Military Wiki
V Army Corps
V. Armee-Korps
Stab eines Generalkommandos.svg
Flag of the Staff of a Generalkommando (1871–1918)
Active 1815 (1815)–1919 (1919)
Country  Prussia /  German Empire
Type Corps
Size Approximately 44,000 (on mobilisation in 1914)
Garrison/HQ Posen

Austro-Prussian War

Battle of Königgrätz

Franco-Prussian War

Battle of Wissembourg (1870)
Battle of Wörth (1870)
Battle of Sedan
Siege of Paris

World War I

Battle of the Frontiers

The V Army Corps / V AK (German language: V. 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 Grand Duchy of Posen (later called the Province of Posen) with headquarters in Posen. Its catchment area included the Regierungsbezirk (administrative district) Posen and Regierungsbezirk Liegnitz from the Province of Silesia.[1]

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 5th Army at the start of the First World War.[2] It was still in existence at the end of the war[3] in Armee-Abteilung C, Heeresgruppe Gallwitz on the Western Front.[4] The Corps was disbanded with the demobilisation of the German Army after World War I.

Austro-Prussian War

V 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 joined the 3rd Army. It saw action in the opening battles of Weissenburg and Wörth, in the Battle of Sedan and in the Siege of Paris.[5]

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.[6] 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).[7]

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. 9th Cavalry Brigade was withdrawn to form part of the 5th Cavalry Division[10] and the 10th Cavalry Brigade was broken up and its regiments assigned to the divisions as reconnaissance units. 77th Infantry Brigade was assigned to the 10th Reserve Division with the V Reserve Corps. Divisions received engineer companies and other support units from the Corps headquarters. In summary, V 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, V Corps was assigned to the 5th 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[14] in Armee-Abteilung C, Heeresgruppe Gallwitz on the Western Front.[15]


The V Corps had the following commanders during its existence:[16][17][18]

From Rank Name
15 Match 1815 Heinrich Ludwig von Thümen
3 April 1820 Friedrich von Roeder
30 March 1832 General der Infanterie Karl von Grolman
21 September 1843 General der Kavallerie Friedrich August Peter von Colomb
13 May 1848 Friedrich Wilhelm von Brünneck
4 November 1851 Wilhelm von Tietzen und Hennig
15 August 1856 General der Kavallerie Franz Graf von Waldersee
15 August 1864 General der Infanterie Karl Friedrich von Steinmetz
18 July 1870 General der Infanterie Hugo von Kirchbach
3 February 1880 General der Infanterie Alexander August Wilhelm von Pape
18 October 1881 General der Infanterie Gustav von Stiehle
22 March 1886 General der Kavallerie Gustav Hermann von Alvensleben
23 November 1886 Generalleutnant Oskar Freiherr von Meerscheidt-Hüllessem
19 September 1888 Generalleutnant Franz Freiherr von Hilgers
27 January 1890 Generalleutnant Richard von Seeckt
27 January 1897 General der Infanterie August von Bomsdorff
4 April 1899 General der Infanterie Ferdinand von Stülpnagel
13 June 1906 General der Infanterie Alexander von Kluck
11 September 1907 General der Infanterie Günther von Kirchbach
3 April 1911 General der Infanterie Hermann von Strantz
1 September 1914 Generalleutnant Robert Kosch (deputising for von Strantz)
9 October 1914 Adolf von Oven (deputising for von Strantz)
2 February 1917 General der Infanterie Eduard von Below
2 January 1919 General der Infanterie Georg Wichura

See also


  1. German Administrative History Accessed: 1 June 2012
  2. Cron 2002, p. 393
  3. Cron 2002, pp. 88–89
  4. Ellis & Cox 1993, pp. 186–187
  5. Cron et al., Ruhmeshalle; Wegner, pp.360
  6. Haythornthwaite 1996, pp. 193–194
  7. They formed the Guards Cavalry Division, the only peacetime cavalry division in the German Army.
  8. War Office 1918, p. 244
  9. Had a third (Horse Artillery) Abteilung of three batteries of 4 guns.
  10. Cron 2002, p. 299
  11. Cron 2002, pp. 314–315
  12. With a machine gun company.
  13. 4 heavy artillery batteries (16 heavy field howitzers)
  14. Cron 2002, pp. 88–89
  15. Ellis & Cox 1993, pp. 186–187
  16. German Administrative History Accessed: 1 June 2012
  17. German War History Accessed: 1 June 2012
  18. The Prussian Machine Accessed: 1 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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