XIV Corps (German Empire)

The XIV Army Corps / XIV AK (German: XIV. Armee-Korps) was a corps level command of the German Army before and during World War I. It was, effectively, also the army of the Grand Duchy of Baden, which, in 1871, had been integrated into the Prussian Army command structure, as had the armies of most German states. Both divisions and the bulk of the corps' support units were from the grand duchy. The corps was established in 1870, after the Siege of Strasbourg.[1]

XIV Army Corps
XIV. Armee-Korps
Flag of the Staff of a Generalkommando (1871–1918)
Active30 September 1870 - March 1871
1 July 1871 - 1919
Country Baden /  German Empire
SizeApproximately 44,000 (on mobilisation in 1914)
Garrison/HQKarlsruhe/Werderpalais, Bismarckstraße 2
PatronGrand Duke of Baden
Shoulder strap pipingRed
EngagementsFranco-Prussian War
Battle of Villersexel
Battle of the Lisaine

World War I

Battle of the Frontiers
Battle of Mulhouse
Battle of Passchendaele
AbbreviationXIV AK

It was assigned to the V Army Inspectorate,[2] which became the 7th Army at the start of the First World War. It was still in existence at the end of the war[3] as part of the 18th Army, Heeresgruppe Deutscher Kronprinz on the Western Front.[4]

Franco-Prussian War edit

A siege corps was formed to besiege Strasbourg during the Franco-Prussian War under the command of General der Infanterie August von Werder. After the fall of Strasbourg, these troops were formed into a new XIV Corps by the All-highest Cabinet Order (Allerhöchste Kabinettsorder, AKO) of 30 September 1870.

Werder defeated the French at Dijon and at Nuits and proceeded to besiege Belfort. General Charles Denis Bourbaki assembled an army intending to relieve Belfort, leading to the Battle of Villersexel. On 15 January 1871, Bourbaki attacked Werder along the Lisaine River; however, after a three-day battle, he was repelled and his army retreated into Switzerland.

XIV Corps was disbanded in March 1871.

Re-formation edit

After the peace treaty, the XIV Corps was re-established on 1 July 1871 almost exclusively with troops from the Grand Duchy of Baden.

It was assigned to the V Army Inspectorate,[2] but joined the 7th Army at the start of the First World War.

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.[5] 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).[6]

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

14th (Baden) Foot Artillery was partially garrisoned in Straßburg (as part of XV Corps) and Müllheim (as part of XIV Corps). In addition, the 66th (4th Baden) Field Artillery was stationed in Lahr and Neubreisach as part of XV Corps.[citation needed]

World War I edit

Organisation on mobilisation edit

On mobilization on 2 August 1914, the Corps was restructured. The 28th Cavalry Brigade was withdrawn to form part of the 6th Cavalry Division[8] and the 29th Cavalry Brigade was broken up and its regiments assigned to the divisions as reconnaissance units. The divisions received engineer companies and other support units from the Corps headquarters. Unusually, the Corps retained its 5th Infantry brigade, making it the strongest active corps on mobilisation. In summary, XIV Corps mobilised with 30 infantry battalions, 10 machine gun companies (60 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

At the outbreak of World War I, the Corps was assigned to the 7th Army on the left of the forces that executed the Schlieffen Plan[11] and fought in the Battle of the Frontiers. In September, it was transferred to the 6th Army. From November 1916 to March 1917, the corps took command of Group Hardaumont of the 5th Army. In March 1917, it was transferred to the 3rd Army and took command of Group Prosnes. In May, it was transferred to the 4th Army's control and took command of Group Dixmude. During this period, it fought in the Battle of Passchendaele.[12] Taking over from the XIX Corps[13] at Wijtschate in November 1917, the XIV Corps formed a new Group Wytschaete, which it commanded until December 1917, after which it took over Group Busigny in the 6th Army. It remained in command of this group into 1918.[12]

It was still in existence at the end of the war[3] as part of the 18th Army, Heeresgruppe Deutscher Kronprinz on the Western Front.[4]

Commanders edit

The XIV Corps had the following commanders during its existence:[14][15][16]

Dates Rank Name
30 September 1870 General der Infanterie August von Werder
15 April 1879 General der Infanterie Hugo von Obernitz
10 August 1888 General der Infanterie Sigismund von Schlichting
2 January 1896 General der Kavallerie Adolf von Bülow
27 January 1901 General der Infanterie Max von Bock und Polach
11 September 1907 General der Infanterie Ernst Freiherr von Hoiningen gen. Huene
31 August 1914 Generalleutnant Theodor von Watter
10 March 1915 Generalleutnant Karl von Hänisch
12 August 1916 Generalleutnant Martin Chales de Beaulieu
5 September 1917 Generalleutnant Alfred von Böckmann
2 November 1917 Generalleutnant Friedrich von Gontard

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Günter Wegner, Stellenbesetzung der deutschen Heere 1815-1939. (Biblio Verlag, Osnabrück, 1993), Bd. 1, p. 75.
  2. ^ a b Cron 2002, p. 395
  3. ^ a b Cron 2002, pp. 88–89
  4. ^ a b Ellis & Cox 1993, pp. 186–187
  5. ^ Haythornthwaite 1996, pp. 193–194
  6. ^ They formed the Guards Cavalry Division, the only peacetime cavalry division in the German Army.
  7. ^ War Office 1918, p. 253
  8. ^ Cron 2002, p. 301
  9. ^ Cron 2002, pp. 320–321
  10. ^ 4 heavy artillery batteries (16 heavy field howitzers)
  11. ^ Cron 2002, p. 321
  12. ^ a b XIV. Armeekorps (Chronik 1914/1918)
  13. ^ Sheldon 2007, p. 1.
  14. ^ German Administrative History Accessed: 17 May 2012
  15. ^ German War History Accessed: 17 May 2012
  16. ^ The Prussian Machine Archived 11 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine Accessed: 17 May 2012

Bibliography edit

  • Claus von Bredow, bearb., Historische Rang- und Stammliste des deutschen Heeres (1905)
  • 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.
  • Sheldon, J. (2007). The German Army at Passchendaele. London: Pen and Sword. ISBN 978-1-84415-564-4.
  • 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.