17th Army (German Empire)

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17. Armee
17th Army
Stab eines Armeeoberkommandos.svg
Flag of the Staff of an Armee Oberkommando (1871–1918)
Active 1 February 1918 – 19 January 1919
Country  German Empire
Type Army
Engagements

World War I

Spring Offensive
Operation Michael

The 17th Army (German: 17. Armee / Armeeoberkommando 17 / A.O.K. 17) was an army level command of the German Army in World War I. It was formed in France on 1 February 1918 from the former 14th Army command. It served exclusively on the Western Front and was dissolved on 19 January 1919.[1]

History[edit]

17th Army was one of three armies (along with 18th Army and 19th Army) formed in late 1917 / early 1918 with forces withdrawn from the Eastern Front. They were in place to take part in Ludendorff's Spring Offensive. The Germans had realised that their only remaining chance of victory was to defeat the Allies before the overwhelming human and matériel resources of the United States could be deployed. They also had the temporary advantage in numbers afforded by nearly 50 divisions freed by the Russian withdrawing from the war (Treaty of Brest-Litovsk).

At the end of the war it was serving as part of Heeresgruppe Kronprinz Rupprecht.[2]

The Headquarters was located at St Amand until 6 April 1918, Douai until 1 May 1918, Denain until 18 October 1918 and Mons until start of the march back, reaching Zülpich for disbandment on 19 January 1919.

Order of Battle, 30 October 1918[edit]

By the end of the war, the 17th Army was organised as:

Organization of 17th Army on 30 October 1918[3]
Army Corps Division
17th Army I Bavarian Reserve Corps 187th Division
26th Reserve Division
10th Ersatz Division
208th Division
II Bavarian Corps 234th Division
25th Division
XVIII Corps 220th Division
35th Division
6th Division
XIV Reserve Corps 214th Division
111th Division
48th Reserve Division
206th Division
12th Division
28th Reserve Division

Commanders[edit]

17th Army had the following commanders:[4]

17th Army
From Commander Previously Subsequently,
1 February 1918 General der Infanterie Otto von Below 14th Army 1st Army
12 October 1918 General der Infanterie Bruno von Mudra 1st Army

Glossary[edit]

  • Armee-Abteilung or Army Detachment in the sense of "something detached from an Army". It is not under the command of an Army so is in itself a small Army.[5]
  • Armee-Gruppe or Army Group in the sense of a group within an Army and under its command, generally formed as a temporary measure for a specific task.
  • Heeresgruppe or Army Group in the sense of a number of armies under a single commander.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cron 2002, p. 82
  2. ^ Ellis & Cox 1993, p. 187
  3. ^ Ellis & Cox 1993, pp. 186–187
  4. ^ Cron 2002, p. 398
  5. ^ Cron 2002, p. 84

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.