81st Infantry Brigade (German Empire) - 81. Infanterie-Brigade (Deutsches Kaiserreich)

81. Infantry-Brigade

active 1897 to 1919
State City arms Free and Hanseatic City of Lübeck
Armed forces Prussian Army
Branch of service Infantry
Type Brigade
structure see story
Location see story
Commanders see commanders
deputy commander see Deputy Brigade Command
Brigade headquarters until 1901
Staff seat from 1901
Staff seat from 1912

The 81st Infantry Brigade was a large unit of the Prussian Army .


The 81st Infantry Brigade was established on April 1, 1897. The command was in Lübeck . From the Moltkestraße 25 the brigade in 1901 moved into the castle Rantzau , in 1912 in the Mengstraße 4 (the later so-called Buddenbrookhaus ) and 1913, where they remained until the end, in the Brown Street 12. The brigade was in peacetime of 17 Division of the IX. Army Corps subordinated. You owned the Infantry Regiment "Lübeck" (3rd Hanseatic) No. 162 in Lübeck, the Schleswig-Holstein Infantry Regiment No. 163 in Neumünster as well as the Landwehr districts of Bremen II and Lübeck.

First World War

To mobilize , the brigade set up the Brigade Replacement Battalion 81 , which was subordinate to the 33rd (mixed) Replacement Infantry Brigade [1] of the 4th Replacement Division . [2] As of the end of September commanded Gustav Schaumann the battalion. With the dissolution of the brigade, the Brigade Replacement Battalions 33, 34, 35 and 81 became Infantry Regiment No. 362 in the 13th Replacement Infantry Brigade on July 9, 1915formed. When its IV. Battalion was transferred to the newly established Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 273 on August 2, 1916, the Brigade Replacement Battalion provided the new IV. Battalion of the 362nd regiment on April 5, 1916. [3]

With the outbreak of World War I , the brigade of the 17th Reserve Division of the IX. Subordinate to Reserve Corps . Initially used for security tasks, the large unit was relocated to the western front on 23 August . She fought at Leuven and Mechelen , Termonde , Noyon, and in October at Laucourt , before war of movement turned into war of positions .

Deployment in the Battle of Wijtschaete (Flanders April 11, 1918)

In mid-July 1916 she was used on the Somme . In the course of the transformation of all divisions into three infantry regiments each, the 33rd Reserve Infantry Brigade was disbanded and, from September 5, the Brigade also had Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 76 and the 1st Squadron of the Reserve Hussar Subordinated to Regiment No. 6. At the end of October the general command moved to Champagne .

In February 1917, the brigade was in front of Ypres before it was used in the spring battle of Arras and then moved to the Siegfriedstellung .

In the last year of the war, 1918, it was used in the Fourth Battle of Ypres , off Soissons and Reims and in the Second Battle of Cambrai . The brigade commander was awarded the medal Pour le Mérite for the Battle of Wijtschaete (part of the 4th Ypres Battle) .

Around October 27, 1918, the parts of the division were withdrawn from the front and transferred to Strasbourg . On the night of November 9th to 10th, the radio message arrived about the impending armistice , which was provided to the leaders with the addition: "An amicable agreement is to be reached with the workers 'and soldiers' councils that are being formed."


The 17th Reserve Division had the job of ensuring security in the city until the French arrived. It did so when, on November 18, the clothing offices of the Manteuffel barracks, the seat of the 3rd Lower Alsatian Infantry Regiment No. 138 , were to be looted until the end of the war . On the night of November 21, the posts were relieved and the division left France across the Rhine in the direction of Kehl - from where the regiments returned to their garrisons .

In the course of the demobilization caused by the Versailles Peace Treaty , the brigade was disbanded in 1919.


Rank Name Date [4] picture
Major general Günther von Bünau 0 April 1, 1897 to April 20, 1898
Major general Friedrich von Mejer April 21, 1898 to June 15, 1901 HL Damals - Mejer.jpg
Major general Alexander von Linsingen June 16, 1901 to April 21, 1905 HL Back then - v Linsingen.jpg
Major general Wigand von Gersdorff April 22, 1905 to September 10, 1907 HL Back then - Gersdorff.jpg
Major general Thomas Better September 11, 1907 to March 21, 1910 HL Then - Melior.jpg
Major general Ernst von Oidtman March 22, 1910 to January 16, 1912 IB Lübeck - Ernst v Oidtman - 1912.jpg
Major general Curt of tomorrow January 27, 1912 to August 1, 1914 IB Lübeck - Curt v Morgen - 1912.jpg
Major general Karl von Lewinski 0 August 2 to December 9, 1914
Major general Carl von Wichmann December 10, 1914 to March 31, 1916 HL Back then - Wichmann.jpg
Oberst Wilhelm von Beczwarzowski 0 April 1, 1916 to December 14, 1917
Oberst Hans von Werder December 15, 1917 to February 20, 1919 IR Lübeck 033 - Hans von Werder.jpg
Oberst Georg Sick June 30th to July 25th 1918 (deputy) IR SH 001 - Georg Sick.jpg
Major general Ernst von Heynitz February 21, 1919 to 1919 [5] HL Back then - Ernst von Heynitz.jpg

Deputy Brigade Command

Rank Name Date [4] picture
Major general Harry from Wright 0 September 9, 1915 to 1918 HL then - stepping out the front.jpg

