from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Troop units (TrT) are divisions or formations of the military , i.e. the entirety of all defense forces in a country.


In Germany, the breakdown of the units is as follows:

Exceptions to conventional terminology

Centers and commands cannot be assigned to any specific group of units (see above). Depending on the unit, decisions are made differently. Examples are the following:

An exact assignment is not possible for certain units. One example is the newly established training center in Munster . One can only speculate about the exact size; Since the unit comprises three centers comparable to schools and support elements, it would theoretically have the size of a brigade. However, the army does not provide any more precise information. The situation is similar with the SEK M : its predecessors were the weapons diving group and the battalion of specialized forces - both associations.


Organization of the Territorial Army 1969–1992

The military area command (WBK) was the size of a corps until 1992 ( Army Structure IV ) (see territorial army ). The superordinate large association was the Territorial Command . After the end of the East-West conflict and in the course of the new security policy orientation of the Federal Republic of Germany, military area commands and divisions were brought into line in Army Structure V and placed under a corps. With this step the WBK was downgraded to a division. It is listed as such today.


Sub-units are the smallest troop units.

Military symbol Surname Troop strength Subordinate troops guide
●●●● Season 25-180 up to 3 trains Captain / first lieutenant / lieutenant
●●● Lecture hall / swarm / chain / train 13-60 2 to 4 groups Captain / Oberleutnant / Leutnant / Oberstabsfeldwebel / Stabsfeldwebel / Hauptfeldwebel
●● Group / half train / squad 8-12 2 to 4 squads Oberfeldwebel / Feldwebel / Staff Sergeant / NCO
Squad 2-7 no Unteroffizier / Oberstabsgefreiter / Stabsgefreiter / Hauptgefreiter


The smallest sub-unit is the squad with two to seven soldiers. He is led by a squad leader. In the case of motorized, mechanized or airborne weapons, crews have the tactical size of a squad (e.g. the crew of a Fennek reconnaissance vehicle , exception: armored troops ). The crews of guns or mortars are also the size of a squad. In the military police and in the area of ​​the security and security services of the Bundeswehr, troops are called patrols and basically consist of two soldiers / trained police officers. Three soldiers / trained police officers form a reinforced patrol.

With the cavalry , which no longer exists in Germany today, the smallest sub-unit was the march .


A group is made up of at least two and a maximum of four teams. It includes eight to twelve soldiers.

Since there are no troops in the tank force , two tank crews are combined into a half platoon . Two half-trains form a train with four vehicles.

TZ GRP.svg
TZ PZ.svg
(enemy tank half platoon)


The platoon is often the largest sub-unit below a unit such as the company. It comprises 13 to 60 soldiers, less often 16 (in the tank troops and special forces command ) and is led by a platoon leader. This can be an officer as well as a sergeant. As a rule, trains are numbered consecutively with Roman numerals .

A lecture hall is the smallest unit of a school. It is divided into groups. Several lecture halls form an inspection.


A squadron is about half the size of a unit (company or battery). It comprises several platoons or groups of a certain type of weapon (e.g. repair or transshipment squadron as part of a supply company for the army logistics troops , gun squadron as part of an artillery battery).

In the Luftwaffe and Army Aviators, however, the squadron is a company equivalent.


Battalions, more rarely regiments (if there is no battalion level), are divided into units.

Military symbol Surname Troop strength Subordinate troops guide
I. Battery / boat / squadron / inspection / column / company / main sections of a ship (e.g. HA 400 = supply, staff service, smuts) / sector / squadron 60-300 2 to 6 moves Captain or major
See also


The company is a unit of troops ranging in size from 60 to 250 soldiers. It comprises two to six trains and run by a company commander (in Austria and Switzerland, company commander ) with the rank of captain or major out. There are different names depending on the type of weapon and the armed forces:

  • the artillery uses the term battery , as does the former army anti-aircraft defenses (historically evolved from artillery)
  • Naval Forces ships and boats are floating units
  • in the cavalry, the smallest unit was the squadron or squadron
  • the teaching groups of a school are divided into inspections
  • the term column was common for logistical units until 1945 (see train )
  • Sector are called fixed units of the telecommunications force
  • The Army, Air Force and Navy call their flying units squadrons , and the Air Force anti-aircraft missile groups also use this designation


The units include the battalion and the regiment.

