The Imperial German Army (German: Deutsches Heer) was the unified ground and air force of the German Empire (excluding the Marine-Fliegerabteilung maritime aviation formations of the Imperial German Navy). The term Deutsches Heer is also used for the modern German Army, the land component of the Bundeswehr. The German Army was formed after the unification of Germany under Prussian leadership in 1871 and dissolved in 1919, after the defeat of the German Empire in World War I.
|Type||Army and Air Force|
|Role||Protecting the German Empire and its interests by using ground and air forces.|
13,500,000 (World War I total)
|Motto(s)||"Gott mit uns"|
|Colors||Black, white, and red|
|Emperor||Wilhelm I (first)|
Wilhelm II (last)
|Supreme Army Commander||Moltke the Younger (first)|
Paul von Hindenburg (last)
|Chief of the General Staff||Moltke the Elder (first)|
Hans von Seeckt (last)
The states that made up the German Empire contributed their armies; within the German Confederation, formed after the Napoleonic Wars, each state was responsible for maintaining certain units to be put at the disposal of the Confederation in case of conflict. When operating together, the units were known as the Federal Army (Bundesheer). The Federal Army system functioned during various conflicts of the 19th century, such as the First Schleswig War from 1848–50 but by the time of the Second Schleswig War of 1864, tension had grown between the main powers of the confederation, the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia and the German Confederation was dissolved after the Austro-Prussian War of 1866.
Prussia formed the North German Confederation and the treaty provided for the maintenance of a Federal Army and a Federal Navy (Bundesmarine or Bundeskriegsmarine). Further laws on military duty also used these terms. Conventions (some later amended) were entered into between the North German Confederation and its member states, subordinating their armies to the Prussian army in time of war, and giving the Prussian Army control over training, doctrine and equipment.[a]
Shortly after the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, the North German Confederation also entered into conventions on military matters with states that were not members of the confederation, namely the Bavaria, Württemberg, and Baden.[b] Through these conventions and the 1871 Constitution of the German Empire, an Army of the Realm (Reichsheer) was created. The contingents of the Bavarian, Saxon and Württemberg kingdoms remained semi-autonomous, while the Prussian Army assumed almost total control over the armies of the other states of the Empire. The Constitution of the German Empire, dated April 16, 1871, changed references in the North German Constitution from Federal Army to either Army of the Realm (Reichsheer) or German Army (Deutsches Heer).
After 1871, the peacetime armies of the four kingdoms remained relatively distinct. "German Army" was used in various legal documents, such as the Military Penal Code, but otherwise the Prussian, Bavarian, Saxon and Württemberg armies maintained distinct identities. Each kingdom had its own War Ministry, Bavaria and Saxony published their own rank and seniority lists for their officers and the Württemberg list was a separate chapter of the Prussian army rank lists. Württemberg and Saxon units were numbered according to the Prussian system but Bavarian units maintained their own numbers (the 2nd Württemberg Infantry Regiment was Infantry Regiment No. 120 under the Prussian system).
The commander of the Imperial German Army, less the Bavarian contingent, was the Kaiser. He was assisted by a Military Cabinet and exercised control through the Prussian Ministry of War and the Great General Staff. The Chief of the General Staff became the Kaiser's main military advisor and the most powerful military figure in the Empire. Bavaria kept its own Ministry of War and General Staff, but coordinated planning with the Prussian Great General Staff. Saxony also maintained its own Ministry of War and the Ministry of War of Württemberg also continued to exist.
Command of the Prussian Army had been reformed in the wake of the defeats suffered by Prussia in the Napoleonic Wars. Rather than rely primarily on the martial skills of the individual members of the German nobility, who dominated the military profession, the Prussian Army instituted changes to ensure excellence in leadership, organization and planning. The General Staff system, that sought to institutionalize military excellence, was the main result. It sought to identify military talent at the lower levels and develop it thoroughly through academic training and practical experience on division, corps and higher staffs, up to the Great General Staff, the senior planning body of the army. It provided planning and organizational work during peacetime and wartime. The Prussian General Staff, proven in battle in the Wars of Unification, became the German General Staff upon formation of the German Empire, given Prussia's leading role in the German Army.
