Carl Friedrich Heinrich Reinhard Scheer was an Admiral in the Imperial German Navy. Scheer joined the navy in 1879 as an officer cadet. At the outbreak of World War I, Scheer was the commander of the II Battle Squadron of the High Seas Fleet, he took command of the III Battle Squadron, which consisted of the newest and most powerful battleships in the navy. In January 1916, he was promoted to given control of the High Seas Fleet. Scheer led the German fleet at the Battle of Jutland on 31 May–1 June 1916, one of the largest naval battles in history. Following the battle, Scheer joined those calling for unrestricted submarine warfare against the Allies, a move the Kaiser permitted. In August 1918, Scheer was promoted to the Chief of Naval Staff. Together they planned a final battle against the British Grand Fleet, but war-weary sailors mutinied at the news and the operation was abandoned. Scheer retired after the end of the war. A strict disciplinarian, Scheer was popularly known in the Navy as the "man with the iron mask" due to his severe appearance.
In 1919, Scheer wrote his memoirs. He wrote his autobiography in 1925. Scheer died at Marktredwitz, he is buried in the municipal cemetery at Weimar. The admiral was commemorated in the renascent Kriegsmarine by the heavy cruiser Admiral Scheer, built in the 1930s. Scheer was born in present-day Lower Saxony, he came from a middle-class background, which hampered his naval career, as the Kaiserliche Marine was dominated by wealthy families. Reinhard Scheer entered the navy on 22 April 1879 aged 15 as a cadet, his first sea assignment was aboard the sail-frigate SMS Niobe. His first cruise aboard Niobe lasted from June to September 1879. During the cruise he was trained in engineering. Following his return to Germany in September, Scheer was assigned to the Naval School in Kiel to continue his officer training, he received only a "satisfactory" rating on his cadet evaluation in 1879, but received the second highest grade in his class for the Sea Cadet's Exam the following year. Following his graduation from the Naval School, Scheer embarked on a six-month-long special training program for gunnery, torpedo warfare, infantry training.
Afterward, he was assigned to the gunnery training ship SMS Renown. Scheer was for a short time assigned to the armored frigate SMS Friedrich Carl. For his last year in cadet training, he was assigned to the frigate SMS Hertha, which conducted a world tour; the ship sailed to Melbourne, Yokohama and Nagasaki in Japan, Shanghai, China during the trip. Following his commission into the German navy, he was transferred to the East Africa Squadron, he was assigned to the crew of the frigate SMS Bismarck. Here he was promoted to Leutnant, he made important connections in Africa. During the assignment, in December 1884, Scheer participated in a landing party that suppressed a pro-British indigenous chieftain in Kamerun. After his return to Germany in 1886, Scheer took part in torpedo training aboard SMS Blücher, from January to May 1888. In May 1888, Scheer returned to the East Africa Squadron as a torpedo officer aboard the corvette SMS Sophie; this tour lasted until early summer 1890, at which point Scheer returned to Germany, where he was made an instructor at the Torpedo Research Command in Kiel.
Thus far in his career, Scheer had made a strong reputation for himself as a torpedo specialist. While stationed in Kiel, Scheer met Alfred von Tirpitz. In 1897, following Tirpitz's promotion to Secretary of State of the Imperial Navy Office, he transferred Scheer to the Reichsmarineamt to work in the Torpedo Section. After promotion to Korvettenkapitän, Scheer commanded the light cruiser SMS Gazelle. Scheer was promoted to Kapitän zur See in 1905 and took command of the battleship SMS Elsass in 1907, a command he held for two years. A report dated 1 December 1909 recommended Scheer for promotion. Scheer reached flag rank less than six months after taking his post on Holtzendorff's staff, at the age of 47, he held the Chief of Staff position until late 1911, when he was transferred back to the RMA under Tirpitz. Here, he held the position of Chief of the General Naval Department through 1912. Following this appointment, Scheer returned to a sea command, in the form of squadron commander for the six battleships of the II Battle Squadron of the High Seas Fleet in January 1913.
