German Skutari Detachement

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Peter H
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German Skutari Detachement

Post by Peter H » 02 May 2004 02:08

Has anyone any info on this unit,formed from the I. und II. Seebataillons?

My understanding is that it was raised in 1913 and despatched to Albania as part of an international peace force after the Balkan Wars.In late August 1914 it withdrew from Skutari,Albania via Austro-Hungary.

Did it in fact see some action against the Serbs as portrayed in this fanciful 1914 picture?
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Glenn2438
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Scutari

Post by Glenn2438 » 02 May 2004 09:05

Hi Moulded,

from a thread on my forum:

In 1913 the city of Skutari received an international occupation force initially under the command of the British Admiral Sir Cecil Burney and later under Colonel Philips.

The force consisted of:

1 Austro-Hungarian Battalion: IV./I.R. 87
1 Italian Battalion
1 British Battalion: West Yorkshire Regiment
2 French Companies: 24th Colonial Regiment
1 German Company

The German company was formed by the All Highest Cabinet Order of 28 June 1913 from personnel of the I. and II. Seebataillone as the "Marine-Infanterie-Detachement" and embarked from Trieste on the 2nd July 1913 on S.M.S. Breslau, transferred to an Italian river gun boat on the 6th and landed at Skutari on the 7th of July 1913.

The strength of the company was:

1 Field Officer as chargé d'affaires - Major Paul Schneider
1 Hauptmann/Oberleutnant as company commander
2 Company Officers
1 Naval Medical Officer - Marine-Stabsarzt
1 Naval Paymaster - Marine-Zahlmeister
1 Feldwebel
11 Unteroffiziere
97 Seesoldaten

With the outbreak of war the company participated in the securing of the Drina sector between 16 and 19 August 1914 as the 5th company of the Austro-Hungarian battalion and at the encounter at Visegrad on the 20th where they lost three men KIA. A further 2 officers and 21 Seesoldaten were wounded. At the time they were under command of the 1st Infantry Division , XV Corps. After transitting through Sarejevo they returned to Germany via Vienna (3rd to 5th September) The company was disbanded on the 7th of September 1914.

Regards
Glenn

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 02 May 2004 14:12

Thanks very much for that Glenn. :)

Further photos from your own excellent website:

Major Paul Schneider, Commander of the German Skutari-Detachement
Image
http://www.austro-hungarian-army.co.uk/ ... photo4.jpg

The German Skutari-Detachement at Vienna in September 1914
Image
http://www.austro-hungarian-army.co.uk/ ... photo5.jpg

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 02 May 2004 14:15

Some pics of the international forces at Skutari 1913.

In the foreground are Schneider's Germans;to their right the French,followed by the Austro-Hungarians.
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Chris Dale
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Post by Chris Dale » 23 Apr 2007 01:02

More information on the Skutari Detachment from Seesoldat's excellent website
http://www.marine-infanterie.de/html/4_9.html

I read a report that during their brief stint under Austrian command in WW1, they wore Austrian army caps but with a German cockade. I would guess this was so they would be recognised by other Austrian units in the area. Has anybody seen photos of this?

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Chris

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 03 May 2007 03:28

Karl Dönitz was a member of the crew of SMS Breslau that transported the Marines to Albania.

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Chris Dale
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Post by Chris Dale » 03 May 2007 11:09

Thank you for that interesting tip, Peter. Any info on the Skutari deploym,ent is interesting.

I think he was also still on the Breslau when it went into Turkish service in 1914.

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Chris

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 03 May 2007 11:57

More here,from page 83:

http://www.servicehistorique.sga.defens ... 2-gthm.pdf

The original landing force consisted of sailors,including Germans from SMS Breslau:
On 9 May the Scutari-detachment was begun to organise from the sailors of
the ships of the blockading countries. Austria-Hungary represented itself with 300,
Great-Britain with 250, Italy with 200, France with 150, Germany with 100 men. The
chairman of the international commission for governing Scutari was Vice-Admiral
Burney, its members were Austro-Hungarian Rear-Admiral Njegovan, Italian Rear-
Admiral Patris, French Commodore Lugier, German Captain von Klitzing, and
Austrian Commander of Corvette Count Welsersheim, commander of the Austro-
Hungarian unit.

On 14 May everything happened according to the planned program. The 750
members of the international detachment with the commanders were transported by
the Austrian steamer SKUTARI, and the Italian ships JOLANDA and MAFALDA to
Scutari. The rest of the Scutari detachment (250 men) arrived at the town on the next
day. General Becir, military governor of Scutari, delivered the town with its fortresses
to the international commission officially. The men of the rank and file relieved the
Montenegrian guards immediately, and took possession of theirs posts. After that,
Montenegrian troops left the town.

The Austro-Hungarian unit was provisionally accomodated in the Jesuit monastery
together with the German bluejackets. (Later the bulk of seamen were accomodated in
the former Turkish barracks.) The flags of the five Great Powers were hoisted in the
citadel. Immadiately after taking over of the town, the council launched a
proclamation to the inhabitants. The same day from 2 o’clock in the afternoon, the
international sea blockade was lifted.
From the 15 of May was the town ruled by the admiral’s council, which exercised
the legislative and executive power over the town and functioned as the highest
military, educational and financial authorithy.
The territory of Scutari was divided into 5 districts, each of them was ruled by one
unit of the Great Powers. The troops performed the police, guards and fireguard
service, too. Captain von Klitzing was appointed to the governor of the town.

