Infantry Regiment "Graf Werder" (4th Rheinisches) No. 30

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Infantry Regiment "Graf Werder" (4th Rheinisches) No. 30

active March 25, 1815 to April 15, 1919
Country Prussia
Armed forces Prussian Army
Branch of service infantry
Insinuation VIII. Army Corps /
XVI. Army Corps
Former locations Saarlouis

The Infantry Regiment "Graf Werder" (4th Rhenish) No. 30 was an infantry joined the Prussian army .

Lieutenant epaulette
left until 1910 (VIII. AK)
right from 1910 (XVI. AK)


The regiment began as a Russian-German Legion

The Duke (later Grand Duke ) Peter I. Friedrich Ludwig von Oldenburg , expelled by Napoleon , fled into Russian exile when his duchy was illegally occupied by Napoleon. Encouraged by him and set up by the tsar , German exiles and defected prisoners of war eventually became the Russian-German Legion , a unit that was supposed to support the struggle for freedom against the French occupation in Europe. The Legion was in Russian service, but was paid for and equipped by allied England . The main propagandist for joining the Legion was Ernst Moritz Arndt , the private secretary of Freiherr vom Stein , who was in Russian service . He stayed in Petersburg in 1812 and called for a patriotic struggle for freedom against the French occupation in Germany.

The Legion was commanded by Lieutenant General Ludwig von Wallmoden-Gimborn , Colonel von Arentsschildt and Major General Wilhelm von Dörnberg served as brigadiers, and Lieutenant Colonel Carl von Clausewitz as chief of the Quartermaster's staff .

The 1st and 2nd battalions of the Legion were established in Reval in 1812 , with the 1st battalion consisting almost exclusively of Prussians and a few Dutch. The 2nd battalion was formed from Prussia, Bavaria and the Dutch. The 7th battalion of the Legion was only formed from deserters in July and October 1813 and also took in some Coburgs, Saxons and Westphalia.

Chief of the 1st Battalion of the Russian-German Legion was Major Ferdinand von Natzmer, son-in-law of General von Arentschild, who led the Legion as a colonel. At the age of 33, Natzmer took over this post in Reval in August 1812 as captain , after having previously served in Prussian, Brunswick and Hesse for 21 years. In September the battalion was complete. It consisted almost entirely of Prussia and "was the most evenly composed and most firmly assembled of all". In August 1813 he took over as commander of the 1st Infantry Brigade of the Legion, which was formed by the battalions of our later regiment. One could therefore also call him the first regimental commander.

After being renamed the German Legion on June 2, 1814, the Legion was finally taken over into Prussian service on February 26, 1815.

1815 to 1870

When it was accepted into the Prussian Army, the association was named 30th Infantry Regiment from March 25, 1815 . It was formed from the 1st and 2nd Battalion and the associated fusilier battalion from the 7th Battalion of the German-Russian Legion.

After the conversion, Major Wilhelm von Ditfurth became the first regimental commander on March 31, 1815 . The regiment was still on the march from its previous accommodations on the right bank of the Rhine between Königswinter and Düsseldorf on its way to Diekirch . When Ditfurth was supposed to meet his regiment in Diekirch on May 9th, he wrote to his wife: “Everyone congratulates me on the regiment, it should be very nice; all dressed in English mounts and 2,200 strong, also have excellent music. "On May 16, he confirmed the general good condition of the regiment and added:" It is certainly one of the most beautiful regiments in the army, but very disordered, that's why I have my hands full. The officers have come almost all new with me to the regiment, they are the majors of Sprenger, of Beaufort and Schaper. These three are very good people [...] some of the other officers are also very good people. ”Of the former legion, there were only 400 men with the regiment, including seven company commanders , eleven first lieutenants and 32 second lieutenants . The remaining soldiers came from replacement battalions, especially from Pomerania, Märker, Magdeburg and Halberstadt. On May 21st he writes with full satisfaction: "I have several companies whom I could let join the guard on the spot as they are."

