Today's 10. Panzerdivision (Bundeswehr)

I'm usually not very interested in specific units and their organization.
I am interested in TO&Es and structures, but not in individual units.

There are exceptions, though.
The 10. Panzerdivision of the Bundeswehr (German army) is such an exception.

That division consists (to date) of

* its staff company,
* a musicians unit (I want my tax money back!),
* Panzerbrigade 12 and
* Gebirgsjägerbrigade 23.

The reason for why a staff, a mountain infantry brigade and an armour brigade can/should be called a division - even a Panzerdivision (armor division) seems to be very elusive.
I can't find it.

The 10. Panzerdivision (just like the 13.PzGrenadierdivision) is also strange because it has no divisional support assets - unlike the 1. Panzerdivision, which has nine divisional support units of company to regiment size.
I'm obviously not talking about a 'real' division here, but merely about a HQ and two brigades.

The whole 10. Panzerdivision (and the 13. PzGrenadierdivision) lacks a dedicated artillery unit. It has no artillery regiment or battalion. Compare that to the 1. Panzerdivision; 1 artillery regiment plus 1 armored artillery battalion plus 1 Lehr armored artillery battalion.

Another confusing detail:
The Panzerbrigade 12 has one armor and two mech infantry battalions plus support units. That's the same composition as our two Panzergrenadierbrigaden (mech infantry) have. So why is it a Panzerbrigade and not a Panzergrenadierbrigade?

Let's face it; the requirement to keep the know how for armor/mech infantry, airborne infantry and mountain infantry plus the intent to have one Luftbewegliche Brigade (a strange helicopter combat unit) doesn't allow for an all-division army.

It would make sense to exploit the opportunity for an experiment with some independent brigades.

I would send the Panzerbrigade 12 as Panzergrenadierbrigade to the 1. Panzerdivision and free up the Panzerbrigade 21 (which has one armor, one mech infantry and one armored arty battalion) as an independent brigade (with built-in combined arms even without divisional support).

The Gebirgsjägerbrigade 23 could be independent as well. Permanent cooperation with a heavy brigade doesn't make sense for a light infantry brigade with some high mountain specialists anyway.

*Sigh* I wasn't able to resist Captain Obvious this time. */sigh*

P.S.: This is the army structure 2010.


The locations of the units are a complicating factor, of course. It may also be that the seemingly superfluous divisional HQ makes sense as a training opportunity for officers. The structure doesn't make sense from a 'war' and 'doctrine' perspective in my opinion, though.

1 comment:

  1. At the annual AUSA convention here in DC (usually every October), there is a considerably sized booth for the German military-industrial complex. One of the things they passed out this year was a CD of German military band music. I thought it was quite good, very martial.