The Eiserne Schar Berthold (also known as the Fränkisches Bauerndetachement) was formed in April 1919 by Hauptmann Rudolf Berthold, a WW1 fighter ace with 44 victories, commander of Jagdgeschwader II and holder of the Pour le Mérite. It saw action in Kurland as well as in Bavaria.
It also saw action during the Kapp Putsch and at Harburg the unit was surrounded 15 March 1920, Berthold was captured and brutally murdered (according to some sources he was strangled with the ribbon of his Pour le Mérite).
It was used to form Reichswehr-Brigade 23.


Hauptmann Rudolf Berthold

Formed in the area of

Generalkommando II. bayerisches Armeekorps (Freistaat Bayern)

Manpower strength


Notable members

Rudolf Berthold (WW1 fighter ace)
SS-Gruppenführer Wilhelm Freiherr von Holzschuher
SS-Brigadeführer Bernhard Ruberg
(the ranks are the highest ranks reached in the Third Reich era)


A sleeve badge with a B surrounded by a wreath.

Sources used

Bruce Campbell - The SA generals and the rise of Nazism
Norman Franks & Greg VanWyngarden - Fokker D VII Aces of World War 1
Jill Halcomb Smith & Wilhelm P.B.R. Saris - Headgear of Hitler's Germany Vol 2
Nigel Jones - The birth of the Nazis: How the Freikorps blazed a trail for Hitler
Georg Tessin - Deutsche Verbände und Truppen 1918-1939
Robert G. L. Waite - Vanguard of Nazism: The Free Corps Movement in Postwar Germany 1918-1923
Greg VanWyngarden - Jagdgeschwader NR II Geschwader 'Berthold'
Charles Woolley - German Uniforms, Insignia & Equipment 1918-1923

Reference material on this unit

- None known at this time -