XIV Army Corps (German Empire)

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Flag pattern of Baden infantry flags

The XIV. Army Corps was a large unit of the Prussian Army of the German Empire that brought together the Baden troops . The seat of the General Command was the Baden capital and residence city of Karlsruhe . At the beginning of the war in 1914 in the Vosges, from the Deputy General Command XIV., An independent large unit, the Gaede Army Division, was set up and renamed Army Division B in 1916 .


Before the beginning of World War I , the corps was subordinate to the 5th Army Inspection in Karlsruhe. The following military units were subordinate to him :


Franco-German War

August from Werder

During the war against France in 1870/71, a blockade corps under General August von Werder was formed for the siege of Strasbourg . Werder's armed forces consisted mainly of the Baden division under General Gustav von Beyer , which also included the Baden cavalry brigade (Freiherr von La Roche-Starkenfels) with three dragoon regiments. Later the Guard Landwehr Division under General von Loën and the 1st Landwehr Division under General von Tresckow joined the siege corps. When these troops were released on September 27, 1870 after the capture of Strasbourg , the XIV Army Corps was formed by AKO on September 30, which was disbanded in March 1871.

The task of the XIV Corps was to secure the rear connections of the German army lying in front of Paris. It crossed the Vosges via Schirmeck to Barr to clean up Franktireurs . Since the beginning of October a strong French corps had formed under General Cambriels at Epinal , under whose protection additional mobile guards were gathered. On October 6th, the Baden Brigade Degenfeld marched on both banks of the Meurthe , forced opposing troops to retreat on Rambervillers and Bruyeres and reached St. Dié . On October 11th, General Cambriels' troops, which were large in number but not very strong, were forced to evacuate Bruyeres. General Werder concentrated his troops in the Epinal area and on October 20 began an advance via Conflans and Luxeuil on Vesoul . On October 22nd, he led an attack on the French standing on the Ognon , who tried to force the river crossing at Cussey and had support from the troops in Besançon . On Doubs is an Italian Relief Corps gathered under Garibaldi , Werder had this unheeded and led his corps on October 26 on to Dampierre and Gray. On the other side of the Saône , all roads turned out to be interrupted by the enemy. In anticipation of an attack, the XIV Corps gathered behind the Vingeanne , from where the von Beyer division was able to occupy the city of Dijon on October 31, 1870 after brief fighting.

New instructions determined Werder to cover the left flank of Prince Friedrich Karl's 2nd Army heading for the Loire . While Dijon was occupied, the Werder corps moved to Vesoul in order to curb the strong French troop concentrations around Besançon and Langres . At the same time Garibaldi's troops appeared between Dole and Auxonne . The French general Crouzat marched from Besançon to Cagny, where he increased to 45,000 men. Garibaldi's corps sat meanwhile about Autun in motion to Bourges secure.

The XIV. Corps was also tasked with taking the Alsatian fortresses, for this purpose the 4th Reserve Division under General von Schmeling near Neuchâtel was brought across the Rhine at the beginning of October to besiege the fortresses Schlettstadt and Neu-Breisach. Schlettstadt was handed over on October 24th, Verdun was taken on November 8th, 1870 without a fight. Neu-Breisach and Fort Mortier surrendered after nine days of bombardment on November 10th. The actual siege of Belfort began on November 8th by the 1st Reserve Division under General Udo von Tresckow and did not lead to the surrender until after the armistice on February 18, 1871.

General Werder's corps finally received the vacated 4th Reserve Division as reinforcement and was thus able to free his Baden observation troops at Vesoul and Gray . On November 25th, a division of Garibaldi advanced against Dijon, but was beaten off by the Baden garrison on the 27th. By mid-December, battles against the Cremer division had to be carried out in the west and south of Dijon , including the battle at Nuits on December 18, 1870 . After the fall of the northern fortresses, additional parts of the VII Army Corps were released, which secured the important communication routes in the north of Dijon.

Werder's corps now had to cover the entire line from Dampierre on the Saone via Vesoul to the Lure . After a battle at Vesoul on January 5th, it became clear that a new opposing army (French 18th, 20th and 24th Corps) was approaching, the aim of which was to relieve Belfort and cut off the rearward connection of the Germans. This Eastern Army under General Bourbaki tried to push itself between Werder's corps and the Belfort fortress and to separate them. On January 9th there was a meeting of Villersexel , in which General von Tresckow had to order the withdrawal. On January 10th, Werder's corps advanced as far as Ronchamps, a detachment under Colonel von Willisen remained on the Lure to observe the enemy. The Baden Division reached on 11 January in time Frahier at the Lisaine and got in touch with the Zernierungskorps of Belfort on.

The most important deployment of the XIV. Corps in this war occurred on January 15, 16 and 17, 1871, west of the fortress in the three-day battle of the Lisaine . With around 43,000 men, General Werder was able to successfully repel all attacks by the three times superior French Eastern Army . The Baden Division distinguished itself on the right wing from Frahier, the assigned 4th Reserve Division under General Schmeling on the left wing from Montbéliard . In the center of Hericourt as far as Chagny, 61 guns stopped the late attack of the French 18th and 20th Corps.

