Bavarian Ersatz Division

Bavarian Ersatz Division (Bayerische Ersatz Division)
Active1914-1919
CountryBavaria/Germany
BranchArmy
TypeInfantry
SizeApprox. 15,000
EngagementsWorld War I:

Battle of the Frontiers, Race to the Sea, Verdun, Second Battle of the Aisne,

Battle of Passchendaele, Romanian Campaign, Hundred Days Offensive

The Bavarian Ersatz Division (Bayerische Ersatz Division) was a bavarian division of the Imperial German Army in World War I. It was formed in August 1914 and dissolved on 6 October 1918. It was initially an all-Bavarian formation, but soon received several non-Bavarian units which served with the division until 1917.

Combat narrative[]

The division first saw action in 1914 in the Battle of the Frontiers, including the battles before Nancy and Epinal. The division participated in the Race to the Sea, and then settled into trenchline duty. The divisional commander, General der Infanterie Eugen Ritter von Benzino, was killed in action on November 28, 1915. In 1916, the division entered into the Battle of Verdun and fought on the Somme in October.[1] The division also was engaged in 1917 in the Second Battle of the Aisne, also called the Third Battle of Champagne and referred to in German sources as the Dual Battle of Aisne-Champagne (Doppelschlacht Aisne-Champagne). After a short spell in the trenches near Verdun, in the latter part of 1917, the division was sent to Flanders in response to the Allied offensive there. In October 1917, the division went to the Romanian Front and then to Ukraine after the armistice in Romania. It returned to the Western Front in April 1918, occupying the line near Verdun and then Reims, and then engaged in mobile defense. It ended the war facing Allied forces in the Hundred Days Offensive. The division was rated as a third class division by Allied intelligence.[2][3]

Formation and organization on mobilization[]

On mobilization, the Bavarian Army formed twelve Brigade Replacement Battalions (Brigade-Ersatz-Bataillone) by grouping companies taken from the replacement, or Ersatz, battalion of each infantry regiment. These battalions were then formed into three mixed brigades of four battalions each, together with Ersatz cavalry, artillery and engineer units, which were formed from the replacement detachments and companies of the cavalry and artillery regiments and the engineer battalions.[4]

The order of battle of the Bavarian Ersatz Division on mobilization, was as follows:[5]

Organizational changes and late-war organization[]

The 5th Mixed Replacement Brigade (5. gemischte Ersatz-Brigade) was transferred to the 30th Reserve Division on August 17, 1914.

The order of battle of the Bavarian Ersatz Division on September 15, 1914, was as follows:[6]

Bavarian Ersatz Division

On October 3, 1914, the new Bavarian 3rd Reserve Brigade joined the division from the 30th Reserve Division. In addition, the 1st and 9th Mixed Replacement Brigades were redesignated as the 1st and 9th Replacement Brigades and their cavalry, artillery and engineer units were moved to division level. Three battalions from each brigade were reorganized into Kgl. Bayer. Ersatz-Infanterie-Regiment Nr.1 (1st Replacement Brigade) and Kgl. Bayer. Ersatz-Infanterie-Regiment Nr.3 (9th Replacement Brigade). Prior to November 20, these two regiments were transferred to "Division von Rekowski" (which later became the 39th Bavarian Reserve Division). Kgl. Bayer. Ersatz-Infanterie-Regiment Nr.2 was formed from two battalions of the 5th Mixed Replacement Brigade as well as troops drawn from elsewhere in the Bavarian Army; it was attached to the Bavarian Ersatz Division.[2]

On November 22, 1914, the 59th Replacement Infantry Brigade (Ersatz-Infanterie-Brigade), a non-Bavarian unit, was renamed the 59th Landwehr Infantry Brigade (59. Landwehr-Infanterie-Brigade) and attached to the Bavarian Ersatz Division.[7]

On December 10, 1914, the division consisted of:[8]

The organization of the division on April 7, 1918 was as follows:[12]

References[]

  • Bayerische-Ersatz-Division
  • 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)
  • Hermann Cron et al., Ruhmeshalle unserer alten Armee (Berlin, 1935)
  • Hermann Cron, Geschichte des deutschen Heeres im Weltkriege 1914-1918 (Berlin, 1937)
  • Miles, W (1938). Military Operations France and Belgium, 1916, 2nd july 1916 to the end of the battles of the Somme (Battery Press 1992 ed.). London: Macmillan. ISBN 0-901627-76-3.

Notes[]

  1. ^ Miles 1938, p. 469.
  2. ^ a b Bayerische-Ersatz-Division
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Hartwig Busche, Formationsgeschichte der deutschen Infanterie im Ersten Weltkrieg 1914-1918 (1998)
  5. ^ Hermann Cron et al., Ruhmeshalle unserer alten Armee (Berlin, 1935)
  6. ^ 5 Weltkrieg, p. 590
  7. ^ This brigade remained with the division until it was reassigned to the 199th Infantry Division on January 15, 1917.
  8. ^ 6 Weltkrieg 453
  9. ^ Joined the division on October 3 from the 30th Reserve Division. Note that this is the new Bavarian 3d Reserve Infantry Brigade; the old Bavarian 3d was dissolved on August 17
  10. ^ Joined the division on October 3 as 59th Ersatz Infantry Brigade (aka Brigade Rasch); renamed 59th Landwehr Infantry Brigade in mid-November
  11. ^ Composed of the 56th & 57th Brigade Ersatz Battalions
  12. ^ Cron et al., Ruhmeshalle