By Josh Boyle
The very basic block of the Romanian Army was the Infantry Section (or Grupei de lupta) is the 10 man Infantry section. Three of these sections would form an Infantry Platoon (Plutonului de puşcăsi), and in turn three of these Platoons form a Company (Companiei de puşcăsi), which has support elements such as Machine Guns and Mortars.
Following the 1941 Campaign, it was clear that the Army was in need of reform. Using World War One tactics and organisations would not work in the highly mobile warfare of the Second World War. As such, the decision was made in December 1941 to retrain and reequip the Army, along the lines of the German Army.
As such, the General Rules for the Organization and Fighting of the Group, Plutoon and Rifle Company (Norme Generale Pentru Organizarea Si Lupta Grupei, Plutonuluioni si Comapnei de Puscasi) was written, as an adptation from the German Heeres-Dienstvorschrift 130/2B, which organised German Units of similar size (Zug and Gruppe). The following table is the English Translation of such information.
|Section Commander (Sergeant)||submachine gun, 6 magazines, speedloader for loading magazines Binoculars Wire cutters Compass Whistle Electric lamp Shovel Anti-Air Sight for the machine gun||The sergeant leads and is the first fighter of his group. They lead the fire of the machine gun and – as far as the fight allows – of the other men. They are responsible for the good condition and operation of the ammunition and materials of the group.|
|ZB26 Gunner||Machine Gun Magazine Pouch (cartridge case), with 2 full magazines and 40 spilled cartridges, for ZB26/30. Cleaning and Maintenance Kit. Pickaxe. Electric Lamp.||The Machine Gunner serves as fire support during combat. It is their job to maintain the weapon. (Usually a Fruntas)|
|ZB26 Loader||Pistol* Spare Barrel 12 boxes of 20 rounds for ZB26/30 Leather case (?) Shovel||The Loader assist the MG Gunner, and engages in close combat. The Loader loads magazines for the Gunner to use. The Loader assists the Gunner in preparing firing positions. The Loader is always ready to assist with removal of stoppages and spent casings. Helps with maintenance of the MG.|
|Refresher No1||Rifle with bayonet Tripod for ZB26/30 10 boxes of 20 rounds for ZB26/30 50 rifle rounds Shovel||The Refresher carries ammunition for the section and reloads as required. Checks stripper clips on own initiative.|
|Refresher No2||Rifle with bayonet 10 boxes of 20 rounds for ZB26/30 Loading device for ZB26/30 50 rifle rounds Shovel||The Refresher carries ammunition for the section and reloads as required. Checks stripper clips on own initiative.|
|Riflemen 5-8||Rifle with bayonet 50 rifle rounds Shovel (Except No 7, who carries a pickaxe) When ordered: Hand Grenade Smoke Grenade Explosive charges Ammunition||Provide fire and engage in close combat|
|Rifleman 9 (2iC)||Rifle with bayonet 50 rifle rounds Shovel When ordered: Hand Grenade Smoke Grenade Explosive charges Ammunition||No 9 is the 2iC and replacement in the case of the sergeant being killed. He is responsible for liaising with other units and the commander. Responsible for his part of the section (Rifleman 5-8)|
*Images of the ZB Loader also carrying a rifle are seen, although how often this is done is up for debate
**We are unsure as to what this is
Thank you to Die Soldaten LHG with liaison support for the German Manual, as well as Edward Dima for providing translations and advice, and finally Florentin Nicolae for providing access to the manual.