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Armed forces in World War Two - Germany

Written by Sakhal

Germany 1939 - Army

Individual weapons - Pistols: P08 Luger caliber 9 mm, Walther M34 caliber 7.65 mm and Mauser C96 caliber 7.63 mm
Individual weapons - Rifles: Mauser K98 in the models 98a, 98b and 98k, all of caliber 7.92 mm
Individual weapons - Hand bombs: Stielhandgranate (of long handle) model 24, Eierhandgranate 39 (egg-shaped)

Automatic weapons - Submachine guns: MP18 and MP34 Bergmann, MP28 and MP38 Schmeisser, MP34 Erma and Steir-Solothurn, all of caliber 9 mm
Automatic weapons - Automatic rifles: MG26 (ex ZB26 of Czechoslovak production) caliber 7.92 mm
Automatic weapons - Machine guns: MG13 Dreyse, MG08/15 Maxim, MG15 and SMG08, all of caliber 7.92 mm

Mortars: Granatenwerfer 34 of 81 mm and Granatenwerfer 36 of 50 mm

Antitank weapons - Light: Pzb 38 antitank carbine caliber 7.92 mm; Pak 20 mm machine gun and Pak 37 mm cannons
Antitank weapons - Heavy: See Cannons section
Antitank weapons - Self-propelled: At the outbreak of the war there were no series self-propelled pieces in service

Artillery - Cannons: Of 75 mm, 105 mm and 155 mm; dual-purpose antitank and antiaircraft cannons Flak 18 and Flak 36/37
Artillery - Howitzers: Of 75 mm and 105 mm

Armored vehicles: PzKpfw I, II, III, IV, Mk 35 and Mk 38 (ex Czechoslovak LT35 and LT38), heavy tanks NF-A, for a total of 2886 light tanks, 309 medium tanks and 5 heavy tanks

Chemical weapons - Flamethrowers: Flammenwerfer 35
Chemical weapons - Smoke: Nbw 35 smoke mortar

PzKpfw - Panzer Kampfwagen - Armored combat vehicle.
Pak - Panzer abwehr kanone - Antitank cannon.
Flak - Flieger abwehr kanone - Antiaircraft cannon.

NOTE: The situation of the weaponry of the German Army is given with date of 1 September 1939. The calibers of the weapons are given in millimeters instead of centimeters, according to the German custom.

Germany 1939 - Navy

Battleships: Schlesien and Schlewig Holstein (a) of 14900 t, Bismarck of 50153 t and Tirpitz of 52600 t

Pocket battleships: Deutschland (b) of 11700 t, Admiral Graf Spee and Admiral Scheer of 16200 t

Aircraft carriers: Graf Zeppelin (c) of 32600 t

Battlecruisers: Gneisenau and Scharnhorst of 38900 t

Heavy cruisers: Admiral Hipper and Blucher of 16000 t, Lutzow, Prinz Eugen and Seydlitz of 18400 t

Light cruisers: Karlsruhe, Koln and Konigsberg of 8130 t, Nurnberg of 6980 t, Leipzig of 6170 t and Emden of 6900 t

Destroyers: 16 units 34 class of 3150 t, 5 units 36 class of 3415 t

Torpedo boats: 6 units 23 class of 1920 t, 6 units 24 class of 1320 t, 12 units 35 class of 1088 t, 1 unit 37 class of 1098 t

Corvettes: 10 units of 1028 t

Submarines: 65 units of which 32 between 254/303 and 291/341 t (d), 23 between 625/745 and 862/983 t, and 10 between 1051/1178 and 1032/1153 t

(a) Used as school ship.
(b) Renamed as Lutzow in 1940.
(c) Started in 1938, her construction was suspended in 1940, retaken with some modifications on the original in 1942; definitely abandoned in 1943.
(d) The displacement (weight of the water displaced by the vessel) of submarines is indicated like this: weight of the water displaced by the vessel in surface / weight of the water displaced by the vessel in immersion.

