XVII. Armeekorps

36th Division (German Empire)

This is the major unit during WW1 to which we believe Richard Senger belonged and for which he fought on two fronts.

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36th Division (36. Division); from August 2, 1914, 36th Infantry Division (36. Infanterie-Division)
Active 1890-1919
Country Prussia/Germany
Branch Army
Type Infantry (in peacetime included cavalry)
Size Approx. 15,000
Part of XVII. Army Corps (XVII. Armeekorps)
Garrison/HQ Danzig
Engagements World War I: Gumbinnen, Tannenberg, 1st Masurian Lakes, Gorlice-Tarnów Offensive, Somme, Arras (1917), Passchendaele, Spring Offensive, St. Quentin, 2nd Marne, Hundred Days Offensive

The 36th Division (36. Division) was a unit of the Prussian/German Army.[1] It was formed on April 1, 1890, and was headquartered in Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland).[2] The division was subordinated in peacetime to the XVII Army Corps (XVII. 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 West Prussia.

Combat chronicle

The 36th Infantry Division began World War I on the Eastern Front. It fought in the battles of Gumbinnen and Tannenberg, and in the First Battle of the Masurian Lakes. In 1915, it participated in the Gorlice-Tarnów Offensive. In October 1915, it was transferred to the Western Front. In 1916, it fought in the Battle of the Somme. In 1917, it participated in the Battle of Arras and the Battle of Passchendaele. In 1918, the division fought in the German Spring Offensive, including the Battle of St. Quentin, also known as the First Battle of the Somme 1918 (and occasionally as the Second Battle of the Somme, after the 1916 battle). It then fought in the Second Battle of the Marne and defended against various Allied offensives and counteroffensives, including the Hundred Days Offensive. Allied intelligence rated the division as an excellent combat division but considered it second class by 1918, mainly due to the losses it suffered during that year’s battles. [4] [5]

Pre-World War I organization

The organization of the 36th Division in 1914, shortly before the outbreak of World War I, was as follows:[6]

  • 69. Infanterie-Brigade
    • 3. Westpreußisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 129
    • 8. Westpreußisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 175
  • 71. Infanterie-Brigade
    • Grenadier-Regiment König Friedrich I (4. Ostpreußisches) Nr. 5
    • Danziger Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 128
  • Leib-Husaren-Brigade
    • 1. Leib-Husaren-Regiment Nr. 1
    • 2. Leib-Husaren-Regiment Königin Victoria von Preußen Nr. 2
  • 36. Feldartillerie-Brigade
    • 2. Westpreußisches Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 36
    • Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 72 Hochmeister

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 36th Division was redesignated the 36th Infantry Division. Its initial wartime organization was as follows:[7]

  • 69. Infanterie-Brigade
    • 3. Westpreußisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 129
    • 8. Westpreußisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 175
  • 71. Infanterie-Brigade
    • Grenadier-Regiment König Friedrich I (4. Ostpreußisches) Nr. 5
    • Danziger Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 128
  • Husaren-Regiment Fürst Blücher von Wahlstatt (Pommersches) Nr. 5
  • 36. Feldartillerie-Brigade
    • 2. Westpreußisches Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 36
    • Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 72 Hochmeister
  • 2.Kompanie/1. Westpreußisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 17
  • 3.Kompanie/1. Westpreußisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 17

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 36th Infantry Division’s order of battle on March 20, 1918 was as follows:[8]

  • 71.Infanterie-Brigade
    • Grenadier-Regiment König Friedrich I (4. Ostpreußisches) Nr. 5
    • Danziger Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 128
    • 8. Westpreußisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 175
    • Maschinengewehr-Scharfschützen-Abteilung Nr. 64
  • 4.Eskadron/Husaren-Regiment von Schill (1. Schlesisches) Nr. 4
  • Artillerie-Kommandeur 36:
    • 2. Westpreußisches Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 36
    • I.Bataillon/Reserve-Fußartillerie-Regiment Nr. 4
  • Stab Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 17
    • 3.Kompanie/1. Westpreußisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 17
    • 5.Kompanie/1. Westpreußisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 17
    • Minenwerfer-Kompanie Nr. 36
  • Divisions-Nachrichten-Kommandeur 36

References

  • 36. Infanterie-Division (Chronik 1914/1918) – Der erste Weltkrieg
  • Claus von Bredow, bearb., Historische Rang- und Stammliste des deuschen Heeres (1905)
  • Hermann Cron et al., Ruhmeshalle unserer alten Armee (Berlin, 1935)
  • Hermann Cron, Geschichte des deutschen Heeres im Weltkriege 1914-1918 (Berlin, 1937)
  • Günter Wegner, Stellenbesetzung der deutschen Heere 1815-1939. (Biblio Verlag, Osnabrück, 1993), Bd. 1
  • 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 Expeditionary Forces, at General Headquarters, Chaumont, France 1919 (1920)

Notes

  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.131; Claus von Bredow, bearb., Historische Rang- und Stammliste des deuschen Heeres (1905), p.707.
  3. ^ Bredow, p. 705.
  4. ^ 36. Infanterie-Division (Chronik 1914/1918)
  5. ^ 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 Expeditionary Forces, at General Headquarters, Chaumont, France 1919 (1920), pp. 418-421.
  6. ^ Rangliste der Königlich Preußischen Armee (1914), pp. 103-104.
  7. ^ Hermann Cron et al., Ruhmeshalle unserer alten Armee (Berlin, 1935).
  8. ^ Cron et al., Ruhmeshalle.