Baden Army

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The army of the German state of Baden until 1871 is called the Baden Army . The origins of the Baden army were on the one hand in associations that the Baden margravates of Baden-Durlach and Baden-Baden had set up in the Baroque era , and on the other hand in the standing army of the Swabian Empire , to which both territories had to contribute troops. The reunification of the two small states to form the Margraviate of Baden in 1771 and their enlargement and elevation to the Grand Duchy of Baden by Napoleon in 1806 created the possibility and obligation to maintain a larger army, which Napoleon had to support in his campaigns against Austria, Prussia, Spain and above all Russia. After the end of Napoleon's rule, the Grand Duchy of Baden provided a division of the German Armed Forces . In 1848, Baden troops helped put down the Hecker uprising , but a year later a large number sided with the Baden revolutionaries . After the violent suppression of the revolution by Prussian and Württemberg troops, the army was re-established and fought on the side of Austria and the southern German states in the German War of 1866 and on the German side in the Franco-Prussian War . When Baden joined the German Empire in 1870/71, the Grand Duchy gave up its military sovereignty, and the Baden troops became part of the XIV Army Corps under Prussian leadership .

Thirty Years' War

Matthäus Merian : The Battle of Wimpfen

During the occupation of Upper Baden , Georg Friedrich von Baden-Durlach was able to reunite the two parts of Baden-Baden and Baden-Durlach and around 1600 had a force of 200 horsemen, 600 foot soldiers and 40 guns. The Protestant margrave, whose territory was in the neighborhood of Habsburg Front Austria and who was involved in inheritance disputes with the Catholic Baden-Baden line, joined the Protestant Union in 1608 and increased his army to around 15,000 men by 1617.

For his sons Friedrich, Karl and Christoph, Georg Friedrich wrote his own work on war studies from 1614 to 1617, which he never published in print. He also relied on the knightly war school , which was founded in 1616 by Johann VII (Nassau-Siegen) in Siegen .

At the beginning of the Thirty Years' War he sided with the "Winter King" Friedrich von der Pfalz . After Spanish troops occupied the Palatinate and the Protestant Union dissolved, Georg Friedrich wanted to unite his army, now 20,000 strong, with the troops of Ernst von Manfeld , who fought against Tilly's Catholic troops in the Palatinate . However, the Margrave and Mansfeld did not agree who should be in command of the united army, so that a merger did not come about. Instead, the Baden armed forces fought against Tilly on May 6, 1622 without Mansfeld's troops and were defeated in the Battle of Wimpfen , one of the bloodiest battles of the Thirty Years War. Georg Friedrich's army was smashed in the process, the margrave himself escaped, according to tradition, only through a sacrifice made by 400 Pforzheimers who covered his retreat and all with the exception of the standard bearer perished. As a result of the defeat, the Upper Baden occupation was reversed, parts of Baden-Durlach were also occupied and looted by League troops.

Georg Friedrich also carried around 70 so-called spit or pointed wagons in his army. The pointed wagons are described as an invention by Georg Friedrich. These are wagons with two or three axles, on which two beams are attached so that the wheels can be turned easily and widely. Small swiveling howitzers (sometimes also referred to as mortars ) are attached to the beams, as well as iron spikes (hence the name) which are directed outwards, in particular to deter enemy cavalry.

It was not until 1631 that Georg Friedrich's son and successor Friedrich V was financially able to raise his own troops again, but this was prevented by the invasion of Bavarian troops. The Baden areas remained a theater of war in the following years, but mainly because of the fighting between Swedish troops (which Friedrich joined) and imperial troops. From 1634 the imperial family got the upper hand, Friedrich lost his territory and was only able to get it back in the course of the Peace of Westphalia , but without the Baden-Baden areas, which came back to the Catholic line. In Baden's case, the Peace of Westphalia did not restore the state before 1618, but rather that before the occupation of Upper Baden.

Swabian Imperial Circle and Territorial Associations until 1780

The margravate of Baden, reunified in 1771 (light brown)

Under the leadership of the district field marshal Ludwig Wilhelm of Baden-Baden and the Duchy of Württemberg , the Swabian Imperial Circle decided in 1694 to set up a standing army , for which the various districts had to provide certain troop contingents. Between 1732 and 1796 the army of the Reichskreis comprised five regiments, which were set up separately according to denomination. The Protestant margraviate of Baden-Durlach provided 23 dragoons for the district dragon regiment and 121 infantrymen for the 1st district infantry regiment. Members of the Baden-Durlach dynasty also held the supreme command of this 1st District Infantry Regiment. The Catholic Margraviate of Baden-Baden provided 19 cuirassiers for the district cuirassier regiment and 122 infantrymen for the 3rd district infantry regiment. In addition to the two margraviates of Baden, the Duchy of Württemberg, the Diocese of Augsburg and the imperial cities bore the main burden of the district army, but smaller counties and lordships also had to provide contingents (for example the Gengenbach Monastery a cuirassier and two infantrymen).

