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"German army unit strength and effectiveness gradings" Topic

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Sir Sidney Ruff Diamond24 Mar 2020 5:42 a.m. PST

I'm just reading the excellent Jason Marks book Island of Fire and there's a reference to a report on the 60th infantry division:

"A report from 2 November, 1942 states it had 6 grenadier battalions: 2 medium-strength, 1 average, 2 weak and 1 battle-weary, plus 9 artillery batteries: 6 light, 3 heavy. It was ‘Bedingt zum Angriff geeignet' – conditionally suited for attack"

Excerpt From
Island of Fire: The Battle for the Barrikady Gun Factory in Stalingrad
Jason Mark

Does anyone know how these gradings were assessed? What constitutes "weak" "battle weary" etc. Obviously I can make a guess at it but there was obviously a methodology to it which I'd like to understand. I've tried googling but can't find anything.

Martin Rapier24 Mar 2020 6:43 a.m. PST

I thought the combat ratings were 1-4 (strong, average, weak, exhausted – or their german equivalents).

I don't know what the actual criteria used were. Finger in the air by the regimental commanders?

jdginaz24 Mar 2020 3:09 p.m. PST

I seem to remember it was something like,

Capable of offensive action
Capable of limited offensive action
Only capable for defense

Martin Rapier25 Mar 2020 9:30 a.m. PST

Agree with jdginaz, but can't for the life of me remember where I read it. Zetterling maybe? Dupuy?

In the 1956 British Army Tactical Wargame it is based on losses:

0-20% losses no effect on efficiency
20-40% losses half combat effect
40-75% losses retire from battle, 7 days to reorganise. Wiped out if overrun
75% or over wiped out, cannot be reorganised

these are for battalion sized elements (so 600-1000 men).

Simo Hayha25 Mar 2020 9:49 p.m. PST

jdginaz is correct but cant source it.

This is a really interesting book on combat effeciency ratings if your interested in more detail.


Keith Talent26 Mar 2020 1:48 a.m. PST

There is an explanation in Zetterling, for which incidentally, there is a new "revised" edition out. Apparently it's hardly revised at all, so don't rush out and get a new one if you already have it. However, if you don't have an original, then it's a great opportunity to get one of the "must have" books for Normandy- reasonable price and on kindle

Starfury Rider26 Mar 2020 7:28 a.m. PST

There's a little detail on another forum;


And another one here;



Sir Sidney Ruff Diamond26 Mar 2020 3:31 p.m. PST

Thanks for all of the replies.

I'll probably get the Zetterling book don't know how I've missed that.

Russ Lockwood05 Apr 2020 8:07 p.m. PST

It's been reissued. Normandy 1944: German Military Organization, Combat Power and Organizational Effectiveness. By Niklas Zetterling. Hardcover. 402 pages.

Review on

Normandy 1944 Book Review

(second book down)

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