7th Reserve Division (German Empire)
The 7th Reserve Division (7. Reserve-Division) was a unit 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 during the demobilization of the German Army after World War I. The division was a reserve division of the IV Reserve Corps and was raised primarily in the Province of Prussian Saxony, the Duchy of Anhalt, and the Thuringian states.

Combat chronicle

The 7th Reserve Division began the war 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 opening campaigns against the Belgian Army and the British Expeditionary Force, including the Battle of Mons
Battle of Mons
The Battle of Mons was the first major action of the British Expeditionary Force in the First World War. It was a subsidiary action of the Battle of the Frontiers, in which the Allies clashed with Germany on the French borders. At Mons, the British army attempted to hold the line of the...

, and pursued the Allies during the Great Retreat
Great Retreat
The Great Retreat, also known as the Retreat from Mons, is the name given to the long, fighting retreat by Allied forces to the River Marne, on the Western Front early in World War I, after their holding action against the Imperial German Armies at the Battle of Mons on 23 August 1914...

, culminating in the First Battle of the Marne
First Battle of the Marne
The Battle of the Marne was a First World War battle fought between 5 and 12 September 1914. It resulted in an Allied victory against the German Army under Chief of Staff Helmuth von Moltke the Younger. The battle effectively ended the month long German offensive that opened the war and had...

. After 1st Marne, the division held the line in the Aisne region until September 1915, when it went to the Champagne region. In 1916, it fought in the Battle of Verdun
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...

, where it suffered heavy losses. It then saw action in the later phases of the Battle of the Somme. The division occupied various parts of the line in 1917 and into 1918, before participating 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...

. After the offensive, it occupied various parts of the line again, facing Allied offensives and counteroffensives, and was hit by U.S. troops in the 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 it second class and noted that it was almost annihilated by the Armistice in November 1918.

Order of battle on mobilization

The order of battle of the 7th Reserve Division on mobilization was as follows:
  • 13.Reserve-Infanterie-Brigade
    • Magdeburgisches Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 27
    • Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 36
  • 14.Reserve-Infanterie-Brigade
    • Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 66
    • Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 72
    • Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 4
  • schweres Reserve-Reiter-Regiment Nr. 1 (Royal Bavarian Heavy Cavalry Regiment No. 1)
  • Reserve-Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 7
  • 4. Kompanie/Magdeburgisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 4

Order of battle on March 12, 1918

The 7th 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 April 1915. Over the course of the war, other changes took place, including the formation of the artillery and signals commands. The order of battle on March 12, 1918 was as follows:
  • 14.Reserve-Infanterie-Brigade
    • Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 36
    • Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 66
    • Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 72
    • Maschinengewehr-Scharfschützen-Abteilung Nr. 71
  • 1.Eskadron/Reserve-Reiter-Regiment Nr. 1
  • Artillerie-Kommandeur 95
    • Reserve-Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 7
    • Fußartillerie-Bataillon Nr. 52
  • Stab Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 307
    • 4.Kompanie/Magdeburgisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 4
    • Pionier-Kompanie Nr. 248
    • Minenwerfer-Kompanie Nr. 207
  • Divisions-Nachrichten-Kommandeur 407
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