On 9 December 1913, Scheer was promoted to Vizeadmiral. He remained with the II Battle Squadron until January 1915, he thereafter took command of the III Battle Squadron, which consisted of the most powerful battleships in the German fleet: the dreadnoughts of the Kaiser and König classes. Scheer advocated raids on the British coast to lure out portions of the numerically superior Royal Navy so they could be overwhelmed by the German fleet, he was critical of Admiral Friedrich von Ingenohl, who he felt was overcautious. Following the bombardment of Scarborough and Whitby, during which Ingenohl had withdrawn instead of attacking a weaker British squadron, Scheer remarked, " had robbed us of the opportunity of meeting certain divisions
Werner von Blomberg
Werner Eduard Fritz von Blomberg was a German Generalfeldmarschall, Minister of War, Commander-in-Chief of the German Armed Forces until January 1938, as he was forced to resign due to his marriage with a woman who had posed for pornographic photographs. Born in Stargard, Prussia into a Baltic German noble family, Werner von Blomberg joined the army in 1897 and attended the Prussian Military Academy in 1904. In April 1904, he married Charlotte Hellmich; the couple had five children. After graduating in 1907, Blomberg entered the German General Staff in 1908. Serving with distinction on the Western Front during the First World War, Blomberg was awarded the Pour le Mérite. In 1920, Blomberg was appointed chief of staff of the Döberitz Brigade, in 1921 was made chief of staff of the Stuttgart Army Area. In 1925, Blomberg was made chief of army training by General Hans von Seeckt. By 1927, Blomberg was a major-general and chief of the Troop Office, the thinly disguised German General Staff forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles.
In 1928, Blomberg visited the Soviet Union, where he was much impressed by the high status of the Red Army, left as a convinced believer in the value of totalitarian dictatorship as the prerequisite for military power. This was part of a broader shift on the part of the German military to the idea of a totalitarian Wehrstaat which, starting in the mid-1920s, had become popular with officers; the German historian Eberhard Kolb wrote that:...from the mid-1920s onwards the Army leaders had developed and propagated new social conceptions of a militarist kind, tending towards a fusion of the military and civilian sectors and a totalitarian military state. Blomberg's visit to the Soviet Union in 1928 had the effect of confirming his views about totalitarian powers being the greatest military powers. Blomberg believed the next world war, like the previous one, would become a total war, requiring the full mobilisation of German society and economy by the state, that a totalitarian state would be most apt for preparing society militarily and economically for war in peacetime.
Like the rest of Nazi Germany's military elite, Blomberg took it for granted that for Germany to achieve the "world power status" that it had sought in the First World War would require another war, that such a war would be a total war of a mechanised, industrial type. After arguing with General Kurt von Schleicher in 1929, Blomberg was removed from his post and made military commander of East Prussia. In 1929, Schleicher came into conflict with Blomberg at the Truppenamt. In early 1929, Schleicher had started a policy of "frontier defense" under which the Reichswehr would stockpile arms in secret depots and start training volunteers in excess of the limits imposed by Versailles in the eastern parts of Germany facing Poland; the French planned to withdraw from the Rhineland in June 1930—five years earlier than what the Treaty of Versailles had called for—and Schleicher wanted no violations of Versailles that might seem to threaten France before the French left the Rhineland. When Blomberg, whom Schleicher disliked, insisted on extending Grenzschutz to border areas with France, in August 1929 Schleicher leaked the news to the press that Blomberg had attended armed maneuvers by volunteers in Westphalia.
Defence Minister General Wilhelm Groener, called Blomberg to Berlin to explain himself. Blomberg expected Schleicher to stick to the traditional Reichswehr policy of denying everything, was shocked to see Schleicher instead attack him in front of Groener as a man who had recklessly exposed Germany to the risk of providing the French with an excuse to stay on in the Rhineland until 1935; as a result, Blomberg was demoted from command of the Truppenamt and sent to command a division in East Prussia. Blomberg would emerge as Schleicher's most powerful enemy within the Reichswehr. Since East Prussia was cut off from the rest of Germany and had only one infantry division stationed there, Blomberg—to increase the number of fighting men in the event of a war with Poland—started to make lists of all the men fit for military service, which further increased the attraction of a totalitarian state able to mobilise an entire society for war to him, of an ideologically motivated levée en masse as the best way to fight the next war.
