14th Reserve Division (German Empire)
The 14th Reserve Division (14. Reserve-Division) was a unit of the Imperial 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. The division was recruited primarily in the 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...

 and the 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...

, and included an active infantry brigade from the 14th Division
14th Division (German Empire)
The 14th Division was a unit of the Prussian/German Army. It was formed in November 1816 in Trier as a troop brigade and became the 14th Division on September 5, 1818, also relocating its headquarters to Düsseldorf. The division was subordinated in peacetime to the VII Army Corps...


Combat chronicle

The 14th Reserve Division 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...

, participating in the opening German offensive which led to the Allied Great Retreat
Great Retreat
The Great Retreat, also known as the Retreat from Mons, is the name given to the long, fighting retreat by Allied forces to the River Marne, on the Western Front early in World War I, after their holding action against the Imperial German Armies at the Battle of Mons on 23 August 1914...

, including the capture of Namur
Namur (city)
Namur is a city and municipality in Wallonia, in southern Belgium. It is both the capital of the province of Namur and of Wallonia....

 and Maubeuge
Maubeuge is a commune in the Nord department in northern France.It is situated on both banks of the Sambre , east of Valenciennes and about from the Belgian border.-History:...

. Thereafter, the division remained in the line in the Aisne region until October 1915, and then went into Army reserve for two months. It fought in the Battle of Verdun
Battle of Verdun
The Battle of Verdun was one of the major battles during the First World War on the Western Front. It was fought between the German and French armies, from 21 February – 18 December 1916, on hilly terrain north of the city of Verdun-sur-Meuse in north-eastern France...

 from February to September 1916, and remained in the line at Verdun thereafter. It went to the Somme region at the end of 1916 and to the Champagne region in late January 1917, fighting 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, from April to May. After a few months near Reims
Reims , a city in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France, lies east-northeast of Paris. Founded by the Gauls, it became a major city during the period of the Roman Empire....

, the division went to the region along the Ailette River
Ailette (river)
The Ailette is a long river in the Aisne département, eastern France. Its source is at Sainte-Croix. It flows generally west-northwest. It is a left tributary of the Oise into which it flows between Manicamp and Quierzy, northeast of Compiègne....

. In 1918, it participated in the German Spring Offensive
Spring Offensive
The 1918 Spring Offensive or Kaiserschlacht , also known as the Ludendorff Offensive, was a series of German attacks along the Western Front during World War I, beginning on 21 March 1918, which marked the deepest advances by either side since 1914...

. It was then primarily on the defensive, resisting various Allied offensives including those of the Hundred Days Offensive
Hundred Days Offensive
The Hundred Days Offensive was the final period of the First World War, during which the Allies launched a series of offensives against the Central Powers on the Western Front from 8 August to 11 November 1918, beginning with the Battle of Amiens. The offensive forced the German armies to retreat...

. Allied intelligence rated the division as first class.

Order of battle on mobilization

The order of battle of the 14th Reserve Division on mobilization was as follows:
  • 28. Infanterie-Brigade
    • Niederrheinisches Füsilier-Regiment Nr. 39
    • 8. Lothringisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 159

27. Reserve-Infanterie-Brigade
    • Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 16
    • Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 53
  • Reserve-Husaren-Regiment Nr. 8
  • Reserve-Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 14
  • 1. Reserve-Kompanie/1. Rheinisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 8
  • 2. Reserve-Kompanie/1. Rheinisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 8

Order of battle on January 1, 1918

The 14th Reserve 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 March 1915. Over the course of the war, other changes took place, including the formation of artillery and signals commands and a pioneer battalion. The order of battle on January 1, 1918 was as follows:
  • 27. Reserve-Infanterie-Brigade
    • Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 16
    • Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 53
    • 8. Lothringisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 159
  • 1.Eskadron/Reserve-Husaren-Regiment Nr. 5
  • Artillerie-Kommandeur 102
    • Reserve-Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 14
  • Stab Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 314
    • 1.Reserve-Kompanie/Westfälisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 7
    • 2.Reserve-Kompanie/Westfälisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 7
    • Minenwerfer-Kompanie Nr. 214
  • Divisions-Nachrichten-Kommandeur 414
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