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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. In German it is used both for military and civilian departments (as in "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, Armeeabteilung translates to "army detachment" and Korpsabteilung to "corps detachment".
- Walter Dunn, Kursk: Hitler's Gamble, 1943, 1997, p. 61.