2nd Landwehr Division (German Empire)
The 2nd Landwehr Division (2. Landwehr-Division) was an infantry division of the Imperial German Army
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...

 during 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...

. It was formed on mobilization of the German Army in August 1914 under the "Higher Landwehr Commander 2" (Höherer Landwehr-Kommandeur 2). The Landwehr
Landwehr, or Landeswehr, is a German language term used in referring to certain national armies, or militias found in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Europe. In different context it refers to large scale, low strength fortifications...

 was the third category of the German Army, after the regular Army and the reserves. Thus Landwehr divisions were made up of older soldiers who had passed from the reserves, and were intended primarily for occupation and security duties rather than heavy combat. The circumstances of war often changed this, however.

Organization at mobilization

On mobilization, the Higher Landwehr Commander 2 commanded four mixed Landwehr brigades (gemischte Landwehr-Brigaden), each of which generally included its own infantry, cavalry and artillery. The initial wartime organization was as follows:
  • 9. bayerische gemischte Landwehr-Brigade
    • Kgl. Bayerisches 6. Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment
    • Kgl. Bayerisches 7. Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment
    • 1. Landwehr-Eskadron/III. Bayerisches Armeekorps
    • 1. Landsturm-Batterie III. Bayerisches Armeekorps
  • 43. gemischte Landwehr-Brigade
    • Thüringisches Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 32
    • Kurhessisches Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 83
    • 1. Landwehr-Eskadron/XI. Armeekorps
  • 45. gemischte Landwehr-Brigade
    • Kgl. Sächsisches Landwehr-Grenadier-Regiment Nr. 100
    • Kgl. Sächsisches Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 102
    • Landwehr-Eskadron/XII. (1. Kgl. Sächs.) Armeekorps
    • 1. Landsturm-Batterie XII. (1. Kgl. Sächs.) Armeekorps
  • 53. gemischte Landwehr-Brigade
    • Kgl. Württembergisches Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 124
    • Kgl. Württembergisches Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 125
    • 3. Landwehr-Eskadron/XIII. (Kgl. Württ.) Armeekorps
    • Landsturm-Batterie XIII. (Kgl. Württ.) Armeekorps

The 9th Bavarian Mixed Landwehr Brigade was from the Kingdom of Bavaria
Kingdom of Bavaria
The Kingdom of Bavaria was a German state that existed from 1806 to 1918. The Bavarian Elector Maximilian IV Joseph of the House of Wittelsbach became the first King of Bavaria in 1806 as Maximilian I Joseph. The monarchy would remain held by the Wittelsbachs until the kingdom's dissolution in 1918...

, raised in the III. Bavarian Corps area of northern Bavaria. The 43rd Mixed Landwehr Brigade was from the XI Corps area (the 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...

 and the smaller Thuringian states). The 45th Mixed Landwehr Brigade was raised in the Kingdom of Saxony
Kingdom of Saxony
The Kingdom of Saxony , lasting between 1806 and 1918, was an independent member of a number of historical confederacies in Napoleonic through post-Napoleonic Germany. From 1871 it was part of the German Empire. It became a Free state in the era of Weimar Republic in 1918 after the end of World War...

. The 53rd Mixed Landwehr Brigade 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...


1915 reorganization

In late 1915, the division was reorganized, with most non-Württemberg elements being transferred to other units, and was officially redesignated the 2nd Landwehr Division on December 19, 1915. The order of battle of the division on November 9, 1915 was as follows:
  • 53. Landwehr-Brigade
    • Württembergisches Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 124
    • Württembergisches Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 125
  • 54. Landwehr-Brigade
    • Württembergisches Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 120
    • Württembergisches Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 121
  • 3. Landwehr-Eskadron/XIII. (Kgl. Württ.) Armeekorps
  • Landwehr-Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 2
  • Minenwerfer-Kompanie Nr. 302
  • 2. Landwehr-Pionier-Kompanie/I. Bayerisches Armeekorps
  • 1. Landsturm-Pionier-Kompanie/VII. Armeekorps

Combat chronicle

Although not officially designated as a Royal Württemberg formation, the 2nd Landwehr Division was wholly made up of Württemberg elements by early 1916. The division was sent to the front by Verdun, and when the major battle
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...

 began there in 1916, the division took part. The division remained in positional warfare on the Verdun front through 1916 and 1917, and in late 1917 and 1918 participated in the fighting in the Argonne Forest. Late in the war, it faced the American offensive
Meuse-Argonne Offensive
The Meuse-Argonne Offensive, or Maas-Argonne Offensive, also called the Battle of the Argonne Forest, was a part of the final Allied offensive of World War I that stretched along the entire western front.-Overview:...

 in the region.

Late World War I organization

Divisions underwent many changes during the war, with regiments moving from division to division, and some being destroyed and rebuilt. During the war, most divisions became triangular
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...

 - one infantry brigade with three infantry regiments rather than two infantry brigades of two regiments (a "square division
Square division
A square division is a designation given to the way military divisions are organized. In a square organization, the division's main body is composed of four regimental elements. Since a regiment could be split into separate battalions for tactical purposes, the natural division within a division...

"). In the case of Landwehr divisions, the mixed Landwehr brigades were converted to regular infantry brigades before being triangularized, and were often used to form new units. The 2nd Landwehr Division's order of battle on January 5, 1918 was as follows:
  • 54. Landwehr-Brigade
    • Württembergisches Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 120
    • Württembergisches Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 122
    • Württembergisches Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 125
  • 4.Eskadron/Ulanen-Regiment König Wilhelm I (2. Württembergisches) Nr. 20
    • Artillerie-Kommandeur 148:
    • Landwehr-Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 2
  • Stab Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 402:
    • 1.Landwehr-Kompanie/Württembergisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 13
    • 5.Landwehr-Kompanie/Württembergisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 13
    • Minenwerfer-Kompanie Nr. 302
  • Divisions-Nachrichten-Kommandeur 502
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