Uniforms from various Baden associations at the end of the 18th century. From left to right: fusilier officer, two officers of the body infantry regiment, non-commissioned officer of the fusiliers, grenadier of the body infantry regiment, musketeer of the body infantry regiment, fussilier. Drawing by Richard Knötel

Independently of the troops for the district, both Baden-Baden and Baden-Durlach maintained their own troop units - so-called house troops , which in particular included the life guards. In Baden-Durlach a grenadier battalion of four companies and a dragoon company were set up in 1752 , Baden-Baden followed in 1763 with an equally strong grenadier battalion, a cuirassier company and a squadron of hussars . After the death of the last Baden-Baden margrave August Georg Simpert , Karl-Friedrich von Baden-Durlach was able to finally reunite the two parts of the country to form the margraviate of Baden . The unified Baden now had a population of around 257,000 people, and although Karl Friedrich had taken on the debt burden of the old margraviate with the Baden-Baden area and had to pay off, he also succeeded in enlarging the army. In 1780 he united the Baden-Baden and Baden-Durlach Grenadier Battalions to form a body infantry regiment, consisting of a battalion of musketeers and a battalion of grenadiers. The squad of hussars remained as an independent association, the Baden-Baden cuirassiers and Baden-Durlach dragoons formed the Garde du Corps, and two fusilier battalions were set up. Together with a garrison company and four three-pounder guns, the Baden army thus comprised 1,125 men; the military budget in 1782/83 was slightly more than 105,000 guilders .

The illegitimate son of Margrave Karl Friedrich, Carl Friedrich Hermann von Freystedt created a militia system and is considered a pioneer of general conscription. With a reform of the Baden military law in 1782, he also ensured a certain protection of soldiers from arbitrary superiors.

Coalition Wars and the Confederation of the Rhine

The French Revolution and the resulting tensions between France and the great powers of the Holy Roman Empire put Baden in a difficult position; On the one hand, in the course of the revolution, it finally lost control of some possessions on the left bank of the Rhine; on the other hand, it was located on the Upper Rhine between France and Austria , and was exposed to the risk of becoming a theater of war during the Thirty Years War.

In autumn 1792 the margravate joined the anti-French coalition and committed to providing 1,000 soldiers. In return, the coalition promised to reclaim the occupied areas on the left bank of the Rhine in the event of a peace treaty for Baden and to reimburse the war costs. In addition to the regular troops, Heinrich Medicus organized a Baden country militia, consisting of unmarried 19-50 year olds, so that the military strength of the margraviate grew to around 16,000 men. Military spending also rose dramatically, with the ten-year average between 1789 and 1798 being around 158,000 guilders. However, due to the defeat in the first coalition war, the coalition's promises were not fulfilled and Baden's holdings on the left bank of the Rhine were de facto lost for good in 1794 . Prussia came to an understanding with France in 1795, and the margrave of Baden also campaigned for peace: a separate peace was concluded in 1796, Baden withdrew from the coalition and renounced its territory on the left bank of the Rhine. However, as Austria continued the war, Baden, which was now actually neutral, became a theater of war: In October 1796, near Emmendingen and Schliengen , there were battles and parts of southern Baden were looted by the French armies.

In the Second Coalition War , Margrave Karl Friedrich declared himself neutral. As a result of the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss 1803 and the Peace of Pressburg , Baden received large territorial increases: In addition to spiritual areas and former imperial cities, the Electoral Palatinate and Breisgau also became part of the Margraviate, which became an Electorate in 1803 and a Grand Duchy in 1806 . Many of the new Baden territories had previously maintained their own small armed forces, which now became part of the Baden army. This grew and included in 1806:

Badische Dragoons, 1809 (drawing by Richard Knötel)
infantry cavalry artillery
One body infantry regiment and three line infantry regiments The Garde du Corps Three batteries
An independent battalion of grenadiers and hunters A regiment of dragoons
Four garrison regiments A regiment of hussars

The total strength was 14 battalions of infantry, 10 squadrons of cavalry and three batteries of artillery. The Electorate / Grand Duchy was divided into four cantons based on the Prussian model .

With the new military and territorial strength owed to Napoleon, however, there were also obligations on Napoleon's side. Baden had to provide 3,000 men for the Third Coalition War , but they did not join Napoleon's army until the war had already been decided by the battles of Ulm and Austerlitz . In the Fourth Coalition War , the Baden contingent comprised 6,000 men, who, however, only reached the war stage after the battle of Jena and Auerstedt . However, they were used in the sieges of Danzig and Stralsund . The commanding officer was Major General Joseph von Cloßmann .

In 1808 the Grand Duchy had to deploy another 1,733-strong regiment, which was deployed on the Iberian Peninsula for the next six years . Under the leadership of Heinrich von Porbeck , it fought at Talavera , against Spanish guerrillas and in the battle of Vitoria, among other places , and suffered high losses in the process: of the original 1,733 men, only 500 returned to Baden. With the beginning of the Fifth Coalition War in 1809, Napoleon requested a new deployment of 6,850 men who fought under the French Marshal André Masséna, among other things, in the battle of Ebelsberg . In the battle of Aspern , the Baden dragoon regiment stood out, twelve members received the Knight's Cross of the Legion of Honor . The Baden troops were also deployed in the battle of Wagram and against the rebellious Tyroleans, so that the last of them did not return to the Grand Duchy until 1810.

Napoleon's Russian campaign

An even heavier burden followed when Napoleon began his Russian campaign and again demanded around 6,700 men from Baden. Apart from a battalion posted to the imperial headquarters, the Baden contingent under Major General Wilhelm von Hochberg formed a brigade in Marshal Victors IX. Corps. The corps was concentrated in Tilsit and spent there August 1812. Diseases and the unfamiliar weather with its rapid changes afflicted the soldiers and reduced the strength of the corps by around a sixth even before they left. The corps finally marched on August 30, via Vilna (September 8) and Minsk (September 15) on September 28 to Smolensk . On October 31, the Baden Brigade fought in the Battle of Tschaschniki and lost 20 men to death and wounding. In the following days there were further skirmishes between the IX. and II Corps of the French Army and Wittgenstein's Russian Army , which tried to stab in the rear of the main French army retreating from Moscow.

