German Army in the East 1918

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Peter H
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German Army in the East 1918

Post by Peter H » 27 May 2003 01:43

After Brest-Litovsk,40 or so German divisions remained in the east.Granted most were third class formations but around 500,000 German troops were involved in occupation and expansionary activities that had little impact on the desire for victory against the Western Allies.

Map of the German/Austro-Hungarian movements in 1918,courtesy of Ballantine's History of the First World War
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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 27 May 2003 01:44

German Divisions in the East 1918

Bavarian Cavalry Division-police duty in Ukraine,Rumania Spring 1918.Part also in Crimea.

1st Cavalry Division-police duty in Ukraine,Lithuania,Danube.

2nd Cavalry Division-advanced through Kiev,Kharkov to Rostov.

8th Cavalry Division-police duties until April 1918,then disbanded.

9th Cavalry Division-police duty in Ukraine,until disbanded July 1918.

3rd Infantry Division-movements obscure in East
.
3rd Landwehr Division-in East.

4th Landwehr Division-near Minsk(April);Kiev(May);Ochra.

5th Ersatz Division-Livonia(March);Pskov(June);Mittau.

7th Landwehr Division-Ukraine,Odessa,Rostov(July).

11th Landwehr Division-Kiev,south of Moscow(July);Danube Front(Nov 1918).

12th Landwehr Division-‘Baltic Division’sent to Finland(April);sent to Alsace(July 1918).

14th Landwehr Division-on Minsk-Smolensk road(April);Regiments sent to Alsace (May);Division reconstituted from new regiments in Orcha region(June 1918).

15th Landwehr Division-Kiev,Crimea,Kerch region.

16th Landwehr Division-Kharkov(May),Tanganrog(Sept);moved to Constanza,Rumania(via Constantinople)October 1918.

17th Landwehr Division-Vitebsk(Spring 1918);Don(Sept 1918).

18th Landwehr Division-Orcha(June);Mohilev(Sept 1918).

19th Landwehr Division-Libau,Riga;Finland(July);Estonia(Oct 1918).

20th Landwehr Division-Ukraine.

22nd Landwehr Division-Ukraine,Kiev,Stochod(Sept 1918).

23rd Landwehr Division-Dvinsk region.

24th Landwehr Division-Ostrov region.

29th Landwehr Division-Vitebsk(March);Estonia.

35th Reserve Division-Ukraine,Gomel.

45th Landwehr Division- Ukraine,Kovel,Poltava.

46th Landwehr Division-Ukraine,Berezina,Minsk(May 1918).

47th Landwehr Division-Ukraine,Bryansk,Kiev(Sept 1918).

85th Landwehr Division-Courland(April);Ukraine,Polotsk(May 1918).

89th Infantry Division-Rumania,Bucharest(Oct 1918).

91st Infantry Division-Ukraine.

92nd Infantry Division-Ukraine;moved to Danube Front(Oct 1918).

93rd Infantry Division-Minsk,Kiev,moved to Danube Front(Oct 1918).

95th Infantry Division-Ukraine,Gomel region.

205th Infantry Division-Courland,Narva region.

212th Infantry Division-Ukraine,Kherson(May 1918).

215th Infantry Division-Kharkov(April);Sea of Azov(May).

217th Infantry Division-Kherson(May);Sebastopol;one regiment(29th Bavarian)sent to Tiflis,Georgia in June 1918;remainder of Division moved to Danube/Serbian Front(Oct 1918).

218th Infantry Division-Rumania.

219th Infantry Division-Livonia;sent to Serbia (Oct 1918).

224th Infantry Division-Pinsk,Gomel;moved to France(Sept 1918).

226th Infantry Division-Lake Narotch region;disbanded June 1918;reconstituted and in Rumania(Oct 1918).

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 27 May 2003 01:45

Germans in Kiev 1918:
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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 27 May 2003 01:47

German troops in Rostov,with captured Russian armoured car:
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Napoleon XIV
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Post by Napoleon XIV » 30 May 2003 05:50

It's just like Deja Vu... Backwards!

Very nice photos and a good map. I thought the Germans had advanced farther though...

