Rhineland Occupation

German campaigns and battles 1919-1945.

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Jason Pipes
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Rhineland Occupation

Post by Jason Pipes » Wed May 16, 2007 2:20 pm

This topic was posted on once a long time back but was accidently deleted along the way, so here it is again. Post anything of value you think might help!

Which units took part in the occupation of the Rhineland in 1936?

So far I have the following. I'd like confirmation and any additional units if known. Even better would be which routes the units took.

IR 17: 19. Infanteriedivision
IR 38: 19. Infanteriedivision
IR 39: 16. Infanteriedivision

Some additional info on occupation units:

Benoist-Mechin. Histoire de L'Armee Allemande, 1919-1936. Paris: Michel, 1938, states "30,000 men (19 battalions & 13 batteries) were used." (pp. 643-644)

Churchill, Winston S. The Gathering Storm. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1948, states "35,--- Ger troops crossing the boundary." (p. 192)

International Military Tribunal. Trial of the Major War Criminals.... Vl15. Nuremberg, Ger, 1948, Alfred Jodl testified that "...3 battalions of a division actually crossed the Rhine, entering Aachen, Trier, and Saarbrucken." (p. 352)

O'Neill, Robert J. The German Army and the Nazi Party, 1933-39. NY: Hineman, 1966, states "Blomberg issued directive for operation "Winter Exercise" on 2 Mar for 7 Mar action. Only three battalions crossed Rhine, but at noon on 7 Mar the Landespolizei of the DMZ became four divisions of German infantry. The French estimate 265, 000 Germans troops poured into the Rhineland, suggesting Hitler's deception had indeed succeeded." (p. 129)

Interesting to note in all these are the differing reports of troops sizes. Three divisions and three battalions. Seems to me three regiments is more like it, or even more likely three battalions, each from one of those regiments! That gives an answer to why one would suggest "three divisions" as each unit was from a different division (or could be). Secondly, I doubt Jodl would get the actual unit sizes wrong in his comments above.

Regarding the Luftwaffe, from Milch himself (as written by David Irving).

"In all Germany, as Milch knew, there were only three fighter squadrons, and since the eastern frontier could not be left denuded only one of these could be spared for the west; this was divided between airfields at Cologne and Düsseldorf, and a dive-bomber squadron was also transferred to the Rhineland that day."

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Post by Jason Pipes » Tue Jan 01, 2008 7:23 pm

Bump. Any one with some additional follow up info?

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Rhineland Occupation.

Post by tigre » Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:28 am

Hello Jason, glad to greet you. Here goes an excerpt taken from the book , Die 5. Jager-Division 1939-1945. REINICKE, ADOLF. page 15.

We had a new situation on March 07 1936; our regiment (IR 75) should carried out the task of entering the DMZ. Under the joy of the inhabitants of Freiburg, the regiment's Staff and its II. Battalion led by Oberst Richter went back into the barracks once belonging to the old Freiburger Regiment 113.

Also from http://www.christianlehwald.de/ausstell ... inder1.pdf

"Das II. Bataillon des Göttinger Infanterie Regiments aus Northeim wurde am 1.Oktober 1935 im I./ IR 38 umbenannt" and "Am 6. März 1936 wurde das Northeimer Bataillon überraschend in seinen neuen standort Trier a. d. Mosel".

With regards to the troops' size and as far as I could read in the work of Walter Görlitz - EL Estado Mayor Alemán. Tomo II. one división was chosen (it match with your point of view) to fulfil the mission but only three battalions should reach the Reich's western border line at Aachen, Trier and Saarbrücken in order to test, specially, the French reaction. Gral Beck (CoS of OKH) was told about the all thing the day before 06 March so he decided to employ only minor forces so they could retreat if the enterprise got wrong.

Hope be useful. Cheers. Tigre 8) .
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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Post by Jason Pipes » Thu Jan 03, 2008 11:42 am

Thanks for the excellent and very helpful information Tigre!! :up:

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Rhineland Occupation.

Post by tigre » Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:02 am

Hello Jason, you're welcome. Here something I could get from a local period newspaper dated on Sunday 8 March 1936.

The occupation's troops amounted to 15.000 soldiers, comprising up to 18 infantry battalions and 13 artillery units. They are establishing garrisons at Aachen, Sarrebrück, Trier, Manheim, Düsselsdorf, Mayen, Koblenz and Francfort. German troops were seen also at Andernach, Deutz and Köln.