Land forces followed:
The naval forces were shortly relieved with land forces. Great-Britain did it the
quickest. On 8 June, on board of heavy cruiser H. M. S. BLACK PRINCE the 3.
company the 2. battalion’s of the West-Yorkshire Infantry Regiment, 339 men and an
orchestra of 42 under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Phillips, arrived from Malta
at San Giovanni di Medua, and at 10 at noon at Scutari. (The British troops were
reduced to 300 men at the end of 1913, and were replaced by two companies of the
Warwickshire Infantry Regiment from Malta in July 1914, lead by Lieutenant-Colonel
Laring.)
Germany arranged a marine-detachment with 115 men under the command of
Major Schneider on 28 June 1913, which arrived from Kiel and Wilhelmshaven by
train at Triest on 2 July. Next day, on board of S. M. S. BRESLAU, they sailed from
the Bojana-mouth on board of the Italian MARGHERA to Scutari on 7 July.
On 25 July two companies of the 24. Infantry Regiment (stationed in Novara), one
mountain artillery platoon and seven platoons of the Alpini (mountain rifleman) (437
men and an orchestra with 40 men together) arrived from Italy lead by Lieutenant-
Colonel Vigliani.
To the relief of the Austro-Hungarian naval forces the 4. battalion of the 87.
Common Infantry Regiment (stationed in Pola) were sent with the regiment’s
orchestra. 509 men belonged to the detachment, its commander was Lieutenent-
Colonel Ottmar Kailer. It was a speciality, that the soldiers wore tropical helmets.
They came on board of steamer URANO on 26 July from Pola to San Giovanni di
Medua, and in the morning on 28 they marched to Scutari with music.
On 7 August, on board of steamer LE BALKAN, the 4. company (204 men) of the
22. Colonial Infantry Regiment (garrisoned in Hyéres) under the command of Captain
Coulais arrived from Marseille at the Bojana-mouth, and the day after at Scutari. With
this the change of all the forces in Scutari was finished.
War in 1914:
At the end of July 1914 the European states ordered the mobilisation one after the
other and the First World War broke out. Each detachment waited for calling back.
The international government apparatus was quickly liquidated. The British unit under
the command of Colonel Phillips left the town on 1 August. They arrived at Malta via
port of San Giovanni di Medua and Alessio and at Southampton on 19. At the end of
1914 the formation was put into action in the battles of Flanders.
The senior in rank Italian Lieutenant-Colonel Vigliani entered on the command of
the town. Now Scutari was controlled only by 4 detachments.
From 29 June 1914 the commander of the Austro-Hungarian unit in Scutari was
Lieutenant-Colonel Edler von Lerch, who replaced Major Franz Peter, former
commander from 1 November 1913. After German Rear-Admiral Souchon having left
on 1 August, the German marine detachment was formed by the 5. company of the 4.
battalion of the 87. Common Infantry Regiment with Major Schneider at the head. The
Austro-Hungarian battalion arrived at Cattaro via San Giovanni di Medua on 6
August. From there they were transported by train to Mostar, on 10 August to
Sarajevo, where they joined to their regiment, subordinated to the 6. Austro-Hungarian
Army (lead by General Potiorek) attacking against Serbia.
On 14 August the Scutari-detachment, together with the German soldiers, counted
1700 men after bringing up full strength. From 16 August they participated in the
fights around Višegrad. The Germans fought in the first line at their wish. The German
company was called back home on 21 August, and was disbanded on 7 September.
The 87. Common Infantry Regiment was on the Serbian Front till the end of
November 1914, from May 1915 it fought on the Italian theatre of war.
The Italian contingent was withdrawn from Scutari on 21 August 1914. Via the
port of Durazzo,it returned home on board of a steamer. Town commander Vigliani
charged the consular corps with the leadership of the town before his start.
The French detachment, lead by Major Coulais, was put at the disposal of the King
of Montenegro as guards. They left the town across Lake Scutari on 24 August. In
November 1915, together with the Montenegrian troops, they were engaged for
defence of the Lovcen-Massif. Their withdraval through Scutari to Durazzo begun on
12 January 1916. From there the unit was transported back to France at the end of
January 1916.

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 03 May 2007 13:56

Some mention should also be made of Prinz Wilhelm zu Wied,who ruled Albania for 6 months in 1914:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=20148


Wied's Memorandum on Albania can be found here:

http://www.albanianhistory.net/texts/AH1917.html

Wied mentions that Dutch officers were also employed to train the Albanian Gendarmerie.

Wied in Tirana 1914.
Image

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Elwyn W
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Re: German Skutari Detachement

Post by Elwyn W » 06 Jun 2015 02:47

Philipps, Vigliani, Ottmar Kailer et. al.

Source: Österreiche Illustrierte Zeitung 1913


Cheers
Elwyn
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Chris Dale
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Re: German Skutari Detachement

Post by Chris Dale » 07 Jun 2015 21:56

Thanks for that photo and caption Elwyn.
Cheers
Chris

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