4th Landwehr Division (German Empire)
The 4th Landwehr Division (4. 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 4" (Höherer Landwehr-Kommandeur 4). 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 division was primarily raised in the Prussian provinces of Upper and Lower Silesia. It was disbanded in 1919 during the demobilization of the German Army after World War I.

Combat chronicle

The 4th Landwehr Division fought 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...

 in World War I. It was on the front in Poland from the early days, and participated 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...

, crossing the Vistula in July and advancing toward the Bug, and eventually reaching the line between the Servech and Shchara rivers near Baranovichi
Baranovichi , is a city in the Brest Province of western Belarus with a population of 173,000. It is a significant railway junction and home to a state university.-Overview:...

, where the front stabilized. It remained in the line there until the armistice on the Eastern Front in December 1917. Thereafter, the division served in Ukraine and in German occupation forces in Russia. In November 1918, elements of the division were transferred to the Western Front, but had barely arrived in the line by the end of the war. Allied intelligence rated the division as mediocre.

Order of battle on mobilization

The order of battle of the 4th Landwehr Division on mobilization in August 1914 was as follows:
  • 22.Landwehr-Infanterie-Brigade
    • Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 11
    • Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 51
  • 23.Landwehr-Infanterie-Brigade
    • Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 22
    • Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 23
  • Ersatz-Kavallerie-Regiment
  • Landwehr-Kavallerie-Regiment Nr. 2
  • Ersatz-Abteilung/Feldartillerie-Regiment von Puecker (1. Schlesisches) Nr. 6
  • Ersatz-Abteilung/2. Oberschlesisches Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 57
  • 1.Landsturm-Batterie/VI.Armeekorps
  • 2.Landsturm-Batterie/VI.Armeekorps
  • Ersatz-Kompanie/Schlesisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 6

Order of battle on February 5, 1918

The division underwent several structural changes as the war progressed. It 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, dissolving the 23rd Landwehr Infantry Brigade. Cavalry was reduced, pioneers were increased to a full battalion, and a divisional signals command was created. The division's order of battle on February 5, 1918 was as follows:
  • 22.Landwehr-Infanterie-Brigade
    • Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 11
    • Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 23
    • Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 51
  • 3.Eskadron/Dragoner-Regiment von Bredow (1. Schlesisches) Nr. 4
  • Landwehr-Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 4
  • Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 404
  • Divisions-Nachrichten-Kommandeur 504
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