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Post by Peter H » 23 Jul 2003 03:11

Rostov again--bicycle troops.
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Post by Peter H » 23 Jul 2003 03:13

Under fire March 1918--Baltic states.
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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 23 Jul 2003 03:14

At rest.
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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 23 Jul 2003 03:15

Parade in Reval.
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Post by Peter H » 23 Jul 2003 03:17

Ukraine steppes.
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Post by Peter H » 23 Jul 2003 03:18

'On the road to St Petersburg'.
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Post by Peter H » 23 Jul 2003 03:20

Advancing towards village.
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Frosch
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Source?

Post by Frosch » 30 Jul 2003 13:23

Hi Moulded,

I've got a few Militärpass documents of German servicemen that remained in the East after the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and am still looking for good general information on events there at the time, before I get stuck into researching individual regimental histories for units that served in the East.

Summaries of some of them can be found in the Militärpass section at:

http://www.zeltbahn.net/wehrpass/

One document group,, which is not listed at the site mentioned above, is for a Bavarian NCO who served with police units in the Kurland area well after 1918, for example. Another served with Landwehr-FAR 15, others fought in the Ukraine and Crimea.

What book were the above images taken from?

Thanks in advance,

/David

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 31 Jul 2003 00:04

David,
Photos are sourced from Der Weltkrieg in Wort und Bild,a weekly illustrated magazine series issued during the war years in Germany.I have a nice bound series.The only photo I have seen reproduced elsewhere was the fourth one,sometimes incorrectly attributed as being Freikorps in 1919.

A very difficult subject to find information on. :(

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Post by michael mills » 02 Aug 2003 09:12

In order to understand German and Austrian actions in occupied territory of the former Russian Empire, you need to bear in mind their one crucial motivation, namely to obtain food supplies in Ukraine for their starving populations.

That need was even more urgent for Austria than Germany. Although Hungary produced a food surplus, the autonomous Hungarian Government refused to ship any food to Austrian, claiming that it needed all its production to feed its own people. As a result, Vienna was on the verge of starvation.

Before the conclusion, on 3 March 1918, of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk between the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria) and an entity called the "Russian Empire" in the text of the treaty, the Central Powers signed a similar peace treaty in Brest-Litovsk with the Ukrainian People's Republic, which had declared its independence after the Bolshevik coup in Russia. That treaty defined the western border of that republic with Austria and the "Kingdom of Poland" (former Russian Poland, which had been occupied by Germany and Austria and given autonomy under their hegemony).

Under the treaty with Ukraine (signed in February - I forget the exact date), the Ukrainian Government undertook to supply the Central Powers with large amounts of grain. The problem was that the Ukrainian Government was unable to carry out that undertaking since most of its territory had been overrun by Bolshevik Red Guards; in fact, on the day after after the signing of the treaty, Kiev was captured by Bolshevik forces.

As a result, German and Austrian forces had to advance into Ukraine in order to drive out the Bolsheviks (who were being aided by the Czech Corps formed from POWs), and get control of the grain. That was contrary to the original intention of the German High Command, which thought that after peace had been made with Russia and Ukraine, the forces on the Eastern Front could be transferred to the West, and thus achieve a knock-out blow over the Entente.

Austria did not want to participate in the occupation of Ukraine, but was forced into it, because its need for food was more desperate.

After the initial occupation, the Central Powers found that they had to pour more troops into Ukraine because of peasant opposition to having their grain requisitioned. Since there was no stable currency that the Ukrainian peasantry would accept as payment for their grain, they did what their brethren in Soviet Russia were doing; they reduced their production to what they could consume themselves. As a result, there was no surplus for the Germans and Austrians to seize.

The occupation forces resorted to stern measures to extract grain from the peasants. leading to the growth of armed resistance (the German commander, Groener, was assassinated). The Ukrainian Government, the Rada, also began to resist German demands. As a result, in April 1918, the German occupiers overthrew the Rada and installed their own puppet, Yoho Svitlist (=His Brightness) Hetman Pavlo Skoropadski, supported by the large landowners.

The Ukrainians made up a joke about the name Skoropadski, which means "rapidly falling". The currency of Ukraine was the Karbovanets, which continually fell in value due to hyperinflation; the people nicknamed it the "skoropadets".

By the time Germany surrendered in November 1918, the occupation of Ukraine had proved to be a costly failure. Very little food had actually been obtained, while it had required the input of 500,000 troops, which were therefore not available for the do-or-die offensive in the West.

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