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The Bavarian Army was the army of the Electorate (1682–1806) and then Kingdom (1806–1919) of
Bavaria Bavaria ( ; ), officially the Free State of Bavaria (german: Freistaat Bayern, link=no ), is a state in the south-east of Germany. With an area of , Bavaria is the largest German state by land area, comprising roughly a fifth of the total la ...
. It existed from 1682 as the standing army of Bavaria until the merger of the military sovereignty (''Wehrhoheit'') of Bavaria into that of the German State in 1919. The Bavarian Army was never comparable to the armies of the Great Powers of the 19th century, but it did provide the Wittelsbach dynasty with sufficient scope of action, in the context of effective alliance politics, to transform Bavaria from a territorially-disjointed small state to the second-largest state of the German Empire after Prussia.


History


1682–1790: From the first standing army to the Napoleonic Wars

The '' Reichskriegsverfassung'' of 1681 obliged Bavaria to provide troops for the Imperial army. Moreover, the establishment of a standing army was increasingly seen as a sign of nation-statehood and an important tool of absolutist power-politics. At a field camp in Schwabing on 12 October 1682, the newly recruited troops were officially taken into Bavarian service. Seven regiments of infantry, two regiments of
dragoons Dragoons were originally a class of mounted infantry, who used horses for mobility, but dismounted to fight on foot. From the early 17th century onward, dragoons were increasingly also employed as conventional cavalry and trained for combat w ...
and two of cuirassiers were set up, along with an
artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons that launch munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensive walls and fortifications during sieges, ...
corps Corps (; plural ''corps'' ; from French , from the Latin "body") is a term used for several different kinds of organization. A military innovation by Napoleon I, the formation was first named as such in 1805. The size of a corps varies grea ...
. The traditional mid-blue colour was already in wide use among the Bavarian infantry and would be used throughout from 1684. The cuirassiers and artillery wore light grey tunics, while the dragoons wore red or blue tunics. The army distinguished itself under
Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria Maximilian, Maximillian or Maximiliaan (Maximilien in French) is a male given name. The name " Max" is considered a shortening of "Maximilian" as well as of several other names. List of people Monarchs * Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor (1459 ...
during the
Great Turkish War The Great Turkish War (german: Großer Türkenkrieg), also called the Wars of the Holy League ( tr, Kutsal İttifak Savaşları), was a series of conflicts between the Ottoman Empire and the Holy League consisting of the Holy Roman Empire, Pol ...
, particularly during the Siege of Belgrade. During the War of the Spanish Succession, Bavaria fought on the side of
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
. Following defeat at the
Battle of Blenheim The Battle of Blenheim (german: Zweite Schlacht bei Höchstädt, link=no; french: Bataille de Höchstädt, link=no; nl, Slag bij Blenheim, link=no) fought on , was a major battle of the War of the Spanish Succession. The overwhelming Allied ...
, the Bavarian Army ceased to exist as a coherent fighting force, though small remainders continued to fight until the end of the war. Bavaria was occupied by Austrian forces after the war, which led to a rising of the people, bloodily put down at the so-called "Murderous Christmas of Sendling" ('' Sendlinger Mordweihnacht''). By 1701, the composition of the army was the same as that during the Turkish wars, only now with three regiments each of cuirassiers and dragoons. The attempt by the Elector to gain the Imperial crown during the
War of the Austrian Succession The War of the Austrian Succession () was a European conflict that took place between 1740 and 1748. Fought primarily in Central Europe, the Austrian Netherlands, Italy, the Atlantic and Mediterranean, related conflicts included King George ...
was initially successful, but the campaign ended once again with an Austrian occupation of Bavaria. At the beginning of the Seven Years' War, the army consisted of eight infantry, two dragoon and three cuirassier regiments, and a brigade of artillery. In 1757, one of the cuirassier regiments was disbanded and its men distributed among the other regiments, while only one company of dragoons in each regiment was mounted. Infantry regiments consisted of two battalions with four Füsilierkompanien (each of 130 men) and one infantry company (100 men) as well as two four-Pounder battalion guns. The nominal strength of approximately 1,800 men for each regiment was never reached in the field. While the Lifeguard regiment had three battalions, only two stood in the field. Ten battalions of infantry were made available to the
Habsburgs The House of Habsburg (), alternatively spelled Hapsburg in Englishgerman: Haus Habsburg, ; es, Casa de Habsburgo; hu, Habsburg család, it, Casa di Asburgo, nl, Huis van Habsburg, pl, dom Habsburgów, pt, Casa de Habsburgo, la, Domus Hab ...
according to Bavaria's Imperial military obligations. They fought unsuccessfully at Schweidnitz, Breslau and Leuthen in 1757, as well as at Troppau, Olmütz and Neiße in 1758. The unification between the Wittelsbachs and the Palatinate line added eight regiments to the infantry in 1777, and the Palatine troops brought with them a lighter blue tunic colour. The
War of the Bavarian Succession The War of the Bavarian Succession (; 3 July 1778 – 13 May 1779) was a dispute between the Austrian Habsburg monarchy and an alliance of Saxony and Prussia over succession to the Electorate of Bavaria after the extinction of the Bavarian b ...
is often known as the "Potato War" due to the amount of time and effort the sides expended in securing food supplies and denying them to the enemy, and the war actually passed relatively uneventfully for the Bavarian army. In 1785, the infantry's uniform changed to white, and the cuirassiers abandoned their traditional armour.


