Over the years, I have collected copies of Feld-Hellschreiber telegrams from World War 2. About 50 examples are shown below in chronological order. Another 800+ scanned WW2 Feld-Hell telegram pages are available in references 9 through 11.

Several examples of telegrams printed with Siemens-Hell start-stop machines (T.typ.72 "GL", T.typ.73 "AGL", and T.empf.39 "L") are on this page.

©2004-2021 F. Dörenberg, unless stated otherwise. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be used without permission from the author.

Latest page update: 27 April 2021 (added more than 350 pages of of scanned original WW2 German Feld-Hell telegrams  = ref. 11A - 11Y)

Previous page updates: January 2020 (added ca. 400 WW2 Feld-Hell telegrams, ref. 9G-9Z, 10A-10J). September-October 2019 (added ca. 45 WW2 Feld-Hell telegrams, ref. 9A-9F, ref. 35).

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The German military telegrams follow a particular standard format, see ref. 35 (§195-200):

  • Header ("Kopf")
  • A plus-sign cross ("Kreuz"), as start-delimiter of the message
  • Urgency level ("Dringlichkeitszeichen") of the message, or rank ("Rangzeichen")
  • Teleprinter name/ID ("Fernschreibname) of the sending station
  • Teleprinter number ("Fernschreibnummer"), preceded by a zero in case of a secret telegram ("GKdos.-Fernschreibverkehr")
  • Day/month date of telegram submittal (not necessarily the same as transmission)
  • Tactical time (time when message was generated; optional)
  • Submittal time (time when the message was submitted to the teleprinter dept), in parentheses
  • Example: +SSD WENE 254 24/5 0810 (0815) =
  • Destination identifier ("Anschrift"), abbreviated. Code names may be used, as well as a "Feldpostnummer" (field post office number)
  • Content ("Inhalt")
  • Signature ("Unterschrift")
  • Name plus (abbreviated) rank or function of the submitter of the telegram.

The station identifier normally comprises 4 characters (ref. 29, §125-132 in ref. 35):

  • First character = "Kennbuchstabe des betreffenden Wehrmachtteil" = letter that identifies the branch of the Wehrmacht to which the teleprinter station ("Fernschreibstelle") belongs:
  • H = Heer (army). On the "Original telegrams" page, there are several Feldhell-telegrams from or to stations such as HMIX, HLCXC, HZDX, HFDX, HDAXD, HORXD, HKEX, HWEX, and HFADX. The Reichsschule-SS for female auxiliaries in Oberenheim/Alsace started using the callsign "HSOM" in November of 1943 (ref. 28).
  • L = Luftwaffe (air force). Examples: LFRF (Funkberatungstelle of the Luftwaffe test center at Rechlin near Berlin) and LYKJ (Oslo-Kjeller, Norway); see p. 27 in ref. 34.
  • M = Kriegsmarine (navy). Example: MSTF.
  • T = Oberkommando des Heeres - Chef Transportwesen (OKH, supreme command of the army, chief of transportation), see p. 23 in ref. 35.
  • W = Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW; supreme command of the armed forces). Examples: see Fig. 26 below.
  • There also appear to have been call-signs that start with "R". I do not know what the "R" stands for.
  • Second character = "Zugehörigkeit zu der Dienststellgruppe" = group of departments (below the Wehrmacht branch) to which the teleprinter station belongs. In the OKW, the following group designators were used:
  • A = "Fernschreibstellen der Abwehr" = teleprinter stations of the Abwehr (German military intelligence service)
  • F = "Fs-stellen des Führerhauptquartiers" = teleprinter stations of the Führer's headquarters
  • L = "Fs-stellen des WFst" = teleprinter stations of the Wehrmachtführungsstab operations staff of the OKW.
  • N = "Fs-stellen Ag / WNV" = teleprinter stations of the Amtsgruppe Wehrmachtnachrichtenverbindungen telecom/signals directorate.
  • P = "Fs-stellen W Pr" = teleprinter stations of the Abteilung für Wehrmachtspropaganda propaganda department.
  • R = "Fs-stellen Wi Rü Amts" = teleprinter stations of the Wirtschafts und stungs Amt office of economics and armament.
  • S = "sonstige Fs-stellen des OKW" = other teleprinter stations of the OKW.
  • X also appears to have been used, but I do not know what it stands for.
  • Third & fourth character = "Ort der Dienststelle für die die Fernschreibstelle arbeitet" = the location of the service to which the teleprinter station belongs. Optionally: chose arbitrarily.


