School of the Soldier
Oberfeldwebel Heinrich Lützow, edited by
Unteroffizier Jan Sabol
the individual to execute any military movements, one
must first the master the basics of German drill.
Below is a list & description of such drill
movements. I would like to thank the Enjoy!
| ANTRETEN (Fall
in, not at attention)
not a command, per se. The term more refers to the
"state of being formed up". One could say for example,
without using the formal commands, "Okay, everybody,
head outside and antretenn." Or, auf Deutsch, "Jedermann,
antreten drausen in fünf Minuten!" ("Everyone form up
outside in five minutes!") Remember, the formal
command to form up uses "Angetreten!"
and is preceeded by the type of formation desired (ie.
"Gruppe! In Linie zu einem Gliede -- Angetreten!")
However, you are correct that when asked to form up
using the word "antreten", the men can be at the "Rührt
Euch" position. For example, every morning for Appell
at 0700 Uhr, the men will automatically make their way
outside and "antreten" at ease while waiting for their
| STILLGESTANDEN! (Attention)
rigid, heels together, and toes at slightly LESS
than 45-degree angle of each other, hands with palms
flat against upper thighs, elbows out slightly from
the body, and eyes front. Movement on this command is
on the first syllable of "Still" and the feet should
be coming together by the syllable "stand".
of a formation with the soldiers at "Stillgestanden,"
the men are aligned abreast of their Gruppenführer,
who is on the formation's right, hands down at their
sides, palms flat against the upper thighs, and elbows
slightly away from the body. Feet are together
at the heels, and toes at slightly LESS than 45-degree angles.
Immediately behind the 1.Gruppe is the out line
of the 2.Gruppe, who falls in directly behind.
when you speak of the right or the left of formation,
you are speaking as if you are standing within the
formation. The officer or NCO giving commands
must take this into consideration before executing
movement. For example, if the NCO gives "Rechts
Um!" it would be the formation's right in which
he is commanding them to turn, not toward his right.
in at a position of attention)
Gruppe, this is actually proceeded by one of the
-- In linie zu einem Gliede -- Angetreten!" - for a
single LINE, men stand side by side
"Gruppe -- In linie zu zwei Gliedern -- Angetreten!" -
for two LINES, one line behind the other
"Gruppe -- In Reihe -- Angetreten!" - for a single
ROW, men stand one behind the other
"Gruppe -- In Doppelreihe -- Angetreten!" - for a
double ROW, front to back, one beside the other
"Gruppe -- In Marschkolonne -- Angetreten!" -- column
of three ROWS, men stand front to back
The Gruppenführer (Squad Leader) establishes
the right side of the formation and the rest fall in
to his left or rear (depending on the formation) in a straight line. The soldiers
stand at "Stillgestanden." The body is
rigid, heels together, and toes at slightly LESS
than 45-degree angle
of each other, hands with palms flat against upper
thighs, elbows out slightly from the body, and eyes
(Zug, Gruppe, etc...) - RICHT EUCH!
(Dress right dress)
While at attention,
snap the head sharply to the right, and dress (align
body and feet) off the Flügelmann (right
marker) with short, sharp shuffles of the feet. The
Flügelmann is the rightmost, front man, and
he does not turn his head. (If there are men behind
him, they do not turn their heads either). The
Gruppenführer would only be the Flügelmann
if the Zugführer (Platoon Leader) was
calling the formation, otherwise it is always the
front, right man.
When shuffling into
position, move to the state known as Tuchfühlung
(literally, cloth touching) where the cloth of
your elbow is every so slightly touching the cloth of
the man to your right. Do not press into the man
beside you. DO NOT move your arms, or raise your
hands, or make a fist. 1940s German drill does NOT use
"elbow dressing" where the right arm is raised (this
As soon as you are
dressed off the Flügelmann, remain at the
position of attention and keep the eyes to the right.