Parade at Köln. after a militar parade held there more than 800 german troops marched past before General v. Kluge (Commanding Officer of the Münster's District). As vanguard three infantry companies, followed by wagons, carts with machineguns on it, a field kitchen, several antitank guns and a little cavalry detachment. After that a little girl gave a brunch of carnations to General v. Kluge as a presentation. (So I assume v. Kluge was in charge - VI AK Münster).

Also was mentioned that the garrison of Francfort was taken by Oberst Kurt Gallenkamp formerly commander at Giessen.

Cheers :beer: . All the best. Raúl M 8) .
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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Re: Rhineland Occupation

Post by tigre » Sat Sep 06, 2014 3:46 am

Hello to all :D; another picture.....................

Mainz, March 7, 1936!

Source: Bilder Aus Dem Leben Des Führers.

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
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image014.png
German troops crossing the Mainzer Brücke......................
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Re: Rhineland Occupation

Post by tigre » Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:15 am

Hello to all :D; something more..............

Winterübung - March 1936!

The OKW's order began: The leader and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces has ordered that the demilitarized zone be occupied by surprise. Implementation at keyword "Winter Exercise" .... For the safekeeping of the surprise in the occupation of the demilitarized zone the intention is all the queries has not directly involved and to keep secret for the troops.....

AFAIK three battalions crossed he Rhine and reached the border: II./ IR 39 to Aachen on the Belgian border, I./ IR 38 to Trier on the border with Luxemburg, and either the II./ IR 38 or II./ IR 17 to Saarbrucken along the border with France.

But I've also found that the 1./ AR 6 was in Bonn/Rhine at that time.....................

Sources: Grundkurs deutsche Militärgeschichte, Volumen 2. Editado por Karl-Volker Neugebauer.
Photo album Artillerie Regiment 6-Reiter Regiment 13 1935-37. http://www.janssen-militaria.com

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
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image035.jpg
1936. Einzug 1. AR 6 in Bonn/Rhein............................
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image039.jpg
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Re: Rhineland Occupation

Post by tigre » Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:43 pm

Hello to all :D; something more..............

Winterübung - March 1936!

On 5 February 1936, after de Opening ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games Hitler took the War Minister Field Marshal Werner von Blomberg to the side and told him that he would reoccupy the Rhineland in the coming month. Blomberg said later: "I almost fell in terror in the snow."

Hitler then commissioned von Hassell in February 1936, to ask Mussolini, as whether he would see the German response to the Franco-Soviet treaty of alliance. Von Hassell presented the question to Mussolini in an interview on February 22, 1936. The Duce confirmed "twice as properly". Thus, Hitler believed to almost have free hand from Italian side with respect to the demilitarized zone. March 2nd was the day of the crucial meeting between Hitler and his intimates. Hitler met with von Hassell, the chief of the army Werner von Fritsch, the War Minister von Blomberg, the Foreign Minister Konstantin von Neurath, Hermann Goering and Joachim von Ribbentrop, the former professional in charge of the foreign policy issues for the Nazis. Although his political and military leaders at the time tried to dissuade the Führer about of a remilitarization of the Rhineland because they believed the risk of a hostile coalition against the German Reich was to be too high, Hitler decided for the action and put March 7, 1936 as the date for carrying out the operation.

As ordered on March 7, 1936 a Saturday, the German troops marched into the demilitarized zone. The entire force that marched into the Rhineland, consisted of about 19 infantry battalions and 13 artillery battalions. But, there were 30,000 men militarily equipped of the Landespolizei already stationed there, as particularly pointed out the French Military attaché. To preserve the nature of the operation, only three weak units (battalions) advanced to Trier, Saarbrücken and Aachen.

Sources: Frankreich und die Remilitarisierung des Rheinlandes
http://docserv.uni-duesseldorf.de/servl ... 6/1286.pdf

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
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image024.jpg
A unit of the German Army marching into Cologne on the Rhine .........................
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image026.jpg
The Mayor of Cologne, Dr. Rieser, greets General von Kluge, commander of the VI AK ................
Interessante Das Blatt. 12 März 1936.
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Re: Rhineland Occupation

Post by tigre » Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:40 pm

Hello to all :D; something more...................

Winterübung - March 1936!

