German Eavesdropping or Abhörtrupps

Ground War

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Beitragvon Andreas » 1/4/2008, 10:25

DAKcollector1 hat geschrieben: ... Black_Code


I doubt that the last part of that article is correct. According to Behrendt, no written notes of Fellers' work were allowed, and in any case Fellers' transmissions would not have gone through 621, as I understand the intel flow. 621 was primarily concerned with radio reconnaissance of tactical and operational radio interception.

Happy to be corrected on this, but at the moment it is Behrendt against an unsourced Wikipedia article (the link to the original article it is based on is dead), so I am inclined to go with the former.

EDIT: Well, I can immediately correct myself: ... gypt05.htm

Fellers' messages were confirmed by the capture of 621 according to this.

Live and learn.

All the best


Beitragvon Kuestenjaeger » 1/4/2008, 10:50

Interesting,in the Piekalkiewicz book he called everytime from the "3.Horchkompanie".

You can see two pics with soldiers from the 3.Horchkompanie behind the capture on Tel el Eisa 10.July 1942.

Beitragvon DAKcollector1 » 1/4/2008, 10:57

Hello my friend,

Thank you for the great site of the 621st. I now have a better idea of the man who owned the soldbuch! ... gypt05.htm

I believe that Panzer-Nachr-Abt. 33 sank in the Mediterranean on April 16, 1941. It was replaced by Pzr. Nachr. Abt. 78 (15th Pzr.).

I am very grateful to be here to learn and share with all of you.

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Beitragvon Andreas » 1/4/2008, 11:03

DAKcollector1 hat geschrieben:I believe that Panzer Nachrr-Abt. 33 sank in the Mediterranean on April 16, 1941. It was replaced by Pzr. Nachr. Abt. 78 (15th Pzr.).

Hi Christopher

You are completely right - thanks for the correction:

Panzer N-Abt 33

All the best


Beitragvon Andreas » 1/4/2008, 11:05

Kuestenjaeger hat geschrieben:Interesting,in the Piekalkiewicz book he called everytime from the "3.Horchkompanie".

You can see two pics with soldiers from the 3.Horchkompanie behind the capture on Tel el Eisa 10.July 1942.

My guess is Piekalkiewicz missed the name change.

All the best


Beitragvon Kuestenjaeger » 1/4/2008, 11:11

for identify the second page:


Panzer-Nachrichten-Ersatz-Abteilung 82

Panzer-Nachrichten-Ersatz-Abteilung 82

training unit for the Panzer-Divisions-Nachrichten-Abteilung 78:

Panzer-Divisions-Nachrichten-Abteilung 78

Beitragvon Alanmccoubrey » 1/4/2008, 16:09

I am reading "Rommel's Intelligence in the Desert Campaign" by Hans-Otto Behrendt, ISBN 0-7183-0515-0. Thisa has a great deal to say about Hauptmann Alfred Seebohm and his 3./Nachtrichtens Abteilung 56 with many quotes from their intercepts and the affect they had on operations. Alan
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Beitragvon Kuestenjaeger » 1/4/2008, 16:25

Alan,you can see the word "Horchkompanie" in your book?

Beitragvon Andreas » 1/4/2008, 16:37

Die deutsche Panzerarmee erreicht ziemlich erschöpft die britische Blockadestellung bei El Alamein. Horchkompanie 621 (Hptm. Seebohm), nunmehr wichtigste Nachrichtenquelle Rommels, wählt Tel el Eisa als Stützpunkt - er liegt nur nur etwa 1000 Meter hinter der Frontlinie. ... rommel.htm

Alles Gute


Beitragvon Andreas » 1/4/2008, 16:40

Schönes Modell: ... telle.html

Alles Gute


Beitragvon Alanmccoubrey » 1/4/2008, 17:10

Kuestenjaeger, The book has the Horchzug Afrika under Lt Gerisch arriving on 25th February 1941, in the same sentence it continues that the rest of 3./NA 56 was withdrawn from radio surveuillance of Great Britain and arrived in tripoli on 24th April 1941 and was operational in sites near Tobruk by the end of the month. Alfred SEEBOHN is named as the commander of 3./NA 56.
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Beitragvon Kuestenjaeger » 1/4/2008, 17:49

from our old mainpage:

25. Februar 1941

Feindlagebeurteilung & Funkentschlüsselung der Deutschen

In Tripolis landet unter Leutnant Gerisch der erste Teil der 3. Kompanie (Oberlt. Seebohm) der Nachrichtenabteilung 56 vom Horchzug >>Afrika<<.

Beitragvon DAKcollector1 » 2/4/2008, 04:27


It appears that certain nachrichten ("Horchdienst") units were given the "3" designation denoting Horchdienst and a number (Exp. 56) denoting a particular territory. For example: 3./Nachr. Abt. 56 was a Radio Intercept Company located at Glauchau.

It bore then designation "horchdienst" while at Glauchau and was then transferred to Afrika where it was renamed Horch Kompanie 621 (Nachr-Fern-Aufk-Kp. 621) and was eventually overrun on July 10, 1941 at the first battle of El Alamein.

