German "white classes" (exempted from compulsory military service)

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loren63
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Joined: 07 Jul 2020 05:56
Location: Paris

German "white classes" (exempted from compulsory military service)

Post by loren63 » 02 Mar 2023 16:05

Hello,

Has anyone heard about the "white classes", that is to say the years of birth when the Germans who were exempted from any military service after the end of ww1 till the 1935 law which reintroduced compulsory service in Germany ?

I would say rougly that the "white classes" are the 18 years old Germans in 1919 to 1934 : it means they were born between 1901 and 1916.
My question are :
- what were the duties of the "white classes" when the war broke out in 1939 ? Were they sent to any quick instruction camps and then to the battlefield ?
- in the last years of the war, for example in 1944 : I suppose the lack of men should have send them to the battlefield after a quick military instruction in an exercice camp or even, a school, if they wanted to to be promoted as officers. Any clarification would be appreciated.

Sorry if the topic has already been dealt on the forum, I did find any post for that.

Thanks
Laurent

Art
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Joined: 04 Jun 2004 19:49
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: German "white classes" (exempted from compulsory military service)

Post by Art » 02 Mar 2023 20:20

loren63 wrote:
02 Mar 2023 16:05
I would say rougly that the "white classes" are the 18 years old Germans in 1919 to 1934 : it means they were born between 1901 and 1916.
When conscription was reintroduced in 1935 the military age was 21 yeas, that means that men conscripted to the Wehrmacht in 1935-1938 were generally born in 1914-1917 (with some exceptions). Also some part of the older ages underwent short-term (several months) training in peace-time ergänzung units and formed so-called Reserve II (as opposed to Reserve I who whe men completing a full-term service in the military).
See the chart down the link, which explains most details about conscription
viewtopic.php?p=2363974#p2363974
and also the chart below:
WK VII.png
According to this source (Germany and the Second World War) some 800,000 men without prior military training were drafted to the Whermacht with at mobilization of 1939. They belonged to the classes of 1906-1907 and 1918-1919.

Generally men without prior military experience went to replacement units, mostly situated on the German territory, where they recieved basic training and then specialized traning (i.e. infantry, artillery etc). After that they could be sent as replacements to existing units or could be used to form new units,
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loren63
Member
Posts: 21
Joined: 07 Jul 2020 05:56
Location: Paris

Re: German "white classes" (exempted from compulsory military service)

Post by loren63 » 02 Mar 2023 23:41

Hello Art,
Thanks for the link and additional info !
Regards
Loren

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