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Vehicle registration numbers of the Reichswehr and Wehrmacht

 

 

 

 

 

 

With rider 2b and 2c of the Verordnung über Kraftfahrzeugverkehr (decree for motor-vehicle traffic) from 15th March 1923, the military districts of the Reichswehr received number ranges for license numbers for their motor-vehicles from RW 1000RW 9999. Thereby, the first number indicated the military district and the following three numbers indicated the serial number of the vehicle. For test drive, number ranges from RW 100 – RW 999 were assigned. Until March 1935, additional number range series were assigned. These were five-digit numbers, whereby the numbers of the additional series were placed in front of the military district numbers. These numbers had significance until September 1935.

 

 

 

 

 

Number ranges assigned on 15th March 1923:

 

 

Military district I

 

Koenigsberg

RW

1.000

-

1.999

 

 

 

II

 

Stettin

RW

2.000

-

2.999

 

 

 

III

 

Berlin

RW

3.000

-

3.999

 

 

 

IV

 

Dresden

RW

4.000

-

4.999

 

 

 

V

 

Stuttgart

RW

5.000

-

5.999

 

 

 

VI

 

Muenster (Westf.)

RW

6.000

-

6.999

 

 

 

VII

 

Munich

RW

7.000

-

7.999

 

 

 

Navy base command for the Baltic See

 

Kiel

RW

8.000

-

8.999

 

 

 

Navy base command for the North See

 

Wilhelmshaven

RW

9.000

-

9.999

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following number ranges were assigned to the military districts for test drive number plates (according to §31, section 2 of the decree):

 

 

Military district I

 

Koenigsberg

RW

100

-

199

 

 

 

II

 

Stettin

RW

200

-

299

 

 

 

III

 

Berlin

RW

300

-

399

 

 

 

IV

 

Dresden

RW

400

-

499

 

 

 

V

 

Stuttgart

RW

500

-

599

 

 

 

VI

 

Muenster (Westf.)

RW

600

-

699

 

 

 

VII

 

Munich

RW

700

-

799

 

 

 

Navy base command for the Baltic See

 

Kiel

RW

800

-

899

 

 

 

Navy base command for the Baltic See

 

Wilhelmshaven

RW

900

-

999

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional number range series assigned until March 1935:

 

 

Military district I

 

Koenigsberg

RW

11.000

-

11.999

 

 

 

II

 

Stettin

RW

12.000

-

12.999

 

 

 

III

 

Berlin

RW

13.000

-

13.999

 

 

 

IV

 

Dresden

RW

14.000

-

14.999

 

 

 

V

 

Stuttgart

RW

15.000

-

15.999

 

 

 

VI

 

Muenster (Westf.)

RW

16.000

-

16.999

 

 

 

VII

 

Munich

RW

17.000

-

17.999

 

 

 

Army duty station

 

Breslau

RW

18.000

-

18.999

 

 

 

Army duty station

 

Kassel

RW

19.000

-

19.999

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Military district I

 

Koenigsberg

RW

21.000

-

21.999

 

 

 

II

 

Stettin

RW

22.000

-

22.999

 

 

 

III

 

Berlin

RW

23.000

-

23.999

 

 

 

IV

 

Dresden

RW

24.000

-

24.999

 

 

 

V

 

Stuttgart

RW

25.000

-

25.999

 

 

 

VII

 

Munich

RW

27.000

-

27.999

 

 

 

Army duty station

 

Breslau

RW

28.000

-

28.999

 

 

 

Army duty station

 

Kassel

RW

29.000

-

29.999

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Military district III

 

Berlin

RW

33.000

-

33.999

 

 

 

IV

 

Dresden

RW

34.000

-

34.999

 

 

 

Army duty station

 

Kassel

RW

39.000

-

39.999

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Military district III

 

Berlin

RW

43.000

-

43.999

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional number range series assigned after March 1935 (by photo evidence):

 

 

Military district IV

 

Dresden

RW

44.000

-

44.999

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Military district IV

 

Dresden

RW

54.000

-

54.999

 

 

 

 

 

 

In some cases, Reichswehr motor vehicles had civilian license numbers. In fact, these vehicles had an official Reichswehr number assigned besides the civilian license number. The civilian license numbers were assigned by the responsible civilian departments. Such civilian license numbers were used for secrecy reasons by higher commanders and soldiers who did not wear an official uniform.

