Freitag, 4. April 2014

Sailors in Munich?

Some people are curious, if there actually were sailors taking part in the fightings in Munich in 1918/1919. (Of course, the miniatures are suitable for all locations in Germany and beyond during this turbulent times.)

The short answer is 'Yes'. ;-)

A photograph titled 'Rote Garde' ('Red Guard') showing revolutionaries in front of Munich central station. Note the two sailors in the middle of the photo (the right one with and the left one without the national cockade on the hat).

Although Bavaria was (and still is) a landlocked state and Munich itself is near the Alps there were sailors present and fighting during the German Revolution. After the Kiel mutiny in early November 1918, the spark that lit the flame of revolution, the sailor had become a symbol throught out the German states. 
The men serving in the Imperial Germany Navy came from all states throught the empire not only from those with a long standing naval tradition. After the mutiny some just wanted to go home and ended up in the local fightings, while others were sent as part of units to assist the workers' and soldiers' councils and the new governments in the different cities and regions. The Volksmarine Division (People's Naval Division) in Berlin maybe being the prime example.

On February 15th, 1919 a unit of about 600 armed sailors arrived in Munich coming from Wilhelmshaven on the North Sea. Among them was Munic-born Rudolf Egelhofer, who became Stadtkommandant (town major) of Munich and supreme commander of the Bavarian red army in April 1919. He is supposed to have orderd the shooting of the ten hostages held at the Luitpold Gymnasium (grammar/secondary school), most of them members or at least associated with the Thule Gesellschaft (society). Egelhofer himself was arrested by 'White' troops on May 1st, 1919, severely mistreated and and finally shot without trial on May 3rd, 1919.

Rudolf Egelhofer, * 13. April 1896 Munich-Schwabing; † 3. Mai 1919 Munich

Some contemporary sources also claim that some young men who had never seen the sea in all their lives gathered sailor's uniforms from all kind of sources: shops for naval equipment, merchant sailors, costume rentals or theater props. The sailor's garb meant a hot meal each day and also a certain desirability to the ladies...

2 Kommentare:

  1. This is very interesting to me as this conflict is little known to me and I am finding it very interesting. Also the adage is universally true, "All women love a sailor"

  2. Thank you for making such ranges.

    Best regards.