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Understanding the


By John Winner April 2012

The Zustandsberichte is report made out on the first of the month by the commander of the unit being reported on (a Division, Regiment, Abteilung etc.). It was then sent to the parent unit (usually an Armeekorps or the like) for review and a statement by the commander of that unit. Basicly it is a report of the current strength of the unit in question, with a brief statement by the commanding officer and a brief statement by the commander of the parent unit. I have decided to make this document to help out novice military historians in the reading and understanding of the Zustandsberichte. The difficulty is not in understanding what is happening in the document but in deciphering what all of the boxes and abbreviation mean. That is the focus of this short document. It will include visual aids to make understanding a little easier. The Zustandsberichte is comprised of one sheet printed on both sides. We will start at the top of side one and work our way down, then we will look at the side two. We will be using a Zustandsberichte issued by s.Pz.Abt. 301 (Fkl) reporting on 1.12.1944 to LXXXI.Armee-Korps. On the next page will be shown the front of the document in whole. We will then break it down into its seperate parts. I will be using the terms in their original German followed by the translation. The format will be thus: Original word [expanded word if an abbreviation] (translation) - followed by an explanation if needed. Zustandsberichte from earlier in the war will differ from this example but it is read the same way.

The top of the document includes some basic information.

Meldung vom (report of) - the date the report was made. Verband (unit) - the unit issuing the report. Unterstellungsverhltnis (subordination) - name of the parent unit. Sometimes the document will have the report number (Ia Nr. 512/44 geh.) and from where and when the report was issued (Art.Gef.St., den 4. Dezember 1944). This information is not always present . This report is also stamped Geheim (secret). Section 1. deals with the personel of the unit. It will be broken into its four seperate parts (a, b, c, d). First the heading.

Personelle Lage am Stichtag der Meldung (Staffing situation on the date of report) Section a) Personal (personnel)

First we will look at what each line represents. Offiziere (officers) The number in ( ) is the number of Beamte (civilian officers) Uffz. [Unteroffiziere] (non-commissioned officers) Mannsch. [Mannschaften] (enlisted men) Hiwi (auxiliary volunteers) foreign citizen volunteers not normally issued weapons Insgesamnt (total) The columns represent: Soll (authorized strength) Fehl (lack or shortage from authorized amount) Kranke und Verwundete innerhalb v.8 Wochen (sick and wounded within 8 weeks) Example: in the unit there 233 Uffz. authorized, no shortage, and 13 were sick or wounded in the last eight weeks.

Section b) Verluste und sonstige Abgnge in der Berichtzeit vom (losses and other disposals during the reporting period) the reporting period is the month leading up to the day of reporting.

The lines are the same as section a), minus the Hiwi line, since they were not actual military personnel. The columns represent: tot (dead) verw. [verwundet] (wounded) verm. [vermisst] (missing) krank (sick) sonst. [sonstige] (other) Example: Uffz.: 3 dead, 3 wounded, 0 missing, 2 sick, 1 other during the reporting period. Section c) in der Berichtszeit eingetroffener Ersatz (replacements arrived in the reporting period)

The lines are the same as in section a) minus Hiwi and insgesamnt. The columns represent: Ersatz (replacement) Genesene (convalescents) There were no replacements or convalescing personnel during the reporting period in this unit.

Section d) ber 1 Jahr nicht beurlaubt (over 1 year without leave)

The lines represent: insgesamnt (total) Kpfe (heads, meaning number of units) % d. Iststrke (% of active duty men) davon (from that) The time given in months over one year. Platzkarten im Berichtsmonat zugewiesen (ticket for train home in the reported month) As we can see there were 317 or 44% of the active duty men that had not been on leave for over one year. 296 for 12-18 months, 20 for 19-24 months, and 1 that had not been on leave for over 2 years. Section 2. deals with vehicles and weapons in the unit reported.

Materielle Lage (material situation) The lines of this section continue all the way through so we will look at them seperately.

