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Military


Auxiliaries

Engineers

The engineers were a technical body, not concerned with field warfare or with the command of troops. On the other hand, the pioneers (29 battalions) were assigned to the field army, with duties corresponding roughly to those of field companies R.E. in the British service. The field engineers - known in the German army as pioneers - were organised in battalions and companies, and there were special companies for bridging work and telegraphy, including wireless. A kind of steam plough was used for rapidly marking out and partly digging entrenchments, which are afterwards completed by handwork.

Other branches represented in Great Britain by the Royal Engineers are known in Germany by the title "communication troops," and comprise railway, telegraph and airship and balloon battalions. There were special companies for railway work, and besides this the infantry regiments were practised in the rapid demolition and relaying of railway lines.

Auxiliary Services

There were a large number of specialised auxiliary services. Ambulances and transport and ammunition columns were attached to every division, and each army corps had detachments of Field Gendarmes for military police duties, and despatch riders for conveying orders and information.

Within a few years an elaborate aviation service had been organised. It was divided into two branches - the airship battalions and the aeroplane battalions. The former were trained to repair and handle airships of the various types used in the German army - the rigid Zeppelins, the semi-rigid Gross type, and the non-rigid Parseval - and at each center there are large sheds for housing the airships.

The Train was charged with the duties of supply and transport. There was one battalion to each army corps. The peace establishment in horses was approximately l00,000. Horses served eight to nine years in the artillery and nine to ten in the cavalry, after which, in the autumn of each year, they were sold, and their places taken by remounts. The latter were bought at horse-fairs and private sales, unbroken, and sent to the 25 remount depots, whence, when fit for the service, they were sent to the various units, as a rule in the early summer. Most of the cavalry and artillery riding horses came from Prussia proper. The Polish districts produced swift Hussar horses of a semi-eastern type. Hanover was second only to East Prussia in output of horses. Bavaria, Saxony and Wrttemberg did not produce enough horses for their own armies and have to draw on Prussia. Thirteen thousand four hundred and forty-five young horses were bought by the army authorities during 1907. The average price was about 51 for field artillery draught horses, 65 for heavy draught horses, and 46 for riding horses.




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