Virtual Sightseeing Tour "Kiel Mutiny" Nov. 1918

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Nr. 02: Meeting at the Large Drillground in the Viehburger Gehölz on 3 Nov. 1918

As suggested a day before at the same place - in the afternoon at around 17:00 hrs. a large meeting of about 5000 to 6000 people, 4/5 of them sailors, took place at the Large Drillground (Großer Exerzierplatz) in the Vieburger Gehölz (wood). The main speakers were Gustav Garbe (SPD and union chairman Kiel) and Karl Artelt (USPD). Afterwards a demonstration started to the Arrestanstalt (military prison) in the Feldstraße to free the imprisoned comrades.


Present day map Former map

Größere Kartenansicht
Plan Großer Exerzierplatz 1918
  Illustration from an exhibition at the Kieler Schifffahrtsmuseum 2008 (the label in the middle reads: Barracks "Waldwiese" is taken by assault; "Waldwiese" was a large restaurant, taken over by the military during the war.)
Present day view Former view
Foto Großer Exerzierplatz 2009 Foto Versammlung 1918
The meeting place in 2009, Krusenrotter Weg corner Krummbogen, view South; Photo K. Kuhl Photo said showing the meeting at the Large Drillground on 3 Nov. 1918, but probably 1st May 1919 Krusenkoppel; Stadtarchiv Kiel
Foto Baumschnitzereien im Viehburger Gehölz  
Discovered by residents: In six to eight meters height carved into a histrorical beech tree near the Large Drillground: a sextant, an eagle and the initials JK and MM. These carvings were probably at eye level in 1918. Photo:  

Descriptions and explanations of the events:
Johann Grönhoff described the 'Großer Exerzierplatz im Vieburger Gehölz' 1977 in an article for the 'Mitteilungen der Gesellschaft für Kieler Stadtgeschichte' (Band 59, Heft 11/12) as follows: "Field duty exercises ... usually took place at the now colonised 'Großer Exerzierplatz" ... . The area was rippeled. Only in the middle of the so called 'large grinding stone' a piece was levelled. This was the space for practicing precision marching."
Narrations from contemporary witnesses and other reports can be read here >>

The virtual sightseeing tour at a glance:

  1. Holtenau viaduct and locks >>
  2. Large drillground (Großer Exerzierplatz) >>
  3. Karlstraße / Langer Segen >>
  4. Torpedo workshop Friedrichsort, Germania shipyard Kiel-Gaarden >>
  5. Barracks (Kasernen) in Kiel-Wik >>
  6. Marinestation Ostsee >>
  7. Arrestanstalt (military prison >>
  8. Trade union house (Gewerkschaftshaus) >>
  9. Town hall (Rathaus) >>
  10. "Schloßhof" >>
  11. Station (Bahnhof) >>
  12. Graves of the killed revolutionaries and soldiers >>

Real, guided tours on this subject are offered by:
- Geo-Step-by-Step >>
- Ernst Mühlenbrink, via Society for Kiel's Town History (Gesellschaft für Kieler Stadtgeschichte) >>
- AKENS, Asche Arbeitskreis >>


Last modified: 6 March 2019


Sailors' Revolt / Kiel Mutiny November 1918 - here you'll find the following further information:

  • Interview with one of the leaders of the mutiny: Lothar Popp >>
  • CV Lothar Popp >>
  • Recollection of the other leader of the mutiny: Karl Artelt >>
  • CV Karl Artelt >>
  • Additional contemporary witnesses (Riedl, Bredenbek, Preßler, Pump; diary of an engineer, Jung, Völcker, ...) >>
  • Videofilm with contemporary witnesses: "Kiel schreibt Geschichte - Matrosenaufstand im November 1918" >>
  • Evaluations of the incidents in Kiel (Dähnhardt, Wette, ...) >>
  • Detailed timeline with documents >>
  • Virtual sightseeing tour >>
  • Commentary >>