When Germany annexed Austria in 1938, what happened to the Austrian military? I’m guessing that it was absorbed into the German military, but how exactly was this handled on a practical level? Did soldiers and officers just keep their existing ranks, positions, and command structures, or was there a mass reorganization and reassignment of personnel? Did everyone need to get new uniforms and get retrained according to German regulations? What happened to the generals at the very top of the command hierarchy? Were there purges of personnel that the Germans considered politically unreliable and/or not racially pure?
Sorry - no cites, just recollection from stuff I read decades ago, until better comes along, but:
The Austrian army was absorbed by the Wehrmacht. Any jewish personnel did not transfer (Austrian forces had a relatively large number of jewish officers) Some of these were murdered, some sent to camps, some expelled from Austria.
Ranks didn’t always correspond, there were a number of demotions to make things fit. A number of Austrian soldiers switched to the SS, where prospects for rank were better.
Some units were essentially re-named to german units, often some austrian units were combined and made a german unit. Others were dispersed over the german wehrmacht.
I remember reading that fully half of the generals did not transfer. Note that while there was wide support for the anschluss, it was nowhere near universal. The Austrian army had for some time been positioned to resist a German invasion.
It’s a good question, and I’m surprised that Wiki has so little on it:
Here’s a table said to show the assignment of units of Austrian Army to the German Army:
The list of Austrian units generally agrees with other sources as to the order of battle of that army in 1938.
The roman numerals before the unit designations are battalion number within a regiment where so. For example I. u. III./Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 139, 1st and 3rd Battalion Mountain Infantry Regiment 139. That regiment was the main German infantry force in the capture of Narvik in Norway in April 1940 (and its subsequent loss to Allied counter attack before the Allies in turn evacuated as the French campaign disaster unfolded). It was mainly composed of Austrians even as of that date.
Watched the broadcast of The Sound of Music too?
Been singing showtunes for days now.
As to Capt. von Trapp: https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=591145