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Prussian Reserve-Infanterie Regiment Nr. 202


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#1 IrishGunner

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 13:00

I recall reading somewhere that reserve regiments had a "parent" active regiment... Or maybe I am just imagining that idea. At any rate, I have a RPPC with a feldpost stamp for Rekruten Depot, Reserve-Infanterie Regiment Nr. 202. (Other known facts; postmark is Coepenick 1917; RIR 202 was from Berlin)

On the front are a group of young looking recruits, but their schulterklappen clearly have a unique cypher (rather than the number I would have expected) - almost looks like a backwards 7 with a crown. Perhaps this is the cypher for a parent regiment?

Yes - I know - a scan of the cypher!! :speechless:

Well, my wife is the photographer expert and promises she will shoot a snap AFTER I complete some chores! :blush:

Just thought I'd give you something to start chewing on until I return... :whistle:



Edited by IrishGunner, 07 February 2010 - 16:19 .


#2 bob lembke

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 17:40

Hi, Rick;

I recall reading somewhere that reserve regiments had a "parent" active regiment... Or maybe I am just imagining that idea.

In 1914 most German active infantry regiments had what I call a "shadow" reserve regiment, which usually carried the same number, but did not carry any honorific name; for example, Infanterie=Regiment Nr. 31 von Bose probably had a related reserve regiment, it probably was called Reserve=Infanterie=Regiment Nr. 31, but it could not use the "von Bose" appelation. The reserve "shadow" regiment would be based in the same area of the army corps district, I believe.

But after 1914 there were all sorts of units formed, sources of men, etc., so one cannot assume that RIR 202 was based on a IR 202. There was no IR 202 in 1914; I think that the count was up to IR 176 or thereabouts. A IR 202 or RIR 202 would have been created during the war.


At any rate, I have a RPPC with a feldpost stamp for Rekruten Depot, Reserve-Infanterie Regiment Nr. 202. (Other known facts; postmark is Coepenick 1917; RIR 202 was from Berlin)

Coepenick is a suburb of Berlin, I believe. Recall the movie "Captain from Coepenick".

On the front are a group of young looking recruits, but their schulterklappen clearly have a unique cypher (rather than the number I would have expected) - almost looks like a backwards 7 with a crown. Perhaps this is the cypher for a parent regiment?

The Pickelhaube covers for a reserve regiment had an "R", and then, below, say "202". As I said above, the reserve regiment probably was not allowed to use the honorifics for the active regiment. Perhaps the men were not from the reserve regiment (or from a special detachment in or attached to it), but was mailed from the regiment's post office. One of my father's PCs or field letters from Verdun was mailed from the private post office in the HQ of Crown Prince Wilhelm; I'm not sure how he managed that, maybe just walked into to mail his letter. I know that sometimes he just hung out outside the HQ and watched the action; once he pigeon-holed the Crown Prince's photographer (he was a photographer, even taught to make his own film) and caged from him a photo of the Crown Prince and General von Mudra, a Pionier=General.

The Pal Chip in the US is the guy to ask about shoulder-boards; he has an amazing collection of same.


Yes - I know - a scan of the cypher!! :speechless:

Well, my wife is the photographer expert and promises she will shoot a snap AFTER I complete some chores! :blush:

Just thought I'd give you something to start chewing on until I return... :whistle:





#3 Glenn J

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 18:09

R.I.R. Nr. 202 was formed in Berlin in October 1914 from the replacement battalions of Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr. 1 (I. Bat.), Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr. 2 (II. Bat.) and Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr. 4 (III. Bat.)

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#4 IrishGunner

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 20:05

Bob; Klar, ich erinnere mich von meinen Studien den Hauptmann von Koepenik! Und ich habe Koepenik wenn es war teil Ostberlins besucht.

Also, the thought that the card could have been simply been mailed from the feldpost of RIR 202 by a soldier from another regiment is a good thought to keep in mind.

Although, in this case, the soldier also wrote in pencil on the card his unit - RIR 202.

Edited by IrishGunner, 07 February 2010 - 20:15 .


