Ministry of the Reichswehr
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Ministry of the Reichswehr
Ministry of the Reichswehr
Reichswehrministerium  (German)
Innenhof Bendlerblock.jpg
Entrance to the Bendlerblock.
Ministry overview
FormedOctober 1919 (1919-10)
Dissolved4 February 1938 (1938-02-04)
JurisdictionReichswehr (to 1935)
Wehrmacht
HeadquartersBendlerblock
Minister responsible
  • Defence minister

The Ministry of the Reichswehr or Reich Ministry of Defence (German: Reichswehrministerium) was the defence ministry of the Weimar Republic and the early Third Reich. The 1919 Weimar Constitution provided for a unified, national ministry of defence to coordinate the new Reichswehr, and that ministry was set up in October 1919, from the existing Prussian War Ministry and Reichsmarineamt. It was based in the Bendlerblock building. The Wehrgesetz (Defence Law) of 21 May 1935[1] renamed it the Reich Ministry of War (German: Reichskriegsministerium), which was then abolished in 1938 and replaced with the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht.

History

Within the framework of the Gesetz über die Bildung einer vorläufigen Reichswehr ("Law on the formation of a provisional national defence force") of March 1919, the Reichspräsident was commander-in-chief of the armed forces, with the Reichswehrminister (Reich Minister of Defence) exercising command. These arrangements left out the Prussian armed forces, which remained under the command of the Prussian Minister of War. After the Weimar Constitution came into force, the war ministries of Bavaria, Saxony, Württemberg and Prussia were dissolved and command authority was concentrated in the hand of the national Reichswehrminister. Power of command for each branch was given to the head of the Army Command (Heeresleitung) and the head of the Navy Command (Marineleitung). The Ministeramt was established as a third office within the ministry in 1929, with the Ministeramt?s head acting as the Reichswehrminister?s political deputy. The innocuous Troop Office (Truppenamt) functioned as a covert general staff, which was banned by the Treaty of Versailles.

The "Verkündung der Wehrhoheit" (proclamation of military sovereignty) of 1935 created a new Oberkommando der Luftwaffe (OKL), under the Air Ministry, and turned the Heeresleitung into the Oberkommando des Heeres (OKH) and the Marineleitung into the Oberkommando der Marine (OKM). The Ministeramt was renamed the Wehrmachtsamt. As a result of the Blomberg-Fritsch Affair in 1938, the Reichskriegsminister and Wehrmachtsamt were abolished by Adolf Hitler and their duties transferred to the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW).

Lists of officials

Defence Ministers

Minister of Defence
No. Minister of Defence Took office Left office Time in office Party Cabinet
1
Gustav Noske
Noske, GustavGustav Noske
(1868-1946)
13 February 191922 March 19201 year, 38 daysSPDScheidemann
Bauer
2
Otto Gessler
Gessler, OttoOtto Gessler
(1875-1955)
27 March 192019 January 19287 years, 298 daysDDPMüller I
Fehrenbach
Wirth I - II
Cuno
Stresemann I - II
Marx I - II
Luther I - II
Marx III - IV
3
Wilhelm Groener
Groener, WilhelmWilhelm Groener
(1867-1939)
19 January 192830 May 19324 years, 132 daysIndependentMarx IV
Müller II
Brüning I - II
4
Kurt von Schleicher
Schleicher, KurtKurt von Schleicher
(1882-1934)
1 June 193228 January 1933243 daysIndependentvon Papen
von Schleicher
5
Werner von Blomberg
Blomberg, WernerWerner von Blomberg
(1878-1946)
28 January 193321 May 19352 years, 113 daysIndependentvon Schleicher
Hitler
Minister of War
Flag for the minister of War and Commander-in-Chief of the Wehrmacht
No. Minister of War Took office Left office Time in office Party Cabinet
1
Werner von Blomberg
Blomberg, WernerWerner von Blomberg
(1878-1946)
21 May 193527 January 19382 years, 251 daysIndependentHitler