Fig. 1: Examples of OKW teleprinter station callsigns

(source: ref. 29)

In telegrams, the four-character call sign of the recipient could be preceded by one of the following "Betriebseinrichtung" qualifiers:

  • V = "Vermittlung" = switch-board / exchange.
  • Gr = "Schlüsselfernschreibmaschine (Geheimschreiber) SFM [ = Schlüsselfernschreibmaschine] T52" =  Siemens teleprinter model T52 with integrated cypher/crypto function.
  • Gh = "Geheimzusatz a/A" = cypher/crypto teleprinterattachment (between teleprinter and line) model a/A.
  • Z = "Geheim-Zusatz 1940" = cypher/crypto teleprinter-attachment (between teleprinter and line) model Lorenz SZ-40.

The prefixes Gr, Gh, and Z were used to indicate the required processing at the receiving teleprinter station.

Some labels have five or six characters, e.g., HDADX, HORDX, HFADX, HLEX5, HKLXP, HKWXB, and HNOX/FU. Normally, these supplemental characters were to be separated from that 4-character identifier by a slash "/" (per §129 in ref. 35). They indicated commonly used standard field stations belonging to the 4-character identifier of the teleprinter exchange. Examples:

  • FU = "Führungsabteilung"
  • OP = "Operationsabteilung"
  • QU = "Generalquartiermeister"
  • NF = "Nachrichtenführer"
  • TO = "General des Transportwesen"
  • LW = "Lufwaffedienststelle, dem Heer unterstellt"
  • NS = "Nachschubstab"
  • NA = "Nachrichtenaufklärungsstab"
  • FZ = "Funkzentrale"
  • WF = "Wetterfunkbetriebsstelle"
  • WW = "Wetterwache"
  • OT = "Dienststelle der Organisation Todt"
  • FF = "Funkfernschreibstelle"

The four "practice" messages below are Appendix 1-4 from a personal Hellschreiber manual (ref. 1) that was written in 1940 by Rudolf Heinrich, soldier in the Luftnachrichten Signal Corps of the Wehrmacht:


Figure 2: Rudolf Heinrich's practice Hell-gram sheets

(source: ref. 1, incl. full-size images)

The Feld-Hell telegram below is dated 24 July 1941. It is a telegram to Generalkommando (HQ at Corps level) of the of the 12th Armeekorps (A.K.), responding to a telegram of the latter on the previous day, regarding transfer of horse-drawn vehicles to suplly officer of the 52nd infantry division near Żabinka (Zabinken/Hochsee in German East Prussia; post-war Poland).


Figure 3: Telegram from 24 July 1941

(source: ref. 8)


Figure 4: Transcript of the telegram in Figure 2

The Hellschreiber message below (originally encrypted with a Lorenz SZ40 "Enigma" machine) was intercepted by the British at Bletchley Park, on 14 August 1941, on 6408 kHz. It is from a transmission between the German stations in Vienna and Athens. Intercepted messages were glued onto a "W/T Red Form" sheet (W/T = Wireless Telegraphy). Ref. 2, 3, 4. The picture to the right shows that the form is actually red, to indicate its secret nature. This particular "Red Form" has an intercepted encrypted Morse-code message intercepted on 26 December 1943 on 6475 kHz - the last transmission from the German battleship "Scharnhorst" before it was sunk. The message as letter-groups decoded by Bletchley Park reads "steue rejta nafjo rdjan stand ortqu aaacc cvier neunn eunzw ofahr tzwon ulsmx xscha rnhor sthco", which re-spaced and translated reads "Am steering for Tannafjord. Position is square AC 4992. Speed 20 knots. Scharnhorst".


