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Hi,

Does anyone have a list of Regiments that were basically "Polish" from their location as well as demographically?

Thanks

Chris

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No list, but it would have to be regiments recruited in Silesia, Pomerania, and East Prussia - as you probably already know. Of course, they wouldn't necessarily be all "Polish" since there were ethnic Germans living in those areas as well.

What is the genesis of the question?

Edited by IrishGunner

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Hi,

I was contacted about adding a Polish Section to Kaiserscross, and it made me wonder if I had anything to regiments that could be more or less considered "Polish"

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Regiments were mixed. Poles and Germans from the same area tended to serve in the local regiments, though some may have been more "German" than others. Also, within regiments, Poles might be concentrated within particular battalions or companies, which would streamline command and control, given potential language difficulties.

You can get a picture of how Poles fit into German units by looking through the Prussian casualty lists. You will see Poles and Germans dying side by side throughout the war. If you search the casualty lists for some distinctly Polish names - such as Stanislaus Wiśniewski for example - you will find a number of units with a higher percentage of Poles. Some examples below (hardly a complete list).

Niederschlesien
• Res.-Inf.-Rgt. Nr. 19
• Res.-Inf.-Rgt. Nr. 38
Oberschlesien
• Inf.-Rgt. Keith (1. Oberschlesisches) Nr. 22
• Res.-Inf.-Rgt. Nr. 22
Pommern
• Inf.-Rgt. Prinz Moritz von Anhalt-Dessau (5. Pommersches.) Nr. 42
• 6. Pommersches Inf.-Rgt. Nr. 49
• Ldw.-Inf.-Rgt. Nr. 49
Posen
• Gren.-Rgt. Graf Kleist von Nollendorf (1. Westpreußisches) Nr. 6 ["Westpreußisches" in name, but stationed in Posen]
• Inf.-Rgt. Graf Kirchbach (1. Niederschlesisches) Nr. 46 ["Niederschlesisches" in name, but stationed in Posen and Wreschen]
• Inf.-Rgt. König Ludwig III von Bayern (2. Niederschlesisches) Nr. 47 ["Niederschlesisches" in name, but stationed in Posen and Schrimm]
• Inf.-Rgt. Freiherr Hiller von Gaertringen (4. Posensches) Nr. 59
• Res.-Inf.-Rgt. Nr. 46
• Res.-Inf.-Rgt. Nr. 49
• Ldw.-Inf.-Rgt. Nr. 46
Westpreußen
• Inf.-Rgt. von Borcke (4. Pommersches) Nr. 21 ["Pommersches" in name, but recruited in Westpreußen]
• Ldw.-Inf.-Rgt. Nr. 21
As you can see with some of the regiments above, even the name is not a straight clue to a recruiting area. That's true elsewhere in Germany. Lorraine regiments tended to recruit in Westphalia and the Rhineland, for example, since Lorraine did not have a huge German population.
The list above has some oddities, too. The Pomeranian regiments here, IR 42, IR 49 and LIR 49, had a lot of Poles, but Pommern had a tiny Polish population, less than one percent. So these "Pommersches" regiments were also likely recruiting in places like Posen.
Provinz Posen was about 60% Polish. Provinz Westpreußen was around 35-38% Polish. Provinz Ostpreußen was more German, with about 16% Poles and other Slavs and around 5% Lithuanians. In Provinz Schlesien, it was around 20%, but Oberschlesien had a Polish majority.
Hope this helps,
Dave

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Regiments were mixed. Poles and Germans from the same area tended to serve in the local regiments, though some may have been more "German" than others. Also, within regiments, Poles might be concentrated within particular battalions or companies, which would streamline command and control, given potential language difficulties.

You can get a picture of how Poles fit into German units by looking through the Prussian casualty lists. You will see Poles and Germans dying side by side throughout the war. If you search the casualty lists for some distinctly Polish names - such as Stanislaus Wiśniewski for example - you will find a number of units with a higher percentage of Poles. Some examples below (hardly a complete list).