Men in the second and third Linie (rank) must
also be able to move their eyes to the man in front of
them and align their body with his. Await the "Augen
-- Geradeaus!" command.
ge-rah-deh - OWS!
eyes right position, sharply bring the head forward.
command, the feet are moved to shoulder width apart,
left foot slightly forward of the right, rest weight
on the right leg, arms hanging down to the sides with
hands relaxed. Speak only if permission is given.
the right by turning on the right heel while turning
and pushing to the right with the ball of the left
foot. After facing is completed, bring left foot
in line with the right, assuming the position of
attention. Do not leave a pause between the turn
and the bringing forward of the foot, rather executing
them as a single movement, one flowing directly into
the left by turning on the left heel with the ball of
the right foot. After the facing movement is
completed, bring the right foot in line with the left,
assuming the position of attention. Do not leave
a pause between the turn and the bringing forward of
the foot, rather executing them as a single movement,
one flowing directly into the other.
command is for the individual soldier only. It is used
for practice, or for small formations such as an
Ehrenwach (honor guard) and such. When turning
around a formation from Gruppe to
Kompanie, use the "Ganze Abteilung -- Kehrt!"
command, rotate to the left by turning on the left
heel with the ball of the right foot 180 degrees.
After the facing movement is completed, bring the
right foot in line with the left, assuming the
position of attention (basically a left face, but all
The informal equivalent
of "Antreten", and not a command. Not to be confused
with the formal "Weggetreten"
For the parade square,
use the formal "Weggetreten"
command as follows:
"Gruppe -- Nach links
-- Weggetreten!" (Group -- To the left -- Dismissed!)
which would consist of a turn to the left, three steps
in step, then a break up of the formation. This
command could be proceeded with "Nach rechts" (to the
right) or "Nach rückwärts" (to the rear) as needed.
Can also be used with rifles at "Gewehr ab" but never
at "Gewehr über".
command, the head and eyes snap to the right without
moving the body. Hold this position until
ordered to "front."
eyes are to be moved right for an inspection, the
command is "Zur Meldung -- Augen -- Rechts!" at which
point everyone, INCLUDING the Flügelmanner,
turn their eyes to the right. As the inspecting
officer approaches, each man keeps his "nose on the
man" by following the passing of the officer with his
head. When the officer is directly in front of each
man, that man counts five more steps from the officer
before he snaps his head to the front. This is only
for inspection. Otherwise, "Augen -- Rechts" position
is held until "Augen -- Geradeaus" is given.
for "Augen, rechts" except to the left.
(Zug, Gruppe, etc...) - MARSCH! (Platoon,
Squad, etc..., march)
command needs to be proceeded with one of two
Im Gleichschritt -- Marsch!" (Group -- In step --
"Gruppe -- Ohne Tritt -- Marsch" (Group -- Without
step -- March!)
At the Gruppe level,
Reihe and Doppelreihe are usually without step.
Marschkolonne is usually in step.
At the command, the
soldier steps off with the left foot, taking a full
step. Note that hands must be flat, and swung up
to the belt buckle, then naturally allowed to fall
back. German marching steps are long at 80cm (32
inches) at the cadence is 114 steps per minute. The
Abstand (front to back spacing) is also 80cm
OHNE TRITT -
Ohneh trit - marsh!
covered above in Marsch!, since it is one of
two types of marching.. This command is used when
terrain is encountered that is impractical for
marching in step.
IM LAUFSCHRITT -
Im lauf-shritt - marsh!
twice the speed.
Gruppe, etc...) - HALT! (Platoon,
Squad, etc..., halt)
The halt is ALWAYS called on the right foot, and there
is ALWAYS just one more step with the left foot before
bringing the now trailing right into line.
command, when used during the march, is called on the
foot of the direction to be turned. (ie. if the man is
to turn right, the "Rechts" command is given on the
right foot). Several more steps may be taken (usually
three to five, but could be more), before the
execution command is given on the same foot, after
which one more step is taken before the turn as
shown in the drawing.
description above for details.