#5 IrishGunner

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 20:14

R.I.R. Nr. 202 was formed in Berlin in October 1914 from the replacement battalions of Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr. 1 (I. Bat.), Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr. 2 (II. Bat.) and Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr. 4 (III. Bat.)

Regards
Glenn


Glenn; target hit! :jumping:

After going back and studying an example of the cypher for Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr. 1 on kaisersbunker and the multiple examples on the shulterklappen of my recruits - there are a couple clear matches! :catjava:

#6 bob lembke

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 22:38

Although, in this case, the soldier also wrote in pencil on the card his unit - RIR 202.



Rick;

By Prussian military mail regulations, all Prussian military mail from very early in the war should have an "Absender Block" (The more easy Bavarians did not require it, I believe.). This very valuable bit of information, usually written on the text side of the PC, usually top center, and often up-side down, and usually in two lines, gave the sender's rank, name, and unit, often including the Korporalschaft, Zug, Kompagnie, Bataillon, und Regiment, while the round postal (inked) stamp usually had the field post office # and the division, plus the date and even hour of cancellation. Additionally, there often is a third unit stamp, often a rectangle, often from the company or battalion level. So normally a Prussian Army PC had a wealth of information on it about the sender and his unit. So if you have a Regiment #, you should have a wealth of other information, often written with the typical intensive German abbreviations.

If anyone wants to "go off the rails" on this topic, the German postage stamp society has a working group on Feldpost, which when I, in a moment of madness, almost joined, had about 120 members about the world, and which you could join for a modest annual dues of about $25, which included a quarterly newsletter, which, since it was issued by Germans, was, every quarter, exactly 50 pages, not 48, or 52, or whatever. I think these guys have references which, given a field postal station number and a date, could tell you where on the Eastern or western front the post office was. A lot of the numbers were #s like 600, I guess there were 500 or 1000 of them, and they occasionally moved.

There! More than you ever wanted to know about German military mail.

Bob

#7 IrishGunner

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 17:12

I think these guys have references which, given a field postal station number and a date, could tell you where on the Eastern or western front the post office was. A lot of the numbers were #s like 600, I guess there were 500 or 1000 of them, and they occasionally moved.

There! More than you ever wanted to know about German military mail.

Bob


Bob - thanks for going "postal"! :cheeky: Interesting information.

Now, if these guys had an easy way to accept requests for such a search of the data... Postal trolls! :whistle:

#8 joerookery

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 17:32

reserve regiments had a "parent" active regiment...


I don't know if I totally agree with that. It really depends upon the individual unit. Some came from a parent active regiment but others were formed from all sorts of different sources. I would also caution that the numbers align with each other. Sometimes they do -- most times they do not. Things get pretty complicated when you overlay the political boundaries and the fact that regiments actually moved. Sometimes it is just so complex I cannot figure it all out. For instance, this morning I was looking at LIR 87. I do not understand what relationship existed between this Hessian regiment and Mecklenburg. The parent line is far too simplistic and it got worse as the war progressed. I think in the handbook of Imperial Germany there is a good example of JR 31. I think there is a reason why most sourcebooks disregard reserve and Landwehr formations -- it is just too hard and no one has figured it out yet. Great subject though! You also get into confusions about where the guard uniforms came from in units like RJR 202. Sometimes it's simple but sometimes...

#9 IrishGunner

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 18:08

Joe, thanks for your comments. I am learning - as you already know too well - that German regiments are a tangled web. And I am only tugging at the first few strands.

I had pondered staying away from the reserve regiments, but the temptation was too great. :whistle: So, much more territory in which to get lost in research nirvana. :P

I am already afraid of the Landwehr units. :unsure: But then again, I have Reserve Fussartillerie regiments to keep me amused. :speechless:

This foray into an infantry regiment was simply a detour. I had this card sitting here and needed to find some reason to keep it or move it along.

#10 VtwinVince

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 22:18

My grandfather and his two brothers all volunteered for the 5. Garde Regiment zu Fuss at Spandau, but they went into the field with the 203 Reserve Regiment.

#11 IrishGunner

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 17:44

My grandfather and his two brothers all volunteered for the 5. Garde Regiment zu Fuss at Spandau, but they went into the field with the 203 Reserve Regiment.


