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This is an order of battle of the French and German Armies at the beginning of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870.

France

Order of battle at the beginning of the war:

Army of the Rhine

Commander in Chief: Emperor Napoléon III

  • Imperial Guard Corps (Garde impériale) - General Bourbaki
    • 1st Infantry Division (General Edouard-Jean Deligny)
      • 1st Brigade (Gen. Brincourt)
        • Chasseurs of the Guard
        • 1st Voltigeurs of the Guard
        • 2nd Voltigeurs of the Guard
      • 2nd Brigade (Gen. Garnier)
        • 3rd Voltigueurs of the Guard
        • 4th Voltigueurs of the Guard
      • 1st Division Artillery (Lt. Col. Gerbaut)
        • 2 Guard Foot Batteries (4-lb. guns)
        • 1 Guard Mitrailleuse Battery
        • 3rd Engineer Regiment (1 company)
    • 2nd Infantry Division (General Joseph Alexandre Picard)
      • 1st Brigade (Gen. Jeanningros)
        • Zouaves of the Guard
        • 1st Grenadiers of the Guard
      • 2nd Brigade (Gen. Le Poittetin de la Croix)
        • 2nd Grenadiers of the Guard
        • 3rd Grenadiers of the Guard
      • 2nd Division Artillery (Lt. Col. de Cevilly)
        • 2 Guard Foot Artillery Batteries (4-lb. guns)
        • 1 Guard Mitrailleuse Battery
        • 3rd Engineer Regiment (1 company)
    • Cavalry Division (General Desvaux)
      • 1st Brigade (Gen. Halna du Fretay)
        • Guides
        • Chasseurs of the Guard
      • 2nd Brigade (Gen. De France)
        • Lancers of the Guard
        • Dragoons of the Guard
      • 3rd Brigade (Gen. du Preuil)
        • Cuirassiers of the Guard
        • Carabiniers of the Guard;
      • 2 Horse Artillery Batteries (4-lb. guns)
  • 1st Corps (1er corps) - Marshal de Mac Mahon
    • 1st Infantry Division (General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot)
      • 1st Brigade (Gen. Wolff)
        • 13th Chasseurs Battalion
        • 18th Line Infantry Regiment
        • 96th Line Infantry Regiment
      • 2nd Brigade (Gen. de Postis du Houlbec)
        • 45th Line Infantry Regiment
        • 1st Regiment of Zouaves
      • 1st Division Artillery (Lt. Col. Lecoeutre)
        • 2 Foot Artillery Batteries (4-lb. guns)
        • 1 Mitrailleuse Battery
        • 1st Engineer Regiment (1 company)
    • 2nd Infantry Division (General Abel Douay)
      • 1st Brigade (Gen. Pelletier de Montmarie)
        • 16th Chasseurs Battalion
        • 50th Line Infantry Regiment
        • 74th Line Infantry Regiment
      • 2nd Brigade (Gen. Pelle)
        • 78th Line Infantry Regiment
        • 1st Regiment of Turcos
      • 2nd Division Artillery (Lt. Col. Cauvet)
        • 2 Foot Artillery Batteries (4-lb. guns)
        • 1 Mitrailleuse Battery
        • 1st Engineer Regiment (1 company)
    • 3rd Infantry Division (Gen. Raoult)
      • 1st Brigade (Gen. L'Heriller)
        • 8th Chasseurs Battalion
        • 2nd Zouave Regiment
        • 36th Line Infantry Regiment
      • 2nd Brigade (Gen. Lefebvre)
        • 2nd Regiment of Turcos
        • 48th Line Infantry Regiment
      • 3rd Division Artillery (Lt. Col. Cheguillaume)
        • 2 Foot Artillery Batteries (4-lb. guns)
        • 1 Mitrailleuse Battery
        • 1st Engineer Regiment (1 company)
    • 4th Infantry Division (General Largigue)
      • 1st Brigade (Gen. Fraboulet de Kerleadec)
        • 1st Chasseurs Battalion
        • 3rd Zouave Regiment
        • 56th Line Infantry Regiment
      • 2nd Brigade (Gen. Lacretelle)
        • 3rd Regiment of Turcos
        • 87th Line Infantry Regiment
      • 4th Division Artillery (Lt. Col. Lamande)
        • 2 Foot Artilley Batteries (4-lb. guns)
        • 1 Mitrailleuse Battery
        • 1st Engineer Regiment (1 company)
    • Cavalry Division (General Duhesme)
      • 1st Brigade (Gen. de Septeuil)
        • 3rd Hussar Regiment
        • 11th Chasseurs Regiment
      • 2nd Brigade (Gen. de Nansouty)
        • 2nd Lancer Regiment
        • 3rd Lancer Regiment
        • 10th Dragoons Regiment
      • 3rd Brigade (Gen. Michel)
        • 8th Cuirassiers Regiment
        • 9th Cuirassiers Regiment
    • Reserve Artillery (Col. de Vassart)
        • 2 Foot Batteries (4-lb. guns)
        • 2 Foot Batteries (12-lb. guns)
        • 4 Horse Artillery Batteries
        • 1st Engineer Regiment (1 company)
  • 2nd Corps (2e corps) - General Frossard
    • 1st Infantry Division (General Verge)
      • 1st Brigade (Gen. Letellier Valaze)
        • 3rd Chasseur Battalion
        • 32nd Line Infantry Regiment
        • 55th Line Infantry Regiment
      • 2nd Brigade (Jolivet)
        • 76th Line Infantry Regiment
        • 77th Line Infantry Regiment
      • 1st Division Artillery (Lt. Col. Chavaudret)
