I Royal Bavarian Corps

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I Royal Bavarian Army Corps
I. Königlich Bayerische Armee-Korps
Stab eines Generalkommandos.svg
Flag of the Staff of a Generalkommando (1871–1918)
Active 1869 (1869)–1919 (1919)
Country  Bavaria /  German Empire
Type Corps
Size Approximately 44,000 (on mobilisation in 1914)
Garrison/HQ Munich
Engagements

Franco-Prussian War

Battle of Worth (1870)
Battle of Beaumont
Battle of Bazeilles
Battle of Sedan (1870)
Loire Campaign

World War I

Battle of the Frontiers
Race to the Sea
Battle of Verdun
Battle of the Somme

The I Royal Bavarian Army Corps / I Bavarian AK (German: I. Königlich Bayerisches Armee-Korps) was a corps level command of the Royal Bavarian Army, part of the German Army, before and during World War I.[a]

As part of the 1868 army reform, the I Royal Bavarian Army Corps of the Bavarian Army was set up in 1869 in Munich as the Generalkommando (headquarters) for the southern part of the Kingdom. With the formation of the III Royal Bavarian Corps in 1900, it was made responsible for Swabia and most of Upper and Lower Bavaria. Like all Bavarian formations, it was assigned to the IV Army Inspectorate.[1] This became the 6th Army at the start of the First World War. The Corps was disbanded at the end of the War.

Franco-Prussian War[edit]

The I Royal Bavarian Corps (along with the II Royal Bavarian Corps) participated in the Franco-Prussian War as part of the 3rd Army.

It initially fought in the battles of Worth, Beaumont and the Bazeilles, where it lost about 7.000 men, it also fought at the decisive battle of Sedan. After Sedan, the Corps was responsible for the removal of prisoners and ensuring transport of the booty. Thereafter, it moved south of Paris to the Loire, to shield the army during the Siege of Paris. A newly formed French Corps gathered in the Orléans area, so the Corps was reinforced by the 17th Division, 22nd Division and two cavalry divisions. After the Battle of Artenay, Orléans was captured and the reinforcing divisions were removed so the Corps did not have them for the first battles against the Army of the Loire. As a result of the subsequent Battle of Coulmiers, Orléans was lost once again.

In the period from October to late December 1870, the Corps was on service without interruption, particularly from the beginning of November in the battles of Villepion, Loigny, Orléans and Beaugency, usually against a numerically superior enemy. The losses in December alone amounted to 5,600 men. A planned return to the siege army at Paris had to be postponed several times because the Bavarians could not be spared.

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.[2] 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).[3]

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. 1st Cavalry Brigade was withdrawn to form part of the Bavarian Cavalry Division[5] and the 2nd Cavalry Brigade was broken up and its regiments assigned to the divisions as reconnaissance units. Divisions received engineer companies and other support units from the Corps headquarters. In summary, I Bavarian Corps mobilised with 25 infantry battalions, 8 machine gun companies (48 machine guns), 8 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, I Royal Bavarian Corps was assigned to the predominately Bavarian 6th Army forming part of the left wing of the forces for the Schlieffen Plan offensive in August 1914. It was still in existence at the end of the war[10] in the 18th Army, Heeresgruppe Deutscher Kronprinz on the Western Front.[11]

Commanders[edit]

The I Royal Bavarian Corps had the following commanders during its existence:[12][13][14]

Dates Rank Name
8 January 1869 General der Infanterie Ludwig Freiherr von und zu der Tann-Rathsamhausen
16 June 1881 General der Infanterie Karl Freiherr von Horn
3 March 1887 Generalleutnant Prince Leopold of Bavaria
29 October 1890 Generaloberst Prince Arnulf of Bavaria
19 April 1906 General der Infanterie Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria
22 March 1913 General der Infanterie Oskar Ritter von Xylander
19 June 1918 Generalleutnant Nikolaus Ritter von Endres
25 April 1919 General der Artillerie Maximilian Ritter von Höhn

Headquarters staff during World War I[edit]

From 2 August 1914, its headquarters staff were:

  • Commanding General: Gen. d. Inf. Oskar Ritter v. Xylander, Gen.-Lt. Nikolaus Ritter v. Endres as Führer from 23 June 1918
  • Chief of General Staff: Gen.-Maj. Karl Frhr. v. Nagel zu Aichberg, Gen.-Maj. Möhl from 6 March 1915, Maj. Ludwig Graf v. Holnstein from Bavaria from 13 September 1916, Oberstlt. Friedrich Haack from 29 May 1918.
  • General staff: Maj. Hans Hemmer, Hptm. Wilhelm Leeb, Hptm. Otto Frhr. v. Berchem, Hptm. Karl Deuringer
  • Commander of Engineers: Major Georg Vogl

See also[edit]

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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cron 2002, p. 394
  2. ^ Haythornthwaite 1996, p. 193–194
  3. ^ They formed the Guards Cavalry Division, the only peacetime cavalry division in the German Army.
  4. ^ War Office 1918, p. 261
  5. ^ Cron 2002, p. 301
  6. ^ Cron 2002, pp. 318
  7. ^ Without a machine gun company
  8. ^ Cron 2002, p. 301 also shows the 1st Bavarian Jäger Battalion assigned to the Bavarian Cavalry Division with III Cavalry Corps
  9. ^ 4 heavy artillery batteries (16 heavy field howitzers)
  10. ^ Cron 2002, pp. 88–89
  11. ^ Ellis & Cox 1993, pp. 186–187
  12. ^ German Administrative History Accessed: 9 April 2012
  13. ^ German War History Accessed: 9 April 2012
  14. ^ The Prussian Machine Accessed: 7 June 2012

Bibliography[edit]

  • (German) von Dellmensingen Konrad Krafft & Feeser Friedrichfranz; Das Bayernbuch vom Weltkriege 1914-1918, Chr. Belser AG, Verlagsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart 1930
  • 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.