Interesting. Spandau is on the opposite side of Berlin from Koepenik. 203 and 202.

Thanks for contributing to the thread...

#12 KenS

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 03:33

My grandfather and his two brothers all volunteered for the 5. Garde Regiment zu Fuss at Spandau, but they went into the field with the 203 Reserve Regiment.


My grandfather was, I believe, a member of the 5. Garde-Regiment zu Fuss. But having seen a photo of the 203rd, I'm wondering how one could tell the difference between the two. I'm assuming by the shoulder board, but in the photos I have of my grandfather these cannot be seen.

#13 VtwinVince

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 04:45

Ken, early on in the war the individual regiments often had their number on the cloth covering of their Pickelhaubes.

#14 bob lembke

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 05:56

My grandfather was, I believe, a member of the 5. Garde-Regiment zu Fuss. But having seen a photo of the 203rd, I'm wondering how one could tell the difference between the two. I'm assuming by the shoulder board, but in the photos I have of my grandfather these cannot be seen.


Ken;

Do you have any mail? Envelopes from soldiers, by Prussian military mail regulation, were required to have an Absender Block on the envelope, usually written in two lines, highly abbreviated, sometimes up-side down, which have the sender's rank, last name, and unit, in a lot of detail, typically, regiment, battalion, company, and even Zug oder Korporalshaft. This often is priceless information. However, families typically keep letters but toss the envelopes. However, the Absender Block is also found on post cards, and many family photos, upon examination, will be found to be postcards that were then put in albums. This block of information is usually written at or near the top of the address/message side of the card, usually a bit to the left of the military stamps at the top right of the card. There also will be two or three of these stamps (I mean inked stamps, not postage stamps; a soldier or a family writing to a soldier during the war merely had to write "Feldpost" on the envelope/card and the mail went free). These stamps will often give the company, battalion, and/or regiment, these in rectangular stamps, and a round stamp will usually give the division and/or the number of the military post office, and even the day and hour of stamping by the post office.

If you can't read the Absender Block if you post it I or someone else more comfortable with Suetterlin or Kurrent handwriting can help you, if you post the image.

Bob

#15 KenS

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 06:18

Ken, early on in the war the individual regiments often had their number on the cloth covering of their Pickelhaubes.


Yes, I'm aware of that, but I'm quite certain that my grandfather, who was born in 1898, would have entered the war in 1916 at the earliest. I only have a photo of him in his dress uniform, and another in his field grays with no distinguishing features (as far as I can tell).

#16 KenS

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 06:35

Ken;

Do you have any mail? Envelopes from soldiers, by Prussian military mail regulation, were required to have an Absender Block on the envelope, usually written in two lines, highly abbreviated, sometimes up-side down, which have the sender's rank, last name, and unit, in a lot of detail, typically, regiment, battalion, company, and even Zug oder Korporalshaft. This often is priceless information. However, families typically keep letters but toss the envelopes. However, the Absender Block is also found on post cards, and many family photos, upon examination, will be found to be postcards that were then put in albums. This block of information is usually written at or near the top of the address/message side of the card, usually a bit to the left of the military stamps at the top right of the card. There also will be two or three of these stamps (I mean inked stamps, not postage stamps; a soldier or a family writing to a soldier during the war merely had to write "Feldpost" on the envelope/card and the mail went free). These stamps will often give the company, battalion, and/or regiment, these in rectangular stamps, and a round stamp will usually give the division and/or the number of the military post office, and even the day and hour of stamping by the post office.

If you can't read the Absender Block if you post it I or someone else more comfortable with Suetterlin or Kurrent handwriting can help you, if you post the image.

Bob


Bob,

Thanks for your reply. I am, first of all, the Ken S. from the GWF, so apologies for not making that more apparent. I suppose it would have saved you from making a long reply.

If only I had any such documents... My grandfather apparently kept up quite correspondence with my grandmother, but if it survives I have no idea. When I visited my aunt in Germany she only made vague reference to "papers" but I don't know what they are specifically; she apparently didn't trust me to go through them.