        • 2 Foot Artilley Batteries (4-lb. guns)
        • 1 Mitrailleuse Battery
        • 3rd Engineer Regiment (1 company)
    • 2nd Infantry Division (General Bataille)
      • 1st Brigade (Gen. Pouget)
        • 12th Chasseurs Battalion
        • 8th Line Infantry Regiment
        • 23rd Line Infantry Regiment
      • 2nd Brigade (Gen. Fauvart-Bastoul)
        • 66th Line Infantry Regiment
        • 67th Line Infantry Regiment
      • 2nd Division Artillery (Lt. Col. de Maintenant)
        • 2 Foot Artilley Batteries (4-lb. guns)
        • 1 Mitrailleuse Battery
        • 3rd Engineer Regiment (1 company)
    • 3rd Infantry Division (General de Laveaucoupet)
      • 1st Brigade (Gen. Doens)
        • 10th Chasseur Battalion
        • 2nd Line Infantry Regiment
        • 63rd Line Infantry Regiment
      • 2nd Brigade (Gen. Michelet)
        • 24th Line Infantry Regiment
        • 40th Line Infantry Regiment
      • 3rd Division Artillery (Lt. Col. Larrogue)
        • 2 Foot Artilley Batteries (4-lb. guns)
        • 1 Mitrailleuse Battery
        • 3rd Engineer Regiment (1 company)
    • Cavalry Division (General Marmier)
      • 1st Brigade (Gen. de Valabregue)
        • 4th Chasseurs Regiment
        • 5th Chasseurs Regiment
      • 2nd Brigade (Gen. Bachelier)
        • 7th Dragoons Regiment
        • 12th Dragoons Regiment
    • Reserve Artillery (Col. Beaudouin)
        • 2 Foot Batteries (4-lb. guns)
        • 2 Foot Batteries (12-lb. guns)
        • 4 Horse Artillery Batteries
        • 3rd Engineer Regiment (2 companies)
  • 3rd Corps (3e corps) - Marshal Bazaine
    • 1st Infantry Division
      • 1st Brigade (General Montaudon)
        • 18th Chasseur Battalion
        • 51st Line Regiment
        • 62nd Line Regiment
      • 2nd Brigade (General Clinchant)
        • 81st Line Regiment
        • 95th Line Regiment
      • 1st Division Artillery (Lt. Col. Fourgous)
        • 2 Foot Artilley Batteries (4-lb. guns)
        • 1 Mitrailleuse Battery
    • 2nd Infantry Division (General de Castagny)
      • 1st Brigade (General Nayral)
        • 15th Chasseur Battalion
        • 19th Line Regiment
        • 41st Line Regiment
      • 2nd Brigade (General Duplessis)
        • 69th Line Infantry
        • 90th Line Infantry
      • 2nd Division Artillery (Lt. Col. Delange)
        • 2 Foot Artilley Batteries (4-lb. guns)
        • 1 Mitrailleuse Battery
        • 1st Engineer Regiment (1 Company)
    • 3rd Infantry Division (General Metman)
      • 1st Brigade (General de Potier)
        • 7th Chasseur Battalion
        • 7th Line Infantry
        • 29th Line Infantry
      • 2nd Brigade (General Arnaudeau)
        • 59th Line Infantry
        • 71st Line Infantry
    • 3rd Division Artillery (Lt. Col. Sempe)
        • 2 Foot Artilley Batteries (4-lb. guns)
        • 1 Mitrailleuse Battery
        • 1st Engineer Regiment (1 Company)
    • 4th Infantry Division (General Decaen)
      • 1st Brigade (General de Brauer)
        • 11th Chasseur Battalion
        • 44th Line Infantry
        • 60th Line Infantry
      • 2nd Brigade (General Sanle-Ferriere)
        • 80th Line Infantry
        • 85th Line Infantry
    • 4th Division Artillery (Lt. Col. Maucoutant)
        • 2 Foot Artilley Batteries (4-lb. guns)
        • 1 Mitrailleuse Battery
        • 1st Engineer Regiment (1 Company)
    • Cavalry Division (General de Cleraembault)
      • 1st Brigade (General de Bruchard)
        • 2nd Chasseur Regiment
        • 3rd Chasseur Regiment
        • 10th Chasseur Regiment
      • 2nd Brigade (General Maubranches)
        • 2nd Dragoon Regiment
        • 4th Dragoon Regiment
      • 3rd Brigade (Baron de Juniac)
        • 5th Dragoon Regiment
        • 8th Dragoon Regiment
    • Reserve Artillery (Col. de Lajaille)
        • 2 Foot Artilley Batteries (4-lb. guns)
        • 2 Foot Artilley Batteries (12-lb. guns)
        • 4 Horse Artillery Batteries
        • 2nd Engineer Regiment (1 and 1/2 Companies)
  • 4th Corps (4e corps) - General de Ladmirault
    • 1st Infantry Division (General Courtot de Cissey)
      • 1st Brigade (General Count Brayer)
        • 20th Chasseur Battalion
        • 1st Line Infantry
        • 6th Line Infantry
      • 2nd Brigade (General de Golberg)
        • 57th Line Infantry
        • 73rd Line Infantry
    • 1st Division Artillery (Lt. Col. de Narp)
        • 2 Foot Artilley Batteries (4-lb. guns)
        • 1 Mitrailleuse Battery
        • 2nd Engineer Regiment (1 Company)
    • 2nd Infantry Division (General Grenier)
      • 1st Brigade (General Bellecourt)
        • 5th Chasseur Battalion
        • 13th Line Infantry
        • 43rd Line Infantry
      • 2nd Brigade (General Pradier
        • 64th Line Infantry
        • 98th Line Infantry

