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early war TO&E

Discussion in 'Prelude to War & Poland 1939' started by yan taylor, May 20, 2011.

  1. yan taylor

    yan taylor Member

    Jan 7, 2011
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    Hi, I have being putting together some TO&Es for a future Wargame and I am keeping it to 1938/39 when the Germans took over Czechoslovakia and invaded Poland, I have three types of Infantry Companies to use is any Infantry scenario, and the difference in the make up of each Infantry Company is very interesting, I have posted it here if anyone wants to use them.

    Polish Infantry Company.

    [FONT=&quot]Company HQ [/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot] 1 x Captain (Wz.35 9mm Pistol) [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 1 x Lieutenant (Wz.35 9mm Pistol)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 1 x Company Sergeant Major (Wz.35 9mm Pistol)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 1 x Corporal (Wz.35 9mm Pistol) [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 4 x Stretcher Bearers (Wz.35 9mm pistols)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 4 x runners ([/FONT]Wz.98 7.92mm [FONT=&quot]Rifles)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 2 x Observers ([/FONT]Wz.98 7.92mm [FONT=&quot]Rifles)[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]3 x Infantry Platoons each:[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot] Platoon HQ [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 1 x Lieutenant (Wz.35 9mm pistol)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 1 x 2nd Lieutenant (Wz.35 9mm Pistol)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 1 x Platoon Sergeant (Wz.35 9mm Pistol)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 1 x Observer ([/FONT]Wz.98 7.92mm [FONT=&quot]Rifle)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 1 x Runner ([/FONT]Wz.98 7.92mm [FONT=&quot]Rifle)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 1 x Sniper (1 x Wz.35 7.92mm A/T Rifle)[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot] 3 x Rifle sections each:[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]1st Rifle Squad[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 1 x Lance Sgt ([/FONT]Wz.98 7.92mm [FONT=&quot]Rifle)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 1 x Lance Corporal ([/FONT]Wz.29 7.92mm [FONT=&quot]rifle)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 6 x Men ([/FONT]Wz.98 7.92mm [FONT=&quot]Rifles)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]2nd Rifle Squad[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 1 x Lance Corporal ([/FONT]Wz.98 7.92mm [FONT=&quot]rifle)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 6 x Men ([/FONT]Wz.98 7.92mm [FONT=&quot]rifles)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]LMG Squad[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 1 x Corporal ([/FONT]Wz.98 7.92mm [FONT=&quot]Rifle)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 1 x Gunner (Wz.28 7.92mm LMG + Wz.35 9mm pistol)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 2 x Ammo carriers ([/FONT]Wz.98 7.92mm [FONT=&quot]Rifles)[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Mortar Section:[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 1 x Corporal ([/FONT]Wz.98 7.92mm [FONT=&quot]Rifle)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 3 x Mortar men (Wz.35 9mm Pistols)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 6 x Ammo carriers ([/FONT]Wz.98 7.92mm [FONT=&quot]Rifles)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 1 x Wz.36 47mm mortar[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Czech Infantry Company.[/FONT]

    Company HQ
    1 x Captain (VZ.34 9mm pistol)
    Command Section
    1 x Lieutenant (VZ.34 9mm pistol)
    1 x Company Sgt (VZ.34 9mm pistol)
    3 x Orderly’s (VZ.24 7.92mm rifles)
    2 x Runners (VZ.24 7.92mm rifles)
    Admin Section
    1 x Sgt (VZ.34 9mm pistol)
    2 x Corporals (VZ.24 7.92mm rifles)
    10 x Men (VZ.24 7.92mm rifles)

    3 x Infantry Platoons each:
    Platoon HQ
    1 x Lieutenant (VZ.34 9mm pistol)
    1 x Platoon Sgt (VZ.24 7.92mm rifle)
    1 x Orderly (VZ.24 7.92mm rifle)
    1 x Runner (VZ.24 7.92mm rifle)

    3 x Rifle Sections each;
    1 x Corporal (VZ.24 7.92mm rifle)
    1 x Lance Corporal (VZ.24 7.92mm rifle)
    1 x LMG Team
    1 x Gunner (VZ.34 9mm pistol)
    1 x Assistant Gunner (VZ.24 7.92mm rifle)
    2 x Ammo Men (VZ.24 7.92mm rifles)
    1 x VZ.26 LMG
    2 x Men Grenade Launcher Team (VZ.24 7.92mm rifle + rifle grenade launcher).
    5 x men (VZ.24 7.92mm rifles)

    German Infantry Company.

