During the second half of the war, as Germany’s military fortunes waned, morale and motivation of the German front line troops began to decline. Indiscipline and desertion rates increased to worrying proportions. In addition it rapidly became clear that huge levels of manpower and equipment was being effectively wasted in the occupied areas, especially in countries like France where occupation troops often lived in what seemed like luxurious circumstances compared to their comrades on the Eastern Front.

One of the major factors leading to the creation of the Feldjägerkorps was a visit to occupied France by Generaloberst Jodl to inspect the preparations for the anticipated allied invasion. Jodl was shocked at the relative luxury in which senior command elements had housed themselves, clean luxury hotels or châteaux with carpeted floors, comfortably furnished and richly decorated. One unit which he reportedly went to visit were all absent on a hunt!

In addition, as front line units were decimated in fighting on the eastern front, there resulted a large number of non-combatant elements which existed to supply these combat units, but had no units left to support. Clearly the situation of bloated rear area formations living in relative safety and luxury, consuming vast amounts of food, fuel and manpower whilst the front line combat units suffered could not be allowed to continue.

In December 1943, a Führer decree was issued creating the Feldjägerkommandos.

The Feldjägerkommandos and battalions are Wehrmacht troops and are directly subordinate to the OKW. The have the task of checking and combing out units of the army, navy air-force and Waffen-SS. These tasks will be carried out in close connection with the territorial commanders. The commanders of the Feldjägerkommandos are responsible solely to the Chief of the OKW. Enforcement measures, task forces, patrol services should be made available to the Feldjägerkommandos.

So we can see that not only were the Feldjägerkommandos given supreme authority to carry out their tasks in relation to Wehrmacht forces, but Waffen-SS also, and that they had the power to call on whatever support they needed from the local commanders.

The following definitions of the tasks of the Feldjäger were published by the OKH (Oberkommando des Heeres—High Command of the Army) in September 1944 (O.K.H. (Ch H Rüst u. BdE), 15 September 44—7378/44—Stab/.Ia2.) and also in a special supplement to army orders bulletin (Heeresmitteilungsblatt) as H.M. 1944, Issue Nr 24.

1. Feldjäger have the task, as ordered by the Führer and under direct command of the Chief of the Oberkomando der Wehrmacht in the rear areas, to maintain temporary and complete authority, military discipline and order in all situations, if necessary by ruthless measures up to the immediate use of firearms.

2. Feldjäger are special, proven front soldiers, whose activities have the sole aim of supporting the front line. They ensure the area behind the front is kept secure. They expect therefore and with good reason the greatest appreciation for their difficult task, primarily from frontline soldiers of all ranks.

3. Feldjäger have received from the Führer, in order to accomplish their assigned tasks, particularly wide ranging power and authority over members of all parts of the armed forces, the Waffen-SS and organisations used in the support of the armed forces (OT, NSKK etc.)

4. Feldjäger co-operate closely with all Order services in the area in which they are employed (Wehrmachtstreifendienst, Feldgendarmerie, Kommandanturen, Polizei, Guards, Patrols and Sentries of all kinds). They carry out their tasks as required by the prevailing situation at the front. Criticisms of, or resistance to, Feldjäger orders are unjustified and are also considered as proof of the lack of correct military attitude and insight due to indiscipline.

5. Feldjäger eliminate all possibility of mismanagement in the area between fighting front and homeland front, which disparage the great sacrifices of every good German and the combatants of the armed forces.

6. Feldjäger ensure the delivery of redundant and surplus personnel and material from rear agencies and units and the supply of personnel and material fit for the front, to the fighting troops.

7. Feldjäger fight behind the front against disobedience, desertion, self-interest, neglect and sloppy work of any type. They are strictly monitored in the performance of their duties by their superiors, with any misdemeanours particularly severely punished and discharged from the Feldjägerkorps.

8. Feldjäger on duty are recognizable by gorgets, red armbands and a special Ausweis.

Their service is difficult, self sacrificing and highly responsible.

All are required to help and to facilitate, by disciplined behaviour, the difficult task of the Feldjäger, because the military discipline of the German soldier is the guarantee of victory. In this regard the Feldjäger is a strict and fair helper.

Special Insignia

Feldjäger were recruited from experienced personnel from the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS, though the Luftwaffe element was minimal. Heer and Waffen-SS members were expected to be combat veterans though Luftwaffe personnel generally came from redundant aircrew and ground crew so the combat experience would not be appropriate.

Former Feldjäger, SS-Unterscharführer Gottfried Schwittalla remembers:

It is correct that the members of the OKW Feldjäger should have been experienced front line Officers and NCOs as patrol leaders and members.

This requirement was mostly not met by the Luftwaffe as the Luftwaffe element consisted mainly of ground crew personnel, while from the army, as a minimum, decorated front line soldiers were required.

In my unit, the company commander, SS-Hauptsturmführer Brehm and I, and one sergeant from the army, Feldwebel Kastl, held the Iron Cross 1st Class.

