Military district

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Military districts in the German Empire after the annexation of Austria

The military districts ( WK ) divided the area of ​​the Weimar Republic and later the National Socialist German Reich into Reich defense districts , each of which was responsible for the recruitment and training of parts of the army of the Reichswehr and the Wehrmacht .


The military districts corresponded to their function according to the former corps districts (with the last peacetime state 24 districts for the 25 army corps ) of the army in the German Empire . In accordance with the provisions of the Versailles Treaty (1919), the Reichswehr initially had seven military districts, whose military district commanders were also the commanders of the seven equally numbered infantry divisions . The superordinate command authorities were group commands 1 (Berlin) and 2 (Kassel). In each military district there were also offices that were responsible for replacing and supplying these parts of the army. The zone along the Rhine , demilitarized according to the Versailles Treaty, was excluded from the military district division until 1936 (see: Rhineland occupation (1936) ).

As part of the upgrade of the Wehrmacht in the Nazi era , the number of infantry divisions in 1934 was first secretly tripled to 21st The military district commanders thus took on the function of commanding general of an army corps of three divisions each. The unmasking of these newly established associations took place with the proclamation of military sovereignty in March 1935. The number of military districts was increased to 13 in the course of the further formation of associations by 1937, combined with various territorial reorganizations. In the Air Force of the Armed Forces from 1936 was (not always congruent) territorial division into Luftgaue . The numbers XIV to XVI were reserved for so-called motorized army corps, which were intended to lead the "rapid troops" (motorized infantry divisions, light divisions , armored divisions ) and are therefore not included in the count.

Military districts in 1944

After the annexation of Austria in 1938, the military districts XVII (Vienna) and XVIII (Salzburg) were formed, to which a general command for the XIX. Army Corps (motorized) entered. During the mobilization before the attack on Poland in 1939, the military district commands formed the general commands of the army corps, leaving behind the so-called deputy general commands , to which the replacement troops in the respective military district were subordinate. After the formation of the Reichsgaue Danzig-West Prussia and Wartheland , the military districts XX (Danzig) and XXI (Posen) were added. There were also two Deputy General Commands , one in the Reich Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and one in the General Government ; The General Government formed its own military district from September 1942. After the western campaign in 1940, the military districts V (Stuttgart), VI (Münster) and XII (Wiesbaden) were expanded to include the occupied territories of Alsace , CdZ area Lorraine , Eupen-Malmedy and Luxembourg , which were classified as occupied areas ("CdZ") under German Civil administration and were intended for integration into the empire.

At the beginning of the war, Gauleiters were appointed by Hitler by ordinance as so-called Reich Defense Commissars in the military districts, who, especially in the final phase of the war, gained extensive powers over the military district commanders. In December 1942, the areas of responsibility of these Reich Defense Commissioners were relegated to the Perteigaue of the NSDAP, so that every Gauleiter in his sphere of influence was also Reich Defense Commissioner.

From the end of 1937, the military districts also served to structure the spheres of power of the higher SS and police leaders .

