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Posted 01 March 2012 - 10:32 am
Posted 01 March 2012 - 03:30 pm
Posted 02 March 2012 - 09:44 pm
Can any one tell me what was the size of the professional , standing, army of the Germany Empire (Prussia and the Kingdoms and Sates) in 1914. I know how many troops could be mobilised etc and the reserves etc but I would like to know the size of the core- the professionals who each year took the males identified for military service and trained them. Plenty of sources give the number of troops on mobilisation though there are lots of varied estimates. Presumably each regiment in the army list had a peace time professional establishment to which the call up men were added and through which they were rotated.
Thanks in anticipation for your help
Posted 03 March 2012 - 12:22 am
Posted 03 March 2012 - 12:27 am
Presumably each regiment in the army list had a peace time professional establishment to which the call up men were added and through which they were rotated.
Posted 03 March 2012 - 12:40 am
Posted 03 March 2012 - 01:32 am
Posted 03 March 2012 - 10:21 am
Posted 03 March 2012 - 01:33 pm
Sorry to jump into the middle of your topic but it made me curious, if there were four major armies of each kingdom, what was the oath each recruit took? was it to the king of the recruit's particular kingdom and the Kaiser or was the Kaiser only involved in the Prussian oath
Posted 03 March 2012 - 01:43 pm
Not a definitive answer, but a couple of points in reply. The first thing to note is that there never was an Imperial German Army: Navy yes; Army no. Instead it was made up of contingents, each of which retained its own chain of command. Of the 25 peace time corps, 19 were Prussian, 3 were Bavarian, two were Saxon and one (XIII) came from Wurttemberg. To understand the nuts and bolts of the organisation, I suggest that you obtain from Joe Rookery, who is on the Forum, a copy of his book: Handbook of Imperial Germany.
However, to start you off, here are a few overall figures relating to the collective armies in 1913:
Veterinary officers: 821
Skilled tradesmen (armourers, saddlers etc): 1,191
OR: 540,750 (Including 6,548 musicians, drummers etc)
Posted 03 March 2012 - 01:50 pm
True but it did not work exactly the way most people think of it. Let me start off with saying thank you to Jack as anything he says always carries much weight. This was not a matter of having a cadre that people rotated into. Rather it was a system designed to expand very rapidly.
In general the 4 specific armies were on a 2 year service commitment for foot troops. That means that half of the soldiers on active duty had completed year 1 and were well on their way to completing the year 2 in October, when the war broke out in August. So half of the soldiers on active duty were in year 2. Half of the soldiers on active duty were in year one. Based on a fairly standard training calendar an individual recruit would go through those 2 years and be trained at various levels by a cadre. The authorization of soldiers and leaders is best specified in detail in the book:
Friedag, B. (1914). Fuhrer durch Heer und Flotte 1914. Krefeld, Germany: Prussian Kriegminister.
Now the percentages that Bob alluded to really come into being.
Active Units : 54 percent active duty soldiers
46 percent reserve soldiers.
Reserve Units: 1 percent active duty soldiers
44 percent reserve soldiers.
55 percent Landwehr soldiers from the 1st Ban
Landwehr Units: 62 percent Landwehr soldiers from the 1st Ban
38 percent Landwehr from the 2nd Ban
Stepping back from it for just a minute you can see that units were about half full. Of that half-full half of those over one quarter were 2nd year recruits and the other quarter were first-year recruits who had only gone through the summer training cycle. Reserve units and Landwehr did not exist in peacetime. Suddenly there was this massive expansion that stretched the "cadre" as well as the individual soldiers. As Jack has broken down there were about 700,000 authorized peacetime soldiers. Upon mobilization, that number grew to three million. By January 1915, the German army had 4,357,000 men of whom 2,618,000 were in the field. Those astounding numbers existed despite the enormous losses of 1914.
We really started digging when Terence Zuber wrote his books on the frontier and Mons. While we have had some significant umbrage with his training characterization you can see from this little example that the unit you went to war with was not the unit that you trained with.
It was really nice meeting you in Baltimore but our talk was way too short to even touch on this subject. We are working on a new book which is greatly expanded and talks about training and doctrine in what we see as far better detail and lacking the slant of current publications. However, despite the fact that it is substantially completed, after our recent meeting with our publisher I'm not so sure we will continue on with that publisher.
Have you ever considered the logistical nightmare associated with providing a sanitary environment around so many horses? Staggering!
Posted 03 March 2012 - 03:23 pm
Posted 03 March 2012 - 04:31 pm
Posted 03 March 2012 - 11:05 pm
Where did the NCOs come from? Promising intake who then signed on to become regulars instead of moving into the reserve?
Posted 04 March 2012 - 07:31 am
Even to this day, though the area to the north of Bavaria is not allowed to be called Prussia officially.
However, the Bavarians, being Bavarian and viscerally anti-Prussian...