In the German Empire, diplomatic relations were the responsibility of the Chancellor and his Foreign Minister. The German Army reported separately to the Emperor, and increasingly played a major role in shaping foreign policy when military alliances or warfare was at issue. In diplomatic terms, Germany used the Prussian system of military attaches attached to diplomatic locations, with highly talented young officers assigned to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, and military capabilities of their assigned nations. They used close observation, conversations, and paid agents to produce very high quality reports that gave a significant advantage to the military planners. The military staff grew increasingly powerful, reducing the role of the Minister of war, and increasingly asserted itself in foreign policy decisions. Otto von Bismarck, the Imperial Chancellor 1871-1890, was annoyed by military interference in foreign policy affairs – in 1887, for example, they tried to convince the Emperor to declare war on Russia; they also encouraged Austria to attack Russia. Bismarck never controlled the Army, but he did complain vehemently, and the military leaders drew back.In 1905, when the Morocco affair was roiling international politics, chief of the General staff Alfred von Schlieffen and called for a preventive war against France. At a critical point in the July crisis of 1914, Helmuth von Moltke, the chief of staff, without telling the Emperor or chancellor, advised his counterpart in Austria to mobilize against Russia at once. During the First World War. Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg increasingly set foreign policy, working directly with the Emperor-- and indeed shaped his decision-making-- leaving the chancellor and civilian officials in the dark. Historian Gordon A. Craig says that the crucial decisions in 1914, "were made by the soldiers and that, in making them, they displayed an almost complete disregard for political considerations."
The Kaiser had full control of the armed forces, but used a highly complex organizational structure. The basic peacetime organizational structure of the Imperial German Army were the Army inspectorate (Armee-Inspektion), the army corps (Armeekorps), the division and the regiment. During wartime, the staff of the Army inspectorates formed field army commands, which controlled the corps and subordinate units. During World War I, a higher command level, the army group (Heeresgruppe), was created. Each army group controlled several field armies.
Germany was divided into army inspectorates, each of which oversaw three or four corps. There were five in 1871, with three more added between 1907 and 1913.
The basic organizational formation was the army corps (Armeekorps). The corps consisted of two or more divisions and various support troops, covering a geographical area. The corps was also responsible for maintaining the reserves and Landwehr in the corps area. By 1914, there were 21 corps areas under Prussian jurisdiction and three Bavarian army corps. Besides the regional corps, there was also a Guard Corps (Gardecorps), which controlled the elite Prussian Guard units. A corps usually included a light infantry (Jäger) battalion, a heavy artillery (Fußartillerie) battalion, an engineer battalion, a telegraph battalion and a trains battalion. Some corps areas also disposed of fortress troops; each of the 25 corps had a Field Aviation Unit (Feldflieger Abteilung) attached to it normally equipped with six unarmed "A" or "B" class unarmed two-seat observation aircraft apiece.
In wartime, the army corps became a mobile tactical formation and four Höhere Kavallerie-Kommando (Higher Cavalry Commands) were formed from the Cavalry Inspectorate, the equivalent of corps, being made up of two divisions of cavalry.
The areas formerly covered by the corps each became the responsibility of a Wehrkreis (Military District, sometimes translated as Corps Area). The Military Districts were to supervise the training and enlistment of reservists and new recruits. Originally each Military District was linked to an army corps; thus Wehrkreis I took over the area that I. Armeekorps had been responsible for and sent replacements to the same formation. The first sixteen Reserve Corps raised followed the same pattern; X. Reserve-Korps was made up of reservists from the same area as X. Armeekorps. However, these links between rear areas and front line units were broken as the war went on and later corps were raised with troops from all over Germany.
The basic tactical formation was the division. A standard Imperial German division consisted of two infantry brigades of two regiments each, a cavalry brigade of two regiments, and an artillery brigade of two regiments. One of the divisions in a corps area usually also managed the corps Landwehr region (Landwehrbezirk). In 1914, besides the Guard Corps (two Guard divisions and a Guard cavalry division), there were 42 regular divisions in the Prussian Army (including four Saxon divisions and two Württemberg divisions), and six divisions in the Bavarian Army.
These divisions were all mobilized in August 1914. They were reorganized, receiving engineer companies and other support units from their corps, and giving up most of their cavalry to form cavalry divisions. Reserve divisions were also formed, Landwehr brigades were aggregated into divisions, and other divisions were formed from replacement (Ersatz) units. As World War I progressed, additional divisions were formed, and by wars' end, 251 divisions had been formed or reformed in the German Army's structure.
