Telegraph troops are responsible for the establishment of their own side's telegraphic communications in war and for the disruption of the enemy's telegraphic communications. The telegraph troops created in Prussia in 1830 within the New Prussian engineer battalions were established as a separate corps in 1899, which subsequently became the Signal Corps of the Wehrmacht and Waffen SS. Its modern successors are the signal troops and electronic warfare troops. Its predecessors used various optical telegraphic systems.
Telegraph Battalion No. 1 was subordinated to the Guards Corps. Its peacetime location was Berlin (Treptower Park). A Royal Saxon detachment formed the 3rd (Royal Saxon) company and elements of the 4th company; and a Württemberg detachment formed elements of the 2nd and 4th companies. Its day of formation was 25 March 1899.
The battalion was subordinated to the Cavalry Telegraph School.
Telegraph Battalion No. 2 was subordinated to the III Corps and 1st Inspectorate of the Telegraph Corps. Peacetime locations were Frankfurt an der Oder and Cottbus. Day of formation was 25 March 1899.
Telegraph Battalion No. 3 was subordinated to the VIII Corps and the 2nd Telegraph Corps Inspectorate. Its year of formation was 1899 and its peacetime locations were in Coblenz the former Boelcke Barracks and, from 1914, Darmstadt as well.
Telegraph Battalion No. 6 was established in 1913 and was garrisoned at Hanover.
Telegraph Battalion No. 7 was subordinated to the 1st Telegraph Corps Inspectorate. Its peacetime location was Zeithain.
The 1st Telegraph Battalion was established in 1901 and garrisoned in Munich.
The 2nd Telegraph Battalion was established in 1912 and garrisoned in Munich.
At the beginning of the First World War additional signal elements were established from the 9 telegraph battalions and 8 fortress signal companies that belonged to the transport troops. Due to the tactical changeover to trench warfare, from 1915 all telegraph units were renamed as army signal units (,'Armee-Fernsprechabteilungen'') and were divided into elements that operated the existing communications network and elements responsible for the maintenance of communications and construction of new communication links.
In trench warfare, cable communications were often cut by the continual barrage of enemy fire. As a result, carrier pigeons and signal dogs were often used. In addition, special optical signal sections were established.
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