Sources: Frankreich und die Remilitarisierung des Rheinlandes
http://docserv.uni-duesseldorf.de/servl ... 6/1286.pdf

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
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image002.png
The DMZ.....................................
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image030.jpg
German soldiers march into the city Landau.................................
Deutsche Soldaten marschieren in die Stadt Landau ein (Quelle: picture-alliance/picture-alliance) Vor-70-Jahren_Einmarsch-ins-Rheinland_Einmarsch-deutscher-Soldaten_140.jpg
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Re: Rhineland Occupation

Post by tigre » Thu Apr 02, 2015 5:48 pm

Hello to all :D; some pictures...................

Winterübung - March 1936!

Sources: Das Interessante Blatt. 12. März 1936.

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
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image008.jpg
German troops on the bridge over the Rhine at Mainz - March 07 at 12:00 hours........................................
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image010.jpg
German troops in Koblenz ...........................
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Re: Rhineland Occupation

Post by tigre » Sun Feb 02, 2020 4:32 pm

Hello to all :D; something more..............

Winterübung - March 1936!

The German army, which was still under construction, had to be deployed for the first time. With the introduction of mandatory military service in 1935, the Wehrmacht also made preparations to register recruits in the demilitarized zone. The military replacement delegations in the area inspected until August 31, 1935, recruits from the years of 1914 and 1915. The weapons, equipment and uniforms that were already there had yet to be kept secret. The then Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant Colonel) Jodl pointed this out to the administrations involved in the mobilization preparations with the necessary precaution due to the political situation and specified that "the cover comes before the effect".

Elements of the Kasernierte Landespolizei (quartered State Police) with three inspections of Landespolizei (divisions) in Pforzheim, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt, groups (regiments), detachments (battalions) and centuries (Hundertschaften - companies) were deployed as paramilitary units in the Demilitarized Zone. After 1933 the 28 detachments were organized in infantry, technicians (sappers), signals and motorcyclists (kradeinheiten). Since the spring of 1935, the barracks, airfields and other buildings were restored or constructed according to the need of the troops to come. The French Consul General in Cologne and the French Consul in Düsseldorf regularly reported these actions to the government in Paris.

There was also other information and data in this regard, for example in October 1935 General Gamelin as Inspector General of the French Armed Forces informed the Minister of Defense that a revocation of the status of the Rhineland by Germany could be counted from the autumn 1936. At the beginning of December 1935 the French Military Attaché in Berlin reported on the progress in the demilitarized zone and the eventual cancellation of the Locarno Pact.

Sources: DER FALL „GRÜN“: 1938 - Krieg gegen die Tschechoslowakei Kindle Ausgabe von Klaus Michaelis (Autor), Rolf Michaelis (Herausgeber)

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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Re: Rhineland Occupation

Post by tigre » Sun Feb 23, 2020 7:07 pm

Hello to all :D; something more..............

Winterübung - March 1936!

Already in January 1936 the OKH had made proposals for the creation of new army units after reoccupation. They had planned the organization of the Staff of the 26. ID in Cologne, the Staff of the 33. ID in Mannheim and the Staff of the 34. ID in Mainz, as well as the transfer of the Staff of the 25. ID to the territory of the Demilitarized Zone. The State Police Inspections (Landespolizeiinspektionen) West, Southwest and South should, after reoccupation, be integrated under the command of the Commander in Chief of the Army (OKH) and von Blomberg in their directives specified that they should organize three Infantry division commands. The construction of barracks and airfields and these organizational considerations show that a large number of OKH and RLM employees participated in the preparation.

Apparently AH had decided to reoccupy it on February 12, 1936. On March 2, 1936, he declared internally that "the commitments made in the Locarno Treaty, in relation to articles 42 and 43 of the Treaty of Versailles on the demilitarized zone, had expired". However, on March 5, 1936, AH asked the Reich War Ministry about how long would take to stop military movements. This demonstrates the uncertainty of AH regarding the possible reactions of Western powers.

To support the termination of the Locarno Treaty and for propaganda purposes, he offered several proposals at the parliamentary meeting on March 7, all of which were not realistic. He offered France a non-aggression pact and a demilitarized zone on both sides of the border, which would have knocked out the Maginot line. An Air Pact should limit the air forces of the Locarno Pact countries. In view of the weak German Air Force, only the Allies would have to disarm. And finally he declared his will to join the League of Nations immediately, although he had already entrusted Ambassador von Hassell in January that he had no intention of returning to the League of Nations. This point also shows the political amorality of AH.

