27th Jäger Battalion (Finland)
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2011)|
The Finnish 27th Jäger Battalion (German: Königlich Preussisches Jägerbataillon Nr. 27) was an elite light infantry unit in German Army 1915–1918 which consisted mainly of volunteers of Finnish Jäger troops.
The recruitment of the Jäger volunteers from the Russian Grand Duchy of Finland had to be secret, and was dominated by German-influenced circles, such as university students and the upper middle class. The recruitment was however in no way exclusive. The recruits were transported across Finland's western border via Sweden to Germany, where the volunteers were formed into the Royal Prussian 27th Jäger Battalion. It was a continuation and expansion of the "Boy Scout Training" (Pfadfinderkursus).
- 1 Scout course and permanent training group
- 2 Regular battalion
- 3 Periods
- 4 See also
- 5 Notable Jäger
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Scout course and permanent training group
Later the Pfadfinderkursus received more permanent forms and the course was changed into a permanent training group in Lockstedt, Ausbildungs-Truppe-Lockstedt, which had given military training to Finnish volunteers eager to fight for independence.
More than 200 university students had participated in the so-called Boy Scout training – they dressed in Boy Scout uniforms during the training, and they became the officers of Finnish Jäger Troops. This group was expanded by extensive recruitment autumn 1915 and spring 1916. Goal was to grow the unit to 1,200 men, including artillery and pioneers. As the new recruits included working class young men and farmers as well as sailors, not so many of them knew German. So it was necessary to create military guide books in Finnish, and the commanding vocabulary was created.
On 9 May 1916, the Lockstedt training group (Ausbildungs-Truppe-Lockstedt) was named as the Royal Prussian Jaeger Battalion number 27 (Königlich Preussisches Jägerbataillon Nr. 27) and received new, green German Jaeger uniforms. Some of the soldiers to be trained stayed in Ausbildungs-Truppe-Lockstedt and their unit preserved its name. If the number of the recruits had increased enough Ausbildungs-Truppe-Lockstedt would have been formed again as a Jaeger battalion, but with the number 28 (i.e. German: Königlich Preussisches Jägerbataillon Nr. 28). This did not happen as there were no political initiatives for this in Finland or in Germany, which were preparing for the separate peace with the Russian Empire in order to fight more effectively on the Western front against France and the United Kingdom.
To achieve experience from war-faring the main part of the Ausbildungs-Truppe-Lockstedt became a regular Jaeger battalion, the Royal Prussian Jaeger battalion number 27 (German: Königlich Preussisches Jägerbataillon Nr. 27), which was used with relatively modest losses to achieve experience, but also re-trained for the more technical demanding duties of artillery, engineers, supplies, etc. in order to establish this expertise in the future national army of the independent state of Finland.
The Jaeger Battalion participated in the ranks of the 8th German Army from 1916 in the battles of World War I on the northern flank of the eastern front. After the outbreak of the Civil War in Finland Jaegers who intended to engage on the "White" (anti-communist) side in the war were released.
Pfadfinder-Kursus Lockstedter Lager
Pfadfinderkursus - the pathfinder course - was the beginning of the new Finnish military training as it had been abolished in the Grand Duchy of Finland due to the political schism in Finland between the Finns and the Russian imperial government. There were 189 Finns, one Norwegian Swede (Gösta af Geijerstam) and one Balt, altogether 191.
On 26 January 1917, the representatives of the German ministries for foreign affairs and also war, general headquarters and navy headquarters had made a decision for providing military training for 200 Finns. The commander was major Maximillian Bayer, who was a war veteran from German African colony and the chairman of the German scout league, Deutsche Pfadfinderbund, which he established in 1907 and served it as the chairman, Reichsfeldmeister. In World War I he had served in the Regiment Prinz Louis-Ferninand, the 27th Infantry Regiment, and took part in the attack against Liege in Belgium. Since that ha had served in the non-combatant duties as the German commandant of Liege since 5 January 1915. The original idea was to nominate the commander, one infantry captain and one pioneer captain, but the decision was to nominate four captains: Knaths, Hans Bade, Walter Just and Karld Heldt. They all went to the German ministry for War on 13 February for the instructions. In April for the machine gun training an Offiziersverstellvertreter Hans Eller also was ordered to the pathfinder course. From 12 to 13 non-commissioned officers were ordered to the course and also 6 pioneers. Master sergeants (Fäbel) were Perper and Steinmuller and non-commissioned officers in lower ranks, Unteroffiziers, were Claussen, Huyssen, Hoden and Toeppel. Hoden and Toeppel were ordered to the other duties later. The pioneer non-commissioned officer Claussen and machine gun trainer Huyssen server still during the 27th battalion period and became lieutenants.
The very first pathfinders became to the Lockstedt military training camp on 25 February 1915. The oldest member of the course was Alma Fabritius, who stayed for four months. Another old participant, doctor Marcus Kjöllerfeld stayed six weeks from 25 February to April.
Later as already Jaegers, two ex-pathfinders resigned and two died from disease, Runar Appelberg and Urho Kalsko. Already in the service of the Guards majors Friedel Jacobson, Olof Lagus and Armas Ståhlberg were killed in action in the Finnish Civil War 1918 like Rittmeister (Cavalry captain) Paul Ljungberg and captain Bertel Paulig. Also six other ex-pathfinders died in the civil war. Two of them were master sergeants (faebel) and third sergeant. The last three did not have in Finland a military rank at all for the unknown reason.
Captain Toivo Kuisma died in the Aunus attack 1919 and major Sven Weckström in 1921 having been wounded in Maaninkajärvi 1921.
Later the ex-pathfinders achieved high military ranks
|infantry general||3||A. E. Heinrich, A. Sihvo, A. Sundman|
|captain and rittmeister (cavalry captain)||29|
- September 1915 - May 1916
*Royal Prussian Jaegerbattallion number 27
- May 1916-February 1918
Misa river period
- June 1916 - August 1916
Riga Bay period
- September 1916 - December 1916
Liepaja Christmas period
- December 1916 - March 1917
Liepaja training period
- March 1917 - February 1918
- Lauerma, 1966:118-119
- Lauerma, 1966: 95, 102
- Lauerma, 1966: 115
- Ahlbäck, Anders (2010). Soldiering and the Making of Finnish Manhood: Conscription and Masculinity in Interwar Finland, 1918–1939 (PDF) (Doctoral thesis). Äbo Akademi University. ISBN 9789521225093.
- Lauerma, Matti Kuninkaallinen Preussin Jääkäripataljoona 27: vaiheet ja vaikutus. Porvoo, Helsinki: WSOY, 1966
Media related to Finnish 27th Jäger Battalion at Wikimedia Commons