XXXIX. Reserve Corps (German Empire)

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The XXXIX. Reserve Corps (at times also known as the Lauenstein Army Group ) was a major unit of the army of the German Empire .

Outline 1914

The corps was formed in the course of the second major reorganization in the winter of 1914 and was subordinate to the 10th Army at the beginning . It was structured as follows:

77th Reserve Division

  • 77th Reserve Infantry Brigade
    • Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 255
    • Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 256
    • Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 257
    • Reserve Cyclist Company No. 77
    • Reserve Cavalry Division No. 77
  • 77th Reserve Field Artillery Brigade
    • Reserve Field Artillery Regiment No. 59
    • Reserve Field Artillery Regiment No. 60
    • Reserve Engineer Company No. 78
    • Reserve Engineer Company No. 79

78th Reserve Division

  • 78th Reserve Infantry Brigade
    • Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 258
    • Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 259
    • Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 260
    • Reserve Cyclist Company No. 78
    • Reserve Cavalry Division No. 78
  • 78th Reserve Field Artillery Brigade
    • Reserve Field Artillery Regiment No. 61
    • Reserve Field Artillery Regiment No. 62
  • Reserve Pioneer Company No. 80


On December 24, 1914, Lieutenant General Otto von Lauenstein became the leader of the newly established XXXIX. Reserve Corps, which at that time consisted of the 77th and 78th Reserve Divisions and was deployed in East Prussia . During the winter battle of the Masuria , the corps was subordinate to the 10th Army and assembled in the Insterburg area . The troops were at the center of General Hermann von Eichhorn's army and had to lead the attack on Pilkallen on February 9th, the 78th division on the left and the 77th on the right. Towards the east, the XXI secured the right neighbor . Army Corps under General von Below through the advance on Schirwindt . On the left operated from Gumbinnen , the XXXVIII. Reserve Corps under von der Marwitz , in the direction of the East Prussian border at Stallupönen .

After a major increase in his subordinate troops, General von Lauenstein became Commander-in-Chief of the Army Group "Lauenstein" on April 22, 1915 - initially consisting of the 78th Reserve Division of the 10th Army , the 6th Reserve Division of the 9th Army , Landwehr Department Pappritz and the Higher Cavalry Command under Manfred von Richthofen with the Bavarian , as well as the 3rd and 6th Cavalry Division . Lauenstein's army group advanced via Schaulen to the east and was able to take Libau together with naval units by May 8, but was then pushed into defense by Russian counter-attacks from the Mitau area on the Dubissa . After securing his left flank, his army group advanced with the 6th , 36th and 78th Reserve Divisions via Mitau to Courland at the end of August 1915 .

The newly added 88th Division , the combined division "Beckmann", and the short-term subordinate I. Reserve Corps under General Kurt von Morgen led the advance on Dünaburg in mid-September . To protect Riga , the Russian northern front was significantly strengthened under General Russki , and on the Dune Line the front froze again into positional warfare . For health reasons, Lauenstein had to give up his command on July 7, 1916.

General von Staabs

His successor was Lieutenant General Hermann von Staabs . The corps fought against Romania as part of the 9th Army under the command of Erich von Falkenhayn . The 9th Army carried out a counter-attack to protect Transylvania . Between September 26 and 29, 1916, the XXXIX proved its worth. Reserve corps in the Battle of Sibiu , covered on the left by the Austro-Hungarian 1st Army and the Schmettow Cavalry Corps , on the right by the decisive deployment of the Krafft group . The Falkenhayn Army then turned against the flank of the Romanian 2nd Army to the east, standing in front of the Austrian front. On October 5th, the already receding rearguards of the Romanians in the Geisterwald were attacked and from October 7th to 9th, in close cooperation with the Austrians in the battle of Kronstadt, they were forced to retreat in a tough house-to-house battle. After leaving the ridge, the corps advanced towards Bucharest by the beginning of December . At the turn of the year they turned east and the trench warfare began again at the Moldovan border.

On December 3, 1917 von Staabs was appointed General of the Infantry. The corps was in the Association of the 2nd Army at the company Michael involved. From March 17 to May 22, 1918 von Staabs was provisional leader of the XIII. (Royal Württemberg) Army Corps . Lieutenant General Paul Grünert was temporarily with the leadership of the XXXIX. Reserve Corps commissioned. Hermann von Staabs took over the corps again on May 22, 1918 and led it into the fighting on the Western Front in the autumn.

Relocated to the Balkans in October 1918, it took over the leadership of the withdrawal of German units from Serbia, ultimately subordinate to the Alpine Corps and the 219th Division .

Commanding general

Rank Surname date
Lieutenant General Otto von Lauenstein December 24, 1914 to July 7, 1916
Lieutenant General Hermann von Staabs July 7, 1916 to March 16, 1918
Lieutenant General Paul Grünert March 16, 1918 to May 22, 1918 (in charge of the tour)
General of the Infantry Hermann von Staabs May 22, 1918 until the end of the war


  • Otto von Lauenstein military biography on Prussian Machine
  • Karl-Friedrich Hildebrand, Christian Zweng: The knights of the order Pour le Mérite of the First World War. , Volume 1: A – G, Biblio Verlag, Osnabrück 1999, ISBN 3-7648-2505-7 , pp. 539-541

Individual evidence

  1. a b c 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. 626