Combat of the combined arms

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The King's Royal Hussars as Armored Infantry Battlegroup. Main battle tank fights targets
The King's Royal Hussars as Armored Infantry Battlegroup. Main battle armored train in action
Use of attack helicopters over the battlefield
Anti-tank soldier
Danish artillery observer (VB)
Self-propelled howitzer battery in fire fighting
Firing a Dutch self-propelled howitzer
MLRS rocket launcher fire

The combined arms combat ( English combined arms ) in the German Bundeswehr since 2007 as associated operations forces designated one is operational - tactical concept of battle management, in which the different branches of the armed forces ( troops and weapons genres ) the fighting value and maximize in already the tactical level of a battle group is supported by forces of combat support troops and command troops. This is made possible by appropriate subordination, means of communication and liaison officers .


Based on the experiences of the First World War , the Reichswehr 1921/22 under Hans von Seeckt the regulation Heeresdienstvorschrift H.DV. 487 "Command and combat of combined arms" (FuG) [4] . This was established by the Army Service Regulations H.Dv. 300/1 "Troop leadership" (TF 1933, also: "Beck regulation") replaced under the leadership of Lieutenant General Ludwig Beck .

In the 1930s the tactical elements u. a. further developed by Heinz Guderian and initially largely taken over by the German armed forces after the Second World War . Mechanized branches of service should work closely together in order to achieve the highest possible combined combat value.

This was and is true even before the Second World War for the infantry in cooperation with artillery and engineers as well as the cooperation and support with battle tanks and armored personnel carriers for anti-tank combat and combat support by armored personnel carriers.

Despite changes to the strategic guidelines (end of the Cold War ) and the resulting new tactical orientation of the Bundeswehr, the basic features of the combat of allied weapons and capabilities (troops with capabilities and personnel with training) were retained.

Since 2007, this tactic has been referred to as a combined forces operation in the revision of the Army Service Regulations (HDV) 100/200 . This designation is v. a. Today it is more appropriate, because not only weapons work together in action for a long time, but many different areas such as information are consulted and work together for a successful mission.

Combined Arms Skirmish in the Cold War

The Combined Arms Skirmish was a core element of NATO's defense strategy against heavily armored forces of the Warsaw Pact . Based on the consideration that a large numerical excess of armored combat vehicles can be combated most efficiently through the interaction of different branches of arms in the types of combat, delay or defense, but also in counterattack.

For this purpose, a specific division of troops was planned depending on the situation. The tank reconnaissance units with their heavy ( Leopard 2 battle tanks ) and their infantry company (Jäger TPz) as well as the light ( Spähpanzer Luchs ) reconnaissance platoons were given the priority order either to conduct a delay battle in front of the Front Edge of Defense (VRV) or to conduct ground-based combat reconnaissance operate, as well as to monitor open flanks and to delay enemy forces in these.

The main burden of the combined arms battle was borne by the tank and armored infantry troops in cooperation with anti-tank helicopters, tank artillery, tank engineers and Close Air Support (CAS) of the Luftwaffe directly at the VRV. In operational use, enemy forces were worn down by the use of sorties in the Battlefield Air Interdiction (BAI) , and by far-reaching artillery with the medium artillery missile system (MARS) in the depths of the combat area.

While battle tanks fought enemy battle tanks over long distances in a duel, quickly changing and shifting focal points, the armored personnel carriers and their dismounted rifle troops were given the task of supporting their action and fighting enemy infantry ( mot rifle ).

In order to achieve a high fire and assertiveness as well as mobility, an armored train (4 battle tanks Leopard 1, later Leopard 2 ) were subordinated to a defending or decelerating tank grenadier company (11 Marder armored personnel carriers ), which in turn handed over an armored infantry platoon to the tank battalion. Earthworks equipment from the associations provided support with the construction of positions or with cover hollows for fire positions.

In infantry terrain (forest areas and urban terrain) independently came by MTW mechanized Jägertruppe used. This was supported by tank grenadiers and tanks, which are not suitable for combat in densely built-up or heavily overgrown terrain.