1790–1871: The Napoleonic Wars until the German Empire

1790 brought a fundamental reform of the Bavarian Army. All field troops received an identically-cut uniform, including a leather helmet with a horsehair plume, known as the "Rumford Casket" after the then Minister for War Count Rumford. However, Maximilian IV found the army in abject condition on his accession to the throne in 1799: hardly any of the units were at full strength, the Rumford uniforms were unpopular and impractical, and the troops were badly-trained. The young Prince-Elector, who had served under the
Ancien Régime ''Ancien'' may refer to * the French word for " ancient, old" ** Société des anciens textes français * the French for "former, senior" ** Virelai ancien ** Ancien Régime ** Ancien Régime in France ''Ancien'' may refer to * the French word fo ...
in France as a colonel in the '' Royal Deux-Ponts'' regiment, made the reconstruction of the army a priority. The line infantry was reduced to ten regiments, which were made up to their full strength. The two Jäger regiments were divided into four
light infantry Light infantry refers to certain types of lightly equipped infantry throughout history. They have a more mobile or fluid function than other types of infantry, such as heavy infantry or line infantry. Historically, light infantry often fough ...
battalions. The cavalry consisted of three regiments of light cavalry and two each of dragoons and cuirassiers. The infantry returned to their traditional light blue and, in 1801, all branches of service introduced the Raupenhelm, a helmet with a fore-and-aft horsehair plume, which became characteristic of the Bavarian army. Capable generals, such as Deroy, Wrede and Triva, reformed the army along French lines, and it soon became the most modern in Germany, and the first in Germany to abolish flogging. The field army was based largely on compulsory military service. A national guard with three classes was also developed (1st class: Reserve battalions of the Line regiments; 2nd class: Territorial army; 3rd class: Citizen levy). In 1800, Bavaria reluctantly fought on Austria's side against France, but in 1805 when Austria attacked Bavaria for the third time in 100 years, they found a powerful army. The Bavarians initially retreated, but only in order to link up with Napoleon's advancing army and to prepare the counter-attack, which took place quickly, methodically and thoroughly. 30,000 Bavarian troops took part in the successful Siege of Ulm and the consequent liberation of Bavaria. At the
Battle of Austerlitz The Battle of Austerlitz (2 December 1805/11 Frimaire An XIV FRC), also known as the Battle of the Three Emperors, was one of the most important and decisive engagements of the Napoleonic Wars. The battle occurred near the town of Austerlitz i ...
, the Bavarians secured the flanks and supply lines of Napoleon's army and in 1806-7 they forced several Prussian forts to surrender. Bavaria was awarded the Austrian province of
Tyrol Tyrol (; historically the Tyrole; de-AT, Tirol ; it, Tirolo) is a historical region in the Alps - in Northern Italy and western Austria. The area was historically the core of the County of Tyrol, part of the Holy Roman Empire, Austrian Emp ...
as a reward, but unrest erupted into a full-blown rebellion under
Andreas Hofer Andreas Hofer (22 November 1767 – 20 February 1810) was a Tyrolean innkeeper and drover, who in 1809 became the leader of the Tyrolean Rebellion against the Napoleonic and Bavarian invasion during the War of the Fifth Coalition. He was subs ...
in 1809, which could only be put down with French assistance. When Austria attacked Bavaria once more in 1809, Napoleon's army was concentrated in Spain, and it was troops of the
Confederation of the Rhine The Confederated States of the Rhine, simply known as the Confederation of the Rhine, also known as Napoleonic Germany, was a confederation of German client states established at the behest of Napoleon some months after he defeated Austria a ...
