German rank and unit designations

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Editorial 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 Epilog Anhang

Chronik 40–45

Januar Februar März April Mai Juni Juli August September Oktober November Dezember Eine Art Bilanz Gedankensplitter und Betrachtungen Personen Orte Abkürzungen Stichwort-Index Organigramme Literatur Galerie:Fotos,Karten,Dokumente

Chronik 45–49

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31.

Erfahrungen i.d.Gefangenschaft Bemerkungen z.russ.Mentalität Träume i.d.Gefangenschaft

Personen-Index Namen,Anschriften Personal I.R.477 1940–44 Übersichtskarte (Orte,Wege) Orts-Index Vormarsch-Weg Codenamen der Operationen im Sommer 1942 Mil.Rangordnung 257.Inf.Div. MG-Komp.eines Inf.Batl. Kgf.-Lagerorganisation Kriegstagebücher Allgemeines Zu einzelnen Zeitabschnitten Linkliste Rotkreuzkarte Originalmanuskript Briefe von Kompanie-Angehörigen

von Winfried Schrödter
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This simplified table was inserted by the editor for the benefit of readers without military knowledge. Especially the comparison of NCO ranks is difficult, because they differ in designations (even between UK and US and between then and now), structure and level of responsibility.

Ranks Units commanded[1]
(as a rough indication)
German Translation NATO WWII British WWII US German Translation English
Mannschaften Enlisted ranks OR-1 - 3
Schütze, Kanonier, Funker usw. Private (infantry, artillery, signals, etc.) OR-1 Private Private
Oberschütze (Oberkanonier, Oberfunker usw.) Attention: Oberjäger = Unteroffizier in Jäger (light infantry) units OR-2 Senior Private Private First Class
Gefreiter Lance Corporal OR-3 Lance Corporal Acting Corporal Trupp, Gruppe Troop, Group Squad, Section
Obergefreiter "Upper Lance Corporal" Lance Corporal Corporal
Stabsgefreiter "Staff Lance Corporal" Lance Corporal Administrative Corporal
Unteroffizier-Anwärter NCO Candidate
Unteroffiziere NCO OR-4 - 9 Unteroffizier can also mean NCO in general
Unteroffizier (Oberjäger) Corporal (different designation in Jäger (light infantry) units) OR-4 Corporal Sergeant Halbzug Half Platoon
Unterfeldwebel Sergeant OR-5 Sergeant Staff Sergeant
Fähnrich, 1940-1942: Feldwebel (Offizier-Anwärter) officer candidate ranking above Unterfeldwebel Officer Designate, literally: Ensign OR-6
Feldwebel (Wachtmeister) Sergeant (different designation in cavalry and artillery) OR-6 Staff Sergeant Technical Sergeant Zug Platoon
Oberfeldwebel Master Sergeant OR-7 Sergeant Major Master Sergeant
Hauptfeldwebel (not a rank but a position mostly held by an Oberfeldwebel) Sergeant Major (Master Sergeant) First Sergeant CSM Kompanie-Trupp Company troop Company headquarters
Oberfähnrich professional officer candidate ranking above Oberfeldwebel OR-8 Officer Designate Officer Cadet Officer Candidate
Stabsfeldwebel Staff Sergeant OR-8 Regimental Sergeant Major Sergeant Major
Offiziere Officers OF-1 - 10
Leutnant Lieutenant OF-1 Second Lieutenant Second Lieutenant Zug Platoon
Oberleutnant First Lieutenant OF-1 Lieutenant First Lieutenant Kompanie Company
The position of company Chef (chief) was conferred and could not be easily reversed like the - mostly temporary - assignment as company Führer (leader); the same applies to battalion etc. Kommandeure (commanders)/Führer (leaders).
Hauptmann (Rittmeister) Captain (different designation in cavalry) OF-2 Captain Captain
Major Major OF-3 Major Major Bataillon (Abteilung) Battalion (different designation in cavalry, panzer, artillery and signals)
Oberstleutnant Lieutenant Colonel OF-4 Lieutenant Colonel Lieutenant Colonel
Oberst Colonel OF-5 Colonel Colonel Regiment Regiment
Generalmajor Major General OF-6 Brigadier Brigadier General
Generalleutnant Lieutenant General OF-7 Major-General Major General Division Division
General d. Inf. (der Infanterie) usw. General of the Infantry etc. OF-8 Lieutenant-General Lieutenant General Armee-Korps Corps
The position of commander of an Armee-Korps was titled "Kommandierender Genaral" (general commanding), his staff/headquarters was called "Generalkommando" (general command); the lower commanders were "Kommandeur" (commander), the higher ones "Oberbefehlshaber" (literally: commander-in-chief); the title "Oberster Befehlshaber" was reserved for the head of state.
Generaloberst Colonel General OF-9 General General Armee Field Army
The staff/headquarters of an army was called "Armeeoberkommando (AOK)" (army high command).
Generalfeldmarschall General Field Marshal OF-10 Field Marshal General of the Army Heeresgruppe Army Group (not to be confused with an Armee-Gruppe as a group of armies within a Heeresgruppe)

Sources

See also


Editorial 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 Epilog Anhang

Januar Februar März April Mai Juni Juli August September Oktober November Dezember Eine Art Bilanz Gedankensplitter und Betrachtungen Personen Orte Abkürzungen Stichwort-Index Organigramme Literatur Galerie:Fotos,Karten,Dokumente

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31.

Erfahrungen i.d.Gefangenschaft Bemerkungen z.russ.Mentalität Träume i.d.Gefangenschaft

Personen-Index Namen,Anschriften Personal I.R.477 1940–44 Übersichtskarte (Orte,Wege) Orts-Index Vormarsch-Weg Codenamen der Operationen im Sommer 1942 Mil.Rangordnung 257.Inf.Div. MG-Komp.eines Inf.Batl. Kgf.-Lagerorganisation Kriegstagebücher Allgemeines Zu einzelnen Zeitabschnitten Linkliste Rotkreuzkarte Originalmanuskript Briefe von Kompanie-Angehörigen

  1. As the war pro­gres­sed, the posts of leaders/commanders were more and more being occupied by lower grades.