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Abteilung (abbrv. Abt) is a German word that is often used for German or Swiss military formations, and depending on its usage could mean detachment, department, or battalion. It is not uncommon for it to be used in Germans in a more civilian fashion to mean "office department".
During the Second World War, the term abteilung generally meant "battalion" and was used for battalion-size formations in the armoured, cavalry, reconnaissance, and artillery arms of the Wehrmacht and Waffen SS. For example schwere panzerabteilung translates to "heavy tank battalion". But when the term was used for large military formations, it generally meant "detachment". For example armee abteilung translates to "army detachment" and korps abteilung to "corps detachment".
- Walter Dunn, Kursk: Hitler's Gamble, 1943, 1997, p. 61.