The Feldgendarmerie were the Military Police in war
zones, in WW2 they were nicknamed “Kettenhunde” or “Chained dogs”.
One third of Feldgendarmerie members were
Obergendarmen from the regular police force, one third were Unteroffiziere and
the last third Gefreiter (the latter two from cavalry units).
This constellation was carried over into the
Feldgendarmerie patrols, which consisted of an Obergendarme, an Unteroffizier
and a Gefreiter.
Six Feldgendarmes were attached to the Große
Hauptquartier the rest served at Generalkommando or Etappen-Inspektion level.
At the Generalkommando a troop (Trupp) of 60
Feldgengdarmes was to be found.
At the Etappen Inspections there were Abteilungs of
Above: An early war shot of a group of Feldgendarme.
Whether Troop or Abteilung the Gendarme units were
commanded by a Rittmeister with a Wachtmeister responsible for the administrative duties.
The number of Abteilung rose during the war from 33
to 115, although it should be noted that the 112th was officially named "Feldgendarmerie-Eskadron
112" of the Heeresgruppe Deutscher Kronprinz.
Higher level Gendarme units existed only in the East
where the General-Gouvernement Warschau had its own Feldgendarmerie-Brigade and
the Oberbefehlshaber-Ost which had its own Gendarmerie-Inspektion.
In the last half of 1918 where indiscipline became a
major problem behind the front lines the Gendarmes were reinforced with a
"Feldgendarmerie-Korps z.b.V.", renamed Gendarmerie-Regiment 9 in
Above: A Feldgendarmerie "Spiess" who would have taken care of the administrative tasks for his Trupp or Abteilung.
The Etappen-Inspektion 6 was part of the 6th Army. It
was under the command of Generaloberst Kronprinz Rupprecht v. Bayern until the
28th August 1916 when General d. Inf. Otto von Below took over the command.
Feldgendarme-Unteroffizier Beermann was attached to the headquarters
and as such would have followed them from Lothringen through the North of
France in 1914. After the race for the see they set up their headquaters at Lille. At the end of February
1916 they moved to Douai,
then on to Tournai in mid March 1917. In mid April 1918 they moved back to Lille until the retreat
starting in October 1918. They ended up in Iserlohn at the end of November 1918.
Oddly, the unit attached to the Etappen Inspection 6 was not a "Abteilung" but a "Trupp"
Courtesy of Chip M., from the notes of Major von Stein we have been able to get a list of the Feldgendarmerie units for 1917-18. Please click HERE