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XXV Reserve Corps (German Empire)

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The XXV Reserve Corps of the German Army was formed at the beginning of World War I as part of the first wave of mobilization, primarily from war volunteers.

History

Reinhard von Scheffer-Boyadel

Arnold von Winckler

General of Infantry Reinhard von Scheffer-Boyadel was appointed Commanding General of the newly formed XXV Reserve Corps on the Western Front on 25 August 1914. During the First Battle of Flanders, the corps transferred to the Eastern Front and was placed under the command of the 9th Army, which was marching in the Thorn area, in early November. Together with the I Reserve Corps forming Mackensen’s left wing, both advanced south from the Vistula towards Kutno. During the fighting of the 49th Reserve Division in the Włocławek area, the division commander von Briesen fell on 12 November. From 21 November 1914, during the battle for Łódź, the corps got caught in the cauldron of Lowitsch. The trapped units, with the 3rd Guards Division under General Litzmann in the lead, managed to break out to the east via Brzeziny by 24 November 1914.

After the Great Retreat of the Russian Western Front troops, the “Scheffer Corps” established itself in the Novogrodek area in the autumn of 1915. In March 1916, the 84th Infantry Division, the 49th and 5th Reserve Divisions were subordinated to the corps south of the Nyemen. The corps had changing commanders from mid-1916 onwards and was mainly deployed on the central section of the Eastern Front. During the attack of the Russian 4th Army (General Ragosa) in the Baranovichi area (July 1916), the corps sent the staff of the 49th Reserve Division under Major General von Zoellner to the hard-pressed k.u.k. XII. Korps (von Henriquez) north of the Serwetsch knee to the aid.

During the Kerensky Offensive in July 1917, the corps was part of the German Southern Army and established with the 15th and 24th Reserve Divisions in the Brzezany area.[1] The corps was also referred to as the “Czortkov Group” between 13 August and 22 October 1917.

During the German spring offensive of 1918, the corps was deployed under General der Infanterie Arnold von Winckler with Army Group German Crown Prince on the Western Front. After the German breakthrough of 21 March, attached to the 18th Army, Winckler’s corps was inserted between the III. and IX. Army Corps on the front line and, with the 52nd Reserve Division and 206th Infantry Division, led the advance in the area north of Montdidier. Counterattacks by French Army Debeney slackened Winckler’s advance at Cantigny in late March. Cleared by the XXVI Reserve Corps in this section at the end of April, the General Command transferred to the 7th Army for the “Blücher attack” scheduled on the Aisne. At the beginning of the Third Aisne Battle, Winckler’s group was subordinated to the 1st Guards Division, the 33rd and 10th Reserve Divisions in the first encounter – as well as the 197th Infantry Division following behind. On 27 May the storming of the Chemin des Dames succeeded. Within days the breakthrough was made toward Fère-en-Tardenois, where the advance again stalled. In the Franco-American counteroffensive beginning on 18 July in the Second Battle of the Marne, the corps was subordinated to the 40th Division, the 78th Reserve Division, and the 10th Bavarian Division for defense. The attacks of the French 6th Army led from the Villers-Cotterêts area necessitated the German withdrawal from the Marne Arc to the Vesle and Aisne rivers by early August.
After further retreat fighting, the corps was transferred to the 3rd Army. At the end of October 1918, the 9th Landwehr Division, the 199th Infantry Division and the 3rd Guards Division were under the command.

Structure

Subordinate to the corps when it was formed in August 1914 were:

49. Reserve Division:

  • 97. Reserve Infantry Brigade
    • Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 225
    • Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 226
  • 98. Reserve Infantry Brigade
    • Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 227
    • Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 228
    • Reserve Cavalry Division No. 49
    • Reserve Field Artillery Regiment No. 49
    • Reserve Pioneer Company No. 49

50. Reserve Division:

  • 99. Reserve Infantry Brigade
    • Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 229
    • Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 230
  • 100. Reserve Infantry Brigade
    • Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 231
    • Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 232
    • Reserve Cavalry Division No. 50
    • Reserve Field Artillery Regiment No. 50
    • Reserve Pioneer Company No. 50

Corps Commander

Rank Name Date[2]
Infantry general Reinhard von Scheffer-Boyadel 25. August 1914 until September 3, 1916
Lieutenant General Karl Surén 03. September 1916 until 18 November 1916
Lieutenant General Manfred von Richthofen 18. November 1916 until 8 March 1917
Lieutenant General Constance of Heineccius 08. March 1917 until 23 November 1917
Infantry general Horst Edler von der Planitz 23. November 1917 until 20 December 1917
Lieutenant General Wilhelm Groener 20. December 1917 until February 25, 1918
Infantry general Arnold von Winckler 25. February 1918 until end of war

Literature

  • Hanns Möller: History of the Knights of the Order pour le mérite in the World War. Volume II: M-Z. Verlag Bernard & Graefe, Berlin 1935, pp. 249-250.

Individual references

  1. Reichsarchiv: The World War. Volume XIII, Mittler & Sohn, map supplement 14.
  2. Dermot Bradley (ed.), Günter Wegner: Stellenbesetzung der Deutschen Heere 1815-1939. vol. 1: Die Höheren Kommandostellen 1815-1939. Biblio Verlag. Osnabrück 1990. ISBN 3-7648-1780-1. p. 633.