, predominantly Bavarian, which led the early campaigning against Austria. At the
Battle of Wagram The Battle of Wagram (; 5–6 July 1809) was a military engagement of the Napoleonic Wars that ended in a costly but decisive victory for Emperor Napoleon's French and allied army against the Austrian army under the command of Archduke Charl ...
, the contribution of Bavarian forces was decisive to the outcome. In the Russian Campaign, the Bavarian army suffered terrible losses - of about 33,000 men (including following reinforcements) who marched in 1812, only 4,000 returned. Pressed by the
Crown Prince A crown prince or hereditary prince is the heir apparent to the throne in a royal or imperial monarchy. The female form of the title is crown princess, which may refer either to an heiress apparent or, especially in earlier times, to the w ...
and General
Wrede Wrede is a surname that includes two different noble families, the German princely one and Finnish-Swede noble family "von Wrede" that originated from Westphalia. It may refer to: People * Carolus Wrede (1860–1927), Finnish industrialist *Caspa ...
, King Maximilan I Josef turned with a heavy heart away from the French and changed to the Allied camp shortly before the
Battle of Leipzig The Battle of Leipzig (french: Bataille de Leipsick; german: Völkerschlacht bei Leipzig, ); sv, Slaget vid Leipzig), also known as the Battle of the Nations (french: Bataille des Nations; russian: Битва народов, translit=Bitva ...
. The attempt by Wrede to stop the victory of the
Grande Armée ''La Grande Armée'' (; ) was the main military component of the French Imperial Army commanded by Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte during the Napoleonic Wars. From 1804 to 1808, it won a series of military victories that allowed the French Emp ...
in 1813 at the
Battle of Hanau The Battle of Hanau was fought from 30 to 31 October 1813 between Karl Philipp von Wrede's Austro-Bavarian corps and Napoleon's retreating French during the War of the Sixth Coalition. Following Napoleon's defeat at the Battle of Leipzi ...
ended in a narrow defeat for his Austro-Bavarian corps. The campaign of 1814 began badly for the Allies, but Wrede made up for his earlier defeat with valuable victories over his former allies at the battles of
Arcis-sur-Aube Arcis-sur-Aube (, literally ''Arcis on Aube'') is a commune in the Aube department in the Grand Est region of north-central France. The inhabitants of the commune are known as ''Arcisiens'' or ''Arcisiennes''. The commune has been awarded "t ...
and
Bar-sur-Aube Bar-sur-Aube (, literally ''Bar on Aube'') is a commune and a sub-prefecture in the Aube department in the Grand Est region of France. Surrounded by hills and Champagne vineyards, the city is traversed by the river Aube, from which it der ...
. In 1814, the Bavarian Army consisted of a Grenadier Guard regiment, 16 regiments of Line Infantry, two battalions of Jäger, seven regiments of light cavalry (of which one was territorial), one regiment of Uhlans, two Hussar regiments, one regiment of Garde du Corps (mounted royal bodyguard), two regiments of foot artillery and one of horse-artillery. In 1815, the 7th (National) Light Cavalry regiment was formed into two Cuirassier regiments. The Hussars and Uhlans were disbanded in 1822. Following the recommendations of the Military Savings Commission in 1826, one infantry regiment was converted into two Jäger battalions, and the Grenadier Guard regiment into an Infantry lifeguard regiment. The Garde du Corps became the 1st Cuirassier Regiment, and the former 1st Cuirassier Regiment was merged into the 2nd Regiment. The mobilisation of the army for the
Austro-Prussian War The Austro-Prussian War, also by many variant names such as Seven Weeks' War, German Civil War, Brothers War or Fraternal War, known in Germany as ("German War"), (; "German war of brothers") and by a variety of other names, was fought in 186 ...