After Napoleon's return from Elba , the regiment marched with three battalions with the Prussian troops under General Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher in the 9th Infantry Brigade (III Army Corps) against France. In the battle of Ligny it was able to hold its own against several cavalry attacks and simultaneous infantry attacks in the square . The regiment lost seven fallen, eleven wounded and three captured officers as well as 489 NCOs and men. Ditfurth received the order Pour le Mérite .

After the invasion of Paris , it went on via Orléans to Angers . The regiment was the most deeply penetrated unit in France at the time. On September 21st the order to withdraw came and on October 3rd a parade was held in front of the king in Paris. Then the regiment moved via Berlin to the garrison in Danzig.

For the changing locations up to 1870 see the section Garrisons.

In 1850, the NCOs and men of the disbanded Hohenzollern light infantry battalion (battalion of the principalities of Hohenzollern, up to then 11th battalion of the reserve division of the Army of the German Confederation ) came to the regiment.

1870 and 1871

From July 18, 1870, the later infantry general Oskar von Nachtigal commanded the regiment as a lieutenant colonel. Conditions in the regiment were not easy. It was only partially housed in barracks, most of the companies were in fortifications. The accommodation rooms were all tight. The conscripts from the regiment's replacement district, from the Saar, the Moselle and from the Birkenfeldschen rushed to the regiment during mobilization. However, many had to be sent home again because the head count far exceeded the budgetary target.

The regiment was initially deployed as an occupation force for Mainz Fortress and primarily carried out reinforcement work. Mainz was the seat of the Great Headquarters, so King Wilhelm often visited the regiment's officers' mess.

After the victories at Weissenburg and Wörth , when the danger of a French invasion seemed to have been temporarily averted, the regiment was immediately set on march towards Strasbourg . Since the railway line was completely used by the 3rd Army , the waterway to Mannheim was chosen on the spot. We continued on foot in the heat towards Haguenau and on to Strasbourg. During the encirclement and siege of Strasbourg , the regiment soon acquired the reputation of being an elite troop of the Siege Corps and later the XIV Army Corps thanks to the careful leadership of Nachtigall .

After Strasbourg, the campaign of the Werder Corps followed, which was combined to form the new XIV Army Corps. Nachtigall soon commanded not only his regiment, but also a few batteries or squadrons . His troops also got the slow attack at Rambersvillers going again. The Prussian troops had reached Raon l'Etape on October 9th and from there sent the regiment's musketeer battalions along with an squadron of hussars to reconnaissance in the Mortagne-Valley to St. Benoit. The French troops, which can be traced back to Rambersvillers, were driven out of the churchyard by the 7th Company under brisk fire. The 5th and 8th Companies crossed the roadblocks at the entrances to the village after a violent firefight. In the village itself, however, the enemy offered such stubborn resistance that the attack lost momentum. But the next morning the village was completely occupied, with Major Berckefeldt being seriously wounded. The Germans lost 30 men, the French lost 60 men.

When the Prussians got past Deyvillers with their point , French troops showed up in Bruyères . The 1st Battalion, however, pushed the Franc-Shooters resisting at the edge of the forest south of the road back on Epinal . After the capture of Epinal, the German forces of the XIV Army Corps were able to reunite. During the further march towards Besançon , there was a very persistent fight on the Ognon on October 22nd at a French position near Châtillon-le-Duc . The Baden Regiments No. 3 and 4 and the Prussian Regiment No. 30 took part in this. This occupied the transition point at Bussiéres. The 2nd Battalion was sent further east to Chatillon. Here it crossed a long meadow bottom and, despite heavy fire from the enemy infantry and artillery, gradually advanced towards the Bois de Chailloz after reaching the heights. The 1st Battalion of the 30s and three companies of the 3rd Baden Regiment proceeded via Geneuille against the enemy-occupied Bois de Bauvereille. The enemy troops had to withdraw. After all crossings over the Ognon had been taken and the French had been thrown back into the area of ​​the Besançon fortress, the battle ended with a loss of 120 men. The French lost 150 men and 200 prisoners. After the battle on the Ognon, General von Werder personally visited Commander Nachtigall to thank him for the bravery of the regiment.