Military symbol Surname Troop strength Subordinate troops guide
III Area / Bundeswehr Hospital / Squadron / Institute / Regiment / School 2,000-3,000 2 to 4 battalions,
7 to 10 companies
Colonel or lieutenant colonel
II Section / department / battalion / boat squadron / hospital / (teaching) group / ship / center 300-1,200 2 to 7 companies Lieutenant colonel


The battalion is the smallest form of an association. It comprises several units of one type of weapon (e.g. tank battalion, engineer battalion). However, it also happens that it is a mixed association. This can be seen most clearly in logistics battalions, which comprise units of the repair force and supply force. The battalion consists of 300 to 1,000 soldiers (approx. 1,800 soldiers in the WachBataillon BMVg) under the leadership of a battalion commander, mostly with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Depending on the armed forces or type of weapon, there are other terms:

  • Artillery, cavalry and tank regiments were divided into departments until 1945 . The difference to the battalion was that departments did not act independently on the battlefield, but were usually led by an association, i.e. the regiment; the department only comprised a certain number of units of one branch of arms (as well as support elements). Today this designation is only used by army aviators. A regiment of this troop consists of a flying and an aircraft engineering department. The subordinate designation, that of the unit, depends on the type of weapon.
  • The telecommunications reconnaissance areas of the Strategic Reconnaissance Command are divided into a mobile and a stationary unit. The latter is called section (see telecommunications intelligence section)
  • The boat squadrons include the floating units of the mine forces and corvettes (formerly speedboats). Their crews are much smaller compared to those of the frigates or larger supply vessels.
  • For the airborne units and the anti-aircraft missile units of the Air Force, the group corresponds to the battalion level.
  • The group can also be found in the Bundeswehr schools in the form of teaching groups.
  • The commanders of the German warships are at the disciplinary level of a battalion commander.
  • The term center is often given to training institutions. They are subordinate to schools (regimental level). The training centers are divided into inspections. Medical centers are divided into medical teams.


A regiment consists of around 2,000 to 3,000 soldiers. Until the 20th century regiments of a certain type of weapon were common, e.g. B. an infantry regiment or an artillery regiment. These led three, later four battalions (called divisions in the artillery and tanks). Due to tactical considerations, the regiments were placed under support troops. The traditional regimental structure was broken up so that the western armed forces switched to brigades.

For reasons of tradition, many associations of foreign armed forces (e.g. in France, Great Britain or Italy) bear the name regiment , although the form and size actually mean battalions. Accordingly, units can also be directly subordinate to the regiment. The actual size depends on the troop volume. The Air Force Training Regiment in Air Force Structure 6 no longer had a battalion level, but with its 18 companies it was a regiment in terms of troops. Another example of this is the 1st Jägerregiment .

The term area is used in the telecommunications reconnaissance areas of the Strategic Reconnaissance Command and in the operational command areas of the Air Force operations command service .

Squadrons exist in both the Air Force and the Navy . Flying squadrons and anti-aircraft missile squadrons are usually organized into two groups.

Although there is no longer such a precise distinction in the Navy today, there are two classes of squadron; only the ship squadron and not the boat squadron (!) is equivalent to the regiment.

A school in the Bundeswehr is equivalent to the regiment. In addition to the school staff, it includes one to four teaching groups, which are divided into inspections, as well as other elements. In the army schools, it is common to subdivide it into different areas, e.g. B. Areas of teaching and training . However, this does not mean the unit area!

Major associations

Nowadays, large units are units with a strength of more than 3,000 soldiers. Your task is to lead small field formations.

Military symbol Surname Troop strength Subordinate troops guide
XXXXXX High command 200,000 + 2+ army groups General (historical: Generalfeldmarschall )
XXXXX Army Group 100,000 + 2+ armies General (historically also: Generalfeldmarschall)
XXXX Army / command command 50,000-60,000 + 2+ corps General (historically also: Colonel General )
XXX Office / Corps / Air Force Command 30,000-80,000 + 2+ divisions Lieutenant General
XX Division / military area command 10,000-20,000 2 to 6 brigades Major general
X Brigade / Flotilla / State Command 3,000-5,000 2–4 regiments or battalions Brigadier General or Colonel


The brigade is the smallest major association. Several battalions of different branches of the armed forces are combined to form a body of troops and form a brigade with independent companies or batteries. The brigades of the combat force lead the combined arms battle and comprise 3,000 to 5,000 soldiers (KSK approx. 1,100) under the leadership of a brigade commander, usually with the rank of brigadier general .

