10th Royal Bavarian Infantry Division

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10th Infantry Division

active March 14, 1915 to September 3, 1918
Country Flag of Bavaria (striped) .svg
Armed forces Bavarian Army
Type Infantry division
structure See: Outline
First World War Western front
Battle of the Somme
Third Battle of Flanders
Great battle in France

Eastern Front

Please refer: List of commanders
Commemorative badge of the 10th Infantry Division, 1917. On the left a hydra with the designation "Somme", on the right a bear with the designation "Carpathians".

The 10th Infantry Division was a major unit of the Bavarian army in the First World War .


Division of war in March 1915

Division of war in February 1918

  • 20th Infantry Brigade
    • 16th Infantry Regiment
    • Reserve Infantry Regiment 6
    • Reserve Infantry Regiment 8
  • 3rd Squadron / 5th Bavarian Chevaulegers Regiment "Archduke Friedrich of Austria"
  • 10th Field Artillery Brigade
    • 20th Field Artillery Regiment
    • Foot Artillery Battalion 17th
  • Pioneer Company 10
  • Pioneer Company 20
  • Mine thrower company 23
  • News Commander 10


In the spring of 1915, the transition to a tripartite divisional structure began in the German Army .

The division was initially deployed on the Western Front in the Somme area, took part in the Battle of the Somme in 1916 and was transferred to the Eastern Front in August . In the Forest Carpathians , in the border area of Bukovina and Romania, she fought against the Russian army . In May 1917 the association returned to the Western Front and took part in the Third Battle of Flanders in the second half of the year . After a brief interlude on the Eastern Front, the association was moved to Lorraine . In the early summer of 1918, the division was at the Great Battle of France in the Soissons area. On August 6, 1918, the division was disbanded and its units were distributed to other units.

The allied military reconnaissance saw the division as second class.

Battle calendar


The division was established in the field on March 14, 1915. The newly established 20th Infantry Brigade, which was formed from the 16th Infantry Regiment, the Reserve Infantry Regiments 6 and 8 and the Cyclist Company 10, and the 3rd Squadron of the 5th Chevaulegers Regiment were subordinated to her . The division troops were the 10th Field Artillery Brigade, which consisted of the 19th Field Artillery Regiment and the 20th Field Artillery Regiment as well as the 10th Foot Artillery Battalion, the Pioneer Companies 19 and 20, the 10th Division Bridge Train, assigned to the 19th searchlight platoon, 10th medical company, 1st to 4th field hospital and the double telephone platoon 10. Lieutenant General z. D. Rudolf Rösch appointed. The division was subordinate to the 1st Army Corps of the 6th Army and initially deployed on its left wing near Péronne . As early as April 21, 1915, the division handed over Pioneer Company 19 to the 11th Bavarian Infantry Division . On September 29, 1915, the staff of the Reserve Infantry Regiment 6 and the III. Battalion of the 16th Infantry Regiment and the 1st Battery of the Foot Artillery Battalion 10 detached and assigned to the "von Hartz" division in the Douai area . The division itself remained with Péronne. On November 15, 1915, the mine throwing company 10 was set up and merged with the remaining engineer company 20 to form the engineer battalion 10.


Vandalized gravestone of a division medical officer; Dr. Julius Fey († 1916), from the 20th Bavarian Field Artillery Regiment, Grünstadt Jewish Cemetery

