The Imperial German Army was the name given to the combined land and air forces of the German Empire. The term Deutsches Heer is also used for the modern German Army, the German Army was formed after the unification of Germany under Prussian leadership in 1871 and dissolved in 1919, after the defeat of the German Empire in World War I. When operating together, the units were known as the Federal Army, Prussia formed the North German Confederation and the treaty provided for the maintenance of a Federal Army and a Federal Navy. Further laws on military duty also used these terms, through these conventions and the 1871 Constitution of the German Empire, an Army of the Realm was created. The contingents of the Bavarian, Saxon and Württemberg kingdoms remained semi-autonomous, the Constitution of the German Empire, dated April 16,1871, changed references in the North German Constitution from Federal Army to either Army of the Realm or German Army. After 1871, the armies of the four kingdoms remained relatively distinct. German Army was used in legal documents, such as the Military Penal Code. Württemberg and Saxon units were numbered according to the Prussian system, the commander of the Imperial German Army, less the Bavarian contingent, was the Kaiser. He was assisted by a Military Cabinet and exercised control through the Prussian Ministry of War, the Chief of the General Staff became the Kaisers main military advisor and the most powerful military figure in the Empire. Bavaria kept its own Ministry of War and General Staff, saxony also maintained its own Ministry of War and the Ministry of War of Württemberg also continued to exist. Command of the Prussian Army had been reformed in the wake of the defeats suffered by Prussia in the Napoleonic Wars, the General Staff system, that sought to institutionalize military excellence, was the main result. It provided planning and organizational work during peacetime and wartime, the Prussian General Staff, proven in battle in the Wars of Unification, became the German General Staff upon formation of the German Empire, given Prussias leading role in the German Army. During wartime, the staff of the Army inspectorates formed field army commands, during World War I, a higher command level, the army group, was created. Each army group controlled several field armies, Germany was divided into army inspectorates, each of which oversaw three or four corps. There were five in 1871, with three more added between 1907 and 1913, the corps consisted of two or more divisions and various support troops, covering a geographical area. The corps was responsible for maintaining the reserves and Landwehr in the corps area. By 1914, there were 21 corps areas under Prussian jurisdiction, besides the regional corps, there was also a Guard Corps, which controlled the elite Prussian Guard units. A corps usually included an infantry battalion, a heavy artillery battalion, an engineer battalion, a telegraph battalion
German Army cavalry re-enactment
German Army hussars on the attack during maneuvers, 1912.