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Acceleration in Promotions of Army Officers (Germans).
A recent study of changes in the commissioned personnel of the Reichswehr following a period of over nine years May 1930 to August 1939 - indicates a rapid acceleration upward. At the beginning of this period there were 42 generaIs. In August 1939 two were listed as army commanders, five as unassigned and 35 as deceased or retired. Likewise, of 106 colonels, two had become army commanders, seven corps commanders, one a general of the air service, five division commanders, three brigade commanders and 88 deceased or retired.
Of 192 lieutenant colonels, one had become an army commander, 25 corps commanders, two generals of the air service, 25 division commanders, one a commander of an air division, 12 brigade commanders, one a commander of an air brigade, five colonels and 120 deceased or retired. Of 378 majors, three had become corps commanders, seven generals of the air service, 31 division commanders, eight commanders of air divisions, 139 brigade commanders, 16 commanders of air brigades, 67 colonels, one a colonel of the air service and 106 deceased or retired.
Of 1100 captains, 13 had become brigade commanders, 15 commanders of air brigades, 400 colonels, 40 colonels of the air service, 450 lieutenant colonels, 40 lieutenant colonels of the air service and 142 deceased or retired. Of 1300 First lieutenants ten had become colonels of the air service, the others lieutenant colonels or majors. Of 600 second lieutenants all had become majors or captains.
Now, the great expansion of the Offiziers Korps during the rearmament program destroyed its homogeneity and turned a potential source of opposition in a servile instrument for AH to carry out its aggressive plans in Europe. By 1939 the body was made up of four groups (more or less overlapped between them) the opposition, the fervent Nazis (these two groups smaller), the opportunists (they saw the expansion as an opportunity to progress, promotions or for testing new weapons/equipment ) and the silent majority (adhering to the party rather than believe in the ideology; these officers obeyed because did not want to suffer the penalties and punishments for disobedience).
A Major attached to the General Staff told his comrades the day AH sent the troops through Berlin (September 27, 1938): the real crisis will not be long in coming now. A rift has opened between a handful of officers of the old army on one side and the vast horde of newcomers on the other.
Sources: Disobedience and Conspiracy in the German Army, 1918-1945. Robert B. Kane
Military News Around the World. RML Nº 77. June 1940.
Any ideas, thoughts? Cheers. Raúl M
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.