The subsequent pursuit of the defeated enemy took place in cooperation with the German southern army under General von Manteuffel, which was intervening in the Côte-d'Or department . On January 25th, the XIV. Corps reached the connection to the Southern Army marching over Rioz and cleared the 14th Division of the VII. Corps in the Besançon area. The operation resulted in the transfer of around 87,000 French soldiers to Switzerland in early February 1871 . In honor of the corps, the victory monument was inaugurated in Freiburg im Breisgau in 1876 .

After the peace treaty , the XIV. Army Corps from Baden and Prussian troops was set up again on July 1, 1871 . In September 1885, during the great autumn exercises, Prince Wilhelm of Prussia (later Kaiser Wilhelm II ), who was then a major , was assigned to serve at the General Command of the XIV Army Corps. From March 29, 1900, Erich von Falkenhayn was Chief of Staff for five months .

First World War

At the beginning of August 1914, the XIV Army Corps was under the command of General Infantry Ernst von Hoiningen in the 7th Army in the Vosges . The subordinate 28th and 29th divisions fought in the first battle near Mulhouse , then transferred to Lorraine to the 6th Army and also intervened in the battle of Saarburg on August 24th . On August 31, 1914, General Theodor von Watter took over the command of the corps, which followed the transfer of the 6th Army to the Arras area at the end of September during the race to the sea . From October 6th, the corps fought in the first battle at Arras. Even before a decision was made there, the 28th Division began unloading at Douai and intervening there in the Battle of Lille . The XIV. Army Corps tried to encompass the French north of Lens and covered the extension of the Saxon XIX. Army Corps east of Valenciennes . After the front had solidified in October 1914, the corps had to fight for years in French Flanders and in the Artois .

The corps remained in the Arras area until May 1915, with a focus on La Bassee and around the Loretto height near Ablain. In mid-June 1915 the transfer to the 3rd Army took place , it cleared the X. Reserve Corps in the Reims area and was involved in the autumn battle in Champagne from mid-October to November . From August 12, 1916, the commanding general Karl Heinrich von Hänisch was replaced by Lieutenant General Chales de Beaulieu . In October 1916, the XIV. Corps was also briefly used in the Battle of the Somme .

Martin Franz Chales de Beaulieu

Between November 4, 1916 and March 9, 1917, the corps was as a group "Hardaumont" on the northeast defensive front of Verdun and fought against French counter-attacks. Between April 16 and 25, 1917, during the Battle of the Aisne , the corps formed the “Prosnes” group in the 1st Army in western Champagne. It had to fend off strong attacks by the French 4th Army and was replaced by the III. Army Corps pulled out of the major battle. After being transferred back to the Flemish front, the corps took over the defense of the section north of Ypres from May 11 to August 23, 1917 with the 4th Army during the Third Battle of Flanders . At the beginning of the battle, the Dixmuide group was subordinate to the 40th and 111th Divisions , as well as the 2nd Guard Reserve Division , which were quickly used up in the major battle. On June 20, the 19th and 20th Landwehr Divisions and the 49th Reserve Division were assigned to the corps.

After this battle subsided, the corps took over the "Wytschaete" group located further south in Flanders between November 24 and December 4, 1917. On December 7, 1917 the XXIII. Reserve corps in the 2nd Army cleared, the corps took over the group "Busigny" in the area west of Cambrai until the start of the German spring offensive .

From March 21, 1918, the corps took part in Operation Michael in the section of the 2nd Army in the breakthrough battle north of St. Quentin . The group " Gontard " was assigned the 4th Guard Division and 25th Division in the front between Nauroy and Bellicourt, and the 1st Division as a reserve in the second line . At the end of June 1918, the "Gontard" group was returned to the 1st Army and fought in the battle between Soissons and Reims . After the failure of the second attempt at breakthrough on the Marne , defensive battles followed on the Aisne . After the German withdrawal, further defensive battles followed for the corps in Champagne in August 1918, at the end of the war the corps was in the Maas position with the 18th Army .

Commanding generals

Rank Surname date
General of the Infantry August from Werder September 30, 1870 to April 14, 1879
General of the Infantry Hugo von Obernitz April 15, 1879 to August 19, 1888
General of the Infantry Sigismund von Schlichting August 20, 1888 to January 1, 1896
General of the cavalry Adolf Karl von Bülow 0January 2, 1896 to January 26, 1902
General of the Infantry Max von Bock and Polach January 27, 1902 to September 10, 1907
Lieutenant General / General of the Infantry Ernst von Hoiningen September 11, 1907 to August 31, 1914
Dignity. Lieutenant General Theodor von Watter 0September 1, 1914 to March 9, 1915
Lieutenant General Karl Heinrich von Hänisch March 10, 1915 to August 11, 1916
Lieutenant General Martin Chales de Beaulieu August 12, 1916 to September 4, 1917
Lieutenant General Alfred von Böckmann 0September 5 to November 1, 1917
Lieutenant General Friedrich von Gontard 0November 2, 1917 to June 28, 1919

Army Division B


During the mobilization in 1914, the Deputy General Command XIV was mobilized and on September 19, 1914 renamed the Army Group "Gaede". Two months later, from November 25th, it was renamed again to "Gaede" army division. On September 6, 1916, it was given its final name, Army Division "B". It was dissolved on December 23, 1918 after the end of the war.