Corps troops in Germany were divided into individual commands depending on the type of weapon (e.g. artillery command or pioneer command). These had the rank of a brigade.

In the German air force there is no operational unit comparable to the brigade. In some nations, e.g. B. Italy, however, it is so that from larger flying formations (squadrons) are formed air brigades.

With the establishment of the Federal Navy, the maritime equivalent of the brigade is the flotilla . It leads several ship or boat squadrons of a certain class (e.g. destroyer flotilla or flotilla of the mine forces). In the German Navy, all existing units of the same type have so far been combined in a flotilla, which means that their internal structure is more like regiments. The units of the flotillas were then tactically led in squadrons.

The squadron level did not exist in the German naval forces until 1945 - similar floating units were grouped into flotillas that were roughly the size and function of today's squadrons. In this respect, there were more flotillas in the Navy than the German Navy, for example. In the new structure of the German Navy , two flotillas are planned in the future , which are now composed of different units according to the brigade. A flotilla of the Kriegsmarine is therefore not considered a major unit.


A division consists of around 10,000 to 20,000 soldiers and conducts combined arms combat. The structure of a division varies: Until the mid-20th century, the regiments Division were predominantly a particular branch of service and provides additional support elements. From 1960 the divisions of the western armed forces were divided into brigades, those of the communist-oriented armed forces into regiments. Despite different terms, the concept was the same: in addition to the brigades / regiments of combat troops, the division also always led units of command support and combat support troops . In the navy, the term division is used to denote the subdivision of an association, i.e. a half squadron.

After the end of the Cold War, most of the European nations transformed their (land) forces. For security and financial reasons, many countries converted their armed forces into professional armies , which led to a reduction in the number of active soldiers. The division partially disappeared as a tactical command level and today either has a predominantly administrative function (as with the British armed forces), or is still kept in readiness as a tactical command level (as with the Italian and French armed forces), but without permanently subordinated troops. In Germany, the divisions generally continue to lead the subordinate units. This does not apply to the ongoing foreign assignments, as the individual contingents are much smaller and therefore no division goes into a single assignment.


A corps is a large unit of the army and usually comprises two to three divisions, brigades and corps troops of 40,000 to 80,000 soldiers. The commanding general is responsible for leadership , usually with the rank of lieutenant general . In the Western armed forces today, corps are only operational planning and command staff, often on a multinational level, to which divisions are subordinated only for deployment. Examples are the 1st German-Dutch Corps or the Eurocorps .

The multinational command operational command of the armed forces base in Ulm is also managed as a corps. In addition, the three Air Force capability commands are arranged on this level (XXX).


Until 1945, the army was the name for a group of several corps with around 200,000 soldiers. The superordinate association used to be the Army Group . The term no longer exists in the Bundeswehr today. The size symbol for this unit XXXX is used for the highest command of the military organizational units.

The following highest command positions (higher command authorities) exist:

Army Group

An army group is an operative field formation with a troop strength of more than 100,000 men. It is thus the largest operational field unit and leads several armies. In the German armed forces before 1945 it was customary to number the army groups with letters, later with geographical terms. The NATO led the principle of Army Group during the Cold War continued (eg. Northern Army Group NORTHAG ).

High command

High command was the name for a higher command authority until 1945. This meant the management staff of the armed forces . This term no longer exists in the Bundeswehr. The "High Command of the Bundeswehr" today would be the BMVg . The "High Command of the German Armed Forces " would be the command and control command of the Bundeswehr .

Unit of the NVA

The National People's Army defined the troop section (TrT for short) as a “union of several units of one or different branches of service (today: branch of service ). These included regiments , squadrons or independent battalions ( departments ) in accordance with the Warsaw Pact military doctrine . In the NVA land forces , a distinction was made between general tactical TrT and tactical TrT .

Examples of units of the Bundeswehr

Troop unit Bw
XX X III II I. ••• ••
Armored Division Tank brigade Tank battalion Tank company Armored train Half move
Telecommunications intelligence area Communications intelligence section Telecommunications intelligence sector
Flying squadron Flying / Technical Group Season Swarm / chain Rotte
Army Aviation Regiment Flying / aircraft engineering department Season Swarm / chain Rotte
school Teaching group inspection Lecture hall group
Territorial Tasks Command State Command District Liaison Command Circle liaison command

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Military Lexicon, 2nd ed. 1973, L-No .: 5, ES-No .: 6C1, BstNr: 745.303.1, page 370 Definition: "Troop unit"