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THE GERMAN ARMY - ORGANIZATION
GERMAN ARMY ORGANIZATION
DIVISIONS OF THE GERMAN EMPIRE
Divisions raised in World War I:
GERMAN ARMY CORPS
Upon the Outbreak of war, the Imperial German Army had twenty-five German Army Corps and each was its own 'little army'; independent to a certain extent and fully self-reliant with its own supporting services. For example, the VII Army Corps encompassed the Westphalia Military District, used for recruiting and administration purposes, and had its headquarters in Munster. Meanwhile, the III Army Corps covered the Brandenburg Military District and had its headquarters in Berlin, whilst the XII Army Corps came from Eastern Saxony and had its headquarters in Dresden. Each Corps Commander was based at these headquarters and had complete control of the force and district at his disposal. He was answerable to the Kaiser alone.
In 1914, the German Army's estimated strength was approximately 840,000 men from all arms of service. Yet, the mainstay of the Army Corps remained the massed infantry regiments from throughout the German Empire. Each infantry Regiment possessed three battalions, logically numbered I, II and III - with each battalion formed from four Companies, numbered one to twelve throughout the Regiment. There was also an additional Machine Gun Company but these were considered to be independent of the other companies, being of a different strength and structure. These Machine-gun Companies were numbered 1, 2 and 3 throughout the entire regiment.
The numbering of the twelve regimental companies was in addition to any title that a regiment may have and, indeed, even companies within a regiment may have. As an example of this in practice, the 6th Westphalians were also known as the 3rd Company in the 2nd Battalion of the 55th Infantry Regiment! Uniform distinctions between units in a regiment were mainly based upon the colour of their bayonet knot (see below for details). The Companies were then further divided into three Platoons ('zugen') led by a senior NCO or junior officer, numbered 1-3 and with 4 Sections ('korporalschaften') to each Platoon. These sections were commanded by a corporal and were numbered 1-12 throughout the Company. The smallest subdivision of the German Army was the 9 man Squad, including its squad leader (a lance-corporal), two of which made up the Section. This made German platoons considerably larger than their British equivalent, over twice their size. Generally speaking, the strength of Companies on wartime service was 5 officers, 259 other ranks, 10 horses and 4 wagons and they were commanded by a Captain or a Lieutenant. ....
The German Army had four classifications of military service; Active, Reserve, Landwehr and Landsturm. At the age of 17, a man might be called up to serve in the Landsturm 1st Ban, a sort of National Guard for home defense. The British Army equivalent was the Territorial force. In peace, it was mandatory to serve in the Army upon a man's 20th birthday. A 2 year period of Active service then began, or 3 years in the cavalry and field artillery. After that time, a man would be liable to serve the next 4 to 5 years in the Reserve, usually a 2 week training period each year. Serving in the Reserve during peace time, was generally regarded as a vacation from home and work. After the Reserve period, a man was then liable to serve in the Landwehr for the next 11 years. The last stage was being liable for service for 7 years in the Landsturm 2nd Ban. After the age of 45, a man was then free from further military service. It was only in times of war that the Landwehr and Landsturm were expected to be called for duty.
After 1900, another measure was created, the Ersatz (Supplement or Reinforcement) Reserve. The Ersatz Reserve was made up of men fit for active duty, but excused for family or economic reasons, and for minor physical defects. These men were liable for Reserve service for 12 years, where they might be called up for 3 annual training sessions. In practice only a small number of these men underwent any training before 1914. Men unfit for war service were still liable for service in the Landsturm from the age of 17-45.
ROYAL SAXON ARMY
DRESDEN GARRISON IN 1905
Im Jahr 1905 lebten in Dresden 11.741 aktive Militärpersonen. Dresden ist Sitz verschiedener hoher Kommandostellen, Divisions-, Brigade- und anderer Stäbe. Außerdem garnisonieren in Dresden folgende Regimenter: das 1. (Leib-) Orenadier-Regiment Nr. 100, das 2. Grenadier-Regiment Nr. 101 "Kaiser Wilhelm, König von Preußen“, das Schützen- (Füsilier-) Regiment "Prinz Georg“ Nr. 108, das 12. Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 177, das 2. Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 13, das Gardereiter-Regiment, das 1. Feld-Artillerie-Regiment Nr. 12. das 4. Feld-Artillerie-Regiment Nr. 48, das 1. Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 12, das 1. Train-Bataillon Nr. 12. [Note: For each army corps there is a train battalion, in charge of the main supply train, and other duties. The pioneer corps carried all work connected with field engineering.]
