36th Reserve Division (German Empire)
The 36th Reserve Division (36. 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 during the demobilization of the German Army after World War I. The division was a reserve division of the I Reserve Corps and was raised primarily in Pomerania Province and West Prussia Province.

Combat chronicle

The 36th Reserve Division began the war on 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 fought in the Battle of Gumbinnen
Battle of Gumbinnen
The Battle of Gumbinnen, initiated by forces of the German Empire on August 20, 1914, was the first major German offensive on the Eastern Front during the First World War...

, the Battle of Tannenberg
Battle of Tannenberg (1914)
The Battle of Tannenberg was an engagement between the Russian Empire and the German Empire in the first days of World War I. It was fought by the Russian First and Second Armies against the German Eighth Army between 23 August and 30 August 1914. The battle resulted in the almost complete...

, and the First Battle of the Masurian Lakes. In 1915, it saw action in the Gorlice-Tarnów Offensive
Gorlice-Tarnów Offensive
The Gorlice–Tarnów Offensive during World War I started as a minor German offensive to relieve Russian pressure on the Austro-Hungarians to their south on the Eastern Front, but resulted in the total collapse of the Russian lines and their retreat far into Russia...

. It remained in the Baltic region until September 1916, and then went to Galicia. In May 1917, the division was transferred to 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...

, arriving in June. It was deployed to various parts of the line until war's end, spending most of 1918 in the Flanders region. Allied intelligence rated the division as third class in 1918.

Order of battle on mobilization

The order of battle of the 36th Reserve Division on mobilization was as follows:
  • 69.Reserve-Infanterie-Brigade
    • Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 21
    • Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 61
    • Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 2
  • 70.Reserve-Infanterie-Brigade
    • Infanterie-Regiment von der Goltz (7. Pommersches) Nr. 54
    • Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 5
  • Reserve-Husaren-Regiment Nr. 5
  • Reserve-Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 36
  • 1.Reserve-Kompanie/Pommersches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 2

Order of battle on March 28, 1918

The 36th 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. Over the course of the war, other changes took place, including the formation of the artillery and signals commands. The order of battle on April 11, 1918 was as follows:
  • 69.Reserve-Infanterie-Brigade
    • Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 5
    • Infanterie-Regiment von der Goltz (7. Pommersches) Nr. 54
    • Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 61
    • Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 2
  • 5.Eskadron/Garde-Dragoner-Regiment Königin Viktoria von Groß Britannien u. Irland Nr. 1
  • Artillerie-Kommandeur 72
    • Reserve-Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 36
    • III.Bataillon/Reserve-Fußartillerie-Regiment Nr. 4
  • Stab Pommersches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 2
    • 1.Kompanie/Pommersches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 2
    • 1.Reserve-Kompanie/Pommersches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 2
    • Minenwerfer-Kompanie Nr. 236
  • Divisions-Nachrichten-Kommandeur 436
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