XVII Corps (German Empire)
|XVII Army Corps|
Flag of the Staff of a Generalkommando (1871–1918)
|Active||1 April 1890–1919|
|Size||Approximately 44,000 (on mobilisation in 1914)|
|Engagements||World War I|
As the German Army expanded in the latter part of the 19th century, the XVII Army Corps was set up on 1 April 1890 in Danzig as the Generalkommando (headquarters) for West Prussia. It took command of two divisions formed on the same date: 35th Division and 36th Division. It was assigned to the I Army Inspectorate, which became the 8th Army at the start of the First World War.
By a law of 27 January 1890, it was decided to separate the Province of West Prussia from the Province of East Prussia in military affairs. It stipulated that, from 1 April 1890, the entire power of the Army of the German Empire should be 20 army corps (Guards, I - XVII, I and II Bavarian).
The All-highest Cabinet Order (Allerhöchste Kabinettsorder, AKO) of 1 February 1890 authorised the formation of the XVI and XVII Army Corps. The latter was assigned to the I Army Inspectorate and included the territory of the Landwehr districts Schlawe, Stolp, Konitz, Thorn, Graudenz, Danzig, Preußisch Stargard, Neustadt, Osterode, Deutsch-Eylau and Marienburg.
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. 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).
Each Corps also directly controlled a number of other units. This could include one or more
World War IEdit
Organisation on mobilisationEdit
On mobilization on 2 August 1914, the Corps was restructured. The Leib Hussar Brigade was withdrawn to form part of the 2nd Cavalry Division and the 35th Cavalry Brigade was broken up and its regiments assigned to the divisions as reconnaissance units.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. In summary, XVII Corps mobilised with 25 infantry battalions, 9 machine gun companies (54 machine guns), 8 cavalry squadrons, 24 field artillery batteries (144 guns), 4 heavy artillery batteries (16 guns), 3 pioneer companies and an aviation detachment.
|XVII Corps||35th Division||70th Infantry Brigade||21st Infantry Regiment|
|61st Infantry Regiment|
|87th Infantry Brigade||141st Infantry Regiment|
|176th Infantry Regiment|
|2nd Jäger Battalion|
|35th Field Artillery Brigade||71st Field Artillery Regiment|
|81st Field Artillery Regiment|
|4th Jäger zu Pferde Regiment|
|1st Company, 17th Pioneer Battalion|
|35th Divisional Pontoon Train|
|2nd Medical Company|
|36th Division||69th Infantry Brigade||129th Infantry Regiment|
|175th Infantry Regiment|
|71st Infantry Brigade||5th Grenadier Regiment|
|128th Infantry Regiment|
|36th Field Artillery Brigade||36th Field Artillery Regiment|
|72nd Field Artillery Regiment|
|5th Hussar Regiment|
|2nd Company, 17th Pioneer Battalion|
|3rd Company, 17th Pioneer Battalion|
|36th Divisional Pontoon Train|
|1st Medical Company|
|3rd Medical Company|
|Corps Troops||I Battalion, 11th Foot Artillery Regiment|
|17th Aviation Detachment|
|17th Corps Pontoon Train|
|17th Telephone Detachment|
|17th Pioneer Searchlight Section|
|Munition Trains and Columns corresponding to II Corps|
On mobilisation, XVII Corps was assigned to the 8th Army to defend East Prussia, while the rest of the Army executed the Schlieffen Plan offensive in August 1914. It took part in the battles of Gumbinnen, Tannenberg and 1st Masurian Lakes. Immediately after the latter, it joined the 9th Army in Lower Silesia, where it fought at the Battle of the Vistula River.
|24 March 1890||General der Infanterie||August von Lentze|
|3 April 1902||General der Infanterie||Georg von Braunschweig|
|27 January 1908||General der Kavallerie||August von Mackensen|
|2 November 1914||General der Infanterie||Günther von Pannewitz|
|7 September 1916||Generalleutnant||Paul Fleck|
|19 February 1918||Generalleutnant||Richard von Webern|
|23 June 1918||Generalleutnant||Günther von Etzel|
|27 August 1918||Generalleutnant||Axel von Petersdorff|
|13 December 1918||General der Infanterie||Otto von Below|
|27 June 1919||Johannes von Malachowski|
- Cron 2002, p. 395
- Cron 2002, pp. 88–89
- Ellis & Cox 1993, pp. 186–187
- Haythornthwaite 1996, pp. 193–194
- They formed the Guards Cavalry Division, the only peacetime cavalry division in the German Army.
- War Office 1918, p. 256
- Cron 2002, p. 300
- Cron 2002, pp. 312–323
- With a machine gun company
- 4 heavy artillery batteries (16 heavy field howitzers)
- German Administrative History Accessed: 8 April 2012
- German War History Accessed: 8 April 2012
- The Prussian Machine Archived April 11, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Accessed: 5 June 2012
- 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.