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In looking at the rank lists of the various Train-Abteilungen, I see that the officers just below Major are all Rittmeisters. I assume some cavalry connection/heritage.

Under what circumstances would or could a Rittmeister switch to Hauptmann?

I ask because in the Schwarzburg rolls there is an award to a Hptm.d.R. Hermann Reiß, 1.Ordonnanz-Offizier, 103. Inf.-Div. The likeliest candidate for this to be from the 1914 rank list is Oberlt.d.R. Reiß from Train-Abteilung 18 (II Frankfurt am Main). He was promoted to Rittmeister d.R. on 27 January 1915, and was at the time with the Munitions-Kolonnen und Trains, XVIII.R.K.. I'm pretty sure he's the right Reiß because XVIII.R.K. controlled the 25.Res.-Div., which provided units including RIR 116 to form the 103.ID. He seems to be the only Reiß with the right rank and a possible connection to the 103.ID.

But again, he was a Rittmeister. I've seen a Rittmeister become a Hauptmann i.G. when assigned to the General Staff. Would that happen for a division Ordonnanz-Offizier, too?

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In looking at the rank lists of the various Train-Abteilungen, I see that the officers just below Major are all Rittmeisters. I assume some cavalry connection/heritage.

Interesting...

I think it might have been Tuchmann in The Guns of August, where I read that math types were frequently assigned to work on Train and supply duties. Trains, transportation, etc were all highly emphasized pre-war for providing tight mobilization schedules, logistics, etc. Developing those schedules require timing routes, delivery times, and a wide range of logistic related activities that in turn require better than average math skills.

Is it possible once the trench war phase of the war started and cavalry officers weren't being used as they'd trained for, some of them were reassigned to duties were whatever skills they did have, could be better used in support of the war effort?

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Hi,

I'm not a specialist for that, but I think, it is not a relationship to the cavalry, it is the relationship to the many horses in a Train-Kompanie/Train-Abteilung. For a cavalry officer it must be like a degradation, to be transferred from the Kavallerie to the Train.

Changing to a General Staff was sometimes (normally?) possible as "Rittmeister im Generalstab".

Uwe

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Dave,

Under what circumstances would or could a Rittmeister switch to Hauptmann?

In the context of a Train Officer, this could occur on transfer as a Train-Depot Officer. A Rittmeister assigned to the General Staff would adopt the title Hauptmann. An Ordonnanz-Offizier would retain his original title of rank.

When did your Hauptmann d.R. receive his award? It is possible that a senior Leutnant d.R. in 1914 would have attained the rank of Hauptmann d.R. by say 1917/1918.

Regards

Glenn

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Dave,

In the context of a Train Officer, this could occur on transfer as a Train-Depot Officer. A Rittmeister assigned to the General Staff would adopt the title Hauptmann. An Ordonnanz-Offizier would retain his original title of rank.

When did your Hauptmann d.R. receive his award? It is possible that a senior Leutnant d.R. in 1914 would have attained the rank of Hauptmann d.R. by say 1917/1918.

Regards

Glenn

Awarded on 31 July 1917

I went through the MWBs and no other candidates jumped out, but I might have missed some. Two from IR 97 were promoted to Olt.d.R. in 1915, one from Gießen on 22.3.15 and another from I Darmstadt on 14.7.15, but I couldn't find any promotion to Hauptmann. Also, the second one, with the Darmstadt reporting station, doesn't seem to be in the 1914 rank list, unless he transferred from another regiment (I didn't see any further mentions of the Reiß in the reserve of IR 41, while the Reiß in IR 47 was apparently still a Lt.d.R. in February 1916 when he received the Bavarian Military Merit Order).

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