II Royal Bavarian Corps

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II Royal Bavarian Army Corps
II. Königlich Bayerische Armee-Korps
Stab eines Generalkommandos.svg
Flag of the Staff of a Generalkommando (1871–1918)
Active 1869 (1869)–1919 (1919)
Country  Bavaria /  German Empire
Type Corps
Size Approximately 44,000 (on mobilisation in 1914)
Garrison/HQ Würzburg
Engagements

Franco-Prussian War

Battle of Wissembourg (1870)
Battle of Wörth (1870)
Battle of Sedan
Siege of Paris

World War I

Battle of the Frontiers

The II Royal Bavarian Army Corps / II Bavarian AK (German: II. Königlich Bayerisches Armee-Korps) was a corps level command of the Royal Bavarian Army, part of the German Army, before and during World War I.[a]

As part of the 1868 army reform, the II Royal Bavarian Army Corps of the Bavarian Army was set up in 1869 in Würzburg as the Generalkommando (headquarters) for the northern part of the Kingdom. With the formation of the III Royal Bavarian Corps in 1900 it was made responsible for Lower Franconia, parts of Upper Franconia and the Palatinate. Like all Bavarian formations, it was assigned to the IV Army Inspectorate[1] which became the 6th Army at the start of the First World War. The Corps was disbanded at the end of the War.

Franco-Prussian War[edit]

The II Royal Bavarian Corps (along with the I Royal Bavarian Corps) participated in the Franco-Prussian War as part of the 3rd Army. It saw action in the battles of Weissenburg, Wörth and Sedan, and in the Siege of Paris.

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.[2] 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).[3]

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. 4th Cavalry Brigade was withdrawn to form part of the Bavarian Cavalry Division[6] and the 3rd Cavalry Brigade was broken up and its regiments assigned to the divisions as reconnaissance units. Divisions received engineer companies and other support units from the Corps headquarters.

The 8th Bavarian Infantry Brigade (4th and 8th Bavarian Infantry Regiments) remained in Metz as part of the 33rd Reserve Division on mobilisation. It was replaced in 4th Bavarian Division by the 5th Bavarian Reserve Infantry Brigade (5th and 8th Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiments).[7]

In summary, II Bavarian Corps mobilised with 25 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, II Royal Bavarian Corps was assigned to the predominantly Bavarian 6th Army forming part of the left wing of the forces for the Schlieffen Plan offensive in August 1914. It was still in existence at the end of the war[12] in the 17th Army, Heeresgruppe Kronprinz Rupprecht on the Western Front.[13]

Commanders[edit]

The II Royal Bavarian Corps had the following commanders during its existence:[14][15][16]

Dates Rank Name
8 January 1869 General der Infanterie Jakob Freiherr von Hartmann
24 April 1873 Generalleutnant Joseph von Maillinger
5 July 1875 General der Infanterie Carl von Orff
9 May 1890 General der Infanterie Otto von Parseval
18 April 1895 General der Kavallerie Emil Ritter von Xylander
23 March 1905 General der Infanterie Theophil Freiherr Reichlin von Meldegg
18 November 1908 General der Infanterie Alfred Graf Eckbrett von Dürckheim-Montmartin
22 April 1912 General der Infanterie Karl Ritter von Martini
5 November 1914 Generalleutnant Otto von Stetten
19 April 1918 General der Infanterie Konrad Krafft von Dellmensingen
20 December 1918 Generalleutnant Otto Ritter von Rauchenberger
10 June 1919 General der Artillerie Hermann Ritter von Burkhardt

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ From the late 1800s, the Prussian Army was effectively the German Army as, during the period of German unification (1866-1871), the states of the German Empire entered into conventions with Prussia regarding their armies. Only the Bavarian Army remained fully autonomous and came under Prussian control only during wartime.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cron 2002, p. 394
  2. ^ Haythornthwaite 1996, pp. 193–194
  3. ^ They formed the Guards Cavalry Division, the only peacetime cavalry division in the German Army.
  4. ^ War Office 1918, p. 262
  5. ^ Had a third (Horse Artillery) Abteilung of three batteries of 4 guns.
  6. ^ Cron 2002, p. 301
  7. ^ Cron 2002, p. 327
  8. ^ Cron 2002, pp. 318–319
  9. ^ Without a machine gun company
  10. ^ Cron 2002, p. 301 also shows the 2nd Bavarian Jäger Battalion assigned to the Bavarian Cavalry Division with III Cavalry Corps
  11. ^ 4 heavy artillery batteries (16 heavy field howitzers)
  12. ^ Cron 2002, pp. 88–89
  13. ^ Ellis & Cox 1993, pp. 186–187
  14. ^ German Administrative History Accessed: 9 April 2012
  15. ^ German War History Accessed: 9 April 2012
  16. ^ The Prussian Machine Accessed: 7 June 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.