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The Volksgrenadier Füsilier Kompanie
By Eric Tobey, revised by Jonathan Bocek

The following was taken from the Die Neue Feldpost newsletter & was done so with permission of the publisher.  We would like to thank him for his generosity as well as thank all those who have contributed to this article.  It is with their efforts, we are able to share this valuable research with the rest of you.

Almost all of the various Soldbuchs and Wehrpasses that we have featured on this website belonged to members of the 272nd Füsilier Kompanie: click here.  To better understand them, we should examine the structure of their outfit at the company-level.

The Füsilier Company was added to the Volksgrenadier Divisions to act as a recon element and divisional fire brigade.  Rather than having "Grenadiers" or "Obergrenadiers" in its ranks, the men were called "Füsiliers", and "Oberfüsiliers".  There were six main sub-units in the company:

Stab (HQ section):
This was the nerve center of the unit.  In it would have been, among other things, the Spieß, the field kitchen, 2 or 3 supply wagons, one motorcycle, and a total of 11 horses.  Personnel: 1 officer (who was the company commander), 8 NCOs, and 18 enlisted men.
Erste Zug - MP (First Platoon, Submachine Gun):
This first platoon was armed with MP44s.  Personnel should have been 1 officer, 3 NCOs, and 31 enlisted men.  There would have been three Gruppen (squads) in this platoon.
Zweite Zug (Second Platoon, Rifle):
Although by the German regulations this platoon should also have been armed with MPs, it does not appear to have received them.  Personnel: 4 NCOs (one would have been the Platoon commander), and 31 enlisted men, organized into 3 squads.
Dritte Zug (Third Platoon, Rifle):
Organized exactly like the second platoon.
Schwere Zug (Heavy Weapons Platoon):
The primary weapons of this group were two 81mm mortars and two heavy machine guns.  The MGs would have been MG 42s equipped with tripods.  Personnel: 1 officer, 5 NCOs, and 34 enlisted men.
Infanteriegeschutz Gruppe (Infantry Howitzer Section):
In order to operate as a tiny combined-arms combat team, the Füs.Kp. had its own artillery!  This section had one light MG for security and two 75mm light artillery howitzers.  Personnel: 4 NCOs and 24 enlisted men.  This unit became home to many of the Luftwaffe and Navy transferees who were considered under-trained for infantry employment.

Total strength was 3 officers, 28 NCOs, and 169 enlisted men.  This made for a ratio of one officer for every 9 NCOs or 56 enlisted men, and one NCO for every 6 enlisted men.



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