IV Corps (German Empire)

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For the equivalent formation in World War II, see IV Army Corps (Germany).
IV Army Corps
IV. Armee-Korps
Stab eines Generalkommandos.svg
Flag of the Staff of a Generalkommando (1871–1918)
Active 3 October 1815 (1815-10-03)–1919 (1919)
Country  Prussia /  German Empire
Type Corps
Size Approximately 44,000 (on mobilisation in 1914)
Garrison/HQ Magdeburg
Engagements

Austro-Prussian War

Battle of Königgrätz

Franco-Prussian War

Battle of Beaumont
Battle of Sedan
Siege of Paris

World War I

Battle of the Frontiers
Battle of Mons
First Battle of the Marne
Battle of the Somme
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Leonhard Graf von Blumenthal (1871-1888)
Paul von Hindenburg (1903-1911)
Friedrich Bertram Sixt von Armin (1911-1917)

The IV Army Corps / IV AK (German: IV. Armee-Korps) was a corps level command of the Prussian and then the Imperial German Armies from the 19th Century to World War I.

It was established on 3 October 1815 as the General Command in the Duchy of Saxony (Generalkommando im Herzogtum Sachsen) and became the IV Army Corps on August 30, 1818. Its headquarters was in Magdeburg and its catchment area included the Prussian Province of Saxony and the adjacent Saxon Duchies (Saxe-Altenburg, Anhalt) and Principalities (Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, Reuss Elder Line and Reuss Junior Line).[1]

In peacetime, the Corps was assigned to the VI Army Inspectorate but joined the 1st Army at the start of the First World War.[2] It was still in existence at the end of the war[3] in the 6th Army, Heeresgruppe Kronprinz Rupprecht on the Western Front.[4] The Corps was disbanded with the demobilisation of the German Army after World War I.

Austro-Prussian War[edit]

The IV Corps formed part of Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia's 1st Army and fought in the Austro-Prussian War against Austria in 1866, including the Battle of Königgrätz.[5]

Franco-Prussian War[edit]

In the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, the Corps formed part of the 2nd Army. It saw action in the battles of Beaumont and Sedan, and in the Siege of Paris.[6]

Peacetime organisation[edit]

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.[7] 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).[8]

Each Corps also directly controlled a number of other units. This could include one or more

Foot Artillery Regiment
Jäger Battalion
Pioneer Battalion
Train Battalion

World War I[edit]

Organisation on mobilisation[edit]

On mobilization on 2 August 1914 the Corps was restructured. 8th Cavalry Brigade was withdrawn to form part of the 2nd Cavalry Division[10] and the 7th Cavalry Brigade was broken up: the 10th 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 7th and 8th Divisions; the 16th Uhlan Regiment was likewise assigned as two half-regiments to 13th and 14th Divisions of VII Corps. Divisions received engineer companies and other support units from the Corps headquarters. In summary, IV 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.

Combat chronicle[edit]

On mobilisation, IV 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.[14] 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 the Somme, particularly the Battle of Delville Wood and the Battle of Pozières.

It was still in existence at the end of the war[15] in the 6th Army, Heeresgruppe Kronprinz Rupprecht on the Western Front.[16]

49th Landwehr Brigade[edit]

During the war, the 49th Landwehr Brigade joined the corps; it had originally been part of 4th Army.[17] It had its headquarters at Bois de Lord farm on the River Aisne for most of the First World War. From 1915 the 49th Landwehr Brigade was commanded by Lt. General Hans von Blumenthal, who had retired in 1910 after disagreements with his commanding officer General Maximilian von Prittwitz. On the outbreak of war he had returned to active service, first to command 60th Landwehr Brigade.

Commanders[edit]

The IV Corps had the following commanders during its existence:[18][19][20]

From Rank Name
3 October 1815 General der Infanterie Friedrich Graf Kleist von Nollendorf
5 March 1821 General der Infanterie Friedrich Wilhelm von Jagow
4 September 1830 Generalleutnant Georg Leopold Graf von Hake
30 March 1836 Generalleutnant Prince Charles of Prussia
5 March 1848 Generalleutnant August Georg von Hedemann
19 February 1852 General der Kavallerie Wilhelm Fürst von Radziwill
3 January 1858 General der Infanterie Hans Wilhelm von Schack
30 October 1866 General der Infanterie Gustav von Alvensleben
2 October 1871 General der Infanterie Leonhard Graf von Blumenthal
17 April 1888 General der Infanterie Wilhelm von Grolmann
22 March 1889 General der Kavallerie Karl von Hänisch
1 September 1897 General der Infanterie Richard von Klitzing
27 January 1903 General der Infanterie Paul von Hindenburg
20 March 1911 General der Infanterie Friedrich Bertram Sixt von Armin
25 February 1917 Generalleutnant Richard von Kraewel
20 December 1918 General der Infanterie Kuno von Steuben
30 January 1919 Generalleutnant Johannes von Malachowski
10 February 1919 Generalleutnant Alfred von Kleist

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ German Administrative History Accessed: 2 June 2012
  2. ^ Cron 2002, p. 303
  3. ^ Cron 2002, pp. 88–89
  4. ^ Ellis & Cox 1993, pp. 186–187
  5. ^ Hermann Cron et al., Ruhmeshalle unserer alten Armee (Berlin, 1935); Wegner, pp=360,356-357
  6. ^ Cron et al., Ruhmeshalle; Wegner, pp=360,356-357
  7. ^ Haythornthwaite 1996, pp. 193–194
  8. ^ They formed the Guards Cavalry Division, the only peacetime cavalry division in the German Army.
  9. ^ War Office 1918, p. 243
  10. ^ Cron 2002, p. 300
  11. ^ Cron 2002, p. 303
  12. ^ With a machine gun company.
  13. ^ 4 heavy artillery batteries (16 heavy field howitzers)
  14. ^ Cron 2002, p. 303
  15. ^ Cron 2002, pp. 88–89
  16. ^ Ellis & Cox 1993, pp. 186–187
  17. ^ Cron 2002, p. 314
  18. ^ German Administrative History Accessed: 2 June 2012
  19. ^ German War History Accessed: 2 June 2012
  20. ^ The Prussian Machine Accessed: 2 June 2012

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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. 
  • 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.