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The Kapp Putsch

Article about: The Lüttwitz-Kapp Putsch in Berlin on 13-17 March 1920 featured the same cast of players that had been involved in the January 1919 uprisings, the so-called Spartakist Uprising, but in diffe

  1. #1

    Default The Kapp Putsch

    The Lüttwitz-Kapp Putsch in Berlin on 13-17 March 1920 featured the same cast of players that had been involved in the January 1919 uprisings, the so-called Spartakist Uprising, but in different roles.

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    Friedrich Ebert the Reichspräsident and Gustave Noske, the Reichswehrminister, again represented the government against the uprising, but on this occasion the uprising came from the right rather than the left

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    The man in the middle, though partial to the rebels in this case, was General Hans von Seeck, Chef der Heeresleitung, the effective commander of the Reichswehr throughout Germany.

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    The uprising was led by Gen. Walter von Lüttwitz, Oberbefehlshaber der Reichswehr in Berlin, and Wolfgang Kapp, Generallandschaftsdirektor in Königsberg. Both von Lüttwitz and Kapp were nationalists who were completely opposed to the Versailles Treaty and the Weimar Republic. The issue that provoked the uprising wasWeimar government's acceptance of the Versailles Treaty and the subsequent attempt to disband the Freikorps, starting with the Marinebrigade Ehrhardt in Berlin.

    When General von Lüttwitz received the order to disband the Marinebrigade, then quartered in the Moabit District in Berlin, he ordered the brigade's commander, former Korvettenkapitän Hermann Ehrhardt, to seize the government and establish Kapp as the new Reichskanzler und preussischen Ministerpräsident.

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    On the morning of 13 March 1920, the 6000-man Marinebrigade Ehrhardt entered the Government District and set troops out throughout the city.

    Part 2 to follow



  2. #2

    Default Re: The Kapp Putsch

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    Hermann Ehrhardt, commanding of the Marinebrigade, was a strong nationalist, but he was not a Nazi, and he never did join the Party. In fact, he was on the death list for the knight of the "Long Knives" in June 1934. He escaped.
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    The Marinebrigade was stationed in neary every district in Berlin, but the greatest concentration was in the city center, the government district

    Next section to follow

  3. #3

    Default Re: The Kapp Putsch

    The Marinebrigade was a fully equipped combat unit as the following photographs will show. The show of force was truly impressive, starting with motars and artillery.

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    Even an armored artillery train shown here in Anhalterbahnhof.

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    Next segment to follow

  4. #4

    Default Re: The Kapp Putsch

    Flame thrower, tank, armored car


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  5. #5

    Default Re: The Kapp Putsch

    Trucks
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    Some people make a big thing out of the fact that most, if not all, of the Marinebrigade had a swastika painted on their helmets and some of their equipment. In this case it has nothing to do with the NSDAP, though it is true that later in the period, many of these men did join the NSDAP. But at this time, their only politics was nationalism.

  6. #6

    Default Re: The Kapp Putsch

    Interesting thread. Thanks for posting.
    "You will never know the whole truth" ~ Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski

  7. #7

    Default Re: The Kapp Putsch

    Quote by Salzburg View Post
    Interesting thread. Thanks for posting.
    +1
    Looking for the photo albums of Leutnant Emil Freitag, 3. / G.R. 377

  8. #8

    Default Re: The Kapp Putsch

    Despite the apparent strength of the Marinebrigade, the Putsch collapsed on 17 March. The primary cause was the General Stike that Ebert called on 13 March, which resulted in a nearly total shut down of all services nation-wide. The other factor was the fact that the other Freikorps units did not support the Putsch, believing that it was premature. Below are scenes from the General Strike.

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    Protestors who have burned Kaap and von Lüttwitz in effigy. The writing on the card says, "A quarter of a million participants."

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    Despite organizing technicians to operate the city's services, the Marinebrigade was unable to restore basic services such as water. Fortunately, Berlin still had an ample number of hand pumps dating back to the early 19th Century. Many were still in operation at the end of WWII. And I know for a fact that one was still operational in Steglitz in 1958.

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    Public transportation was nonexistent, making it possible for anyone who owned any sort of horse-drawn conveyence to become and instant public transportation company. The scene shown here was common throughout Berlin during the Putsch.

  9. #9

    Default Re: The Kapp Putsch

    On 17 March, the Brigade formed up and marched out of Berlin and into history. Kapp and Lüttwitz both fled to Sweden in an airplane. The historical significance of the Putsch is, that combined with the January 1919 Spartakist Uprising, it became apparent that the Weimar government was hated by both left and right, and there was insufficient support from the middle to sustain it. Dwight

  10. #10

    Default Re: The Kapp Putsch

    superb !

    I too am fascinated by this period of german history. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and understanding of a very complex set of circumstances alongside a picture image of the events.

    cheers

    tony

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