Officer School in the Wehrmacht

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Einsamer_Wolf
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Officer School in the Wehrmacht

Postby Einsamer_Wolf » 14 Apr 2004 13:31

I recently wondered what happend to German college-bound youth who would have attended college but for the outbreak of the war. I take that those who would have attended college instead enrolled in one of the branches of service. My question then is how the German Army recruited young officer's in lieu of military academies such as West Point or Anapolis here in the states, or officer school that would follow a civilian military education. Was there a military academy in the German Armed Forcses comparable to West Point. Would a college bound youth start out in the German Armed Forces as an NCO, or would he go straight from the Gynasium to some sort of accelearted officer school and start out as a lieutenant. I suppose I am assuming that youngsters who would have gone to college between 1939 and 1945 instead enrolled in the Army, effectively closing down any sort of academi life in the Reich during the war years.

All the Best,

Einsamer Wolf

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Jeremy Chan
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Postby Jeremy Chan » 15 Apr 2004 03:38

In keeping with strong German military tradition, the Heer did have a number of military academies, two I know of being the Kriegsschule Potsdam and the Kriegsschule at Wiener-Neustadt. One way to becoming an officer candidate was to accept such an offer, thus being exempted from Reichsarbeitsdienst and entering military service a year beforehand. As to how you were approached to that I'm not sure.
As to deferment of conscription in favour of tertiary education, see viewtopic.php?t=47712

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Postby nondescript handle » 15 Apr 2004 09:10

The training for an officer candidate was before 1940:
Entrance qualification: 'Abitur' (=general qualification for university entrance) and passing a test for officer candidates
-'Grund-und Vollausbildung' (basic and advanced military training in a regular unit)(~12-16 weeks) as a 'Fahnenjunker'/'Fahnenjunker-Gefreiter' ('Schütze'/'Gefreiter' equivalent)
-'Kriegsschule' (general military school)(8 weeks) as a 'Fahnenjunker-Unteroffizier' ('Unteroffizier' equivalent)
-'Truppenschule' (branch military school, e.g. the 'Panzertruppenschule' Wünsdorf for tankers)(16 weeks) as a 'Fähnrich' ('Unterfeldwebel' equivalent)
-'Felderprobung' (field probation)(8 weeks) as a 'Oberfähnrich' ('Oberfeldwebel' equivalent)
-> comission as 'Leutnant'

The Wehrmacht had five 'Kriegsschulen': Potsdam, Dresden, München, Hannover, and Wiener-Neustadt.
Engeneers, physicians and veterinarians studied longer on a military 'Akademie' instead of the military branch school.

After 1940 the officers training was changed and shortened in favour of active men and NCOs becoming officers.

Regards
Mark

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Postby Leo Niehorster » 15 Apr 2004 11:09

Very interesting.
Could you provide details about:
- How officers were acqzuired after 1940?
- How were officers promoted?

Thanks
/Leo

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Christoph Awender
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Postby Christoph Awender » 15 Apr 2004 11:44

Leo Niehorster wrote:Very interesting.
Could you provide details about:
- How officers were acqzuired after 1940?
- How were officers promoted?

Thanks
/Leo


Hello Leo!
Here some examples how to become a officer during the war after 1940.

"Active Officers"

1.) Soldiers out of the troops (Men, NCO´s incl. active professional NCO´s):
Not married (except Berufs-Uffz.), not older than 25 years (if older than 25 years will be promoted to "Kriegsoffizier" first and then it will be decided if they are taken into the active officer corps.)
No special school education necessary.
Expanded confirmation of racial purity

Here the axample for a NCO:

Special training at the unit with report to the personnel office (Personalamt) by the regimental commander. At the same time commanded to a Offz.Anw.Lehrgang.

4-6 months weapon training (Waffenausbildung) at the replacement formation of the unit.

3-4 month Offz.Anw.Lehrgang

After the last exam at the school promotion to Fahnenjunker-Feldwebel (by commander of school)

After 15 months as Fahnenjunker-Feldwebel promotion to officer.

"Kriegsoffiziere"

2.) Unteroffizier without Portepee under 30 years: Had to attend a Offizieranwärter-Lehrgang after being recommended by the commander of the unit. He is promoted to Offizieranwärter after the final exam at the school by the commander of the school.

3.) Unteroffizier without Portepee over 30 years: Did not have to attend the Offz.Anw.Lehrgang. After 12 months duty in a unit the commander of the unit can promote him to Offz.Anwärter.

4.) Unteroffizier mit Portepee: Did not have to attend a Offz.Anw.Lehrgang if not used for an active officer career later on. They can be promoted to Offz.Anw. any time if not continued into an active officer career.

