III Corps (German Empire)
|III Army Corps
Flag of the Staff of a Generalkommando (1871–1918)
|Country||Prussia / German Empire|
|Size||Approximately 44,000 (on mobilisation in 1914)|
|Friedrich Graf von Wrangel (1849–1857)
Karl von Bülow (1903–1912)
It was established in 1814 as the General Headquarters in Berlin (Generalkommando in Berlin) and became the III Army Corps on 3 April 1820. Its headquarters was in Berlin and its catchment area was the Province of Brandenburg.
In peacetime, the Corps was assigned to the IV Army Inspectorate, joining the 1st Army at the start of the First World War. It was still in existence at the end of the war in the 7th Army, Heeresgruppe Deutscher Kronprinz on the Western Front. The Corps was disbanded with the demobilisation of the German Army after World War I.
Second Schleswig War
In the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, the Corps joined the 2nd Army. It saw action in the battles of Spicheren, Mars-la-Tour (a key part), Gravelotte, Beaune-la-Rolande, Orléans, and Le Mans, and in the Siege of Metz.
The 25 peacetime Corps of the German Army (Guards, I - XXI, I - III Bavarian) had a reasonably standardised organisation. Each consisted of two divisions with usually two infantry brigades, one field artillery brigade and a cavalry brigade each. Each brigade normally consisted of two regiments of the appropriate type, so each Corps normally commanded 8 infantry, 4 field artillery and 4 cavalry regiments. There were exceptions to this rule:
- V, VI, VII, IX and XIV Corps each had a 5th infantry brigade (so 10 infantry regiments)
- II, XIII, XVIII and XXI Corps had a 9th infantry regiment
- I, VI and XVI Corps had a 3rd cavalry brigade (so 6 cavalry regiments)
- the Guards Corps had 11 infantry regiments (in 5 brigades) and 8 cavalry regiments (in 4 brigades).
Each Corps also directly controlled a number of other units. This could include one or more
World War I
Organisation on mobilisation
On mobilization on 2 August 1914 the Corps was restructured. 5th Cavalry Brigade was withdrawn to form part of the 2nd Cavalry Division and the 6th Cavalry Brigade was broken up: the 3rd Hussar Regiment was raised to a strength of 6 squadrons before being split into two half-regiments of 3 squadrons each and the half-regiments were assigned as divisional cavalry to 5th and 6th Divisions; the 6th Cuirassier Regiment was likewise assigned as two half-regiments to 22nd and 38th Divisions of XI Corps. Divisions received engineer companies and other support units from the Corps headquarters. In summary, III Corps mobilised with 25 infantry battalions, 9 machine gun companies (54 machine guns), 6 cavalry squadrons, 24 field artillery batteries (144 guns), 4 heavy artillery batteries (16 guns), 3 pioneer companies and an aviation detachment.
|III Corps||5th Division||9th Infantry Brigade||8th Leib Grenadier Regiment|
|48th Infantry Regiment|
|10th Infantry Brigade||12th Grenadier Regiment|
|52nd Infantry Regiment|
|3rd Jäger Battalion|
|5th Field Artillery Brigade||18th Field Artillery Regiment|
|54th Field Artillery Regiment|
|staff and half of 3rd Hussar Regiment|
|2nd Company, 3rd Pioneer Battalion|
|3rd Company, 3rd Pioneer Battalion|
|5th Divisional Pontoon Train|
|1st Medical Company|
|3rd Medical Company|
|6th Division||11th Infantry Brigade||20th Infantry Regiment|
|35th Fusilier Regiment|
|12th Infantry Brigade||24th Infantry Regiment|
|64th Infantry Regiment|
|6th Field Artillery Brigade||3rd Field Artillery Regiment|
|39th Field Artillery Regiment|
|half of 3rd Hussar Regiment|
|1st Company, 3rd Pioneer Battalion|
|6th Divisional Pontoon Train|
|2nd Medical Company|
|Corps Troops||I Battalion, Guards Foot Artillery Regiment|
|7th Aviation Detachment|
|3rd Corps Pontoon Train|
|3rd Telephone Detachment|
|3rd Pioneer Searchlight Section|
|Munition Trains and Columns corresponding to II Corps|
On mobilisation, III Corps was assigned to the 1st Army on the right wing of the forces for the Schlieffen Plan offensive in August 1914 on the Western Front. It participated in the Battle of Mons and the First Battle of the Marne which marked the end of the German advances in 1914. Later, it participated in the Battle of Verdun and the Battle of Amiens (1918).
- Franco-Prussian War order of battle
- German Army order of battle (1914)
- German Army order of battle, Western Front (1918)
- List of Imperial German infantry regiments
- List of Imperial German artillery regiments
- List of Imperial German cavalry regiments
- Order of battle at Mons
- Order of battle of the First Battle of the Marne
- List of forces involved in the Battle of Amiens
- German Administrative History Accessed: 3 June 2012
- Cron 2002, p. 303
- Cron 2002, pp. 88–89
- Ellis & Cox 1993, pp. 186–187
- Wegner 1993, p. 320
- Wegner 1993, pp. 321–322
- Wegner 1993, p. 319
- Hermann Cron et al., Ruhmeshalle unserer alten Armee (Berlin, 1935)
- Haythornthwaite 1996, pp. 193–194
- They formed the Guards Cavalry Division, the only peacetime cavalry division in the German Army.
- War Office 1918, p. 242
- Had a third (Horse Artillery) Abteilung of three batteries of 4 guns.
- Cron 2002, p. 299
- Cron 2002, pp. 302–303
- With a machine gun company.
- 4 heavy artillery batteries (16 heavy field howitzers)
- German Administrative History Accessed: 4 June 2012
- German War History Accessed: 4 June 2012
- The Prussian Machine Accessed: 4 June 2012
- 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.
- Haythornthwaite, Philip J. (1996). The World War One Source Book. Arms and Armour. ISBN 1-85409-351-7.
- Wegner, Günter (1993). Stellenbesetzung der deutschen Heere 1815-1939, Bd. 1. Biblio Verlag, Osnabrück.
- 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. The London Stamp Exchange Ltd (1989). 1920. ISBN 0-948130-87-3.
- The German Forces in the Field; 7th Revision, 11th November 1918; Compiled by the General Staff, War Office. Imperial War Museum, London and The Battery Press, Inc (1995). 1918. ISBN 1-870423-95-X.