German infantry classification

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German infantry classification

Post by nastle » 17 Sep 2022 05:08

So as just a english speaker I was trying to sort through the differences between landwehr landstrum ersatz and regular infantry units
The German Army had four classifications of military service; Active, Reserve, Landwehr and Landsturm. At the age of 17, a man might be called up to serve in the Landsturm 1st Ban, a sort of National Guard for home defense. The British Army equivalent was the Territorial force. In peace, it was mandatory to serve in the Army upon a man's 20th birthday. A 2 year period of Active service then began, or 3 years in the cavalry and field artillery. After that time, a man would be liable to serve the next 4 to 5 years in the Reserve, usually a 2 week training period each year. Serving in the Reserve during peace time, was generally regarded as a vacation from home and work. After the Reserve period, a man was then liable to serve in the Landwehr for the next 11 years. The last stage was being liable for service for 7 years in the Landsturm 2nd Ban. After the age of 45, a man was then free from further military service. It was only in times of war that the Landwehr and Landsturm were expected to be called for duty.

After 1900, another measure was created, the Ersatz (Supplement or Reinforcement) Reserve. The Ersatz Reserve was made up of men fit for active duty, but excused for family or economic reasons, and for minor physical defects. These men were liable for Reserve service for 12 years, where they might be called up for 3 annual training sessions. In practice only a small number of these men underwent any training before 1914. Men unfit for war service were still liable for service in the Landsturm from the age of 17-45.

this is one description i found online
does this mean in terms of equipment 1-type of rifle 2-ammunition allotment 3-MG units 4-Artillery support the land strum/landwehr/ersatz units were equal to regular army 1st line units ? if not how did they differ ?


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Re: German infantry classification

Post by Art » 17 Sep 2022 17:10

nastle wrote:
17 Sep 2022 05:08
this is one description i found online
This text describes categories of personnel, not the type of units. After mobilization active and reserve personnel formed 1st line (peace-time) and reserve division (1st line divisions with prepondenrance of active personnel and reserve divisions with preponderance of reserve). Landwehr units were formed of ladwehr personnel. Ersatz units were replacement units which contained a pool of personnel for replanishment of casualties.

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Re: German infantry classification

Post by waldopepper » 30 Sep 2022 18:44

I'll add one refinement to the description of Ersatz units. As Art said these were replacement units as in units that would process and train replacements to replenish casualties in front line units.

At the beginning of the war there were more men called up than could be absorbed into some Active, Reserve and Landwehr units. As a result the Ersatz formations with extra men formed into "Brigade-Ersatz-Bataillonen", so called because the Ersatz units of each Active, Reserve and Landwehr brigade having extra men (primarily brigades drawing manpower from cities or large towns) formed a 4 company battalion (2 companies from each infantry regiment in the brigade).

The Brigade Ersatz Battalion so formed bore the number of the brigade from which it was formed (Ex. the Ersatz battalion formed from the active army Infantry Brigade 20 was called Brigade Ersatz Battalion 20.) Units formed from Reserve and Landwehr Ersatz units would have that designation in their title (Ex. the Ersatz battalion formed from Res IBrig 13 was called Reserve Brigade Ersatz Battalion 13.

These battalions were then formed into Ersatz Regiments or Mixed Ersatz Brigades and then Erzatz Divisions.

The one exception to this occurred in the East where, owing to a shortage of field troops, each regiment's Ersatz battalion was fully mobilized, instead of donating 2 companies to a Brigade Ersatz Battalion. As a result no Brigade Ersatz Battalions were formed from units in the East.

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Re: German infantry classification

Post by famtree » 14 Nov 2022 10:50

We are trying to extract the information contained within the personnel file re WW1 war service. I have attached a screenshot of the entry. Thanks
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Re: German infantry classification

Post by panzerkrieg » 29 Nov 2022 01:30

Landwehr landsturm units got the same quality of equipment as regular infantry units ?

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Re: German infantry classification

Post by Ken S. » 29 Nov 2022 04:09

Image quality makes it unreadable.
famtree wrote:
14 Nov 2022 10:50
We are trying to extract the information contained within the personnel file re WW1 war service. I have attached a screenshot of the entry. Thanks

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