Soll (Zahlen) (authorized total) einsatzbereit (ready for use) zahlenm. [zahlenmig] (amount) in % des Solls (% of authorized total) in kurzfristiger Instandsetzung (bis 3 Wochen) (short-term repair less than 3 weeks) zahlenm. [zahlenma] (amount) in % des Solls (% of authorized total)

Now we will deal with each part of this section seperately. Gepanzerte Fahrzeuge (armored vehicles)

The columns in the section represent (i do not believe I need to translate some of these): Stu.Gesch. [Sturmgeschtz] (assault gun) III [Panzerkampfwagen III] IV [Panzerkampfwagen IV] V [Panzerkampfwagen V 'Panther'] VI [Panzerkampfwagen VI 'Tiger] Schtz.Pz. [Schtzenpanzerwagen] (armored car), Pz.Sp. [Panzersphwagen] (armored scout car), Art.Pz.B. (o.Pz.Fu.Wg.) [Artillerie Panzerbeobachtunswagen (oder Panzerfunkwagen)] (armored artillery observation vehicle {or armored radio car}) Pak SF [Panzerabwehrkanone Selbstfahrlafette] (Anit-tank gun self propelled) As we can see a couple of the columns in this report have been modified. Column IV has been modified to represent Sd.Kfz.301 Ausf. B IV Borgward schwerer Sprengladungstrager (a remote controlled explosive charge laying vehicle). Column V has been modified to represent Bergepanther V (a tank recovery vehicle based on the Pz.Kpfw. V chassis) Example: This unit was authorized to have 32 Pz.Kpfw. VI 'Tiger' of which 11 (or 34%) are ready for use. 18 (or 58%) are in short-term repair. We can also see that the unit is not equipped with their full authorized amount of Tigers as the total is only 29.

Kraftfahrzeuge (motor vehicles)

The columns in the section represent: Krder (motorcycle) Ketten (tracked) m.angetr.Bwg. [mit angtriebenen Beiwagen] (with powered sidecar) sonst. [sonstige] (other) Pkw [Personenkraftwagen] (passenger car) gel. [gelndegngig] (cross country capable) O [Original] (original) Example: As we can see in this section this unit was not authorized to have any ordinary passenger cars but they have 14 in ready for use and 4 in short-term repair. We notice that in total they have 44 Pkw of both types in inventory. See that the gel. Pkw boxes have been modified after the original numbers were typed in.

noch Kraftfahrzeuge (more motor vehicles)

The columns in this section represent: Lkw [Lastkraftwagen] (trucks) Maultiere (literally mules, meaning half-tracked trucks) O [Original] (original) Tonnage (weight able to be carried) Ketten-Fahrzeuge (tracked vehicles) Zgkw. [Zugkraftwagen] (Half-tracked prime mover) *) 1-5 ton (pulling capacity) **) 8-18 ton (pulling capacity) RSO [Raupenschlepper, Ost] (crawler tractor, East) Example: We can see in the Lkw O column that the unit was authorized 20 of this type of vehicle, yet in inventory there are 36 (or 180%). These extra truck are possibly filling the gaps in the other truck inventory.

Waffen (weapons) weapons lighter than machineguns are not reported in this type of report.

s.Pak [schwere Panzerabwehrkanone] (heavy anit-tank gun) Art-Gesch. [Artillerie Geschtz] (artillery gun) MG [Maschinengewehr] (machine gun) ( ) represents how many of the total are MG 42 Sonstige Waffen (other weapons) Example: We see that the unit has its full authorized amount of 25 MGs of which 6 are MG 42. The unit is also full of its authorized amount of 2cm Flak Vierling. The reports are usuallt modified like this sometimes with several different weapon types in the sonstige Waffen section. Section 3. deal with any horses that may be present in the unit.

Pferdelage (horse allocation) Soll (authorized amount) Ist [Iststrke] (present for duty) davon Panjepferde (portion of present horses that are eastern work horses) These are sturdy work horses from Russia. As we can see there are no horses in this unit.

We will now look at the back of the report. Section 4. Kurzes Werturteil des Kommandeurs (short value assesment of the commander) This is where the commander enters any information not represented on the front of the report that may be important to the parent unit. Section 5. Kurze Stellungnahme der vorgesetzten Dienststelle (Brief statement of the superior authority) this is the section where the commanding officer of the parent unit can make an comments needed. Below is the back of the Zustandsberichte. There is not much to it. Some contain more information than others.