of 1866 was only concluded on 22 June, by which time the Prussian Army was almost in Bohemia. The war went very badly for the Bavarians. The Bavarian Commander-in-Chief Prince Karl, who also commanded the southern forces of the German Confederation, was hurrying to the aid of the
Kingdom of Hanover The Kingdom of Hanover (german: Königreich Hannover) was established in October 1814 by the Congress of Vienna, with the restoration of George III to his Hanoverian territories after the Napoleonic era. It succeeded the former Electorate of Han ...
when he heard of the Hanoverians' surrender after the Battle of Langensalza. The rapid Prussian advance meant that Karl was unable to link up with the western forces of the Confederation under Prince Alexander of Hesse, so the Bavarian troops withdrew to Bad Kissingen. After fierce fighting, the Bavarians withdrew to Schweinfurt and
Würzburg Würzburg (; Main-Franconian: ) is a city in the region of Franconia in the north of the German state of Bavaria. Würzburg is the administrative seat of the ''Regierungsbezirk'' Lower Franconia. It spans the banks of the Main River. Würzbur ...
(of which only the fortress and part of the city could be held). On 1 August, a Prussian reserve corps occupied
Nuremberg Nuremberg ( ; german: link=no, Nürnberg ; in the local East Franconian dialect: ''Nämberch'' ) is the second-largest city of the German state of Bavaria after its capital Munich, and its 518,370 (2019) inhabitants make it the 14th-largest c ...
. The difficulties of the Bavarian Army were attributed mainly to the Bavarian ''Landtag'' (parliament), and to the military leadership. Thanks to constant cuts in the military budget, the Bavarian war ministry did not see itself in a position to accomplish manoeuvres above the brigade level. Apart from Prince Karl, and General von Thurn und Taxis, no Bavarian general had ever commanded a division before. The newspapers also criticised the role of von der Tann. Due to this criticism, King
Ludwig II Ludwig II (Ludwig Otto Friedrich Wilhelm; 25 August 1845 – 13 June 1886) was King of Bavaria from 1864 until his death in 1886. He is sometimes called the Swan King or ('the Fairy Tale King'). He also held the titles of Count Palatine of the ...
appointed the battle-hardened veteran General
Siegmund von Pranckh Siegmund Freiherr von Pranckh (5 December 1821, Altötting, Upper Bavaria – 8 May 1888, Munich), descendant of the ancient Austrian noble family Pranckh, originally residentiary in the former March and later Duchy of Styria, was a Bavarian ...
as the new War Minister on 1 August. Von Prankh already had political experience as
adjutant Adjutant is a military appointment given to an officer who assists the commanding officer with unit administration, mostly the management of human resources in an army unit. The term is used in French-speaking armed forces as a non-commission ...
to War Minister von Lüder, and contributed crucially to the modernisation of the Bavarian Army with his reforms. When the candidacy to the Spanish throne of Leopold, Prince of Hohenzollern led to a worsening in relations between Prussia and France in 1870, von Prankh mobilised the two Bavarian army corps on 14 July. The Bavarian Army Corps fought in the Franco-Prussian War as part of the III Army under Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm (the I Army Corps under von der Tann, and the II Army Corps under Jakob Freiherr von Hartmann). The Bavarians under Jakob von Hartmann stormed
Wissembourg Wissembourg (; South Franconian: ''Weisseburch'' ; German: ''Weißenburg'' ) is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Grand Est in northeastern France. It is situated on the little river Lauter close to the border between France and German ...
and took part in the Battles of Wörth, Beaumont, Sedan and the Siege of Paris. Over 5,000 Bavarian soldiers died during the Franco-Prussian War.


