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Die Reichswehr Im Bild : Pioneer Battalion 3

Article about: Each division has a Pioneer battalion in its establishment. This unit was attached to the third division and was based at Küstrin. This series of pictures shows life in Pioneer Battalion 3 f

  1. #1

    Default Die Reichswehr Im Bild : Pioneer Battalion 3

    Each division has a Pioneer battalion in its establishment. This unit was attached to the third division and was based at Küstrin.

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    This series of pictures shows life in Pioneer Battalion 3 from an Officer’s perspective. The album owner was the battalion adjutant from 1932 onwards and the pictures he took give us a great insight not only into the pioneers at work but also what his personal life was like. The quality of the pictures and content shows the battalion officers at work

    The personal pictures seem to indicate that he was a man of means or came from a wealthy family and he used his spare time to indulge in his passions of flying, motor bikes and skiing. All these pursuits support his choice of branch of service in which to serve.

    Here are some private pictures of him at rest.......... in the air, in the mountains, on his bike and all at sea !

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    Being an officer candidate meant he had to progress through the ranks during his 4 years of training and given his commission date as 1928 he must have joined 1924. The only picture of him in uniform as an NCO is below and certainly has the mid 1920’s feel about it.

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    Although not named directly I believe this man to be an officer by the name of Lorenz as he is the only officer in the ranking lists whose appearance match the dates in the album and the way a lot of the pictures are taken it is as if the photographer is looking in on the events rather than directly participating. The only person who would have this “all areas access” is the battalion adjutant.

    Herr Lorenz was commissioned on 1.4.1928 and in 1930 was serving as Leutnant in charge of the bridging column. 1931 saw him promoted to the battalion adjutant and 1932 he was promoted to oberleutnant.

    Here is the only picture of him in uniform as an officer. The food canister in the foreground is nicely marked pi 3 !

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    The album shows the pioneers on a demolitions course...........

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    Watching the formative Luftwaffe, something probably close to his heart and this picture shows the pilots and army officers together.....

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    The officer on the right is Maj Gen Karlewski from the Army weapons Inspectorate. The officer on the left is Hauptmann Pistorious from the 2 komp PB 2.

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  3. #2

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    That is a great between the wars photograph album Spandau. As you say , this fellow appears to be a gentleman of means who enjoyed the "high life". His wife (I assume) is also I fine looking lady! Thanks for showing this, Leon.
    "Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." Ernest Hemingway

  4. #3

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    The pictures allow us the opportunity to look at the transitional nature of the uniforms in wear and from a cap point of view the pictures tick all the boxes.............here are some crackers............

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    Also right in the middle of the album is a visit from Hitler in 1934. The officer is the unit commander Major Wollermann.

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  5. #4

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    Above pictures are earlier shots from the late 1920's again offering a good view of the uniforms in wear at this time.

    This picture is of note as the group picture dates 1934/35 but looking at the soldiers medals a large proportion are ww1 veterans. One has a Turkish award on his pocket, another has the helmsman's badge on his sleeve. Also note that the older soldiers have not added the eagle to their uniform breast whilst the officers and younger nco's have. The battle flag takes precedence in the middle rather than the swastika !

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    This is major Schimpf the battalion commander until 1933. On rhs of the picture in front of the policeman.

    He was a ww1 veteran and was promoted captain 18.12.15.

    1925 he was Captain in charge of 2/PB3 and was promoted Major on 1.11.1928.

    1930 saw him as staff officer attached to PB7.

    1931 he returned to PB3 as commanding officer.


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    cheers

    Tony

  8. #7

    Default

    and finally..............

    Here are three examples from my collection of the caps that would have been worn by the pioneer battalion......

    Other ranks dated 1922 for PB 2

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    Officers circa 1933

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    Other ranks circa 1934/35 unit maked for PB 24.

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  9. #8

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    I found this photo on ebay:

    "Kaserne Ludwigsburg bei Stuttgart. Reichswehr Soldaten mit Stahlhelm".

    On the shoulder straps - number of Pioneer battalion. But what number?

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