On April 22, 1916, Major General Hermann Ritter von Burkhardt took command of the division. In June 1916, the division, as a reserve of the XIV Reserve Corps , was ordered to split up its infantry regiments to reinforce the divisions deployed in front. The 16th Infantry Regiment was assigned to the 28th Reserve Division in the second line. The Reserve Infantry Regiment 6 occupied the foremost positions of the 12th Division from Curlu to Montauban , and the Reserve Infantry Regiment 8 was subordinated to the 26th (Württemberg) Reserve Division , which lay between Thiepval and St. Pierre Divion . Starting with the fire preparation on June 24, 1916, the English X. Corps (General Morland) took up action on July 1, 1916 against the front of the Reserve Regiment 8, which was initially pushed back a kilometer. He managed to fill the top positions again within a week. At the end of the battle, the Reserve Regiment suffered eight losses of eleven officers and 1,172 men. The English XIII. Corps (General Congreve) pierced the lines of the 28th Reserve Division on July 1st and crashed into the support position of the 16th Infantry Regiment, which held up until July 13th. After 14 days of fighting, the regiment had lost 73 officers and 2,559 men. Parts of the English XIII. Corps and the French 20th Corps (General Balfourier) overran the 6th Reserve Infantry Regiment deployed in front and wiped it out almost completely (losses: 35 officers and 1,774 NCOs and men). On July 7, 1916, the division took over the section of the 26th Reserve Division and again its regiments and was able to hold out until the end of July. The British no longer succeeded in making the decisive breakthrough, but tried to gradually wear down the defenders through constant attacks. From July 23, 1916, the division was withdrawn to the Solesmes area. Then she moved to accommodation near Mörchingen and was refreshed again. On July 31, 1916, the 10th Foot Artillery Battalion retired from the 10th Field Artillery Brigade.

At the end of August 1916, after Romania declared war, the division transferred to the Carpathian Front to join the Austro- Hungarian 7th Army. Their regiments were each about 60 km apart; the Reserve Infantry Regiment 6 with the 2nd Battalion of the 20th Field Artillery Regiment at the Tartaren Pass, the Reserve Infantry Regiment 8 northwest of Kirlibaba and the 16th Infantry Regiment under the command of the kuk XI. Army Corps (FML Habermann) west of Dorna Watra . The Russian attacks at the beginning of September 1916 were not only repulsed, but parts of the division advanced, taking advantage of the situation. From September 16, 1916, she joined the 3 Jäger Regiment to take the important heights of Cimbroslawa Wk and D. Coman. On October 12, 1916, Engineer Company 23 was subordinated to Engineer Battalion 10. After the failure of the attack on the D. Coman on September 30 and October 1, 1916, the Reserve Regiment 6 managed to take the summit on October 15, 1916 and hold it against the Russian counter-attacks of October 16 and 17, 1916 . On October 18, 1916, the division was detached from the front and housed at Borsa for a few days; the II. and III. Battalion of the 16th Infantry Regiment remained in Dorna Watra. From October 21, 1916 the division moved from Borsa to Csik Rakos to the Austro-Hungarian 1st Army . Ordered on November 5, 1916 north to the area of ​​Ditro Gyergyo, they should the break-in of Russian troops at Kuk XXI. Clear up army corps on both sides of the Tölgyes Pass and push back the enemy via Gyergyo Tölgyes. On November 8, 1916, the division took the Batca Rotunda by storm and pursued the Russians to the heights west of Gyergyo Tölgyes. The right wing took possession of the ridge southwest of the village of Putna. The 1st Battalion of the 16th Infantry Regiment, brought up in a two-day express march from Dorna Watra, took Belbor and its eastward heights together with the Honved Infantry Regiment 13 on November 8, 1916. From November 10, 1916, the division tried to take the Hegyes stick in a forceps operation. On November 16, 1916, the division stopped the unsuccessful assault. The division had lost 25 officers and 2,000 men in the fighting for Gyergyo Tölgyes. She remained in the positions she had reached until January 1917.


In the spring of 1917, the division moved to Eastern Galicia. On March 6, 1917, the division put a III. Department at the 20th Field Artillery Regiment. From April 12, 1917, Lieutenant General z. D. Christoph Kiefhaber took over the division. On May 20, 1917, the division was detached from its positions in eastern Galicia south of Brody and relocated to Oltingen im Sundgau. On May 21, 1917, the 19th Field Artillery Regiment retired from the 10th Field Artillery Brigade. On June 11, 1917, the division received the order to march to the west of Ghent .