NOTE: Not included the lesser or support units, such as patrol torpedo boats, minesweepers or transport ships.

Germany 1939 - Aviation

Fighter aircraft: Messerschmitt Bf 109, Messerschmitt Bf 110, Fiat CR 32 (a), Arado 68

Bomber aircraft: Junkers 86, Junkers 87 (dive bomber), Junkers 88, Heinkel 111, Dornier 17, Henschel 123

Reconnaissance aircraft: Dornier 17, Heinkel 126, 45 and 46 at the disposal of the Army; Dornier 18, Heinkel 115, Blohm und Voss 138, Arado 196, Heinkel 59 and 60 at the disposal of the Navy; Focke Wulf 200 (b), Fieseler 156

Transport aircraft: Junkers 52, Tupolev SB2 (c)

(a) In service in the Austrian aviation and incorporated to the Luftwaffe after the Anschluss.
(b) For long-range maritime reconnaissance, escort of convoys and antiship and antisubmarine hunt.
(c) Seized from Czechoslovakia after the annexation of Bohemia and Moravia, and used for training or towing targets.

NOTE: The Arado 68, Henschel 123 and Heinkel 45 and 46 in the current presentation are considered to be close to replacement, due to obsolescence.


Armed forces (equipment) of Germany in 1939.

Germany 1943 update - Army

Individual weapons - Pistols: Walther P 38 caliber 9 mm and Mauser HSc caliber 7.65 mm
Individual weapons - Rifles: Models 33/40, 40 K and 98/40, all of caliber 7.92 mm

Automatic weapons - Submachine guns: MP 40, MP 40/II and MP 41, all of caliber 9 mm
Automatic weapons - Automatic and semiautomatic rifles: G 41 Mauser and Walther caliber 7.92 mm (a), G 43 Walther caliber 7.92 mm (a); FG 42, MKb 42 Haenel and MKb 42 Walther, all of caliber 7.92 mm (b)
Automatic weapons - Machine guns: Madsen caliber 8 mm, MG 34, MG 34/S, MG 34/41 and MG 42, all of caliber 7.92 mm

Mortars: Granatenwerfer 42 of 80 mm and successively a model of 120 mm

Antitank weapons - Rockets: Panzerfaust 30 (c), Panzerbuchse 54 (d), Raketenwerfer 43 of 88 mm (e)
Antitank weapons - Light: Panzerbuchse 39 of 7.92 mm and 41 of 28 mm, Granatbuchse 39 of 7.92 mm
Antitank weapons - Cannons: Models 35/36 of 37 mm, 38 of 50 mm, 40 of 75 mm, 41 of 42 mm and 75 mm, 43 of 88 mm, 50 of 75 mm(f)
Antitank weapons - Self-propelled: SdKfz 250/11 of 28 mm (g), 221 of 28 mm (h), 251/10 of 28 mm (g), 251/10 of 37 mm (g), 101 of 47 mm (i), 139 of 76.2 mm (i), 138 of 75 mm (i), 131 of 75 mm (i), 138 of 75 mm (j), 135 of 75 mm (i), RSO of 75 mm (i), 132 of 76.2 mm (i), 6 of 76.2 mm (g), 164 of 88 mm (i), 184 of 88 mm (i)

Artillery - Cannons: Models K 18 of 170 mm and K 39 of 210 mm
Artillery - Howitzers: Of 540 mm and 600 mm (m)

Armored vehicles: PzKpfw V "Panther" of 44.8 t, PzKpfw VI "Tiger" of 56 t, Sturmgeschutz III of 23.9 t

Chemical weapons - Flamethrowers: Models 41 and 42

SdKfz - Sonder Kraftfahrzeug - Vehicle for special uses.

