Signal Flags

Swastika Pennant

Führerwimpel (command pennant) or Hakenkreuzwimpel (swastika pennant). 300 millimeters wide and 200 millimeters tall.

Breakdown Flag

Ausfallflagge (breakdown flag). 400 millimeters wide and 300 millimeters tall. The black cross was 70 millimeters wide.

Yellow Flag

400 millimeters wide and 300 millimeters tall.

Red Flag

400 millimeters wide and 300 millimeters tall. The border was 20 millimeters wide, except for the inner border, which was 70 millimeters wide.

Blue Flag

400 millimeters wide and 300 millimeters tall. The border was 20 millimeters wide, except for the inner border, which was 70 millimeters wide.

Usage

In a 1941 training manual, the usage is described according to this table:

a) Held still: b) Repeatedly jerked: c) Swung: d) Held downwards from an open turret
1 Yellow flag Follow me - Row! -
2 Blue flag Double row! Close hatches! Wedge! Open hatches!
3 Red flag Combat readiness! Ready for combat! Attack enemy anti-tank gun, tank, or artillery! Stand down from combat readiness or ready for combat!
4 Red and yellow flag Position! - Wide wedge! -
5 Blue and yellow flag Turn right! - Turn left! -
6 Blue and red flag Full cover! - About! - March! -
7 Command pennant Commander is here! - Own tank! -
combined with sign 1 through 6 Entire company!
8 Breakdown flag Breakdown! - Help needed! -

The five flags appear to have been reduced to two later in the war. In a 1943 training manual for the Panther, the usage is described as such:

Two signal flags are carried in the tank. See their meaning and appearance in Appendix 1.

Signaling is only done if the radio is inoperable or, following an agreement to do so, when working together with other branches. Signaling is done from the cupola, the loader's hatch, or the submachine gun ports.

The commands in Appendix 1 are listed as:

  • Swastika Pennant
    • Held still: Assemble!
    • Repeatedly jerked: Attack! or Follow me!
    • Swung: Disperse! or Wedge!
  • Breakdown Flag
    • Held still: Breakdown! or Help needed!
    • Repeatedly jerked: Mines!
    • Swung: Position!, Enemy tank!, or Enemy anti-tank gun!

Sources

  1. Ausbildungsvorschrift für die Panzertruppe (A. V. Pz.) : Heft 5 e - Die Ausbildung am Panzerkampfwagen Panther. Berlin : Der Generalinspekteur der Panzertruppen, 1943. 53 p. H Dv 470/5 e.
  2. Ausbildungsvorschrift für die Panzertruppe (A. V. Pz.) - Heft 7 : Die mittlere Panzerkompanie. Berlin : Der Oberbefehlshaber des Heeres, 1941. 107 p. H Dv 470/7.