Military Wiki
XXXIX Reserve Corps
XXXIX. Reserve-Korps
Stab eines Generalkommandos.svg
Flag of the Staff of a Generalkommando (1871–1918)
Active December 1914 - post November 1918
Country  German Empire
Type Corps
Size Approximately 26,000 (on formation)
Engagements World War I

The XXXIX Reserve Corps (German language: XXXIX. Reserve-Korps / XXXIX RK) was a corps level command of the German Army in World War I.


XXXIX Reserve Corps was formed in December 1914.[1] It was part of the second wave of new Corps formed in the early stages of World War I consisting of XXXVIII - XXXXI[2] Reserve Corps of 75th - 82nd Reserve Divisions (plus 8th Bavarian Reserve Division). The personnel was predominantly made up of kriegsfreiwillige (wartime volunteers) who did not wait to be called up.[3] It was still in existence at the end of the war.[4]

Structure on formation

On formation in December 1914, XXXIX Reserve Corps consisted of two divisions.[5] but was weaker than an Active Corps

  • the divisions were organised as triangular rather than square divisions with three infantry regiments rather than four, but had a brigade of two field artillery regiments
  • Reserve Infantry Regiments consisted of three battalions but lacked a machine gun company[6]
  • Reserve Cavalry Detachments were much smaller than the Reserve Cavalry Regiments formed on mobilisation[7]
  • Reserve Field Artillery Regiments consisted of two abteilungen (1 gun and 1 howitzer) of three batteries each, but each battery had just 4 guns (rather than 6 of the Active and the Reserve Regiments formed on mobilisation)[8]

In summary, XXXIX Reserve Corps mobilised with 18 infantry battalions, 2 cavalry detachments, 24 field artillery batteries (96 guns), 2 cyclist companies and 2 pioneer companies.

Corps Division Brigade Units
XXXIX Reserve Corps 77th Reserve Division[9] 77th Reserve Infantry Brigade 255th Reserve Infantry Regiment
256th Reserve Infantry Regiment
257th Reserve Infantry Regiment
77th Reserve Field Artillery Brigade 59th Reserve Field Artillery Regiment
60th Reserve Field Artillery Regiment
77th Reserve Cavalry Detachment
77th Reserve Cyclist Company
77th Reserve Pioneer Company
78th Reserve Division[10] 78th Reserve Infantry Brigade 258th Reserve Infantry Regiment
259th Reserve Infantry Regiment
260th Reserve Infantry Regiment
78th Reserve Field Artillery Brigade 61st Reserve Field Artillery Regiment
62nd Reserve Field Artillery Regiment
78th Reserve Cavalry Detachment
78th Reserve Cyclist Company
78th Reserve Pioneer Company

Combat chronicle

In 1915, the German offensive in Courland was intended to be a diversion while the main effort was made further south by the German 11th Army and Austro-Hungarian 4th Army in the Gorlice–Tarnów Offensive.

Armee-Abteilung Lauenstein (Army Detachment Lauenstein) was formed by upgrading XXXIX Reserve Corps of 10th Army[11] on 22 April 1915.[12] It was named for its commander, Generalleutnant Otto von Lauenstein, who retained simultaneous command of XXXIX Reserve Corps. It was directly under the command of OB East.[13]

Due to its success, it was continuously reinforced until it was raised to the status of an army as the Army of the Niemen on 26 May 1915. Generalleutnant von Lauenstein remained as commander of XXXIX Reserve Corps.


XXXIX Reserve Corps had the following commanders during its existence:[14][15]

From Rank Name
24 December 1914 Generalleutnant Otto von Lauenstein
7 July 1916 Generalleutnant Hermann von Staabs[16]
3 December 1917 General der Infanterie
16 March 1918 Generalleutnant Paul Grünert[17]
23 May 1918 General der Infanterie Hermann von Staabs


  • Armee-Abteilung or Army Detachment in the sense of "something detached from an Army". It is not under the command of an Army so is in itself a small Army.[18]
  • Armee-Gruppe or Army Group in the sense of a group within an Army and under its command, generally formed as a temporary measure for a specific task.
  • Heeresgruppe or Army Group in the sense of a number of armies under a single commander.

See also


  1. Cron 2002, p. 87
  2. In German military nomenclature, "40" was rendered as "XXXX" in Roman numerals rather than the more conventional "XL".
  3. Cron 2002, p. 97
  4. Cron 2002, pp. 88–89
  5. AEF GHQ 1920, pp. 532,535
  6. Busche 1998, pp. 117–118
  7. Cron 2002, p. 128 Reserve Cavalry Regiments consisted of three squadrons
  8. Cron 2002, p. 136
  9. AEF GHQ 1920, p. 531
  10. AEF GHQ 1920, p. 534
  11. Ellis & Cox 1993, p. 189
  12. Cron 2002, p. 85
  13. Supreme Commander East (German language: Oberbefehlshaber Ost)
  14. "German War History". Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  15. "Armee-Reserve-Korps". The Prussian Machine. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  16. Promoted. "Hermann von Staabs". The Prussian Machine. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  17. Temporary commander. "Paul Grünert". The Prussian Machine. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  18. Cron 2002, p. 84


  • 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. 
  • Busche, Hartwig (1998) (in German). Formationsgeschichte der Deutschen Infanterie im Ersten Weltkrieg (1914 bis 1918). Institut für Preußische Historiographie. 
  • 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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