Wehrmacht manuals - common to uncommon
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Update: July 28th, 2001
Mar 29th, 2004
Sep 3rd, 2004

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Like wherever bureaucracy prevails, the Wehrmacht produced tremendous amount of documents on everything conceivable. Manuals were everywhere. Today some are still commonly available but some are not so common.

Here is one of the rarer manuals, D656/21a+. This manual describes the transmission gearbox of the famous Tiger tank using multi-layer pictures on athetate overlays. Because the Prüfnummer(examination number) is 45, only a few of this manuals seem to have been distributed. It is classified as Geheim(secret), but it nolonger is today! Other manuals are often marked Nur für Dienstgebrauch!(Only for service usage!) Searching for this term on antiquarian shops on the Internet sometimes results in a fantastic finding!

These manuals can give us solutions to hitherto unanswered questions from model builders. For example, the use of a small hole on the Tiger tank's frontal fender base is clearly shown in this photo. This photo comes from this manual - D656/30a.
Winter tracks for Panzer III/IV can be found in this manual - D635/5. Here are three pages - Picture 92/93, Picture 94/95, Picture 96/97. Please note that in Picture 97, the Winterkette is called Schneegleiskette (literally snow track) in this document.

Interior description using athetate overlays are not limited to the Wehrmacht. Red army used very similar manuals to train their invincible tank force. See how similar to the Tiger manual, here is a russian counterpart - a manual for T-34. It comes in a paper case, athetate sheet book and a description booklet. Three examples from athetate overlay book - page 1, page 5, and page 9. The red army was not inferior to the Wehrmacht in such respect!

A manual every Panzer buffs know, Tigerfibel can be found on the Web - at Tiger1.info, a super site with in-depth information regarding this legendary animal run by Mr. David Byrden. But only reproduction seems to be on the web for Pantherfibel, so here are some pages from this booklet. PANTHER-BAR. Parole: Lerne mit Genuss (motto: learn with pleasure). PANTHER-KLINIK.

Practical hints for the troops to repair damages on the wheels and tracks is a quick-howto for the troops to make unmobilized Sturmgeschütze III operational again. These pictures show how to fix the tracks and track-pins using hammers.

The Wehrmacht utilized extensive numbers of half-tracked vehicles. Many half-tracks were designed from scratch for optimal results, but they were complicated and expensive. Their production numbers never met the necessity. So trucks were converted half-tracked,like Opel Maultier. Here the tracks and wheels of a Maultier is shown.

A manual named Der Panzerknacker (Merkblatt 77/3) was issued to the soldiers to teach how to cope with seemingly invincible Russian tanks. Here are some pages: page 1, page 3, page 4, page 5, page 6, page 7.

One of the most widely used anti-tank weapons for infantry, Panzerfaust 60 was successful against tanks and other ground targets. The manual for Panzerfaust 60, D560/3, is a single thin paper. Here the paper is shown in two images: Page 1/4, Page 2/3.

Related Forum Threads

Wehrmacht-Awards forum / Panzerknacker Manual - Near mint
Real vs. fake Merkblatt 77/3 is discussed. At one time I thought mine was a reproduction, but eventually it turned out to be original. Also, you can take a look at an original Merkblatt 18b/38 (PANZER helfen Dir!).