Prussian War Ministry

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The Prussian War Ministry was the highest state authority in the Prussian army . Its function was the central administration of the army. The War Ministry existed from 1808 until the transition of military sovereignty to the Reich after the disbandment of the contingent army in 1919.


The War Ministry was formed from December 25, 1808 in place of the former Upper War College and from 1810 was divided into two departments. The first department was to be responsible for the constitution and command of the army, the second for the economic administration of the army.

A war minister was initially due to the resistance of Friedrich Wilhelm III. not appointed. So Gerhard von Scharnhorst became the head of the first department General War Department and Lieutenant Colonel Graf Lottum head of the second department. Scharnhorst acted as representative of the Minister of War as long as he was not appointed.

The first department was divided into three divisions. The first division was the continuation of the previous General Adjutantur and was then also known as the "Secret Military Cabinet ". The general war chancellery was also subordinate to her. The Second Division of the War Ministry dealt with general army matters: formations of troops, replacements and departures, accommodation, troop exercises, mobilization . In addition, a third division was created: the artillery and engineering department. This had an artillery department, which was responsible for the artillery material, rifle factories, gun foundry, powder factories, etc. The engineering department was responsible for maintaining the fortresses .

The second department, the Military-Economics Department , had four divisions. The first division dealt with the treasury, the second with food in kind for the troops, the third clothing and equipment, and the fourth with the disabled.

Establishment of the War Ministry in 1902

  1. The central department
    1. Ministerial department with archive and printing regulations administration
    2. Intendant department
  2. The General War Department
    1. Army division
    2. Infantry division
    3. Cavalry Division
    4. Field Artillery Department
    5. Foot artillery department
    6. Engineering department
    7. Pioneering department
    8. Armory administration in Berlin
    9. Military Equestrian Institute
    10. Feldzeugmeisterei
    11. Military Veterinary Inspection
  3. The Department of Personal Affairs and the Secret War Chancellery
  4. The Army Administration Department
    1. Cash department
    2. Catering department
    3. Clothing department
    4. Accommodation department
    5. Practice area department
    6. Construction department
    7. Examination committee for senior managerial officials
    8. General Military Treasury
  5. The Department of Utilities and Justice
    1. Pension Department
    2. Utility department
    3. Justice Department
    4. Justitiare of the War Department
    5. Evangelical and Catholic field provosts
  6. The remonte inspection
  7. The medical department
    1. the Kaiser Wilhelms Academy for military medical education


List of Prussian ministers of war


War Ministry on Leipziger Strasse next to the current Federal Council building

Exactly one hundred years to the day from January 1, 1819 to January 1, 1919 (with the dissolution of the ministry) in Berlin-Mitte :

Additional office use
General Staff
Military cabinet
  • from around 1820: behind the casting house 2   (behind the armory )
  • from 1872: Behrenstrasse 66


  • Curt Jany : History of the Prussian Army - from the 15th century to 1914 . Biblio, Osnabrück 1967.
  • Laurenz Demps : Berlin-Wilhelmstrasse - A topography of Prussian-German power . Ch.Links, Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-86153-080-5 .