Posted 04 March 2012 - 08:19 am
Posted 04 March 2012 - 10:34 pm
As a general rule of thumb, the figures as quoted by Jack for the officers, NCOS, Medical Officers, Veterinary Officers and paymasters should all be considered as the regular full time professional cadre of the individual contingents. The vast majority of the ORs were conscripts who served their two years with the colours before being discharged to the reserve although a smallish percentage did re-enlist (Kapitulanten) for futher periods of service. NCOs generally were found from the graduates of NCO schools and re-enlisted soldiers and typically served for a period of twelve years although not exclusivley so. Some Senior NCOs served for many years in excess of twelve years, especially those in specialist appointments such as Bandmasters, Ordnance NCOs, Ammunition Technical NCOs, Paymaster Aspirants etc.
Posted 04 March 2012 - 11:49 pm
There were two separate court systems: the civil courts (controlled by the Minister of Justice, who was responsive to the Reichstag), and the honor court (influenced by the Minister of War and made up of officers of the regiment).
Military officers, according to the army, were supposed to take their grievances to an honor court when the two antagonists were of honorable status. The decision of the honor court made up of other officers was binding and took precedence over any decision in a civil court. The regiment annually elected the honor court and it consisted of a captain and two lower ranking officers. The constitutional thought was that military officers were not liable to the Minister of Justice and the civil courts, but rather would work out their issues in an honor court. Officers were duty bound to shake hands and try to solve the disagreement. If that did not work, the honor court would try to settle the dispute nonviolently. The final option to restore one's honor was a duel. Officers subject to the code of honor were expected to duel. An unwillingness to duel would show unreliability. In general, anyone refusing to duel would be drummed out of the army. This recourse was used widely. Being drummed out of the Army was very bad. The disgraced officer was not simply removed from the officer corps, but excluded from the officer caste (Offizierstand). The individual was almost a non-person, forfeiting his pension and the right to wear a uniform. He also could not use his old title and rank. There really was no way to redeem yourself until the actual casualties of the 1st world war provided an excuse for officials to look the other way. Decisions by the honor court were final, subject to the approval of the Kaiser.
The issue was convoluted as duels were not only illegal, but were also officially quasi-discouraged by a cabinet ordinance from the Kaiser issued 1 January 1897. History shows that regular officers wounded in duels received pensions. Reserve officers dueled much more commonly than regular officers in an attempt to mimic their respected active brothers. Some officers viewed one-year volunteers as not worthy of a duel. Preference for dueling was given to those who were members of dueling fraternities. By dueling, one could prove one's worth.
Posted 05 March 2012 - 06:04 am
Posted 05 March 2012 - 10:52 am
Posted 05 March 2012 - 11:40 am
Posted 05 March 2012 - 02:05 pm
Though presumably Joe, we are talking about duelling with 'heavy' swords held above the head and with arm guards and semi-protective face masks which left only the cheeks exposed? - rather than pistols?
This book written in 1902-3, was banned in Germany , and the author found himself the object of courts martial. . The book was banned as it "libeled superior officers." True, but was generally admitted to be common course by the Minister of War after the trial. The maladies pointed out generally follow what I have learned of Prussian Officers. The author, Lt Bilse, detailed what he saw as horrible problems in a society of the elite officers in a remote garrison in Alsace-Lorraine.
The issues uncovered in "fiction" were:
A regimental commander (Similar to a modern US Battalion commander.) who made what Bilse considered unreasonable decisions.
A regimental commander who was blackmailed under the sway of a subordinate’s dominant wife.
Unfaithful wives and officers.
Officers in horrible debt.
An officer who lied leading to the undeserved punishment of an OR.
Abusive treatment of an OR.
A senior NCO who lied leading to the trial and dismissal of another NCO.
A Senior NCO "on the take".
An officer who deserted and ran away with another officer's wife.
#1 - 3 are fairly standard complaints. Juniors frequently despise and judge seniors (right and wrong) and marital infidelity exists in all parts of society. (Janet would cut my ears off though). What is not standard is that Prussians were expected to duel to avenge their
honor. Dueling had been outlawed by the Kaiser (in an effort to keep up numbers in a chronically short officer’s corps). If you did duel you would be sentenced to fortress arrest for a couple months as it was illegal. If you chose not to duel you would be found a coward by a regimental court of honor and drummed out of the service for conduct unbecoming. Fortress arrest was always for choice. You had no choice but to duel if you wanted to stay in the army. The book relates a sad story of a captain whose wife ran away after a torrid affair with a lieutenant. The captain was obliged to challenge the lieutenant to a duel to defend the honor of his now missing wife. During the duel the captain was horribly wounded and had to be medically pensioned. So he lost wife, family, income, health and job. Once again the unhappy couple picture that dominate German marriages come to light.
Posted 05 March 2012 - 02:11 pm