The Sturm-Bataillon Nr.5 (Rohr) contains a large variety of players from different backgrounds within the Napoleonic Wars and Warband community. Some have been in the NW community for a while since the ages of MM, while some are still present in it, most have only returned to Iron Europe for the release of the 2.0 update. Most of our members are rather relaxed, as everyone knows each other rather well, and we rarely see any issues, we do not see it as a benefit to have a list of rules except that everyone has a sense of control, and self-knowledge to what is correct. Currently, we hope to attend a single event a week, in order to gather the highest amount of interest and attendance for the Rohr. Others who would like to attend more events, can simply play publicly, or invite for others. For those that do not know, the Nr.5 was a historically infamous regiment due to it's nature of attack and engagements, more on that can be seen for our history. Overall, the Nr.5 is a regiment for those looking for an event once a week, and looking for a relaxed background whilst playing.
The men of Sturm (Assault) Battalion Rohr could make a fair claim to being the “Elite” of frontline fighters of the German Army (1914-1918). They were used in an Assault and Training role and were the seed out of which the assault units which followed were created. At Verdun, on the Chemin des Dames, in the 1918 Offensives, the men of Rohr were always in the thick of the action. Usually attached to other units they acted as examples, as advisors and as observers, taking their experiences back to the Sturmbataillon where developing new tactics and methods was the first order of the day.
On March 4 the War Ministry ordered the Eighth Army Corps to establish the first formal Assault Detachment (Sturmabteilung) of the German army. Based on the Wahn artillery range in the Rhineland, it was the result of a suggestion made by infantry General Hans Emil Alexander Gaede, commander of Army Detachment Gaede (Armee-Abteilung Gaede) in the Vosges mountains. General Gaede’s men had successfully utilized steel shields when advancing, and Gaede and Colonel of Artillery Max Bauer decided to apply the concept to field guns.
Under Bauer’s direction the firm built 20 3.7cm assault cannons(Sturmkannone) fitted with large shields. These weapons would be accompanied by assault pioneers who would clear the way of obstacles and allow the guns to lay direct fire on strong points.
The Assault Detachment was commanded by Major Calsow of Pioneer Battalion No. 18. One company of pioneers from Pioneer Replacement Battalion No. 3, led by Hauptmann Paulich, was assigned to the new unit. A second company under Hauptmann Franceson was transferred from Pioneer Replacement Battalion No. 10. Volunteer artillerymen from several batteries on the western front manned the assault cannons.
Hauptmann Willy Martin Rohr.
The two companies of assault pioneers were issued portable steel shields and experimental steel helmets, which the combat veterans among them criticized as too cumbersome for combat use. The Assault Detachment trained at Wahn throughout April and May and was deployed to the Loretto front to engage in a defensive battle.
On June 16 the Detachment suffered heavy casualties, as the pioneers were deployed as line infantry, not assault troops, and the assault cannons were used as light field pieces firing from the rear instead of as the close-in weapons were were intended to be. They produced large muzzle flashes that allowed the French to quickly spot them and respond with their own artillery. The gun detachment lost 13 of its weapons, and the pioneers suffered more than 50 percent casualties. Major Calsow was relieved in August and the Assault Detachment assigned to Army Detachment Gaede.
Hauptmann Willy Martin Rohr of the Guard Rifles Battalion (Garde-Schützen-Bataillon) was given command of the Detachment on September 8. Assault Detachment Rohr was assigned a machine-gun platoon armed with two MG08 heavy machine guns, a trench-mortar platoon armed with four light weapons, a gun battery armed with four modified Russian 7.62cm cannons designated "infantry guns" (Infanterie Geschütze), and a flamethrower platoon armed with six small flamethrowers (Kleif). Four heavy and two medium spigot mortars (Ladungswerfern) and one grenade launcher (Granatenwerfer 16) completed the arsenal.
Rohr’s goal was to create a unit that had elements of every arm of the ground forces, in order to create new techniques for using the weapons. Being pioneers, the men of the Detachment were already familiar with the hand grenade, which Rohr deemed central to effective close-quarter fighting.
