Hannes Trautloft's picture

Perhaps to a greater extent than any other army, the German Armed Forces employ military abbreviations on their maps and charts, on task force tables of organization, on direction and location sign posts in combat zones, on field orders, and, in short, in every case where abbreviations may possibly be used. These abbreviations are often used in connection with military symbols (see German Military Symbols, January 1943, Military Intelligence Service). A thorough knowledge of both abbreviations and symbols is therefore essential to military personnel engaged in the interpretation of captured documents. There is no "easy road to knowledge" in regard to these military abbreviations. Many words are abbreviated in more than one manner, sometimes in the course of a single document. Individual commanders frequently improvise abbreviations, which will be understandable from the context to the German officer reading them, but may cause considerable difficulty to the non-German. Athorough foundation in the German language is useful, but not infallible, in determining the meaning of a particular abbreviation-guessing, in this, as in all military intelligence work, is dangerous.


Military Intelligence Service - War Department - U.S. Army Military History Institute - U.S. Army - u.S. Goverment
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