[Lone Sentry: WWII Photos Feature]
[Lone Sentry: Photos, Articles, and Research on the European Theater in World War II]
Home Page | Site Map | What's New | Contact: info@lonesentry.com

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.]

4. Antiaircraft Organic to the Army

a. General

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[1] 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 20-mm (both single- and four-barreled) or 37-mm AA guns, all on self-propelled mounts. These guns are available for additional use in antitank or other roles against ground targets.

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 88-mm guns, and two light batteries each of either twelve 20-mm guns or nine 37-mm guns. All equipment may be used in AA and in antitank or other ground roles.

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.

[1] The Fla "battalion" is ordinarily referred to in German military usage as Bataillon rather than by the more customary term Abteilung (see below).

[Back to Table of Contents] Back to Table of Contents