In December 1943 while I was acting as an instructor at the SS-Pionier-Ersatz und Ausbildungs Bataillon in Dresden after seeing combat action and being wounded on the Eastern Front, I had to report to the adjutant, SS-Hauptsturmführer Tarneden. He told me that the battalion commander, SS-Sturmbannführer Tietz, had decided that I would be transferred to the newly formed OKW Feldjäger detachment near Vienna. My qualification for the position was front line experience and possession of the Iron Cross 1st Class.

The transfer to the Feldjäger followed in February 1944 and we were accommodated in the barracks of a replacement battalion for the Panzertruppe in Spratzern. I was assigned the 3rdd Company. My company commander was SS-Hauptsturmführer Brehm and my platoon leader was from the LuftwaffeHauptmann Isermann

With personnel drawn from so many varied units, there was no dedicated Waffenfarbe colour worn by the Feldjäger, the Waffenfarbe of the soldier’s original unit being worn as was the wearers original uniform so that within a single Feldjäger patrol uniforms of the Heer, Waffen-SS and Luftwaffe might all be seen at the same time. Three special forms of identification were used:


Two versions of the Feldjäger armband are known. The most commonly encountered on wartime photos is the red armband with white lettering OKW/Feldjäger. A further variant exists however, with the printed legend Oberkommando der Wehrmacht/Feldjäger in black. Both variants were normally worn on the lower left sleeve.


Feldjäger were issued with a special Ausweis printed on red card, which set out the level of their authority from the OKW.


An army officer serving with the Feldjägerkorps. Apart from the armband, no special insignia is worn. (Otto Spronk Photo Files)


Feldjäger armbands were also made in printed form in black on red. Originals are of great rarity and the example illustrated is an accurate post-war replica.


Wehrpass to Wladislaus Müller, a Luftwaffe Stabsfeldwebel who served with the Feldjäger.


The Müller Wehrpass . During 1940/41 Müller served with Kampfgeschwader Boelcke but apart from his Combined Pilot-Observer badge, the only award shown is the humble War Merit Cross 2nd Class.


The Müller Wehrpass shows no indication that he served with the Feldjäger. However with the Wehrpass is an Ausweis issued by the commander of Feldjägergruppe V confirming his position and that his authority extended over all branches of the Wehrmacht as well as the Waffen-SS.


Reverse of the Müller Ausweis, further setting out his duties and authority.


Feldjäger wearing the variant armband with white lettering on red. The scroll on the gorget is impossible to read and may be the regular Feldgendarmerie type. (Otto Spronk Photo Files)


A special gorget was produced, identical to the Feldgendarmerie gorget, but with the scroll bearing the legend Feldjägerkorps. The gorget was certainly manufactured and original examples have survived, but whether it saw any widespread use is debatable. Once again, Gottfried Schwitalla remembers:

Our uniforms were without additional characteristics, thus without the gorget. They told us that we would be issued gorgets with the designation ‘Feldjäger’, however we never received them. When on patrol service we wore only a red armband on the left arm with the inscription ‘OKW Feldjäger’.

In terms of insignia, it was also intended that ultimately, a special shoulder strap emblem consisting of the Latin letters Fj, for Feldjäger, would be introduced and that white would be adopted for the Waffenfarbe of these formations. It does not appear however that adoption of this distinctive insignia was ever achieved before the end of the war. In terms of equipment, the Feldjägerkorps was fairly lightly equipped, though at Feldjägerkommando level, each had Fieseler Storch communications aircraft available.

As the Feldjäger operated mostly as small independent four man patrols (one officer and three NCOs or two NCOs and a driver), no heavy vehicles were

required and the typical equipment for each patrol was a requisitioned civilian vehicle.

From Gottfried Schwitalla:

I was patrol member of an officer-led patrol. As our vehicle we had a Citroen passenger vehicle. The driver was a private first class of the Luftwaffe.

Armament normally comprised a pistol for the officer, and Mauser Kar98k carbines for the NCOs and junior ranks such as the driver. As with the Feldgendarmerie, only a small number of machine-pistols were issued to Feldjäger.


The basic organisation of the Feldjägerkorps was simple. A command element or Feldjägerkommando, with control over a single Feldjägerabteilung* (later increased to a Feldjägerregiment). The Feldjägerabteilung was divided into 5 Kompanien, the later, larger Feldjägerregiment was divided into 5 Feldjägerabteilungen each of which consisted of 3 Kompanien.

Each Kompanie would typically field 4 patrols or Streifen.

*Abteilung simply means a military detachment or unit. The word is often used in connection with a battalion sized unit and in the case of the Feldjägerkorps Abteilung and Bataillon can be considered as synonymous.

Equipment Levels

Feldjägerkommando (mot.)

Command element

9 officers, 1 admin official*, 5 NCOs, 21 enlisted men.

10 × pistols.

24 × carbines.

2 × machine pistols.

1 × heavy field car.

4 × medium field cars.

2 × light field cars (4 seat).

1 × 2 ton truck.

1 × 15 seat bus.