On November 5th, two fusilier companies dispatched by Gray against Dole , the 6th and 10th companies of the regiment, encountered considerable forces from the enemy south of Le Tremblois . After the 6th Company had thrown back the enemy, about 300 men strong, advancing from Germigney , the whole detachment drew together north of the heights of Esmoulins in order to counter the threatening attack from Apremont . This did not take place, however, the enemy withdrew again.

On January 9, 1871, Nachtigall led the regiment into the battle near Villersexel . The French threaten the right wing of the advancing 4th Reserve Division . But here the reinforced von der Goltz brigade came to the aid of the defenders of the village of Momay with their guns. The 9th Company was therefore sent to Villersexel to relieve the 4th Reserve Division. So the village could be held against the following onslaught by the infantry regiment No. 25 and a brigade from Baden, although the attackers were able to penetrate the village for a short time.

From January 15 to 17 the regiment held the position against superior and repeatedly advancing opponents at Chavanne in the three-day battle on the Lisaine .

This was followed by the extremely strenuous pursuit of the Eastern Army under Bourbaki through the high Jura to the Swiss border .

On the day the troops entered Berlin, on June 16, 1871, the King appointed General von Werder as head of the regiment .

1871 to 1914

Barracks VI in Saarlouis
Front of the bell tree flag of the Regimental Music of IR 30
Exhibition on the history of the garrisons in the city. Saarlouis Museum

On March 28, 1871, the regiment arrived in its new garrison in Diedenhofen . The regiment initially remained in war formation, it was not demobilized until June 10th. Since it was impossible to house the whole regiment united there, the fusilier battalion was transferred to Trier in the autumn .

On April 3, 1876, the regiment moved to Saarlouis and moved into barracks VI (the barracks still exist in the city center and houses the police, the city museum and the city library). The "30s" became an integral part of everyday life in Saarlouis.

In 1889 the regiment was named "Graf Werder" after the death of its former boss.

In the course of the army enlargement, some companies had to be given up to form new regiments:

The surrendered companies were set up again in the regiment.


In 1817 the regiment moved from Danzig to Koblenz and Jülich. In 1820 it was moved to Trier, in 1851 again to Koblenz and Cologne. The fusilier battalion was in Luxembourg from 1830 to 1834, and from 1839 to 1840, 30 fusiliers were also stationed in Saarlouis for the first time. But in 1849 they too were relocated to Koblenz. In 1860 the regiment was transferred to Frankfurt. After moving to Kassel in 1866, it finally came to Mainz , where it provided the fortress garrison when the Franco-German War broke out . From 1876 the regiment was stationed in Saarlouis.


Until 1815 as Russian-German or German Legion against France

Wars of Liberation

1815 against France in the Ziethen Army Corps

June 16, 1815 Ligny
Wawre June 18, 1815
July 2, 1815 Châtillon and Clamart
August 4, 1815 Angers is occupied
Total casualties: 86 killed, 226 wounded

Baden Revolution

1849 against Baden in the I. Army Corps von Hirschfeld

Total casualties: 14 killed, 60 wounded

German war

1866 against Austria and their German allies in the Main Army, von Beyer's division

July 10, 1866 Hammelburg
July 24, 1866 Werbach-Hochhausen
July 25, 1866 Helmstadt
July 26, 1866 Rossbrunn
Total casualties: 17 killed, 39 wounded, 3 missing

Franco-German War

Monument erected in 1910 (sculptor Wilhelm Wandschneider )

1870/71 against France in the 1st Reserve Division, then XIV. Army Corps v. Werder

September 15-28, 1870 Siege of Strasbourg
October 9, 1870 Rambervillers (2nd Battalion)
October 12, 1870 Epinal (1st Battalion)
October 22, 1870 at Ognon
October 24, 1870 La Vaivre (Fusilier Battalion)
November 5, 1870 Germigney (6th and 10th companies)
9 November 1870 La Marche (Fusilier Battalion)
December 15, 1870 Foncegrive (Fusilier Battalion)
December 16, 1870 Longeau (12th Company)
December 18, 1870 Langres
December 19-26, 1870 Enclosure of Langres
January 9, 1871 Villersexel
January 13, 1871 Chavanne (3rd Company, 2nd Battalion and Fusilier Battalion)
January 15-17, 1871 Lisaine
Total casualties: 67 dead, 276 wounded, 11 missing, 11 prisoners.