Military districts after 1939

Military district area headquarters
Defense district I (Koenigsberg) East Prussia Province , Bialystok District Koenigsberg
Military district II (Stettin) Province of Pomerania , State of Mecklenburg Szczecin
Military District III (Berlin) State Police District Berlin , Province Brandenburg Berlin
Military District IV (Dresden) State of Saxony , from the province of Saxony the administrative district of Merseburg without the districts belonging to the military district IX, from the state of Thuringia district and independent city Altenburg, northern Reichsgau Sudetenland Dresden
Military District V (Stuttgart) CdZ area Alsace , State of Baden (if not included in Wehrkreis XII and XIII), Land Württemberg (if not included in Wehrkreis XIII) Stuttgart
Military District VI (Münster) Province of Westphalia (if not included in Wehrkreis IX), northern Rhine province , Eupen-Malmedy Muenster
Military District VII (Munich) southern state of Bavaria Munich
Military District VIII (Breslau) Province of Lower Silesia , Province of Upper Silesia , eastern Reichsgau Sudetenland Wroclaw
Military district IX (Kassel) from the state of Hesse the former province of Upper Hesse and the districts Offenbach Stadt and Land, Dieburg and Erbach, from the province of Hessen-Nassau the entire administrative region of Kassel and from the administrative district of Wiesbaden the districts of Oberlahnkreis, Biedenkopf, Dillkreis, Wetzlar, Usingen, Obertaunuskreis and the city of Frankfurt , the state of Thuringia with the exception of Altenburg Stadt and Kreis, from the province of Saxony the districts Querfurt, Eckartsberga and Sangerhausen, from the province Hanover the district Hannoversch Münden, from the province Westphalia the districts Siegen and Wittgenstein, from Bavaria the districts Aschaffenburg Stadt and Land, Alzenau, Obernburg and Miltenberg kassel
Military District X (Hamburg) Province of Schleswig-Holstein , northern province of Hanover up to and including counties of Grafschaft Diepholz, Nienburg, Verden, Rotenburg, Soltau, Lüneburg, Land Hamburg , Land Bremen Hamburg
Military District XI (Hanover) State of Braunschweig , State of Anhalt , southern province of Hannoverbis including the district of Neustadt a. Rbge., Fallingbostel, Uelzen, Lüchow-Dannenberg, but without the district of Hannoversch Münden, from the province of Saxony the administrative district of Magdeburg , state of Schaumburg-Lippe Hanover
Military District XII (Wiesbaden) southern Rhine province (administrative districts Koblenz and Trier), CdZ area Lorraine , Palatinate , Saar area , CdZ area Luxembourg , from Hessen-Nassau the districts Main-Taunus-Kreis, Oberwesterwaldkreis, Unterwesterwaldkreis, Limburg, Unterlahnkreis, Rheingaukreis, Untertaunuskreis, St. Goarshausen and the city of Wiesbaden, from the state of Hesse the former province of Rheinhessen and the districts of Darmstadt city and country, Bergstrasse and Gross Gerau, from Baden the districts of Mannheim city and country, Heidelberg city and country, Mosbach and Sinsheim Wiesbaden
Military District XIII (Nuremberg) northern state of Bavaria (if not included in military district IX), from the state of Baden the districts Buchen and Tauberbischofsheim, from Württemberg the districts Künzelsau, Crailsheim and Mergentheim, north-western Reichsgau Sudetenland Nuremberg
Military District XVII (Vienna) Reichsgau Vienna , Reichsgau Niederdonau , Reichsgau Oberdonau , southern Reichsgau Sudetenland Vienna
Military District XVIII (Salzburg) Reichsgau Salzburg , Reichsgau Tirol - Vorarlberg , Reichsgau Carinthia , Reichsgau Styria , CdZ area Lower Styria , CdZ area Carinthia and Carniola Salzburg
Military district XX (Danzig) Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia Danzig
Military District XXI (Poznan) Reichsgau Wartheland Poses
Defense district of Bohemia and Moravia (Prague) Reich Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia Prague
Military district Generalgouvernement (Krakow) General Government Krakow


  • Rudolf Absolon : The Wehrmacht in the Third Reich. 6 volumes Boldt-Verlag, Munich 1969 ff.
  • Georg Tessin : German associations and troops 1918–1938. Biblio Verlag, Osnabrück 1974, ISBN 3-7648-1000-9 .
  • Georg Tessin : Associations and troops of the German Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS in the Second World War 1939-1945 . Volume 16: Directory of Sites. Divided into military districts or non-German occupied countries. With indication of the peace locations 1932-1939. 4 parts. Ed .: Christian Zweng. Biblio-Verlag, Bissendorf 1996, ISBN 3-7648-1745-3 .
  • Othmar Tuider : The military districts XVII and XVIII. 1938–1945 (= Military History Series . Issue 30). Austrian Federal Publishing House for Education, Science and Art, Vienna 1975, ISBN 3-215-02103-X .
  • Günter Wegmann, Ed .: Formation history and staffing of the German armed forces 1815–1990. Biblioverlag Osnabrück,
    • Part I, Volume 1 Wegner, Günter, The Higher Command Authorities, 1990, ISBN 3-7648-1780-1 .
    • Part IV, Dept. 1 Günter Wegmann, Christian Zweng: The offices, command authorities and units of the army October 15, 1935 - May 8, 1945 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Wehrkreis  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Military District Command XIII (Nuremberg) (inventory) - entry at, accessed on June 14, 2018.