Napoleon's passage over the Beresina was made possible by the Baden, Hessian, Polish and Berg soldiers of IX. Corps covered

The corps then also withdrew during fighting in retreat, on November 26th it met the remnants of the army coming from Moscow near Borisov . The strength of the Baden Brigade was still 2,240 men and thus around a third of the original force. On November 28th the battle of the Berezina broke out , in which the IX. Corps east of the river facing the Wittgenstein Army. The Baden Brigade was west of the river at this time, but was ordered back to the corps early in the morning, and there was already great confusion at the river crossings. The Baden Brigade then formed the right wing of the IX. Corps, their position ran from the Berezina to Studjanka . In fierce fighting, the infantry managed to repel the Russian attacks. The losses were very high, more than 1,100 men were dead or wounded, the brigade was only around 900 men strong after the end of the fighting. The Baden hussar regiment, reinforced by Hessian Chevaulegers , dispersed a Russian infantry column and took 500 prisoners, but was then wiped out by Russian cuirassiers. It lost most of its officers and around 150 soldiers and was then only a few men strong. After this bloody battle of retreat, the IX. Corps crossed the Berezina on the morning of November 29 and destroyed the bridge behind them.

The Baden Brigade continued to function as the rearguard of the army. Further battles and, above all, the extreme cold claimed more and more victims. Wilhelm von Hochberg later wrote:

“December 7th was the most terrible day of my life. At 3 o'clock in the morning the marshal ordered the march to go; the cold had risen to the limit - when the signal was to be given, the last reel had frozen to death. I went to the individual soldiers and told them the courage to get up and collect themselves, but all the effort was in vain, I could barely get 50 men together, the rest of 2-300 men lay dead or half frozen on the ground. "

- Wilhelm von Hochberg : Memories of the General of the Infantry Margrave Wilhelm von Baden

The brigade was combined into one regiment, which arrived in Vilnius on December 8, 1812 and was still around 400 men strong. In total, Napoleon's Russian campaign cost the lives of more than 6,000 soldiers from Baden. Became famous as a result of in Bretten born Schneider Franz Anton Egetmeyer , which as a tailor in Penza had settled and took care of there at Baden prisoners of war. The story of the “Schneider in Penza” was also taken up in 1815 by Johann Peter Hebel in the form of a calendar story .

Wars of Liberation

The remnants of the Baden Brigade were reinforced in Glogau by 1,200 men and defended there against Russian and Prussian troops. Additional troops were raised who took part in the spring campaign of 1813 and fought, among other things, in the Battle of Großgörschen . A second brigade was set up from August, so that the Baden contingent in Napoleon's army now comprised two brigades with around 7,000 men. Together with the troops still standing in Spain, the Baden army looked like this in 1813:

infantry cavalry artillery
Four line infantry regiments The Garde du Corps A battalion with 3 foot batteries and one cavalry battery
The Life Grenadier Guard Two regiments of dragoons
A light infantry battalion

In the autumn campaign of 1813 , the two Baden brigades fought in Marshal MacDonald's XI. Corps in the Battle of the Katzbach and in the Battle of the Nations near Leipzig . As with the Beresina, it was up to them to cover Napoleon's retreat after the defeat at Leipzig. The Baden infantry refused to overflow and were taken prisoner in Prussia, from which they were soon released after the Grand Duchy broke away from Napoleon and switched to Austria, Prussia and Russia on November 20, 1813. The Landwehr and Landsturm were set up based on the Prussian model , and the introduction of general conscription in December 1813 enabled a total of 16,000 men to be mobilized. Reinforced by Liechtenstein and Hohenzollern troops, it formed the VIII Army Corps. Under the orders of Wilhelm von Hochberg, it besieged the French fortresses of Kehl , Strasbourg , Landau in the Palatinate and Pfalzburg and returned to Baden in June 1814. An exception was the body grenadier battalion, which fought together with the Prussian-Russian Guard Corps in the Battle of Paris and entered the city on April 1st. During the rule of the Hundred Days , a field division had to be raised again, but it did not take part in any combat operations.

German Confederation until the Baden Revolution

The Baden Army in the Federal Army

Badische dragoons of the federal army around 1830, lithograph by Heinrich Ambros Eckert

At the Congress of Vienna in 1815 the German Confederation was brought into being, which the Grand Duchy of Baden also joined. On April 9, 1821, the federal government regulated its “war constitution”, which provided for a jointly established federal army to which the states had to contribute contingents. In order to be prepared in the event of war, the contingents intended for the federal government had to be kept ready in peacetime. The size of the respective contingents was determined by the number of inhabitants; In principle, the armed troops of a state had to make up one percent of its total population, plus auxiliary troops. When the armed forces were called up, each state also had to provide replacement troops, which comprised one six hundredth of its total population. Furthermore, the branches of arms had to have a certain strength ratio to each other: one seventh of each contingent consisted of cavalry , and two guns had to be for every thousand men .