1871–1918: The German Empire

In the Imperial Constitution, Bavaria was able to secure for itself extensive rights, in particular regarding military sovereignty. Not only did the army retain, like the kingdoms of Saxony and
Württemberg Württemberg ( ; ) is a historical German territory roughly corresponding to the cultural and linguistic region of Swabia. The main town of the region is Stuttgart. Together with Baden and Hohenzollern, two other historical territories, Würt ...
, its own troops, War Ministry and military justice system, but it was also excluded from the Empire-wide regimental re-numbering of the army regiments and would only come under Imperial control in times of war. Bavaria also kept its light-blue infantry uniforms, the ''Raupenhelm'' (until 1886), the Light Cavalry and some other peculiarities. The officers and men of the Bavarian Army continued to swear their oaths to the King of Bavaria and not the German Emperor. Nevertheless, the uniform cut, equipment and training was standardised to the Prussian model. When field-grey uniforms were introduced, only the
cockade A cockade is a knot of ribbons, or other circular- or oval-shaped symbol of distinctive colours which is usually worn on a hat or cap. Eighteenth century In the 18th and 19th centuries, coloured cockades were used in Europe to show the allegia ...
and a blue-and-white lozenge edging to the collar distinguished Bavarian units. At the beginning of
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, the United States, and the Ottoman Empire, with fight ...
, the Bavarian Army had an effective strength of 87,214 men including 4,089 officers, physicians, veterinarians and officials; and 83,125 NCOs and other ranks, plus 16,918 horses. With the beginning of mobilisation on 1 August 1914, the supreme command of the Bavarian field army passed from the 4th Army Inspectorate to the
German Emperor The German Emperor (german: Deutscher Kaiser, ) was the official title of the head of state and hereditary ruler of the German Empire. A specifically chosen term, it was introduced with the 1 January 1871 constitution and lasted until the off ...
. Units in Bavaria remained under the command of the Bavarian War Ministry. The Bavarian Army — consisting of the three Bavarian Army Corps, the Bavarian Cavalry Division  — was bolstered by the addition of the XXI Corps (of two divisions, recruited largely in the
Rhineland The Rhineland (german: Rheinland; french: Rhénanie; nl, Rijnland; ksh, Rhingland; Latinised name: ''Rhenania'') is a loosely defined area of Western Germany along the Rhine, chiefly its middle section. Term Historically, the Rhineland ...
and
Westphalia Westphalia (; german: Westfalen ; nds, Westfalen ) is a region of northwestern Germany and one of the three historic parts of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It has an area of and 7.9 million inhabitants. The territory of the regi ...
), and transported to the Western Front as the German 6th Army under the command of Crown Prince Rupprecht. The Bavarian Army fought at the
Battle of the Frontiers The Battle of the Frontiers (, , ) comprised battles fought along the eastern frontier of France and in southern Belgium, shortly after the outbreak of the First World War. The battles resolved the military strategies of the French Chief of Sta ...
, the last time that it fought together as a single unit: the exclusive Bavarian command of Bavarian forces began to be diluted from the German Army reorganisations in Autumn 1914 onwards. Rupprecht held command for the duration of the war and was promoted to Field Marshal in 1916 largely on account of his outstanding ability; however, after Frontiers, the units under his command came largely from outside Bavaria. Although the German Empire fell in the
German Revolution of 1918–19 German(s) may refer to: * Germany (of or related to) ** Germania (historical use) * Germans, citizens of Germany, people of German ancestry, or native speakers of the German language ** For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law ** ...
, and King
Ludwig III Ludwig III (Ludwig Luitpold Josef Maria Aloys Alfried; 7 January 1845 – 18 October 1921) was the last King of Bavaria, reigning from 1913 to 1918. Initially he served in the Bavarian military as a lieutenant and went on to hold the rank of Oberl ...
was forced to abdicate, Bavaria retained its military sovereignty. However, the rise of the
Bavarian Soviet Republic The Bavarian Soviet Republic, or Munich Soviet Republic (german: Räterepublik Baiern, Münchner Räterepublik),Hollander, Neil (2013) ''Elusive Dove: The Search for Peace During World War I''. McFarland. p.283, note 269. was a short-lived unre ...
and the confusion surrounding its overthrow and the defeat of its "Red Army" persuaded the drafters of the Bamberg Constitution of 1919 to relinquish military sovereignty to the
Weimar Republic The Weimar Republic (german: link=no, Weimarer Republik ), officially named the German Reich, was the government of Germany from 1918 to 1933, during which it was a constitutional federal republic for the first time in history; hence it is a ...
. At any rate, the regular Bavarian troops had been demobilised after the war to the extent that most of the fighting against the Red Army was done by
Freikorps (, "Free Corps" or "Volunteer Corps") were Irregular military, irregular German and other European military volunteer units, or paramilitary, that existed from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. They effectively fought as mercenary or pri ...
units and other German troops from outside Bavaria. During World War I, around 200,000 members of the Royal Bavarian Army were killed.


