part and also the other units included in the same division. Naturally,
information of this kind is subject to constant supplement, confirmation, and correction as individual units are identified.
As a result, new editions of publications based on Order of Battle information are issued frequently. In addition to
identifying information such as that indicated above, publications based on Order of Battle information may contain data
such as the following, which are of interest to intelligence officers: engagements and campaigns in which enemy units
have taken part, their battle reputations, morale, and probable casualties; enemy military symbols and abbreviations;
methods of training and mobilizing the enemy Army; lists of senior Army officers with their commands; an outline of the
high command and general bases of organization of the enemy Army; uniform identifications; and descriptions of
identification tags and pay books. Publications based on Order of Battle information contain data which identify the home
stations or areas in Germany from which the soldiers in particular units originate. Germany is divided into territorial
administrative commands called Wehrkreise, which correspond to our service commands. The mobilization of the German
armed forces was accomplished within the administrative framework of the Wehrkreise. It is important for intelligence
officers to know from what part of Germany particular units come, because individuals in those units as a whole act
according to local patterns of behavior."
Excerpt from Wehrmacht Identification Handbook
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