Imperial German Army
August 1914 - Order of Battle

With the exception of the Guard Corps, the 25 Corps of the Imperial German Army were designated by Roman Numerals. The map, below, sets out the garrison areas of these corps.

August 1914 - Map of the Imperial German Order of battle.

At the outset of World War I, the Imperial German Army consisted of 25 Corps which had been created more or less along traditional, geographic lines.

The underlying theory was that recruits from the same region would already know each other or more readily form the comradeships necessary for a strong fighting unit. That and, in the late-19th and early-20th centuries, transportation and communication were still somewhat limited so it was easier for regiments to recruit largely from their local vicinities.

This practice led to quite terrible results as the war dragged on: Whole villages and towns were almost completely de-populated of fighting-age men when local regiments suffered heavy casualties.

Germany was not alone in this practice: Britain, Australia, Canada and France, all made the same tragic error.

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