(a) Semiautomatic.
(b) The three with possibility of selective fire (automatic or semiautomatic); not included the MAB 38 and 38/42 of Italian manufacture, acquired in considerable quantity by the Wehrmacht.
(c) Individual.
(d) Operated by two persons.
(e) Antitank carbine adapted for launching rocket projectiles.
(f) Not included the excellent antitank weapons Pak 97/38 of 75 mm and Pak 36 of 76.2 mm, of French and Russian origin, respectively.
(g) Half-track vehicle.
(h) Installed on wheeled armored vehicles.
(i) Installed on tank hulls.
(j) Derivative of the preceding SdKfz 138, installed on modified hulls.
(m) Self-propelled siege mortar.

NOTE: This update includes only the materials of German manufacture, apart from two exceptions for the MAB and the Pak, mentioned because of their importance. For the four nations indicated (Germany, Italy, France and Russia), the update refers to the material which entered operative service before the 8th September 1943, date of the Italian Armistice.

Germany 1943 update - Navy

Destroyers: 1 Type 36 of 3415 t, 8 Type 36A of 3605 t (a), 7 Type 36A (b) and 4 Type 36B of 3507 t

Torpedo boats: 3 Type 37 of 1098 t, 11 Type 39 of 1754 t

Submarines: 708 units of the following types: 2 Type IIB (279/329 t), 2 Type IIC (291/341 t), 16 Type IID (314/364 t), 26 Type VIIB (753/857 t), 329 Type VIIC (768/871 t), 6 Type VIID (965/1080 t), 4 Type VIIF (1084/1181 t), 40 Type IXB (1051/1178 t), 60 Type IXC (1120/1232 t), 42 Type IXC (1144/1274 t), 2 Type IXD (1610/1799 t), 34 Type IXD (1616/1804 t), 7 Type IXB (1736/2177 t), 138 Type XIV (1668/1932 t)

(a) Except two units, Z-29 and Z-30, of 3597 t.
(b) This is the modified Type 36A of 3597 t.

NOTE: Not included the ships whose date of entry into service was not certainly previous to the 8th September 1943.

Germany 1943 update - Aviation

Fighter aircraft: Focke-Wulf 190, Heinkel 219 (a), Dornier 217J (a) and 217N (a), Messerschmitt 410 (b)

Bomber aircraft: Focke-Wulf 200 (c), Dornier 217, Heinkel 177, Henschel 129 (d)

Reconnaissance aircraft: Focke-Wulf 189, Arado 240, Blohm und Voss 141, Arado 231 (e), Blohm und Voss 138 (e)

Transport aircraft: Dornier 24 (f), Arado 232, Junkers 290 (g), Messerschmitt 323, Blohm und Voss 222 (h)

(a) Night heavy fighter.
(b) Fighter-bomber.
(c) Long range aircraft used for antisubmarine hunt.
(d) Attack aircraft.
(e) Seaplane.
(f) Rescue seaplane.
(g) Transport and reconnaissance aircraft.
(h) Transport and reconnaissance seaplane.


Armed forces (equipment) of Germany in 1943 (update).

Germany 1945 update - Army

Individual weapons - Rifles: K 43, VG 1 (a) and VK 98 (a), all of caliber 7.92 mm

Automatic weapons - Submachine guns: MP 3008 (b) and EMP 44, both of caliber 9 mm
Automatic weapons - Automatic and semiautomatic rifles: VG 1-5 (c), MP 43 (d)(e), MP 43/41 (d)(e), MP 44 (d)(e), StG 44 (d)(e), StG 45 (d)(e)

Antitank weapons - Rockets: Panzerbuchse 54/1, Gretchen, Panzerfaust 60 and 100
Antitank weapons - Cannons: Pak 44 K and R, both of 128 mm
Antitank weapons - Self-propelled: SdKfz 234/4 of 75 mm (f), PzJag RSO of 75 mm (g), GW FCM of 75 mm (h), SdKfz 251/22 of 75 mm (i), SdKfz 132 of 76.2 mm (g), T 26 C of 75 mm (r)(j), SdKfz 164 of 88 mm (g), SdKfz 173 of 88 mm (k), SdKfz 186 of 128 mm (l), Grille of 88 mm (m)

