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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

How Many German Armies ... ?

Hedley Malloch

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How many German armies were there on the Western Front in the period 1914-1916?

Many thanks in advance for all help.

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Not wishing to be rude, but would you be a tad more precise? By armies do you mean Armee Korps? Or Divisions? Or what? :unsure:


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"Start from the very beginning" - Sound of Music

Seven Armies

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Western front means the west and Italy, eastern front means the Balkans and Palestine too.

We had the following armies:

1.Armee (only western front)

2.Armee (only western front)

3.Armee (only western front)

4.Armee (only western front)

5.Armee (only western front)

6.Armee (only western front)

7.Armee (only western front)

8.Armee (only eastern front)

9.Armee (eastern front, since 1918 western front)

10.Armee (only eastern front)

11.Armee (only eastern front)

12.Armee (only eastern front)

14.Armee (only western fron)

17.Armee (only western front)

18.Armee (only western front)

19.Armee (only western front)

The we had the Armee-Abteilungen (Army-detachements)

A.A. A (only western front)

A.A. B (only western front)

A.A. C (only western front)

A.A. D (only eastern front)

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It's not that easy.

AOK1 for instance was abolished in 1915 but reformed during the Battle of the Somme... The Armee-Abteilungen received their letter only in 1916, before they were Falkenhausen, Gaede and Strantz.

AOK17, 18 and 19 were only formed from late 1917 onwards.


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Another problem is that armies can be 'light' or 'heavy', depending on what was going on in their area; and then the situation is further muddied by the grouping of armies.

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Apologies for my imprecision. 'Army' as in '1st Army', '2nd Army', '3rd Army' ... . That sort of Army.

Each of them had an officer responsible for a section of the front, and an EtappenInspekteur (have I got that right?) responsible for the germanification, pacification and exploitation of the rear area behind that portion of the front. So I know the 2nd Army was based in Saint-Quentin: von Bulow commanded the armed forces, and there was an aforementioned EtappenInspekteur looking after the rear. The 2nd Army relieved the 6th (Bavarian) Army. So there were at least two of them. But how many other Army groupings of this sort covering the Western Front?

I have seen a figure of six or seven mentioned so The Prussian (see above) looks about right. Any other offers?

Many thanks for all contributions to date.

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Another dimension of complication was that there

were four "Armies", in the sense of the Prussian

Army, the Bavarian Army, etc.

The Bavarian Army, the most independent from the

Prussian Army, did not use the common unit numbering

system used by the other three.

I know the discussion went past that point before,

but I wanted to also make that clear.

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Well, the bavarian army was the N° 6 in the mobilization. Some parts served with the 7th army.

Note that an army was not an active "unit" in the peacetime!

Before august 1914 there were only "Armee-Inspektionen"

1. Danzig with I., XVII. and XX. armycorps

2. Berlin with Gardekorps, saxon XII. and saxon XIX. army corps

3. Hannover with VII., IX and X. armycorps

4. München with III. and bavarian I., II and III. army corps

5. Karlsruhe with VIII., XIV. and XV. army corps

6. Stuttgart with IV. and XI. army corps

7. Saarbrücken with XVI., XVIII and XXI. army corps

8. Berlin with II., V. and VI. army corps

The corps in the wartime armies could change between the armies!

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