18th Army (German Empire)

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18. Armee
18th Army
Stab eines Armeeoberkommandos.svg
Flag of the Staff of an Armee Oberkommando (1871–1918)
Active 22 December 1917 – 2 January 1919
Country  German Empire
Type Army
Engagements

World War I

Spring Offensive
Operation Michael

The 18th Army (German: 18. Armee / Armeeoberkommando 18 / A.O.K. 18) was an army level command of the German Army in World War I. It was formed against France on 27 December 1917 from the former Heeresgruppe Woyrsch command. It served exclusively on the Western Front and was dissolved on 2 January 1919.[1]

History[edit]

18th Army was one of three armies (along with 17th Army and 19th Army) formed in late 1917 / early 1918 with forces withdrawn from the Eastern Front.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 Deutscher Kronprinz.[2]

Order of Battle, 30 October 1918[edit]

By the end of the war, the 18th Army was organised as:

Organization of 18th Army on 30 October 1918[3]
Army Corps Division
18th Army I Bavarian Corps 19th Reserve Division
29th Division
15th Reserve Division
200th Division
204th Division
34th Division
XXVI Reserve Corps 75th Reserve Division
9th Division
18th Division
6th Bavarian Division
XVIII Reserve Corps 231st Division
238th Division
81st Reserve Division
2nd Division
1st Reserve Division
two thirds of 82nd Reserve Division
5th Reserve Division
XIV Corps 232nd Division
237th Division
11th Division
221st Division
105th Division
87th Division

Commanders[edit]

18th Army was commanded throughout its existence by General der Infanterie Oskar von Hutier (previously commander of 8th Army).[4]

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, p. 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.