Baden Eckert Gendarmerie

A war ministry was set up in Baden for military purposes ; The Supreme Warlord was the Grand Duke, and he appointed a general as President of the War Ministry. The Baden contingent for the federal army was organized in a division and subordinated to the VIII Army Corps , where it formed the 2nd division. The VIII Army Corps was a mixed corps , in addition to the Baden troops, it also included Württemberg and Hessian troops. At the head of the division was a division commander with the rank of lieutenant general , the two brigades of the division were commanded by major generals or colonels . A brigade consisted of two or three infantry regiments and an infantry regiment had a nominal strength of three battalions and 2088 men, the body infantry regiment was a little stronger with 3,125 men. The cavalry, under the command of a lieutenant general, formed a brigade of three dragoon regiments , one regiment of 718 men. The artillery was also organized as a brigade and comprised four batteries and a company of pioneers . Of the four batteries one was mounted and had six guns, the three foot batteries had eight each. The total strength was 30 guns and 1,315 men. In 1829 the Grand Ducal Gendarmerie Corps was founded, which was part of the army and was organizationally subordinate to the Ministry of War, but in service to the Ministry of the Interior. As far as is known, it had no military police duties.

The following overview shows the status of the Baden Army in 1832:

infantry cavalry artillery
Body Infantry Regiment Grand Duke Dragoon Regiment Artillery brigade of four batteries
Grand Duke No. 1 Line Infantry Regiment Dragoon Regiment Margrave Max No. 1
Line Infantry Regiment Hereditary Grand Duke No. 2 Freystedt Dragoon Regiment No. 2
Line Infantry Regiment Margrave Wilhelm No. 3
Line Infantry Regiment von Stockhorn No. 4

With the exception of the Body Infantry Regiment and the Grand Duke Dragoon Regiment (formerly "Gardedragonerregiment"), the regiments were given a consecutive number and named after their regiment chief .

The infantry was armed with percussion rifles , the dragoons carried a saber, a pistol and a carbine . The artillery park comprised six and twelve pounder cannons, seven pounder howitzers, sixteen and twenty four pounder cannons and mortars of various caliber as siege artillery. The army's peacetime strength comprised 14,459 men. The contingent to be provided for the VIII Army Corps was 10,000 men, with 1,667 men as substitutes and 3,333 men as reserves in the event of war.

There was a general war school in Karlsruhe for the training of officers . The Higher War School for General Staff officers was also located in Karlsruhe . In Castle Gottesaue artillery officers and NCOs trained. The supplier of the percussion rifles was initially the Badische Gewehrfabrik .

Part of the Baden army was sent to war against Denmark in 1848 . It involved five infantry battalions and one foot battery that served a brigade in the mixed division of General Moriz von Miller from Württemberg and were stationed in Holstein . Most of the armed forces were soon withdrawn, but the 1st Battalion of the 4th Infantry Regiment remained in Schleswig even after the Armistice in Malmö and, after the resurgence of the fighting, took part in the battle at Ulderup, where it was a reserve together with the Württemberg troops Could prevent defeat. It then remained in the Eckernförde area to secure the coast . In the meantime there had been several armed unrest in Baden, which culminated in 1849.

The Baden Revolutions in 1848

History map of the Hecker train
Map of the area affected by the uprising

In April 1848 there were several uprisings in Baden, the most famous of which was the Heckerzug . Led by Friedrich Hecker , Gustav Struve , Franz Sigel and Joseph Fickler , groups of militants moved from the Seekreis in the south-east of the country to the west and north, while the German Democratic Legion in Alsace threatened to cross the Rhine. Troops of the VII and VIII Army Corps were deployed in Baden against the revolutionaries from inside and outside, and they moved in three columns towards the Baden Oberland: A large part of the Baden army, reinforced by Hessian and Nassau troops, marched through the Upper Rhine Plain from North to south. The commander-in-chief of this force was General Friedrich von Gagern , who was actually in Dutch service . At the same time, a Wuerttemberg division under General Miller was moving south-west from the Baden-Wuerttemberg border to Donaueschingen , and a Bavarian brigade marched westward from Bavaria into the lake district.

Due to the presence of Württemberg troops near Donaueschingen , the revolutionaries' direct route from Constance to Freiburg and further north was blocked. Hecker was pushed south and in mid-April moved west until he reached the meadow valley and marched through it to Steinen . He tried to get north again from Steinen and reached Kandern on April 19th. Here, however, on April 20, he met part of the Baden-Hessian troops under Friedrich von Gagern. Hecker withdrew from Kandern in the direction of Wiesental, where another revolutionary march under Joseph Fickler was waiting in Steinen, but before that he was defeated in the battle on the Scheideck between Kandern and the Wiesental. The battle left around a dozen seriously injured and dead on both sides. Gagern was among the dead; his successor was Colonel Heinrich von Hinckeldey from Baden . Hinckeldey continued to pursue the revolutionaries and on the same day also struck Fickler's revolutionary march at Steinen. The defeat of Hecker and Fickler also prevented the two platoons from uniting with a third under the leadership of Franz Sigel, whose militants were at Todtnau on April 20 . Instead, Sigel marched against Freiburg. In the battle near Günterstal , his platoon was also defeated on April 23 and dispersed the next day. That left only the German Legion of Georg Herwegh , which had broken out in Paris , but which decided to retreat across the Rhine after the defeats of Hecker, Fickler and Sigel. On April 27, it encountered parts of the Württemberg division in the battle near Dossenbach and was also broken up. The April unrest in Baden was over.