Niederschlesien
• Res.-Inf.-Rgt. Nr. 19
• Res.-Inf.-Rgt. Nr. 38
Oberschlesien
• Inf.-Rgt. Keith (1. Oberschlesisches) Nr. 22
• Res.-Inf.-Rgt. Nr. 22
Pommern
• Inf.-Rgt. Prinz Moritz von Anhalt-Dessau (5. Pommersches.) Nr. 42
• 6. Pommersches Inf.-Rgt. Nr. 49
• Ldw.-Inf.-Rgt. Nr. 49
Posen
• Gren.-Rgt. Graf Kleist von Nollendorf (1. Westpreußisches) Nr. 6 ["Westpreußisches" in name, but stationed in Posen]
• Inf.-Rgt. Graf Kirchbach (1. Niederschlesisches) Nr. 46 ["Niederschlesisches" in name, but stationed in Posen and Wreschen]
• Inf.-Rgt. König Ludwig III von Bayern (2. Niederschlesisches) Nr. 47 ["Niederschlesisches" in name, but stationed in Posen and Schrimm]
• Inf.-Rgt. Freiherr Hiller von Gaertringen (4. Posensches) Nr. 59
• Res.-Inf.-Rgt. Nr. 46
• Res.-Inf.-Rgt. Nr. 49
• Ldw.-Inf.-Rgt. Nr. 46
Westpreußen
• Inf.-Rgt. von Borcke (4. Pommersches) Nr. 21 ["Pommersches" in name, but recruited in Westpreußen]
• Ldw.-Inf.-Rgt. Nr. 21
As you can see with some of the regiments above, even the name is not a straight clue to a recruiting area. That's true elsewhere in Germany. Lorraine regiments tended to recruit in Westphalia and the Rhineland, for example, since Lorraine did not have a huge German population.
The list above has some oddities, too. The Pomeranian regiments here, IR 42, IR 49 and LIR 49, had a lot of Poles, but Pommern had a tiny Polish population, less than one percent. So these "Pommersches" regiments were also likely recruiting in places like Posen.
Provinz Posen was about 60% Polish. Provinz Westpreußen was around 35-38% Polish. Provinz Ostpreußen was more German, with about 16% Poles and other Slavs and around 5% Lithuanians. In Provinz Schlesien, it was around 20%, but Oberschlesien had a Polish majority.
Hope this helps,
Dave

Show off. :P

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Chris,

I do have such a list as there is a book dated 1933, describing "Polish" regiments. It is in German (and translated into Polish lately).

Title: Preussische militaerische Standorte im Posener Lande, in Westpreussen und Oberschlesien, author: Hugo Sommer.

The book is available here: http://www.wbc.poznan.pl/dlibra/doccontent?id=44539&dirids=1

I am not sure whether there will be much interest in Polish section of Kaiserscross. I guess I am the only one somehow interested :-)

Kind regards,

Marcin

Edited by Marcin L

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Doskonała praca Marcin! Probably more than Chris expected to learn. :cheers:

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I am not sure whether there will be much interest in Polish section of Kaiserscross. I guess I am the only one somehow interested :-)

Kind regards,

Marcin

Hi,

I would like to cover aspects of the war that are "neglected"... as a Polish collector contacted me asking if he could contribute, i am really happy to consider this prospect.

Best

Chris :-)

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Many regiments were stationed in areas which had large Polish populations or later became part of Poland. But many of these remained primarily German. That's why I went looking through casualty lists to see how "Polish" some of these units were.

IR 18 (1. Posensches) and IR 19 (2. Posensches), for example, seem mostly German.