Army detachment Gaede 1915

The Army Group / Army Department was only deployed on the western front from the southern Vosges to the Sundgau with the German Crown Prince Army Group , from February 25, 1917 Army Group Duke Albrecht von Württemberg.

From August 2 to September 19, 1914, they stood as cover troops behind the 7th Army on the Upper Rhine. After the 7th Army was moved north, it took over its section of the front.

Organization of the war in mobilization 1914

  • Brigade troops
IV. Battalion / Landwehr - Infantry - regiment # 99.
2nd Landwehr Squadron XIV
Field Artillery Replacement Department 14
3rd Battery / Landwehr Foot Artillery Regiment No. 13
  • 2nd Bavarian mixed Landwehr Brigade
1st and 2nd battery / Landwehr foot artillery battalion 20
Landwehr Infantry Regiment No. 121 with companies
Württemberg Landwehr Infantry Regiment No. 123 with three companies
Landwehr Battery XIII
4th Battery / Landwehr Foot Artillery Battalion 20
2. Landwehr Pioneer Company XIII
(January to March 1915 with Württemberg snowshoe company No. 1)
  • 55th Mixed Landwehr Brigade
Landwehr Infantry Regiment No. 40 with two battalions
Württ. Landwehr Infantry Regiment No. 119 with four companies
1st Landwehr Squadron XIII
Landwehr Field Artillery Battery 76 / XIV
2nd and 4th Battery / Foot Artillery Regiment No. 16
5th Mobile Battery / Replacement Battalion of the No. 20 Foot Artillery Regiment
1st company / bath. II. (Reserve) Engineer Battalion No. 14

As of 11 December 1914 came Fuchs Division (with 29 Infantry Brigade, 31 Infantry Brigade and three batteries of the Bavarian Replacement Division , formerly Army Division Strantz ) on 24 December 1914, the 42nd Cavalry - Brigade (previously 7 . Cavalry Division ). On December 23, 1914, the 31st Infantry Brigade was transferred to the 3rd Army . On December 27, 1914, the 7th Cavalry Division (without the 30th and 42nd Cavalry Brigade, without the Jäger Battalion No. 9 ) was added.

In 1915, the previously independent brigades of the Army Department were incorporated into newly formed divisions.

In May 1917 the 7th (Württemberg) Landwehr Division and the 12th Landwehr Division were surrendered, but the 26th (Württemberg) Landwehr Division was transferred to Army Division B.

Commanding generals

Rank Surname date
General of the Infantry Hans Gaede August 13, 1914 to September 3, 1916
General of the Infantry Erich von Gündell 0September 3, 1916 to November 7, 1918



  • Otto von Moser: The Württemberg people in the world war. Publishing bookstore Chr.Belser AG, Stuttgart 1927.
  • From Sundgau and Wasgenwald: Field newspaper of Army Department B. [1]

Web links

Commons : XIV Army Corps  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Justus Scheibert : The War between France and Germany 1870/71, Paulis Successor, Berlin 1895, pp. 256 and 257.
  2. ^ Justus Scheibert: The war between France and Germany 1870/71. Pauli's successor, Berlin 1895, p. 266f.
  3. ^ Justus Scheibert: The war between France and Germany 1870/71. Pauli's successor, Berlin 1895, p. 280f.
  4. Chapter The Chief of the Army: Kaiser Wilhelm II. ( Memento of the original from June 24, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (P. 5–9.) In: Klaus von Bredow, Ernst von Wedel: Historical ranking and master list of the German army. Berlin (Scherl) 1905. ( Memento of the original from January 20, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.grosser-generalstab.de @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.grosser-generalstab.de
  5. ^ Reichsarchiv: The World War 1914-18. Volume IX. Enclosures sketch 1 and 2
  6. ^ Reichsarchiv: The World War 1914-18, Volume XIII, ES Mittler und Sohn, Appendix 2a
  7. ^ Dermot Bradley (ed.), Günter Wegner: Occupation of the German Army 1815-1939 Volume 1: The higher command posts 1815-1939 . Biblio Verlag, Osnabrück 1990, ISBN 3-7648-1780-1 , p. 75.
  8. History of the Army Division B


  1. Army departments differ from armies only in the lower number of troop units, especially heavy artillery units.