In September, however, there was a new uprising ( Struve Putsch ). Gustav Struve, who fled to Switzerland after the April riots, crossed the border to Baden again on September 21 and proclaimed the German republic on the same day in Loerrach . From Lörrach he moved north and reached Staufen im Breisgau via Kandern and Schliengen on September 24th . Between eight and ten thousand men had now joined his platoon. At Staufen, however, he encountered a force summoned from Karlsruhe and Rastatt, which consisted of two battalions of infantry, a squadron of cavalry and four guns, and was commanded by General Hoffmann . Hoffmann's contingent was around 800 strong and met around 3,000 barricaded revolutionaries near Staufen. The irregulars were decisively defeated in the battle for Staufen . 19 revolutionaries and one soldier were killed, several houses were set on fire and 60 insurgents were captured. The rebels fled to the Obere Wiesental and from there to Wehr , where Struve was captured on September 25th.

The revolution of 1849

The failure of the Paulskirche constitution and the resulting imperial constitution campaign led to unrest in the Grand Duchy of Baden again. A congress of the people's associations in Offenburg was scheduled for May 12, 1849 , which was to be followed by a state people's assembly . In contrast to 1848, however, the revolutionary republican mood had also reached the army. The garrison of the Rastatt Fortress held a joint meeting with the Rastatt Democrats on May 9th and 10th, during which the soldiers demanded recognition of the Imperial Constitution and the removal of "anti-people" officers. The fortress commander then had the spokesmen of the assembly arrested on May 11, which led to mutiny . The Baden Minister of War, Hoffmann, marched with other troops to Rastatt in order to crush them, but most of the soldiers accompanying him also switched to the revolutionaries.

Ludwik Mierosławski was the commander of the Baden Revolutionary Army in 1849

In the following days, all other garrisons in the country joined, Grand Duke Leopold had to leave the country and fled with his family and his government to the federal fortress of Mainz. Revolutionaries also took power in the neighboring Bavarian Palatinate , and the two revolutionary governments formed a military union that raised an army of 20-25,000 men. In addition to the former troops of the regular Baden army and people's armed forces in the larger cities, volunteers from other European countries and numerous Württembergians also joined the revolutionary army. Among the last was Fritz Heuss, a great-great-uncle of Theodor Heuss . The Polish Ludwik Mierosławski became the commander of the army . Former Lieutenant Karl Eichfeld became War Minister, but the War Ministry's ability to act was severely restricted by the flight of numerous officials. Two attempts to invade Hesse with the revolutionary troops and to offer military protection to the Paulskirche parliament failed: On the one hand, the Hessian military and the population turned out to be less revolutionary than expected; on the other hand, the Baden troops only wanted to defend their own country.

Precautions on the defensive soon had to be taken, because under Prussian leadership, federal troops were mobilized to suppress the Baden revolution and its government. For this purpose, Prussia improvised two corps, which were divided into seven “divisions” and numbered almost 35,000 men. Around 18,000 more armed men were grouped together to form the “ Neckar Corps ” and consisted of contingents from several other federal states. The commander-in-chief of the entire armed force was the Prince of Prussia , who later became Emperor Wilhelm I , who had also been nicknamed "Grape Prince" since the Berlin March Revolution .

The attack on Baden was carried out on two fronts: the I. Prussian Corps under Moritz von Hirschfeld was supposed to conquer the Palatinate and then cross the Rhine and attack the revolutionary army concentrated in North Baden from the west, while the II. Under Karl von der Groeben and Eduard von Peucker's Neckarkorps were to march into Baden from the north, so that the Baden army as a whole would be caught between the Neckar and the Rhine. The advance of the I. Corps was very successful, the Palatinate was quickly conquered, from June 15 the Prussian troops stood in front of Mannheim, where they were stopped for the time being by the use of artillery ( battle of Ludwigshafen ). Instead, however, they managed to cross the Rhine farther south near Germersheim on June 20 , which they could use to threaten the revolutionary army from the south. The successes of the Baden army against the II. And Neckar Corps, whose advance on the Neckar had hitherto been halted, were thereby ruined. Mieroslawski shifted the focus of his troops to the south and attacked the outnumbered 1st Prussian Division on June 21 at the Battle of Waghäusel . The rebels conquered the two villages Waghäusel and Wiesental (today both belong to Waghäusel ) and pushed the Prussians back to Philippsburg . When the 4th Prussian Division arrived as reinforcements, however, the revolutionary army was routed. A total of 21 Prussian soldiers lost their lives, 100 were wounded and 130 went missing.

Surrender of the revolutionary occupation of Rastatt to the troops of the German Confederation on July 23, 1849

The defeat at Waghäusel weakened the discipline and cohesion of the army, and individual units withdrew. On June 22nd, the Neckar wing of the Federal Army finally crossed the Neckar and threatened Mieroslawski's right flank. However, the commander of the revolutionary army managed to escape the encirclement and withdraw his troops behind the Murg near Rastatt. On the Murg, however, the revolutionary army opposed the now united Federal Army, and after several skirmishes it largely disbanded. The Baden government fled from Karlsruhe to Rastatt and from there via Offenburg to Freiburg, Mierowslaski asked for his release on July 1st and was replaced by Franz Sigel . Since a coherent resistance was out of the question, Sigel's main task was to save the remaining troops from capture. On July 7th Freiburg was occupied, and on July 11th the revolutionary army crossed the Rhine into Switzerland.

Only around 6,000 men remained who were trapped in the Rastatt fortress under Gustav Tiedemann and who continue the resistance . The Prussian general Karl von der Groeben offered the revolutionary chief of staff Otto von Corvin to get an idea of ​​the situation outside the fortress, in Freiburg and Konstanz. Corvin accepted, and when he had to report to the besieged after his return that there was no trace of the revolutionary army to be found, the revolutionaries laid down their arms on July 23 and were taken prisoner.