Artillery - Cannons: LG 40 of 75 mm (n), LG 42 of 105 mm (n), LG 240 of 150 mm (n), Flak 40 of 128 mm

Armored vehicles: Sturmgeschutz IV of 23 t (n), Sturmpanzer IV of 28.2 t (o), Jagdpanzer IV of 25.8 t (p), PzKpfw VI "Tiger II" of 69 t, several antiaircraft tanks constituted by weapons installed on PzKpfw IV hulls, Maus of 188 t (q), E 100 of 140 t (q)

PzJag - Panzer Jager - Armored (tank) hunter.

(a) Emergency weapons built for the Volkssturm with recycled materials.
(b) Denominated Gerat Potsdam, copy of the British Sten.
(c) Semiautomatic.
(d) Fitted with selective fire.
(e) Assault rifle.
(f) Wheeled armored vehicle.
(g) Tracked armored vehicle.
(h) Installed on the hull of the French tank FCM.
(i) Half-track vehicle.
(j) Tracked vehicle, captured from the Russian.
(k) Installed on the hull of the Panther tank.
(l) Installed on the hull of the Tiger II tank.
(m) Installed on the hull of the Pz 38 (t) tank.
(n) Recoilless.
(o) 150 mm assault howitzer.
(p) Self-propelled tank destroyer.
(q) At prototype stage only.

NOTE: This update does not include the ballistic weapons and the remote-controlled rocket-propelled weapons, which have been exhaustively mentioned in other articles. Neither are included the diverse types of rocket launchers, because of the large number of them which was built.

Germany 1945 update - Navy

Torpedo boats: 4 Type 39 of 1754 t, 8 Type 41 of 2155 t

Submarines: 500 units of the following types: 136 Type VIIC (768/871 t), 43 Type VIIC/41-42 (769/871 t), 62 Type IXC (1120/1232 t), 6 Type IXC/40 (1144/1272 t), 22 Type IXD/2 (1616/1804 t), 1 Type IXB (1763/2177 t), 19 Type XIIG (1600/? t), 9 Type XVII (a), 3 Type XVIIB (212/337 t), 145 Type XXI (1671/1819 t), 58 Type XXIII (234/258 t), 3 Type XXVIIA of 11.75 t (b), 5 Type XXVIIB of 15 t (b); 824 pocket units of the following types: 200 Neger of 5 t, 300 Marder of 5 t, 324 Biber of 6.25 t

(a) Developed in two models: one built by Blohm und Voss (313/342 t) and another one built by Germania Werft (236/259 t).
(b) Intermediate type between the pocket and the coastal ones, similar to the Italian CB, with a crew of two.

NOTE: This update does not include the Italian submarines captured by the German after the 8th September 1943, nor the submarines of experimental type, but only those which had an effective operational utilization.

Germany 1945 update - Aviation

Fighter aircraft: Messerschmitt 163 (a), Messerschmitt 262 (b)(c), Dornier 335, Heinkel 162 (b), Focke-Wulf 152, Bachem 349 (a)(d)

Bomber aircraft: Junkers 188, Arado 234 (a)

Reconnaissance aircraft: Junkers 388

Transport aircraft: Junkers 352

(a) Rocket-propelled.
(b) Turbojet-propelled.
(c) Polyvalent fighter.
(d) At prototype stage only.


Armed forces (equipment) of Germany in 1945 (update).

Related articles

Armed Forces in World War Two - Britain

Armed Forces in World War Two - Italy

Armed Forces in World War Two - Japan

Armed Forces in World War Two - Poland and France

Armed Forces in World War Two - Russia

Armed Forces in World War Two - United States

Categories: Statistics - World War Two - 20th Century - [General] - [General]


Website: Military History

Article submitted: 2015-08-27

Article updated: 2020-11-08

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