X Corps (German Empire)

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X Army Corps
X. Armee-Korps
Stab eines Generalkommandos.svg
Flag of the Staff of a Generalkommando (1871–1918)
Active 11 October 1866 (1866-10-11)–1919 (1919)
Country  Prussia /  German Empire
Type Corps
Size Approximately 44,000 (on mobilisation in 1914)
Garrison/HQ Hannover
Engagements

Franco-Prussian War

Battle of Mars-la-Tour
Battle of Spicheren
Siege of Metz
Battle of Beaune-la-Rolande
Battle of Orléans
Battle of Le Mans

World War I

Battle of the Frontiers
First Battle of the Marne

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

X Corps was one of three formed in the aftermath of the Austro-Prussian War (the others being IX Corps and XI Corps). The Corps was formed in October 1866 with headquarters in Hannover. The catchment area included the newly annexed Kingdom of Hanover (thereafter the Province of Hanover), the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg and the Duchy of Brunswick.[1]

During the Franco-Prussian War it was assigned to the 2nd Army.

In peacetime, it was assigned to the III Army Inspectorate.[2] which became the 2nd Army at the start of the First World War. It was still in existence at the end of the war[3] in Armee-Abteilung B, Heeresgruppe Herzog Albrecht von Württemberg at the extreme southern end of the Western Front.[4] The Corps was disbanded with the demobilisation of the German Army after World War I.

Franco-Prussian War[edit]

During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71 the army corps fought under the command of General von Voigts-Rhetz in several battles including the Battle of Mars-la-Tour, Battle of Spicheren, Siege of Metz, Battle of Beaune-la-Rolande, Battle of Orléans and Battle of Le Mans.

Flags of the Line Infantry regiments[edit]

Due to the large number of Line Infantry regiments then in existence, on 18 December 1890, Kaiser Wilhelm II ordered that the flag colours were to be the same as that of the uniform epaulettes. This was to ensure that each corps attained uniformity. IX and X Corps wore white epaulettes. Notwithstanding this, the flags of the Jäger Battalions would be green.[5]

Flag of the Line Infantry regiments of the IX and X Corps (except Jägers)
Flag of the Jägers

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.[6] 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).[7]

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. 19th Cavalry Brigade was withdrawn to form part of the 9th Cavalry Division[10] and the 20th Cavalry Brigade was broken up. The 17th (Brunswick) Hussars was raised to a strength of 6 squadrons before being split into two half-regiments of 3 squadrons each; the half-regiments were assigned as divisional cavalry to 19th and 20th Divisions. Likewise, the 16th (2nd Hannover) Dragoons formed two half-regiments which were assigned as divisional cavalry to 17th and 18th Divisions of IX Corps. Divisions received engineer companies and other support units from the Corps headquarters. In summary, X 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, X Corps was assigned to the 2nd Army forming part of the right wing of the forces for the Schlieffen Plan offensive in August 1914 on the Western Front.

It was still in existence at the end of the war[14] in Armee-Abteilung B, Heeresgruppe Herzog Albrecht von Württemberg at the extreme southern end of the Western Front.[15]

Commanders[edit]

The X Corps had the following commanders during its existence:[16][17][18]

From Rank Name
30 October 1866 General der Infanterie Konstantin Bernhard von Voigts-Rhetz
12 December 1873 General der Kavallerie Prince Albert of Prussia
10 July 1888 General der Infanterie Leo von Caprivi
24 March 1890 Generalleutnant Walther Bronsart von Schellendorff
27 January 1893 General der Infanterie August Wilhelm von Seebeck
4 April 1899 General der Infanterie August von Bomsdorff
9 February 1908 General der Infanterie Dr. Alfred von Loewenfeld
29 May 1909 General der Infanterie Otto von Emmich
22 December 1915 Generalleutnant Walther von Lüttwitz
21 August 1916 Generalleutnant Konstantin Schmidt von Knobelsdorf

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ German Administrative History Accessed: 20 May 2012
  2. ^ Cron 2002, p. 393
  3. ^ Cron 2002, pp. 88–89
  4. ^ Ellis & Cox 1993, pp. 186–187
  5. ^ Lezius, Martin (1935). Fahnen und Standarten der alten preußischen Armee (in German). Stuttgart: Frankh'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung. 
  6. ^ Haythornthwaite 1996, pp. 193–194
  7. ^ They formed the Guards Cavalry Division, the only peacetime cavalry division in the German Army.
  8. ^ War Office 1918, p. 249
  9. ^ Had a third (Horse Artillery) Abteilung of three batteries of 4 guns.
  10. ^ Cron 2002, p. 300
  11. ^ Cron 2002, pp. 307
  12. ^ With a machine gun company.
  13. ^ 4 heavy artillery batteries (16 heavy field howitzers)
  14. ^ Cron 2002, pp. 88–89
  15. ^ Ellis & Cox 1993, pp. 186–187
  16. ^ German Administrative History Accessed: 20 May 2012
  17. ^ German War History Accessed: 20 May 2012
  18. ^ The Prussian Machine Accessed: 20 May 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.