The German Soldier's Pocket Manual

The German Soldier's Pocket Manual


General Military
  • Author: Stephen Bull
  • Short code: GNM
  • Publication Date: 28 Jun 2018
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About this Product

This is the first Pocket Manual to be dedicated to the German Army in the First World War, with chapters comprising of complete documents or extracts drawn from two major sources: the German Army of 1914 - 1918 itself, or the intelligence sections of other armies.

It describes the new tactics and units developed by the German army during the war, including the myths surrounding Stormtrooper units. These new methods used were a result of interaction between the opposing forces and incremental in their appearance. Nevertheless the new ideas were hugely influential and important not only to the German army but to others as well, including British and American forces.

Utilising a wide range of sources, including various pamphlets and manuals that were produced throughout World War I, this fascinating pocket manual gives a German perspective to World War I.

Biographical Note

Stephen Bull was Curator of Military History and Archaeology for Lancashire Museums, with responsibility for local regimental collections. He has worked at the National Army Museum and BBC in London and has also appeared in the TV series Battlefield Detectives. He has written numerous articles for specialist journals, including a number on the weapons and tactics of the First World War. His other books include several Osprey titles on the tactics of World Wars I and II. He lives in Preston, UK.


1) Der Spatenkrieg: a translation of the January 1915 manual by Heinrich Fitschen: ‘Sweat saves blood'. Shows the new importance of the spade in trench warfare and how things have changed since open warfare in August 1914. A privately produced piece but based on official instructions. (Approximately 35 pages with existing ‘in text' illustrations and a brief one page introductory note.)

2) Der Dienst im Schützengraben: translation of undated instructions for service in the trenches at company level giving the duties of different ranks. Privately produced by Lieutenant der Reserve Wilhelm Botz of Reserve infantry Regiment number 74. (Approximately 48 pages including a one page introductory note and three new illustrations.)

3) Proposals for the technical methods to be adopted: an early 1915 document translated by British intelligence showing new thought in response to French attacks on the Germans in the Champagne. (approximately 10 pages including a one page introductory note and two new illustrations)

4) Flammenwerfer: German Instructions for the Employment of Flame Projectors translation of instructions from December 1915 showing how the infantry coordinate with the flame attack. (approximately 10 pages including one page introductory note and a new illustration)

5) Orders and Reports on the German Raid on the ‘Spion', La Boisselle: Extracts from German documents of April 1916 describing a trench raid by 110th Reserve Infantry Regiment. (approximately 15 pages to include a two page introductory note and two new illustrations)

6) Regulations for Machine Gun Officers, 1916. Approximately 8 pages including a one page intro and one illustration.

7) Nahkampfmittel: Part 3 of the Manual of position warfare 1917. Grenades and close combat methods. British translation including diagrams. (approximately 10 pages including one page intro and two new pictures )

8) Anleitung fur Kompagniefuhrer 1917: selection from a German official document giving a standard training regime for an infantry company.

9) German Company attack diagram: Passchendaele 1917. From a captured document in Canadian War diaries. ( 3 pages: double page rendition of the diagram and a one page intro.

10) The Attack In Position Warfare: the Stormtrooper instruction of January 1918 showing integration of all arms and objectives, January 1918. (Approximately 35 pages including on page introductory note and four new illustrations