Sources: DER FALL „GRÜN“: 1938 - Krieg gegen die Tschechoslowakei Kindle Ausgabe von Klaus Michaelis (Autor), Rolf Michaelis (Herausgeber)

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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Re: Rhineland Occupation

Post by tigre » Sun Mar 15, 2020 3:54 am

Hello to all :D; something more..............

Winterübung - March 1936!

Following directives of the Oberbefelshabers der Whermacht (Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces) on March 7, 1936, troops of the V., VI. and IX. Armeekorps with 19 infantry battalions and 11 artillery groups totaling 22,000 men marched into the Rhineland. This displacement required the support of 90 trains. In the operation the Infantry Regiments 36, 38, 39, 75 and 87 were engaged, which had been organized in the period 1934/35. Similarly, artillery groups - except Artillery Regiments 5 and 7 - were organized in 1934/35. The discrepancy between the disproportionate forces between the two branchs was due to the state police units (Landespolizei) that already existed in the Rhineland, which would be used to increase the infantry, sapper, communications and anti-tank units. Therefore, only artillery units had to be supplied disproportionately.

The French Military Attaché in Berlin, on the other hand, had informed Paris, due to the report received from the French Consul General in Düsseldorf, that a surprising invasion was taking place in which three armored divisions were taking part. In fact, no armored unit took part in the reoccupation of the Rhineland.

The mass of the units was moved to the prepared places on the left bank of the Rhine. Three battalions moved to the cities of Aachen, Trier and Saarbrücken, near the western border. According to Hossbach, the Reich War Minister von Blomberg had lost his nerve in the critical days after the invasion and repeatedly ordered the withdrawal of those battalions, which was denied by AH. Perhaps this was the reason why the German forces were ordered to withdraw before any countermeasures taken by the French. But the OKH had ordered the three advanced battalions to face the eventual case to "stop the advance of the enemy." The deployment and combat instructions for 1935/36 established a defensive attitude with three armies and 13 divisions for the western border. Three of which had to be organized in Rhineland (Infantry Divisions 25., 33. and 34.) with the units that carried out the reoccupation and elements of the state police (Landespolizei).

Image
Reoccupation of the Rhineland in March 1936.......................................
https://www.you-books.com/storebooks/G/ ... tte/_9.jpg

Sources: DER FALL „GRÜN“: 1938 - Krieg gegen die Tschechoslowakei Kindle Ausgabe von Klaus Michaelis (Autor), Rolf Michaelis (Herausgeber)

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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Re: Rhineland Occupation

Post by tigre » Sun Mar 29, 2020 10:19 am

Hello to all :D; something more..............

Winterübung - March 1936!

Following the thread, the deployment and combat instructions for 1935/36 established a defensive attitude with three armies and 13 divisions for the western border. The main effort (Schwerpunkt) was in the south with more than half of the forces engaged in the deployment plan according to the following scheme:

Abschnittskommando Nord (AOK E) with the HQ in Hagen and the 16. ID and 26. ID.

Abschnittskommando Mitte (AOK C) with the HQ in Bad Nauheim with the IX. AK and 9. ID, 19. ID and 34. ID.

Abschnittskommando Süd (AOK D) with the HQ in Winnenden and the IV. AK with 13. ID and 33. ID; V. AK with 7. ID, 15. ID and 25. ID; in addition to VII. AK with 5. ID and 17. ID.

As an army reserve, the 14th ID was kept available.

The Luftwaffe was in 1935 in its first phase of organization and had planned at the beginning of the year 1936 to organize the following forces:

7 Kampfgruppen (bomber groups)
1 Sturzkampfgruppe (dive bomber group)
2 Jagdgruppen (fighter groups)
13 Aufklärungsstaffeln (reconnaissance squadrons)
6 Seestaffeln (seaplane squadrons)

The preference of the bombers as an offensive weapon is clearly observed. However, the first-line aircraft of that branch did not comply at all with the requirements of modern air warfare. In a report of the German air conduction it was established that "German air armament, as assumed in the game after 1.4.36, is completely inappropriate."

Image
In February 1936 the Luftwaffe received thirteen Ju 86A-0 for evaluation...............
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/proxy ... 6VyfnKEW-1

Sources: DER FALL „GRÜN“: 1938 - Krieg gegen die Tschechoslowakei Kindle Ausgabe von Klaus Michaelis (Autor), Rolf Michaelis (Herausgeber)

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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