18th Army (German Empire)
Flag of the Staff of an Armee Oberkommando (1871–1918)
|Active||22 December 1917 - 2 January 1919|
The 18th Army (German: 18. Armee / Armeeoberkommando 18 / A.O.K. 18) was an army level command of the German Army in World War I. It was formed against France on 27 December 1917 from the former Heeresgruppe Woyrsch command. It served exclusively on the Western Front and was dissolved on 2 January 1919.
18th Army was one of three armies (along with 17th Army and 19th Army) formed in late 1917 / early 1918 from forces withdrawn from the Eastern Front. They were in place to take part in Ludendorff's Spring Offensive. The Germans had realised that their only remaining chance of victory was to defeat the Allies before the overwhelming human and matériel resources of the United States could be deployed. They also had the temporary advantage in numbers afforded by nearly 50 divisions freed by the Russian withdrawing from the war (Treaty of Brest-Litovsk).
Order of Battle, 30 October 1918
By the end of the war, the 18th Army was organised as:
|Organization of 18th Army on 30 October 1918|
|18th Army||I Bavarian Corps||19th Reserve Division|
|15th Reserve Division|
|XXVI Reserve Corps||75th Reserve Division|
|6th Bavarian Division|
|XVIII Reserve Corps||231st Division|
|81st Reserve Division|
|1st Reserve Division|
|two thirds of 82nd Reserve Division|
|5th Reserve Division|
|XIV Corps||232nd Division|
|Under Army Command||5th Ersatz Division|
- Armee-Abteilung or Army Detachment in the sense of "something detached from an Army". It is not under the command of an Army so is in itself a small Army.
- Armee-Gruppe or Army Group in the sense of a group within an Army and under its command, generally formed as a temporary measure for a specific task.
- Heeresgruppe or Army Group in the sense of a number of armies under a single commander.
- Cron, Hermann (2002). Imperial German Army 1914-18: Organisation, Structure, Orders-of-Battle [first published: 1937]. Helion & Co. ISBN 1-874622-70-1.
- Ellis, John; Cox, Michael (1993). The World War I Databook. Aurum Press Ltd. ISBN 1-85410-766-6.