During his time as commander of Wehrkreis I, the military district which comprised East Prussia, Blomberg fell under the influence of a Nazi-sympathising Lutheran chaplain, Ludwig Müller, who introduced Blomberg to National Socialism. Blomberg cared little for Nazi doctrines per se, his support for the Nazis being motivated by his belief that only a dictatorship could make Germany a great military power again, that the Nazis were the best party to establish a dictatorship in Germany; because he had the command of only one infantry division in East Prussia, Blomberg depended strongly on Grenzschutz to increase the number of fighting men available. This led him to co-operate with the SA as a source of volunteers for Grenzschutz forces. Blomberg's had excellent relations with the SA at this time, which led to the SA serving by 1931 as an unofficial militia backing up the Reichswehr. Many generals saw East Prussia as an model for future Army-Nazi co-operation all over Germany. Blomberg's interactions with the SA in East Prussia led him to the conclusion that Nazis made for excellent soldiers, which further increased the appeal of National Socialism for him.
But at the same time, Blomberg saw the SA only as a junior partner to the A
The ceremonial baton is a short, thick stick-like object in wood or metal, traditionally the sign of a field marshal or a similar high-ranking military officer, carried as a piece of their uniform. The baton is distinguished from the swagger stick in being thicker and without any practical function. Unlike a staff of office, a baton is not rested on the ground. Unlike a royal sceptre, a baton is flat-ended, not crowned on one end with an eagle or globe; the origin of the military baton is unclear. In western Europe, batons served a similar purpose as the Roman fasces lictoriae: a symbol of power and authority. A short, white baton was the symbol of the imperial mandate given to a Roman military legate, he held it high proclaiming "above mine" to represent the emperor. It is possible that the Spartan cipher rod, scytale had a related military status, pre-dating the Roman baton, but the first detailed reference in Plutarch dates from the Roman period. Batons were given to top commanders in most European armies from at least the Renaissance, as a revival of classical practice.
They were presented by the monarch, latterly were elaborate pieces of metalwork, though earlier portraits show plain batons of wood longer and thinner than examples. They were typically carried by monarchs when portrayed in military dress; the French kings, Napoleon, provided Marshals of France with ornate batons of blue velvet with metal fleurs-de-lys before the French Revolution stars or Napoleonic bees. The Duke of Wellington possessed multiple batons, since he held the rank of field marshal or equivalent in eight European armies each of which presented him with a baton. In addition to his English baton he was presented with two British batons. Nine of the batons are displayed at Apsley House. Tsar Alexander I presented one to the Duke of Wellington and four to Russian generals. Crossed batons may appear as the distinctive uniform rank insignia on of field marshals; the Third Reich-era Generalfeldmarschall's insignia is an example of this, as is that of the Field Marshal of the United Kingdom.
In any event, while doing their routine work modern field marshals carry simpler batons, keeping more elaborate ones for ceremonial occasions. In Nazi Germany, Generalfeldmarschalls and Großadmirals carried ceremonial batons, specially manufactured by German jewellers. Seven styles of batons were awarded to 25 individuals. Hermann Göring earned two different-style batons for his Generalfeldmarschall and Reichsmarschall promotions. All the batons, except Erich Raeder's, were designed in a similar way: a shaft decorated with Iron Crosses and Wehrmacht eagles. Luftwaffe shafts showed the Balkenkreuz; the ends of the batons were decorated with ornate caps. The seven styles of Nazi-era batons The first baton awarded was to Field Marshal Werner von Blomberg; this baton's shaft had a light blue velvet covering material. It is now in the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC; the first air force baton awarded was to Hermann Göring after his promotion to field marshal. Though it was designed to the Blomberg baton with a light blue velvet shaft covering, it incorporated the air force Balkenkreuz symbols.
