How low was Hitler's army rank?

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john2
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How low was Hitler's army rank?

Post by john2 » 19 Nov 2019 22:34

I know Hitler made corporal and that it was considered a low rank. Can anybody provide a list of the army ranks at the time Hitler served to show where he compared to others? On a side note would it have been normal for someone to make corporal after 4 years? Would Hitler have been considered above or below average?

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Geoff Walden
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Re: How low was Hitler's army rank?

Post by Geoff Walden » 20 Nov 2019 02:38

This is actually a more complicated question than it seems.

Hitler was a Gefreiter, which in the WW1 Bavarian Army was the second enlisted rank (E2). In British use, this is generally considered to be equivalent to a lance-corporal, but in U.S. use, this is a private E2 (PV2). So, from the American point of view, Hitler was a private, not a corporal.

In WW1 in the Bavarian army infantry regiments, the rank below Gefreiter was Infanterist or Schütze - the lowest rank of private. The next higher rank above Gefreiter was Unteroffizier. This was the first non-commissioned officer rank, generally called a corporal in English, although the duties were more like those of a U.S. sergeant E-5.
"Ordnung ist das halbe Leben" - I live in the other half.
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Sid Guttridge
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Re: How low was Hitler's army rank?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 20 Nov 2019 14:43

Another way to look at it is to ask:

What proportion of the German Army manpower held ranks lower than Hitler's and what proportion held higher ranks?

Looked at this way, at a guess, Hitler might even be in the top 20%, as I presume the great majority of manpower were just privates.

Cheers,

Sid.

ljadw
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Re: How low was Hitler's army rank?

Post by ljadw » 20 Nov 2019 17:07

john2 wrote:
19 Nov 2019 22:34
I know Hitler made corporal and that it was considered a low rank. Can anybody provide a list of the army ranks at the time Hitler served to show where he compared to others? On a side note would it have been normal for someone to make corporal after 4 years? Would Hitler have been considered above or below average?
Hitler was not a German national in 1914 but an Austrian volunteer and this was an obstacle for a promotion to NCO or officer .He was also not a Bavarian,but a foreigner serving in the Bavarian army.

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