    Company HQ

    [FONT=&quot]Company Commander[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]1 x Captain (P-38 pistol)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Company HQ Section[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]1 x Company Sergeant (7.92mm 98K rifle)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]1 x Signal Man (P-38 pistol)[/FONT]
    1 x Orderly (7.92mm 98K rifle)
    [FONT=&quot]1 x Bugler/Runner (7.92mm 98K rifle)[/FONT]
    2 x Runners (7.92mm 98K rifles)
    2 x Bicycle Messengers (7.92mm 98K rifles)
    2 x Medical personnel
    Anti-tank Section[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]1 x Corporal (7.92mm 98K rifle)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]3 x Anti-tank Rifle Teams each:[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]1 x Gunner (9mm P-38 pistol) [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]1 x Loader (7.92mm 98K rifle)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]1 x 7.92mm PzB 38 or 39 Anti-tank Rifle [/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Three Rifle Platoons each;[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Platoon HQ [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Platoon Commander[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]1 x Lieutenant (P-38 pistol)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Platoon HQ Squad [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]1 x Sgt (7.92mm 98K rifle)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]1 x Sniper (7.92mm 98K rifle)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]2 x Runners (7.92mm 98K rifles)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]1 x Medic [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Light Mortar Squad [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]1 x Corporal (7.92mm 98K rifle)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]1 x Gunner (9mm P-38 pistol)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]1 x Loader (9mm P-38 pistol)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]1 x 50mm leGrW 36 mortar[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]4 x Rifle Squads each:[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]1 x Corporal (7.92mm 98K rifle)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]1 x LMG Team[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]1 x Gunner (9mm P-38 pistol)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]1 x Loader (9mm P-38 pistol)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]1 x Ammo Man (7.92mm 98K rifle)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]1 x Bi-pod mounted 7.92mm MG34 LMG[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]1 x Lance Corporal (7.92mm 98K rifle)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]1 x Rifle Grenade Launcher Man (7.92mm 98K rifle + Launcher)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]4 x Men (7.92mm 98K rifles)[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]I found a few problems when compiling the German Infantry Section, according to the site Bayonet Strength, the Germany Infantry section had 13 x men,[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]1 x NCO (Squad leader)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]1 x NCO (Assistant)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]1 x LMG Team (4 x Men)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]7 x Rifle men[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]So I hope I have found a nice balance.[/FONT]
  2. Domen121

    Domen121 Member

    May 7, 2011
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    I have this data for a German rifle company of 1st Wave Infantry Division in 1939 (no exact breakdown for rifle platoons yet):

    Leader's group - 1 Offz., 1 NCO, 10 Men, 11 rifles, 1 pistol, 4 bikes, 1 horse
    1st Platoon - 1 Offz., 7 NCOs, 38 Men, 36 rifles, 10 pistols, 3 LMGs, 1 leGrW
    2nd Platoon - 1 Offz., 7 NCOs, 38 Men, 36 rifles, 10 pistols, 3 LMGs, 1 leGrW
    3rd Platoon - 1 Offz., 7 NCOs, 38 Men, 36 rifles, 10 pistols, 3 LMGs, 1 leGrW
    HMG half-platoon - 3 NCOs, 13 Men, 8 rifles, 8 pistols, 2 HMGs, 2 horses, 1 wagon
    Combat train - 3 NCOs, 15 Men, 11 rifles, 7 pistols, 3 bikes, 8 horses, 4 wagons
    Supply train - 2 Men, 2 rifles, 2 horses, 1 wagon
    Baggage train - 4 Men, 4 rifles, 1 truck


    4 Offz., 28 NCOs, 158 Men, 144 rifles, 46 pistols, 9 LMGs, 2 HMGs, 3 leGrW, 7 bikes, 1 truck, 13 horses, 6 wagons

    LMGs and HMGs were of MG-34 type of course.

    Below I am providing an exact breakdown for a Rifle Platoon.


    [/FONT] As for AT rifles:

    AT rifles were not a full-time (included in KStN) equipment of German infantry yet, even though some of them were already in use.

