XVIII Corps (German Empire)

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For the equivalent formation in World War II, see XVIII Corps (Germany).
XVIII Army Corps
XVIII. Armee-Korps
Stab eines Generalkommandos.svg
Flag of the Staff of a Generalkommando (1871–1918)
Active 1 April 1899 (1899-04-01)–1919 (1919)
Country  German Empire
Type Corps
Size Approximately 44,000 (on mobilisation in 1914)
Garrison/HQ Frankfurt am Main
Engagements

World War I

Battle of the Frontiers
Battle of Verdun

The XVIII Army Corps / XVIII AK (German: XVIII. Armee-Korps) was a corps level command of the German Army before and during World War I.

As the German Army expanded in the latter part of the 19th Century, the XVIII Army Corps was set up on 1 April 1899 in Frankfurt am Main as the Generalkommando (headquarters) for the district of Wiesbaden and the Grand Duchy of Hesse.[1] It took over command of 21st Division from XI Corps and the previously separate 25th (Grand Ducal Hessian) Division. It was assigned to the VII Army Inspectorate,[2] but joined the 4th Army at the start of the First World War.

It was still in existence at the end of the war,[3] serving in the 17th Army, Heeresgruppe Kronprinz Rupprecht on the Western Front.[4]

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.[5] 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).[6]

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. The 25th Cavalry Brigade was withdrawn to form part of the 3rd Cavalry Division[8] and the 21st Cavalry Brigade was broken up and its regiments assigned to the divisions as reconnaissance units. The 168th Infantry Regiment was assigned to the 25th Reserve Division in XVIII Reserve Corps. Divisions received engineer companies and other support units from the Corps headquarters. In summary, XVIII Corps mobilised with 24 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, XVIII Corps was assigned to the 4th Army forming part of the centre of the forces for the Schlieffen Plan offensive in August 1914. It was still in existence at the end of the war, serving in the 17th Army, Heeresgruppe Kronprinz Rupprecht on the Western Front.[11]

Commanders[edit]

The XVIII Corps had the following commanders during its existence:[12][13]

Dates Rank Name
25 March 1899 to 30 April 1904 General der Infanterie Oskar von Lindequist
1 May 1904 to 12 September 1912 Generalleutnant Hermann von Eichhorn
13 September 1912 to 20 January 1917 General der Infanterie Dedo von Schenck
21 January 1917 to 26 August 1918 Generalleutnant Viktor Albrecht
27 August 1918 to end of the war Generalleutnant Günther von Etzel

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ German Administrative History Accessed: 12 May 2012
  2. ^ Cron 2002, p. 395
  3. ^ Cron 2002, pp. 88–89
  4. ^ Ellis & Cox 1993, p. 187
  5. ^ Haythornthwaite 1996, pp. 193–194
  6. ^ They formed the Guards Cavalry Division, the only peacetime cavalry division in the German Army.
  7. ^ War Office 1918, p. 257
  8. ^ Cron 2002, p. 301
  9. ^ Cron 2002, pp. 312–313
  10. ^ 4 heavy artillery batteries (16 heavy field howitzers)
  11. ^ Ellis & Cox 1993, p. 187
  12. ^ German War History Accessed: 12 May 2012
  13. ^ The Prussian Machine Accessed: 12 May 2012
  • XVIII. Armeekorps (Chronik 1914/1918)
  • Claus von Bredow, bearb., Historische Rang- und Stammliste des deuschen Heeres (1905)
  • Günter Wegner, Stellenbesetzung der deutschen Heere 1815–1939. (Biblio Verlag, Osnabrück, 1993), Bd. 1

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.