Although German AA artillery as an arm is an organic part of the Air Force, there are independent AA battalions which belong to the infantry and artillery of the Army, and are therefore organically a part of the German Army ground forces. The general term Heeresflak is applied to these independent units when distinguishing them, in staff tables or on orders of battle in chart form, as a category distinct from other troops, and also when referring to organic Army AA troops as distinguished from the standard Air Force AA troops. Actually, the term Heeresflak covers two distinct types of units: the Flabataillon and the Heeresflak Abteilung. The term Fla is an abbreviation of "Flugabwehr," which means "AA defense."
b. Fla Battalion
Flabataillon troops belong to the infantry arm and wear its distinctive
white piping. There are two different types of Fla battalions: the battalion of
six companies in which the company apparently is the tactical unit, and the battalion
of three companies in which the battalion itself is the tactical unit, although its
companies may on occasion be found operating independently. The Fla battalion is
equipped with standard machine guns, and either
c. Heeresflak Abteilung
Heeresflak Abteilung troops belong to the artillery arm and wear its
distinctive red piping. Heeresflak battalions are mechanized, and in most
cases consist of three heavy batteries each of four
d. Operational Control
The operational control of these special types of AA units is extremely flexible. Although they are normally allotted from a GHQ pool to an army, army corps, or division for permanent organic AA protection, they have been known to be subordinated to Luftwaffe Flak divisions and regiments.