Ministerial office heads

Heads of the Ministeramt (Chefs des Ministeramtes)
No. Chefs des Ministeramtes Took office Left office Time in office
1
Kurt von Schleicher
Schleicher, KurtGeneral der Infanterie
Kurt von Schleicher
(1882-1934)
1 February 19291 June 19323 years, 121 days
2
Ferdinand von Bredow
Bredow, FerdinandGeneralmajor
Ferdinand von Bredow
(1884-1934)
1 June 193230 January 1933243 days
3
Walter von Reichenau
Reichenau, WalterOberst
Walter von Reichenau
(1884-1942)
1 February 19331 February 19341 year, 0 days
Heads of the Wehrmachtamt (Chefs des Wehrmachtamtes)
No. Chefs des Wehrmachtamtes Took office Left office Time in office
1
Walter von Reichenau
Reichenau, WalterGeneralmajor
Walter von Reichenau
(1884-1942)
1 February 193430 September 19351 year, 243 days
2
Wilhelm Keitel
Keitel, WilhelmGeneralmajor
Wilhelm Keitel
(1882-1946)
1 October 19354 February 19382 years, 127 days

Army heads

Heads of the Army Command (Chefs der Heeresleitung)
Flag of the Chef der Heeresleitung from 1925-1927.
Flag of the Chef der Heeresleitung from 1927-1933.
Flag of the Chef der Heeresleitung from 1927-1933.
No. Chefs der Heeresleitung Took office Left office Time in office
1
Walther Reinhardt
Reinhardt, WaltherGeneralmajor
Walther Reinhardt
(1872-1930)
13 September 191922 March 1920191 days
2
Hans von Seeckt
Seeckt, HansGeneraloberst
Hans von Seeckt
(1866-1936)
26 March 19209 October 19266 years, 197 days
3
Wilhelm Heye
Heye, WilhelmGeneraloberst
Wilhelm Heye
(1869-1947)
9 October 192631 October 19304 years, 22 days
4
Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord
Hammerstein-Equord, KurtGeneral der Infanterie
Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord
(1878-1943)
1 November 193027 December 19333 years, 56 days
5
Werner von Fritsch
Fritsch, WernerGeneral der Artillerie
Werner von Fritsch
(1880-1939)
1 January 19341 June 19351 year, 151 days
Commander-in-chief of the Army (Oberbefehlshaber des Heeres)
Flag of the Oberbefehlshaber des Heeres from 1935-1941.
No. Oberbefehlshaber des Heeres Took office Left office Time in office
1
Werner von Fritsch
Fritsch, WernerGeneraloberst
Werner von Fritsch
(1880-1939)
1 June 19354 February 19382 years, 248 days

Navy heads

Chief of the Admiralty (Chef der Admiralität)
No. Chefs der Admiralität Took office Left office Time in office
1
Adolf von Trotha
Trotha, AdolfVizeadmiral
Adolf von Trotha
(1868-1940)
26 March 191922 March 1920362 days
-
William Michaelis
Michaelis, WilliamKonteradmiral
William Michaelis
(1871-1948)
Acting
22 March 19201 September 1920163 days
2
Paul Behncke
Behncke, PaulVizeadmiral
Paul Behncke
(1869-1937)
1 September 192014 September 192013 days
Heads of the Naval Command (Chefs der Marineleitung)
No. Chefs der Marineleitung Took office Left office Time in office
1
Paul Behncke
Behncke, PaulVizeadmiral
Paul Behncke
(1869-1937)
14 September 19201 October 19244 years, 17 days
2
Hans Zenker
Zenker, HansVizeadmiral
Hans Zenker
(1870-1932)
1 October 192430 September 19283 years, 365 days
3
Erich Raeder
Raeder, ErichVizeadmiral
Erich Raeder
(1876-1960)
1 October 19281 June 19356 years, 243 days
Commander-in-chief of the Navy (Oberbefehlshaber der Kriegsmarine)
No. Oberbefehlshaber der Marine Took office Left office Time in office
1
Erich Raeder
Raeder, ErichGroßadmiral
Erich Raeder
(1876-1960)
1 June 193530 January 19437 years, 243 days

References

  1. ^ (in German) RGBl I, S. 609 / Faksimile Wehrgesetz

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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