16th Reserve Division (German Empire)
The 16th Reserve Division (16. 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 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...

. At the beginning of the war, it formed the VIII Reserve Corps with the 15th Reserve Division
15th Reserve Division (German Empire)
The 15th Reserve Division was a unit of the Imperial German Army in World War I. 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...


Combat chronicle

The 16th 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...

, fighting at Sedan in late August 1914. It fought in the First Battle of the Marne
First Battle of the Marne
The Battle of the Marne was a First World War battle fought between 5 and 12 September 1914. It resulted in an Allied victory against the German Army under Chief of Staff Helmuth von Moltke the Younger. The battle effectively ended the month long German offensive that opened the war and had...

. Thereafter, it remained in the line in the Champagne region and fought in the Second Battle of Champagne
Second Battle of Champagne
The Second Battle of Champagne was a French offensive against the invading German army beginning on 25 September 1915, part of World War I.-September 25 - October 6:...

 in September–October 1915. It fought on the Aisne until October 1916, and then joined the Battle of the Somme. Its next major engagement was 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 by the Germans, the Double Battle on the Aisne and in the Champagne). In July 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...

. It remained on the Eastern Front until November 1917, and then returned to the Western Front. The division fought in the 1918 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...

, and remained in the Flanders and Artois regions until the end of the war. Allied intelligence rated the division as second class in 1918.

Order of battle on mobilization

The order of battle of the 16th Reserve Division on mobilization was as follows:
  • 29. Reserve-Infanterie-Brigade
    • Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 29
    • Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 65
  • 31. Reserve-Infanterie-Brigade
    • Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 28
    • Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 68
  • Kgl. Bayerisches Schweres Reiter-Regiment Nr. 2 (Royal Bavarian Heavy Cavalry Regiment No. 2)
  • Reserve-Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 16
  • 1.Reserve-Kompanie/1. Rheinisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 8
  • 2.Reserve-Kompanie/1. Rheinisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 8

Order of battle on April 10, 1918

The 16th 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 late September 1916. 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 April 10, 1918 was as follows:
  • 31. Reserve-Infanterie-Brigade
    • Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 29
    • Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 30
    • Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 68
  • 4.Eskadron/Kürassier-Regiment Graf Geßler (Rheinisches) Nr. 8
  • Artillerie-Kommandeur 106
    • Reserve-Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 16
    • Fußartillerie-Bataillon Nr. 127
  • Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 316
  • Divisions-Nachrichten-Kommandeur 416
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