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Nickdfresh
03-22-2008, 05:14 PM
I've been reading a little on WWI, and came across the mentioning that the Germans used a "Naval Division" to lay siege, and seal off, the Belgian forces defending Antwerp in 1914...

Does anyone have much information on these units?

Was naval infantry banned under the Versailles treaty?

George Eller
06-15-2008, 02:55 AM
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http://img406.imageshack.us/img406/8590/wwigermannavalinfantrysdm8.jpg

World War I: The opposing lines on the Western Front during World War I streched from the Swiss border to the North Sea. These troops from the Kriegsmarine (German Navy), armed with Mauser Gew98 rifles, occupied defensive positions at its northern extremity.
Source: Weapon: A Visual History of Arms and Armor, DK Publishing, ISBN 13: 978 0 7566 2210 7, pp 286-287.

For larger image - click on thumbnail below:
http://img128.imageshack.us/img128/8435/wwigermannavalinfantrynl4.th.jpg (http://img128.imageshack.us/my.php?image=wwigermannavalinfantrynl4.jpg)

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pdf27
06-15-2008, 06:31 AM
I suspect it will have gone because of the upper limit on manpower placed on Germany, rather than being specifically banned by the Allies. I can't imagine they would have been particularly effective as infantry - the Royal Naval Division certainly weren't - and the Germans would have very little call for a corps of Marines unless they wanted to invade either the UK or Scandinavia.

Nickdfresh
06-15-2008, 10:08 AM
I suspect it will have gone because of the upper limit on manpower placed on Germany, rather than being specifically banned by the Allies. I can't imagine they would have been particularly effective as infantry - the Royal Naval Division certainly weren't - and the Germans would have very little call for a corps of Marines unless they wanted to invade either the UK or Scandinavia.

Upon further research, I found that the Kriegsmarine did indeed have a small (we're talking a few divisions?) equivalent of a Marine unit that fought in Poland and attempted to assault a harbor They were repulsed with heavy casualties and all interest in amphibious landings was lost...

http://www.feldgrau.com/kriegs.html

http://www.feldgrau.com/kmsground.html

They did however perform security functions and man the Atlantic Wall. These troops shouldn't be confused with the hapless sailors that were sent to Berlin to fight as infantry...