9th Division (German Empire)

9th Division (9. Division); in 1870-71 and from August 2, 1914, 9th Infantry Division (9. Infanterie-Division)
TypeInfantry (in peacetime included cavalry)
SizeApprox. 15,000
Part ofV. Army Corps (V. Armeekorps)
EngagementsAustro-Prussian War: Königgrätz

Franco-Prussian War: Weissenburg, Wörth, Sedan, Paris

World War I: Verdun, Spring Offensive, 3rd Aisne, 2nd Marne
Karl von Grolman, Hermann von Eichhorn, Erich Weber

The 9th Division (9. Division) was a unit of the Prussian/German Army.[1] It was formed in Glogau (now Głogów, Poland) in November 1816 as a brigade, became the 10th Division on September 5, 1818, and was renumbered the 9th Division on February 28, 1820.[2] The division was subordinated in peacetime to the V Army Corps (V. Armeekorps).[3] The division was disbanded in 1919 during the demobilization of the German Army after World War I. The division was recruited primarily in the Province of Silesia, primarily in Lower Silesia.

Combat chronicle[]

The division fought in the Austro-Prussian War in 1866, including the Battle of Königgrätz.[4] In the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, the division saw action in the opening battles of Weissenburg and Wörth, in the Sedan, and in the Siege of Paris.[5]

In World War I, the division served on the Western Front. It initially occupied the Woëvre region of France and later fought in the Verdun in 1916. In 1918, it participated in the German Spring Offensive, seeing action in the Third Battle of the Aisne and the Second Battle of the Marne. Allied intelligence rated it a first class division.[6][7]

Order of battle in the Franco-Prussian War[]

During wartime, the 9th Division, like other regular German divisions, was redesignated an infantry division. The organization of the 9th Infantry Division in 1870 at the beginning of the Franco-Prussian War was as follows:[8]

Pre-World War I organization[]

German divisions underwent various organizational changes after the Franco-Prussian War. The 9th Division lost all of its original infantry regiments to other divisions and received replacement regiments. The organization of the 9th Division in 1914, shortly before the outbreak of World War I, was as follows:[9]

Order of battle on mobilization[]

On mobilization in August 1914 at the beginning of World War I, most divisional cavalry, including brigade headquarters, was withdrawn to form cavalry divisions or split up among divisions as reconnaissance units. Divisions received engineer companies and other support units from their higher headquarters. The 9th Division was again renamed the 9th Infantry Division. Its initial wartime organization was as follows:[10]

Late World War I organization[]

Divisions underwent many changes during the war, with regiments moving from division to division, and some being destroyed and rebuilt. During the war, most divisions became triangular - one infantry brigade with three infantry regiments rather than two infantry brigades of two regiments (a "square division"). An artillery commander replaced the artillery brigade headquarters, the cavalry was further reduced, the engineer contingent was increased, and a divisional signals command was created. The 9th Infantry Division's order of battle on March 11, 1918, was as follows:[10]



  1. ^ From the late 1800s, the Prussian Army was effectively the German Army, as during the period of German unification (1866–1871) the states of the German Empire entered into conventions with Prussia regarding their armies and only the Bavarian Army remained fully autonomous.
  2. ^ Günter Wegner, Stellenbesetzung der deutschen Heere 1815-1939. (Biblio Verlag, Osnabrück, 1993), Bd. 1, p.102; Claus von Bredow, bearb., Historische Rang- und Stammliste des deuschen Heeres (1905), pp.386–387
  3. ^ Wegner, pp. 54–55.
  4. ^ Hermann Cron et al., Ruhmeshalle unserer alten Armee (Berlin, 1935); Wegner, pp.387
  5. ^ Cron et al., Ruhmeshalle; Wegner, pp.360
  6. ^ 9. Infanterie-Division
  7. ^ Histories of Two Hundred and Fifty-One Divisions of the German Army which Participated in the War (1914–1918), compiled from records of Intelligence section of the General Staff, American Expionary Forces, at General Headquarters, Chaumont, France 1919 (1920), pp. 167-170.
  8. ^ A. Niemann, Der französische Feldzug 1870-1871 (Verlag des Bibliographischen Instituts, Hildburghausen, 1871), p. 46
  9. ^ Rangliste der Königlich Preußischen Armee (1914), pp. 67-68.
  10. ^ a b Cron et al., Ruhmeshalle