In order to master the Kiel sailors' uprising , the chief of the naval station of the Baltic Sea and the Kiel governorate , Admiral Souchon , did not turn to the senior military commander in his home area on November 3, 1918, but to the deputy general command of the adjoining corps area in Altona. Their commanding general, General of the Infantry Adalbert von Falk , then instructed the troop leader of the deputy brigade command closest to the Kiel fortress area, Lieutenant General von Wright to collect all available infantry forces from the reserve battalion under his command and to transport them to Kiel that same night. The General Command had trains ready for their transports in Lübeck and Neumünster . Wright alerted the reserve battalions of the 162 and the Schleswig Reserve Regiment garrisoned here, the 84 [6] in Lübeck and the 163 in Neumünster. However, as it was said during the night that the unrest in Kiel had been suppressed, the measures introduced were reversed before midnight.

But the unrest there already resumed the next morning, and at 10 o'clock Souchon asked the chief of the deputy general staff of the corps for help from Rendsburg ( 85 ) and Lübeck. At 11 o'clock, he called Wright to be in command of all replacement battalions to be deployed against Kiel.

His plan was to collect all the intervention troops arriving from the corps area south of Kiel and to march into Kiel with united forces. The plan was based not only on his “experiences in the history of war”, but also on the general staff study from 1908 on the “fight in insurgent cities”, which was distributed to the brigade staff.

Souchon, however, rejected the plan and, as a result, the commander. It is ruled out that a troop commander of the land army is in command in the area of ​​the naval war port of Kiel. He got in touch with the military commander in Altona, and managed to come to an understanding with him, largely asserting his personal reputation and immediate position . At noon, Wright was released from his command by a phone call from the General Command and placed the reaction forces under Souchon's direct command. Its tactical concept consisted in creating Remedur within the fortress area with the help of the last formations still loyal to him and the army troops that had been sent to them.

However, his tactics proved to be useless in the beginning. Contrary to the forceful counter-ideas of the army commander, who was rejected by him, the station command allowed all special trains manned by intervention troops to enter the main station of the city ​​ruled by rioters . The revolutionary crowd took the incoming transports by surprise.

Four warships with red flags coming from Kiel , one of them the SMS König , ran into Travemünde on the evening of November 5, 1918 . From there, their teams moved up the Trave on their pinnacles or on foot, or from Kücknitz by tram to the center of Lübeck. There Wright met them with his gun drawn and tried to maintain military discipline . [7]

Like the Lübeckischen ads in its evening edition of the 6th under Latest News said that while the brigade commander had recently in his business room in the Brown Street no. 11 of mutineers have been arrested and led away to the station. On the 7th, the Lübeck Soldiers' Council lifted both the district and brigade command.



  • Holger Ritter: History of the Schleswig-Holstein Infantry Regiment No. 163 (= souvenir sheets of German regiments. Troops of the former Prussian contingent. Volume 184), Leuchtfeuer Verlag, Hamburg 1926.
  • Otto Dziobek : History of the Lübeck Infantry Regiment (3rd Hanseatic) No. 162. Officers' Association formerly 162 , Lübeck 1922.
  • Hugo Gropp: Hanseatic people in battle. Association of former members of reserve 76 e. V., Hamburg 1932.
  • Harboe Kardel : The Reserve Field Artillery Regiment No. 17. (= memorial sheets of German regiments. Troop units of the former Prussian contingent. Volume 30), Verlag Gerhard Stalling, Oldenburg 1922.
  • Ernst-Heinrich Schmidt: Heimatheer and Revolution 1918. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt , Stuttgart 1981, ISBN 3-421-06060-6 .


Commons : 81st Infantry Brigade - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. The 33rd (mixed) reserve infantry brigade was commanded by Lieutenant General Melior until 1910, who was in command of the 81st Infantry Brigade until 1910.
  2. ^ Hermann Cron: History of the German Army in World Wars 1914–1918, Berlin 1937 <
  3. ^ Jürgen Kraus : Handbook of the associations and troops of the German army 1914 to 1918 ; 3 volumes, Verlag Militaria, Vienna 2007–2010.
  4. a b Dermot Bradley (Ed.), Günter Wegner: Occupation of the German Army 1815-1939. Volume 1: The higher command posts 1815-1939. Biblio Verlag, Osnabrück 1990, ISBN 3-7648-1780-1 , p. 308.
  5. was retired from active service on December 16, 1919
  6. See also list of abandoned buildings in Lübeck: Wisbystraße
  7. Der Zustand Deutschlands zeigte sich am Ende des Krieges nicht darin, dass eine sogenannte Revolution ausbrach, sondern vielmehr darin, dass ihr kein Widerstand entgegengesetzt wurde. So hatten für die Aufrechterhaltung der militärischen Disziplin nur zwei Generäle zu ihren Waffen gegriffen. Außer Wright trat in Hannover v. Hänisch, der stellvertretender Kommandierende General des X. Armee-Korps, den Meuterern mit dem Degen in der Faust entgegen. Lediglich dreikaiserliche Marineoffiziere hatten sich zur Opferung ihres Lebens auf der SMS König für die schwarz-weiß-rote Kriegsflagge und gegen das rote Tuch der Revolution bereit gefunden.