War staging

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War staging or stage being or just stage is a term that disappeared from the parlance after the Second World War and today comes closest to the field of military logistics .

The word stage was originally a military term that was borrowed from the French étape in the 18th century . " Étape " is the name given to the place with supplies for the feeding of marching troops. These places (stages) were usually a day's march apart.

In a military sense, the stage refers to the area behind the front . This is where the rear services such as hospital , baggage train , administration and repair units , etc. are located.

The German Imperium

The war stage system in the army of the German Empire was structured according to the following guidelines:

  • The stage system received the rear connections of the operating army with the homeland.
  • The tasks of the stage system were:
  1. Resupply of all needs for the army
  2. Return of all material leaving the army (including people and horses)
  3. Accommodation and catering for humans and animals
  4. Maintaining and securing all connections
  5. Manufacture and operation of light railways
  6. Organization and management of occupied areas

The individual stage lines were subject to the stage inspections. The stage lines were divided into districts, in which stage command offices were set up. The army assigned the officers , civil servants and soldiers required to these stage command offices.

At the head of the entire stage system of an army was the general inspector of the stage and railroad system. He was also subordinate to:

At the head of the individual branches of service was a boss who had to regulate the service according to the existing regulations.

First World War

During the First World War , the area immediately behind the area of operations of an army but beyond the reach of enemy artillery up to the Reich border was declared a stage. The stage system was subordinate to the Quartermaster General in the Supreme Army Command (OHL), who also determined the boundaries between the operational area and the stage area. An exception was the General Government of Belgium , which extended beyond the stage of the 4th and 6th German Army to the border of the Reich and did not itself belong to the stage.

A stage inspection was set up in each army , which was responsible for the supply of personnel and material supplies, the use of supplies and aids from the occupied territories and the removal of unneeded material and the respective Army High Command (AOK) under. The stage inspector had his own staff and subordinate units. He was also responsible for the stage command offices , which were responsible for through traffic to and from the field army, including food, accommodation and security within a defined area. At the end of the war there were 354 stage command offices. The stage auxiliary battalions , which were mostly made up of armor units during the war and largely consisted of Landsturm soldiers, served the stage administration in carrying out their tasks. In the last two years of war and civilian army auxiliaries and were stage assistants used to be able to relocate soldiers from the stage to the front.

After 1918, the term was pushed out of German military parlance because it was negatively charged in the First World War due to the psychological alienation between the front and the stage as a result of the extremely different operating conditions (“ Etappenhengst ”, “Etappenenzustände” etc.).

Web links


  • The little book of the German Army. A manual and reference book for instruction on the German military power; Processed according to the latest regulations. Fireworks Lieutenant Klein, Verlag Lipsius & Tischer, Kiel / Leipzig 1901.
  • Bruno Thoß : Stage. In: Gerhard Hirschfeld , Gerd Krumeich , Irina Renz (eds.): Encyclopedia First World War. 2nd edition, Ferdinand Schöningh, Paderborn 2014, ISBN 978-3-8252-8551-7 , p. 465.
  • Hermann Cron: The organization of the German army in the world war. E. S. Mittler and Son, Berlin 1923, ( research and representations from the Reichsarchiv, issue 5, ZDB -ID 988364-2 ).

Individual evidence

  1. Encyclopedia First World War, 2nd ed., P. 465; Cron, p. 149.
  2. ^ Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg , Findbuch 456 F 123, introduction .