Additionally, the end caps were inlaid with many small diamonds. It is now kept in the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning, Georgia; the next baton awarded was to Grand Admiral Erich Raeder. This baton's shaft had a dark blue velvet covering; this baton differed from other batons by having a chain link pattern sewn over the crosses and anchors. At the end of the war, the baton was disassembled and sold in pieces. Nine army batons were awarded in the summer of 1940 to newly promoted field marshals; the batons' shafts had red velvet coverings and differed only in identifying inscriptions on the end caps. Eight more batons of this style were awarded to other field marshals upon their promotions; the first group was manufactured for 6,000 RM each. Most of the batons are now in private collections. Three air force batons were awarded in the summer of 1940, they had blue velvet covering and the Balkenkreuz design, differing only in individual end cap inscriptions. One more baton of this style was awarded in 1943.
The 1940 air force batons were more expensive to manufacture than the 1940 army batons. The only other navy baton was awarded to Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz, it incorporated a U-boat symbol on one of the end caps. It is now in the Shropshire Regimental Museum, Shrewsbury, UK, was donated by Major General J. B. Churcher, who captured Dönitz at war's end and stole the baton; the only Reichsmarschall baton was presented to Hermann Göring in 1940. While similar looking to the other 1940 batons, it incorporated exceptional materials; the shaft was white elephant ivory, not velvet-covered metal. The end caps incorporated platinum in over 600 small diamonds; the baton was manufactured for 22,750 RM. It is now in the US Army's West Point Museum, Highland Falls, NY. In 2017, along with other changes made to the Royal Danish Army, the baton was reintroduced to Sergeant Majors for parades and other appropriate occasions; the baton appears in heraldry as insignia for those entitled to do display them. The baton was used, in and behind the escutcheon, by military men and not by ordinary persons if they were
Austria-Hungary referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Dual Monarchy, was a constitutional monarchy in Central and Eastern Europe between 1867 and 1918. It was formed by giving a new constitution to the Austrian Empire, which devolved powers on Austria and Hungary and placed them on an equal footing, it broke apart into several states at the end of World War I. The union was a result of the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 and came into existence on 30 March 1867. Austria-Hungary consisted of two monarchies, one autonomous region: the The Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia under the Hungarian crown, which negotiated the Croatian–Hungarian Settlement in 1868, it was ruled by the House of Habsburg, constituted the last phase in the constitutional evolution of the Habsburg Monarchy. Following the 1867 reforms, the Austrian and the Hungarian states were co-equal. Foreign affairs and the military came under joint oversight, but all other governmental faculties were divided between respective states.
Austria-Hungary was a multinational one of Europe's major powers at the time. Austria-Hungary was geographically the second-largest country in Europe after the Russian Empire, at 621,538 km2, the third-most populous; the Empire built up the fourth-largest machine building industry of the world, after the United States and the United Kingdom. Austria-Hungary became the world's third largest manufacturer and exporter of electric home appliances, electric industrial appliances and power generation apparatus for power plants, after the United States and the German Empire. After 1878, Bosnia and Herzegovina was under Austro-Hungarian military and civilian rule until it was annexed in 1908, provoking the Bosnian crisis among the other powers; the northern part of the Ottoman Sanjak of Novi Pazar was under de facto joint occupation during that period but the Austro-Hungarian army withdrew as part of their annexation of Bosnia. The annexation of Bosnia led to Islam being recognized as an official state religion due to Bosnia's Muslim population.
Austria-Hungary was one of the Central Powers in World War I which started when it declared war on the Kingdom of Serbia on 28 July 1914. It was effectively dissolved by the time the military authorities signed the armistice of Villa Giusti on 3 November 1918; the Kingdom of Hungary and the First Austrian Republic were treated as its successors de jure, whereas the independence of the West Slavs and South Slavs of the Empire as the First Czechoslovak Republic, the Second Polish Republic and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and most of the territorial demands of the Kingdom of Romania were recognized by the victorious powers in 1920. The realm's official name was in German: Österreichisch-Ungarische Monarchie and in Hungarian: Osztrák–Magyar Monarchia, though in the international relations better Austria-Hungary was used; the Austrians used the names k. u. k. Monarchie and Danubian Monarchy or Dual Monarchy and The Double Eagle, but none of these became widepsread neither in Hungary, nor elsewhere.