 

 

 

 

 

With a statutory order, the Reich and Prussian minister of transport changed the RGBl. 34, Part 1, S. 869 in 1935. The specification “Wehrmacht – RW” was replaced by “Wehrmacht: Heer – WH, Kriegsmarine – WM, Luftwaffe – WL”.

 

 

 

 

 

Heer (Army):

 

 

Subsequently, the command in chief of the army (AHA/In 6 III d) ordered on 10th September 1935 for the section of the army to replace the Reichswehr license numbers by the new WH license numbers to the effective date 1st October 1935. The changeover to the new license numbers had to be executed until 31st December 1935 and had to be reported by the command of the military districts by 10th January 1935.
The four- and five-digit numbers of the Reichswehr had to be transferred to the new five-digit numbers of the Wehrmacht. Therefore, an additional 0 was placed behind the military district number in the case of the four-digit RW numbers (example: RW-7111 = WH-70111). In the case of the five-digit RW numbers, the first two numbers were interchanged (example: RW-17111 = WH-71111).
With the regulation of 10th September 1935, number range series were assigned for the military districts I to X. With the expansion of the Wehrmacht, additional military districts were created, which caused the creation of additional number ranges. Therefore, also six-digit license numbers appeared. With reference date 19th June 1939, this military district based numbering system was abolished for the army. All vehicles got new license numbers starting with WH-1. After the up to six-digit number range series were used up, seven-digit license numbers were used first on 26th August 1941. Because the size of the number plates was not changed, the spacing between the letters and numbers as well as the borders had to be reduced. A visible grouping of the numbers (e. g. WH – 1 234 567) into three groups had to be maintained for better readability of the number plates.

 

 

 

 

 

Number range series assigned to effective date 1st October 1935:

 

 

Military district I

 

Koenigsberg (Pr.)

WH

10.000

-

19.999

 

 

 

II

 

Stettin

WH

20.000

-

29.999

 

 

 

III

 

Berlin

WH

30.000

-

39.999

 

 

 

IV

 

Dresden

WH

40.000

-

49.999

 

 

 

V

 

Stuttgart

WH

50.000

-

59.999

 

 

 

VI

 

Muenster (Westf.)

WH

60.000

-

69.999

 

 

 

VII

 

Munich

WH

70.000

-

79.999

 

 

 

VIII

 

Breslau

WH

80.000

-

89.999

 

 

 

IX

 

Kassel

WH

90.000

-

99.999

 

 

 

X

 

Hamburg

WH

100.000

-

109.999

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number range series assigned after October 1935:

 

 

XI

 

Hannover

WH

110.000

-

119.999

 

 

 

XII

 

Wiesbaden

WH

120.000

-

129.999

 

 

 

XIII

 

Nuremberg

WH

130.000

-

139.999

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additions intimated with AHM No. 522 from 22nd August 1938:

 

 

XIV

 

Magdeburg

WH

140.000

-

149.999

 

 

 

 

 

and

WH

240.000

-

249.999

 

 

 

XV

 

Jena

WH

150.000

-

159.999

 

 

 

XVI

 

Berlin

WH

160.000

-

169.999

 

 

 

 

 

and

WH

260.000

-

269.000

 

 

 

XVII

 

Linz (Donau)

WH

170.000

-

179.999

 

 

 

XVIII

 

Salzburg

WH

180.000

-

189.999

 

 

 

 

 

 

Further number range series assigned after August 1938:

 

 

XV

 

Jena

WH

250.000

-

259.999

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kriegsmarine (Navy):

 

 

Already during the Reichswer period, the Kriegsmarine had own number range series. If these number ranges were transferred to the new standard introduced in 1935 in an equal way like the army did, is not known. The Kriegsmarine maintained the military district based numbering system and expanded it during war.