The Saxon army is modelled on that of Prussia. It forms the XII. and XIX. army corps in the imperial German army, with headquarters at Dresden and Leipzig respectively.
XII (1ST ROYAL SAXON) CORPS - REGULAR CORPS
On mobilization for World War I in August 1914, the XIX (2nd Royal Saxon) Army Corps (XIX. (2. Königlich Sächsisches) Armeekorps) again became the 2nd Infantry Division No. 24, although it was for convenience referred to outside of Saxony as the 24th Infantry Division or the 24th (2nd Royal Saxon) Infantry Division. The division was disbanded in 1919 during the demobilization of the German Army after World War I.
The 24th Division (24. Division), was also known as the 2nd Division No. 24 (2. Division Nr. 24)
During World War I, the division fought on the Western Front, seeing action in the Allied Great Retreat which culminated in the First Battle of the Marne, and then in the Race to the Sea. In 1916, it fought in the Battle of the Somme. In 1918, it participated in the German Spring Offensive, including the Second Battle of the Somme. Allied intelligence rated the division "very good" in 1917, but third class in 1918; however, its "conduct... was above average and would warrant a higher rating."[
The XII (1st Royal Saxon) Army Corps (XII. (1. Königlich Sächsisches) Armeekorps) was a Saxon corps of the Imperial German Army. It was formed on April 1, 1867 and was headquartered in Dresden, Saxony ..
The organization of the XII (1st Royal Saxon) Corps in 1914, shortly before the outbreak of World War I, was as follows: ...
23rd Division (1st Royal Saxon)
32nd Division (3rd Royal Saxon)
2nd Royal Saxon Foot Artillery Regiment No. 19
1st Royal Saxon Pioneer Battalion No. 12
1st Royal Saxon Train Battalion No. 12
Telegraph Battalion No. 7
[ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XII_(1st_Royal_Saxon)_Corps ]
SAXON ARMY CORPS X11
1st Royal Saxon Train Battalion No. 12
Seit dem 1. Oktober 1913 war Bischofswerda Garnisonsstadt und Standort für die 2. Kompanie des 1. Sächsischen Trainbatallions. ... Since October 1, 1913 Bischofswerda was a garrison town and location for the 2nd Company of the 1st Saxon Train batallions. [ http://www.bischofswerda.de/stadt/historie.htm ]
Königlich-Sächsische Armee um 1900/14 (1. Nr. Sächsische Armee, 2. Nr. Reichsheer) ... Königl.-Sächs. Train-Bataillon Nr. 12 - Dresden Brucker-Lager-Marsch von J. Kral ..[ .http://www.blasmusik-sachsen.de/archiv_blaeserpost/2002_01/artikel_01.html [
Supply Troops ... Kgl. Sächs. 1. Train-Bataillon Nr.12 ... [http://www.wartimememories.co.uk/greatwar/centralpowers/index.html ]
Train Battalions of the German empire in 1914
|Regiment and Garrison||
|Kgl. Sächs. 1. Train-Bataillon Nr.12
(Dresden/Bischofswerda) XII Armee Korps
|Black Sachsen (Saxon) Pattern||Blue "Squared" Strap Piped in Red w/ Red 12||Gilt Sachsen Wappen on Gilt Star|
|Train Batl. Nr. 12 wore a light blue Waffenrock with black collar and cuffs piped in red.|
ROYAL SAXON 24TH RESERVE DIVISION
The Royal Saxon 24th Reserve Division (Kgl. Sächsische 24. Reserve-Division) was a unit of the Imperial German Army in World War I. The division was formed on mobilization of the German Army in August 1914 ... The division was disbanded in 1919 during the demobilization of the German Army after World War I. The division was raised in the Kingdom of Saxony ... The 24th Reserve Division fought on the Western Front, participating in the opening German offensive which led to the Allied Great Retreat and ended with the First Battle of the Marne. Thereafter, the division remained in the line in the Champagne region through the end of 1914 and until July 1916, and fought in the Second Battle of Champagne in the autumn of 1915. In late July 1916, the division entered the Battle of the Somme, fighting there with a few respites until November 1916 and then returning to positional warfare in the trenchlines. It was sent to the Eastern Front at the end of April 1917, and fought against the Kerensky Offensive, the last major Russian offensive of the war. The division returned to the Western Front in late October/early November and saw action in the last phases of the Battle of Passchendaele. The division then participated in the 1918 German Spring Offensive and the subsequent Allied offensives and counteroffensives, including the Hundred Days Offensive. Allied intelligence rated the division as third class.
