10th Ersatz Division (German Empire)
The 10th Ersatz Division (10. Ersatz-Division) was a unit of the German
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

German Army (German Empire)
The German Army was the name given the combined land forces of the German Empire, also known as the National Army , Imperial Army or Imperial German Army. The term "Deutsches Heer" is also used for the modern German Army, the land component of the German Bundeswehr...

, in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. The division was formed on mobilization of the German Army in August 1914. The division was disbanded in 1919 during the demobilization of the German Army after World War I.

Formation and recruitment

The 10th Ersatz Division was formed on mobilization around 12 brigade replacement battalions (Brigade-Ersatz-Bataillone). Each brigade replacement battalion was numbered after its parent infantry brigade, and was formed with two companies each taken from the replacement battalions of the brigade's two infantry regiments. Thus, collectively, the 12 brigade replacement battalions represented troop contributions from 24 different infantry regiments. The division represented a broad cross-section of the German Empire. The units of the 25th Mixed Ersatz Brigade were from the VII Army Corps area, which included the Prussian Province of Westphalia
Province of Westphalia
The Province of Westphalia was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia and the Free State of Prussia from 1815 to 1946.-History:Napoleon Bonaparte founded the Kingdom of Westphalia, which was a client state of the First French Empire from 1807 to 1813...

, the Lower Rhine portion of the Prussian Rhine Province
Rhine Province
The Rhine Province , also known as Rhenish Prussia or synonymous to the Rhineland , was the westernmost province of the Kingdom of Prussia and the Free State of Prussia, within the German Reich, from 1822-1946. It was created from the provinces of the Lower Rhine and Jülich-Cleves-Berg...

, the Principality of Lippe
Principality of Lippe
Lippe was a historical state in Germany. It was located between the Weser River and the southeast part of the Teutoburg forest.-History:...

, and the Principality of Schaumburg-Lippe
Schaumburg-Lippe was until 1946 a small state in Germany, located in the present day state of Lower Saxony, with its capital at Bückeburg.- History :...

. The units of the 37th Mixed Ersatz Brigade were from the X Army Corps area, which included most of the Prussian Province of Hanover
Province of Hanover
The Province of Hanover was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia and the Free State of Prussia from 1868 to 1946.During the Austro-Prussian War, the Kingdom of Hanover had attempted to maintain a neutral position, along with some other member states of the German Confederation...

, the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg, and the Duchy of Brunswick
Duchy of Brunswick
Brunswick was a historical state in Germany. Originally the territory of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel in the Holy Roman Empire, it was established as an independent duchy by the Congress of Vienna in 1815...

. The units of the 43rd Mixed Ersatz Brigade were from the XI Army Corps area, which included the Hesse-Kassel
The Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel or Hesse-Cassel was a state in the Holy Roman Empire under Imperial immediacy that came into existence when the Landgraviate of Hesse was divided in 1567 upon the death of Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse. His eldest son William IV inherited the northern half and the...

 (or Hesse-Cassel) portion of the Prussian Province of Hesse-Nassau
Province of Hesse-Nassau
Hesse-Nassau Province was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1868-1918, then a province of the Free State of Prussia until 1944.Hesse-Nassau was created as a consequence of the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 by combining the previously independent Hesse-Kassel , the Duchy of Nassau, the Free...

, the Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
The Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach was created in 1809 by the merger of the Ernestine duchies of Saxe-Weimar and Saxe-Eisenach. It was raised to a Grand duchy in 1815 by resolution of the Vienna Congress. In 1877, it officially changed its name to the Grand Duchy of Saxony , but this name was...

, the Duchies of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and Saxe-Meiningen
The Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen was one of the Saxon duchies held by the Ernestine line of the Wettin dynasty, located in the southwest of the present-day German state of Thuringia....

, the Principalities of Reuss Elder Line
Reuss Elder Line
The Principality of Reuss Elder Line was a state in Germany, ruled by members of the House of Reuss. The Counts Reuss of Greiz, Lower- and Upper Greiz , were elevated to princely status in 1778. Its members bore the title Prince Reuss, Elder Line, or Prince Reuss of Greiz...

, Reuss Younger Line, Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt
Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt was a small historic state in present-day Thuringia, Germany with its capital at Rudolstadt.-History:Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt was established in 1599 in the course of a resettlement of Schwarzburg dynasty lands...

, Schwarzburg-Sondershausen
Schwarzburg-Sondershausen was a small principality in Germany, in the present day state of Thuringia, with capital at Sondershausen.-History:...

, and Waldeck
Waldeck (state)
Waldeck was a sovereign principality in the German Empire and German Confederation and, until 1929, a constituent state of the Weimar Republic. It comprised territories in present-day Hesse and Lower Saxony, ....

, and portions of the Prussian Province of Saxony
Province of Saxony
The Province of Saxony was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia and later the Free State of Prussia from 1816 until 1945. Its capital was Magdeburg.-History:The province was created in 1816 out of the following territories:...

, including the region around Erfurt
Erfurt is the capital city of Thuringia and the main city nearest to the geographical centre of Germany, located 100 km SW of Leipzig, 150 km N of Nuremberg and 180 km SE of Hannover. Erfurt Airport can be reached by plane via Munich. It lies in the southern part of the Thuringian...