5.) Berufsunteroffizier up to 5 years duty: Had to attend Offz.Anw.Lehrgang. Is promoted to Offz.Anw. after the final exam at the school.

6.) Berufsunteroffizier over 5 years duty: Had not to attend Offz.Anw. Lehrgang and can be promoted to Offz.Anw. by the commander of the unit any time.

\Christoph

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Postby Einsamer_Wolf » 15 Apr 2004 12:44

Ok--so what is a likely scenario for a young man who turns 18 in 1939? Would he have started college, only to get pulled out with the onset of war, or attend one of these officer training schools? Also, was there an equivalent of the ROTC or Army Reserve in the Gymnasium or Hochschule? How about an Army Reserve--much less likely I know for an 18 year-old. I guess I am just wondering how the German Armed Forces amassed such a formidable army in time to march off to war. It would seem they had to cut corners to produce some 20 million marching men,
Also, pertaining to the five military officer schools listed, did they have a longstanding history harking back to the Second Empire, or were they newly created. Sadly I do fear that any history or tradition these institutions may have had did not survive past 1945.

All the Best,

Einsamer Wolf
Last edited by Einsamer_Wolf on 15 Apr 2004 13:33, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Stauffenberg II » 15 Apr 2004 12:57

Einsamer Wolf!

As regards the Kriegsschule Wiener Neustadt, it was the former Austrian (Austro-Hungarian) Officers Academy "Maria Theresia" until 1938, founded in 1751 by Queen Maria Theresia. It is still the officers academy of the Austrian Armed Forces. The Commission today includes the Lieutenant military title as well as the academic title "Magister", short: Mag. As you can see below girlies are welcome there.

Image
New commissioned officers 2004, Group "Reichsgraf Hadik"
"Austrian Armed Forces Photograph" © Austrian Armed Forces

See:
http://www.bmlv.gv.at/karriere/offizier/index.shtml
especially:
http://www.bmlv.gv.at/karriere/offizier ... gang.shtml

For translations use:
http://babelfish.altavista.com/

Regards!

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Postby nondescript handle » 15 Apr 2004 13:24

Einsamer_Wolf wrote:[...]Would he have started college or attended one of these officer training schools, only to get pulled out?

Why should they pulled out of the officer training schools?
/edit: I misunderstood you, the following is for someone who has served his conscription in peacetime and is already studing by 1939:And civillian university students: if the study was deemed important the student could be extempted from conscription ('uk-gestellt') or the conscription could be delayed, this was not that uncommon.

Einsamer_Wolf wrote:Also, was there an equivalent of the ROTC or Army Reserve in the Gymnasium or Hochschule?

There are no cadet corps (boys visiting a military organised school) in Germany since the Treaty of Versailles dismantled the Royal Prussian, Royal Saxon and Royal Bavarian 'Kadettenanstalten'.
But one could argue that the Nazi and communist youth organisations had similar functions.

Einsamer_Wolf wrote:All, pertaining to the five military officer schools listed, did they have a longstanding history harking back to the Second Empire, or were they newly created.

The 'Kriegsschulen' in Hannover and Potsdam were founded in by the Prussian King well before even the second empire.

Einsamer_Wolf wrote:Sadly I do fear that any history or tradition these institutions may have had did not survive past 1945.

The buildings of the Hannover 'Kriegsschule' was used as the 'Offiziersschule des Heeres' (the new name for the army 'Kriegsschule') of the Bundeswehr until 1996.
In 1996 the 'Offiziersschule' moved into the old buildings of the 'Kriegsschule' in Dresden, these buildings were build as the Royal Saxon 'Kadettenanstalt' and used as a police academy by east Germany.

Regards
Mark
Last edited by nondescript handle on 15 Apr 2004 13:45, edited 1 time in total.

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Einsamer_Wolf
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Postby Einsamer_Wolf » 15 Apr 2004 13:30

When I mentioned the ROTC I meant the college program here in American colleges that runs parallel to West Point and Anapolism, not the high school program. I thought there was something in between the HJ and Wehrmacht though called the Reichsarbeitsdienst. That may be more like the ROTC in high school, which goes up to 18 years of age here in the States.
In regards to the institutions mentioned above, are there any materials recounting the length and content of the training program. I am now reading Frontsoldaten by Fritz. He recounts the astonishingly brutal discipline in training. I think he overstates teh number of executiosn due to cowardice or desertion, however. Another flaw is he does not recount what officer school is like. He only discusses enlisted men. Perhaps a better, more expansive work on the everyday life in the German military is available.

