XXXXI Reserve Corps (German Empire)

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XXXXI Reserve Corps
XXXXI. Reserve-Korps
Stab eines Generalkommandos.svg
Flag of the Staff of a Generalkommando (1871–1918)
Active December 1914 - post November 1918
Country  German Empire
Type Corps
Size Approximately 26,000 (on formation)
Engagements World War I

The XXXXI Reserve Corps (German: XXXXI. Reserve-Korps / XXXXI RK) was a corps level command of the German Army in World War I.

Formation[edit]

XXXXI Reserve Corps was formed in December 1914.[1] It was part of the second wave of new Corps formed in the early stages of World War I consisting of XXXVIII - XXXXI[2] Reserve Corps of 75th - 82nd Reserve Divisions (plus 8th Bavarian Reserve Division). The personnel was predominantly made up of kriegsfreiwillige (wartime volunteers) who did not wait to be called up.[3] It was still in existence at the end of the war.[4]

Structure on formation[edit]

On formation in December 1914, XXXXI Reserve Corps consisted of two divisions.[5] but was weaker than an Active Corps

  • the divisions were organised as triangular rather than square divisions with three infantry regiments rather than four, but had a brigade of two field artillery regiments
  • Reserve Infantry Regiments consisted of three battalions but lacked a machine gun company[6]
  • Reserve Cavalry Detachments were much smaller than the Reserve Cavalry Regiments formed on mobilisation[7]
  • Reserve Field Artillery Regiments consisted of two abteilungen (1 gun and 1 howitzer) of three batteries each, but each battery had just 4 guns (rather than 6 of the Active and the Reserve Regiments formed on mobilisation)[8]

In summary, XXXXI Reserve Corps mobilised with 18 infantry battalions, 2 cavalry detachments, 24 field artillery batteries (96 guns), 2 cyclist companies and 2 pioneer companies.

Corps Division Brigade Units
XXXXI Reserve Corps 81st Reserve Division[9] 81st Reserve Infantry Brigade 267th Reserve Infantry Regiment
268th Reserve Infantry Regiment
269th Reserve Infantry Regiment
81st Reserve Field Artillery Brigade 67th Reserve Field Artillery Regiment
68th Reserve Field Artillery Regiment
81st Reserve Cavalry Detachment
81st Reserve Cyclist Company
81st Reserve Pioneer Company
82nd Reserve Division[10] 82nd Reserve Infantry Brigade 270th Reserve Infantry Regiment
271st Reserve Infantry Regiment
272nd Reserve Infantry Regiment
82nd Reserve Field Artillery Brigade 69th Reserve Field Artillery Regiment
70th Reserve Field Artillery Regiment
82nd Reserve Cavalry Detachment
82nd Reserve Cyclist Company
82nd Reserve Pioneer Company


On May 2, 1915 in preparation for the Gorlice-Tarnow Offensive the corps consisted of 18 battalions, 4 squadrons, 43 machine guns and 108 guns. The corps was organized as follows:


Corps Division Brigade Units
XXXXI Reserve Corps[11] 81st Reserve Division 81st Reserve Infantry Brigade 267th Reserve Infantry Regiment
268th Reserve Infantry Regiment
269th Reserve Infantry Regiment
81st Reserve Field Artillery Brigade 67th Reserve Field Artillery Regiment (3 canon & 3 light field howitzer batteries)
68th Reserve Field Artillery Regiment (3 canon & 3 light field howitzer batteries)
81st Reserve Cavalry Detachment
4th Squadron, 7th Dragoon Regiment
84th & 85th Reserve Pioneer Companies
82nd Reserve Division 82nd Reserve Infantry Brigade 270th Reserve Infantry Regiment
271st Reserve Infantry Regiment
272nd Reserve Infantry Regiment
82nd Reserve Field Artillery Brigade 69th Reserve Field Artillery Regiment (3 canon & 3 light field howitzer batteries)
70th Reserve Field Artillery Regiment (3 canon & 3 light field howitzer batteries)
82nd Reserve Cavalry Detachment
4th Squadron, 7th Uhlan Regiment
82nd Reserve Pioneer Company & 1st Company, 18th Pioneer Regiment
2nd Battalion, 3rd Foot Artillery Regiment (3 batteries heavy field howitzers)
Attached 1 - 15-cm Austro-Hungarian howitzer battery (4 guns)
1 - 12-cm Austro-Hungarian cannon battery (4 guns)
7th Battery, Bavarian 1st Reserve Foot Artillery (4 – 10-cm cannons)
3rd Battalion, 1st Foot Artillery Regiment (2 btrys, 4 – 21-cm mortars each)
229th Light Trench Mortar Detachment (6 mortars)
230th Light Trench Mortar Detachment (6 mortars)
120th Medium Trench Mortar Detachment (4 mortars)
35th Heavy Trench Mortar Detachment (2 mortars)


Combat chronicle[edit]

Commanders[edit]

XXXXI Reserve Corps had the following commanders during its existence:[12][13]

From Rank Name
24 December 1914 General der Infanterie Hermann von Francois
29 June 1915 Generalleutnant Arnold von Winckler
11 September 1915 General der Artillerie Hans von Gronau

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cron 2002, p. 87
  2. ^ In German military nomenclature, "40" was rendered as "XXXX" in Roman numerals rather than the more conventional "XL".
  3. ^ Cron 2002, p. 97
  4. ^ Cron 2002, pp. 88–89
  5. ^ AEF GHQ 1920, pp. 545,548
  6. ^ Busche 1998, pp. 120–121
  7. ^ Cron 2002, p. 128 Reserve Cavalry Regiments consisted of three squadrons
  8. ^ Cron 2002, p. 136
  9. ^ AEF GHQ 1920, p. 544
  10. ^ AEF GHQ 1920, p. 547
  11. ^ Gorlice 1930, p. 197
  12. ^ "German War History". Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  13. ^ "Armee-Reserve-Korps". The Prussian Machine. Retrieved 23 December 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. 
  • Busche, Hartwig (1998). Formationsgeschichte der Deutschen Infanterie im Ersten Weltkrieg (1914 bis 1918) (in German). Institut für Preußische Historiographie. 
  • 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.