Figure 5: Intercepted encrypted Hellschreiber messages

(source: (left image) Fig. 1 in ref. 2 and ref.3, Fig. 159 in 4 (right) ref. )

The Feld-Hell telegram below is dated 1 February 1942. It is a telegram from the Heersegruppe Mitte (Army Group - Center) that fought on the eastern front (Soviet Union). The telegram is a notification that the Führer has awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross to colonel Karl Hermann Arndt (1892-1981). At the time, Arndt was Commander of the 511th Infantry-Regiment (through 10 January 1943). He later became Generalleutnant (lieutenant-general) and was also awarded the "Oak Leaves".


Figure 6: Message of 31 January 1942

(source: courtesy Chris Van Kerckhoven; used with permission)


Figure 7: Transcript of the telegram in Figure 5

Italy signed an armistice with the Allied forces on 3 September 1943 (published 5 days later). General Antonio Gandin and his Acqui Division of the 7th Army, were located on Kefalonia island on the west side of Greece. He was instructed by the Italian High Command to not attack the Germans unless attacked by them. On September 11, he was instructed to consider the German troops as hostile. He refused to surrender to, and cooperate with the Germans. During the morning of September 15, the Luftwaffe began to bomb the Italian positions on Kefalonia with Stuka (Sturzkampflugzeuge) dive bombers - as witnessed by the telegram below:

"situation at 16:00 hours - fighting continues, several Stukas fought off by our artillery".

On 21 Sept 1943, the Acqui Division was decimated by the German troops, esp. by the notorious Gebirgsjäger Regiment, who had been ordered to not take any prisoners. During the fighting, over 1200 Italian troops were killed. Some 5000 were killed off after their surrender. This event is referred to as the Acqui Massacre or the Cephallonia Massacre. On September 24, General Gandin and his staff were executed by the Germans.


Figure 8: Telegram from General Gandin of 15 September 1943

(source: courtesy Ferruccio Parri Archives of the Istituto Nazionale per la Storia del Movimento di Liberazione in Italia (INSMLI), Milan, Italy; used with permission)

The Feld-Hell telegram below is dated 13 November 1943. It is a telegram from Generalfeldmarschall Erich von Manstein of the Heersegruppe Süd (Army Group - South) to congratulate Corporal Günther Bartsch with being awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. Bartsch belonged to Nr. 2 Company, 110 Panzergrenadier Regiment, 11th Panzer Division, 47 Army Corps, 8th Army (1st Panzer Army), Army Group South.


Figure 9: Telegram to Sgt. Bartsch, congratulating him with award of Knight's Cross medal

(source: ref. 5)


Figure 10: Transcript of the telegram in Figure 9

The Feld-Hell Fernschreiben (telegram) was sent on 31 January 1944 by General Wenck to Major-General Wisch, congratulating the latter with his promotion. General Wenck was Chief of Staff of the 1st Panzer Army and youngest general in the German Army during WWII; Major-General Wisch was Commander of the 1st SS Division LSAH.


Figure 11: 1944 Hell-telegram from Gen. Wenck to Major-General Wisch

(source: courtesy M. Lippl; used with permission)


Figure 12: Transcript of the telegram in Figure 10

The Feld-Hell telegram below is dated 15 May 1944. It is a telegram from Generaloberst (colonel-general) Georg Lindemann of the Heersegruppe Nord (Army Group - North) to congratulate Major Rudolf Alstadt with being awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (nr. 3118). Alstadt belonged to 1st Battalion, 380 Grenadier Regiment, 215 Infantry Division, 28 Army Corps, 18th Army, Army Group - North.


Figure 13: Telegram of 15 May 1944

(source: ref. 5)


Figure 14: Transcript of the telegram in Figure 12

The Feld-Hell telegram below is dated 12 July 1944. It is a telegram prepared at 22:50 and sent the next day at 12:31 by station HORX to station HEHXB of the 9th Army/Army High Command (9. Armee/Armeeoberkommando, AOK 9). Starting 5 July 1944, this Army was involved in Operation Citadel ("Unternehmen Zitadelle") - the Wehrmacht's third and final summer offensive in the Soviet Union. The offensive was called off by A. Hitler on 12 July 1944, ending the largest tank battle in history. The telegram lists the current strength of the headquartres battalion (officers, non-commissioned officers (NCOs), enlisted men, officials) and equipment (firearms, Flak cannons, field kitchens, cars, trucks (lorries), motorcycles, horses, horse-drawn carts).