    Some AT rfles were used by Germans in Poland as their ammo expenditure figures include some PzB ammo (but rather low numbers). However, there were no Anti-Tank sections in German rifle companies, at least in most of them. Instead, there was a HMG Half-Platoon (Halbzug) in each company.

    There was similar situation with SMGs - they were not in official KStNs but also there were some SMGs in at least some infantry companies.

    Company's (1), rifle platoons' (3) and rifle squads' (3 x 3 = 9) commanders could have SMGs. So in total up to 13 SMGs per company.

    Yes - in September of 1939 a German rifle squad of 1st Wave Inf.Div. had 13 men (only later, in late 1939 / early 1940, they reduced it).

    Check my data posted above and this data:


    This data is the same as my data posted above.

    Each platoon had 3 x rifle squad (Gruppe) each with 2 NCOs, 4 Men in LMG team and 7 Riflemen.

    Apart from that a platoon had leGrW section (Trupp) with 1 NCO and 2 Men.

    As well as a Leader's Group (Zugtrupp) with 3 Men + Platoon's commander (Officer).

    In total 1 Offz., 7 NCOs and 38 Men as I wrote above.

    And a Polish rifle company in 1939:

    Leader's Group - 1 Offz., 3 NCOs, 10 Men, 7 rifles, 7 pistols, 1 horse
    1st Platoon - 1 Offz., 8 NCOs, 54 Men, 57 rifles, 3 pistols, 3 BARs, 1 AT rifle, 1 horse, 1 wagon
    2nd Platoon - 1 Offz., 8 NCOs, 54 Men, 57 rifles, 3 pistols, 3 BARs, 1 AT rifle, 1 horse, 1 wagon
    3rd Platoon - 1 Offz., 8 NCOs, 54 Men, 57 rifles, 3 pistols, 3 BARs, 1 AT rifle, 1 horse, 1 wagon
    Grenade launcher squad - 1 NCO, 13 Men, 11 rifles, 3 pistols, 3 grenade launchers, 1 horse, 1 wagon
    Supply squad - 5 NCOs, 10 Men, 10 rifles, 5 pistols, 12 horses, 5 wagons


    4 Offz., 33 NCOs, 195 Men, 199 rifles, 24 pistols, 9 BARs, 3 grenade launchers, 3 AT rifles, 17 horses, 9 wagons.

    BAR = Browning Automatic Rifle (Polish version - wz. 28 / type 28).

    Each Polish rifle squad within rifle platoon had as many as 19 men (and 1 BAR).

    Later I will provide exact breakdown for a Polish rifle platoon. You find it here but only in Polish:


    And here a Polish rifle company:

    yan taylor likes this.
  3. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

    Sep 14, 2008
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    Very interesting, the 4 men LMG team looks large as the MG34 in it's LMG configuration can be crewed by two men, does anybody know what the other two vere supposed to do? ammo/spare barrels carriers? I doubt the very heavy HMG mount was issued at squad level but it would explain the additional two men.
    German handguns in 1939 are more likely to be P08 than P38.
  4. Domen121

    Domen121 Member

    May 7, 2011
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    No, of course not. Why should they issue the HMG mount to LMGs? ;)

    There were MG-34 in LMG role as well as MG-34 in HMG role in the German army.

    Only MG-34 "working as HMG" were issued HMG mounts.

    MG-34 working as LMG of had those light LMG mounts: http://www.dws.org.pl/download/file.php?id=3596.

    German HMG teams were even bigger - 6 men strong in 1939.

    Yes - these two were most probably carrying additional ammo (see the picture below).


    Regarding TO&E - also this thread on a Polish forum ("German infantry battalion") contains a lot of info from different years:

    dws.org.pl • Zobacz temat - Niemiecki batalion piechoty

    For example here we have a German rifle platoon according to 1937 TO&E:


    What's interesting this TO&E from 1937 oficially changed not before 1941 !!!

    The new TO&E (with 10 men per squad and 4 squads per platoon) was oficially issued not before 1941 !!!:


    So I guess it must have changed "unoficially" at some point between 1937 and 1941?

