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Some Freikorps Unit Badges

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    Wehr-Regiment München

    Formed on 8. May, 1919 as a security force to police Munich after the defeat of the communists of the Bavarian Soviet in early May 1919. It initially had a strength of approximately 3,000 men drawn from various other Bavarian Freikorps, including Freikorps Epp and the Bavarian "Sicherheitspolizei" (security police). It was considered the military arm of the Bavarian security police and by 1920 was designated Polizei-Wehr-Regiment München before eventually being absorbed by the Bavarian "Landespolizei" (state police) in 1921.

    Pictured are:

    The sleeve badge of Wehrregiment München
    A recruiting poster
    Newspaper notices from Bayerland newspaper calling for volunteers
    A photo of Rittmeister Heinrich Heniger in the uniform of the Vorläufige (provisional) Reichswehr (June to Oct. 1919) wearing the sleeve badge of Wehrregiment München.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Brian L.; 01-14-2020, 02:33 AM.

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      Unknown Sleeve Badge - Possibly Detachement von Randow

      This sleeve badge is identified as 'Unknown' by Ingo Haarcke in his catalogue of Freikorps unit insignia. But, it was identified some years ago as possibly a custom-made sleeve badge for officers in Detachement von Randow. Regardless, as proof of the dramatically increasing interest in Freikorps, this badge just sold for 366 EUR which is about twice what I expected it to sell for. Other items have recently been going for quite impressive prices. So, at least at the moment, the pandemic doesn't seem to be cooling down the hot market for Freikorps.

      Unknown_poss Randow Officer.jpg

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        Freiwilliges Jäger-Bataillons Nr. 11. / Freikorps der “Marburger Jäger”

        Reserve-Jäger-Bataillons Nr. 11. was first used in Belgium and France and then from 1916 in Macedonia and in 1918 in Palestine against British troops, where it was almost "completely wiped out". 41 officers, 150 NCOs and 1281 enlisted men were either dead or missing by the end of the war.

        Remnants of Reserve-Jäger-Bataillons Nr. 11. returned to Marburg from Palestine in November 1918 and formed Freiwilliges Jäger-Bataillons Nr. 11. / Freikorps der "Marburger Jäger". This small Freikorps was commanded by Hauptmann Friedrich-Wilhelm von Chappuis (later General der Infanterie in WWII) and consisted mostly of former fighters of the active battalion to which were added a few remaining recruits from the reserve garrison battalion resulting in a strength of 23 officers and 616 non-commissioned officers and men.

        Freikorps der “Marburger Jäger” is remembered mainly for taking punitive action against Serb, Croat and Slovene troops known as “Maister’s Fighters” led by a rogue Slovene officer, Major Rudolf Maister (the Butcher of Maribor) after Maister’s men massacred 13 German civilians and wounded another 60 during a pro-German/Austrian demonstration in Marburg on January 27, 1919, which came to be known as "Marburg's Bloody Sunday". The resulting action led to a treaty in which Marburg (Maribor) became part of Yugoslavia.


        Subsequently, Freikorps der “Marburger Jäger” served in Grenzschutz Ost border patrol in Upper Silesia initially suppressing a Spartacist-led miners’ strike and fighting in the First Polish Uprising in 1919.

        The Freikorps transferred to the Reichswehr in October 1919.

        Due to the small size of this Freikorps, this sleeve badge is extremely rare.
        In 50 years of Freikorps collecting, this is only the second one I've ever seen. Even in Haarcke's Freikorps catalogue he only has a very rough line drawing for this badge.


        Marburger Jaegersm.jpg
        Last edited by Brian L.; 08-01-2020, 10:30 PM.

