The 2. Marine-Brigade Ehrhardt (also Brigade Ehrhardt and Freikorps Ehrhardt) was formed in January 1919 in Wilhelmshaven to fight the spartacists.
It put an end to the Sozialistische Republik Oldenburg-Ostfriesland in February 1919, it once again saw action in Berlin in March 1919, Brunswich in April and against the Münchener Räterepublik in Munich on April-May.

Hundreds of Freikorps men who had fought in the Baltic joined the unit when they returned to Germany.

It took part in the failed Kapp-Lüttwitz Putsch and after it took part in crushing the communist rising that followed the Putsch, the brigade was disbanded on the orders of General Hans von Seeckt.

It published the newsletter "Der Wiking" and publication continued after the brigade was disbanded.

It continued to function under different covers such as Bund ehemaliger Ehrhardtoffiziere and Sportverein Olympia. The surviving elements were incoroporated into the SchutzStaffel (SS) in August 1933, initially as with their own distinct uniforms and insignia, but was soon absorbed completly and ceased to exist.

A memorial in memory of Erwin Kern and Hermann Fischer of this unit, who murdered Foreign minister Walther Rathenau 24 June 1922 and who died at Saaleck castle (Burg Saaleck), Kern was killed by the police forces and Fischer took his own life.
freikorps-ehrhardt-memorial
It carried the inscription
Tu, was du mußt,
Sieg oder stirb,
Und laß Gott die Entscheidung!
An additional inscription was added July 1934, written by the poet Hans Wilhelm Stein-Saaleck and dedicated to the memory of all the fallen Freikorps soldiers.
Deutscher, der du die heiligen Fluren der Heimat durschschreitest, wende, hier rastend, gen Ostland den Sinn und gedenke der Männer, die für des Vaterlands Ehre und Freiheit kämpften und starben, trotzend feigem Verrat, verantwortlich Gott und sich selbst nur! Unseren Kämpfern gegen den Bolschewismus zum Schutze der detschen Ostgrenzen in den Jahren 1918 bis 1920 gefallenen Kameraden zum immerwährenden Gedächtnis!
Reichsverband der Baltikumkämpfer, Grenzschutz- und Freikorpskämpfer.
The inscriptions were removed after the war and the stone was removed in 2000.

Commanders
Korvettenkapitän Hermann Ehrhardt

Formed in the area of

Generalkommando des Garde-Korps (Berlin)

Order of battle

3. Marine-Regiment
4. Marine-Regiment

Notable members

Konteradmiral (Ing.) Dipl. Ing. Max Adam
SS-Obergruppenführer Willi Bittrich
Kommodore Friedrich Bonte
Korvettenkapitän der Reserve Dr. med. Günther Brandt (Knight's Cross holder)
SS-Obergruppenführer Franz Breihaupt
Generalmajor Joachim Breithaupt (Luftwaffe)
Fregattenkapitän der Reserve Dr. Ing. Karl-Friedrich Brill (Knight's Cross holder)
Konteradmiral Hans Bütow
SS-Gruppenführer Leonardo Conti
Generalleutnant Hans-Armin Czech (Luftwaffe)
SS-Standartenführer Paul Dahm
Generalmajor Johan-Wilhelm (Johannes) Doering-Manteuffel (Luftwaffe)
SA-Obergruppenführer Werner von Fichte
SS-Oberführer Sigfrid Georgii
SA-Gruppenführer Thomas Girgesohn
Konteradmiral Eberhard Godt
SS-Obergruppenführer und General der Waffen-SS und Polizei Curt von Gottberg
General der Kavallerie Erik Hansen
Konteradmiral (Ing.) Dipl. Ing. Julius Heimberg
SS-Brigadeführer Ernst Hildebrandt
SS-Standartenführer Hans Hohnfeldt
Konteradmiral Ludolf von Hohnhurst
Konteradmiral Günther Horstmann
SA-Obergruppenführer Dietrich Wilhelm Bernhard von Jagow
Reichstag deputy and SS-Obergruppenführer Karl Kauffmann
General der Panzertruppe Werner Kempf
SA-Obergruppenführer Manfred von Killinger
Vizeadmiral Gustav Kleikamp
Konteradmiral Otto Klüber
SS-Brigadeführer Willi Kohn
Kapitän zur See Ernst-Felix Krüder (Knight's Cross holder)
SS-Obergruppenführer und General der Waffen-SS Friedrich-Wilhelm Krüger
Admiral z.V. Eugen Lindau
Konteradmiral Ernst Lucht
SS-Brigadeführer Kurt Ludwig
Fregattenkapitän der Reserve Hans-Otto Philipp (Knight's Cross holder)
Konteradmiral Karl-Jesko von Puttkamer
Konteradmiral z.V. Wilhelm Rhein
SS-Oberführer Hans Sander
Generaladmiral Otto Schniewind
Konteradmiral Otto Schulz
Reichstag deputy Martin Seidel
Generalleutnant Theodor Spieß (Luftwaffe)
Vizeadmiral Hans Hubertus von Stosch
Kapitän zur See Joachim Szyskowitz (Knight's Cross holder)
Vizeadmiral z.V. Wolf von Trotha
Kapitän zur See Karl Weniger (Knight's Cross holder)
Generalmajor Wolfgang von Wild (Luftwaffe)
Admiral Hans-Heinrich Wurmbach
SS-Oberführer Hans Wystrach
(the ranks are the highest ranks reached in the Third Reich era)