#17 Naxos

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 19:53

My grandfather and his two brothers all volunteered for the 5. Garde Regiment zu Fuss at Spandau, but they went into the field with the 203 Reserve Regiment.


Vince,
My grandfather's brother started WWI with RIR202. In 1915 he was transferred to RIR93 of 4.Gardedivision. He was killed on Nov.04, 1916 outside Le Barque near the Butte de Warlencourt.

Edited by Naxos, 16 July 2011 - 21:40 .


#18 Dave Danner

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 21:35

I don't know if I totally agree with that. It really depends upon the individual unit. Some came from a parent active regiment but others were formed from all sorts of different sources. I would also caution that the numbers align with each other. Sometimes they do -- most times they do not. Things get pretty complicated when you overlay the political boundaries and the fact that regiments actually moved. Sometimes it is just so complex I cannot figure it all out. For instance, this morning I was looking at LIR 87. I do not understand what relationship existed between this Hessian regiment and Mecklenburg. The parent line is far too simplistic and it got worse as the war progressed. I think in the handbook of Imperial Germany there is a good example of JR 31. I think there is a reason why most sourcebooks disregard reserve and Landwehr formations -- it is just too hard and no one has figured it out yet. Great subject though! You also get into confusions about where the guard uniforms came from in units like RJR 202. Sometimes it's simple but sometimes...


I don't know if Joe ever got an answer to this question, but just in case not:

LIR 87 was mobilized with 4 battalions. The regimental staff and the I., II., and III. Btle. were raised in Mainz, and the IV. Btl. in Worms. There's your Hesse connection. The regimental staff was dissolved on 7 February 1915.

II/LIR 87 and III/LIR 87 with the attached IV/LIR 76, a Mecklenburg battalion from Rostock, were assigned to 6.Armee in December 1914. This only lasted a few months, and in March 1915, II/LIR 87 became III/RIR 17 (RIR 17 was originally a two-battalion regiment from the Rheinprovinz) and III/LIR 87 became III/RIR 30. IV/LIR 76 became III/RIR 69 in summer 1915. RIRs 17, 30 and 69 were all from the Rhineland, so it is likely that by this point, the original LIR 87 and LIR 76 battalions had lost most of their Hessians and Mecklenburgers and the replacements were from the more populous Rhineland.

The other two LIR 87 battalions, I/LIR 87 and IV/LIR 87, with the attached V/LIR 76 from Wismar in Mecklenburg-Schwerin, remained with Generalgouvernement Belgien and became Regiment Moß in early 1915. This was redesignated as the "new" LIR 87 in May 1915. I.Btl. remained the same, V/LIR 76 became the II.Btl., and IV/LIR 87 became the III.Btl. So "new" LIR 87 had two Hessian battalions and one Mecklenburg battalion.


Also, regarding the 2xx-series RIRs, RIRs 201, 202, 203 and 204 were all raised from Prussian Guard regiments.

As Glenn stated, RIR 202 was formed from the Ersatz battalions of GGR 1, GGR 2, and GGR 4
RIR 201 was formed from the Ersatz battalions of 2.GRzF, 4.GRzF, and the GFüsR
RIR 203 was formed from the Ersatz battalions of 5.GRzF, GGR 5, and GGR 3
RIR 204 was formed from the Ersatz battalions of 1.GRzF, 3.GRzF, and the LehrIR

I don't know if this makes things more or less confusing. :rolleyes:

#19 joerookery

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 21:47

Dave thank you for your answer! Really I was still a bit befuddled before your explanation. But thank you for taking the time looking back at this old thread. I have the 200 series pretty well in hand but you helped out with L JR 87. Thank you again.

VR
Joe

#20 Dave Danner

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 22:00

Vince,
My grandfather's brother started WWI with RIR202. In 1915 he was transferred to RIR93 of 4.Gardedivision. He was killed on Nov.04, 1916 outside Le Barque near the Butte de Warlemont.


RIR 93 is another example of confusing relations with parent regiments. RIR 93 was garrisoned in Magdeburg but had nothing to do with nearby Anhalt's IR 93. RIR 93 was, as you great-uncle's experience shows, a Guard unit. It was raised in Berlin by the 4. Garde-Regt. zu Fuß.




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