*Admin officials were civilians with specialist skills (such as paymasters, legal officers etc.) put into uniform ‘for the duration’ with officer status and with their own specific career paths separate to the regular army. In addition to the above a Flugbereitschaft or flight section consisting of three spotter/communication aircraft (Fieseler Storch) was available to each Feldjägerkommando.

Feldjägerregiment (mot.)

Command Group

5 officers, 2 admin officials, 9 NCOs and 17 enlisted men.

10 × pistols.

22 × carbines.

1 × machine pistol.

1 × light machine gun.

1 × medium field car.

3 × light field cars (4 seat).

1 × 2 ton truck.

1 × 15 seat bus.

Motor Transport Section

1 admin official, 2 NCOs, 8 enlisted men.

1 × pistol.

10 × carbines.

3 × light field cars.

1 × 3 ton truck.


Command Group

4 officers and 5 enlisted ranks (despatch riders, drivers).

4 × pistols.

5 × carbines.

1 × motorcycle.

1 × motorcycle with sidecar.

3 × light field cars.

Patrol (Streifen) Group

A number of 4 man Streifen were grouped into a Kompanie as required. The total strength of a Kompanie could vary as circumstances required.

3 officers, 9 NCOs and 6 enlisted men.

6 × pistols.

6 × carbines.

6 × machine pistols.

6 × light field cars.

Special Purpose Patrol Group

2 officers, 8 NCOs and 15 enlisted men.

5 × pistols.

15 × carbines.

5 × machine pistols.

5 × medium field cars.

2 × motorcycles.

Supply element

7 NCOs and 17 enlisted men.

3 × pistols.

21 × carbines.

6 × 3 ton trucks ( 2 for field kitchens, 1 for packs, 1 for fuel, 1 for supplies and 1 for personnel).

Repair troop

2 NCOs and 2 enlisted men.

1 × pistol.

3 × carbines.

1 × light field car.

1 × 2 ton truck.


Soldbuch for Obergefreiter Gustav Rösener who served with Feldjäger Regiment I.


Section C of the Rösener Soldbuch shows his service with Feldjäger-Rgt (mot.) 1


The awards page from the Rösener Soldbuch gives the lie to the theory that all Feldjäger were decorated combat veterans with at least an Iron Cross. Rösener held just the Kraftfahrbewährungsabzeichen and the Romanian Medal for the ‘Crusade against Communism’.


False entries for rare units in an original Soldbuch are not unknown but Rösener’s service in the Feldjägerkorps is confirmed by his personal data sheet from the unit.

The Feldjägerkorps

Feldjäger-Kommando I

Formed 25 December 1943 by the high command of Wehrkreis I.


General der.Flieger Ernst Müller (December 1943–May 1945).

Feldjäger Bataillon l

Formed 25 December 1943. Based in Stablack in Wehrkreis I with five fully motorised Kompanien.

Feldjäger Regiment l

Created on 25 April 1944 with the enlargement of the original five companies into battalions (Abteilungen). The same Feldpost numbers were retained by the companies which had now been elevated to battalion status. Each new Abteilung fielded three Kompanie sized units. These did not appear to have been issued with individual Feldpost numbers.

Feldjäger-Kommando II

Formed 25 December 1943 by the high command of Wehrkreis VIII.


General der Panzertruppe Kempf (Dec 1943–17 May 1944).

General der Infanterie Karl von Oven (17 May 1944–5 Feb 1945).

General der Artillerie Willi Moser (5 Feb 1945–8 May 1945).

Feldjäger Bataillon II

Formed 25 December 1943 from a mixture of Heer, Luftwaffe and Waffen-SS personnel organised into five fully motorised Kompanien. It operated exclusively on the Eastern Front. All elements appear to have initially used the same Feldpost number.

Feldjäger Regiment II

Created on 25 April 1944 with the enlargement of the original five companies into battalions. Again, each of the new Abteilungen contained three Kompanie sized sub-units.

Feldjäger-Kommando III

Formed 25 December1943 by the high command of Wehrkreis XVII.


General d. Infanterie Scheele (Dec 1943–Aug 1944).

General d. Infanterie Grase (Aug 1944–12 Mar 1945).

General d. Flieger Speidel (12 Mar 1945–23 Jun 1945).

Feldjäger Bataillon III

Formed 23 December 1943 with five fully motorised Kompanien. All appear to have used the same Feldpost number.

Feldjäger Regiment III

Created on 25 April 1944 with the enlargement of the original five companies into battalions.

Feldjäger Regiment 3 is interesting in that on its strength appears to have been a platoon specifically designated for carrying out sentences passed by the court martial element of the Kommando. On the list of field post numbers for the period from November 1944, FP Nr 42693 is listed as covering not only the Regiment but also a Strafvollstreckungszug. (punishment platoon).

Also part of the Order of Battle of the Feldjägerkorps was a training and replacement unit, Feldgendarmerie Ersatz Regiment 1 which appears to have been formed in November 1944 to train and prepare personnel for service in their new role.

Only one sub-unit is known, I (Grenadier Bataillon) Feldgendarmerie Ersatz Regiment 1 (FP Nr 04833) created at the same time.

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