The regiment was the basic combat unit as well as the recruiting base for soldiers. When inducted, a soldier entered a regiment, usually through its replacement battalion, and received his basic training. There were three basic types of regiment: infantry, cavalry and artillery. Other specialties, such as pioneers (combat engineers) and signal troops, were organized into smaller support units. Regiments also carried the traditions of the army, in many cases stretching back into the 17th and 18th centuries. After World War I, regimental traditions were carried forward in the Reichswehr and its successor, the Wehrmacht, but the chain of tradition was broken in 1945 as West German and East German units did not carry forward pre-1945 traditions.
The German Empire was formed by 38 duchies and kingdoms each with their traditions of warfare. Although the new army of the united German Empire was nominally "German", it was formed from separate national contingents which behaved autonomously:
The Royal Saxon Army...was the national army of the Kingdom of Saxony one of the four states of the German Reich to retain its own armed forces.— Lucas & Schmieschek p. 8 (2015)
Nevertheless, in times of war, all of these would pledge allegiance to the Kaiser and the German nation. They did however remain organizationally distinct, being able to raise units of their own without assistance from the dominating Prussians. In one instance, Freiherr von Sonden (from Württemberg) was able to "quite legitimately send a request directly to the Ministry of War in Stuttgart for the raising of a new artillery regiment".
Regiments and units from separate constituents were also raised locally and often numbered independently from each other - for example, there was (among others) both a Bavarian 1st Infantry Regiment and a Württemberger 1st Infantry Regiment.
When the British decided to reform their army in the 1860s, they surveyed the major European forces and decided that the Prussian system was the best one. That system was continued into the Imperial Army after 1871 and resulted in a modest cadre of professional officers and sergeants, and a large reserve force that could be quickly mobilised at the start of a war. The British could not use the system because they rejected conscription. The Japanese, however, were also observing the reserve system and, unlike the British, decided to copy the Prussian model. Barnett explains that every young man was drafted at age 18, with the upper-class becoming officers:
Germany had the largest industrial base in Europe, having surpassed Britain by 1900. The Army closely cooperated with industry, especially in the World War, with particular focus on the very rapidly changing aircraft industry. The Army set prices and labor exemptions, regulated the supply of credit and raw materials, limited patent rights so as to allow cross-licensing among firms, and supervised management–labor relationships. The result was very rapid expansion and a high output of high quality aircraft, as well as high wages that attracted the best machinists. Apart from aircraft, the Army's regulation of the rest of the war economy was inefficient.
The Deutsche Luftstreitkräfte, known before October 1916 as Die Fliegertruppen des deutschen Kaiserreiches (Imperial German Flying Troops), was the over-land air arm of the German Army during World War I (1914–1918). Although its name actually means something very close to "The German Air Force", it remained an integral part of the German Army for the duration of the war. The Kaiserliche Marine naval forces of the German Empire had their own, separate Marine-Fliegerabteilung maritime aviation forces, apart from the Luftstreitkräfte of the Army.
The German Army from 1871 to 1914 inherited the various traditions and military ranks of its constituent states, thus becoming a truly federal armed service.
Additionally, the following voluntary enlistees were distinguished:
Note: Einjährig-Freiwilliger and Kapitulant were not ranks as such during this specific period of use, but voluntary military enlistee designations. They, however, wore a specific uniform distinction (twisted wool piping along their shoulder epaulette edging for Einjährig-Freiwilliger, the Kapitulant a narrow band across their lower shoulder epaulette) in the colours of their respective nation state. This distinction was never removed throughout their military service nor during any rank grade advancements.
Critics long believed that the Army's officer corps was heavily dominated by Junker aristocrats, so that commoners were shunted into low-prestige branches, such as the heavy artillery or supply. However, by the 1890s, the top ranks were opened to highly talented commoners.