Insignia

Members of the brigade wore an oval-shaped metal badge on the left sleeve that featured a Viking long ship at sail within a knotted rope. Beneath the ship appeared the legend “Wilhemshaven” surmounting a knotted spray of oak leaves. A second pattern badge featured the legend “Ehrhardt” in lieu of “Wilhemshaven.”

Members of the brigade also wore the metal collar badges of the Garde-Kavallerie-Schützendivision: a silver eight-pointed star with a M.1916 helmet in the center surrounded by a band bearing the initials “G.K.S.D.”, all set upon a double spray of oak leaves. The brigade continued the wear of this collar insignia, even after the dissolution of its parent formation.

While a component of the SchutzStaffel (SS) the members of the brigade wore a silver-edged, black cuff-title on the left sleeve bearing the double SS silver runes.

A large white swastika was painted on the front of their helmets during the Kapp Putsch.

Ranks

Verbandsführer
Verbandsgruppenführer
Einheitsführer
Zugführer
Gruppenführer
Gruppenführer-Stellvertreter
Gefolgsmann, gedient (prior service in the armed forces)
Gefolgsmann

Brigade Ehrhardt insignia while part of the SS
freikorps-ehrhardt-uniforms

Soldiers of Freikorps Ehrhardt on Under den Linden
freikorps-ehrhardt-unter-den-linden

Freikorps Ehrhardt parading in front of General von Lüttwitz at Döberitz
freikorps-ehrhardt-parading

Brigade Ehrhardt as part of the SS postcard
freikorps-ehrhardt-postcard
(Courtesy of Peter)

Soldiers of Freikorps Ehrhardt on Pariser Platz during the Kapp Putsch
freikorps-ehrhardt-pariser-platz
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

An improvised armored truck from Freikorps Ehrhardt during the Kapp Putsch
freikorps-ehrhardt-armored-truck
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

Soldiers of Freikorps Ehrhardt in Berlin, note the swastikas on the truck and helmets
freikorps-ehrhardt-berlin-truck
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

Sources used

Verkuilen Ager - Awards of the German Freikorps 1919-1935
John R. Angolia - Cloth insignia of the SS
Ludwig Baer - History of the German steel helmet 1916-1945
Bruce Campbell - The SA generals and the rise of Nazism
Max Hirschberg & Reinhard Weber - Jude und Demokrat: Erinnerungen eines Münchener Rechtsanwalts 1883 bis 1939
Nigel Jones - The birth of the Nazis: How the Freikorps blazed a trail for Hitler
Carlos Caballero Jurado - The German Freikorps 1918-1923
Georg Tessin - Deutsche Verbände und Truppen 1918-1939
Robert Thomas & Stefan Pochanke - Handbuch zur geschichte der Deutschen Freikorps
Robert G. L. Waite - Vanguard of Nazism: The Free Corps Movement in Postwar Germany 1918-1923
Wolfram Wette - The Wehrmacht: History, Myth, Reality

Reference material on this unit

Carsten Curator - Putsche, Staat und Wir!
Friedrich Freksa (ed.) - Kapitän Ehrhardt: Abenteuer und Schicksale
Manfred von Killinger - Ernstes und Heiteres aus dem Putschleben
Rudolf Mann - Mit Ehrhardt durch Deutschland: Erinnerungen eines Mitkämpfers von der 2. Marinebrigade

Do you have any corrections or additions to the material presented on the site?
Please help us improve the site by sending them to us.