2nd Division Artillery (Lt. Col. de Larminat)

        • 2 Foot Artilley Batteries (4-lb. guns)
        • 1 Mitrailleuse Battery
        • 2nd Engineer Regiment (1 Company)
    • 3rd Infantry Division (General Count Latrille de Lorencez)
      • 1st Brigade (General Pajol)
        • 2nd Chasseur Battalion
        • 15th Line Infantry
        • 33rd Line Infantry
      • 2nd Brigade (General Berger)
        • 54th Line Infantry
        • 65th Line Infantry
    • 3rd Division Artillery (Lt. Col. Legardeur)
        • 2 Foot Artilley Batteries (4-lb. guns)
        • 1 Mitrailleuse Battery
        • 2nd Engineer Regiment (1 Company)
    • Cavalry Division (General Legrand)
      • 1st Brigade (General de Montaigu)
        • 2nd Hussar Regiment
        • 7th Hussars Regiment
      • 2nd Brigade (General de Gondrecourt)
        • 3rd Dragoon Regiment
        • 11th Dragoon Regiment
    • Reserve Artillery (Col. de Solille)
        • 2 Foot Artilley Batteries (4-lb. guns)
        • 2 Foot Artilley Batteries (12-lb. guns)
        • 4 Horse Artillery Batteries
        • 2nd Engineer Regiment (1 Company)
  • 5th Corps (5e corps) - General de Failly
    • 1st Infantry Division
    • 2nd Infantry Division
    • 3rd Infantry Division
    • Cavalry Division
  • 6th Corps (6e corps) - Marshal Canrobert
    • 1st Infantry Division
    • 2nd Infantry Division
    • 3rd Infantry Division
    • 4th Infantry Division
    • Cavalry Division
  • 7th Corps (7e corps) - General F. Douay
    • 1st Infantry Division
    • 2nd Infantry Division
    • 3rd Infantry Division
    • Cavalry Division
  • Cavalry Reserve Corps (Corps de réserve de cavalerie)
    • 1st Reserve Cavalry Division
    • 2nd Reserve Cavalry Division
    • 3rd Reserve Cavalry Division

