(Generalkommando zbV 51)
Flag of the Staff of a Generalkommando (1871–1918)
The 51st Corps (z.b.V.) was formed in September 1916. With the onset of trench warfare, the German Army recognised that it was no longer possible to maintain the traditional Corps unit, that is, one made up of two divisions. Whereas at some times (and in some places) a Corps of two divisions was sufficient, at other times 5 or 6 divisions were necessary. Therefore, under the Hindenburg regime (from summer 1916), new Corps headquarters were created without organic divisions. These new Corps were designated General Commands for Special Use (German: Generalkommandos zur besonderen Verwendung).
The 51st Corps was sent to the Italian Front in September 1917 to help shore up the Austro-Hungarian Army. It commanded 26th (1st Württemberg) and 200th Divisions and played a prominent part in the Battle of Caporetto under 14th Army. Following the successful offensive, the front soon froze again in trench warfare. The German High Command decided to withdraw its forces again to use on other fronts. On 23 January 1918 the Army Command was recalled (to form a new 17th Army on the Western Front). The German troops remaining on the Italian front came under the command of 51st Corps until it was withdrawn in February 1918.
|Generalleutnant Albert von Berrer||27 August 1916||28 October 1917|
|Generalleutnant Eberhard von Hofacker||3 November 1917||23 August 1918|
|Generalleutnant Hans von Below||23 August 1918||end of war|