A few other regiments which seem to have a fair number of Polish members:

• Inf.-Rgt. Graf Schwerin (3. Pommersches) Nr. 14

• 3. Posensches Inf.-Rgt. Nr. 58

• Inf.-Rgts. Nr. 345, 346 & 347 [formed from reserve, Landwehr and Landsturm units in Posen, Pommern and Westpreußen]

• Inf.-Rgt. Nr. 352 [mainly raised in Oberschlesien]

By the way, I mentioned above that Lorraine units were often manned by troops from the Rhineland and Westphalia, since Lorraine had a small German population. Apparently, this also included easterners, including Poles. Here is a sample of some of the casualties in Preußische Verlustliste Nr. 92 (3 Dezember 1914) for 1. Lothringisches Inf.-Rgt. Nr. 130:

• Chmielewsky, Alexander, Musk., 10./IR 130, Wrotzke, gefallen
• Cichanowski, Anton, Musk., 6./IR 130, Monkowarsk, Bromberg, Posen, schwer verw.
• Dombrowski, Boleslaus, Musk., 7./IR 130, Gronowo, Löbau, Westpreußen, gefallen
• Fiolkowski, Johann, Musk., 1./IR 130, Zamysly, Schildberg, Posen, leicht verw.
• Gliemietzki, Josef, Freiw., 4./IR 130, Borrek, Karthaus, Westpreußen, leicht verw.
• Golembka, Franz, Res., 4./IR 130, Gußwitz, Rawitsch, Posen, gefallen
• Gwosdzik, Franz, Musk., 6./IR 130, Radlin, Rybnik, Schlesien, vermißt
• Janicki, Stanislaus, Musk., 10./IR 130, Blocziszewo, Schrimm, Posen, vermißt
• Kakolewski, Stanislaus, Musk., 4./IR 130, Karczewo,Schmiegel, Posen, leicht verw.
• Kapola, Stanislaus, Musk., 2./IR 130, Deutsch-Presse, Schmiegel, Posen, gefallen
• Kolodszitczyk, Johann, Musk., 12./IR 130, Zabrze, Schlesien, leicht verw.
• Majewski, Thomas, Musk., 6./IR 130, Klein Wissek, Wirsitz, Posen, schwer verw.
• Marziniak, Franz, Musk., 6./IR 130, Slonien, Posen, gefallen
• Mikolaczak, Ignaz, Res., 1./IR 130, Pierzschno, Schroda, Posen, gefallen
• Sokolowski, Leo, Res., 4./IR 130, Wieczyn, Pleschen, Posen, gefallen
• Swiontkowski, Bronislaus, Musk., 7./IR 130, Brattian, Löbau, Westpreußen, gefallen
• Wroblewski, Stanislaus, Musk., 6./IR 130, Konary, Rawitsch, Provinz Posen, gefallen
• Zaremba, Nikolaus, Res., 1./IR 130, Wruzew, Krotoschin, Posen, leicht verw.
This is just a sample. There were a lot of others not clearly Polish, since many Germans had Polish surnames. And they were mixed in with many ethnic German names. So at least in this case, there wasn't even a "Polish" company within the regiment.

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Hi,

I have a book which is nice to have :). Title: Warsaw Reserve Infantry Troops (Infanterie Ersatz Truppe Warschau), describing the reserve units in Warsaw General Government. It is in Polish only.

If you ever need anything re reserve units in Warsaw, I am happy to help.

Regards,

Marcin

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So far, the most senior Polish-German officers I have come across are:

• Kasimir v. Grudzielski (9.5.1856-31.3.1921), in 1914 an Oberstleutnant z.D. and Kdr. Landwehrbezirk Montjoie, retired in 1917. At the time of his death, he was a generał dywizji in the Polish Army.

• Kasimir v. Raszewski (29.2.1864-14.1.1941), in 1914 a Major on the staff of HR 16, then commander of the regiment from 1914-18. Promoted to Oberstleutnant on 22.3.18, and entered the Polish Army as a colonel (pułkownik). Retired in 1925 as a generał broni. A Polish monarchist, he apparently remained close to some of his old German comrades after retirement, which did not stop the Gestapo from arresting him in 1939. He died shortly after his release from imprisonment.

Other than these two, there do not appear to have been many former German officers among the senior leaders of the Polish Army. I suspect this is mainly because there weren't as many Polish officers in the Prussian Army as there were in the Austro-Hungarian and Russian Armies. But there also may have been cultural and political biases in the Second Republic between Poles from formerly Prussian lands and Poles from Austria-Hungary and Russia.

Regards,

Dave

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