First World War

The fallen officers of the first battle at Mercy-le-Haut on August 22, 1914

With the outbreak of World War I , the regiment mobilized on August 2, 1914. It marched out on August 7, 1914 with a strength of 76 officers, six doctors, three paymasters and 3,274 NCOs and men as part of the 86th Infantry Brigade of the 34th Division.

1914 Longwy , Meuse crossing, Marne battle
1915 in the Argonne, in Champagne
1916 in the Argonne, Verdun, Fossenwald (1st battalion almost destroyed), in the Vosges
1917/1918 in Lorraine, Argonne, Flanders, Siegfriedstellung, Hermann-Antwerpen-Maas -stellung
On October 5, 1918 the I. and III. Battalion near Montbrèhain almost destroyed. A company (total strength 60 men) was formed from the remains. The 2nd Battalion was formed into two companies. But already on October 12th, the 1st Battalion was filled up as an "Alarm Battalion" to three companies of 90 men and one machine gun company, a little later the 2nd and 3rd. Battalion divided into two companies each.
Total casualties: Only 106 dead officers known.


After the war ended, the regiment was demobilized in Delitzsch on December 22, 1918 and disbanded on April 15, 1919.

The tradition in the Reichswehr was adopted by the 12th Company of the 12th Infantry Regiment in Magdeburg by decree of the Chief of Army Command, General of the Infantry Hans von Seeckt , on August 24, 1921 .


Association membership

  • 1815: 9th Infantry Brigade (Major General Karl August Ferdinand von Borcke), III. Army Corps (Lieutenant General Johann Adolf Freiherr von Thielemann),
  • 1870: in the XIV Army Corps
  • 1890: 32nd Infantry Brigade, 16th Division, VIII Army Corps
  • 1910: 86th Infantry Brigade, 34th Division , XVI. Army Corps


From the time it was set up, the regiment was divided into two (I. and II.) Infantry battalions and one fusilier battalion, which was converted into a normal (III.) Battalion on January 4, 1889.

In the course of the increase in the army, a fourth half battalion was set up in 1894, which was handed over on April 1, 1897 to set up Infantry Regiment No. 161.

Regiment chief

Rank Surname date
General of the Infantry Ludwig Gustav von Thile September 12, 1842 to August 24, 1861
General of the Infantry August from Werder January 16, 1871 to September 12, 1887
General of the Infantry Otto von Strubberg 0August 8, 1889 to November 9, 1908


