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XIII (Royal Württemberg) Corps


XIII (Royal Württemberg) Corps

XIII (Royal Württemberg) Army Corps
XIII. (Königlich Württembergisches) Armee-Korps

Flag of the Staff of a Generalkommando (1871–1918)
Active 1817 (1817)–1919 (1919)
Country  Württemberg /  German Empire
Type Corps
Size Approximately 44,000 (on mobilisation in 1914)
Garrison/HQ Stuttgart
Engagements Austro-Prussian War

Franco-Prussian War

Battle of Wörth
Battle of Sedan
Siege of Paris

World War I

Battle of the Frontiers
Race to the Sea
Battle of Mont Sorrel

The XIII (Royal Württemberg) Army Corps / XIII AK (German: XIII. (Königlich Württembergisches) Armee-Korps) was a corps of the Imperial German Army. It was, effectively, also the army of the Kingdom of Württemberg, which had been integrated in 1871 into the Prussian Army command structure, as had the armies of most German states. The corps was originally established as the Württemberg Corps Command (Korpskommando) in 1817. It became the XIII Army Corps when it was integrated into the Prussian numbering system on December 18, 1871, shortly after the Franco-Prussian War.[1]

Austro-Prussian War

The corps saw action in the 1866 Austro-Prussian War, on the losing Austrian side, as the Royal Württemberg Division of the VIII German Federation Army Corps (VIII. deutschen Bundesarmeekorps). It was unable to stop a Prussian advance into north Württemberg at Tauberbischofsheim, but this battle was not important in the war.

Franco-Prussian War

In the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, the corps served under the headquarters staff of the Württemberg Field Division of the Combined Württemberg-Baden Army Corps. The Württemberg Field Division saw action in the battles of Wörth and Sedan, and in the Siege of Paris.

Peacetime organisation

The corps' two divisions were the 26th and 27th.

The 25 peacetime Corps of the German Army (Guards, I - XXI, I - III Bavarian) had a reasonably standardised organisation. Each consisted of two divisions with usually two infantry brigades, one field artillery brigade and a cavalry brigade each.[2] Each brigade normally consisted of two regiments of the appropriate type, so each Corps normally commanded 8 infantry, 4 field artillery and 4 cavalry regiments. There were exceptions to this rule:

V, VI, VII, IX and XIV Corps each had a 5th infantry brigade (so 10 infantry regiments)
II, XIII, XVIII and XXI Corps had a 9th infantry regiment
I, VI and XVI Corps had a 3rd cavalry brigade (so 6 cavalry regiments)
the Guards Corps had 11 infantry regiments (in 5 brigades) and 8 cavalry regiments (in 4 brigades).[3]

Each Corps also directly controlled a number of other units. This could include one or more

Foot Artillery Regiment
Jäger Battalion
Pioneer Battalion
Train Battalion

In addition, the 126th (8th Württemberg) Infantry "Grand Duke Frederick of Baden" was stationed at Straßburg as part of XV Corps.

World War I

Organisation on mobilisation

On mobilization on 2 August 1914 the Corps was restructured. 180th Infantry Regiment was assigned to 26th Reserve Division in XIV Reserve Corps. 26th Cavalry Brigade was withdrawn to form part of the 7th Cavalry Division[5] and the 27th Cavalry Brigade was broken up and its regiments assigned to the divisions as reconnaissance units. Divisions received engineer companies and other support units from the Corps headquarters. In summary, XIII Corps mobilised with 24 infantry battalions, 8 machine gun companies (48 machine guns), 8 cavalry squadrons, 24 field artillery batteries (144 guns), 4 heavy artillery batteries (16 guns), 3 pioneer companies and an aviation detachment.

Combat chronicle

On mobilization in 1914, the corps was subordinated to the 5th Army and saw action on the Western Front. It was transferred to the 6th Army during the Race to the Sea. In October 1914, the corps headquarters formed Corps Fabeck, which by the end of the month had become a provisional army group, commanding XV Corps, II Bavarian Corps and Corps Urach. In November, the XIII Army Corps was transferred from the 6th Army to the 9th Army on the Eastern Front. By 1916, the corps had returned to the Western Front and was subordinated to the 4th Army under Army Group Crown Prince Rupprecht. From April 1917 to March 1918, the corps commanded Group Caudry, another provisional command. In September 1918, it took over command of Group Ebene under Army Group Duke Albrecht of Württemberg, and commanded Group Ebene until war's end.[8]

It was still in existence at the end of the war[9] in Armee-Abteilung C, Heeresgruppe Gallwitz on the Western Front.[10]

Württemberg mountain battalion

In 1915 a Württemberg mountain battalion was also formed, on drafts from the Württemberg line regiments, which became a part of the Alpenkorps division in 1917. This was the unit in which the young Erwin Rommel distinguished himself on the Romanian and Italian fronts, winning the Pour le Mérite (Imperial German equivalent of the Victoria Cross) at the Batlle of the Isonzo in 1917.


The XIII Corps had the following commanders during its existence:[11][12][13]

Dates Rank Name
up to 19 October 1871 Frederick Francis II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
19 October 1871 Generalleutnant Wolf Louis Ferdinand von Stülpnagel
24 December 1873 General der Infanterie Ferdinand Emil Karl von Schwartzkoppen
26 January 1878 General der Infanterie Hans Ferdinand von Schachtmeyer
15 May 1886 General der Kavallerie Gustav Hermann von Alvensleben
26 October 1890 Generalleutnant Wilhelm von Woelckern
22 March 1895 General der Infanterie Oskar von Lindequist
25 March 1899 Generalleutnant Ludwig Freiherr von Falkenhausen
22 March 1902 General der Infanterie Konrad von Hugo
4 April 1907 General der Infanterie Joseph von Fallois
25 February 1908 General der Kavallerie Albrecht, Duke of Württemberg
1 March 1913 General der Infanterie Max von Fabeck
9 March 1915 General der Infanterie Theodor Freiherr von Watter
17 March 1918 General der Infanterie Hermann von Staabs[14]
22 May 1918 General der Infanterie Theodor Freiherr von Watter

See also



  • Claus von Bredow, bearb., Historische Rang- und Stammliste des deuschen Heeres (1905)
  • Rommel, E. Infanterie Greift An, Voggenreiter, Potsdam 1937
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