        Comment


          Freiwillige Wachabteilung Bahrenfeld / Freikorps Bahrenfeld / Zeitfreiwilligenkorps Groß-Hamburg / Freikorps Sieveking

          Das Freikorps Bahrenfeld („Die Bahrenfelder“), first Das Freiwillige Wachabteilung Bahrenfeld, and later Zeitfreiwilligenkorps Groß-Hamburg was a Hamburg Freikorps from Altona, which existed from 1919 to 1920. The secret initiative to found the Freikorps came from a group of Hamburg merchants who had come together under the code name “Cloud” with the aim to prevent political overthrow attempts by the Left, as the garrison troops still in the city were too weak and the police were neither equipped nor militarily trained for the civil war.
          The Freikorps was founded on the 12 March 1919 in a barracks in Bahrenfeld and was largely made up of students and demobilized soldiers which included former members of Infantry Regiment No. 76. The Wachabteilung was initially under the command of Major Paul Fromm. On June 3, 1919, the Freikorps was taken over as an independent formation in the Reichswehr and was designated as Reichswehr-Jäger-Batailon Groß-Hamburg. In June 1919 the active strength of the unit was about 600 men, plus about 800 reserves.
          The Freikorps was deployed towards the end of June 1919 in the suppression of revolutionary unrest in Hamburg, which had arisen on suspicion of panhandling and persistent food shortages ("brawn riots" „Sülzeunruhen“). Under the leadership of Captain Kurt Senftleben, who was in charge of guarding the barracks and the Bahrenfeld ammunition depot, a Bahrenfeld batallion marched to Hamburg City Hall to put down a demonstration. One demonstrator was killed causing an angry mob to attack members of the Freikorps.14 members of the Bahrenfelder were killed, and another 42 were wounded.
          From August 1919 the unit was called Zeitfreiwilligenkorps Groß-Hamburg under the command of Captain Wilhelm von Rauchhaupt, who was replaced by Captain Sieveking from October 1919. The Freikorps then became known as Freikorps Sieveking. According to the terms of the Versailles Treaty, the Freikorps was dissolved on March 31, 1920.


          Subsequently, a portion of former members of the Freikorps became part of the Hamburg police.

          Freiwillige Wachabteilung Bahrenfeld/Freikorps Bahrenfeld initially wore a dark green cuff-title with the words "Kompanie Bahrenfeld" embroidered in script in white.

          In commemoration of this, a Tradition cuff-title (shown below) was instituted in 1930 for wear by former members of Freikorps Bahrenfeld serving in the Hamburg Police. A special (quite rare) version of the cuff-title embroidered in yellow on blue wool with silver cord piping was established for former members of Freikorps Bahrenfeld who were police officers.


          Bahrenfeldcompsm.jpg
          Bahrenfeld officer cufftitlesm.jpg
          In August 1919, when the Freikorps changed its name to Zeitfreiwilligenkorps Groß-Hamburg, it adopted a silvered arm shield displaying the coat of arms of Greater Hamburg. The badges tended to be made with a few different finishes: frosted silvered brass, oxidized silvered brass and oxidized and blued silver brass (as seen here). When the Freikorps changed its name again to Freikorps Sieveking in October 1919, this sleeve shield continued to be worn until the Freikorps was dissolved in March 1920.

          Zeitfreiw_Gross Hamburgcompsm.jpg
          Last edited by Brian L.; 09-05-2020, 12:14 AM.

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            Einwohnerwehr during the Freikorps period

            After the initial Spartacist (Communist) uprising in Berlin had been suppressed by a combination of Freikorps units, the staff of the Garde-Kavallerie-Schützen-Division (GKSD) established the first citizens brigades (Bürgerwehren) in January 1919. The Reichs Ministry of Defense ordered regional commands to establish civilian brigades (referred to as Einwohnerwehren, literally 'Inhabitants' Defense Forces) on March 22, 1919 to maintain stability within the country. Each state had a central office for the Einwohnerwehr which followed instructions from the military command of the Reichswehr, as well as liaising with local police. The Einwohnerwehr were directly involved in suppression of communist uprisings and workers strikes that occurred around the country from 1919-1923. For example, the Bavarian Einwohnerwehr were heavily involved in the Battle of Munich on May 2-3, 1919 against the Bavarian Soviet government.

            Einwohnerwehr wore civilian clothes and were mainly identified by the wearing of a simple armband that had either a state or city designation printed on them, as well as a membership serial number, or a district badge sewn onto them.

