53rd Corps (German Empire)

53rd Corps
(Generalkommando zbV 53)
Stab eines Generalkommandos.svg
Flag of the Staff of a Generalkommando (1871–1918)
ActiveSeptember 1916-1919
Country German Empire
EngagementsWorld War I

The 53rd Corps (German: Generalkommando zbV 53) was a corps formation of the German Army in World War I. It was formed in September 1916 and was still in existence at the end of the war.[1]


The 53rd[2] Corps (z.b.V.)[3] was formed in September 1916.[4] 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.[5] These new Corps were designated General Commands for Special Use (German: Generalkommandos zur besonderen Verwendung).


The 53rd Corps had the following commanders during its existence:[6][7]

Commander From To
Generalleutnant Konstanz von Heineccius 31 August 1916 8 March 1917
General der Kavallerie Manfred von Richthofen 8 March 1917[8] 18 January 1918
Generalleutnant Leo Limbourg 18 January 1918 end of the war

See also[]


  1. ^ Cron 2002, pp. 88–89
  2. ^ Note that Corps (z.b.V.) were designated with Arabic, not Roman, numerals.
  3. ^ General Commands for Special Use Generalkommandos zur besonderen Verwendung (Genkdo z.b.V.)
  4. ^ Cron 2002, p. 89
  5. ^ Cron 2002, p. 87
  6. ^ "The Prussian Machine, GenKdo". Archived from the original on 11 April 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
  7. ^ "German War History". Retrieved 29 October 2012.
  8. ^ Von Richthofen took command on 8 March 1917 according to The Prussian Machine, but 18 November 1916 according to German War History.