4th Army (German Empire)

The 4th Army (German: 4. Armee / Armeeoberkommando 4 / A.O.K. 4) was an army level command of the German Army in World War I. It was formed on mobilization in August 1914 from the VI Army Inspection.[1] The army was disbanded in 1919 during demobilization after the war.[2]

4. Armee
4th Army
Stab eines Armeeoberkommandos.svg
Flag of the Staff of an Armee Oberkommando (1871–1918)
Active2 August 1914 – 28 January 1919
Country German Empire
EngagementsWorld War I
AbbreviationA.O.K. 4


At the outset of war, the 4th Army, with the 5th Army, formed the center of the German armies on the Western Front, moving through Luxembourg and Belgium in support of the great wheel of the right wing that was to pin down and defeat the French armies. The 4th Army defeated Belgian forces on the frontier, drove the French out of the Ardennes and then encountered the British Expeditionary Force in the "Race to the Sea" at the First Battle of Ypres. The 4th Army faced the British in Flanders for the rest of the war, notably defending in the Battle of Passchendaele (1917), attacking in the 1918 German spring offensive and finally being pushed back in the Hundred Days Offensive from August 1918.

At the end of the war it was serving as part of Heeresgruppe Kronprinz Rupprecht.[3]

Order of Battle, 30 October 1918Edit

By the end of the war, the 4th Army was organised as:

Organization of 4th Army on 30 October 1918[4]
Army Corps Division
4th Army Naval Corps 1st Naval Division
2nd Naval Division
two thirds 38th Landwehr Division
one third 3rd Division
85th Landwehr Division
Guards Reserve Corps 3rd Reserve Division
two thirds 3rd Division
13th Reserve Division
16th Bavarian Division
36th Reserve Division
11th Bavarian Division
4th Division
one third 38th Landwehr Division
16th Reserve Division
23rd Division
3rd Landwehr Division
Guards Corps 26th Division
19th Division
Guards Ersatz Division
207th Division
1st Bavarian Reserve Division
21st Division
52nd Reserve Division
6th Cavalry Schützen Division
X Reserve Corps 49th Reserve Division
23rd Reserve Division
11th Reserve Division
56th Division
6th Bavarian Reserve Division
39th Division
40th Division


The 4th Army had the following commanders during its existence.[5]

4th Army
From Commander Previously Subsequently,
2 August 1914 Generaloberst Albrecht, Duke of Württemberg VI Army Inspectorate (VI. Armee-Inspektion) Heeresgruppe Albrecht
1 August 1916 Generalfeldmarschall Albrecht, Duke of Württemberg
25 February 1917 General der Infanterie Friedrich Bertram Sixt von Armin IV Corps Resigned


  • 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.[6]
  • 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 alsoEdit


  1. ^ Cron 2002, p. 393
  2. ^ Cron 2002, pp. 79–80
  3. ^ Ellis & Cox 1993, p. 187
  4. ^ Ellis & Cox 1993, p. 186
  5. ^ Cron 2002, p. 394
  6. ^ Cron 2002, p. 84


  • Cron, Hermann (2002) [1937]. Imperial German Army 1914–18: Organisation, Structure, Orders-of-Battle. Helion. ISBN 1-874622-70-1.
  • Ellis, John; Cox, Michael (1993). The World War I Databook. Aurum Press. ISBN 1-85410-766-6.