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Chapter III.—Recruiting and military training (Art. 173 to 179)

Article 173.

Universal compulsory military service shall be abolished in Germany.

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The German Army may only be constituted and recruited by means of voluntary enlistment.

Note to V, 173

A law for the disarmament of the population (Bevölkerung) was enacted August 7, 1920 and altered subsequently (Reichsgesetzblatt, 1920, ii, 1553, 1595, 1636, 1637).

The following German law was promulgated on March 16, 1935 (ibid., 1935, i, No. 28):

“The Government of the Reich has decided upon the following-law, which is hereby published:

  • “1. Service in the Wehrmacht is based upon the principle of universal military duty.
  • “2. The German peace-time army, including the transferred police troops, is organized into 12 corps and 36 divisions.
  • “3. Supplementary laws for regulating universal service are to be issued by the Reich Cabinet through the Reich Minister for Defense.”

See the note to the preamble of this part V for the circumstances preceding the issuance of this law.

Article 174.

The period of enlistment for non-commissioned officers and privates must be twelve consecutive years.

The number of men discharged for any reason before the expiration of their term of enlistment must not exceed in any year five per cent. of the total effectives fixed by the second sub-paragraph of paragraph (i) of Article 160 of the present Treaty.

Text of May 7:

The number of men discharged for any reason before the expiration of their term of enlistment must not exceed in any year five per cent. of the total effectives fixed by the second paragraph of Article 160 of the present Treaty.

Article 175.

The officers who are retained in the Army must undertake the obligation to serve in it up to the age of forty-five years at least.

Officers newly appointed must undertake to serve on the active list for twenty-five consecutive years at least.

Officers who have previously belonged to any formations whatever of the Army, and who are not retained in the units allowed to [Page 331]be maintained, must not take part in any military exercise whether theoretical or practical, and will not be under any military obligations whatever.

The number of officers discharged for any reason before the expiration of their term of service must not exceed in any year five per cent, of the total effectives of officers provided for in the third sub-paragraph of paragraph (i) of Article 160 of the present Treaty.

Text of May 7:

The number of officers discharged for any reason before the expiration of their term of service must not exceed in any year five per cent, of the total effectives of officers provided for in the third paragraph of Article 160 of the present Treaty.

Article 176.

On the expiration of two months from the coming into force of the present Treaty there must only exist in Germany the number of military schools which is absolutely indispensable for the recruitment of the officers of the units allowed. These schools will be exclusively intended for the recruitment of officers of each arm, in the proportion of one school per arm.

The number of students admitted to attend the courses of the said schools will be strictly in proportion to the vacancies to be filled in the cadres of officers. The students and the cadres will be reckoned in the effectives fixed by the second and third subparagraphs of paragraph (i) of Article 160 of the present Treaty.

Text of May 7:

The number of students admitted to attend the courses of the said schools will be strictly in proportion to the vacancies to be filled in the cadres of officers. The students and the cadres will be reckoned in the effectives fixed by the second and third paragraphs of Article 160 of the present Treaty.

Consequently, and during the period fixed above, all military academies or similar institutions in Germany, as well as the different military schools for officers, student officers (Aspiranten), cadets, non-commissioned officers or student non-commissioned officers (Aspiranten), other than the schools above provided for, will be abolished.

Article 177.

Educational establishments, the universities, societies of discharged soldiers, shooting or touring clubs and, generally speaking, [Page 332]associations of every description, whatever be the age of their members, must not occupy themselves with any military matters.

In particular they will be forbidden to instruct or exercise their members, or to allow them to be instructed or exercised, in the profession or use of arms.

These societies, associations, educational establishments and universities must have no connection with the Ministries of War or any other military authority.

Note to V, 177

As late as March 1931 the results secured under this article were not regarded as satisfactory by the Conference of Ambassadors (p. 307).

Article 178.

All measures of mobilization or appertaining to mobilization are forbidden.

In no case must formations, administrative services or General Staffs include supplementary cadres.

Note to V, 178

The Conference of Ambassadors on June 1, 1922 reiterated in a decision that “any stock of matériel of whatever kind which should be set up for military purposes beyond the authorized quantities must be destroyed or dispersed by the Inter-Allied Commission of Control in virtue of this article”.

As late as March 1931 the results secured under this article were not regarded as satisfactory by the Conference of Ambassadors (p. 308).

Article 179.

Germany agrees, from the coming into force of the present Treaty, not to accredit nor to send to any foreign country any military, naval or air mission, nor to allow any such mission to leave her territory, and Germany further agrees to take appropriate measures to prevent German nationals from leaving her territory to become enrolled in the Army, Navy or Air service of any foreign Power, or to be attached to such Army, Navy or Air service for the purpose of assisting in the military, naval or air training thereof, or otherwise for the purpose of giving military, naval or air instruction in any foreign country.

The Allied and Associated Powers agree, so far as they are concerned, from the coming into force of the present Treaty, not to [Page 333]enrol in nor to attach to their armies or naval or air forces any German national for the purpose of assisting in the military training of such armies or naval or air forces, or otherwise to employ any such German national as military, naval or aeronautic instructor.

The present provision does not, however, affect the right of France to recruit for the Foreign Legion in accordance with French military laws and regulations.

Note to V, 179

German military officers frequently found employment abroad in military missions. After 1933 officers connected with the active forces were so employed. In 1939 German military missions were in China (Nanking), Argentina, Colombia, and El Salvador and an aviation mission in Argentina. Lieutenant General Alexander Ernst von Falkenhausen, adviser to the Government of China, was the best-known person in such service.