Rank Surname date
Lieutenant Colonel / Colonel Wilhelm von Ditfurth March 31, 1815 to March 29, 1830
Lieutenant colonel Wilhelm Otto Karl Ewald von Zastrow March 30 to November 20, 1830 (entrusted with the tour)
Lieutenant colonel Wilhelm Otto Karl Ewald von Zastrow November 21, 1830 to March 29, 1833
Colonel Karl Gottfried von Bockelmann March 30, 1833 to March 29, 1835
Colonel Heinrich von Sack March 30, 1835 to March 29, 1837
Colonel Karl von Rudorff March 30, 1837 to March 29, 1839
Colonel Albrecht von Burski March 30, 1839 to April 6, 1842
Colonel Karl von Walther 0April 7, 1842 to March 8, 1848
Lieutenant colonel Woldemar von Trotha 0March 9 to May 6, 1848 (in charge of the tour)
Lieutenant Colonel / Colonel Woldemar von Trotha 0May 7, 1848 to September 24, 1849
Colonel Friedrich Wiesner September 25, 1849 to September 21, 1851
Lieutenant Colonel / Colonel Wilhelm Hencke September 22, 1851 to November 29, 1855
Colonel Alexander von Vietinghoff called von Scheel November 30, 1855 to July 7, 1858
Colonel Georg Friedrich von Großmann 0July 8, 1858 to May 5, 1862
Colonel Leonhard von Selchow 0May 6, 1862 to July 19, 1866
Lieutenant Colonel / Colonel Hermann von Koblisnki July 20, 1866 to July 17, 1870
Lieutenant Colonel / Colonel Oskar von Nachtigal July 18, 1870 to January 25, 1875
Colonel Albert Einecke January 26, 1875 to July 8, 1878
Colonel Wilhelm von Schon 0July 9, 1878 to March 1, 1880
Lieutenant Colonel / Colonel Wilhelm von Tschischwitz 0March 2, 1880 to March 11, 1881 (in charge of the tour)
Colonel Wilhelm von Tschischwitz March 12, 1881 to May 14, 1883
Colonel Felix Streccius May 15, 1883 to March 21, 1887
Colonel Friedrich Bothe March 22, 1888 to September 19, 1890
Colonel Theodor Gissot September 20, 1890 to April 20, 1894
Colonel August Dühring April 21, 1894 to June 16, 1897
Colonel Gustav von Dreising June 17, 1897 to May 17, 1901
Colonel Emil Bussler May 18 to September 7, 1901
Lieutenant Colonel / Colonel Otto Griepenkerl 0September 8, 1901 to April 9, 1906
Colonel Otto von Sydow April 10, 1906 to May 17, 1907
Colonel Albert von Freyhold May 18, 1907 to August 18, 1909
Colonel Heinrich Schmidt von Knobelsdorf August 19, 1909 to January 26, 1913
Colonel Theodor Teetzmann January 27, 1913 to September 29, 1914
Lieutenant colonel Franz Lindemann September 30th to November 25th, 1914
Lieutenant colonel Franz Andrè November 26, 1914 to December 25, 1916
Lieutenant colonel Josef Barth December 26, 1916 to February 14, 1919
Colonel Paul Krause February 15 to April 15, 1919
Officer shoulder piece
left: until 1910 (VIII. AK)
right: from 1910 (XVI. AK)


In 1815 the uniform had madder red collars and lapels as well as light blue armpit flaps . In 1842 the tunic was dark blue with a row of yellow buttons, a blue collar with red flaps, red Brandenburg lapels with red flaps and light blue armpit flaps with the number "30". In 1914 the dark blue tunic had a red collar with a dark blue extension, red flaps with a yellow extension, and yellow armpit tabs with the number "30".


The first flags were handed over to the 1st and 2nd Battalion in Danzig and the Fusilier Battalion in Thorn on May 9, 1816. On a black cloth with sharp white wedges after the four corners was an orange medallion with a reinforced and crowned black Prussian eagle and a light blue currency ribbon (also known as the fatherland bandeau) with gold writing “Pro Gloria et Patria”, surrounded by a gold laurel. On the four sides a golden flaming grenade, in the four corners surrounded by golden laurel the golden crowned name "FWR".

The IV Half Battalion received its flag made of light blue cloth in Saarlouis on October 27, 1894, otherwise as described above. This flag remained with the regiment when the half battalion was surrendered in 1897. In 1914 she was transferred to the Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 30. It is the regiment's only surviving flag and is now hanging in the Stauffenberg Hall of the Army Officers' School in Dresden.

On September 11, 1905, during the Imperial Parade of the VIII Army Corps, the 1st Battalion received a new flag made of light blue cloth with black, white and black wedges at the four corners. The medallion was now white, otherwise unchanged from the previous one. On the four sides there is a flaming golden grenade, in the four corners surrounded by golden laurel on a light blue background the golden crowned signature "WR".


  • Heinrich Brüning , who later became Chancellor of the Reich, was a war volunteer in the regiment (10th company) and became a lieutenant in the reserve on September 6, 1915 .
  • Heinrich Welsch , who later became Prime Minister of the Saarland, was a volunteer in the regiment and became a lieutenant in the reserve.
  • Hans Windeck , Lieutenant General, was captain of the 10th Company and leader of the 1st Battalion, the last chairman of the traditional club "Graf Werder"
  • Wilhelm Adam , major general of the NVA, was a war volunteer in the regiment (5th company) and became a lieutenant in the reserve.