Memorial for those shot dead in Rastatt in 1849

After the suppression of the Baden Revolution, 51 death sentences and 715 ten-year prison sentences were pronounced. The judgments were pronounced under Prussian leadership by court courts and often gave the impression of too harsh and arbitrary decisions. The aim of the Prussian authorities was probably a deterrent effect that went beyond the Baden state borders, but the result was also resentment of the Baden people against the Prussians and their military. A commemorative medal donated by Grand Duke Leopold became popularly known as the “fratricide medal”.

Many members of the Baden revolutionary army fled as forty-eighters in the United States and served in the American Civil War in the Army of Northern States . Several native Badeners and revolutionaries achieved the rank of general: Franz Sigel became major general and commanding general of an army corps, Max (von) Weber temporarily commanded a division as brigadier general and August Mersy as colonel a brigade. All three officers had already been officers in the Baden army before the revolution and had graduated from the Karlsruhe Military Academy.

Wars of unification

Reorganization of the army

Under Prussian pressure, the Baden army was disbanded and completely reorganized. Commissions checked the entire staff, resulting in 700 further prison sentences, 300 of them against non-commissioned officers. In addition, military courts of honor were set up, which dismissed around a third of the Baden officer corps from the army. Parts were also moved to Prussia for re-education. When the army was re-established, no more regiments were formed, the new Baden army was divided into ten infantry battalions, three cavalry depots and five artillery batteries. This changed when Friedrich I first became regent and then grand duke. In 1852 the old regiments were brought back to life (the riders as early as 1850), the conscription law of 1825 came into force again, and in 1861 the army was expanded by an additional regiment, so that the structure was as follows in 1861:

infantry cavalry artillery
1st Body Grenadier Regiment 1st Body Dragon Regiment Field artillery regiment (1 mounted, 4 foot batteries)
2nd Infantry Regiment King of Prussia 2nd Dragoon Regiment Margrave Maximilian Fortress artillery battalion
3rd Infantry Regiment 3rd Prince Karl Dragoon Regiment
4th Prince Wilhelm Infantry Regiment
5th Infantry Regiment
2 fusilier battalions and one hunter battalion

Baden still had to provide a 15,000 strong contingent for the VIII Federal Army Corps. As before, the Commander-in-Chief of the Army was the Grand Duke, while the Ministry of War was in charge of administration, with the "War President" at its head. The war ministry was divided into a military, an economic (responsible for food, pay, hospital and other) and a "legal scholar" section and had other departments such as the main war treasury, the armory, the main depot and others.

A purchase contract from 1852

Under the current Conscription Act, passed in 1825, there was general conscription for men, which began at the age of 20 and for the implementation of which the Grand Duchy was divided into three recruiting districts, Freiburg, Karlsruhe and Mannheim. The service period was six years. Between 1849 and 1855, on average, a little less than 12,000 young men were required to serve, of which an average of around 3,500 were actually evacuated. From the age of 17 a voluntary service was possible, it was also possible to do the conscription in such a way that one served a full year and then stood ready as a reserve in case of war. One way of avoiding military service was to be a substitute ( Einsteher ): There were clubs that organized a substitute in return for deposit of a capital in the case of a draft and presented him to the draft. In this way, the sons of wealthier citizens could bypass military service, while at the same time poorer men had the opportunity to find a livelihood as a substitute.

From 1857 onwards, the infantry was equipped with the “ club rifle ”, a muzzle loader with a rifled barrel and percussion lock in .54 caliber, which was jointly procured by Baden, Hesse and Württemberg .

German war

The tensions between Prussia and Austria in the 1860s put Baden in a precarious position. On the one hand, there was a close connection between the Prussian and Baden ruling houses: Grand Duke Friedrich had married Princess Luise of Prussia in 1856 and was therefore a son-in-law of the Prussian King Wilhelm. Politically, too, Friedrich had so far tended to side with Prussia in federal matters, supported by his Foreign Minister Franz von Roggenbach , who advocated the Little German solution . However, the anti-liberal sentiments of the Prussian Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck turned the Liberals of Baden against Prussia. Several times they expressed their solidarity with their Prussian party comrades, which finally led to the resignation of Roggenbach in 1865 and the appointment of the liberal, Austria- friendly Ludwig von Edelsheim . When tensions over the Schleswig-Holstein question grew more and more in 1866, the Grand Duchy initially acted neutral; However, when Prussia left the German Confederation, the armed forces became a federal execution which the Grand Duchy could not avoid, especially since the neighboring kingdoms of Württemberg and Bavaria both sided with Austria and after 1849 the people of Baden had no sympathy for Prussia and its king cherished. The 10,000-strong Baden armed forces contingent moved out and, under the command of Lieutenant General Prince Wilhelm von Baden, formed the 2nd Division of the VIII Army Corps under Prince Alexander of Hesse-Darmstadt .

The VIII. Corps took part in the Main Campaign during the German War . The Baden troops were involved in the skirmishes near Hundheim (July 23), Werbach (July 24) and Gerchsheim (July 25) when the corps withdrew to the Tauber . Problems were caused by the fact that the Prussian and Baden uniforms were very similar, so that the people of Baden had to march in their winter coats to avoid confusion. Overall, participation in the German War claimed the lives of 27 soldiers from Baden and around 200 were wounded.

