German Army order of battle (1914)

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This is the German Army order of battle on the outbreak of World War I in August 1914.

Commanders and locations of the German Army

The overall commander of the Imperial German Army was Kaiser Wilhelm II. The Chief of the General Staff was Generaloberst Helmuth von Moltke the Younger, with General Hermann von Stein as Deputy Chief. The Departmental chiefs were Oberst Tappen (Operations Branch), Oberstleutnant Hentsch (Intelligence Branch), Major Nicolai (Secret Service), Oberst von Dommes (Political Section), Generalleutnant Siger (Field munitions), Major Thomsen (Air Service), Oberst Groner (Field Railways), and General von Schjerning (Medical Services). Generalmajor von Schoeler was Intendant-General (responsible for logistical supplies), and General von Claer was General of Engineers.

Homeland corps deployments (1871-1914)

During times of war in Germany, all military forces came under the direct command of the German Emperor, via Article 60 of the Constitution of the German Reich (1871). From 1871 to 1918, the forces of the Emperor included those of the kingdoms of Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony and Wurttemberg, with all other states commanded by, or merged with his Prussian army.

Western Front


Four independent cavalry corps served on the Western Front:

Each Cavalry Division consisted of 3 Brigades, each of 2 Cavalry Regiments (24 squadrons total), 3 horse artillery batteries (4 guns each) and an MG detachment (6 MGs).

First Army

First Army was commanded by Generaloberst Alexander von Kluck.

Second Army

2nd Army was commanded by Generaloberst Karl von Bülow.

Third Army

3rd Army was commanded by Generaloberst Max von Hausen.

Fourth Army

4th Army was commanded by Generaloberst Albrecht, Duke of Württemberg.

Fifth Army

5th Army was commanded by Generalmajor Wilhelm, Crown Prince of Germany.

Sixth Army

6th Army was commanded by Generaloberst Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria.

Seventh Army

7th Army was commanded by Generaloberst Josias von Heeringen.

Eastern Front

Eighth Army

8th Army was commanded by Generaloberst Maximilian von Prittwitz.

Army of the North

Order of battle graphic of North Army

North Army

Central Reserves and Border Fortresses

See also


  1. ^ Originally held back in Schleswig in case of British landings; moved up in late August.
  2. ^ expansion of pre-war 18th Btn
  3. ^ Given by Edmonds as "3rd Guard Reserve Division".
  4. ^ II & III Btns, 4th Foot Regt; I & II Btns, 9th Foot Regt
  5. ^ II Btn, 9th Reserve Foot Regt
  6. ^ 1st & 5th Btys
  7. ^ expansion of pre-war 24th & 25th Btns
  8. ^ III Btn, 1st Foot Regt
  9. ^ expansion of pre-war 23rd Btn
  10. ^ II & III Btns, 7th Foot Regt
  11. ^ expansion of pre-war 30th Btn
  12. ^ I & II Btns, 6th Foot Regt; II & III Btns, 12th Foot Regt;
  13. ^ expansion of pre-war 20th & 29th Btns
  14. ^ II Btn, 3rd Bavarian Foot Regt; II & III Btns, 18th Foot Regt
  15. ^ 2nd Bty
  16. ^ 1st Bty
  17. ^ expansion of pre-war 19th & 4th Bavarian Btns
  18. ^ Transferred to 1st Army in late August.


  • Appendix 6: Order of battle of the German Armies. In: History of the Great War: Military Operations, France and Belgium 1914, by J. E. Edmonds. Macmillan & Co., London, 1922.
  • Appendix 1: The Field Army, 17 August 1914. In: Imperial German Army 1914-18: Organisation, Structure, Orders-of-Battle, by Hermann Cron. Helion & Co., 2002.
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