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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
"When we take into account the situation at the end of the 20s," he states, "when the Reichswehr was still limited to testing a few tractor models under great secrecy in Soviet Russia, the results achieved by the German army are remarkable" (52-53).
From 1928 onward, the new minister of the Reichswehr (German Imperial Defense), Lieutenant General Wilhelm Groener (Ret.) (1867-1939), set new standards for all operational planning by the army and navy.
Much has been written about the relative advantage conferred by honest PME during this period, particularly in institutions as disparate as the Kriegsakademie in Germany (and the Versailles-limited Reichswehr in general) and those in the United States (the Naval War College, the Command and General Staff College [CGSC], and the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field in Alabama).
Germany, especially the Reichswehr, was not happy about these restrictions and tried to circumvent them by training German troops secretly in Russia (Mommsen 20 09: 159).
At that time, the German Weimar military, the Reichswehr, was also acquainted with the concept of using paratroopers as an attack force, but it never went beyond the theoretical stage.
Buna gore, havacilik harcamalarinda 2,5, Versay'a gore sinirlandirilan ve agir silahlardan yoksun ordunun (Reichswehr) harcamalarinda ise 1,5 kattan fazla artis ongoruluyordu.
When Hitler officially unveiled the Luftwaffe on February 26, 1935, it came complete with an air power doctrine that had been formulated almost ten years earlier, in the secrecy of the Reichswehr's Truppenamt Luftschutzreferat ("Troop Bureau, Air Defense Desk").
Some groups, such as the followers of Karl Korsch and Ivan Katz decided early on for the former and openly accused the Soviet Union of pursuing an imperialist policy--a criticism that was boosted by revelations about arms deals and secret military cooperation between the Red Army and the Reichswehr in 1927.
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.
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").