5th Bavarian Reserve Division (German Empire)
The 5th Bavarian Reserve Division (5. Bayerische Reserve-Division) was a unit of the Royal Bavarian Army, part of the 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 and recruited in Bavaria, mainly in Upper Bavaria
Upper Bavaria
Upper Bavaria is one of the seven administrative regions of Bavaria, Germany.- Geography :Upper Bavaria is located in the southern portion of Bavaria, and is centered around the city of Munich. It is subdivided into four regions : Ingolstadt, Munich, Bayerisches Oberland , and Südostoberbayern...

 and Upper
Upper Franconia
Upper Franconia is a Regierungsbezirk of the state of Bavaria, southern Germany. It forms part of the historically significant region of Franconia , all now part of the German Federal State of Bayern .With more than 200 independent breweries which brew...

 and Middle Franconia
Middle Franconia
Middle Franconia is one of the three administrative regions of Franconia in Bavaria, Germany. It is in the west of Bavaria and adjoins the state of Baden-Württemberg...

. As a reserve division, it included a large number of recalled reservists.

Combat chronicle

The 5th Bavarian Reserve Division fought in the opening phases of the war 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...

. It 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...

, including the Battle of Arras
Battle of Arras (1914)
The Battle of Arras , which began on 1 October 1914, was an attempt by the French Army to outflank the German Army to prevent its movement towards the English Channel during the Race to the Sea....

 in October 1914. It remained in the trenchlines in Flanders until 1916, when it entered the Battle of the Somme in August 1916. It remained in the Somme and Aisne area until January 1917, when it went into 1st Army reserve to rest and refit. After returning to the line, it saw action 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 called the Third Battle of Champagne (and by the Germans, the Double Battle on the Aisne and in the Champagne). Later in 1917, it participated in the Battle of Passchendaele. In 1918, the division 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...

. The division ended the war fighting against the American Meuse-Argonne 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:...

. Allied intelligence rated the division as a good second class division.

Order of battle on mobilization

The order of battle of the 5th Bavarian Reserve Division on mobilization was as follows:
  • 9. bayerische Reserve-Infanterie-Brigade
    • Kgl. Bayerisches Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 6
    • Kgl. Bayerisches Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 7
  • 11. bayerische Reserve-Infanterie-Brigade
    • Kgl. Bayerisches Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 10
    • Kgl. Bayerisches Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 13
    • Kgl. Bayerisches Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 1
  • Reserve-Kavallerie-Regiment Nr. 5
  • Kgl. Bayerisches Reserve-Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 5
  • 4. Kompanie/Kgl. Bayerisches 2. Pionier-Bataillon
  • 1. Reserve-Kompanie/Kgl. Bayerisches 2. Pionier-Bataillon

Order of battle on April 4, 1918

Divisions underwent many changes during the war, with regiments moving from division to division, and some being destroyed and rebuilt. The 5th Bavarian Reserve Division was triangularized in April 1915, losing the 9th Bavarian Reserve Infantry Brigade headquarters and the 6th Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment. Over the course of the war, other units were exchanged with other divisions, cavalry was reduced, engineers increased, and an artillery command and a divisional signals command were created. The 5th Bavarian Reserve Division's order of battle on April 4, 1918 was as follows:
  • 11. bayerische Reserve-Infanterie-Brigade
    • Kgl. Bayerisches Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 7
    • Kgl. Bayerisches Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 10
    • Kgl. Bayerisches Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 12
  • 2.Eskadron/Kgl. Bayerisches 3. Chevaulegers-Regiment Herzog Karl Theodor
  • Kgl. Bayerischer Artillerie-Kommandeur 17
    • Kgl. Bayerisches Reserve-Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 5
    • II.Bataillon/Kgl. Sächs. Reserve-Fußartillerie-Regiment Nr. 19 (to July 25, 1918)
    • Kgl. Bayerisches Fußartillerie-Bataillon Nr. 17 (from August 19, 1918)
  • Stab Kgl. Bayerisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 18
    • Kgl. Bayerische Pionier-Kompanie Nr. 2
    • Kgl. Bayerische Pionier-Kompanie Nr. 19
    • Kgl. Bayerische Minenwerfer-Kompanie Nr. 205
  • Kgl. Bayerischer Divisions-Nachrichten-Kommandeur 405
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