All the Best,

EW

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Jeremy Chan
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Postby Jeremy Chan » 16 Apr 2004 08:04

Einsamer_Wolf wrote:When I mentioned the ROTC I meant the college program here in American colleges that runs parallel to West Point and Anapolism, not the high school program. I thought there was something in between the HJ and Wehrmacht though called the Reichsarbeitsdienst. That may be more like the ROTC in high school, which goes up to 18 years of age here in the States.
I have read of ROTC somewhere, but RAD wasn't a form of military college program. Far from it, Reichsarbeitsdienst means State Labour Service, and was compulsory service for young men for six months between finishing school and military service.

Einsamer_Wolf wrote:In regards to the institutions mentioned above, are there any materials recounting the length and content of the training program. I am now reading Frontsoldaten by Fritz. He recounts the astonishingly brutal discipline in training. I think he overstates the number of executiosn due to cowardice or desertion, however. Another flaw is he does not recount what officer school is like. He only discusses enlisted men. Perhaps a better, more expansive work on the everyday life in the German military is available.
The training at the Kriegsschule was 9 months, before which a cadet was commisioned a Leutnant. Read Soldat: Reflections of a German Soldier by Siegfried Knappe, which among the author's service as an artillery officer before transferring to the General Staff, also details his time in Kriegsschule Potsdam. I bought mine for only A$12.

Col. SteelFist

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tigre
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Re: Officer School in the Wehrmacht

Postby tigre » 07 Jan 2017 00:27

Hello to all :D; a query..............................

Below you can see a Pz Kw III Ausf. F (I think) with a 5 cm KwK 38 L/42 and Zusatzpanzer; it has the acronym OAL. That stand for Offizieranwärter-Lehrgang?

Source: http://www.bilder-upload.eu/show.php?fi ... 455773.jpg

TIA. Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Officer School in the Wehrmacht

Postby offizier1916 » 14 Feb 2017 10:50

There is a good doctor thesis available on PDF (at least not long ago) about the Officer-Korps and requirements of an german officer candidate between 1933-1945 (in german of course).
Basically you can say, that before the war, a german officer was often either from the nobility or from the bourgeoisie with an academic background. From 1943 onwards, especially after the heavy losses of young platoon and company commanders on the eastern front, the demand profile changed and it was not necessary anymore to have an academic background, tough the big majority of officer candidates still had their Abitur. THe new demand profile focused on having a national socialist attitude, being spirited, dashing and courageous. But if you was selected for an ACTIVE officer career, it still took 18 month before being promoted to Leutnant, even in late stages of the war. It was shorter for reserve officer candidated already being Unteroffizier
I read not long ago a biography from someone who joined the Wehrmacht for an active officer career in july 1943. He completed his basic training until end 1943, then attended the unteroffizier-schule until mid 1944, then had his "service on the front" for three month, and finally entering the last stage and being comandeeered to the Fähnrichschule in August 1944, before being promoted to Leutnant end January 1945. His biography is also available for free on PDF and you gain interesting insights into the life of a young german man who wanted to become an officer.

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Re: Officer School in the Wehrmacht

Postby Hoplophile » 17 Feb 2017 16:21

Is this the thesis in question?


Dirk Richhardt, Auswahl und Ausbildung junger Offiziere 1930–1945
Zur sozialen Genese des deutschen Offizierkorps



http://archiv.ub.uni-marburg.de/diss/z2005/0100/pdf/ddr.pdf

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Re: Officer School in the Wehrmacht

Postby offizier1916 » 18 Feb 2017 11:37

yes indeed!

and regarding the biography of the young 18 year old joining as an officer candidate in july 1943: its a free website and its just allowed to download it for private use and not for commercial usage. and especially you are not allowed to copy it/reproduce it.
http://www.ausmeinerzeit.de/


on the right you find the links to the pdf documents regarding the different periods of his life during the third reich.

nr 3: his time in Tschechoslowakei where he completed his basic training until end 1943

nr.4: his time at the Unteroffizierschule in Saarlouis from end 43 to mid 44

nr.5: his service on the front until august 44 ("Frontbewährung" für die Offiziersanwärter)

nr. 6: his time at the Fahnenjunkerschule until january 45. he got promoted to Leutnant in jan. 45.

edit: at the end he is listing the names of his comrades during his time at the Unteroffizierschule and Fahnenjunkerschule who were KIA.....its incredible how many died, especially between jan-may 45...all very young, aged between 19-22 :cry:

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Re: Officer School in the Wehrmacht

Postby Jan-Hendrik » 18 Feb 2017 15:48

The most brutal read I met so far was the follwoing:

Johann Huber- 'So war es wirklich',

A ROB that joint 7.PzDiv. for his 'Frontbewährung just in January 1945, bevor the Soviet Offensive towards the Reich. I read in just one day& night, could not stop. The most intensive personal report on the last six month of war I have ever read!

Thanks to Marko Vidmar who pointed my nose at this masterpiece!!

Jan-Hendrik


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