The Gauliga Südwest/Mainhessen was the highest football league in the German state of Hesse, the Bavarian province of Palatinate, the Saarland and some parts of the Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau from 1933 to 1941. From 1941, it also included parts of the occupied French region of Lorraine. Additionally, the league was from then on divided in the Gauligas Hessen-Nassau and Westmark.
|Gau (from 1934)|
|Level on pyramid||Level 1|
|Last champions||Gauliga Hessen-Nassau:|
Kickers Offenbach Gauliga Westmark:
Shortly after the formation of the league, the Nazis reorganised the administrative regions in Germany, and the Gaue Hesse Nassau and Saar-Palatinate (later: Westmark) replaced the old states and provinces.
The Gauliga Südwest/Mainhessen was established with twelve clubs from the states of Prussia, Bavaria, Hesse and Saarland. At the time of the league's establishment, the Saarland was actually not yet a part of Germany again.
The Gauliga replaced as such the Bezirksliga Rhein-Saar and the Bezirksliga Main-Hessen, who had been the highest leagues in this region until then. The clubs from Mannheim in the Bezirksliga Rhein-Saar however joined the Gauliga Baden, while some clubs from the Bezirksliga Main-Hessen joined the Gauliga Hessen.
In its first season, the league had twelve clubs, playing each other once at home and once away. The league winner qualified for the German championship while the bottom three teams were relegated. The next season, the league was reduced to eleven teams. In the 1935-36 season, it played with ten clubs and only two relegated teams. This system remained in place until 1939.
In 1939-40, the league played in two regional groups of seven, the Saarpfalz group and the Mainhessen group. The two league winners played out a home-and-away final. The 1940-41 season saw only one change in this set up, the groups were expanded to eight teams.
At the end of the 1940-41 season, the Gauliga was split into two completely separate leagues, forming the Gauligas Hessen-Nassau and Gauliga Westmark. It followed thereby the political borders of the Reichsgaue.
The league was mostly formed by clubs from the Gauliga Südwest/Mainhessen (Mainhessen division) and some clubs from the south of the Gauliga Hessen.
In its first season, 1941–42, it consisted of 13 clubs in two groups with a home-and-away final for the two league winners. In the next two seasons, it operated as a single division with ten teams and two relegation spots.
The imminent collapse of Nazi Germany in 1945 gravely affected all Gauligas and football in Hesse at this stage had a very low priority. The 1944-45 season, if started at all was definitely not finished.
The league operated with nine clubs since the FK Pirmasens withdrew early and two relegated team. It archived its desired strength of ten clubs the year after, in the 1942-43 season. It remained unchanged for the 1943-44 season.
The last season in 1944-45 was probably not started at all as much of Lorraine had been reoccupied by allied forces and the rest of the Reichsgau Westmnark was a front line zone.
With the end of the Nazi era, the Gauligas ceased to exist and while what was to become the state of Hesse found itself predominantly in the US occupation zone, all territories of the original Gauliga Südwest/Mainhessen west of the river Rhine were part of the French zone.
In the US zone, football soon resumed and the Oberliga Süd was formed in late 1945 as a replacement for the Gauligas in the south of Germany. Similar, in the French zone, the Oberliga Südwest was formed.
The clubs from the Südwest/Mainhessen region did not win a national championship in the Nazi era but achieved two finals appearances. The FSV Frankfurt lost the cup final to Rapid Wien in 1938 and the FV Saarbrücken lost the national championship to the Dresdner SC in 1943.
Founding members of the leagueEdit
The twelve founding members of the Gauliga Südwest/Mainhessen and their positions in the 1932-33 Bezirksliga Rhein/Saar and Bezirksliga Main/Hessen season were:
- Kickers Offenbach, 3rd Main division
- FK Pirmasens, winner Saar division
- Wormatia Worms, 2nd Hessen division
- Eintracht Frankfurt, 2nd Main division
- Borussia Neunkirchen, 3rd Saar division
- FSV Frankfurt, winner Main division
- 1. FC Kaiserslautern, 2nd Saar division
- Sportfreunde Saarbrücken, 4th Saar division
- Phönix Ludwigshafen, 2nd Rhein division
- SV Wiesbaden, 4th Hessen division
- FSV Mainz 05, winner Hessen division
- Alemannia/Olympia Worms, 3rd Hessen division
The winners and runners-up of the league:
Winners and runners-up of the Gauliga Südwest/MainhessenEdit
|1933-34||Kickers Offenbach||FK Pirmasens|
|1934-35||Phönix Ludwigshafen||FK Pirmasens|
|1935-36||Wormatia Worms||FK Pirmasens|
|1936-37||Wormatia Worms||Eintracht Frankfurt|
|1937-38||Eintracht Frankfurt||Borussia Neunkirchen|
|1938-39||Wormatia Worms||FSV Frankfurt|
|1939-40||Kickers Offenbach||1. FC Kaiserslautern|
|1940-41||Kickers Offenbach||FV Saarbrücken|
Winners and runners-up of the Gauliga Hessen-NassauEdit
|1941-42||Kickers Offenbach||Rot-Weiß Frankfurt|
|1942-43||Kickers Offenbach||FSV Frankfurt|
|1943-44||Kickers Offenbach||FC Hanau 93|
Winners and runners-up of the Gauliga WestmarkEdit
|1941-42||1. FC Kaiserslautern||FV Metz|
|1942-43||FV Saarbrücken||FV Metz|
|1943-44||KSG Saarbrücken||FV Metz|
Placings in the Gauliga 1933-44Edit
The complete list of all clubs participating in the league:
|SV Wiesbaden 1||10||8||7||5||4||7||5|
|FSV Mainz 05||11|
|Germania 94 Frankfurt||8|
|FC Hanau 93||4||4||2|
|SV 05 Wetzlar||7|
|SV Darmstadt 98||2||10|
|BSG Dunlop SV Hanau||6|
- 1 The SV Wiesbaden played under the name of KSG Wiesbaden from 1941.
|1. FC Kaiserslautern||7||10||9||1||2||1||5||10|
|Saar 05 Saarbrücken||11|
|FV Saarbrücken 2||7||6||8||8||1||7||1||1|
|TSG 61 Ludwigshafen 3||7||4||7||3||4||7|
- 2 The FV Saarbrücken played under the name of KSG Saarbrücken from 1943.
- 3 The TSG 61 Ludwigshafen played under the name of KSG Ludwigshafen from 1943.
- "Gauliga final tables". f-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 28 February 2016.
- Die deutschen Gauligen 1933-45 - Heft 1-3 (in German) Tables of the Gauligas 1933-45, publisher: DSFS
- Kicker Almanach, (in German) The yearbook on German football from Bundesliga to Oberliga, since 1937, published by the Kicker Sports Magazine
- Süddeutschlands Fussballgeschichte in Tabellenform 1897-1988 (in German) History of Southern German football in tables, publisher & author: Ludolf Hyll