26th Reserve Division (German Empire)
The 26th Reserve Division (26. 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 Kingdom of Württemberg
Kingdom of Württemberg
The Kingdom of Württemberg was a state that existed from 1806 to 1918, located in present-day Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It was a continuation of the Duchy of Württemberg, which came into existence in 1495...


Combat chronicle

The 26th Reserve Division spent World War I 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...

. 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...

 and then participated in the Race to the Sea
Race to the Sea
The Race to the Sea is a name given to the period early in the First World War when the two sides were still engaged in mobile warfare on the Western Front. With the German advance stalled at the First Battle of the Marne, the opponents continually attempted to outflank each other through...

, fighting in the Somme region. It occupied the line in the Somme/Artois
Artois is a former province of northern France. Its territory has an area of around 4000 km² and a population of about one million. Its principal cities are Arras , Saint-Omer, Lens and Béthune.-Location:...

 region into 1916, facing the British offensive in the Battle of the Somme. It was relieved from the Somme in October 1916 and spent the winter of 1916-1917 in the Artois. In 1917, it fought in the Battle of Arras
Battle of Arras (1917)
The Battle of Arras was a British offensive during the First World War. From 9 April to 16 May 1917, British, Canadian, New Zealand, Newfoundland, and Australian troops attacked German trenches near the French city of Arras on the Western Front....

. In 1918, it fought 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...

 and against the subsequent Allied offensives and counteroffensives. Allied intelligence rated the division as first class.

Order of battle on mobilization

The order of battle of the 26th Reserve Division on mobilization was as follows:
  • 51. Reserve-Infanterie-Brigade
    • 10. Württembergisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 180
    • Württembergisches Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 121
  • 52.Reserve-Infanterie-Brigade
    • Württembergisches Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 119
    • Württembergisches Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 120
  • Württembergisches Reserve-Dragoner-Regiment
  • Württembergisches Reserve-Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 26
  • 4.Kompanie/Württembergisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 13

Order of battle on March 20, 1918

The 26th 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 January 1917. 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 20, 1918 was as follows:
  • 51. Reserve-Infanterie-Brigade
    • Württembergisches Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 119
    • Württembergisches Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 121
    • 10. Württembergisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 180
    • Maschinengewehr-Scharfschützen-Abteilung Nr. 54
  • 2.Eskadron/Ulanen-Regiment König Wilhelm I (2. Württembergisches) Nr. 20
  • Artillerie-Kommandeur 122
    • Württembergisches Reserve-Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 26
    • Fußartillerie-Bataillon Nr. 59
  • Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 326
    • 4.Kompanie/Württembergisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 13
    • 6.Kompanie/Württembergisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 13
    • Minenwerfer-Kompanie Nr. 226
  • Divisions-Nachrichten-Kommandeur 426
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