On June 26, 1917, the division under the leadership of IX. Reserve Corps ("Gruppe Wytschaete") the positions on the line Klein Zillebeke, Hollebeke and Groene Linde. They deployed the Reserve Infantry Regiment 6 north of the Canal knee, the Reserve Infantry Regiment 8 in the middle and the 16th Infantry Regiment on both sides of Hollebeke. To the right of the division joined the Prussian 22nd Reserve Division and the Bavarian 6th Reserve Division , to the left of it was the Hessian 25th Infantry Division . In the rear area of ​​the corps, the general of Artillery No. 14, Bavarian Colonel Gartmayr, had prepared his batteries for a mobile fire fight.

In the morning hours of July 31, 1917, the British attacked on a broad front in the Battle of Flanders . After some loss of terrain, the troops quickly regained their positions and started a counter-attack in platoon or company strength. The division commander, Lieutenant General Kiefhaber, had not only been able to get an idea of ​​the situation by visiting the front, but was also a role model for his men. In the afternoon he ordered the division to counterattack. The tough fighting lasted into the night of July 31st, especially since the English put up bitter resistance and, for their part, repeatedly carried out counterattacks. The 16th Infantry Regiment was able to advance almost to the old positions again, the two Reserve Infantry Regiments only advanced about 800 m behind the old positions by the evening, as the 22nd Reserve Division deployed on the right was still clearly behind . On July 31, 1917, the division was able to almost restore the situation from the morning on its own, but lost 35 officers and around 1,800 men that day. In the following days, the English and German artillery units fought violent fire duels in the division sector. Soon afterwards, the division surrendered its blasted positions to the 207th Infantry Division and went to rest for a few days. Then she was ordered to the 2nd Army southwest of Cambrai.

On September 28, 1917, the 9th Reserve Division replaced the division southwest of Cambrai, which returned to the 4th Army. On October 4, 1917, Tourcoing moved her to the area northwest of Menen . By October 8, 1917, the division moved to the right of the 25th Infantry Division in the front section on the line eastward outskirts of Reutel - Polderhoek Castle west of Gheluvelt. The 22nd Reserve Division was brought up to the right of the division. The 16th Infantry Regiment was south of Polderhoek Castle, the 6th Reserve Regiment in the middle and the 8th Reserve Regiment near Reutel. The 43rd Reserve Infantry Brigade of the 22nd Infantry Division to the right of this was subordinated to the division until October 9, 1917. The 20th field artillery regiment had set up its gun emplacements at Terhand. The area had been turned into a completely silted funnel field by the rainfalls and the previous fighting, which offered no possibilities for the construction of positions and shelters. The early English attack on October 9, 1917 (Battle of Poelcapelle) collapsed in the combined fire of infantry, machine guns and artillery, as did all subsequent attack attempts. The English who invaded Polderhoek Palace were thrown out again by a counter-attack. The English suffered heavy losses on that day, but the 10th Infantry Division also suffered considerable casualties in the entire sector due to lack of suitable cover from English artillery fire. Over the next few days, the English attacked in quick succession, but the enemy got nowhere, especially because of the precise fire attacks of the divisional artillery.

The focus of the attacks therefore shifted to the north in the course of October 1917. Although the Prussian 15th Infantry Division was ready to be relieved on October 13, 1917 , it could not be completed until October 24, as the British, especially between October 19 and 24, 1917, had an enormous amount of personnel and material wanted to break through the German lines. For his unwavering perseverance on October 22nd, 1917, Division Commander Kiefhaber was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Military Max Joseph Order . The division gathered at Dadizeele and Gheluwe and stood by on October 26, 1917 in pouring rain. On October 27, 1917, the 17th Infantry Division took over from the division, which marched to Brest-Litovsk , where it was at rest during November 1917.


