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Strength of a German division, regiment and batallion as well as comapny


Brusilov
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Hi all!

I am scanning for information about the strength of a German infantry division, brigade, regiment and battalion as well as comapany.

I am using Herman Caron’s book.

I cannot find out the strength of a division and brigade. Cron gave the battalion strength as:

-1 battalion commander

-4 company commanders

-18 lieutenant including adjutant and supply officer (he uses singular noun so I assume just 1 each for adjunct at and supply officer category).

-1 batallion medical officer

-1 assistant medical officer

-1 paymaster

-1054 NCOs and men

———————————————

1080 men

After 1916, the size of a battalion reduced to 650 men.

(page 112, Part IV, 6. Infantry regiment (with Jager, Reserve, Landwehr, Ersatz, and Naval Divisions together with Senior Construction Staff).

Cron did give the size of a division as followed:

Infantry division normally consisted of 12 infantry batallion, 4 machine gun companies, 3-4 squadrons, 12 field artillery batteries, 1-2 pioneer companies,3-4 squadrons and 2 medical companies. 1 added batallion of Jager.

(page 96, Part IV, 6. Infantry regiment (with Jager, Reserve, Landwehr, Ersatz, and Naval Divisions together with Senior Construction Staff).

He later said that the 29th infantry division with the Baden XIV infantry corps comprise of 3 infantry brigades (=18 batallion). (page 96)

So I infer that 1 infantry brigades=6 batallions. 

Cron said an infantry brigade consists of 2 regiments (Part IV, A. The infantry, 1. The Brigade, page 109).

So, I guess that an infantry in division is 1080 (infantry division)x2 (brigades)x12.(Battalions)=25,322 men

This is a bit high, because here, an infantry division is at least 20,000, and can go as high as 25,000.

I also learn that 1 division comprises of 2 brigades (Handbook of the German Army, page 51)

1 division=2 brigades of infantry=4 regiments=12 battalions+3-4 squadrons of cavalry+1 brigade of field artillery+1 pioneer field company+1 divisional bridge train and 1 or 2 bearer comapnies+1 telephone detachment.

The fighting strength of a division excluding officers may be taken 12,000 all ranks 17,500) rifles, 400-600 lances and carbines, 24 machine guns and 72 guns. (page 51)

My questions are:

1) Are my calculations correct?

2) I wonder what is the size of a company?

3) Apart from Cron and German Army Handbook, do you know any other sources?

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Brusilov said:

So, I guess that an infantry in division is 1080 (infantry division)x2 (brigades)x12.(Battalions)=25,322 men

I‘m not sure I agree with/understand your calculations but if an Infantry Division consists of 12 Infantry battalions the calculation to find the infantry strength is 12 x 1080 which equals 12960.

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It all depends when, where, which division etc. Compositions changed over time and according to the actual units. It often took some time between the first division changing from two brigades of each two regiments (+ a Jäger Battalion) to a divison of one brigade of three regiments. And then we're not talking about cavalry divisions and some of those being changed into a Kavallerie-Schützen-Division...

Jan

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9 hours ago, charlie2 said:

I‘m not sure I agree with/understand your calculations but if an Infantry Division consists of 12 Infantry battalions the calculation to find the infantry strength is 12 x 1080 which equals 12960.

Thanks,

That is my first answer before I miscalculate. I try to make the figure fit the number found in Gorlice-Tarnow, ending up with an over-calculation.

 

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8 hours ago, AOK4 said:

It all depends when, where, which division etc. Compositions changed over time and according to the actual units. It often took some time between the first division changing from two brigades of each two regiments (+ a Jäger Battalion) to a divison of one brigade of three regiments. And then we're not talking about cavalry divisions and some of those being changed into a Kavallerie-Schützen-Division...

Jan

That is interesting.

Could you elaborate more on the change between a division of 2 brigades of 2 regiments (1 division = 4 regiments) into a division of 1 brigade of 3 regiments (1 division = 3 regiments)?

Does this change occur in 1916?

 

Also, based on Cron's book, the change in the size of an infantry batallion occured in 1916. Could this be due to Verdun? Maybe not totally, but a large part due to it?

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15 minutes ago, Brusilov said:

That is interesting.

Could you elaborate more on the change between a division of 2 brigades of 2 regiments (1 division = 4 regiments) into a division of 1 brigade of 3 regiments (1 division = 3 regiments)?

Does this change occur in 1916?

 

Also, based on Cron's book, the change in the size of an infantry batallion occured in 1916. Could this be due to Verdun? Maybe not totally, but a large part due to it?

It is all in Cron's book... under the chapter about Infantry - Brigade.

The reduction of the number of men in units is also described in Cron, it had to do with the increase in total number of units, the increase in firepower and thus the number of men in the units could be reduced.

I strongly suggest you read Cron completely and thoroughly. I don't know how good the translation is (and how many German terms were translated), but I read it in German many years ago and still browse it every now and then.

Jan

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2 hours ago, AOK4 said:

It is all in Cron's book... under the chapter about Infantry - Brigade.

The reduction of the number of men in units is also described in Cron, it had to do with the increase in total number of units, the increase in firepower and thus the number of men in the units could be reduced.

I strongly suggest you read Cron completely and thoroughly. I don't know how good the translation is (and how many German terms were translated), but I read it in German many years ago and still browse it every now and then.

Jan

Thanks,

I will definitely do as you say. So far, I have only dabbled into his book like a dictionary.

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