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(from German Reich, “state,” “empire,” and Wehr, “weaponry,” “defense”), the armed forces of Germany from 1919 to 1935, formed in accordance with the Treaty of Versailles of 1919.

On Mar. 6, 1919, a provisional Reichswehr was created, composed of 24 brigades. On Mar. 23, 1921, a law regarding the Reichswehr was passed, by which personnel were to be recruited through mercenary enlistment, with a term of service of 25 years for officers and 12 years for noncommissioned officers and privates. The Reichswehr consisted of ground troops and a navy. By the Treaty of Versailles, Germany was prohibited from having an air force; tanks; antiaircraft, heavy, and antitank artillery; submarines; and battleships with a water displacement of more than 10,000 tons and cruisers of more than 6,000 tons, as well as a general staff in any form. The size of the ground troops was limited to 100,000 men, including 4,500 officers (seven infantry and three cavalry divisions, 288 guns, and 252 mortars). The navy had six old battleships, seven light cruisers, 12 destroyers, and 12 torpedo boats. The navy and coastal defense totaled 15,000 men, including 1,500 officers. However, there existed a secret reserve called the Black Reichswehr, which included self-defense detachments (Heimwehr), regional soldiers’ associations, and veterans’ leagues, such as the Steel Helmet, Vikings, Scharnhorst, and Young Germany, totaling up to 4 million men.

From 1926 secret preparations were undertaken for increasing the Reichswehr, and from 1930 to 1932 a plan was adopted to raise the number to 300,000 men by 1938. This plan was realized by the fall of 1934, after fascism had come to power and Germany had left the League of Nations (1933). On Mar. 16, 1935, Germany annulled the military clauses of the Treaty of Versailles, introduced universal military service, and began building up the Reichswehr into the Wehrmacht with many millions of soldiers.

References in periodicals archive ?
The movie features Estonian soldiers dealing with the Bruderkrieg, German civil war, while they're caught up in the middle between Hitler's Reichswehr, the formed military organisation of Germany, and the Red Army, Russian National Military Forces.
Hitler had announced his commitment to rearmament, conscription, and the "occupation of living space in the east" as well as its "ruthless Germanization" to the leaders of the German army and navy in February 1933--barely a week after taking office; Thilo Vogelsang, "Neue Dokumente zur Geschichte der Reichswehr," Vierteljahrsheftefur Zeitgeschichte 2, no.
After protracted negotiations with the Reichswehr and the Allied Controls Commission, circa 1924 Simson & Company, competing against Mauser and DWM, was awarded the contract to refurbish and manufacture new military arms.
While the Reichswehr (1919-1935) did not have such units, the Wehrmacht (1935-1946) embraced this idea and used it to develop ideas for highly mobile warfare (better known by the unofficial name "Blitzkrieg tactics").
Unlike Colonel-General Hans von Seeckt's Versailles-manacled Reichswehr of Weimar Germany.
This was especially important because much of its military leadership would come from the veterans of the Wehrmacht and Reichswehr.
Born in 1893, he served as an officer of the Reichswehr in the First World War, attaining the rank of colonel.
At the Uprising's end, many of the soldiers who put it down had previously participated in the Putsch, but they now fought alongside the Reichswehr and on behalf of Reichsprasident Friedrich Ebert.
Following World War I, the German military established the secret Reichswehr intelligence office under the name of T-3 Statistical Section charged with following American industrial developments.
in Weissbuch fiber die Schwarze Reichswehr (Whitebook on [Germany's] Illegal Military), ed.
Most of Corrigan's book covers well-trodden ground, even if some of its sidelights are original, but it is interesting and important to find so much space devoted to the survival, and then revival, of the Reichswehr, leading on in Corrigan's rather staccato fashion, to the rearmament when war became, first, thinkable and then, inevitable.
The subtitle indicates "from World War II" but in fact the author also provides valuable photos, chart material and text on the troubled times in Germany following the Armistice and the evolution of the Reichswehr, the armed forces of the Weimar Republic.