|Shoulder insignia||Leutnant: infantry, cavalry and other arms
|Hauptmann/Kapitän II Klasse: infantry and cavalry
Rittmeister II Klasse: Cavalry
|Hauptmann/Kapitän I Klasse: infantry and artillery|
Rittmeister I Klasse: Cavalry
|2nd Lieutenant||1st Lieutenant||Staff Captain[c]||Captain|
|Shoulder insignia||Generalmajor||Generalleutnant||General der... Infanterie, der Kavallerie, der Artillerie||Generaloberst||Generaloberst mit dem Rang als Generalfeldmarschall||Generalfeldmarschall|
|Major General||Lieutenant General||General of... the Infantry, the Cavalry, the Artillery||Colonel General||Colonel General in the rank of Field Marshal||Field Marshal|
The 5th Cavalry Division (5. Kavallerie-Division) was a unit of the German Army in World War I. The division was formed on the mobilization of the German Army in August 1914. The division was dissolved in February 1918.8th Cavalry Division (German Empire)
The 8th Cavalry Division (8. Kavallerie-Division) was a unit of the German Army in World War I. The division was formed on the mobilization of the German Army in August 1914. The division was dissolved in April 1918. The majority of the division was drawn from the Kingdom of Saxony.9th Cavalry Division (German Empire)
The 9th Cavalry Division (9. Kavallerie-Division) was a unit of the German Army in World War I. The division was formed on the mobilization of the German Army in August 1914. The division was dissolved in March 1918.Askari
An askari (from Arabic: عسكري Askari, means: soldier, or military) was a local soldier serving in the armies of the European colonial powers in Africa, particularly in the African Great Lakes, Northeast Africa and Central Africa. The word is used in this sense in English, as well as in German, Italian, Urdu and Portuguese. In French, the word is used only in reference to native troops outside the French colonial empire. The designation is still in occasional use today to informally describe police, gendarmerie and security guards.During the period of the European colonial empires in Africa, locally recruited soldiers were employed by Italian, British, Portuguese, German and Belgian colonial armies. They played a crucial role in the conquest of the various colonial possessions, and subsequently served as garrison and internal security forces. During both World Wars, askari units also served outside their colonies of origin, in various parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia.German Army (disambiguation)
The German Army is the land army of Germany.
The German Army may refer to:
German Army (1990– ) (Heer), the Army of unified Germany (Federal Republic of Germany)
Land Forces of the National People's Army (1956–1990) (Landstreitkräfte), the Army of East Germany's Nationale Volksarmee
German Army (1955–1990) (Heer), the Army of West Germany's Bundeswehr
German Army (Wehrmacht) (1935–1946) (Heer), the Army of Nazi Germany's Wehrmacht (Hitler Regime / "Third Reich")
Reichswehr (1919–1935), the Army of the Weimar Republic
German Army (German Empire) (1871–1919) (Deutsches Heer), the Army of the German Empire ("Second Reich")
Army of the Holy Roman Empire (1422–1806) (Reichsheer), the Army of the Holy Roman Empire ("First Reich")
Imperial Army (Holy Roman Empire) (Kaiserliche Armee), the Personal Army of the Holy Roman Emperor (Kaiser)German Army order of battle, Western Front (1918)
This is the German Army order of battle on the Western Front at the close of the war.
The overall commander of the Imperial German Army was Kaiser Wilhelm II, but real power resided with The Chief of the General Staff, Generalfeldmarschall Paul von Hindenburg, and his First Quartermaster, General der Infanterie Erich Ludendorff.German Army order of battle (1914)
This is the German Army order of battle on the outbreak of World War I in August 1914.German Imperial War Council of 8 December 1912
The German Imperial War Council of 8 December 1912 was an informal conference of some of the highest military leaders of the German Empire. Meeting at the Stadtschloss in Berlin, they discussed and debated the tense military and diplomatic situation in Europe at the time. As a result of the Russian Great Military Program announced in November, Austria-Hungary's concerns about Serbian successes in the First Balkan War, and certain British communications, the possibility of war was a prime topic of the meeting.In the continuing debate on the causes of World War I, historians like Fritz Fischer and John C. G. Röhl consider the conference a decisive step to war, long before the July Crisis.Heer (army)
Heer may refer to:
German Army, or Deutsches Heer (1956–present), for the Cold War Army of West Germany and the current Army of Germany
German Army (Wehrmacht), or Heer, (1935–45) for the Second World War Army of Nazi Germany
Reichswehr, or Reichsheer (1920–35), for the interwar Army of the Weimar Republic
German Army (German Empire), or 'Deutsches Heer (1871–1919), for Army of the German Empire
Army of the Holy Roman Empire, or Reichsheer (1422–1806), for the army of the Holy Roman Empire
Bundesheer or German Federal Army, the Army of the German Confederation (1815-1866)
Österreichisches Bundesheer (1920–38, 1955–present), the current Austrian Armed Forces
Heer, the current ground component of the Military of SwitzerlandImperial German plans for the invasion of the United Kingdom
Imperial German plans for the invasion of the United Kingdom were first conceived in 1897 by Admiral Eduard von Knorr, commander of the Imperial German Navy, against a background of increasing Anglo-German rivalry and German naval expansion. Acknowledging the inferiority of the small German fleet, his concept called for a preemptive strike against the Royal Navy to establish temporary naval supremacy. This would be followed by an immediate landing, before British naval reinforcements re-established command of the sea. Subsequent studies determined that the shortest possible sea-crossing would be a prerequisite for success, requiring the use of port facilities seized in Belgium and the Netherlands to embark the expeditionary force. Reconnaissance of the English east coast was completed and potential landing sites in East Anglia were selected.
