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Religious generals of Heer

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Hello Gentlemen,

Im looked in the internet for informations on religious generals of Heer, but im found only of the Kriegsmarine. I would like to know if someone has informations on these officers. (Names, collar tabs , shoulder boards)

Thx in advance


The Heer did have Religious Officers and Officials. I believe that the general officers were Bishops(?). I will have to check my references. I will write back with more information soon.



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If you mean the Field Bishops, the same two men served as command chaplains for BOTH the army and navy and always had.

Catholic = Franz Justus Rarkowski (1873-1950), Titular Bishop of Hierocaesarea and Catholic Field Bishop of the Wehrmacht 20 February 1938 to 6 February 1945, though he was absent on sick leave from 27 January 1944! He was a large fat man who always looked as if he had indigestion.

Protetstant = Franz Dohrmann (1881-1969), Protestant Field Bishop of the Wehrmacht 1 April 1934 to 22 April 1945, when he sought sanctuary in the Benedictine (!) Cloister at Niederalteich. He was a tiny little pleasant faced man, who has appeared on 1945 movie film in old TV programs ("The World At War?") just showing surrendering German troops at war's end without identifying him--watch for a small group of chaplains standing around together.

The navy additionally had a "Senior Deacon" who was considered of the equivalent status, but was not, really.:

Friedrich August Ronneberger (1886-1968) who was Senior Naval Deacon from 11 December 1939 but he was NEVER a Bishop.

There was no one else during the Third Reich--

the previous Protestant Field Bishop, D. theol. Erich Schlegel (1866-1938) had served in that position from 1920 until retiring 31 January 1934. There was NO Catholic Field Bishop from 1920 to 1938.

The German Imperial Navy also shared joint senior chaplains with the Prussian Army-- same person holding BOTH positions.

There were often gaps when the Catholoc position was empty because of political problems with the Vatican.

There was never more than ONE Catholic and ONE Protestant German military Field Bishop.

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Yes, which is why there were only two.

Oddly enough, all ordinary career pre-war Wehrmacht chaplains were paid at the same salary grade as if they were a Major. Ours went up in "military" rank by seniority, so one could be a 1st Lieutenant or a full Colonel depending on experience and time in the Chaplain Corps.

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  • 1 year later...

Hello Gentlemen,

some questions about the Field Bishops of Wehrmacht:

Which the color used in collar tabs of Franz Dohrmann and Franz Justus Rarkowski??

Which the equivalent rank they had in the Wehrmacht?? Looking in this pic of Rarkowski (From AHF Forum), i think this is a Oberst...

In another pics that I saw, them were not wearing shoulder boards? is this correct?

Thx in advance


Edited by Alexandre
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