19th Reserve Division (German Empire)
The 19th Reserve Division (19. 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 raised in 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...


Combat chronicle

The 19th Reserve Division began the war 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...

 and ended with 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, the division remained in the line on the Aisne and in the Champagne. From May 1915 to March 1916, the division fought in Upper Alsace. It then 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...

 until July, when it went into the Argonne Forest. In October 1916, it saw action in the later phases of the Battle of the Somme. In April 1917, the division fought 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 known as the Third Battle of Champagne. In May, it was sent 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...

, and fought around Riga until September. It then returned to the Western Front, where it saw action in the Battle of Passchendaele. It was back in the trenchlines at Verdun from October 1917 to April 1918. In August–September 1918, the division faced the French and American Oise-Aisne Offensive. It remained in the line until war's end. Allied intelligence rated the division as first class.

Order of battle on mobilization

The order of battle of the 19th Reserve Division on mobilization was as follows:
  • 37. Reserve-Infanterie-Brigade
    • Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 73
    • Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 78
  • 39. Reserve-Infanterie-Brigade
    • Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 74
    • Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 92
    • III. (Großherzoglich Oldenburgisches) Bataillon/Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 79
  • Großherzoglich Oldenburgisches Reserve-Dragoner-Regiment Nr. 6
  • Reserve-Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 19
  • 1.Reserve-Kompanie/Hannoversches Pionier-Bataillon Nr.10
  • 2.Reserve-Kompanie/Hannoversches Pionier-Bataillon Nr.10

Order of battle on March 8, 1918

The 19th 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 September 1916, sending the 37th Reserve Infantry Brigade headquarters and the 74th Reserve Infantry Regiment to the newly-formed 213th Infantry Division. 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 March 8, 1918 was as follows:
  • 39. Reserve-Infanterie-Brigade
    • Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 73
    • Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 78
    • Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 92
  • 3.Eskadron/Reserve-Dragoner-Regiment Nr. 6
  • Artillerie-Kommandeur 114
    • Reserve-Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 19
    • II.Bataillon/Fußartillerie-Regiment Nr. 3
  • Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 319
  • Divisions-Nachrichten-Kommandeur 419
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