    The only exception are units with Czechoslovakian MGs (ZB26 / LMG26) which got their own, new TO&E, yet in 1939:



    And here is a photo from Poland in 1939 which shows a German soldier with SMG - MP.38 in this case, but I suppose that older version were also in use:


    Enlarged version - the soldier is from Inf.Rgt.16 (22. Luftlande Inf.Div.) which fought at the Bzura:


    Here there was a discussion about that:

  5. yan taylor

    yan taylor Member

    Jan 7, 2011
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    Hi Dormen, Great links, just got to sort out a few translations and I am away.

    Porucznik d-ca plutonu (First lieutenant platoon commander)
    De druzyny Podoficer (NCO Sergeant)
    De-ca d cy Podoficer (NCO Corporal)
    Podoficer (NCO Lance Corporal)
    Szeregowy ?
    Karabinowy (Rifle man)
    Celowniczy ?
    Amunisyjiny (Ammo carrier)
    At strzelec (Gunner)
    Strezelec (Loader)

    Concerning ATRs, which unit had them in the German Army, were they in the Heavy Weapons Company in a squad to be split into small units and issued to Infantry Platoons.
    I had the same problem with the British Infantry Company, the had Anti-tank weapons at Company HQs but there is no men who are in charge of them, it seems like if tanks were about the Co would issue these weapons to the platoons and maybe the Platoon Sergeant would be in charge of them.
    Going back to TOS and the question about P.08s, I used the P.38 because I didnt think that Lugers were available to Infantry men.
    Regards Yan.
  6. Domen121

    Domen121 Member

    May 7, 2011
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    This is a great site with translation of Polish military ranks to British (and also with Polish-English Military Dictionary):


    Check also this one:



    Strzelec would be Rifleman.

    Karabinowy in this context (he is armed with BAR wz. 28) would rather be Gunner (or maybe Machine Gunner)

    You mean that "Strzelec wyborowy" who is armed with AT Rifle?

    Strzelec wyborowy = Marksman / Sharpshooter.

    And also rifle squad / squad commander (druzyna = squad).

    And also his (squad commander's) deputy.

    If translating literally it would be "Aimer".

    celować = to aim

    So celowniczy would be aimer.

    According to this Polish-English dictionary "bombardier" but I don't think it can be applied to infantry... :

    celowniczy :: MEGAs?ownik :: internetowy s?ownik polsko-angielski

    I'm not sure at the moment but I will try to find it out.

    It's possible I think. Especially in period when Germans didn't have big amounts of ATRs, like 1939.



    Can you tell us what game is it going to be? :)
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  7. yan taylor

    yan taylor Member

    Jan 7, 2011
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    Thanks Dormen, I will put this info to good use, I found this info on the British Army From the site Bayonet Strength,

    British Infantry Platoon 1941/42
    The Rifle Platoon included three such Sections under a small HQ. All Rifle Platoons were now to be commanded by a 1st or 2nd Lieutenant (known as a Subaltern), with a Platoon Sergeant, batman and orderly, a two man team for the 2-inch mortar, and finally a driver for the Platoon’s 15-cwt truck. Each Platoon also had a Boys anti-tank rifle.
    British Infantry Company 1943/45
    Company HQ also administered the infantry anti-tank weapons. Three were provided, in the form of the PIAT. There was no officially recognised standing crew for these weapons, so either the men at Platoon HQ had to regroup themselves, or a Section was lumbered with the extra weapon and ammunition.

    The Game is table top Wargame and I have made my own rules (still not finished) in 1/76 scale and covers the period from 1920 to 1950, I am still stuck on the TO&E of the Yugoslav Infantry Company from 1941.
    Regards Yan.
  8. yan taylor

    yan taylor Member

    Jan 7, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Hi Dorman, still trying to work things out.

    1 Offz., 8 NCOs, 54 Men, 57 rifles, 3 pistols, 3 BARs, 1 AT rifle, 1 horse, 1 wagon
    1 x Officer (pistol)
    2 x SGTs (pistols)
    6 x Corporals/Lance Corporals (rifles)
    1 x Observer (rifle)
    1 x Runner (rifle)
    1 x ATR Gunner
    3 x LMG Gunners
    3 x LMG Loaders (rifles)
    6 x Ammo carriers (rifles)
    38 x Privates (rifles) 12 x Privates each section (2 x extra Privates)
    1 x Horse Handler (rifle)

    were the two extra privates used as runners for the commander ?
    Regards Yan.

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