VI Corps (German Empire)

VI Army Corps
VI. Armee-Korps
Stab eines Generalkommandos.svg
Flag of the Staff of a Generalkommando (1871–1918)
Active1815 (1815)–1919 (1919)
Country Prussia /  German Empire
TypeCorps
SizeApproximately 44,000 (on mobilisation in 1914)
Garrison/HQBreslau
EngagementsAustro-Prussian War
Battle of Königgrätz

Franco-Prussian War

Siege of Paris
Battle of Chevilly

World War I

Battle of the Frontiers

The VI Army Corps / VI AK (German: VI. Armee-Korps) was a corps level command of the Prussian and then the Imperial German Armies from the 19th Century to World War I.

Originating in 1815 as the General Command for the Province of Silesia with headquarters in Breslau[1] (now Wrocław in Poland).

The Corps served in the Austro-Prussian War. During the Franco-Prussian War it was assigned to the 3rd Army.

In peacetime the Corps was assigned to the VIII Army Inspectorate but joined the 4th Army at the start of the First World War.[2] It was still in existence at the end of the war.[3] The Corps was disbanded with the demobilisation of the German Army after World War I.

Austro-Prussian War[]

VI Corps fought in the Austro-Prussian War in 1866, seeing action in the Battle of Königgrätz.

Franco-Prussian War[]

During the Franco-Prussian War, the Corps was initially held back in Silesia against the possibility of intervention by Austria-Hungary. It only moved up to join the 3rd Army in August 1870. It then participated in the Siege of Paris and the Battle of Chevilly.

Peacetime organisation[]

The 25 peacetime Corps of the German Army (Guards, I - XXI, I - III Bavarian) had a reasonably standardised organisation. Each consisted of two divisions with usually two infantry brigades, one field artillery brigade and a cavalry brigade each.[4] Each brigade normally consisted of two regiments of the appropriate type, so each Corps normally commanded 8 infantry, 4 field artillery and 4 cavalry regiments. There were exceptions to this rule:

V, VI, VII, IX and XIV Corps each had a 5th infantry brigade (so 10 infantry regiments)
II, XIII, XVIII and XXI Corps had a 9th infantry regiment
I, VI and XVI Corps had a 3rd cavalry brigade (so 6 cavalry regiments)
the Guards Corps had 11 infantry regiments (in 5 brigades) and 8 cavalry regiments (in 4 brigades).[5]

Each Corps also directly controlled a number of other units. This could include one or more

Foot Artillery Regiment
Jäger Battalion
Pioneer Battalion
Train Battalion

World War I[]

Organisation on mobilisation[]

On mobilization, on 2 August 1914, the Corps was restructured. The 11th and 12th Cavalry Brigades were withdrawn to form part of the 5th Cavalry Division[7] and the 44th Cavalry Brigade was broken up and its regiments assigned to the divisions as reconnaissance units. The 23rd Infantry Brigade was assigned to the 11th Reserve Division with VI Reserve Corps. Divisions received engineer companies and other support units from the Corps headquarters. In summary, VI Corps mobilised with 25 infantry battalions, 9 machine gun companies (54 machine guns), 8 cavalry squadrons, 24 field artillery batteries (144 guns), 4 heavy artillery batteries (16 guns), 3 pioneer companies and an aviation detachment.

Combat chronicle[]

On mobilisation, VI Corps was assigned to the 4th Army forming part of centre of the forces for the Schlieffen Plan offensive in August 1914 on the Western Front.

It was still in existence at the end of the war.[11]

Commanders[]

The VI Corps had the following commanders during its existence:[12][13][14]

From Rank Name
15 April 1815 Friedrich Heinrich von Hünerbein
11 February 1819 Wieprecht Graf von Zieten
29 November 1839 Generalleutnant Friedrich Wilhelm, Count Brandenburg
10 September 1849 Karl Friedrich von Lindheim
10 May 1862 General der Kavallerie Louis Wilhelm Franz von Mutius
30 October 1866 General der Kavallerie Wilhelm Georg von Tümpling
27 November 1883 Generalleutnant Karl Otto von Wichmann
23 November 1886 Generalleutnant Oktavio von Boehn
12 January 1889 General der Artillerie Eduard von Lewinski
21 February 1895 General der Infanterie Erbprinz Bernhard von Sachsen-Meiningen
29 May 1903 Generalleutnant Remus von Woyrsch
2 February 1911 General der Infanterie Kurt von Pritzelwitz
7 November 1915 General der Kavallerie Georg von der Marwitz
17 December 1916 General der Infanterie Julius Riemann
23 November 1917 Generalleutnant Konstanz von Heineccius
15 December 1918 General der Infanterie Kurt von dem Borne
25 June 1919 Generalleutnant Friedrich von Friedeburg

See also[]

Footnotes[]

a.^ This might be a typographical error in the source, as II Btn is also listed (alongside I Btn) as 5th Army Artillery

References[]

  1. ^ German Administrative History Accessed: 31 May 2012
  2. ^ Cron 2002, p. 393
  3. ^ Cron 2002, pp. 88–89
  4. ^ Haythornthwaite 1996, pp. 193–194
  5. ^ They formed the Guards Cavalry Division, the only peacetime cavalry division in the German Army.
  6. ^ War Office 1918, p. 245
  7. ^ Cron 2002, p. 299
  8. ^ Cron 2002, pp. 311–312
  9. ^ With a machine gun company.
  10. ^ 4 heavy artillery batteries (16 heavy field howitzers)
  11. ^ Cron 2002, pp. 88–89
  12. ^ German Administrative History Accessed: 31 May 2012
  13. ^ German War History Accessed: 31 May 2012
  14. ^ The Prussian Machine Accessed: 31 May 2012

Bibliography[]