Platoons of a Minenwerfer Company

The medium Minenwerfer of the 4th Platoon of a Minenwerfer company

The table of organization for a Minenwerfer company that became official on 1 November 1934 provided for four platoons. The first three of these, which employed light (7.58 cm) Minenwerfer, were often described as ‘light platoons’ [leichte Züge]. The fourth, armed with medium (17 cm) Minenwerfer, was known, mirabile dictu, as the ‘medium platoon’ [mittlerer Zug].

Regardless of the weapon it wielded, each platoon broke down into two elements: a ten-man ‘platoon section’ [Zug Trupp] and a twenty-three-man ‘platoon’ [Zug]. The ‘platoon’, in turn, consisted of a ‘mortar officer’ [Werferoffizier] and two eleven-man ‘mortars’ [Werfer].

Each ‘mortar’ rated a leader [Werferführer], four ‘saddle drivers’ [Fahrer vom Sattel], and a six-man mortar crew [Minenwerfer Bedienung]. Thus, it could both move and shoot as an independent unit. (If the leader wished to be able to communicate, he would have to borrow a telephonist from the ‘platoon troop’. Likewise, if he wished to do more than fire over open sights, he would probably need the help of one of the two aiming circle sergeants of the platoon.)

The platoon section might be described as a smaller version of the ‘company staff and company section’ [Kompanie Stab und Kompanie Trupp]. It consisted of:

  • a platoon leader [Zugführer] (not depicted on diagram)

  • two aiming circle sergeants [Richtkreis Unteroffiziere]

  • one surveyor [Entfernungsmeßmann]

  • one mounted messenger [Meldereiter]

  • one dismounted messenger [Melder]

  • one horseholder [Pferdehalter]

  • three telephonists [Fernsprecher]

Source: Chef der Heeresleitung, letter of 1 November 1934 Organization of the Minenwerfer Company of an Infantry Regiment [Gliederung der Minenwerferkompanie eines Infanterie-Regiments] German Federal Archives [Bundesarchiv] Folder RH 26-12/534 pages 57-60/120-125 [as marked on documents/as shown on slide on viewer]

Source for Photo: US National Archives

For Further Reading:

To Subscribe, Support, or Share: