Jäger-Bataillonen -1914

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Aps
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Jäger-Bataillonen -1914

Post by Aps » 23 Apr 2005 10:45

Hello,

I have a problem with the theorical organisation of an German regular Infantry Division circa-1914. It seems that some divisions, during the mobilisation, were beefed-up with a Jäger-Bataillon. I know that some French divisions, namely the 11th, 27th, 28th, 40th and 42th were given from 1 to 4 Bataillons de Chasseurs à Pieds or Chasseurs Alpins in order to increase their strenght up from the theorical level and that some other divisions did have such bataillons in order to buff the former which didn't reached their theorical organisation of 12 bataillons.

Thus, my questions are:

1) Did the German Jäger-Bataillon were used the same way that French Chasseurs à Pieds? If not, what was their purpose?
2) What were the German Divisions which had a Jäger-Bataillon in addition to their regular 12 bataillons?

In advance, thank you very much for your answers!

Best Regards,

Thomas

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 24 Apr 2005 03:49

Hi Thomas,

I found some of my old notes on the Jager Battalions so this might help.

Note that regular battalions,except for the Bavarians,had an attached MG Company,making their firepower the equivalent of double a normal infantry battalion.Reserve battalions in 1914 also had no MGs.

Regular Battalions August 1914

8 & 14 Jager Btns--attached to 39 Division in the Vosges,part of the only mountain warfare trained German unit in 1914,the 82 Brigade.

1 & 2 Jager Btns--East Prussia.Allocated to I Corps,1 Cavalry Division.

3 & 4 Jager Btns--attached to Cavalry Divisions,HKK2.

5 Jager Btn--6 Cavalry Division.

6 Jager Btn--3 Cavalry Division.

7 Jager Btn--HKK2.

9 Jager Btn--HKK2.

10 Jager Btn--HKK2.

11 Jager Btn--HKK1.

12 Jager Btn--HKK1.

13 Jager Btn--HKK1.

Garde Jager--2 Cavalry Division.

Garde Schutzen--2 Cavalry Division.

1 & 2 Bav Jager Btns--Bavarian Cavalry Division.

More to follow.

Regards,
Peter
Last edited by Peter H on 24 Apr 2005 05:53, edited 1 time in total.

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 24 Apr 2005 05:33

Reserve Jager Battalions

1 & 2 Btns--I Res Corps

3 Btn--5 Res Div

4 Btn--7 Res Div

5 Btn--9 Res Div

6 Btn--12 Res Div

7 Btn--13 Res Div

9 Btn--18 Res Div

8 & 14 Btns--28 Res Div(Vosges)

10 Btn--19 Res Div

11 Btn--22 Res Div

12 Btn--23 Res Div

13 Btn--VI Res Corps

Garde & Garde Schutzen Btns--Garde Res Corps

1 Bav Btn--5 Bav Res Div

2 Bav Btn--5 Bav Division

Reserve Jager Battalions 15-26 raised in October/November 1914 were allocated to the newly raised 43-54 Reserve Divisions.

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 24 Apr 2005 05:52

By late 1914,with the ceasing of cavalry operations on the Western Front,the following regular battalions were allocated to infantry divisions as follows:

3 Jager Btn--6 Division

11 Jager Btn--13 Division

12 Jager Btn--23 Division

13 Jager Btn--40 Division

In early 1915 the Garde Jager,Garde Schutzen,the 14 Jager wer attached to the 12 Landwehr Division,Vosges operations.

The newly raised Alpenkorps was also allocated the following Jager Battalions--10,1 Bav,2 Bav,10 Res,14 Res,2 Bav Res.

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 24 Apr 2005 06:25

My understanding of the Jagers role in 1914 was that the well armed regular battalions added infantry firepower to the Cavalry Divisions,while the 2 or more in the Vosges acted as mountain troops.Reserve battalions,many without cyclist companies and no MGs,fought really as line infantry in reserve divisions.

On the French side,31 battalions of active Chassuers a pied existed in 1914,most attached to infantry divisions.However each French Cavalry division also had a chassuer cyclists group of 3 companies.

The Chassuers Alpinsformed 12 battalions,originally based on the Italian frontier,but moved to the Vosges once Italian neutrality was declared.Later forming the 47th Division.

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Post by EM » 24 Apr 2005 07:11

Hi Peter,
Well, you're partly right but things are not that easy with Chasseurs...
Indeed, there were 31 battalions in 1914, but not 31 BCP (Bataillons de Chasseurs a Pied) plus 12 BCA (Bataillons de Chasseurs Alpins). Look:
there were the 1er BCP, 2e BCP, 3e BCP, 4e BCP, 5e BCP, 6e BCA, 7e BCA, 8e BCP, 9e BCP, 10e BCP, 11e BCA, 12e BCA, 13e BCA, 14e BCA, 15e BCP, 16e BCP, 17e BCP, 18e BCP, 19e BCP, 20e BCP, 21e BCP, 22e BCA, 23e BCA, 24e BCA, 25e BCP, 26e BCP, 27e BCA, 28e BCA, 29e BCP, 30e BCA, 31e BCP.
To these were added a series of Companies de Chasseurs Cyclistes, Reserve Battalions (the original number + 40: the 41st battalion was the reserve of the 1st battalion), 7 battalions of Chasseurs Territoriaux (older classes), companies of skiers, and the battalions created in 1915 (n°114, 115, 116, 120, 121).

Best regards
Eric

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Post by Peter H » 24 Apr 2005 09:50

Eric,
Thanks for that.

The English speaking resources I have on the French army are either vague,inadequate,or not in depth.

Best regards,
Peter

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Post by Peter H » 24 Apr 2005 10:35

Most Jager battalions,by 1917,were consolidated into Jager Regiments,then allocated to specific divisions.

From what I can gather:

Jager Division
Jager Regiment 11--Garde Res Jager Btn,Garde Res Schutzen Btn,1 Jager Btn
Jager Regiment 12--2 Jager Btn,7 Jager Btn,1 Res Jager Btn
Jager Regiment 13--8 Res Jager Btn,20 Res Jager Btn,21 Res Jager Btn

Alpenkorps
Jager Regiment 2--10 Jager Btn,10 Res Jager Btn,14 Res Jager Btn
Bavarian Jager Regiment 1--1 Bav Jager Btn,2 Bav Jager Btn,2 Bav Res Jager Btn
Bavarian Leib Regiment

200 Division
Jager Regiment 3--4 Ski Battalions,raised 1915,and transferred from Alpenkorps in 1916.
Jager Regiment 4--11 Jager Btn,5 Res Jager Btn,6 Res Jager Btn
Jager Regiment 5--17 Res Jager Btn,18 Res Jager Btn,23 Res Jager Btn

195 Division
Jager Regiment 6--5 Jager Btn,6 Jager Btn,2 Res Jager Btn
Jager Regiment 8--4 Res Jager Btn,6 Res Jager Btn,24 Res Jager Btn
Jager Regiment 14--15 Res Jager Btn,19 Res Jager Btn,22 Res Jager Btn

197 Division
Two Infantry Regiments
Jager Regiment 7--13 Jager Btn,25 Res Jager Btn,26 Res Jager Btn

302 Division
Macedonian Front.
Jager Regiment 10--Garde Jager Btn,9 Jager Btn,12 Res Jager Btn

Ostee Division
Service in Finland 1918.
95 Infantrie Brigade--4 Jager Btn,14 Jager Btn,3 Res Jager Btn

Bavarian Jager Brigade 29
Raised 1917,part of 217 Division.
Caucasus 1918--9 Res Jager Btn,1 Bav Res Jager Btn,7 Res Jager Btn(not sent to Caucasus)

Bavarian Res Jager Regt 15
Formed in Caucasus,October 1918.
One Railway Protection Btn(former Pows)
1 Bav Res Jager Btn from above 29 Brigade

Assault Battalion 3--3 Jager Btn,independent Sturm Battalion

Jager Regiment 9
Vosges 1918--Garde Schutzen Btn,12 Jager Btn,13 Res Jager Btn

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Post by monk2002uk » 24 Apr 2005 12:04

In 1914, the Jaeger battalions had a very important role when attached to the cavalry. A German cavalry unit would normally send out mounted patrols of varying sizes to contact the enemy. Once contact was made, an assessment would be made as the nature of the enemy forces. If it was deemed appropriate to attack, the Jaegers would be pushed forward to pin the attacker in front. Mounted units would then be free to work their way round the flanks. Sordet, the French cavalry corps commander, complained about how difficult it was to get at the German cavalry. Typically the patrols would melt away and the French cavalry would find themselves coming up against the Jaegers, with their accurate rifle fire and machine guns.

In retreat, the Jaegers would feature in rear guard actions. They would fall back behind a thin screen of mounted troopers. If a delaying action was needed, the Jaegers would occupy a defensive feature/s such as buildings on the far side of a river crossing or a wood/village on a forward slope. Typically, some field guns of the cavalry would be located in support, such as on a ridge further back. The troopers would be allowed to fall back through the Jaegers, who would then open fire on the approaching cavalry/infantry advance guards. There are numerous instances of this occurring in the retreat to the Aisne.

From the outset of the war, trucks/lorries would sometimes be used to facilitate the forward or rearward movements of the Jaegers.

Robert

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Jaeger in 1914

Post by bob lembke » 24 Apr 2005 12:45

Aps;

To return to your initial question, in 1914 the standard organization was that every army corps, then (probably) always two divisions plus cavalry and supporting formations, had one battalion of Jäger. So I would imagine that in the opening fighting that battalion would be attached to one or the other division, probably at the discretion of the AK commander.

As you must know from then on the German army went thru many major re-organizations throughout the war, and Peter has detailed a lot of these changes as they related to the Jäger.

Bob Lembke

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Post by Aps » 24 Apr 2005 17:21

Bob Lembke, monk2002uk,

Thank you very much for those answers and precisions.

Peter,

Wow! I wasn't expecting such an answer! Thank you for taking time to make your reply.

It seem that the French Chasseurs and the German Jäger, althought quite comparable in their purpose (i.e light troops designed to covering mission and althought Jäger had a closer relationship with the Cavalry) evolved quite in a different way. The Chasseurs still mostly acted as flying unit, being attached to Infantry Division and thus following their original mission as Jäger followed the same way the French Cavalry did circa 1915-1917, they were gathered into infantry units.

I just have another question, did the Jäger-Bataillon in the Alpen-Korps can be considered as Mountain troops? What was the German equivalent to the Chasseurs Alpins?

I've done a few searches regarding the Chasseurs at the mobilisation. You may found some information of interest, in addition to those provided by Eric.

Again, thank you very much for your answer.

Best Regards,

Thomas

Bataillons de Chasseurs à pied et Bataillon de Chasseurs Alpins, 1914


1er BCP: 86e brigade d’infanterie-43e division d’infanterie
2e BCP: 21e brigade d’infanterie-11e division d’infanterie.
3e BCP: 86e brigade d’infanterie-43e division d’infanterie
4e BCP: 21e brigade d’infanterie-11e division d’infanterie.
5e BCP: 81e brigade d’infanterie-41e division d’infanterie.
6e BCA: XXXXXX -29e division d’infanterie.
7e BCA: XXXXXX -29e division d’infanterie.
8e BCP: 83e brigade d’infanterie-42e division d’infanterie.
9e BCP: 87e brigade d’infanterie-4e division d’infanterie.
10e BCP: 86e brigade d’infanterie-43e division d’infanterie.
11e BCA: 56e brigade d’infanterie-28e division d’infanterie.
12e BCA: 54e brigade d’infanterie-27e division d’infanterie.
13e BCA: 56e brigade d’infanterie-28e division d’infanterie.
14e BCA: 53e brigade d’infanterie-27e division d’infanterie.
15e BCP: 81e brigade d’infanterie-41e division d’infanterie.
16e BCP: 84e brigade d’infanterie-42e division d’infanterie.
17e BCP: 25e brigade d’infanterie-13e division d’infanterie.
18e BCP: 87e brigade d’infanterie-4e division d’infanterie.
19e BCP: 83e brigade d’infanterie-42e division d’infanterie.
20e BCP: 25e brigade d’infanterie-13e division d’infanterie.
21e BCP: 25e brigade d’infanterie-13e division d’infanterie.
22e BCA: 56e brigade d’infanterie-28e division d’infanterie.
23e BCA: XXXXXX -29e division d’infanterie.
24e BCA: XXXXXX -29e division d’infanterie.
25e BCP: 80e brigade d’infanterie-40e division d’infanterie.
26e BCP: 79e brigade d’infanterie-40e division d’infanterie.
27e BCA: XXXXXX -29e division d’infanterie.
28e BCA: 54e division d’infanterie-27e division d’infanterie.
29e BCP: 80e brigade d’infanterie-40e division d’infanterie.
30e BCA: 54e brigade d’infanterie-27e division d’infanterie.
31e BCP: 86e division d’infanterie-43e division d’infanterie.

Thus, this mean that:

1) The 29e DI (15e Corps d'Armée - Marseille) had 5 Bataillons de Chasseurs Alpins in addition to it regular 2 Brigades d'Infanterie.

2) The 27e and 28e DI (Both 14e Corps d'Armée - Lyon) had 3 Bataillons de Chasseurs Alpins in addition to their regular 2 Brigades d'Infanterie.

3) The 11e and 40e DI (20e Corps d'Armée- Nancy and 6e Corps d'Armée- Châlons-sur-Marne) had 2 Bataillons de Chasseurs à Pieds in addition to their regular 2 Brigades d'Infanterie.

4) The 27e, 40e and 42e DI (14e Corps d'Armée- Lyon and 6e Corps d'Armée- Châlons-sur-Marne) had 1 Bataillons de Chasseurs in addition to their regular 2 Brigades d'Infanterie.

Thus, as you can see the beefed-up Divisions were mainly parts of Army Corps which were close to the frontiers (15e CA and 14e CA- close from Italy, 20e CA and 6e CA, close from Germany) and thus were certainly to act as covering forces (Force de couverture) in order to protect the French mobilisation. But, well, that is an hypothesis. Note that the most reinforced Division are done so with Chasseurs Alpins. It is the same with the Division de Réserve.

5) The 13e DI had 3 Bataillons de Chasseurs, with only one Brigade d'Infanterie.

6) The 4e 41e and 42e DI had 2 Bataillons de Chasseurs, with only one Brigade d'Infanterie.

7) The 43e DI was only made with 4 Bataillons de Chasseurs, and thus no Brigade d'Infanterie.


Bataillons de Chasseurs de Réserve et Bataillon de Chasseurs Alpins de Réserve, 1914


41e BCP: XXXXXXX XXXXXXXX -13e Corps d'Armée
42e BCP: 139e Brigade d'Infanterie-70e Division de Réserve
43e BCP: XXXXXXX XXXXXXXX -13e Corps d'Armée
44e BCP: 139e Brigade d'Infanterie-70e Division de Réserve
45e BCP: XXXXXXX XXXXXXXX -7e Corps d'Armée
46e BCP: 129e Brigade d'Infanterie-65e Division de Réserve
47e BCP: 130e Brigade d'Infanterie-65e Division de Réserve
48e BCP: 138e Brigade d'Infanterie-69e Division de Réserve
49e BCP: 104e Brigade d'Infanterie-52e Division de Réserve
50e BCP: XXXXXXX XXXXXXXX -13e Corps d'Armée
51e BCA: 148e Brigade d'Infanterie-74e Division de Réserve
52e BCA: 127e Brigade d'Infanterie-64e Division de Réserve
53e BCA: 147e Brigade d'Infanterie-74e Division de Réserve
54e BCA: 147e Brigade d'Infanterie-74e Division de Réserve
55e BCP: XXXXXXX XXXXXXXX -7e Corps d'Armée
56e BCP: 143e Brigade d'Infanterie-72e Division de Réserve
57e BCP: XXXXXXX XXXXXXXX -21e Corps d'Armée
58e BCP: 104e Brigade d'Infanterie-52e Division de Réserve
59e BCP: 143e Brigade d'Infanterie-72e Division de Réserve
60e BCP: XXXXXXX XXXXXXXX -21e Corps d'Armée
61e BCP: XXXXXXX XXXXXXXX -21e Corps d'Armée
62e BCA: 148e Brigade d'Infanterie-74e Division de Réserve
63e BCA: 130e Brigade d'Infanterie-65e Division de Réserve
64e BCA: 129e Brigade d'Infanterie-65e Division de Réserve
65e BCP: 112e Brigade d'Infanterie-56e Division de Réserve
66e BCP: 112e Brigade d'Infanterie-56e Division de Réserve
67e BCA: 129e Brigade d'Infanterie-65e Division de Réserve
68e BCA: 127e Brigade d'Infanterie-64e Division de Réserve
69e BCP: 112e Brigade d'Infanterie-56e Division de Réserve
70e BCA: 127e Brigade d'Infanterie-64e Division de Réserve
71e BCP: XXXXXXX XXXXXXXX -13e Corps d'Armée

Thus, this mean that:

1) The 65e (15e Région Militaire*) and 74e (14e Région Militaire**) did both have 1 (69e) or 2 (74e) Bataillons de Chasseurs (2 BCA for the 74e) in addition to their regular 6 Regiments. This give, per Brigade 7 or 8 Bataillon.

2) 3 Brigades d'Infanterie (112e-56e DI-6e Région Militaire***, 127e-64e DI-14e Région Militaire, 129e-65e DI-15e Région Militaire) were given 3 Bataillons de Chasseurs in addition to their 2 Regiments which should have been 3, thus bringing those Brigade to 7 bataillons

3) 5 Brigades d'Infanterie (104e-52e DI, 130e-65e DI, 139e-70e DI, 143e-72e DI, 147e-74e DI) were given 2 Bataillons de Chasseurs in addition to their 2 Regiments which should have been 3, thus bringing those brigades to their theorical strenght of 6 bataillons.

*Bureaux de Grenoble, Bourgoin, Annecy, Chambéry, Vienne, Romans, Montélimar et Gap. (South-East)
**Bureaux de Digne, Nice, Toulon, Marseille, Nîmes, Avignon, Privas, Pont-Saint-Esprit et Ajaccio. (South-East)
***Bureaux de Verdun, Reims, Soissons, Compiègne et Châlons-sur-Marne. (North-East)

Thus, same trend that for the Regular Bataillons de Chasseurs, reinforced Divisions acted close to the frontiers and you found Chasseurs also into division which were before understrenght.


Groupes Cyclistes

10 Bataillons de Chasseurs formed a Groupe Cycliste for the Divisions de Cavalerie:

1e BCP: 10e Groupe Cycliste for the 10e DC
2e BCP: 2e Groupe Cycliste for the 2e DC
4e BCP: 7e Groupe Cycliste for the 7e DC
13e BCA: 6e Groupe Cycliste for the 6e DC
18e BCP: 3e Groupe Cycliste for the 3e DC
19e BCP, 4e Groupe Cycliste for the 4e DC
21e BCP or 15e BCP, 8e Groupe Cycliste for the 8e DC. (Mark Conrad give the 15e, pages14-18.org, the 21e)
25e BCP, 9e Groupe Cycliste for the 9e DC
26e BCP, 1e Groupe Cycliste for the 1e DC
29e BCP, 5e Groupe Cycliste for the 5e DC

The 8e and 9e Groupe Cycliste were dissolved in late 1915. Those dissolution may come from the fact that the French Cavalry was used in order to strenghten the Infantry, during the course of 1915. But, that is an hypothesis. Both the 8e and 9e were dissolved in 1916 (In August and June 1916, respectively)
The 10e Groupe Cycliste was dissolved on the 30th May 1916, following the dissolution of the 10e DC.
No informations on the 7e Groupe Cycliste. The 7e DC was dissolved in July 1917.
All the others Groupes saw the the end of the war.

Following the GHQ note of the 8th August 1915, the DC were ordered to detached 6 Escadrons and the Groupe Cycliste in order to be formed into a Regiment à Pied (Dismounted Cavalry) and planned to be gathered into a Division Légère (Light Division) with one per Corps de Cavalerie (I wasn't able to found out if those divisions were actually builded-up). It gave birth, in June 1916, to 6 Régiment de Cuirassiers à Pied (Dismounted Heavy Cavalry) and later on, January 1918, to 2 Division de Cuirassiers à Pieds.

Sources:

http://home.comcast.net/~markconrad/FR1914.html

http://perso.wanadoo.fr/chtimiste/regim ... ments2.htm (There is a nice page on the Chasseurs if you want some informations about their activity during the war, such as their affectation.)

http://www.pages14-18.com/pagesHistoire ... seurs1.htm

http://cecile_meunier.club.fr/historiques/BCAP-1-32.htm (You can find a lot of Unit History and War Diary here, but, all in French)

Le processus d'évolution tactique de l'Armée Française durant la Grande Guerre, Mémoire de Maîtrise d'Histoire, Chef de Bataillon Michel GOYA.

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Post by Peter H » 25 Apr 2005 04:21

Aps,

No problem with the information.I had it on disk as it was. :)

Thanks for the French breakdowns as well.

In theory in 1915 the Alpenkorps were mountain troops,but the majority of its units only had an affinity with mountain landscapes via their recruitment grounds in Southern Germany,Bavaria.The Hanoverian 10 Jager Battalion even fails this nexus.Mountain warfare training though did follow.

The 82 Brigade of the 39 Division(IR 171,IR 172,and the Jagers) had done peacetime training in mountainous regions near Colmar in Alsace,but no special mountain equipment was in evidence.

In December 1914 the need for proper Mountain troops lead to the formation of the following ski formations,the Bavarian Scneeschuh Battalion 1 and the Württemberg Scneeschuh Company.On the 1 January 1915 the later was expanded into the Württemberg Mountain Battalion(Rommel became a member).In 1918 it was further expanded into the Württemberg Mountain Regiment.

In the winter of 1914/15 four Bavarian Scheeschun Battalions were in existence,as Jager Regiment 3 with the Alpenkorps May 1915.In 1916 this regiment was transferred to the 200 Division.

Mountain artillery were also raised from scratch.OHL ordered the formation of 14 mountain batteries in October 1914,and Mountain Artillery Battalion 1 was formed the next month.Within a year 5 Mountain Artillery Battalions were in existence.

Mountain MG Detachments 201-251,with pack animals,also came into existence from 1915 onwards.

Krafft von Dellmensingen on German mountain artillery and the training curve in the Vosges:

The German field artillery went to war without any preparation in mountain warfare.The consequences were already evident in the first battles in the Vosges,exacerbated by the fact that on the German side only second and third line troops were fighting,but on the French side there were well-practised field and mountain troops....Things were made still more difficult by the fact that these German field artillery formations had no high-trajectory firing guns(light field howitzers) at all...Thus the French,with their mountain and field artillery for a long time had the advantage.Only later in the static trench warfare and after high-trajectory firing guns had been brough up,could the Germans satisfactorily come to terms with the special conditions of mountain warfare.


Ehrenbuch der deutschen Feldartillerie

Regards,
Peter
Last edited by Peter H on 25 Apr 2005 04:49, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Peter H » 25 Apr 2005 04:26

Some excellent photos of Jagers can be found here as well:

http://www.uniformfotos.de/infanterie.html

Image
http://www.uniformfotos.de/280-2.jpg

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Post by Aps » 25 Apr 2005 21:58

Thank you Peter!

Regards,

Thomas

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Re:

Post by Volcano » 09 Aug 2008 02:05

Peter H wrote:By late 1914,with the ceasing of cavalry operations on the Western Front,the following regular battalions were allocated to infantry divisions as follows:

3 Jager Btn--6 Division

11 Jager Btn--13 Division

12 Jager Btn--23 Division

13 Jager Btn--40 Division

In early 1915 the Garde Jager,Garde Schutzen,the 14 Jager wer attached to the 12 Landwehr Division,Vosges operations.

The newly raised Alpenkorps was also allocated the following Jager Battalions--10,1 Bav,2 Bav,10 Res,14 Res,2 Bav Res.


Thanks, this is the missing information that I was seeking. I wonder though, what happened to the cyclist kompanies assigned to these Jaeger battalions that got attached to infantry divisions? I guess they stuck with the parent Jaeger battalion and the division got an additional asset. I only mention it because not all Jaeger battalions had them, only the ones that were originally assigned to the cavalry formations.

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