A Baden field post letter dated July 2, 1866

Even before the Baden troops first came into contact with the enemy, the war in the battle of Königgrätz had been decided de facto; Throughout July there was therefore a debate in Baden as to whether and when the Grand Duchy should join the Prussian cause. The cabinet around Ludwig von Edelsheim was exchanged and replaced by a new, small-German minded one under the leadership of Julius Jolly and Karl Mathy . On July 29th, the Baden troops began to leave for their homeland, and on August 3rd, a ceasefire agreement between Baden and Prussia, limited to August 22nd, was concluded. On August 17th Otto von Bismarck and Rudolf von Freydorf signed a peace treaty for the Grand Duchy and Prussia. Baden had to pay reparations totaling 6 million guilders, and the two states concluded a secret protection and defensive alliance . This alliance included, among other things, that the Baden army should come under Prussian command in the event of a joint war.

In the following period there was a further reorganization of the army, which was closely based on Prussia. The possibility of substitution was abolished, instead there was now a seven-year service in the army (of which the last four years were in reserve), followed by five years of service in the Landwehr . The Prussian general Gustav Friedrich von Beyer became Baden's Minister of War, and the army was equipped and enlarged with Prussian needle guns and breech-loading guns . Their structure in 1869 was as follows:

infantry cavalry artillery Landwehr
1st Body Grenadier Regiment 1st Body Dragon Regiment Field artillery regiment (1 mounted, 4 foot batteries) 10 battalions
2nd Grenadier Regiment King of Prussia 2nd Dragoon Regiment Margrave Maximilian Fortress artillery battalion
3rd Infantry Regiment 3rd Prince Karl Dragoon Regiment
4th Prince Wilhelm Infantry Regiment
5th Infantry Regiment
6th Infantry Regiment

Franco-German War

Battle of the Lizaine, painting by JPNéri

The alliance between Baden and Prussia occurred less than four years after the peace treaty of 1866 with the Franco-Prussian War . On July 15, 1870, just two days after the Ems dispatch , the Grand Duchy mobilized its troops, and a week later the government took the case of the alliance as given. The Baden Army formed a field division that comprised almost the entire army with 13 battalions, 12 squadrons and 54 guns and was subordinate to General Gustav Friedrich von Beyer . Together with the Württemberg, Bavarian and Prussian troops, the division formed the 3rd Army under the command of the Prussian Crown Prince Friedrich . After securing the Upper Rhine, the Baden division was deployed in General August von Werder's siege corps in August 1870 during the siege of Strasbourg , which ended on September 27 with the surrender of the fortress.

Subsequently, the now designated XIV Army Corps Association of Werders in southeastern France was used against newly formed French troops. In October the corps advanced on Dijon , with several skirmishes. On December 18, two Baden brigades won the battle near Nuits , but lost 940 men. In January the battle of the Lisaine broke out , when the XIV Army Corps faced the three-fold superior army of General Charles Denis Bourbaki . From January 15 to 17, Bourbaki attacked, with the fighting from January 16 mainly concentrated on the right wing, where the Baden division had taken position. In heavy fighting, which cost the Baden field division 855 men, the French attacks were finally repulsed; Bourbaki's army withdrew to Besançon and from there to Switzerland, where it was interned . After the defeat of Bourbaki, there was no hope of relief for the beleaguered fortress , which surrendered on February 16, 1871.

The Baden Army in the Reichsheer

Pickelhaube with the Baden coat of arms

After the victorious battle of Sedan , the Baden government proposed that Baden join the North German Confederation in a memorandum to Bismarck . Three weeks later, on Bismarck's advice, an official application for membership was submitted, and together with Bavaria and Württemberg the new German Empire was constituted with the imperial proclamation of Wilhelm I on January 18, 1871, the ratification of the treaties between the states and the adoption of the imperial constitution in March 1871.

In contrast to Württemberg and Bavaria, the Grand Duchy finally surrendered its military sovereignty to Prussia. On November 25, 1870, a military convention was signed with the Kingdom of Prussia in Versailles . According to this, the Baden army was "a direct part of the German, or the Royal Prussian Army" (Article 1). The regiments kept their standards and flags and were referred to as the "Baden Regiment", their crests showed the griffin as the Baden state coat of arms. The commanding general of the Baden troops was the Grand Duke, the service and oaths were a bit more complicated: The Grand Duke was the employer for NCOs and men, and they were sworn in on him (with an additional obligation to obey the "Bundesfeldherr", i.e. the German Emperor). The officers, on the other hand, were subject to the Prussian king and German emperor and swore their oath on him. In second place for them came the Grand Duke, to whom they pledged to “promote the good and the best [...], to avert harm and disadvantage from the highest of himself and His house and country”. The corps number XIV assigned during the war against France was retained by the Baden troops, they formed the core of the XIV Army Corps . In 1874 this was broken down as follows:

division brigade regiment
28th division
55th Infantry Brigade
1st Baden Leib Grenadier Regiment No. 109
2nd Baden Grenadier Regiment "Kaiser Wilhelm I." No. 110
2nd Badisches Landwehr Regiment No. 110
56th Infantry Brigade
1st Upper Silesian Infantry Regiment No. 22
3rd Baden Infantry Regiment "Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm" No. 111
3rd Badisches Landwehr Regiment No. 111
28th Cavalry Brigade
1st Badisches Leib-Dragoons-Regiment No. 20
3. Badisches Dragoon Regiment "Prinz Karl" No. 22
29th division
57th Infantry Brigade
5th Baden Infantry Regiment No. 113
6. Baden Infantry Regiment "Kaiser Friedrich III." No. 114
5th and 6th Badisches Landwehr Regiment (No. 113 and 114)
58th Infantry Brigade
4th Westphalian Infantry Regiment No. 17
4. Baden Infantry Regiment "Prinz Wilhelm" No. 112
4th Badisches Landwehr Regiment No. 112
29th Cavalry Brigade
Kurmärkisches Dragoon Regiment No. 14
2nd Badisches Dragoon Regiment No. 21
Corps troops
Baden foot artillery battalion No. 14
Baden Pioneer Battalion No. 14
Badisches Train Battalion No. 14
14th Field Artillery Brigade
1st Baden Field Artillery Regiment No. 14
2nd Baden Field Artillery Regiment No. 30