Structure


Pre and early World War One

Bavaria placed at first two and later three army corps in the army of the German Empire: * I Army Corps in
Munich Munich ( ; german: München ; bar, Minga ) is the capital and most populous city of the States of Germany, German state of Bavaria. With a population of 1,558,395 inhabitants as of 31 July 2020, it is the List of cities in Germany by popu ...
** 1st Division in Munich ** 2nd Division in
Augsburg Augsburg (; bar , Augschburg , links=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swabian_German , label=Swabian German, , ) is a city in Swabia, Bavaria, Germany, around west of Bavarian capital Munich. It is a university town and regional seat of the ...
* II Army Corps in
Würzburg Würzburg (; Main-Franconian: ) is a city in the region of Franconia in the north of the German state of Bavaria. Würzburg is the administrative seat of the ''Regierungsbezirk'' Lower Franconia. It spans the banks of the Main River. Würzbur ...
** 3rd Division in
Landau Landau ( pfl, Landach), officially Landau in der Pfalz, is an autonomous (''kreisfrei'') town surrounded by the Südliche Weinstraße ("Southern Wine Route") district of southern Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is a university town (since 199 ...
** 4th Division in Würzburg * III Army Corps in
Nuremberg Nuremberg ( ; german: link=no, Nürnberg ; in the local East Franconian dialect: ''Nämberch'' ) is the second-largest city of the German state of Bavaria after its capital Munich, and its 518,370 (2019) inhabitants make it the 14th-largest c ...
** 5th Division in Nuremberg ** 6th Division in
Regensburg Regensburg or is a city in eastern Bavaria, at the confluence of the Danube, Naab and Regen rivers. It is capital of the Upper Palatinate subregion of the state in the south of Germany. With more than 150,000 inhabitants, Regensburg is the ...


Raised during World War I

Corps *
I Royal Bavarian Reserve Corps The I Royal Bavarian Reserve Corps / I Bavarian RK (german: I. Königlich Bayerisches Reserve-Korps) was a corps level command of the Royal Bavarian Army, part of the German Army, in World War I. Formation I Royal Bavarian Reserve Corps was fo ...
* II Royal Bavarian Reserve Corps * XV Royal Bavarian Reserve Corps Divisions Bavarian cavalry: * Bavarian Cavalry Division Bavarian infantry: * 10th Bavarian Infantry Division * 11th Bavarian Infantry Division * 12th Bavarian Infantry Division * 14th Bavarian Infantry Division * 15th Bavarian Infantry Division *
16th Bavarian Infantry Division 16 (sixteen) is the natural number following 15 and preceding 17. 16 is a composite number, and a square number, being 42 = 4 × 4. It is the smallest number with exactly five divisors, its proper divisors being , , and . In English spee ...
Bavarian reserve: *
1st Bavarian Reserve Division The 1st Bavarian Reserve Division (''1. Bayerische Reserve-Division'') was a unit of the Royal Bavarian Army, part of the German Army, in World War I. The division was formed on mobilization of the German Army in August 1914 as part of I Royal ...
*
5th Bavarian Reserve Division The 5th Bavarian Reserve Division (''5. Bayerische Reserve-Division'') was a unit of the Royal Bavarian Army, part of the German Army, in World War I. The division was formed on mobilization of the German Army in August 1914 as part of I Royal B ...
* 6th Bavarian Reserve Division * 8th Bavarian Reserve Division * 9th Bavarian Reserve Division * 30th Bavarian Reserve Division * 39th Bavarian Reserve Division Bavarian Landwehr: *
1st Bavarian Landwehr Division The 1st Bavarian Landwehr Division (''1. Bayerische Landwehr-Division'') was a unit of the Bavarian Army, part of the Imperial German Army, in World War I. The division was formed on August 21, 1914, as the "Reinforced Bavarian Landwehr Division ...
* 2nd Bavarian Landwehr Division * 6th Bavarian Landwehr Division Bavarian Ersatz: * Bavarian Ersatz Division Mountain Troops: * Alpenkorps


Officer corps

The Bavarian Army had a smaller proportion of aristocratic officers than the Prussian Army: in 1832 there were 1.86 common officers for every one noble; by 1862 it was 2.34 commoners for every noble and by the outbreak of the First World War 5.66. Since the dissolution in 1826 of the Lifeguard unit, there was no specific Guard regiment. Only in the following units was the proportion of aristocratic officers considerably higher than average: * 1st Royal Bavarian Heavy Cavalry Regiment "Prince Karl of Bavaria" (formerly 1st Cuirassiers). * 1st Royal Bavarian Uhlan Regiment "Emperor Wilhelm II, King of Prussia" *
Royal Bavarian Infantry Lifeguards Regiment The Royal Bavarian Infantry Lifeguards Regiment (') was a household-lifeguard (bodyguard) regiment of the Bavarian kings from the end of the Napoleonic Wars until the fall of the Wittelsbach monarchy and the subsequent disbanding of the Bavaria ...