French Infantry divisions were square divisions, with two infantry brigades of two infantry regiments each. Generally, one brigade per division also had a light infantry (chasseur) battalion. French cavalry divisions were also generally square, with two brigades of two regiments each, but the cavalry divisions of the Imperial Guard Corps, the 1st Corps, and the 6th Corps had three brigades.

French Regimental Histories (source = French Wikipedia)

Germany

Order of battle on August 18, 1870:

Chief of the General Staff: General von Moltke

1st Army

Commander: General von Steinmetz

2nd Army

Commander: Prince Frederick Charles

3rd Army

Commander: Crown Prince of Prussia

Chief of staff: Leonhard von Blumenthal

Reserve

  • General Command over mobile troops in the I, II, IX, and X Corps Areas
    • 17th Infantry Division
    • Guard Landwehr Infantry Division
      • 1st Guard Landwehr Brigade
        • 1st Guard Landwehr Regiment
        • 2nd Guard Landwehr Regiment
      • 2nd Guard Landwehr Brigade
        • 1st Guard Grenadier Landwehr Regiment
        • 2nd Guard Grenadier Landwehr Regiment
    • 1st Landwehr Division
      • 1st Pomeranian Landwehr Brigade
        • 1st Combined Pomeranian Landwehr Regiment
        • 2nd Combined Pomeranian Landwehr Regiment
      • 2nd Pomeranian Landwehr Brigade
        • 3rd Combined Pomeranian Landwehr Regiment
        • 4th Combined Pomeranian Landwehr Regiment
    • 2nd (Brandenburg) Landwehr Division
      • 1st Brandenburg Landwehr Brigade
        • 1st Combined Brandenburg Landwehr Regiment
        • 2nd Combined Brandenburg Landwehr Regiment
      • 2nd Brandenburg Landwehr Brigade
        • 3rd Combined Brandenburg Landwehr Regiment
        • 4th Combined Brandenburg Landwehr Regiment
    • 3rd Combined Landwehr Division
      • West Prussian Landwehr Brigade
        • West Prussian Combined Landwehr Regiment
        • Lower Silesian Combined Landwehr Regiment
      • Posen Landwehr Brigade
        • 1st Combined Posen Landwehr Regiment
        • 2nd Combined Posen Landwehr Regiment
  • 16 Landwehr Cavalry Regiments
  • Reserve Foot Battalions of the Guard and 11 Line Artillery Regiments

Belgium

Though not a belligerent in the conflict, the Belgian army was mobilized and placed on readiness at the country's borders in fear of a preemptive attack by either party through the neutral territory during the Franco-Prussian War. (See Belgium and the Franco-Prussian War).

Commander-in-chief: King Leopold II

Chief of staff: Lieutenant General Bruno Renard

Minister of War: Major General Henri Guillaume

Army of Observation

The Army of Observation (Armée d'Observation) numbered approximately 55,000 men. Its role was to defend the country's borders.

Commander: Lieutenant-General Baron Félix Chazal

Chief of staff: Colonel Monoyer

  • 1st Army Corps (Ier corps d'armée)
    • Commanded by Lieutenant-General Sapin
  • 2nd Army Corps (IIe corps d'armée)
    • Commanded by Prince Philippe
  • Artillery
  • Reserve Cavalry
  • Auxiliary units (Railway, logistics, telegraphic etc.)

Army of Antwerp

The Army of Antwerp (Armée d'Anvers), based in the "National Redoubt" fortress in Antwerp, numbered approximately 15,000. It was a defensive force, designed to hold the city of Antwerp alone. Approximately 8,000 additional men served as guards at other fortresses around the country, including Liège.

Commander: Lieutenant-General Alexis-Michel Eenens

Chief of staff: Colonel Henri Alexis Brialmont

Sources

  • A. Niemann, Der französische Feldzug 1870-1871 (Verlag des Bibliographischen Instituts, Hildburghausen, 1871).

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