            I have a few of these armbands and will post firstly an interesting set to a civilian guard from Brunswick, named Heinz Holger. I got this set from Holger's family. The story I heard from his grandson was that in 1919, Holger was a teenager, who had just finished high school. He had wanted to run away and join the Freikorps. But, his father (a WWI vet) wouldn't let him, but compromised and allowed him to join the Einwohnerwehr.

            Armband of Einwohnerwehr Braunschweig with Holger's serial number 2493.
            image_4749510.jpg
            An letter from the central command of Einwohnerwehr Braunschweig requesting Holger return his ID, gun license, armband, and service regulation to the group leader so that they could be handed over to his platoon leader as they belonged to the Einwohnerwehr. Holger was also told be be available for future service. Once service was completed, the official documents and armband were supposed to be returned as they gave the holder police powers. Obviously Holger never returned them, which is why I have luckily ended up with this set along with his service award.
            EW_Braunschweig_letter.jpg
            In 1920, the Einwohnerwehr Central Command with the Reichs Ministry of Defense established an Honor Badge known as the "Falkenknopf" (Falcon Button) and Honor Certificate for those who had served in the Einwohnerwehr. A variation was also established specifically for the City of Essen.

            Honor Badge (Falkenknopf) for Einwohnerwehren Deutschland. This was worn in the bottonhole and thus had a round button attached by a metal wedge on the reverse. Reasonable quality fakes of this badge have started appearing on the market that have a safety pin attachment. They were never made this way.
            Falkenknopfcomp.jpg
            Honor Certificate for Einwohnerwehren Deutschland awarded to Heinz Holger.
            Ehrenkunde_Einwohnerwehr Deutschland.jpg

            Despite the Inter-allied Military Commission’s order in the summer of 1919 to disarm and to cease acting as a military reserve, the Einwohnerwehr continued to operate by becoming an arm of the interior ministries. They re-defined themselves as "voluntary, apolitical self-defense associations” and continued to recruit from local dignitaries, war veterans and citizens. Using hunting clubs, gymnastics and sports clubs as covers, they secretly continued to support the Reichswehr in both interior conflicts as well as conflicts on the borders. The Reichswehr continued to secretly arm the Einwohnerwehr and they were supported by extensive private donations, especially from business and other state associations.

            The allies viewed the citizen brigades as illegal military reserve formations. As a result of the Einwohnerwehr’s support of the Kapp-Lüttwitz Putsch on March 13, 1920, the allies ordered the complete dissolution of all Einwohnerwehren on March 31, 1920. After the failure of the Putsch, the Prussian interior Ministry attempted to keep the Einwohnerwehr, arguing they were needed to support the police in maintaining order. However, by the summer of 1920, all Einwohnerwehren, except in Bavaria were disbanded or reformed as sports clubs.

            Einwohnerwehr Bayern (1919-1921)

            Self-defense Associations in Bavaria emerged from the original German concept of the citizens and people’s brigades. As a result of the overthrow of the Bavarian government and setting up of the Munich Soviet Republic, Rudolf Kanzler (1873-1956), commander of Freikorps Chiemgau was given the responsibility in mid-April, 1919, of building the Bavarian Einwohnerwehr by government in exile in Bamberg, supported by the Minister of the Interior, Gustav von Kahr (later responsible for stopping Hitler’s 1923 putsch) and the Reichswehr.

            The first Einwohnerwehr was formed in May 1919 in Rosenheim from former members of Freikorps Chiemgau.
            Ew Chiemgausm.jpg

            After the defeat of the Munich Soviet Republic by a combined Freikorps/Reichswehr/Einwohnerwehr force led by Freikorps Epp on May 2-3, 1919, some Freikorps members migrated to the ranks of the Einwohnerwehr. Part of the countrywide covert resistance to Allied disarmament demands, the Bavarian Einwohnerwehr continued until June 1921, to carry arms, a year after other Einwohnerwehren in Germany had been dissolved and transformed into underground paramilitary organizations.