 

 

 

 

 

Number range series assigned to effective date 1st October 1935:

 

 

Navy base of the Baltic See

 

Kiel

WM

1.000

-

5.000

 

 

 

Navy base of the North See

 

Wilhelmshafen

WM

6.000

-

9.999

 

 

 

 

 

 

Changes intimated with AHM No. 522 from 22nd August 1938:

 

 

Navy base of the Baltic See

 

Kiel

WM

1.000

-

5.999

 

 

 

Navy base of the North See

 

Wilhelmshafen

WM

6.000

-

9.999

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additions intimated with AHM No. 732 from 21st June 1940:

 

 

Navy base West

 

 

WM

10.000

-

11.999

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additions intimated with AHM 1940, Kraftfahrtechn. Anh. No. 70 from 7th September 1940:

 

 

Marinestationen der Nordsee

 

Wilhelmshafen

WM

12.000

-

13.999

 

 

 

 

 

 

New regulation intimated with AHM 1941, Kraftfahrtechn. Anh. No. 30 from 7th April 1941:

 

 

High Command of the Navy

 

Berlin

WM

1

-

999

 

 

 

Command of the Navy base of the Baltic See

 

Kiel

WM

1.000

-

29.999

 

 

 

Command of the Navy base of the North See

 

Wilhelmshafen

WM

30.000

-

59.999

 

 

 

Commanding Admiral France

 

Paris

WM

60.000

-

79.999

 

 

 

Commanding Admiral Norway

 

Oslo

WM

80.000

-

99.999

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additions intimated with AHM No. 776 from 7th August 1941:

 

 

Navy Group Command South

 

 

WM

100.000

-

109.999

 

 

 

 

 

 

Further assigned number range series:

 

 

Navy Command Italy

 

 

WM

110.000

-

110.999

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luftwaffe (Air Force):

 

 

Initially, the new Luftwaffe formed in 1935 had RW-license numbers. If these number ranges were transferred to the new standard introduced in 1935 in an equal way like the army did, is not known. With reference date 19th June 1939, this military district based numbering system was abolished for the Luftwaffe. All vehicles got new license numbers starting with WL-1.

 

 

 

 

 

Number range series assigned between 1st October 1935 and 30th March 1938:

 

 

Air-District Command (LKK) I

 

 

WL

10.000

-

19.999

 

 

 

II

 

 

WL

20.000

-

29.999

 

 

 

 

 

and

WL

220.000

-

229.999

 

 

 

III

 

 

WL

30.000

-

39.999

 

 

 

IV

 

 

WL

40.000

-

49.999

 

 

 

V

 

 

WL

50.000

-

59.999

 

 

 

VI

 

 

WL

60.000

-

69.999

 

 

 

VII

 

 

WL

70.000

-

79.999

 

 

 

 

 

 

A reorganisation took place in mid 1938:

 

 

Command of the Air Force East Prussia

 

 

WL

10.000

-

19.999

 

 

 

Naval Command of the Air Force

 

 

WL

60.000

-

69.999

 

 

 

Command of the Air Force Austria

 

 

WL

80.000

-

89.999

 

 

 

Liquidation office LKK 2

 

 

WL

20.000

-

29.999

 

 

 

 

 

and

WL

220.000

-

229.999

 

 

 

Liquidation office LKK 3

 

 

WL

30.000

-

39.999

 

 

 

 

 

and

WL

330.000

-

339.999

 

 

 

Liquidation office LKK 4

 

 

WL

40.000

-

49.999

 

 

 

 

 

and

WL

440.000

-

449.999

 

 

 

Liquidation office LKK 5

 

 

WL

50.000

-

59.999

 

 

 

 

 

and

WL

550.000

-

559.999

 

 

 

Liquidation office LKK 7

 

 

WL

70.000

-

79.999

 

 

 

 

 

 

New regulation intimated with AHM No. 522 from 22nd August 1938:

 

 

Air Province Command I

 

Koenigsberg

WL

10.000

-

19.999

 

 

 

Naval Command of the Air Force

 

Kiel

WL

20.000

-

29.999

 

 

 

Air Province Command III

 

Berlin

WL

300.000

-

319.999

 

 

 

IV

 

Dresden

WL

400.000

-

409.999

 

 

 

VI

 

Muenster

WL

600.000

-

609.999

 

 

 

VII

 

Munich

WL

700.000

-

709.999

 

 

 

VIII

 

Breslau

WL

800.000

-

809.999

 

 

 

XI

 

Hannover

WL

110.000

-

119.999

 

 

 

XIII

 

Nuremberg

WL

130.000

-

139.999

 

 

 

XVII

 

Vienna

WL

170.000

-

179.999

 

 

 

 

 

 

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