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The year olds within this category were classified as Landsturm 1st Ban for "volunteer" purposes, home defense, or, as in time of war, to fill active duty needs, and, in peacetime, were only required to register.
Crown Prince Wilhelm of Prussia commented in his memoirs that while commanding the 2nd Company of the 1st Garde Regiment of Foot in , a number of his soldiers were the fourth successive generation to serve in the 2nd Company of that regiment. Rejected men, which ran no more than 5 or 6 per cent, were liable for no service. This group would comprise those who would fill the ranks quickly in time of war.
In peacetime, it often was applied o Depot raised troops. Before that time, the figure was higher, however, when war was declared, many men joined early.
Men are not released until age All of the class was sent to the front after months training, giving the organizations in the field much needed replacements and new reserve formations Reserve Divisions , and the 8th Bavarian.
Part of this class received only 3 months training.
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The September group was in the front by January, , with the remainder completely used by July, , due to heavy losses at the front. Most of these troops went to the somewhat quiet Eastern Russian front in order to release veterans to the Western front to replace the Fall, losses. Since February, , recruits, after a month training session, were sent to field recruit depots behind the front lines for additional or specialized training.
The average size of these units were about 1 battalion per Division, or about men. Unfortunately, it was not always possible to send the newly graduated recruits to companion units, so many of them became distributed throughout the army as they left the recruit depot. The tallest men were assigned to the 1st, 5th, and 9th companies of each regiment, the shortest to the last company in each Battalion, the 4th, 8th, and 12th.
Bunks were wooden doubled decked, with straw mattresses. Special approval had to be granted by the Kaiser for any foreign officer to enter the compound. Heat was provided by steam, or individual stoves of tile or cast iron. The light supper meal was tea, coffee, or chocolate and bread. Soup was served on occasions. The subsistence was meager, but it taught the soldier frugality and endurance which would prove useful in the front.
The soldier was expected to add to his meal from his own pocket, particularly breakfast and supper. The training lieutenants arrived at and the Sgt. The company commander handed out punishments, made decisions of leaves, etc. By the first week of February, the unit was ready for inspection by the commanding officer, who judged their proficiency and assigned those who passed the test to a permanent position within the company. The famous "Kaisermaneuvers", or yearly mock engagements to which many foreign heads of states and other dignitaries were invited, involved 3 or 4 designated Army Corps.
There were also individual shooting "cords" to be won for marksmanship within each regiment. After these maneuvers, the units returned to garrison, those due for discharge were released, and new recruits inducted.
Bavaria survived intact due to its close friendly ties with France, with whom Prussia was on good terms at that time and that careful balance could not be upset quite yet until the Franco -Prussian war of These sections were attached as required to the infantry regiments, and in many cases were immediately absorbed to create a 2nd machine gun company per regiment, so that by the end of , several regiments had two machine gun companies.
During the winter of , after initial successes of the machine gun on the battlefield, a new "Machine Gun Marksman Sections" MGSS were organized and trained to fully exploit the full potential of that weapon.
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They proudly wore on their left sleeve a metal badge of an MG08 heavy machine gun surrounded by a belt of cartridges. Weight of entire gun assembled was pounds with 7 pints of water. K for use against tanks, loophole plates and tracer L. Long out of print, my copy is worn and falling apart from use. If you can obtain a copy - do so. His information in the beginning of the book is the best I have encountered on understanding the German soldier prior to WWI.
I have told him this in person. Do not be fooled, the book covers more than just "German Steins" and I use it at least once a week for quick German Unit reference material.
Anyway, here it is agin for the readers enjoyment. I just do not have time to fine tune it. It was their last chance for an all out Spring offensive in , hopefully before the American contingents could be of any real use to the Allies.
By October , the success of the operation was such that General Ludendorf ordered all German armies to train and maintain a battalion of storm troops. Their tactics included a wide use of grenades, requiring them to carry a large supply onto the field, usually in special double "grenade" bags made of burlap sand bags slung under around the neck and under each arm. Uniforms were re-enforced with leather patches at spots most likely to wear while maneuvering on the field.
Use of the Granatenwerfer light bomb thrower and cup launchers could prepare an area for assault or pin down an enemy force that was a threat to the operation. Those already in the front lines were rotated back to training depots to rest and retrain in the latest tactics, with new skills being taught by these new "stormtroop" instructors.
Moral became high among the actual "stormtroop" battalion as they were no longer limited to sitting in the mud and taking whatever was being thrown their direction. Their successes, no matter how small, were publicized from the homefront to the front line newspapers, feeding a new spirit of accomplishment and hope into a worried and anxious populace.
The fresh supplies of non-essential material captured by the Germans was so overwhelming that they begin to see the hopelessness of their situation, as Germany was being starved into demoralization, both at home and at the front, with no hope in sight for relief. The French counted on this to stop the German hordes, and it worked all too well. Future wars would be fought with carefully planned world strategies and the best combined weapons technology - land, sea and air. World War I was truly the last argument of the royal houses of Europe, the last "argument of Kings".
Estimated cost of WWI in U. Australia sent , men overseas, sustained , casualties: Now one can see why WWII was slow to evolve. No one in the World wanted another war, thus Hitler was able to rise to power unchallenged until it was too late to stop his war machine from starting a Second World War.
The remainder of the escorts were supplied by the British.