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Osprey Elite 76 : The German Freikorps 1918-1923

After the 1918 Armistice, defeated Germany collapsed into chaos. Civil war broke out, with Communist risings in Berlin, Hamburg, the Ruhr and Bavaria threatening to take Germany the way of Bolshevik Russia. Simultaneously Poland seized territory on the eastern borders in Silesia and Pomerania, and fighting broke out against Russian Communist, Estonian and Lettish troops on the Baltic coast. From the ruins of the Imperial German Army there arose, almost spontaneously, the 'Free Corps' movement: large numbers of former officers and soldiers - often from elite units - who assembled in 'private armies' and helped themselves to weapons and equipment. A law unto themselves, these hundreds of different units were often exotically turned out in a mixture of their old uniforms with flamboyant new features (eg. huge skull-and-crossbones badges painted on their helmets, festoons of ammo belts, colored armbands - some officers even added leopardskin collars to their greatcoats). Led by highly motivated and often highly decorated combat leaders, these Freikorps fought off both Communists at home and Polish troops in the borderlands with considerable success, founding a nationalist legend. Many went on to serve in the new Reichswehr, and later in the SA and SS. Text by Carlos Caballero Jurado with illustrations by Ramiro Bujeiro.

    Contents
  • The German Army in November 1918
  • The Communist Threat
  • The Threat to the Borders - Poland - The Baltic
  • The Birth of the Freikorps
  • The Major FKs, and their Enemies
  • The Kapp Putsch - Berlin 1920
  • The Baltic Coast
  • The Reichswehr - 1923

 

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