Assault Detachment Rohr saw its first action on October 12, when the 2nd Assault Company attacked French positions at the Schrätzmannle in the Vosges Mountains. After six large flamethrowers of the 3rd Guard Pioneer Battalion were fired, six squads of assault pioneers attacked assigned sections of enemy trench, clearing them with hand grenades while trench mortars and field guns silenced French artillery and a machine gun. Infantrymen following behind the assault pioneers consolidated the positions with shovels and sandbags. 4 Assault Pioniers were killed in the action including Unteroffizier Friedrich Pöhler.
The operation was so successful that Rohr used it as the core of the training for the remainder of the Detachment. Beginning in December he also began training infantry units in his assault tactics.
On December 22, the entire Assault Detachment was used in combat for the first time, in cooperation with Reserve Jäger Battalion No. 8. The two units reclaimed positions lost at the Hartmannsweilerkopf and the northern sector of the Jägertanne. Christmas Eve saw the Detachment experience its first failure, when heavy fog and a lack of preparation and organization prevented the assault pioneers from taking back the Hirzstein. Following several more failed attempts between Christmas and the new year, Rohr undertook systematic preparations for a large- scale attack modeled on the Schrätzmannle operation.
Adolf Breuer (Top Right), a Iron Cross recipient, as well as others from 4. Kompanie.
After extensive rehearsals in full-sized mockups of the enemy trenches, the Assault Detachment led Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 188 and Nr. 189 in an attack at the Hartmannsweilerkopf on January 10. As before, trench mortars, artillery, and flamethrowers were used. German casualties were light, and the objective was taken. The Assault Detachment returned to its barracks in the Kaiserstuhl hills of Baden. At the order of General Gaede it began training infantry units in Rohr’s tactics.
In February the Detachment was transferred to the Fifth Army in preparation for the attack on Verdun. Prior to the commencement of the battle on February 22, the Detachment was attached to the 6th Infantry Division of the III Army Corps. Rohr’s men fought at the Azannes, through the Herbebois, and at Fort Douaumont. One to four assault pioneers were assigned to each infantry battalion as hand-grenade throwers, although at Herbebois an entire Assault Company supported by all its weapons attacked the French pillboxes ahead of the regular infantry. The heavy combat necessitated a 24-hour rest period at Ornes, after which the Detachment launched an unsuccessful week-long attack from Hardaumont toward the Caillette Woods.
The Detachment returned to the Fifth Army in March and was sent to Beuville. Here Rohr trained replacements for his own force and held assault courses for infantry units. The Assault Detachment was never employed as a whole during the Battle of Verdun but provided shock troops and weapons squads to other units. When pressed by Crown Prince Wilhelm for reasons why the Germans were not more successful, Haupt. Rohr stated that the various branches of service lacked experience and did not cooperate well, and the men were unfamiliar with the new close- combat weapons and tactics. In particular the infantry had not been trained in the use of hand grenades and, not trusting the weapons, simply threw them away by the thousands.
Men of the 4. Kompagnie after a successful engagement. One of the men wears a French helmet and has a French machine gun (Chauchat), probably items captured in the action.
A Pioneer from SB Nr.5 (Rohr) in typical Stormtrooper uniform, including Stielhandgranates.
As a result Rohr was given a mandate by the Crown Prince to fully train the army in the use of the hand grenade and in the principles of cooperation between the branches of service. An extensive training field was established at Beuville, close to the village of Doncourt, and the Assault Detachment was enlarged by the War Ministry so that it could more effectively instruct other units. Two more pioneer assault companies were raised; the machine-gun platoon was expanded into a full company armed with six weapons; and a howitzer battery armed with four 10.5cm Krupp mountain guns (Gebirgshaubitzen L/12) was added. On April 1 the Detachment became Assault Battalion Rohr (Sturmbataillon Rohr).
The two new pioneer assault companies were formed with men from Pioneer Replacement Battalion No. 7. Thereafter replacements for Assault Battalion Rohr came from Pioneer Replacement Battalion No. 35, which proved replacements for Pioneer Battalion No. 35, a poison-gas unit. Haupt. Rohr created a fifth pioneer assault company by converting the battalion Pioneer Park Company into a fully trained and armed assault formation. Each assault company had a strength of 210 men. By the middle of 1916 the Battalion was comprised of:
1 Battalion Staff
5 Pioneer Assault Companies
1 Machine-gun Company
1 Trench-Mortar Detachment
1 Flamethrower Platoon
1 Howitzer Battery.
At Beuville, the Battalion taught two-week courses in assault tactics.
