Independent paramilitary units which numbered 250,000 men by 1919. Their formation was encouraged by the German High Command to keep order in the German border regions and to circumvent the restrictions placed upon the number of regular army soldiers by the Versailles Treaty. They were instrumental in crushing the Revolution of 1918 as well as other revolts, notably the Spartakus revolts. They became a destabilizing factor since most of them were hostile to the Weimar Republic. Under pressure from other powers, the Freikorps units were disbanded in 1920, though many continued to exist unofficially.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945) — Literature.