The pioneers laid safety barriers and mine barriers to support them, thereby delaying enemy forces and leading and channeling them in pre-planned directions of movement.

The advanced observers (VBs) of the mortars and artillery directed fire support directly at the VRV. The heavy company, with fragmentation grenades from its anti-tank mortars, was used to provide direct fire support to an armored infantry battalion on soft and semi-hard targets and through fog.

While the tank mortars were commanded directly by the battalion, the barrel and rocket artillery was subordinate to the artillery commander of the brigade or division. The artillery (field artillery, tank artillery with M109 self- propelled howitzer or rocket artillery with LARS rocket launcher , later MARS also MLRS) provides direct fire support to the ground troops through barrages. At divisional level, it mainly conducts counter-battery combat (fighting the opposing artillery after target reconnaissance by ELOKA , sound measurement, light measurement squads , etc.) and, previously at corps level, combat in depth by fighting high-value targets such as enemy command posts or supplies. At the corps level, after the corps artillery regiments were triggered, this order was taken over by the Air Force sorties with the BAI.

The air traffic control officer (now Forward Air Controller ) was responsible for air support . This included close air support (CAS - Close Air Support) in the Close Combat Area and at further distances the battlefield lockdown (BAI - Battlefield Air Interdiction) in the Deep Combat Area.

The anti-tank helicopters (PAH) of the Army Aviation were supposed to fight enemy tank formations immediately in front of the VRW and to seal off anti- tank breakthroughs from red.

The Army Air Defense Force was given the task of using anti-aircraft tanks Gepard and FlaR-Roland to fight enemy ground - attack aircraft and combat helicopters such as the Mil Mi-24 Hind (“flying tank”), which is classified as particularly threatening .

From combat distances of three to four kilometers, if the terrain was suitable, tank destroyers of the tank destroyer troop acted from the flanks . This later went on in the heavy armored infantry company. The Jaguar 1 and 2 was, according to its fighting style, used primarily from covered ambush positions. They were given the task of using guided missiles primarily to eliminate enemy command tanks and advance detachments. Due to their large ranges and battlefield mobility, tank destroyers are able to reinforce an anti-tank unit and fight enemies that have broken through. They fight out of natural cover and move on explored approaches from the lurking to the firing position. The choice of your position depends mainly on the effectiveness and shooting distances of your LFK. Airborne forces could also be used as a highly mobile maneuvering element.


The core of the Operation of Combined Forces is the coordination of fire and movement of one's own forces in order to enforce one's mission against enemy forces. For this purpose, the various branches of the army of combat troops from armored troops and infantry work with combat support troops ( artillery , pioneers , army pilots , air defense , NBC defense forces ) as well as with the command troops and the like . a. Army reconnaissance troops , electronic warfare , telecommunications troops on the battlefield together with the air force in such a way that, on the one hand, their own information and fire superiority as well as the ability to move at the crucial point are enforced, their operational value and their stamina increase and, on the other hand , the enemy's possibilities for reconnaissance , effectiveness and movement should be minimized.

The existing command and information system is characteristic of the ability to engage in combined arms combat . Ideally, reconnaissance results in the form of universally usable target data are made directly accessible to the command, which in turn commissions the weapon system to combat the respective target that is best suited for this purpose within the framework of joint tactical fire support . Computer-aided evaluation systems reduce occasional multiple target combats or disregarding the required target impact .

Important components of the operation of connected forces are fire and movement - locking and electronic combat ( EloKa ) as forces - space - time - information .


Until the New Army was adopted for new tasks from 1997 to 2001 , the essential elements of combat troops with tanks and armored infantry, as well as artillery and engineers (locks, rooms) for the combat of allied weapons in a brigade were organically contained. The allocation of additional forces such as army air defense or reinforcement of the artillery (for fire fighting or for reconnaissance) or pioneers was carried out by forces of the higher division . The division itself was given by allocating Sorties as offensive forces of the Air Force by the Corps for close air support ( English Close Air Support ) in order to support the brigades. The battle in the depths was carried out by the division and brigade artillery. Sorties were only used by the Corps for Battlefield Air Interdiction on outstanding targets or outside the range of the artillery; the divisions had their divisional artillery regiment for deep combat.