The Fifth Army was the first to complete its training, after which the remaining armies on the western front were instructed in the new methods. In the winter of 1916-17, the armies on the eastern front were trained, as were Austrian troops. A special detachment was sent to Bulgaria to establish an assault battalion in the Bulgarian First Army, and then several Turkish divisions were trained.
Rohr and his men felt that their primary function was as a fighting unit; they agitated constantly for combat and took part in over 70 assaults in Verdun in 1916. Although casualties incurred during most operations were generally light, occasional heavy tolls resulted in the Battalion being replaced five times over the course of the war.
In May the OHL ordered that each army on the western front send two officers and four NCOs to Beuville to be trained in Rohr’s tactics. On May 27 Rohr published “Instructions for the Employment of an Assault Battalion,” a short manual which codified his methods.
Inspired by Rohr's successes, the War Ministry decided to convert four Jäger battalions to assault battalions. In August officers and NCOs of the Jäger battalions were dispatched to Beuville for training. After Romania declared war on the Central Powers, three of the Jäger battalions were removed from the program and sent to the Romanian front. Only Jäger Battalion No. 3 was converted, becoming Jäger-(Assault-) Battalion No. 3 (Jäger- Sturm- Bataillon Nr. 3).
In late 1916 the howitzer battery of Assault Battalion Rohr was given the responsibility of training the Close-Combat Batteries (Nahkampf-Batterie) and Infantry-gun Batteries assigned to the armies of the western fronts. The howitzer battery also trained ordinary artillery batteries and regularly tested new weapons and equipment.
General Erich Ludendorff visited the Crown Prince at his headquarters at Montmedy in September, where he reviewed a company of pioneers from Assault Battalion Rohr that served as the Prince’s honor guard. Having been on the eastern front for the past two years, Ludendorff had never seen troops outfitted in steel helmets, uniforms with leather elbow and knees patches, and ankle boots with puttees. When he learned of Rohr’s new tactics, Ludendorff decided that the Assault Battalion should serve as the model for all German infantrymen. On October 23, he ordered that each army on the western front create an assault battalion.
As a result Assault Battalion Rohr was re-designated Assault Battalion No. 5 (Sturmbataillon Nr. 5) in December.
The unit's history carry's forth up until 1918, however Iron Europe is set during Verdun (1916), and so no extra information is required. For more info go here, to see the later regimental years of the Sturm-Bataillon Nr.5 (Rohr).
When enlisting, we do not wish to provide a 'rule' list or such, but simply for all members to understand what is considered correct, and what is not. Follow the orders of your leader to the best of your ability, and you can't really go wrong. If you have an issues concerning any aspect of the Rohr, come to a leader of the Rohr. If anything, make sure to be the best you can, to make maneuvers and attacks, swift as possible, as we are, Stormtroopers.
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Sturm-Bataillon Introduction Handbook
Successfully enlisted? Welcome to the Sturm-Bataillon Nr.5 (Rohr), In this handbook we'll produce all the info needed to be a successful Stormtrooper of the German army!
First of all, you'll need to grab yourself the link to the TeamSpeak 3 Client. Already got it? The TeamSpeak IP will be given through Steam chat early on.
Next is your in-game character. Immediately when joining, you will asked to pick a historical Germanic name for the regiment (First and Surname). Rude, difficult to pronounce, or long names are not allowed. If you wish to have a long name, you may place the first letter instead (Example: H_Kruger or Hans_K as . are not supported in-game). As previously mentioned in the rules, a shaven face and moustache are only allowed! No cigars, extravagant beards and ear rings etc. Finished editing your character? Now for your tags!
For newly joined members, your tags will consist of the following: SturmNr5_Pion_*First Name*_*Surname Name*. Sturm for the troop, Nr5 for the regiment, and Pion for your rank, Pioneer. The banner of the Sturm is the Iron Cross with the German Empire's flag, which is seen on the right. A banner retexture for the regiment will most likely be available by the time you are reading this, it will be available as well as a skin pack, within the TeamSpeak Server.
Done everything of the above? Consider yourself part of the regiment! All other internal info, such as event times, questions & queries, history etc, can be found and sorted on this thread, and Steam. The next part of this handbook will briefly describe how to become an elite Sturmtruppen in Iron Europe!