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German Antiaircraft Artillery, Military Intelligence Service, Special Series 10, Feb. 1943
[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the wartime U.S. War Department publication. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]

25. Conclusions

From an analysis of the contents of this study, certain general conclusions concerning German AA artillery and its employment may be drawn. The most important of these conclusions follow:

1. The organization of German AA artillery units is extremely flexible. The exact composition and size of any AA unit may vary with the specific mission to be performed.

2. Although German AA artillery as an arm is an organic part of the German Air Force, there are some AA units which are organic to higher Army units and are considered as Army troops. These furnish AA protection to the Army units of which they are a part.

3. AA units assigned to an Army field force are subordinated operationally and for command purposes to the Army ground unit with which they are operating.

4. The principal German AA weapons are dual purpose AA and AT weapons which can be and are used in other roles as well.

5. In the approach to battle, and until air superiority has been obtained, German AA weapons which are actually assigned to an AA role remain in that role, except for purposes of self-defense against ground targets or where sudden opportunities for surprise fire against ground targets outweigh the necessity for AA protection. As air superiority is obtained, however, AA weapons are released for AT missions as well as for other roles against ground targets.

6. At the outset of an operation, depending on the considered need for such use, a certain number of AA guns may be assigned to AT or other artillery roles.

7. The Chief of the German Air Force is responsible for the air defense of Germany and the important areas of occupied countries. This responsibility is carried out through subordinate air territorial districts and special defense commands, all of which contain sufficient fighter aviation, AA artillery with searchlights and barrage balloons, and necessary aircraft-warning-service units to effect a carefully coordinated AA defense.

8. The outstanding feature of the German air defense is the coordination effected by unity of command. All of the means in any single air defense, including fighter aviation, AA artillery, warning services, and civil defense organizations are under one commander, who is alone responsible for the accomplishment of the mission.

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