Manuals

Introduction

The german Wehrmacht was subdivided into the Heer Army, Luftwaffe Air Forces, and Kriegsmarine Naval Forces. All had their own organisational structure and, accordingly, their own set of manuals. The german army was known for their high level of organisation, which also reflects in the amount of manuals: more than 12,000 manuals are known and registerred.

This website presents the most comlete listings of german WW-II era manuals

There are many websites where lists of manuals can be found, see www.superborg.de as a good example. Years of collecting and researching has led me to draft the lists that are presented on this website. Besides the manuals in my collection, both original as digital, I used a wide variety of sources to draft these lists:

  • Original German manuals containing such lists, such as:

    • H.Dv. 1 Verzeichnis der planmäßigen Heeres-Druckvorschriften

    • L.Dv. 1 Verzeichnis der Dienstvorschriften und Druckschriften der Luftwaffe

    • D. 1 Verzeichnis der außerplanmäßigen Heeres-Vorschriften

    • D. 1/1+ Verzeichnis der geheimen außerplanmäßigen Heeres-Vorschriften

    • Merkblatt 35/10 Verzeichnis der Druckvorschriften des Heeres

  • The lists presented in www.superborg.de

  • LIbrary listings of the Deutsche Digital Bibliothek, the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek and the Worldcat.org.

  • The archives of NARA (U.S. National Archives & Records Administration)

  • Many, many more websites like military-info.com, kartengruppe.it and for Luftwaffe manuals DeutscheLuftwaffe.de

  • And my own collection, of course

I am continuously updating my listings and any additions or corrections are welcomed

Also scans of manuals that are missing in my lists, or tips on websites are appreciated. However, please note that I will only make changes to my lists in case I am fully convinced of the correctness of the additional information you might provide, as more and more copies appear.

I aim to combine every entry with an image of that particular manual, and currently I am at ~23% coverage. You will also find PDF's of many manuals.

For every manual, I also list published reprints that may or may not have been updated (Nachdruck mit eingearbeiteteten Deckblättern and Unveränderter nachdruck). In case the manual title did not change, only the additional information is listed. Many manuals have add-ons, marked with Zusatz zur... or Zum einlegen in die... These are listed as such. I do not list the correction sheets (Deckblätter) that appeared regularly for manuals, as these were consumables that were to be noted in the manuals. The corrections noted in the Deckblatt had to be added either by hand or by cutting and gluwing.

Missing information in my lists is marked by "?".

The different catagories of manuals

The Heer, Luftwaffe and the Kriegsmarine all had their own lists of manuals, and were referenced as such. Manuals on general topics that concerned multiple army groups were shared. In that case, multiple references were indicated on the front of the manual, such as H.Dv., L.Dv., M.Dv.Nr. references.

Two main groups of manuals can be recognised: the planmäßige planned and außerplanmäßige unplanned manuals. The planned manuals represent the basic provisions for and training of personnel in every army section. Unplanned manuals or notes appeared whenever they were required, describing e.g. new or newly captured equipment or valuable battle field experiences. If the topic of an unplanned manuals was considered imprtant and generally applicable, the unplanned manuals became planned manuals.

Every army section has a list of mandatory manuals, the Grundsoll and Sondersoll, that were assigned to these specific troop sections. These covered educational, administrative, ammunition and firing manuals. Besides the Grundsoll and Sondersoll, there are the specif manuals that had to be ordered separately. These concern special weapons and equipment Waffen- und Geräteausstattung, and special assigments and training needs besondere Einsatz- und Ausbildungsaufgaben. These groups often deal with technical manuals. Often, these technical manuals belonged to the equipment, indicated as Zum einlegen in das Gerät. In case the equipment was transferred, the manual was transferred with it.

Below, you can find links to the different listings. Listings that do not have a link are in preparation and will be added in due time.

Heer For the army the following series of manuals exist:

Luftwaffe For the airforces the following series of manuals exist:

  • L.Dv. - planmäßigen Luftwaffe Dienstvorschrift - planned Airforce manuals

  • L.Dv.T. - technische planmäßigen Luftwaffe Dienstvorschrift - technical planned Airforce manuals

  • L.Dv.g. - geheime planmäßigen Luftwaffe Druckvorschrift - secret planned Airforce manuals

  • D.(Luft) - außerplanmäßigen Luftwaffe Vorschriften - unplanned Airforce manuals

  • D.(Luft)T. - technische außerplanmäßigen Luftwaffe Vorschriften - technical unplanned Airforce manuals

  • Lw. Merkblatt - notes for the Airforce

  • Werkschrift - dedicated service notebooks for airplanes

Kriegsmarine For the naval forces the following series of manuals exist:

  • M.Dv.Nr. - planmäßigen und geheime Kriegsmarine Druckvorschrift - planned Naval Forces manuals

Besides the Wehrmacht, the various other organisations also had their own lists of manuals. These are:

Nur für Dienstgebrach (NfD) versus Offen

Manuals are either classified as offen or Nur für Dienstgebrauch, which relates to their availability and means of ordering. Nur für Dienstgebrach means the manual is classified and can only be ordered at the intended military administrative department, for example the Vorschriftenabteilung der Heereswaffenambt, Wa.Z.4 for the D. manuals. Another indication of classified manuals is that such manuals refer to the publishing company as Gedruckt bei/in, printed by.

Offen means that they can be ordered directly at any bookstore by the military department or military personnel. On these manuals, mentioning to the publishing company is done without the prefix Gedruckt bei/in, printed by.

Depending on the NfD or Offen grading of the manual, the manuals that were no longer needed by the troops were disposed of differently. The Offen manuals should be returned to the army administration offices, while the NfD manuals were to be destroyed by the troops according to the regulations mentioned in H.Dv. 99 Verschlußsachen-Vorschrift.


Geheim!

Secret manuals deal with topics that were classified before the war. Secret manuals could only be obtained with special permission. As soon as the war started, however, for a lot of these manuals their Geheim! status was cancelled, as widespread distribution was needed for effective warefare. This is why you'll find that often the Geheim! addition was crossed by pensel on these manuals.

Nevertheless, these classified manuals were to be destroyed in case of danger. These manuals should under no circumstances fall into enemy hands, which was often indicated by Nicht in Feindeshand fallen lassen ! printed on the front cover.


3 levels of training

The manuals provided to the troops were meant for 3 levels of training. These were:

  1. Kampfeinsatz - battle-deployment - manuals required for effective warefare and that needed to be present during campaigns.

  2. vorübergehende Ruhezeit - short breaks - covering additional manuals that the troops require during the short battle breaks. They are on topics for e.g. the specific front and specific weather conditions the troops were employed.

  3. längere Ruhezeit - langer breaks - covering manuals for further education of the troops during longer breaks, such as time-off.

It was encouraged to distribute the manuals among the troops for usage, instead of locking them up in chests.