50th Infantry Division (German Empire)

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50th Infantry Division (50. Infanterie-Division)
Active 1914-1919
Country Germany
Branch Army
Type Infantry
Size Approx. 15,000
Engagements Verdun, Second Battle of the Aisne, Spring Offensive

The 50th Infantry Division (50.Infanterie-Division) was a formation of the Imperial German Army during World War I. The division was formed on March 10, 1915, from units taken from other divisions or newly raised. Its infantry core was from Westphalia: the 39th Lower Rhine Fusilier Regiment, taken from the 14th Reserve Division (German Empire), the 53rd Westphalian Infantry Regiment, taken from the 14th Infantry Division, and the 158th Lorraine Infantry Regiment, taken from the 13th Infantry Division.[1]

The division saw extensive action in the Battle of Verdun in 1916, especially in the fight for Fort Vaux. The division also was heavily engaged in the Second Battle of the Aisne, also called the Third Battle of Champagne and referred to in German sources as the Dual Battle of Aisne-Champagne (Doppelschlacht Aisne-Champagne). In 1918, it was involved in the German Spring Offensive, called the Great Battle in France (Große Schlacht in Frankreich) or the Kaiser Battle (Kaiserschlacht)[1] It was rated by Allied intelligence in 1917 and 1918 as a first class assault division.[2]

Order of battle on March 10, 1915[edit]

  • 100. Infanterie-Brigade
    • Niederrheinisches Füsilier-Regiment Nr. 39
    • 5. Westfälisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 53
    • 7. Lothringisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 158
    • Radfahrer-Kompanie Nr. 50
  • 50.Feldartillerie-Brigade
    • Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 99
    • Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 100
    • Fußartillerie-Bataillon Nr. 50
  • Pionier-Kompanie Nr. 99
  • Pionier-Kompanie Nr. 100

Late World War I organization[edit]

The division underwent comparatively fewer organizational changes during the course of the war than most other divisions. The 50th Infantry Division's order of battle on February 22, 1918, was as follows:[3]

  • 100. Infanterie-Brigade
    • Niederrheinisches Füsilier-Regiment Nr. 39
    • 5. Westfälisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 53
    • 7. Lothringisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 158
    • MG-Scharfschützen-Abteilung Nr. 36
  • 1.Eskadron/Ulanen-Regiment Hennigs von Treffenfeld (Altmärkisches) Nr. 16
  • Artillerie-Kommandeur 50
    • Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 99
    • Fußartillerie-Bataillon Nr. 95
  • Stab Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 50
    • Pionier-Kompanie Nr. 99
    • Pionier-Kompanie Nr. 100
    • Minenwerfer-Kompanie Nr. 50
  • Divisions-Nachrichten-Kommandeur 50

References[edit]

  • 50. Infanterie-Division - Der erste Weltkrieg
  • Hermann Cron et al., Ruhmeshalle unserer alten Armee (Berlin, 1935)
  • Hermann Cron, Geschichte des deutschen Heeres im Weltkriege 1914-1918 (Berlin, 1937)
  • Histories of Two Hundred and Fifty-One Divisions of the German Army which Participated in the War (1914-1918), compiled from records of Intelligence section of the General Staff, American Expeditionary Forces, at General Headquarters, Chaumont, France 1919, (1920)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b 50. Infanterie-Division - Der erste Weltkrieg
  2. ^ Histories of Two Hundred and Fifty-One Divisions of the German Army which Participated in the War (1914-1918), compiled from records of Intelligence section of the General Staff, American Expeditionary Forces, at General Headquarters, Chaumont, France 1919, (1920)
  3. ^ Cron et al., Ruhmeshalle