I'd appreciate if someone could answer a few questions I have regarding squad level tactics of the German Army in various situations/ environments:
Preface: I'm assuming, from what I've read on this NG and reference books, that a typical Wehrmacht/ Waffen-SS squad consisted of two MGs supported by bolt-action rifles (althought the Waffen-SS almost universally equipped all their troops with MPs towards the end of the war) and that a German squad consisted of 10 men as opposed to the U.S. 12. True?
1) Demyansk Pocket defensive style perimeter.
2) Kharkov style street-fighting with tank support.
3) Anti-partisan activity.
Thanks in advance!
Any book recommendations about the German army akin to Michael Doubler's analysis of U.S. army field tactics in 'Closing With the Enemy' would be greatly appreciated.
Hmm, it depends, normal infantry (SS or otherwise) usually only had one LMG per squad, it was the glamorous Schutzen/PanzerGrenadiers who seemed to end up with two. So a squad (or 9-10 men) would havce a rifle group and an LMG group, as in British and French practice. In all cases the LMG group provided the bulk of the squads fire, whilst the rifle group suported/protected the LMG group (on defence) or functioned as an assault group (on the attack). I'd also be surprised to see a squad entirely armed with SMGs, unless it was one of those Volksgrenadier SMG platoons.
Hard to say, it varied with the tactical situation.
Sadly, in Russia anyway, it tended to be 'Kill anyone who gets in your way and destroy everything else', not very subtle. In 'The Nazis, A Warning from History' on TV recently, one SS (Pioneer) man was recounting how when they entered a villge the standard procedure was to shoot everyone, but their commander preferred them to shoot the children first as he enjoyed seeing their mothers screaming before they were shot too. (ex-Heer soldiers said similar things, but that was one of the most evil).
Hmm, there is quite a good bit on German infantry tactics in 'Infantry Tactics 1939-45' by ??, but it is out of print now. Similarly there was a very good article on the development of modern infantry tactics in the Avalon Hill General by the designer of Squad Leader, but my copy of it is 20 years old, so again it may be hard to find. Most of this stuff covers tactics at the platoon/company/battalion level however.
Don't think so. Initially, the squads were armed with one LMG, the squad leader had a SMG, and everybody else had rifles. I think later on in the war, you started having squads with two LMGs, though I can't recall if they were limited only to Panzergrenadier organizations, while the rest of the leg infantry stayed with one LMG (I think this to be the case).
WRT MPs, the rifle was still the most common grunt weapon, though some of the more elite/favored units probably received MP44 Assault Rifles. This was the exception, and not the rule, as MP44 production never was high enough to go around.
It is absolutely impossible to assume that paper organizations made it to the battlefield. Nothing that you are reading today can be assumed to be accurate unless you are reading something from the authors who were in the combat themselves.
Get and read as many of the Stackpole books as you can to answer this question, namely:
The Germans in Normandy, Grenadiers, and so on. The Stackpole books are written translations from actual people who were in the combat themselves.
Once you read these books, you will begin to see nothing of what you think you know is accurate or can be accurately depended upon.