III Reserve Corps (German Empire)

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III Reserve Corps
III. Reserve-Korps
Flag of the Staff of a Generalkommando (1871–1918)
Active2 August 1914 - post November 1918
Country German Empire
SizeApproximately 38,000 (on formation)
EngagementsWorld War I
Battle of the Frontiers
Siege of Antwerp
First Battle of Ypres
AbbreviationIII RK

The III Reserve Corps (German: III. Reserve-Korps / III RK) was a corps level command of the German Army in World War I.


III Reserve Corps was formed on the outbreak of the war in August 1914[1] as part of the mobilisation of the Army. It was initially commanded by General der Infanterie Hans von Beseler, recalled from retirement.[2] It was still in existence at the end of the war.[3]

Structure on formation[edit]

On formation in August 1914, III Reserve Corps consisted of two divisions, made up of reserve units. In general, Reserve Corps and Reserve Divisions were weaker than their active counterparts

Reserve Infantry Regiments did not always have three battalions nor necessarily contain a machine gun company[4]
Reserve Jäger Battalions did not have a machine gun company on formation[5]
Reserve Cavalry Regiments consisted of just three squadrons[6]
Reserve Field Artillery Regiments usually consisted of two abteilungen of three batteries each[7]
Corps Troops generally consisted of a Telephone Detachment and four sections of munition columns and trains [8]

In summary, III Reserve Corps mobilised with 25 infantry battalions, 7 machine gun companies (42 machine guns), 6 cavalry squadrons, 12 field artillery batteries (72 guns) and 3 pioneer companies.

Corps Division Brigade Units
III Reserve Corps[9] 5th Reserve Division 9th Reserve Infantry Brigade 8th Reserve Infantry Regiment
48th Reserve Infantry Regiment
10th Reserve Infantry Brigade 12th Reserve Infantry Regiment
52nd Reserve Infantry Regiment
3rd Reserve Jäger Battalion
2nd Reserve Dragoon Regiment
5th Reserve Field Artillery Regiment
4th Company, 3rd Pioneer Battalion
5th Reserve Divisional Pontoon Train
3rd Reserve Medical Company
6th Reserve Division 11th Reserve Infantry Brigade 20th Reserve Infantry Regiment
24th Reserve Infantry Regiment
12th Reserve Infantry Brigade 26th Reserve Infantry Regiment[10]
35th Reserve Infantry Regiment
3rd Reserve Uhlan Regiment
6th Reserve Field Artillery Regiment
1st Reserve Company, 3rd Pioneer Battalion
2nd Reserve Company, 3rd Pioneer Battalion
6th Reserve Divisional Pontoon Train
16th Reserve Medical Company
Corps Troops 3rd Reserve Telephone Detachment
5th & 6th Reserve Munition Column Sections[11]
5th & 6th Reserve Train Sections[12]
2 Reserve Bakery Columns

Combat chronicle[edit]

On mobilisation, III Reserve Corps was assigned to the 1st Army on the right wing of the forces that invaded France and Belgium as part of the Schlieffen Plan offensive in August 1914. It was detached from 1st Army to take part in the Siege of Antwerp thereby missing the 1st Army's early battles (Mons, Le Cateau, Marne, Aisne, Arras). With the conclusion of the siege on 10 October 1914, it was assigned to 4th Army and took part in the First Battle of Ypres.


III Reserve Corps had the following commanders during its existence:[13][14]

From Rank Name
2 August 1914 General der Infanterie Hans von Beseler
26 August 1915 General der Infanterie Adolph von Carlowitz
8 August 1917 Generalleutnant Alfred von Böckmann
5 September 1917 Generalleutnant Anatol Graf von Bredow

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cron 2002, p. 86
  2. ^ The Prussian Machine Accessed: 29 February 2012
  3. ^ Cron 2002, pp. 88–89
  4. ^ Cron 2002, p. 111 About a third of Reserve Infantry Regiments formed in August 1914 lacked a machine gun company
  5. ^ Cron 2002, p. 116 Active Jäger Battalions had a machine gun company with the exceptions of the 1st and 2nd Bavarian Jäger Battalions
  6. ^ Cron 2002, p. 128 Most active cavalry regiments had four squadrons, some were raised to six squadrons
  7. ^ Cron 2002, p. 134 Active Divisions had a Field Artillery Brigade of two regiments
  8. ^ Cron 2002, p. 86 Active Corps Troops included a battalion of heavy howitzers (Foot Artillery), an Aviation Detachment, a Telephone Detachment, a Corps Pontoon Train, a searchlight section, 2 munition column sections, one Foot Artillery munitions column section and two Train sections
  9. ^ Cron 2002, p. 304
  10. ^ Without a machine gun company
  11. ^ 4th Reserve Infantry & 5th Reserve Artillery Munition Columns
  12. ^ 4 Reserve Field Hospitals and 7 Reserve Supply Columns
  13. ^ "German War History". Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  14. ^ "Armee-Reserve-Korps". The Prussian Machine. Archived from the original on 20 December 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2012.


  • Cron, Hermann (2002). Imperial German Army 1914-18: Organisation, Structure, Orders-of-Battle [first published: 1937]. Helion & Co. ISBN 1-874622-70-1.
  • Ellis, John; Cox, Michael (1993). The World War I Databook. Aurum Press Ltd. ISBN 1-85410-766-6.
  • 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. The London Stamp Exchange Ltd (1989). 1920. ISBN 0-948130-87-3.
  • The German Forces in the Field; 7th Revision, 11th November 1918; Compiled by the General Staff, War Office. Imperial War Museum, London and The Battery Press, Inc (1995). 1918. ISBN 1-870423-95-X.