The realm's full name used in the internal administration was The Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of St. Stephen. German: Die im Reichsrat vertretenen Königreiche und Länder und die Länder der Heiligen Ungarischen Stephanskrone Hungarian: A Birodalmi Tanácsban képviselt királyságok és országok és a Magyar Szent Korona országai The Habsburg monarch ruled as Emperor of Austria over the western and northern half of the country, the Austrian Empire and as King of Hungary over the Kingdom of Hungary; each enjoyed considerable sovereignty with only a few joint affairs. Certain regions, such as Polish Galicia within Cisleithania and Croatia within Transleithania, enjoyed autonomous status, each with its own unique governmental structures; the division between Austria and Hungary was so marked that there was no common citizenship: one was either an Austrian citizen or a Hungarian citizen, never both. This meant that there were always separate Austrian and Hungarian passports, never a common one.
However, neither Austrian nor Hungarian passports were used in the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia. Instead, the Kingdom issued its own passports which were written in Croatian and French and displayed the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia-Dalmatia on them, it is not known what kind of passports were used in Bosnia-Herzegovina, under the control of both Austria and Hungary. The Kingdom of Hungary had always maintained a separate parliament, the Diet of Hungary after the Austrian Empire was created in 1804; the administration and government of the Kingdom of Hungary remained untouched by the government structure of the overarching Austrian Empire. Hungary's central government structures remained well separated from the Austrian imperial government; the country was governed by the Council of Lieutenancy of Hungary – located in Pressburg and in Pest – and by the Hungarian Royal Court Chancell
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. The largest territory of the empire after 962 was the Kingdom of Germany, though it came to include the neighboring Kingdom of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, numerous other territories. On 25 December 800, Pope Leo III crowned the Frankish king Charlemagne as Emperor, reviving the title in Western Europe, more than three centuries after the fall of the earlier ancient Western Roman Empire in 476; the title continued in the Carolingian family until 888 and from 896 to 899, after which it was contested by the rulers of Italy in a series of civil wars until the death of the last Italian claimant, Berengar I, in 924. The title was revived again in 962 when Otto I was crowned emperor, fashioning himself as the successor of Charlemagne and beginning a continuous existence of the empire for over eight centuries.
Some historians refer to the coronation of Charlemagne as the origin of the empire, while others prefer the coronation of Otto I as its beginning. Scholars concur, however, in relating an evolution of the institutions and principles constituting the empire, describing a gradual assumption of the imperial title and role; the exact term "Holy Roman Empire" was not used until the 13th century, but the concept of translatio imperii, the notion that he—the sovereign ruler—held supreme power inherited from the ancient emperors of Rome, was fundamental to the prestige of the emperor. The office of Holy Roman Emperor was traditionally elective, although controlled by dynasties; the German prince-electors, the highest-ranking noblemen of the empire elected one of their peers as "King of the Romans", he would be crowned emperor by the Pope. The empire never achieved the extent of political unification as was formed to the west in France, evolving instead into a decentralized, limited elective monarchy composed of hundreds of sub-units: kingdoms, duchies, prince-bishoprics, Free Imperial Cities, other domains.
The power of the emperor was limited, while the various princes, lords and cities of the empire were vassals who owed the emperor their allegiance, they possessed an extent of privileges that gave them de facto independence within their territories. Emperor Francis II dissolved the empire on 6 August 1806 following the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine by emperor Napoleon I the month before. In various languages the Holy Roman Empire was known as: Latin: Sacrum Imperium Romanum, German: Heiliges Römisches Reich, Italian: Sacro Romano Impero, Czech: Svatá říše římská, Polish: Święte imperium rzymskie, Slovene: Sveto rimsko cesarstvo, Dutch: Heilige Roomse Rijk, French: Saint-Empire romain. Before 1157, the realm was referred to as the Roman Empire; the term sacrum in connection with the medieval Roman Empire was used beginning in 1157 under Frederick I Barbarossa: the term was added to reflect Frederick's ambition to dominate Italy and the Papacy. The form "Holy Roman Empire" is attested from 1254 onward.