Order of battle on mobilization ... 1.Kompanie/Kgl. Sächs. Reserve-Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 12 ... 2.Kompanie/Kgl. Sächs. Reserve-Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 12
Order of battle on March 21, 1918 ...
Kgl. Sächs. Stab Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 324
1.Kompanie/Kgl. Sächs. Reserve-Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 12
6.Kompanie/Kgl. Sächs. Reserve-Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 12
ROYAL SAXON 23RD RESERVE DIVISION
The Royal Saxon 23rd Reserve Division (Kgl. Sächsische 23. Reserve-Division) was a unit of the Imperial German Army in World War I. The division was formed on mobilization of the German Army in August 1914. The division was disbanded in 1919 during the demobilization of the German Army after World War I. The division was raised in the Kingdom of Saxony.
The 23rd Reserve Division fought on the Western Front, participating in the opening German offensive which led to the Allied Great Retreat and ended with the First Battle of the Marne. Thereafter, the division remained in the line in the Champagne region through the end of 1914 and until July 1916, and fought in the Second Battle of Champagne in the autumn of 1915. In late July 1916, the division entered the Battle of the Somme. It remained in the Somme, Artois and Flanders regions thereafter. After a brief rest in April 1917, the division went into the line on the Yser. Its sister division in the Royal Saxon XII Reserve Corps, the 24th Reserve Division, was sent to the Eastern Front at the end of April. The 23rd Reserve Division remained in Flanders, and faced the British in the Battle of Passchendaele. In October 1917, after the heavy fighting in Flanders, the division was sent to the Eastern Front, arriving in November. It was on the line facing the Russians when the armistice on the Eastern Front went into effect. The division then went to Latvia and after a few months of fighting occupied the area between the Daugava River and Lake Peipus. In March 1918, the division returned to the Western Front and was deployed in Flanders and the Artois. It then participated in the 1918 German Spring Offensive and remained in the line in the Flanders area until the end of the war. Allied intelligence rated the division as third class.
The order of battle of the 23rd Reserve Division on mobilization was as follows ... 4.Kompanie/Kgl. Sächs. 1. Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 12 ...
 Order of battle on March 20, 1918 ...
Kgl. Sächs. Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 323
4.Kompanie/Kgl. Sächs. 1.Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 12 ....
[ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/23rd_Reserve_Division_(German_Empire) ]
123 INFANTRY DIVISION
The 123rd Infantry Division (123. Infanterie-Division) was a unit of the Imperial German Army in World War I. The division was formed on April 1, 1915 and organized over the next several weeks. It was part of a wave of new infantry divisions formed in the spring of 1915. The division was disbanded in 1919 during the demobilization of the German Army after World War I. The division was a Royal Saxon division, made up of troops from that kingdom. It was formed primarily from the excess infantry regiments of regular infantry divisions which were being triangularized. The division's 245th Infantry Brigade was the former 64th Infantry Brigade of the 32nd (3rd Royal Saxon) Infantry Division, and came to the division with the 182nd Infantry Regiment. The 106th Reserve Infantry Regiment came from the 24th (Royal Saxon) Reserve Division and the 178th Infantry Regiment came from the 23rd (1st Royal Saxon) Infantry Division.
