German Tank Training, 1937

By Christian Ankerstjerne

This document describes the instructions for the training of tank units for the year 1937. It was published by Inspectorate 6 (the inspectorate in charge of armor development) on 30 April 1937.

Document

Training of the armored forces in the training year of 1937

1.) The new Pz.Kpf.Wg.II (2 cm) that are being transferred must first of all be set up with the necessary radio links to the platoon commander to allow commands and intelligence information to be sent.

It may be necessary to equip the first three platoons of the light tank company with only one Pz.Kpf.Wg.II (2 cm), in favor of the fourth platoon receiving additional Pz.Kpf.Wg.II to replace missing Pz.Kpf.Wg.III (3,7 cm)s. For training purposes, it is not allowed to waive radio communications through the platoon commander if there are Pz.Kpf.Wg.IIs available to facilitate this.

The 1936/1937 and 1937/38 tables of organization and equipment1 are based on these considerations.

2.) Since the tank regiments are not yet evenly equipped with tanks, it is not possible to give any general numbers for the "organization of tank units according to their currently alotted equipment". It is sought to follow the organization in the table of organization and equipment 1936/37, binder 8, number 1168, 1171, 1172, 1194, and 1195.

3.) If maneuvers are carried out in accordance with O K H AHA/In 6 (IVa) Nr.589/36 geh.2, the following applies:

  1. If strong tanks are replaced by weaker ones, the latter much be equipped with colored rings in accordance with the pattern in appendix 1.
  2. 1.Panzer-Brigade must for now be equipped with Pz.Kpf.Wg.II (2 cm), to allow the reconnaissance platoon, the first tank platoon3 and the first tank company of the brigade to be equipped with the number and type of tanks set forth in the table of organization and equipment that is valid from 1 October 1937; binder 8, number 1168, 1171, 1172, 1194, and 1195.
  3. The tanks and command of a tank battalion must be equipped with the following radio sets:
    kl.Pz.Bef.Wg. One sender, two receivers
    Pz.Kpf.Wg.II (2 cm), when they are used as command vehicles (regimental and battalion staff, company and platoon commander, squad commanders of the first platoons3 One sender, two receivers
    Pz.Kpf.Wg.III (3,7 cm), for company commanders and reconnaissance platoons One sender, two receivers
    Pz.Kpf.Wg.III (3,7 cm), others One sender, one receiver
    Pz.Kpf.Wg.IV mit 7,5 cm Kw.K., for company commanders One sender, two receivers
    Pz.Kpf.Wg.IV mit 7,5 cm Kw.K., others One sender, one receiver
    All other tanks One receiver
  4. If Pz.Kpf.Wg.I (M.G.)s are used in place of Pz.Kpf.Wg.II (2 cm), III (3,7 cm), or IV (7,5 cm), cannon fire must be simulated by firing training charges from flare guns.
    Tank forces command must requisition the needed training charges from the ordnance department before 30 May 1937.

4.) The key technical details of the tanks are listed in appendix 24 to allow the referee to assess the tanks.

The information must be kept secret in accordance with regulations.

5.) Points of consideration for the action of the Pz.Kpf.Wg. I, II, III, and IV:

The Pz.Kpf.Wg.I (M.G.) fights living targets with its two machine guns.

The Pz.Kpf.Wg.II (2 cm) fights living targets with its machine gun. In addition, it fights against enemy tanks, various armored vehicles, and weapons behind armored shields with its 20 mm tank gun.

The Pz.Kpf.Wg.III (3,7 cm) fights living targets with its three machine guns. Its 37 mm tank guns is a more effective weapon against enemy armored targets than the 20 mm tank gun.

A particular advantage of the Pz.Kpf.Wg.III (3,7 cm) is its strong armor.

Within the scope of the light tank company, the Pz.Kpf.Wg.I (M.G.) and II (2 cm) are especially intended to fight living targets, while the Pz.Kpf.Wg.III (3,7 cm) acts as a strong support.

The Pz.Kpf.Wg.IV (7,5 cm) uses its 75 mm gun against especially important targets, and supports the attack of the other tanks by shooting over or between them.

Appendix 1

When replacing stronger tanks with weaker ones, the turrets of the latter must be equipped with the colored rings in accordance with this pattern:

Black and white checker marks for Pz.Kpf.Wg.II. 11 centimeters tall, checker marks are 5.5 by 5.5 centimeters.
Yellow and white for Pz.Kpf.Wg.III. 11 centimeters tall, stripes are 20 centimeters wide.
Yellow for Pz.Kpf.Wg.IV.

Notes

  1. Kriegsstarkenachweisung; K.St.N. Back.
  2. German army high command, general army agency, inspectorate 6 (the inspectorate dealing with armor development). Back.
  3. Presumably, of each company, though this is not specified. Back.
  4. No longer located with the original document. Back.

Sources

  1. Ausbildung der Panzerverbände im Übungsjahr 1937. Inspektorat 6 (IVa), 1937. 6 p. AHA/Jn 6 (IVa), Nr. 206/37 g.Kdos..