20. GERMAN PATROLS IN NORTH AFRICA

The following report on German patrols in North Africa near El Alamein was printed in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 22, April 8th, 1943.

The following items of information on certain German patrols in the El Alamein area have been obtained.

The patrols in question occurred at regular intervals of 4 days, the men being drawn from the various platoons in the company. At no time was a complete squad or platoon as such detailed for a patrol. One patrol consisted of 16 to 18 men under a platoon commander. The men were formed into two squads, and only the squad leaders were told the plans for the patrol. They left their main line of resistance and went out 1,500 to 2,000 yards in front of their minefields, in single file. Five or six men stayed behind to guard the gap through the minefield.

On another patrol, the covering party consisted of an NCO and six men armed with one machine gun, one Tommy gun, and hand grenades. A third patrol consisted of the equivalent of two platoons under the command of a company commander.

Neither telephone nor portable radio set was taken on these patrols, and no artillery officer accompanied them.

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