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Basic Organization of Schützen-Regiment (mot.) in 1938

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on 18/1/1998

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Creation of the 4., and 5. Panzer-Divisions. The creation of more Panzer-Divisionen was halted during 1936 to 1937. Instead of creating Panzer-Division, the OKH intended to create a light motorized unit in the fall of 1937. During this period a total of four leichte Divisions was created. The creation of the 4. Panzer-Division was first saw in the Heeres expansion program dated on 8 Mar 1938, but it was not formed until 10 Nov 1938. This division (Table 4, 4. Panzer-Division in 1939 as an example) was consisted of one Panzer-Brigade with two Panzer-Regiments, only ONE Schützen-Regiment but without Kradschützen-Bataillon. This made the ratio between panzer and schützen to be 4 : 2 in the battalion level, much weaker in the schützen power. Originally the order for creating the fifth leichte Division was issüd on 22 Oct 1938, but later this order was changed to create a fifth Panzer-Division. The original 5. leichte Division was reoganized and renamed as the 5. Panzer-Division on 10 Nov 1938. The original organization of this division was the same as the 4. Panzer-Division, but later an additional Schützen-Regiment was added. Therefore a well balance between panzer and schützen was reached in the ratio of 4:4 at the battalion level, but this didn't last long.

4. Panzer-Division in 1938

4. Panzer-Division Stab4.
5. Panzer-Brigade Stab5.
Panzer-Regiment 3636.
Panzer-Regiment 3535.
Schuetzen-Regiment 1212.


Schuetzen-Bataillon I.
Artillerie-Regiment (mot) 103103.

Artillerie-Abteilung (mot)II.

Artillerie-Abteilung (mot) I.
Panzerabwehr-Abteilung (mot) 4949.
Pioniere-Bataillon (mot) 793./79.
Aufklaerung-Abteilung (mot) 77.

Table 4. Major combat components of 4. Panzer-Division in 1938 (Back line service is not shown).

Creation of Schützen-Regiment (mot.) 12, 13, and 14 in 1938. 1st April 1938, Meiningen, the Schützen-Regiment (mot.) 12 was created from Infanterie-Regiment Kaiser Franz Josef I Nr. 1, Kraftfahrjäger-Bataillon Nr. 1 and österreichischen Infanterie-Regiment "Eisenstadt". The Schützen-Regiment (mot.) 12 was assigned to 4. Panzer-Division. 15th November 1938, Mährisch-Schönberg, Schützen-Regiment (mot.) 13 was created from 1st battalion of Infanterie 54 and part of Infanterie-Regiment 7. 15th November 1938, Oppeln, Schützen-Regiment (mot.) 14 were created from 3rd battalion of Infanterie-Regiment 89 and 3rd battalion of Infanterie-Regiment 65. Both Schützen-Regiment (mot.) 13 and 14 were assigned to 5. Panzer-Division.

Organization of Schützen-Regiment (mot.) 12, 13, and 14 in 1938. The organization and equipment for the three regiments (Table 5, Schützen-Regiment (mot.) 12 as an example) were identical. The regiment HQ had one motorized signal platoon and one motocycle rifle platoon. The regiment had two battalions, each contained four companies. The battlion HQ had one motorized engineer platoon. There were three motorized rifle companies, NO motorized heavy machine gun company and one motorized heavy company in each battalion.

Schützen-Regiment (mot.) 12 in 1938

Schuetzen-Regiment 1212.Signal PlatoonMotorcycle Rifle Platoon

II. BataillonII.Motorized Engineer Platoon

Motorized Heavy CompanyThree Motorized Rifle Companies

I. BataillonI.Motorized Engineer Platoon

Motorized Heavy CompanyThree Motorized Rifle Companies

Table 5. Basic organization of Schützen-Regiment (mot.) 12 in 1938. The battalion and company levels show the traditional German tactical symbols.

The organization of Schützen-Regiment (mot.) 12 in 1938 was quite different from that of  Schützen- Regiment (mot.) 1 in 1935 (Table 2). There were NO motorcycle rifle company and motorized machine gun company in the battalion. The heavy machine guns and light mortars were distributed within each motorized rifle company. The motorized heavy company had two motorized light infantry gun sections, one motorized anti-tank gun platoon and one motorized heavy mortar platoon. The firepower of these Schützen-Regiments (Table 6, Schützen- Regiment (mot.) 12 as an example) in 1939 was more powerful than that of Schützen-Regiment (mot.) 1 in 1935 (Table 3).

Firepower of Schützen-Regiment (mot.) 12 in 1938


light/heavy MG

5 cm/8 cm Mortar

3.7 cm Pak

7.5 cm light IG

Stab 3/0 0 0 0
I. Bataillon 58/12 9/6 3 4
II. Bataillon 58/12 9/6 3 4
Total 119/24 18/12 6 8

Table 6. Firepower distribution in Schützen-Regiment (mot.) 12 in 1938, MG: machine gun, IG: infantry gun.

List of Composition in Schützen-Regiment (mot.) in 1938. There were six motorized rifle regiments in five panzer divisions.

Schützen-Regiment (mot.) 1 1. Panzer-Division
Schützen-Regiment (mot.) 2 2. Panzer-Division
Schützen-Regiment (mot.) 3 3. Panzer-Division
Schützen-Regiment (mot.) 12 4. Panzer-Division
Schützen-Regiment (mot.) 13 5. Panzer-Division
Schützen-Regiment (mot.) 14

There were total 54 motorized rifle-related companies in six motorized rifle regiments and the composition included 26 motorized rifle companies (48%), 12 motorized heavy companies (22%), 10 motorcycle rifle companies (19%), and 6 motorized MG companies (11%).

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