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Wehrmacht

16 weeks training (pre-war) or less before being transferred


to a combat abteilung or battalion. Training emphasized dis-
cipline, physical fitness, weapons training, and squad/platoon
tactics.
As the war dragged on the German Army increasingly
faced shortages of recruits. Teenage boys and older men were
needed to fill the ranks and quickly. New or replacement units
formed by wehrkreis or military districts replaced the train-
ing battalions of local units. Training and morale sagged as
recruits were formed into unfamiliar units and thrown into the
front lines. Despite the shortages of manpower and training,
the German Army still proved to be a formidable adversary
even in the last months of the war. The Prussian heritage of
pride and discipline ensured the men of the German Army to
be a valiant foe in both victory and defeat.

Organization
The basic German infantry unit in WWII is the Weh-
The heer rmacht Rifle (Schützen) Squad. The Wehrmacht Rifle Squad
features highly trained and disciplined infantry able to exe-
Highly trained, disciplined, and cute both offensive and defensive tactics in combat. The Weh-
well equipped, the German infantryman rmacht Rifle Squad (Gruppe) is led by a NCO Squad Leader
is generally regarded as being the world’s or Gruppenfuhrer armed with a MP-40 SMG. Often nick-
best at the start of WWII. German infan- named “Papa” by his men, the Gruppenfuhrer’s mission is to
trymen formed the cornerstone of Ger- keep the morale of his unit high and to direct the fire of the
many’s Wehrmacht (Armed Forces) con- squad’s primary support weapon, a MG-34 LMG manned by a
quering most of Europe and fighting on Gunner and Loader. Assisting in these endeavors is the Trup-
many fronts: the sands of N. Africa, the pfuhrer or Asst. Squad Leader, a NCO who can ably take
frozen tundra of Russia, the hills of the command should a calamity befall the Gruppenfuhrer. The
Balkans, and the flatlands of France and Holland. Though Truppfuhrer’s responsibility is to lead the squad’s Riflemen
technically known as Heer or army by the Germans them- (Gewehrschutzen) in combat. This organization reflects the
selves, these extraordinary German infantrymen were com- German tactical philosophy of the squad’s riflemen support-
monly referred to as “Wehrmacht” by the Allies to distinguish ing the unit’s machine gun in combat. As such the Wehrmacht
them from SS units. Rifle Squad could deliver good firepower and remain a flex-
ible and maneuvering tactical unit.
Training and Morale Typically three Rifle Squads would form a Rifle
At the start of WWII, the German Army had retained Platoon led by a Platoon Command section containing a Pla-
its fine Prussian military heritage dating back to Bismarck, toon Leader, Platoon Sgt., a Medic, and two Runners. A
especially within its officer corps. Combined with the combat MMG Team would often times also be attached to a Rifle Pla-
experience from WWI, the German Army found itself pos- toon. Three Rifle Platoons typically form a Rifle Company
sessing arguably the best operational and staff officers in all though this organization often varied by unit at different times
Europe. Its enlisted ranks were comprised of a mix of vol- throughout the war.
unteers and recruits. Recruits were typically conscripted pri-
marily from Germany’s cities where most of the men pos- Uniforms, Equipment, and Weapons
sessed high school educations, German Army officials believ- The uniform and equipment employed by Wehrmacht
ing smarter soldiers made better soldiers. Before the war and troops in WWII functioned well in the field and gave the
up to mid-war, units were local or regional thus insuring that German Army a very distinctive look. The standard issue
new recruits were joining a familiar “home” unit with the same combat uniform consists of a M1942/1943 field tunic and trou-
ethnicity (Bavarians with Bavarians, Swabians with Swabians, sers both in field gray-green (Feldgrau). Jack boots (Marschsti-
etc.) and often times religion. This familiarity added a bond efel) fitted with hobnails are the most common foot wear
to the men of the unit and increased overall morale. Recruits utilized. Common headgear includes the M42 “coal scuttle”
reported to a local or regional infantry regiment depot where styled helmet (Stahlhelm) which could be fitted with a cam-
a training battalion turned citizens into soldaten in as much as

Battleground World War II®


Wehrmacht
ouflaged helmet cover and the peaked field cap (Einheits- Standard Rules
mütze) of feldgrau color. Standard issue equipment included Offensive Stielhandgranate 39 Stick Grenades
ammo pouches, a bread bag (Brotbeutel) for food and personal Each member of the Wehrmacht Rifle Squad (except
items, canteen (Feldflasche), and mess kit (Kochgeschirr). A for the MG-34 Gunner) carries two Offensive Stielhandgranate
gas mask in container and a camouflaged tent shelter quarter 39 Stick Grenades unless otherwise stated differently in a sce-
(Zeltbahn) which could be worn as a poncho rounded out the nario. If using Easy Eight’s Battle Builder, the same as above is
base kit of the German infantryman. This uniform and equip- true though additional or different grenades may be purchased/
ment are anywhere German troops are found with variations added in addition to the two Offensive Stielhandgranate 39
based on location such as the tan uniforms used by the Afrika- Stick Grenades. For rules on the Offensive Stielhandgranate 39
korps in North Africa. Stick Grenade, see Easy Eight’s Fury On The Fatherland.
The most common weapon employed by the German
Army in WWII is a rifle, most usually the bolt-action Kar 98k.
Several grenades including the infamous German stick gre-
Options
nades (called “potato mashers” by US troops) are also carried. Upgraded Leaders When using Easy Eight’s Battle
Anti-tank weapons such as a panzerfaust may also be carried Builder, a German Rifle Squad may upgrade an individual
in addition to any other special equipment determined by unit squad leader to the next Troop Quality (and thus increasing
or mission. Morale, Leadership Modifier, and Command Range) by paying
25 points. This may be done once per leader noting that a
Sample Squad Members leader may not advance pass Elite Troop Quality.

MP-40 Squad Member


Squad Leader

Asst. Gunner Entrenching Tool

LMG Gunner MG Ammo

MG-34

Mess Tin
Gas Mask Case

Battle-Link
In Battleground World War II, Wehrmacht troops are
formed into units by utilizing the Battle-Link system. Players
may build Wehrmacht Rifle Squads by combining two Weh-
rmacht Sections or other eligible units of their choice. The
Wehrmacht Command Section when combined with the Weh-
rmacht Assault Section creates the most historically accurate
Wehrmacht Rifle Squad in Battleground World War II. How-
ever, players may combine eligible Battle-Link Wehrmacht
Sections or units to create historical squads/units of their
choosing. The Battle-Link System is great for Battle Builder
play as players get to assemble each Wehrmacht Rifle Squad
with the sections and weapons they choose. This gives an
added customization to the squads you send into battle. When
combining two eligible Wehrmacht Sections into a Wehrmacht
Rifle Squad, simply total the BP cost of each section. It’s that
simple!

Battleground World War II®