            A selection of Bavarian Einwohnerwehr District sleeve shields which would have been sewn onto the generic blue and white armband.
            Bav Ew sleeve badges.jpg



            Einwohnerwehr München
            EWMsm.jpg
            In September 1919, the Bavarian government and the Reichswehr set up a central office to oversee all Bavarian civil brigades in one association - der Landesverband der Einwohnerwehren Bayerns. Hauptmann Ernst Röhm acted as liason between the Reichswehr and Einwohnerwehr and was principally responsible for all arms depots. By Fall, 1919 the combined strength of all Bavarian Einwohnerwehren reached 400,000. Another 30,000 were held in reserve. With the official dissolution of various Bavarian Freikorps, especially, Freikorps Oberland in the Spring of 1920, Freikorps veterans swelled the ranks of the Einwohnerwehr.

            Einwohnerwehr Landshut
            image_4749561.jpg


            Einwohnerwehr Gau Passau (leader armband)
            Passausm.jpg


            But, by June 1921, the Bavarian Einwohnerwehr was forced to officially disband. However, these civil brigades merely went underground, forming paramilitary arms of political parties such as “Bayernwacht” (1924-1933) of the Bayerische Volkspartei (BVP) and the ultra-rightwing, Monarchist “Bund Bayern und Reich” (1921-1935) which later became a branch of the Stahlhelmbund in 1929. Other former Einwohnerwehr, especially from Southeast Bavaria went to Austria to help formed the Heimwehr (Austrian Home Guard), 1921-1938.

            Badges for BAYERNWACHT, Bund Bayern und Reich, and the Austrian Heimwehr (District Styrland)
            ParamilitaryComp.jpg
            Last edited by Brian L.; 09-12-2020, 07:43 AM.

            Comment


              Selbstschutzes Oberschlesien S.S.O.S.

              Generic arm-badge (also worn on the hat, collar or breast) instituted in May 1921 and worn by all Self-defense forces in Upper Silesia during the Third Polish Uprising between May 20 and July 5, 1921.


              SSOS shieldsm.jpg

              Freiwillige 12. (Schlesische) Infanterie-Division / Freiwilligentruppen der 32. Reichswehr-Brigade / Reichswehr-Brigade 8.

              Collar badge worn by the following successive units from March 1919 until December 1920.
              1/ The Freiwilligen 12. Infanterie-Division was formed in March 1919 and used to form Reichswehr-Brigade 8. in June 1919.
              2/ The Reichswehr-Brigade 32. Gleiwitz of the Vorläufige Reichswehr was formed in June 1919 from the Freikorps unit Freiwilligen 117. Infanterie-Division.
              3/ The Reichswehr-Brigade 32. merged with Reichswehr-Brigade 8. in February 1920 to become Reichswehr-Brigade 8 of the Übergangsheer which disbanded in December 1920.


              Freiw 12 Schl Inf Divsm.jpg

              Landesschützenverband Oberschlesien

              Honor badge.

              The Landesschützenverband Oberschlesien (State Rifle Association of Upper Silesia) was a paramilitary organization formed in 1921 from remnants of various Silesian Freikorps as an underground self defense force to defend Silesia against further Polish insurgency. It was disbanded in 1935.


              LSV_OSobv.jpg

              As can be seen, the Honor Badge was combination of the two main Freikorps uniform badges worn by German Freikorps during the Upper Silesian uprisings.

              SSOS_Fr12InfDiv_LSVOS.jpg



              Last edited by Brian L.; 10-09-2020, 03:52 AM.

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                Freikorps Löschebrand / Freischar Löschebrand / Freiwillige Offizier-Abteilung Löschebrand

                Arm-badge.

                Freikorps Löschebrand was established on January 8, 1919 in Zossen, Brandenburg as a batallion in Freiwilligen-Brigade von Taysen (commanded by PLM winner Oberst Friedrich von Taysen, later Generalleutnant der Reichswehr).

                As part of Garde-Kavallerie-Schützen-Division, Freikorps Löschebrand and Freiwilligen-Brigade von Taysen took part in the suppression of the Spartacist uprising and general strikes in January and March 1919 in Berlin.

                The Freikorps became the 1st battalion of Freikorps Klewitz on April 22, 1919 and was deployed in Berlin, Chemnitz and Upper Silesia during the First Polish Uprising in 1919.

