Conscription in East Prussia - 1830s

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fw200condor
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Conscription in East Prussia - 1830s

Post by fw200condor » 26 Jul 2022 00:23

Hello All,

What would the military duties for a farm servant ("gesinde") in East Prussia in the 1830s entail?

Would they be in the Landswehr or the Landsturm? How long were they required to serve for?

As a farm servant was a very lowly station in life, they would not be officers (as I understand it, this was reserved for the Junkers). Would they have been just given basic infantry training or were there any other roles open to them?

Were the conscripts used in any conflicts during the 1830s (such as the policing actions against democratic reformers)?

Was there any grassroots opposition to conscription by farm servants, peasants, etc? Was mandatory service one of the factors leading to mass emigration from Prussia to the United States and Australia in the 1860s and 1870s?

Any help is appreciated. Thanks and cheers.

fw200condor
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Posts: 34
Joined: 10 Jan 2022 10:58
Location: New Zealand

Re: Conscription in East Prussia - 1830s

Post by fw200condor » 24 Aug 2022 08:03

No responses... :cry: Can anyone help me with this please?

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Hoplophile
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Re: Conscription in East Prussia - 1830s

Post by Hoplophile » 02 Nov 2022 22:12

In the 1830s, Prussia had far more potential conscripts than places in the ranks for recruits. Thus, while some young men spent three years "with the colors," a good number went straight into the Landwehr, or were exempted from service altogether.

I am not sure whether those who went directly into the Landwehr in this period spent any time in the barracks, or if their training was limited to Sunday afternoon drills. (If a Landwehr man did spend any time in the barracks, the duration of his stay was a matter of weeks, rather than years.)

As a rule, the Prussian Army preferred recruits from the country to those who lived in cities. This was partially a matter of such things as health, physical fitness, and, for service in the cavalry and horse artillery, familiarity with horses. It was also a function of the belief that farm lads were more likely than city boys to respect authority.

On several occasions in the early 1830s, Prussian military units were employed to deal with political unrest. As a rule, however, such deployments took place in the industrial cities of western parts of the Kingdom of Prussia rather than the largely rural eastern provinces. Thus, an East Prussian conscript was much less likely to experience a scene reminiscent of Les Miserables than a soldier from the Rhineland.

If you want to delve more deeply into this subject, I recommend the works of the late Dennis Showalter, especially the earlier chapters of his classic Railroads and Rifles.

fw200condor
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Posts: 34
Joined: 10 Jan 2022 10:58
Location: New Zealand

Re: Conscription in East Prussia - 1830s

Post by fw200condor » 02 Nov 2022 23:44

Thanks for that detailed explanation. I really appreciate it. :)

I will definitely check out Showalter's book.

Cheers.

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