Combat chronicle

The 10th Ersatz Division initially fought on the Western Front
Western Front (World War I)
Following the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the German Army opened the Western Front by first invading Luxembourg and Belgium, then gaining military control of important industrial regions in France. The tide of the advance was dramatically turned with the Battle of the Marne...

 in World War I. It fought in the Battle of the Frontiers
Battle of the Frontiers
The Battle of the Frontiers was a series of battles fought along the eastern frontier of France and in southern Belgium shortly after the outbreak of World War I. The battles represented a collision between the military strategies of the French Plan XVII and the German Schlieffen Plan...

, seeing action in Lorraine and against the French defensive line from Nancy to Epinal. From December 1914 to February 1916, the division occupied the trenchlines in the Woëvre region. The division fought in the Battle of the Somme in September 1916. After a period in the trenchlines in the Champagne and near Verdun, the division saw action in 1917 in the Second Battle of the Aisne
Second Battle of the Aisne
The Second Battle of the Aisne , was the massive main assault of the French military's Nivelle Offensive or Chemin des Dames Offensive in 1917 during World War I....

, also called the Third Battle of Champagne, and in the Battle of Passchendaele. In October 1917, the division was transferred to the Eastern Front
Eastern Front (World War I)
The Eastern Front was a theatre of war during World War I in Central and, primarily, Eastern Europe. The term is in contrast to the Western Front. Despite the geographical separation, the events in the two theatres strongly influenced each other...

, fighting in eastern Galicia until the armistice on that front. In January/February 1918, the division was in army reserve and was transferred back to the Western Front. It was in the trenchlines in Flanders and the Artois until April 1918, when it fought in the Battle of Armentières, part of the Battle of the Lys, also known as the German Lys Offensive or the Fourth Battle of Ypres. The division remained in the Flanders/Artois region after the German offensives and faced the various Allied counteroffensives, seeing action in the late-1918 Battle of Cambrai
Battle of Cambrai (1918)
The Battle of Cambrai was a battle between troops of the British First, Third and Fourth Armies and German Empire forces during the Hundred Days Offensive of the First World War. The battle took place in and around the French city of Cambrai, between 8 and 10 October 1918...

. It ended the war fighting in the Battle of Valenciennes and in the German retreat to its Antwerp-Meuse position. Allied intelligence rated the division as third class and of moderate value.

Order of battle on mobilization

The order of battle of the 10th Ersatz Division on mobilization was as follows:
  • 25.gemischte Ersatz-Brigade
    • Brigade-Ersatz-Bataillon Nr. 25
    • Brigade-Ersatz-Bataillon Nr. 26
    • Brigade-Ersatz-Bataillon Nr. 27
    • Brigade-Ersatz-Bataillon Nr. 28
    • Kavallerie-Ersatz-Abteilung/VII. Armeekorps
    • Feldartillerie-Ersatz-Abteilung Nr. 43 (Ersatz-Abteilung/Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 43)
  • 37.gemischte Ersatz-Brigade
    • Brigade-Ersatz-Bataillon Nr. 37
    • Brigade-Ersatz-Bataillon Nr. 38
    • Brigade-Ersatz-Bataillon Nr. 39
    • Brigade-Ersatz-Bataillon Nr. 40
    • Kavallerie-Ersatz-Abteilung/X. Armeekorps
    • Feldartillerie-Ersatz-Abteilung Nr. 42 (Ersatz-Abteilung/Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 42)
    • Feldartillerie-Ersatz-Abteilung Nr. 62 (Ersatz-Abteilung/Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 62)
    • 1.Ersatz-Kompanie/Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 10
  • 43.gemischte Ersatz-Brigade
    • Brigade-Ersatz-Bataillon Nr. 43
    • Brigade-Ersatz-Bataillon Nr. 44
    • Brigade-Ersatz-Bataillon Nr. 76
    • Brigade-Ersatz-Bataillon Nr. 83
    • Kavallerie-Ersatz-Abteilung/XI. Armeekorps
    • Feldartillerie-Ersatz-Abteilung Nr. 47 (Ersatz-Abteilung/Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 47)
    • Feldartillerie-Ersatz-Abteilung Nr. 55 (Ersatz-Abteilung/Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 55)
    • 3.Ersatz-Kompanie/Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 11

Order of battle on February 20, 1918

The division underwent several structural changes as the war progressed. The mixed Ersatz brigades were converted to Ersatz infantry brigades as cavalry, artillery, and pioneer Ersatz units were grouped and reorganized. The brigade replacement battalions were grouped into infantry regiments. The 10th Ersatz Division was triangularized
Triangular division
A triangular division is a designation given to the way divisions are organized. In a triangular organization, the division's main body is composed of three regimental maneuver elements. These regiments may be controlled by a brigade headquarters or directly subordinated to the division commander...

 in October 1916. Cavalry was later reduced, pioneers were increased to a full battalion, and an artillery command and a divisional signals command were created. The division's order of battle on February 20, 1918 was as follows:
  • 43.Ersatz-Infanterie-Brigade
    • Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 369
    • Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 370
    • Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 371
  • 1.Eskadron/Regiment Königs-Jäger zu Pferde Nr. 1
    1st King's Mounted Rifles
    The 1st King's Mounted Rifles were a light cavalry regiment of the Royal Prussian Army from 1901 to 1918. When the Imperial German Army was reorganized as the Reichsheer, A Squadron/10th Horse became bearer of the regiment's tradition....

  • Artillerie-Kommandeur 136
    • Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 95
    • Fußartillerie-Bataillon Nr. 156
  • Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 510
    • Pionier-Kompanie Nr. 246
    • Pionier-Kompanie Nr. 308
    • Minenwerfer-Kompanie Nr. 163
  • Divisions-Nachrichten-Kommandeur 560
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