After the intermediate step Army of the Future (2001-2006), the forces of the Army in the New Army and Army 2010 (from 2006) have been completely restructured. Only the brigades of the 1st Panzer Division ( Panzerlehrbrigade 9 and Panzerbrigade 21 ) , which belong to the intervention forces, as well as the Franco-German Brigade are able to independently conduct an operation of connected forces with their own units. The brigades of the stabilization forces and the brigades of the Special Operations Division are only able to do so if they are subordinated to the appropriate combat support forces, previously as part of the Army Brigade .

Combined arms combat is conducted from the unit level of the company . For this purpose, the platoons of an armored and armored infantry company are mutually subordinate to each other in the course of the division of troops by the higher-level battalion - so that it basically leads two armored trains and two armored infantry trains. The company is also subordinated to parts of the staff and supply company, such as the telecommunication unit (battalion radio circuit), medical unit, maintenance group unit (WTG unit) and armored recovery units, as well as a field kitchen unit.

Formerly from the army anti-aircraft battery assigned to the battalion, two gun anti-aircraft guns Gepard. In addition, from the mortar company or today from the division or brigade artillery battalion, advanced observer (VB); by the brigade pioneer company a tank pioneer platoon to the battalion or a pioneer group of the company relied on cooperation.

Further development

The further development leads to networked operations management ( English Network Centric Warfare ), which not only works across the armed forces, but also includes all other influencing factors in the planning of operations, such as B. the behavior of local civil society groups and non-governmental organizations ( NGOs ).


In 2009, John R. Walker prepared the study Bracketing the enemy: forward observers and combined arms effectiveness during the Second World War for the United States Army . (German about: bracketing the enemy. Battlefield observer and the effectiveness of combined arms during World War II). The study was published digitally in April 2012 and is therefore part of the Combined Arms Research Library Digital Library.

See also


  • Harry Horstmann: The development of the types of combat: Operational thinking and acting in German armed forces . ISBN 978-3-640-65061-3 .
  • Jonathan M. House: Toward Combined Arms Warfare: A Survey of 20th-Century Tactics, Doctrine, and Organization . US Army Command General Staff College, 1984. Available online or through University Press of the Pacific (2002).
  • Roland Perry: Monash: The outsider who won a war . Random House, Sydney, 2004
  • Shelby Stanton: The 1st Cav in Vietnam: Anatomy of a division . Presidio Press, Novato, 1999
  • John Schlight: Help from above: Air Force Close Air Support of the Army 1946-1973 . Air Force History and Museums program, Washington DC, 2003
  • Karl v. Neugebauer: H. Dv. 487 Combined Arms Command and Combat (FuG) . Biblio-Verlag, Osnabrück, 1994, ISBN 978-3-7648-1793-0 .
  • HDv 100/100 troop leadership of the army, troop leadership of LaSK
  • HDv 100/200 Operation of Combined Forces
  • HDv 220/100 leadership of the armored forces

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Army service regulation HDv 100/200 of the Bundeswehr
  2. usually the 5./Kp of a PzGrenBtl
  3. ^ Fritz Wermelinger, Herbert Wanner: The artillery in the fight of the combined arms. ASMZ Sicherheit Schweiz: Allgemeine Schweizerische Militärzeitschrift, volume (year): 157 (1991), issue 6
  4. U. König: Der Panzerjäger: long spit of the infantry in the fight of the combined arms. ASMZ Security Switzerland: General Swiss Military Magazine, Volume (Year): 153 (1987), Issue 3 (PDF)
  5., 364 pp., PDF
  6. Homepage


  1. 10th Panzer Division and 13th Panzer Grenadier Division