In a decree following the 1512 Diet of Cologne, the name was changed to the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, a form first used in a document in 1474. The new title was adopted because the Empire had lost most of its Italian and Burgundian territories to the south and west by the late 15th century, but to emphasize the new importance of the German Imperial Estates in ruling the Empire due to the Imperial Reform. By the end of the 18th century, the term "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" had fallen out of official use. Besides, contradicting the traditional view concerning that designation, Hermann Weisert has stated in a study on imperial titulature that, despite the claim of many textbooks, the name "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" never had an official status and points out that documents were thirty times as to omit the national suffix as include it. This, or the shortened "Roman Empire of the German Nation", is used in Germany to refer to the Holy Roman Empire. In a famous assessment of the name, the political philosopher Voltaire remarked sardonically: "This body, called and which still calls itself the Holy Roman Empire was in no way holy, nor Roman, nor an empire."
As Roman power in Gaul declined during the 5th century, local Germanic tribes assumed control. In the late 5th and early 6th centuries, the Merovingians, under Clovis I and his successors, consolidated Frankish tribes and extended hegemony over others to gain control of northern Gaul and the middle Rhine river valley region. By the middle of the 8th century, the Merovingians had been reduced to figureheads, the Carolingians, led by Charles Martel, had become the de facto rulers. In 751, Martel's son Pepin became King of the Franks, gained the sanction of the Pope; the Carolingians would maintain a close alliance with the Papacy. In 768, Pepin's son Charlemagne became King of the Franks and began an extensive expansion of the realm, he incorporated the territories of present-day France, northern Italy, beyond, linking the Frankish kingdom with Papal lands. In 797, the Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine VI was removed from the throne by his mother Irene who declared herself Empress; as the Church regarded a male Roman Emperor as the head of Christendom, Pope
Grand admiral is a historic naval rank, the highest rank in the several European navies that used it. It is best known for its use in Germany as Großadmiral. A comparable rank in other navies is that of fleet admiral. In Bourbon Restoration France, the rank was an honorific one equivalent to that of marshal in the French Army. In the Imperial German Navy, in the Kriegsmarine, the rank Großadmiral was the equivalent of a British admiral of the fleet or a United States fleet admiral. Like field marshals its holders were authorised to carry a baton; the rank was discontinued in 1945, after eight men were promoted to it. The next most junior rank was Generaladmiral. Before and during World War I, the following were made grand admirals of the Imperial German Navy: King Edward VII of the United Kingdom Hans von Koester King Oscar II of Sweden Prince Henry of Prussia Alfred von Tirpitz Henning von Holtzendorff Großadmiral was the most senior rank of the Kriegsmarine senior to Generaladmiral. There were no more grand admirals until 1939.
The following men were made grand admirals during the Nazi regime: Erich Raeder, then-Commander-in-Chief of the Kriegsmarine, was made a grand admiral on 1 April 1939. Karl Dönitz, commander of the U-Boat fleet, was made a grand admiral on 30 January 1943 upon succeeding Raeder as Commander-in-Chief. Anton Haus, commander of the Austro-Hungarian navy for part of World War I, was given the title of Großadmiral in 1916. No other active-duty officer was given this rank. May 12, 1916: Anton Haus October 9, 1916: Prince Henry of Prussia November 1, 1916: Kaiser Charles I of Austria February 22, 1917: Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany The rank of grand admiral was created by Benito Mussolini in 1924, it was established to honour Paolo Thaon di Revel, head of the Italian Regia Marina during World War I — he was the only person to be awarded the rank. It was equivalent to marshal of Italy in the army and marshal of the Air Force. Under the rule of Mobutu Sese Seko in the Republic of Zaire, Mavua Mudima, the commander of the Zairian navy and the country's defense minister from 1994 to 1997, held the rank of "grand admiral" though the Zairian navy only consisted of some small patrol and river boats.
Among the several grand admirals appearing in fiction and science fiction, one notable figure is Grand Admiral Thrawn of the Star Wars science fiction franchise