1st Bavarian Reserve Division (German Empire)

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1st Bavarian Reserve Division (1. Bayerische Reserve-Division)
Active 1914-1919
Country Bavaria/Germany
Branch Army
Type Infantry
Size Approx. 15,000
Engagements World War I: Battle of the Frontiers, Race to the Sea, Arras (1914), Somme (1916), Arras (1917), Passchendaele, Battle of the Lys

The 1st Bavarian Reserve Division (1. Bayerische Reserve-Division) was a unit of the Royal Bavarian Army, part of the German Army, in World War I.[1] The division was formed on mobilization of the German Army in August 1914[2] as part of I Royal Bavarian Reserve Corps. The division was disbanded in 1919 during the demobilization of the German Army after World War I. The division was raised and recruited in Bavaria. As a reserve division, it included a large number of recalled reservists and war volunteers.

Combat chronicle[edit]

The 1st Bavarian Reserve Division fought in the opening phases of the war in the Battle of the Frontiers. It then participated in the Race to the Sea, including the Battle of Arras in October 1914. It remained in the trenchlines in Flanders until 1916, when it entered the Battle of the Somme in August 1916. In late 1917, it participated in the Battle of Passchendaele. In 1918, the division fought in the Battle of the Lys. The division ended the war still fighting in the Lys region. Allied intelligence rated the division as a good division in 1917, but third class in 1918.[2][3]

Order of battle on mobilization[edit]

The order of battle of the 1st Bavarian Reserve Division on mobilization was as follows:[4]

  • 1. bayerische Reserve-Infanterie-Brigade
    • Kgl. Bayerisches Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 1
    • Kgl. Bayerisches Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 2
  • 2. bayerische Reserve-Infanterie-Brigade
    • Kgl. Bayerisches Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 3
    • Kgl. Bayerisches Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 12
  • Kgl. Bayerisches Reserve-Kavallerie-Regiment Nr. 1
  • Kgl. Bayerisches Reserve-Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 1
  • 1. Reserve-Kompanie/Kgl. Bayerisches 1. Pionier-Bataillon

Order of battle on March 1, 1918[edit]

Divisions underwent many changes during the war, with regiments moving from division to division, and some being destroyed and rebuilt. The 1st Bavarian Reserve Division was triangularized in April 1915, losing the 2nd Bavarian Reserve Infantry Brigade headquarters and the 12th Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment. Over the course of the war, other units were exchanged with other divisions, cavalry was reduced, engineers increased, and an artillery command and a divisional signals command were created. The 1st Bavarian Reserve Division's order of battle on March 1, 1918 was as follows:[5]

  • 1. bayerische Reserve-Infanterie-Brigade
    • Kgl. Bayerisches Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 1
    • Kgl. Bayerisches Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 2
    • Kgl. Bayerisches Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 3
  • 3.Eskadron/Kgl. Bayerisches 3. Chevaulegers-Regiment Herzog Karl Theodor
  • Kgl. Bayerischer Artillerie-Kommandeur 13
    • Kgl. Bayerisches Reserve-Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 1
    • II./Kgl. Bayerisches Reserve-Fußartillerie-Regiment Nr. 2 (from July 7, 1918)
  • Stab Kgl. Bayerisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 17
    • Kgl. Bayerische Reserve-Pionier-Kompanie Nr. 1
    • Kgl. Bayerische Reserve-Pionier-Kompanie Nr. 17
    • Kgl. Bayerische Minenwerfer-Kompanie Nr. 201 <--per Cron's 1914/18 History, no 17 Kp existed; 201 Kp per German wiki & 'History of 251 Divisions ...'-->
  • Kgl. Bayerischer Divisions-Nachrichten-Kommandeur 401

References[edit]

  • 1.Bayerische-Reserve-Division (Chronik 1914/1919) - Der erste Weltkrieg
  • Hermann Cron et al., Ruhmeshalle unserer alten Armee (Berlin, 1935)
  • Hermann Cron, Geschichte des deutschen Heeres im Weltkriege 1914-1918 (Berlin, 1937)
  • Günter Wegner, Stellenbesetzung der deutschen Heere 1815-1939. (Biblio Verlag, Osnabrück, 1993), Bd. 1
  • Histories of Two Hundred and Fifty-One Divisions of the German Army which Participated in the War (1914-1918), compiled from records of Intelligence section of the General Staff, American Expeditionary Forces, at General Headquarters, Chaumont, France 1919 (1920)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ From the late 1800s, the Prussian Army was effectively the German Army, as during the period of German unification (1866-1871) the states of the German Empire entered into conventions with Prussia regarding their armies. Only the Bavarian Army remained fully autonomous and came under Prussian control only during wartime.
  2. ^ a b 1.Bayerische-Reserve-Division (Chronik 1914/1919)
  3. ^ Histories of Two Hundred and Fifty-One Divisions of the German Army which Participated in the War (1914-1918), compiled from records of Intelligence section of the General Staff, American Expeditionary Forces, at General Headquarters, Chaumont, France 1919 (1920), pp. 42-44.
  4. ^ Hermann Cron et al., Ruhmeshalle unserer alten Armee (Berlin, 1935).
  5. ^ Cron et al., Ruhmeshalle.