The 123rd Infantry Division initially fought on the Western Front in World War I, entering the line in the Aisne region in mid-April 1915. Later in 1915, it fought in the Battle of Loos. It remained on the front in the Flanders and Artois regions into 1916, and in July entered the Battle of the Somme, where it reportedly lost 6,000 men. It was transferred to the Eastern Front at the end of the month, where it went into the line near Lake Narač until November 1917, when it returned to the Western Front. It went into the line near Verdun until May 1918. It later fought in the Second Battle of the Marne and then returned to the line near Verdun. Late in 1918, it faced the Allied Meuse-Argonne Offensive. It remained in the line until the end of the war. Allied intelligence rated the division as third class and of mediocre combat value.[
In peacetime, there were thirty-five pioneer battalions in the German Army. These battalions were autonomous units that, for purposes of administration and tradition, had many of the rights and functions as regiments of other arms (such as the infantry, cavalry, field artillery and foot artillery). In that respect, pioneer battalions were very much like Jäger battalions.) At mobilization, each peacetime pioneer battalions fielded six field companies, as well as a number of specialized pioneer units. The field companies, in turn, were grouped by threes into two 'field pioneer battalions', each of which was assigned to an army corps, a reserve army corps, a fortress or a fortress pioneer regiment (Festungpionier Regiment).* In the twelve months or so following mobilization, the German Army formed a number of individual field companies for service with the new divisions being formed. Once this reform had taken place, the typical German army corps had four or five field companies - three from the original field battalion and one or two from the recently formed division that served as the third division of the army corps. Like the original field companies, each of these new field companies were affiliated with a peacetime pioneer battalion, the depot of which provided it with drafts of trained men. Early in 1917, the German Army formed most of its field companies into small battalions of two field companies apiece, each of which was designed to provide for the needs of a single infantry division. (In the few cases I have seen, the two field companies of each of the divisional battalions were affiliated with the same peacetime battalion. My sample, however, is far from representative, so I cannot say if this was always the case.)
Combat Engineers ... Kgl. Sächs. 1. Pionier-Bataillon Nr.12 ... [http://www.wartimememories.co.uk/greatwar/centralpowers/index.html ] - kgl. = Royal Saxon? ; Sächs. = Sächsische
1 KS Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 12 Brückenbau Pirna ?? in Sammeln Seltenes , Ansichtskarten, Deutschland, Sachsen
[ http://cgi.ebay.at/1-K-S-Pionier-Bataillon-Nr-12-Bruckenbau-Pirna_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQitemZ260081338893 ]
An army group is a military organization consisting of several field armies, which is self-sufficient for indefinite periods. It is usually responsible for a particular geographic area. An army group is the largest field organization handled by a single commander
Germany: The German Army was organized into army groups (Heeresgruppen).
Stammtruppenteile or Parent Units of the Reichsheer by Shawn Bohannon
The maintenance of military tradition was of great concern to many German military leaders following the end of World War I. As the German Army was drastically reduced to the 100,000-man Reichsheer, Generaloberst Hans von Seeckt, Chief of the Army Command, sought a means to perpetuate the traditions and heritage of the “old armies” (i.e., the pre-1918 imperial armies) at the regimental level. It was there the average soldier could find continuity between past and present and the esprit de corps that comes with belonging to a famous regiment with a long and distinguished history. In August 1921, von Seeckt ordered that certain companies of the Reichsheer regiments would maintain the lineage and honors of regiments in the old armies. Some companies and mounted squadrons were also granted the privilege of wearing accoutrements of the old regiments they represented. Seeckt also encouraged each company to collect memorabilia of their parent unit that would be displayed in regimental traditions rooms. The traditions companies would frequently invite veterans groups to regimental and company events, thus strengthening the bond between past and present ...
- 10. (Sächsisches) Infanterie-Regiment
- 1st Company: Kgl. Sächs. 1. (Leib)-Grenadier-Regiment Nr.100
- 2nd Company: Kgl. Sächs. Schützen (Füsilier)-Regiment Prinz Georg Nr.108
- 3rd Company: Kgl. Sächs. 2. Grenadier-Regiment Kaiser Wilhelm, König von Preußen Nr.101
- 4th Company: Saxon Fliegertruppen
- 5th and 8th Companies: Kgl. Sächs. 4. Infanterie-Regiment Nr.103
- 6th and 7th Companies: Kgl. Sächs. 12. Infanterie-Regiment Nr.177
- 9th Company: Kgl. Sächs. 2. Jäger-Bataillon Nr.13
- 10th Company: Kgl. Sächs. 1. Pionier-Bataillon Nr.12
- 11th Company: Kgl. Sächs. 16. Infanterie-Regiment Nr.182
- 12th Company: Kgl. Sächs. 1. Jäger-Bataillon Nr.12
- 13th Company: Saxon Minenwerfer-Truppen
- 14th and 15th Companies: Kgl. Sächs. 3. Infanterie-Regiment König Ludwig III von Bayern Nr.102
- 16th Company: Kgl. Sächs. 13. Infanterie-Regiment Nr.178 ...
GERMAN ARMY CORPS DISTRICTS
The German Forces in the Field, 6th Revision, April 1918 - http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924027944838
The Saxons controlled two army corps districts (the I Royal Saxon, or XII Army Corps, in Dresden; and the II Royal Saxon, or XIX Army Corps, in Leipzig) ...