At the beginning of 1918 the division returned to the Western Front and pretended to be active in Lorraine in order to divert and mislead the enemy. On May 29, 1918, she withdrew from Lorraine and, after an exhausting march in high summer temperatures, reached the area northeast of Neuilly St. Front on June 3, 1918 . On the night of June 6, 1918, the division replaced the Prussian 1st Guard Infantry Division on the plateau west of Marizy-Sainte-Geneviève and set up for defense in the 5 km wide section. The Reserve Infantry Regiment 6 was west of Marizy Ste. Geneviève, the 8th Reserve Infantry Regiment at Passy-en-Valois and the 16th Infantry Regiment at Dammard . Right neighbor was the Saxon 40th Infantry Division , left neighbor was the Prussian 78th Reserve Division . On July 6, 1918, Lieutenant General Hermann Beeg replaced Ritter von Kiefhaber as division commander.

On the morning of July 18, 1918, the counterattack of the French 6th Army began in the Battle of Soissons , the units of the division deployed in front were overrun on a broad front by the French 2nd Corps (General Edme Philipot), some batteries of the 20th Field Artillery Regiment as well as the foot artillery battalion 17 fell into the hands of the enemy. Together with the Prussian 45th Reserve Division , which was in the second meeting , it was possible to seal off the break-in west of Neuilly St. Front. With the reserve and the engineer battalion 10, a reliable line of support could be formed on the heights east of Neuilly St. Front. After the situation had stabilized, the division dared a counter-attack at noon, which did not reach the old positions, but was sufficient to detach the 16th Infantry Regiment in an orderly manner and return it to Rozet St. Albin. The 45th Reserve Division took over the section of the regiment. On the morning of July 19, 1918, on the orders of the 7th Army, the division moved to the heights east of Neuilly St. Front and left the place to the advancing French. The 16th Infantry Regiment was ordered to the western edge of the forest near Pringy to protect the right flank and only evaded after the retreat of the 40th Infantry Division on Billy sur Ourcq in the afternoon to the height 172 north of Rozet St. Albin. The 236 Infantry Regiment of the Prussian 51st Reserve Division , which had already arrived there , was placed under the division. The reserve regiments 6 and 8 now also settled on the northern Ourcq bank. On July 20, 1918, the enemy continued the attacks unabated, the division now reinforced by the machine gun sniper division 4 held out for the whole day, at the end of which the regiments had a combat strength of around 150 men each. Since the 40th Infantry Division and 45th Reserve Division had to retreat further by the evening, the division was ordered to the height west of Oulchy la Ville. On July 21, 1918, the French attacked again with the same superiority and were bloody repulsed each time by the decimated division. In the afternoon the enemy forced the left neighbor, the 45th Reserve Division, to evade north over the Ourcq, so that the division had to withdraw its left wing as well. With the last of his strength, the recruit depot, it was possible to build up a thin front northeast of Oulchy le Château. On the night of July 22, 1918, she replaced the Prussian 78th Reserve Division; she herself was returned to the area southwest of le Cateau. Some troops remained with the 236 Infantry Regiment, which the village of Oulchy le Ville was able to hold against the attacks of the French all day. On July 23, 1918, at night, the replacement division took up the units of the division deployed there. As of June 4, 1918, the division had lost over 80 officers and 2,800 men on the battlefield. The division was so bled that a refresher was no longer considered. It was therefore ordered to be dissolved on August 2, 1918. The 16th Infantry Regiment was assigned to the 11th Infantry Division . The remnants of Reserve Infantry Regiment 6 were divided into the 6th Reserve Division , those of Reserve Infantry Regiment 8 on the 15th Infantry Division . The dissolution was completed on September 3, 1918.


Rank Surname date
Lieutenant General z. D. Rudolf Rösch March 14, 1915 to April 22, 1916
Major General / Lieutenant General Hermann Ritter von Burkhardt April 23, 1916 to April 11, 1917
Lieutenant General Christoph Ritter von Kiefhaber April 12, 1917 to July 6, 1918
Lieutenant General Hermann Beeg July 6 to August 2, 1918


  • Official work of the Bavarian War Archives: The Bavarians in the Great War 1914–1918. National-Verlag GmbH. Munich 1923.
  • Konrad Krafft von Dellmensingen , Friedrichfranz Feeser : The Bavaria book of the world wars 1914-1918. Chr. Belser AG publishing bookstore. Stuttgart 1930.