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Wurttemberg Army

Wurttemberg [much less commonly, Wurtemberg], a kingdom of Germany, formed a tolerably compact mass in the S.W. angle of the empire. In the south it was cleft by the long narrow territory of Hohenzollern, belonging to Prussia; and it encloses six small enclaves of Baden and Hohenzollern, while it owned nine small exclaves within the limits of these two states. The origin of the name Wurttemberg is uncertain, but the once popular derivation from Wirth am Berg is now universally rejected. Some authorities derive it from a proper name, Wiruto or Wirtino; others from a Celtic place-name, Virolunum or Verdunum.

Frederick II. (1754-1816) was a prince whose model was Frederick the Great. Frederick joined Napoleon in his campaigns against Prussia, Austria and Russia, and of 16,000 of his subjects who marched to Moscow only a few hundreds returned. The effect of the news from Russia in 1812 upon public sentiment in the dependent States was not decisive. In some quarters those who had grown restive under the Napoleonic yoke saw an opportunity to intrigue or to resume a portion of their lost independence of action. Within the limits of the Rhenish Confederation none stirred at first. The army of Wurttemberg was reduced in the retreat from 14,000 to 173 officers and 143 men, and when the King was reminded of the obligation to raise his contingent to the required standard he hinted to the French minister that the confederate states were bound only so long as Napoleon could protect them.

The great war between France and Prussia broke out in 1870. Although the policy of Wurttemberg had continued antagonistic to Prussia, the country shared in the national enthusiasm which swept over Germany, and its troops took a creditable part in the battle of Worth and in other operations of the war. In 1871 Wurttemberg became a member of the new German empire, but retained control of her own post office, telegraphs and railways. She had also certain special privileges with regard to taxation and the army.

By terms of the convention of 1871 the troopsof Württemberg form the XIII army corps of the imperial German army. The military convention with Wurttemberg secured to the Wurttemberg division of troops its own colors and designation. The military oath included king and federal commander-in-chief alike. Promotions were accorded by the king with the consent of the federal commander-in-chief. The Wurttemberg army corps remained in its own territory. Interchange of officers was provided for and inspections.

The Wurttemberg troops formed one consolidated army corps under the immediate command of the King of Wurttemberg, but under the superior command of the Emperor in time both of war and peace. The King of Wurttemberg appointed all the officers of this corps, except the commanders of fortifications, but his appointments of the highest officers of the corps must be ratified by the Emperor. The Wurttemberg troops owed unqualified obedience to the commands of the Emperor; but, in time of peace, the Emperor had no power to order the Wurttemberg troops out of Wurttemberg or other troops into Wurttemberg, without the consent of the King of Wiirttemberg, except for the purpose of garrisoning South-German or West-German fortifications. The Emperor had the power and duty to inspect the Wurttemberg troops at any time. The disposition of the Saxon and Wurttemberg troops within their own boundaries belongs to the kings of the respective States as heads of the contingents (Kontingentsherren).

To Wurttemberg was conceded the right to administer independently the moneys to be expended for the maintenance of her army. Should there be a surplus after all the obligations of her military administration have been fully met, such savings remain at the disposal of Wurttemberg. The position of Wurttemberg was not, however, identical with that of Bavaria. The special items in her military budget were not fixed by Wurttemberg, but by the Empire, and all her military accounts are audited by the Imperial Auditing Court. Further, in Wurttemberg the provisions made in the budget for the imperial army must be completely carried out; they do not form, as in Bavaria, the "general norm" merely, for the administration of military affairs.

The remount depot for Wurttemberg was established in 1897 ; before this date its horses were bought in the market, generally in Prussia. The depot of Breitholen can not furnish all the horses necessary for the army of Wurttemberg ; some direct purchases are therefore still made, and arrangements are made also for obtaining horses from the remount depots of Prussia.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 02:54:37 ZULU