Were German troops in the Saarland on 1 March 1935?

German Freikorps, Reichsheer and Reichsmarine 1919-1934.

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Postby Loïc B. » Wed May 24, 2006 11:03 pm

sid guttridge wrote:Aachen on the Belgian border: II/39 Infantry Battalion.
Trier on the Luxemburg border: I/38 Infantry Battalion.
Saarbrucken on the French border: II/38 Infantry Battalion or II/17 Infantry Battalion.


Very interesting Sid!
Thanks for sharing this with us!

It's weird though, because I believed that a batallion of each of the Wehrkreise V, VI and IX participated to the action. Infanterie Regiment 38 wasn't part of these military areas, was it ?

All the best,

Loïc
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Postby sid guttridge » Thu May 25, 2006 2:25 am

Hi Loic,

From memory, I think that IR38 was probably from one of these wehrkreise. I will check.

However, it should be noted that the German mobilisation for the remilitarisation of the Rhineland was far more extensive than just these three wehrkreise. I have a copy of a document from early March 1936 that shows planned divisional deployments behind the southern Rhine from all the southern wehrkreise. Unfortunately I do not know to what extent these deployments actually occurred and I have no similar documents for the northern two-thirds of German deployments.

The Rhineland reoccupation seems to have involved a national mobilisation of most of the active army behind the Rhine (the Rhine being in the middle of the demilitarised zone). The plan was to defend the Rhine if the French counter-moved into the western half of the zone. However, this does not seem to be covered in the existing literature. (Although you do get just a hint of it in Guderian's memoirs).

It is worth pointing out that specifics of French deployments at the time do not seem to be easily available, either.

Cheers,

Sid.
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Postby Loïc B. » Thu May 25, 2006 4:20 am

Sid,

I only found IR 38 in 1936, when it joined the newly raised 28. Infanterie Division (Wehrkreis VIII). That's why I think it was not a Wehrkreise V, VI or IX regiment.

All the best,

Loïc
Last edited by Loïc B. on Thu May 25, 2006 7:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby sid guttridge » Thu May 25, 2006 4:38 am

Hi Loic,

The answer will lie in "Formationsgeschichte der Wehrmacht 1933-39 by Georg Tessin (1959).

However, it seems circumstantially likely that IR38 existed from before the remilitarisation of the Rhineland. Presumably the old Reichwehr's seven infantry divisions had infantry regiments numbered 1-21. I suspect that IR38 dates from the first expansion of the army from 7 to 21 infantry divisions, which I guess required infantry regiments numbered 1-63.

Cheers,

Sid.
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Postby Loïc B. » Thu May 25, 2006 7:40 am

Sid,

I agree with you on the main point : Infanterie Regiment 38 was created before April 1936. The only thing I disagree with is that at this time (October 1934-October 1935) the (codenamed) German divisions had only two infantry regiments (so they were numbered from 1 to 42). A third regiment appeared after October 1935 only, if I'm not mistaken.

At this time, there wasn't 28. Infanterie Division, so it would be interesting to know what was IR 38 subordination before April 1936.

According to the logical numbering of Wehrkreis I divisions (1., 11. and 21. Infanterie Divisionen with regiments 1 and 22, 2 and 23, 3 and 24), 16. Infanterie Division had an Infanterie Regiment 38 at this time (see under). It would be coherent with the information concerning Wehrkreis VI. But I'm not sure at all, it could be 6. Infanterie Division instead of 16....

Logical numbering between October 1934 and October 1935 :
- 21 infantry divisions.
- two infantry regiments per division.

According to the logical numbering of Wehrkreis I, we should have the following on October 1934 :
1. Infanterie Division : Infanterie Regimenter 1 and 22 (WK I).
2. : IR 4 and 25 (WK II).
3. : IR 7 and 28 (WK III).
4. : IR 10 and 31 (WK IV).
5. : IR 13 and 34 (WK V).
6. : IR 16 and 37 (WK VI).
7. : IR 19 and 40 (WK VII).
8. : IR 9 and 30 (WK VIII, from WK III).
9. : IR 12 and 33 (WK IX, from WK IV and V).
10. : IR 20 and 41 (WK VII).
11. : IR 2 and 23 (WK I).
12. : IR 5 and 26 (WK II).
13. : IR 8 and 29 (WK III).
14. : IR 11 and 32 (WK IV).
15. : IR 14 and 35 (WK V).
16. : IR 17 and 38 (WK VI).
17. : IR 21 and 42 (WK VII).
18. : IR 18 and 39 (WK VIII, from WK III).
19. : IR 15 and 36 (WK IX, from WK IV and V).
20. : IR 6 and 27 (WK II).
21. : IR 3 and 24 (WK I).

N.B. : this is highly hypothetical and probably almost completely wrong*. For instance, instead of IR 4, 2. Infanterie Division had IR 5 that I gave to 12. Infanterie Division and IR 8 and 29 weren't under 13. Infanterie Division command, but under 3. Infanterie Division one. This became more and more complex with the addition of new Wehrkreise (WK VIII and IX).
Just a try...

All the best,

Loïc

* Actually, the only sure are the following :
1. : IR 1 and 22 (WK I).
2. : IR 5 and 25 (WK II).
3. : IR 8 and 29 (WK III).
4. : IR 10 (WK IV).
5. : IR 14 (WK V).
6. : IR 18 and 37 (WK VI).
7. : IR 19 (WK VII).
8. : IR 28 and 38 (WK VIII, from WK III).
9. : IR 36 (WK IX, from WK IV and V).
10. : IR 20 and 41 (WK VII).
11. : IR 2 and 23 (WK I).
12. : IR 27 (WK II).
13. : IR 33 (WK III).
14. : IR 11 (WK IV).
15. : ? (WK V).
16. : IR 39 (WK VI).
17. : IR 21 (WK VII).
18. : IR 30 (WK VIII, from WK III).
19. : ? (WK IX, from WK IV and V).
20. : ? (WK II).
21. : IR 3 and 24 (WK I).

I don't know for the others (IR 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 12, 13, 15, 17, 26, 31, 32, 34, 35, 40, 42).
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Postby sid guttridge » Fri May 26, 2006 1:51 am

Hi Loic,

Looking through my notes, it seems that, before the remilitarisation of the Rhineland, IR38 was part of 19th Infantry Division of WKIX. (The source was almost certainly the Tessin book mentioned above.)

Cheers,

Sid
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