Figure 15: Telegram of 12 July 1944

(A full-resolution pdf of these two pages is here)


Figure 16: Transcript of the telegram in Figure 14

Below is a transcribed telegram of 15 September 1944, from the headquarters (Gen. Kdo.) of the 88th Army Corps, during the eastward retreat in Belgium. Part of the Hellschreiber telegram is attached.


Figure 17: Transcribed telegram of 15 September 1944

(source: ref. 7)

The Feld-Hell telegram below is dated 19 October 1944. It is a telegram from the Führer (FRR) A. Hitler (or from his office, on his behalf) to Friedrich August Freiherr von der Heydte (1907-1944), awarding the latter the Oak Leaves to his Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. The award date is 30 September 1944. The Knight's Cross was the highest award for recognition of extreme bravery or leadership on the battle field. In total, only 900 "Oak Leaves" were awarded.


Figure 18: Telegram of 19 October 1944

(source: courtesy Chris Van Kerckhoven; used with permission)


Figure 19: Transcript of the telegram in Figure 17

This Hell-telegram (like the preceding one) was sent by the "Fernschreibstelle" (teleprinter terminal) with the identifier H0WXD, and received/printed by terminal HFAXD. A Feld-Hell machine with the HFAXD identifier has survived to this day:


Figure 20: Feld-Hell machine with callsign HFAXD

(original unedited photo: courtesy M. Schuk in the USA; used with permission)

The Feld-Hell telegram below is dated 11 December 1944. The telegram is classified as "SSD Geheim", i.e., "urgent message, secret". It was prepared at noon and sent at 13:00 to station HACXL. The short telegram is about the briefing of Maj. Luedke at the staff of Infantry General Johannes Block. It is signed by Maj. Muntau and Maj. Rikowski.


Figure 21: Transcript of 11 December 1944

(A full-resolution pdf of this telegram is here)


Figure 22: Transcript of the telegram in Figure 21

The Feld-Hell telegram below is dated 22 March 1945. It is a telegram from Generaloberst Kurt Student to congratulate Hauptmann (Captain) Eduard Georg Hübner with being awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 17 March 1945. Hübner was Captain and Commander of the Stormbattalion of the Paratrooper Army, 116 Panzer Division, 47 Panzer Corps, 1 Paratrooper Army, Army Group H.


Figure 23: Telegram of 23 March 1945

(source: ref. 6)


Figure 24: Transcript of the telegram in Figure 23

In September of 2019, I stumbled upon the large on-line archives of the German-Russian Project for Digitization of German Documents in Archives of the Russian Federation. In the WW2 section, I found 42 Feld-Hell telegram pages, from 1941, 1942, and 1944 (ref. 9A-9F):


Figure 25: Several Hell telegrams of the Heeresgruppe B/Mitte - October of 1941

(source: ref. 9A - click here to get see a pdf with full size images)


Figure 26: A Hell telegram of Heeresgruppe Mitte - September of 1941

(source: ref. 9B - click here to get see a pdf with full size images)


Figure 287: Eleven Hell telegrams of Heersegruppe B/Mitte January-May 1942

(source: ref. 9C - click here to get see a pdf with full size images)


Figure 28: Hell telegram of the 6th Army Corps - November 1944

(source: ref. 9D - click here to get see a pdf with full size images)


Figure 29: Two Hell telegrams - August-September 1944

(source: ref. 9E - click here to get see a pdf with full size images)


Figure 30: Seven Hell telegrams of Armeegruppe Fretter-Pico - November 1944

(source: ref. 9F - click here to get see a pdf with full size images)

NOTE: references 9G-G7 and 10A-10J contain another 400+ Feld-Hell telegram pages of the German army.


External links last checked: March 2016 unless stated otherwise.

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