Comments were invited from Alfred von Schlieffen, Chief of the German General Staff, who regarded an invasion to be impractical. His staff estimated that it would require up to 320,000 troops to defeat the British home defences and capture London, and that a quick victory would be necessary if the expeditionary force was not to be cut off and forced to surrender. The plans were opposed throughout by Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, State Secretary of the German Imperial Naval Office. They were shelved in 1899 when it became apparent that the German navy and merchant marine were not sufficiently strong to accomplish an invasion without compromising the secrecy considered essential for success. During the First World War, German naval operations against the British mainland were restricted to raids, designed to force the Royal Navy to dissipate its superior strength in coastal defence and thereby allow the smaller German navy to engage it on more favourable terms.Imperial German plans for the invasion of the United States
Imperial German plans for the invasion of the United States were ordered by Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II from 1897 to 1903. He intended not to conquer the US but only to reduce the country's influence. His planned invasion was supposed to force the US to bargain from a weak position and to sever its growing economic and political connections in the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean and South America so that German influence could increase there. Junior officers made various plans, but none were seriously considered and the project was dropped in 1906.
The first plan was made in the winter of 1897–1898, by Lieutenant Eberhard von Mantey, and targeted mainly American naval bases in Hampton Roads to reduce and constrain the US Navy and threaten Washington, DC.
In March 1899, after significant gains made by the US in the Spanish–American War, the plan was altered to focus on a land invasion of New York City and Boston. In August 1901, Lieutenant Hubert von Rebeur-Paschwitz spied on the target areas and reported back.
A third plan was drawn up in November 1903 by naval staff officer Wilhelm Büchsel, called Operation Plan III (Operationsplan III), with minor adjustments made to the amphibious landing locations and the immediate tactical goals.
The Imperial German Navy, under Grand Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, expanded greatly from 1898 to 1906 but was never large enough to carry out the plans, and there is no indication that they were ever seriously considered. The German Army, under Field Marshal Alfred von Schlieffen, responsible for at least 100,000 troops in the invasion, was certain that the proposal would end in defeat. The plans were permanently shelved in 1906 and did not become fully public until 1970 when they were discovered in the German military archive in Freiburg (an additional "rediscovery" of them occurred in 2002).The general staffs of all major powers make hypothetical war plans. The main objective is to estimate the amount of resources necessary to carry them out so that if the crisis ever emerged, precious time would not be wasted in developing them. Since all nations do it routinely, there is no sense that the plans developed by junior officers had any impact on national decision-making. Most of the plans never leave the War Department.Kriegsbrauch im Landkriege
Kriegsbrauch im Landkriege (The Usages of War on Land) was a war conduct manual written by the General Staff of the German Army in 1902. Christian Meurer, one of Germany's foremost international lawyers, said in 1907 that the book was the authoritative statement of the laws of war by the organisation responsible for conduct in wartime.The book claimed that attempts during the nineteenth century to regulate warfare had "completely failed":
But since the tendency of thought of the last century was dominated essentially by humanitarian considerations which not infrequently degenerated into sentimentality and flabby emotion there have not been wanting attempts to influence the development of the usages of war in a way which was in fundamental contradiction with the nature of war and its object.