NCO corps

The Bavarian NCO Corps consisted of long-serving and career soldiers, usually recruited from those completing military service. There was a strict career separation between officers and NCOs. This led to substantial social problems during World War I, because qualified NCOs were blocked from promotion to officer ranks.


Recruitment

According to the Constitution of 1808, recruitment was according to a system of
conscription Conscription (also called the draft in the United States) is the state-mandated enlistment of people in a national service, mainly a military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and it continues in some countries to the present day un ...
. The system offered the possibility for men to buy exemption from conscription by means of paying a substitute, called an ''Einsteher'' ("Proxy") or ''Einstandsmann'' ("Stand-In"), to serve in their place (which had to be for a longer time). The reforms of 1868 abolished the use of substitutes, introduced compulsory conscription for three years, and instituted the ''Einjährig-Freiwilliger'' ("One Year Volunteer") system.


Landwehr

In 1809, after the French model, the territorial forces were converted into a national guard, which from 1814 to 1868 was known as the ''
Landwehr ''Landwehr'', or ''Landeswehr'', is a German language term used in referring to certain national armies, or militias found in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Europe. In different context it refers to large-scale, low-strength fortificat ...
'' of the Kingdom of Bavaria. During the 1868 reforms, the older classes of reserves became known as the ''
Landsturm In German-speaking countries, the term ''Landsturm'' was historically used to refer to militia or military units composed of troops of inferior quality. It is particularly associated with Prussia, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Sweden and the Nethe ...
''. The ''Landwehr'' also took responsibility for supervising the veterans' associations.


Garrisons

The bulk of the Bavarian Army was housed in fortresses, secularised monasteries and former castles. The first co-ordinated programme of barracks-building took place in 1806 (such as the New Isar Barracks), and after a typhoid outbreak in 1881, modern buildings with married quarters were built (such as the Prince Leopold Barracks). In 1838, Bavaria maintained seven fortresses, with another under construction: * Forchheim *
Ingolstadt Ingolstadt (, Austro-Bavarian: ) is an independent city on the Danube in Upper Bavaria with 139,553 inhabitants (as of June 30, 2022). Around half a million people live in the metropolitan area. Ingolstadt is the second largest city in Upper Ba ...
*
Veste Oberhaus Veste Oberhaus is a fortress that was founded in 1219 and, for most of its time, served as the stronghold of the Bishop of Passau, Germany. It is currently the site of a museum, a youth hostel, and a restaurant, as well as an open-air theatre ...
* Rosenberg ob Kronach * Rothenberg bei Schnaittach * Wülzburg * Marienberg Fortress in Würzburg * Germersheim (under construction) Bavaria also maintained troops in the German Confederation fortresses of
Landau Landau ( pfl, Landach), officially Landau in der Pfalz, is an autonomous (''kreisfrei'') town surrounded by the Südliche Weinstraße ("Southern Wine Route") district of southern Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is a university town (since 199 ...
and Ulm. The fortress of Germersheim was de-fortified according to the Treaty of Versailles.


Museum

The museum for the Bavarian Army was moved from the Hofgarten in Munich into the New Castle in Ingolstadt.


See also

*
Ministry of War (Kingdom of Bavaria) The Ministry of War (german: Kriegsministerium) was a ministry for military affairs of the Kingdom of Bavaria, founded as ''Ministerium des Kriegswesens'' on October 1, 1808 by King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria. It was located on the Ludwigstra ...
* Quartermaster Generals and Chiefs of the General Staff of the Army *
Hartschier Hartschiere ( singular form: ''Hartschier'') were predominantly members of the Bavarian residence guards before 1918, a historic military branch of the former Duchy and the later Electorate and at last Kingdom of Bavaria. History According to ...


Bibliography

{{Standing German armies in the Holy Roman Empire Armies by country