Identifying a Luftwaffe Planquadrat in the East
The task of identifying the square grid mentioned in Luftwaffe documents presents a problem to many interested.
With the help of the information below, it should be possible for anyone to create an own "Planquadrat map" of the Eastern Front.
On the Eastern Front, these square grids were most commonly written as follows, like, for instance, in the case with Hermann Graf's 150th victory: PQ 49241.
PQ stands for "Planquadrat", i.e. square grid. The first two digits, "49", represent the so-called "Grosstrapez".
Brekken's Excellent Explanation
Andreas Brekken provides a very good explanation on his site Eagles over Norway:
"The first subdivision of the Großtrapez is the Mitteltrapez,
which have an area of approximately 35x28 kilometers. Using the latitudinal
parallels at 15, 30 and 45 and the longitudinal meridian at
30, every Großtrapez are divided into eight Mitteltrapeze.
The Mitteltrapeze are numbered from 1 through 8 starting with the area in the upper left corner and ending with the lower right one.
The second subdivision define the Kleintrapeze measuring approximately 9x11 kilometers. The latitudinal parallels with 5 distance between them and the longitudinal parallels 10 apart, divide the Mitteltrapez into nine Kleintrapeze. The numbering of the Kleintrapeze run from 1 through 9, starting in the upper left corner, making three rows of Kleintrapeze, with the ninth positioned in the lower right corner of the Mitteltrapez.
The third subdivision is called Meldetrapeze and have an area
of approximately 3x4 kilometers. The latitudinal parallels positioned at 140,
320, 640 and 820 and the longitudinal parallels
positioned at 320 and 640 divide the Kleintrapez
into nine Meldetrapeze.
The size of the resulting Meldetrapez was usually small enough as to give the necessary degree of accuracy for the report of a given position.
The numbering of the Meldetrapeze run from 1 through 9, starting in the upper left corner, making three rows of Meldetrapeze, with the ninth positioned in the lower right corner of the Kleintrapez.
In the system used until 30. April 1943, there were only four Meldetrapeze in a Kleintrapez, numbered from 1 through 4. "
To return to the example of Hermann Graf's 150th victory above, PQ stands for "Planquadrat", i.e. square grid. "49" is the Grosstrapez mentioned by Brekken above. "2" is the Mitteltrapez, and "4" is the Kleintrapez, and "1" the Meldetrapez.
Usually, the larger square grid - the Zusatzzahlgebiet - is not mentioned in such reports. Brekken writes:
"The areas between every tenth degree longitude are limited to the north and south by the 89°, 79°, 69°, 59° and so on degree latitude. These areas, which are limited by sides measuring ten degrees longitude and latitude are called Zusatzzahlgebiete. The Zusatzzahl are given by the ten-count of the northwestern corner of each Zusatzzahlgebiet. The first number give the ten-count of the longitude, while the second number give the ten-count of the latitude. If the degree number is below 10°, a zero is used. The repetition of the Zusatzzahl in the four quarters of the globe, make the use of a special description necessary; north of 1° southern latitude the Zusatzzahl for the areas having eastern longitude are given the additional description Ost, while the areas having western longitude have the addition West. South of 1° southern latitude the Zusatzzahl for the areas having eastern longitude are given the additional description Südost, while the areas having western longitude have the addition Südwest."
In order to identify the exact location of a given Planquadrat such as the one in Graf's victory report above, it is necessary to know the general area where the incident occurred. In Graf's case, it is necessary to be familiar with the fact that the unit to which he belonged operated in the Stalingrad area by the time this incident took place.
Point of departure - the breakdown into Grosstrapeze:
Each Zustazzahlgebiet is divided into one hundred Grosstrapeze, numbered from "00" to "99".
As a point of departure, the Zusatzzahlgebiet 25 Ost is located in the square 20° E - 30° E - 49° N - 59° N.
In the southwestern corner of "25 Ost", the Grosstrapez 00 is located - in the square 20 ° E - 21° E - 49° N - 50° N.
In the southeastern corner of "25 Ost", the Grosstrapez 90 is located - in the square 29° E - 30° E - 49° N - 50° N.
In the northwestern corner of "25 Ost", the Grosstrapez 09 is located - in the square 20 ° E - 21° E - 58° N - 59° N.
In the northeastern corner of "25 Ost", the Grosstrapez 99 is located - in the square 29° E - 30° E - 58° N - 59° N.
Where to find the Zusatzzahlgebiete:
The Zusatzzahlgebiet "25 Ost" is surrounded by the following Zusatzzahlgebiete:
"26 Ost" in the north
"35 Ost" in the east
"24 Ost" in the south
The rest is pure logics...
Small Sample from the original Luftwaffe Square Grid Map:
Click here, and you will be able to see a small sample of the original Luftwaffe Square Grid Map. That could be quite useful. Beware--it is a bit large, so for those with a "slow" connection, you'll have to be patient. Like always. . . ;-)
With the help of this information, it should be possible for anyone to create an own "Planquadrat map" of the Eastern Front.
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