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III Royal Bavarian Army Corps
III. Königlich Bayerische Armee-Korps
Stab eines Generalkommandos.svg
Flag of the Staff of a Generalkommando (1871–1918)
Active 1 April 1900 (1900-04-01)–1919 (1919)
Country  Bavaria /  German Empire
Type Corps
Size Approximately 44,000 (on mobilisation in 1914)
Garrison/HQ Nuremberg

World War I

Battle of the Frontiers
Battle of Caporetto

The III Royal Bavarian Army Corps / III Bavarian AK (German language: III. Königlich Bayerisches Armee-Korps) was a corps level command of the Royal Bavarian Army, part of the German Army, before and during World War I.[lower-alpha 1]

As the German and Bavarian Armies expanded in the latter part of the 19th Century, the III Royal Bavarian Army Corps of the Bavarian Army was set up on 1 April 1900 in Nuremberg as the Generalkommando (headquarters) for Middle Franconia, the Upper Palatinate and parts of Upper Franconia, Lower Bavaria and Upper Bavaria. Like all Bavarian formations, it was assigned to the IV Army Inspectorate[1] which became the 6th Army at the start of the First World War. The Corps was disbanded at the end of the War.

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.[2] 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).[3]

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On mobilization on 2 August 1914 the Corps was restructured. 5th Cavalry Brigade was withdrawn to form part of the Bavarian Cavalry Division[5] and the 6th Cavalry Brigade was broken up and its regiments assigned to the divisions as reconnaissance units. Divisions received engineer companies and other support units from the Corps headquarters. In summary, III Bavarian Corps mobilised with 25 infantry battalions, 8 machine gun companies (48 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, III Royal Bavarian Corps was assigned to the predominately Bavarian 6th Army forming part of the left wing of the forces for the Schlieffen Plan offensive in August 1914.


The III Royal Bavarian Corps had the following commanders during its existence:[9][10][11]

Dates Rank Name
22 March 1900 General der Infanterie Heinrich Ritter von Xylander
19 March 1904 General der Infanterie Karl Freiherr von Horn
10 April 1905 General der Infanterie Luitpold Freiherr von und zu der Tann-Rathsamhausen
4 May 1910 General der Kavallerie Otto Kreß von Kressenstein
6 February 1912 General der Kavallerie Luitpold Freiherr von Horn
19 March 1914 General der Kavallerie Ludwig Freiherr von Gebsattel
12 January 1917 Generalleutnant Hermann Freiherr von Stein
28 May 1918 General der Artillerie
19 December 1918 No commander
19 June 1919 Eugen Ritter von Zoellner

See also


  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. Only the Bavarian Army remained fully autonomous and came under Prussian control only during wartime.


  1. Cron 2002, p. 394
  2. Haythornthwaite 1996, pp. 193–194
  3. They formed the Guards Cavalry Division, the only peacetime cavalry division in the German Army.
  4. War Office 1918, p. 263
  5. Cron 2002, p. 301
  6. Cron 2002, pp. 319
  7. Without a machine gun company
  8. 4 heavy artillery batteries (16 heavy field howitzers)
  9. German Administrative History Accessed: 9 April 2012
  10. German War History Accessed: 9 April 2012
  11. The Prussian Machine Accessed: 7 June 2012


  • Cron, Hermann (2002). Imperial German Army 1914-18: Organisation, Structure, Orders-of-Battle [first published: 1937]. Helion & Co. ISBN 1-874622-70-1. 
  • Ellis, John; Cox, Michael (1993). The World War I Databook. Aurum Press Ltd. ISBN 1-85410-766-6. 
  • Haythornthwaite, Philip J. (1996). The World War One Source Book. Arms and Armour. ISBN 1-85409-351-7. 
  • 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. The London Stamp Exchange Ltd (1989). 1920. ISBN 0-948130-87-3. 
  • The German Forces in the Field; 7th Revision, 11th November 1918; Compiled by the General Staff, War Office. Imperial War Museum, London and The Battery Press, Inc (1995). 1918. ISBN 1-870423-95-X. 

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