Therefore, the German officer had to "guard himself against excessive humanitarian notions" in order to learn that "certain severities are indispensable to war, nay more, that the only true humanity very often lies in a ruthless application of them".Brigadier-General J. H. Morgan translated the book into English and it was published by John Murray in January 1915.List of Imperial German Uhlan regiments
List of Imperial German Uhlan RegimentsLuftstreitkräfte
The Deutsche Luftstreitkräfte (German: [ˈdɔʏtʃə ˈlʊftˌʃtʁaɪtkʁɛftə], German Air Force)—known before October 1916 as the Fliegertruppen des deutschen Kaiserreiches (Imperial German Flying Corps) or simply Die Fliegertruppe—was the World War I (1914–18) air arm of the German Army, of which it remained an integral part. In English-language sources it is usually referred to as the Imperial German Air Service, although that is not a literal translation of either name. German naval aviators serving with the Marine-Fliegerabteilung remained an integral part of the Imperial German Navy (Kaiserliche Marine). Both military branches, the army and navy, operated conventional aircraft, observation balloons and Zeppelins.Military Cabinet (Prussia)
The Military Cabinet (Militärkabinett) was a military advisory body under the direct command of the King of Prussia, and by extension the German Emperor after 1871, for handling personnel matters of the army officer corps. It emerged from the Prussian Army personnel department in the wake of the 1809 reform of the military, and was officially established 3 June 1814. It developed under Emperor Wilhelm II into a personal instrument of the monarch for processing all military matters.
The Chief of the Military Cabinet (Chef des Militärkabinetts) was often at the same time Adjutant General (chief aide-de-camp) to the monarch and subordinate only to him. The king appointed all members of the Military Cabinet and the chief had the coveted Immediatvortrag, direct personal access to the king, which even the chief of the Great General Staff and the Minister of War did not have. The cabinet was essentially a privy council to the monarch and its constitutional position was unclear.
It was modernized under the leadership of Edwin Freiherr von Manteuffel, from 1856/1857 to 1865. During Austro-Prussian War of 1866 and the 1870–71 Franco-Prussian War the chief of the Military Cabinet was a member of the army headquarters staff.
With the emergence of the Imperial German Army after 1871 the powers of the Military Cabinet were enlarged. It remained a Prussian authority and functioned as the cabinet of the imperial army command. Until 1918 it was officially the "Military Cabinet of His Majesty the Emperor and King". The chief handled normal communications between the Emperor and other military authorities and was the only military officer to meet with the Emperor several times a week. Over time the cabinet became a great center of power. It had great influence on Wilhelm I, and gained even more on Wilhelm II.
During the First World War, the Military Cabinet lost favor to the Third Supreme Command of Hindenburg and Ludendorff. With the overthrow of the monarchy the Military Cabinet became the "Personnel Office of War Ministry" (Personalamt im Kriegsministerium) on 7 December 1918.Military ranks of the German Empire
The military ranks of the German Empire, were the ranks used by the military of the German Empire. It inherited the various traditions and military ranks of its constituent states.Oberste Heeresleitung
The Oberste Heeresleitung (German pronunciation: [ˈoːbɐstə ˈheːʁəsˌlaɪtʊŋ], Supreme Army Command or OHL) was the highest echelon of command of the army (Heer) of the German Empire. In the latter part of World War I, the Third OHL assumed dictatorial powers and became the de facto political authority in the empire.Ruga-Ruga
Ruga-Ruga (sometimes called Rugaruga) were irregular troops in Eastern Africa, often deployed by western colonial forces. They often served as mercenaries or local auxiliaries alongside the regular Askari, professional soldiers who were often hired in other regions of Africa. While the latter were trained by officers of the European colonial powers in Africa, the Ruga-Ruga were mostly hired from tribal warriors during times of conflict.Schutztruppe
Schutztruppe (German: [ˈʃʊtsˌtʁʊpə] (listen), lit. "protection force") was the official name of the colonial troops in the African territories of the German colonial empire from the late 19th century to 1918. Similar to other colonial armies, the Schutztruppen consisted of volunteer European commissioned and non-commissioned officers, medical and veterinary officers. Most enlisted ranks were generally recruited locally.
Military contingents were formed in German East Africa, where they became famous as Askari, in the Kamerun colony of German West Africa, and in German South-West Africa. Control of the German colonies of New Guinea, in Samoa, and in Togoland was performed by small local police detachments. Kiautschou in China under Imperial Navy administration was a notable exception. As part of the East Asian Station the navy garrisoned at Tsingtao the marines of 3rd Sea Battalion, the only all-German unit with permanent status in an overseas protectorate.