  • Gabriele Venzky: The Russian-German Legion in the years 1811–1815. Volume 30 of the series History of Publications of the Eastern European Institute. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1966, ISBN 3-447-01025-8 .
  • Günther Voigt: Germany's armies until 1918. Origin and development of the individual formations. Volume 2. Eds. Hans Bleckwen and Dernot Bradley. 11 volumes. Biblio, Osnabrück 1981, ISBN 3-7648-1199-4 .
  • J. Scheibert: The War 1870–71. Vaterländischer Verlag, Berlin 1909.
  • The war between France and Germany in the years 70–71. Great General Staff. Paili, Berlin 1889.
  • von Quistorp: The Imperial Russian-German Legion. Berlin 1860.
  • Richard Putzki : The Russian-German Legion 1812-1814. Charlottenburg 1912.
  • Paulitzky: History of the 4th Rhine. Infantry Regiment No. 30 1815–1884. Berlin 1884.
  • Schäfer, Franz Josef: Correspondence between a couple from Saarland during the Franco-German War 1870/71. - In: Yearbook for West German State History, 35 (2009), pp. 420-519. ISSN  0170-2025 - Article about the master roofer Johannes Schwickert from Eiweiler, who served as a sergeant in IR 30 in 1870/71.
  • Ernst Schmidt: The active officers of the Graf Werder regiment from 1812-1912. Self-published by the regiment, Saarlouis 1912.
  • Ernst Schmidt: The history of the infantry regiment Graf Werder (4th Rhine.) No. 30 in the world wars 1914-1918. Volume 1: The year 1914 (=  memorial sheets of German regiments. Formerly Prussian troops . No. 47 ). Stalling, Oldenburg iO / Berlin 1922. Available online: Württembergische Landesbibliothek
  • Ernst Schmidt: The history of the infantry regiment Graf Werder (4th Rhine.) No. 30 in the world wars 1914-1918. Volume 2: The year 1915 (=  memorial sheets of German regiments. Troop units of the former Prussian contingent . No. 134 ). Stalling, Oldenburg iO / Berlin 1925. Available online: Württembergische Landesbibliothek
  • (Ernst) Schmidt, (Oskar-Bernhard) von Woedtke: History of the Infantry Regiment Graf Werder (4th Rhine.) No. 30 1914/18. Berlin 1929.
  • (Major) Stachow (Hrsg.): From the past of the infantry = Regiment Graf Werder (4th Rhine.) No. 30 - memorial sheets for the centenary of the regiment , self-published by the regiment, Saarlouis 1912.

Web links


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Alfred Börckel : Mainz as a fortress and garrison from Roman times to the present . Diemer, Mainz 1913, p. 293 .
  2. ^ Jürgen Kraus : Handbook of the units and troops of the German army 1914-1918. Part VI: Infantry. Volume 1: Infantry Regiments. Publishing house Militaria. Vienna 2007. ISBN 978-3-902526-14-4 . P. 73.
  3. ^ Günter Wegmann (Ed.), Günter Wegner: Formation history and staffing of the German armed forces 1815-1990. Part 1: Occupation of the German armies 1815–1939. Volume 2: The staffing of the active infantry regiments as well as the hunter and machine gun battalions, military district commands and training managers from the foundation or list until 1939. Biblio Verlag. Osnabrück 1992. ISBN 3-7648-1782-8 . P. 115.
  4. ^ Günter Wegmann (Ed.), Günter Wegner: Formation history and staffing of the German armed forces 1815-1990. Part 1: Occupation of the German armies 1815–1939. Volume 2: The occupation of the active infantry regiments as well as Jäger and MG battalions, military district commands and training managers from the foundation or list until 1939. Biblio Verlag, Osnabrück 1992, ISBN 3-7648-1782-8 , pp. 115-117 .