                Loeschebrandsm.jpg
                Last edited by Brian L.; 12-11-2020, 10:17 PM.

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                  Grenzschutz Panzerzug 22 des Eisenbahn-Bataillons Bromberg / Eisenbahn-Sicherheitsdienstes Bromberg

                  Arm-badge.


                  This extremely rare badge appeared and sold quickly (and cheaply) on eBay (I fell asleep and missed the final bidding, unfortunately).

                  I don't know much about this armored train unit other than it was raised in 1919 in Upper Silesia and was likely attached to Grenzschutz-Bataillon III (Bromberg).

                  As the badge was likely made in the field, they were all slightly different. Admittedly, there is only one other known version of this badge shown in von Salomon's 1938 Freikorps book, which varies slightly in its construction and the size of the numerals. Looking at the cartouche with the hand-stamped word "PANZERZUG" it looks like it was done on a metal shoe heel plate and adapted for the badge. It would be pretty easy to fake this badge. But, given I've never seen another offered for sale, I'm pretty confident that this one is real.
                  I've attached a composite image that shows the other known version together with a drawing of the associated armband, both from von Salomon's book (no actual example of the armband exists, that I know of) and a photo of the "Stab" (staff) of Panzerzug Bromberg.



                  Panzerzug 22_2.jpg Panzerzug 22 photo comp.jpg
                  Last edited by Brian L.; 12-14-2020, 04:19 AM.

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                    Freikorps Air Forces

                    I have been assembling images of known Freikorps Volunteer Fighter Squadron insignia. FFA418 was commanded by Oberleutnant Oskar von Boenigk and was part of Grenzschutz Ost serving in upper Silesia until October 1919.
                    FFA424, FFA426, Eiserne FA427 and Art.-Flieger-Staffel 101 were part of Kampfgeschwader Sachsenberg and fought until December 1919 in the Baltic campaign, first with the Iron Division and Deutsche Legion and finally with Bermondt-Avalov's Russian West Army.

                    Here is the insignia I have identified so far. With the exception of FFA418, all of these were sleeve badges worn on the upper left sleeve. The photo shows a member of Kampfgeschwader Sachsenberg wearing the unit badge above the MGSS badge.


                    FreiwFliegerBadgecompsm.jpg Sachsenberg.jpg

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                      Einwohnerwehr München

                      Although not a badge, I thought I would post this here as an addendum to my post on Einwohnerwehren.

                      This is a particularly nice Waffenschein (gun license) for Engineer Gustav Hollasch, a member of Einwohnerwehr München, Berzirk (District) 25a. As Einwohnerwehr were comprised of civilians and former members of the Freikorps, they were required to carry the gun license when armed and on duty within the city of Munich. Although not dated, based on his low membership number (82), this is most likely from early May, 1919. Therefore, it's likely he joined the Einwohnerwehr when they were formed immediately after the defeat of the Munich Soviet on May 3, 1919.

                      EW Munchen WaffenscheinSm.jpg

                      Comment


                        Hi Brian,

                        the Einwohnerwehr Landshut Badge is the unit Badge of the 4th Kompanie, I.Bataillon, Freikorps Oberland. My Grandfather located in Augsburg had this badge.

                        BR Christian



                        Einwohnerwehr Landshut
                        image_4749561.jpg


                        Comment


                          Originally posted by Oberland View Post
                          Hi Brian,

                          the Einwohnerwehr Landshut Badge is the unit Badge of the 4th Kompanie, I.Bataillon, Freikorps Oberland. My Grandfather located in Augsburg had this badge.

                          BR Christian



                          Einwohnerwehr Landshut
                          image_4749561.jpg

                          Yes. I know. It was Einwohnerwehr Landshut first and then later it was co-opted by 4th Kompanie, I.Bataillon, Freikorps Oberland and only the shield was worn without the armband.

                          Comment


                            Einwohnerwehr Bayern-Grenz Gau

                            Lapel badge made by Deschler u. Sohn, München.

                            Bayern-Grenz GauSm.jpg

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