With the military convention of 1870, Baden gave up its military sovereignty, the Baden army ceased to exist and became part of the Prussian-German army, albeit as a separate corps. After Germany's defeat in World War I , this concentration of Baden troops was also dissolved; in the new Reichswehr only the 14th Infantry Regiment continued the tradition of the old Baden regiments.

Baden Minister of War

In 1808 the responsibilities of the previous war commission were transferred to the newly created war ministry. The ministers of war were:

The Baden War Ministry was repealed by a decree on December 27, 1871.


Web links

Commons : Military of Baden  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Baden - Military  - Sources and full texts


  1. Karl Friedrich Ledderhose: From the life of the Margrave Georg Friedrich von Badens , pp. 79–81.
  2. ^ Karl Freiherr von Reitzenstein: The campaign of 1622 on the Upper Rhine and in Westphalia up to the battle of Wimpfen. Munich 1891/93, Volume II, p. 172.
  3. New publication on the oldest military academy in the world . In: NR-Kurier . December 4, 2016 ( ).
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  8. Harder: Handbuch , pp. 36-40
  9. a b Harder: Handbuch , p. 80 ff.
  10. a b Kohnle, Kleine Geschichte der Margrafschaft , p. 187
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  13. Kohnle, Kleine Geschichte der Margrafschaft , p. 192
  14. Rickard, J: Battle of Emmendingen, October 19, 1796 ,
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  16. Harder: Handbuch , p. 81
  17. a b Harder: Handbuch , p. 84
  18. Harder: Handbuch , p. 85
  19. Harder: Handbuch , S. 87f.
  20. Harder: Handbuch , p. 88
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  30. The tailor in Penza on
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  34. Xylander, Heerwesen , p. 5.
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  49. Hauser-Hauswirth, Ways of the Revolutionaries , p. 6
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  66. Engehausen, Small History of the Revolution , pp. 183ff.
  67. ^ John H. Eicher, David J. Eicher: Civil War High Commands , Stanford University Press, Stanford 2001, pp. 388, 489 and 558. At the end of the war, August Mersy received the rank of brigadier general.
  68. Engehausen, Little History of the Revolution , pp. 190f.
  69. Harder: Handbuch , p. 95
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  71. ^ Heunisch and Bader, Grand Duchy of Baden , p. 505.
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  76. ^ Rolf Gustav Haebler : Badische Geschichte , reprint of the 1951 edition, Battert Verlag, Baden-Baden, 1987, p. 117f.
  77. ^ Engehausen, Small History of the Grand Duchy , pp. 135f.
  78. Harder: Handbuch , p. 105
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  83. ^ Agreement printed in: Das Staatsarchiv. Collection of the official acts on the history of the present. edited by Ludwig Karl Aegidi and Alfred Klauhold, eleventh volume, 1866. July to December, Otto Meissner, Hamburg 1866, no. 2368. pp. 174-176;
  84. ^ Peace treaty printed in: Das Staatsarchiv. Collection of the official acts on the history of the present. edited by Ludwig Karl Aegidi and Alfred Klauhold, Volume 11, 1866. July to December, Otto Meissner, Hamburg 1866, No. 2374. pp. 188–190;
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  86. Harder: Handbuch , p. 95 f., P. 106
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  88. Harder: Handbook , pp. 107–111
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  90. see among others in Michael Kotulla: German Constitutional Law 1806–1918, A collection of documents and introductions , Volume 1, Springer Verlag, Berlin and Heidelberg 2005, pp. 1222–1229; Wortlaut ; The contracting parties had already signed a contract on May 25, 1869: Contract between the North German Confederation and the Grand Duchy of Baden, regarding the introduction of mutual military freedom of movement ( Wikisource )
  91. Harder: Handbuch , p. 111; Articles 2-5 of the Military Convention
  92. Harder: Handbuch , p. 112
  93. Holzamer: The history of the former Baden field artillery regiment No. 14 (PDF)
  94. ^ Harder: manual. P. 121
  95. ^ Karl Stiefel: Baden 1648–1952 . Karlsruhe 1979, Volume II, p. 1015
  96. ^ Karl Stiefel: Baden 1648–1952. Karlsruhe 1979, Volume II, p. 1044; Martin Furtwängler: lists of ministers. In: Meinrad Schaab , Hansmartin Schwarzmaier (ed.) U. a .: Handbook of Baden-Württemberg History . Volume 5: Economic and social history since 1918, overviews and materials, complete index. Edited on behalf of the Commission for Historical Regional Studies in Baden-Württemberg . Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-608-91371-2 , p. 483.
  97. ↑ In some cases, Hereditary Grand Duke Karl is named as Minister of War for 1808 to 1811 and the function is described as unfilled for 1811 to 1814; see Josef Inauen: Focus on Switzerland: the southern German states of Baden, Württemberg and Bavaria ... Freiburg 2008, p. 337. google-books
  98. ^ Karl Stiefel: Baden 1648–1952 . Karlsruhe 1979, Volume II, p. 1043