It is the same unit. ... baende.htm

English & Deutsch:

Parallel the first radio clearing-up units of the army developed. These "Horchdienst" companies been subordinate thereby the territorially responsible communications departments as a third company:

10. November 1938 3. (radio Horch Kompamie) Communications department 56 Glauchau


Parallel entstanden die ersten Funk-Aufklärungs-Einheiten des Heeres. Diese "Horchdienst"-Kompanien unterstanden dabei den territorial zuständigen Nachrichten-Abteilungen als dritte Kompanie:

1. August 1935 Versuchskompanie an der Heeres-Nachrichten-Schule
15. Oktober 1935 3. (Funk-Horch-Kompamie) bei Nachrichten-Abteilung 3 Potsdam
15. Oktober 1935 3. (Funk-Horch-Kompamie) bei Nachrichten-Abteilung 7 München
15. Oktober 1935 3. (Funk-Horch-Kompamie) bei Nachrichten-Abteilung 9 Hofgeismar
15. Oktober 1935 3. (Funk-Horch-Kompamie) bei Nachrichten-Abteilung 18 Liegnitz
6. Oktober 1936 3. (Funk-Horch-Kompamie) bei Nachrichten-Abteilung 26 Düsseldorf
10. November 1938 3. (Funk-Horch-Kompamie) bei Nachrichten-Abteilung 56 Glauchau
10. November 1938 3. (Funk-Horch-Kompamie) bei Nachrichten-Abteilung 57 Stuttgart

Army arranging regiments Corps communications departments Division communications departments in May 1943 in Tunis:

Zu ersten schweren Verlusten im Rahmen der Nachrichtentruppe kam es im Mai 1943 in Tunis:

Armee-Nachrichtenregimenter Korps-Nachrichtenabteilungen Divisions-Nachrichtenabteilungen

Tunis 5, 10 475, 621 -- 90, 78, 200, 190, 220, 334, 999

Interestingly, TAKOAH provides the following in references to 3./56 & Panzer Armee Afrika:

Organizational Chart:

A. 2nd Formation of the Afrikakorps (date unknown):

Other Signals Formations

3./56 (mot.) Radio Company

B. 3rd Formation, on 1 September 1941, 3./56 was listed as part of the 659th (later 636th) Signals Regiment:

659th (later 636th) Signals Regiment
3./56 (mot.) Radio Company

* I suspect that 3./56 was redesignated NFAK 621 while under the 659th or 636th Signals Regiment designations - between 1 September and 1 November 1941.

C. 4th Formation of the Afrikakorps on 1 November 1941, 3./56 was designated:

10th Signals Regiment
1st Batl.
3./56 (mot.) Radio Company

Perhaps the unit was not identified and publicly known was Horch Kompanie (NFAK) 621 for secrecy reasons because it was exposed to a great deal of sensitive information such as allied codes - much like the American and Britich units utilizing ULTRA. Therefore, there isn't alot of data written about it.

* Correction: was just informed by another member of the following:



(Mobilmachung-1.1.1940) 3. Horch-Kompanie 56,
(25.9.1940-15.2.1941) Horch-Kompanie 56,
(19.7.1941-14.2.1942) Horch-Kompanie 3./56,
(15.2.1942-30.7.1942) Nachrichten-Fernaufklärungs-Kompanie 621,
(10.2.1943-23.8.1943) gestrichen.

Therefore, it would appear that the designation from 3./56 to HFAK 621 did not occur until approximately 15 February 1942.

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Beitragvon Alanmccoubrey » 2/4/2008, 12:09

Dakcollector, Your original link naming Seebohn's init as 3./621 is just plain wrong. He was killed while in command of 3./NA56, under the circumstances listed in the link.
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Beitragvon DAKcollector1 » 2/4/2008, 15:59

Most interesting thread. I for one did not know the complexity of Rommel's top secret operations centered around this unit's activities. Phenomenal! Seems that we are all in agreement about their mission and capabilities of 3./56 -- but I respectfully submit to the forum that it was renamed N.F.A.K. 621.

I believe that they are in fact the same unit: 3./56 referring to the Horch Dienst centered at Glauchau - whereas H.K. 621 referred to the same unit under Rommel's command in North Afrika. According to Lexikon, "3./" denoted (radio Horch Kompamie - communications department ) AND "56" denoted Glauchau. It follows that the 3./56 designation was changed when the unit was transferred from Glauchau to Afrika.

I will also look in the texts for additional evidence that the unit 3./56 is HFAK 621.

Colonel von Mellenthin's report, as revealed in "The Foxes of the Desert" page 242-243, by Paul Carrell, identifies Capt. Seebohm as commanding HFAK 621. This text also recites the 621's situational reports and the loss of Capt. Seebohm. ("The Foxes of the Desert', page 243).

Indeed, von Mellenthin's book "Panzer Battles" page 164-65 (ISBN: 0-345-32158-eight) recites his situational reports of July 10, 1942 - described by Carrell - and lists Lt. Seebohm as KIA and the Wireless Intercept Section as overrun.

Further, the 9th Australian Division battle recitals for 10 July 1942 list the unit captured as HFAK 621 (Captain Seebohm is cited as commander in the unit's accounts): ... 0116450566

An intelligence coup: the capture of NFAK 621:

On top of the Australian's capture of the coastal ridge came another unexpected, yet exceptionally important bonus. As 2/24th Bn advanced along the coastal strip they collided with a German unit they were not expecting to meet. Thankfully it was not a heavily armed combat unit, but one that was jokingly referred to as 'the Circus' on account of their strange assortment of tents, trucks and equipment. (17) They were in fact Rommel's most valuable intelligence asset, the signals intercept unit Nachrichten Fern Aufklarung Kompanie 621 (NFAK 621). The unit included a team of highly skilled wireless operators and English language specialists who, unknown to the Allies at the time, had been very successful intercepting Allied signals

(17) Behrendt, Hans-Otto 1985, Rommel's intelligence in the desert campaign, 1941-1943, Kimber, London p 170

Finally, Dal McGuirk's book "Rommel's Army in Africa", p. 121 also identifies Lt. Seebohm's unit as Nachr-Fern-Aufkl-Kp 621 (same as my soldbuch pictured below!) See also: Behrendt, Hans-Otto 1985, Rommel's Intelligence in the Desert Campaign, 1941-1943, Kimber, London p 170.

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