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Reading over my notes, going back years.... I find myself talking about the "34th Division" and the "34th Infantry Division" ....

Then it struck me.... An I applying WW2 era terms to WW1 era units?

I am not the only one to do it,

But to be really correct.... did "Infantry" divisions even exist in WW1?

In German Period texts they seem to use both ...

Which is technically correct?

Best

Chris

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Hi Chris,

on iron-cross documents it's: Infanterie-Division

Best regards,

Jens

Haha... now why did I choose "34th Division" as the example..... it was 34th morning today ;-)

I agree that Infanterie Division sounds correct (and puts the artillery elements in the division in their place!)... but it begs the question.... why do we have Reserve Division instead of Reserve Infanterie Division ?

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Quite difficult deciphering german regimental units marks because they changed so many times before Prussian confederation, during and after. It's really mind-boggling. Not all unit conformed to the new/changed regulation and not all did it at the time required. Difference in the script used is crucial also for the time period being discussed. What is universal, and especially in german formations, most all the loyalty, battle honors; etc etc were for the Regiment service and not the division that is was assigned to during a certain time, they were transferred willy-nilly. It's called the regimental system. The US is one of the few who did not go by the regimental system. A regiment was part of a division until hell freezed over. All Divs, you might say were Infantry whether designated by the letter "I" or not. A Corps now, would be different. Have you ever heard of a Artillery Div or a Medical Div or a Signal Div? Now, Jaeger Regiments, designation for "Hunter" unit, germans had them and were part of Inf Divs, for example, the 3rd, 4th and 5th Jaeger Regiments were part of the 200th Division, no Inf or Jaeger designator applied, just the 200th Division. In the military family, a div isn't shite, it's the regiments assigned who has the History, I pay no attention to the Divisions. Some Divisions though, through History, have that automatic eyebrow lift when mentioned because it was always at the forefront kicking arse and taken names. In American Military History, the 9th Inf Regt has more battle streamers than any other unit. It's always been assigned to the 2nd Inf Div. The 2nd Div (Indianhead Div). So many times a division would only send a regiment into a war as the 2nd Inf Div did, they sent the 9th Inf Regt to Nam, the rest of the division stayed in Korea. A division ain't shite, unless its that special division. A regiment is everything. ;)

Edited by E Williams
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Of course there is always the exception, I wouldn't know what regiments were in the "GrossDeutchland Div" but I know that division just from the name or any other WWII German Div or british or american. I think WWII military history books tend to save time and space seem to pit division against division.

Edited by E Williams
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I agree that Infanterie Division sounds correct (and puts the artillery elements in the division in their place!)... but it begs the question.... why do we have Reserve Division instead of Reserve Infanterie Division ?

On the German system: The peacetime divisions were also administrative subdivisions of the corps area, and included the cavalry brigade and the local Landwehr-Inspektion. On mobilization, the cavalry brigades were withdrawn adn the divisions became tactical formations, so the renaming made some sense. Artillery was considered a support arm, and not an arm of decision like the infantry and cavalry (and later armor).

For what it's worth, the United States did not follow this pattern. World War I divisions were just "1st Division" etc. It was not until 1940, I believe, that they were officially designated as "## Infantry Division".

As for why the Reserve, Landwehr and Ersatz divisions didn't have "Infanterie" in their names, I don't have an answer. Perhaps just for convenience. Since there weren't any other divisions except for Kavallerie-Divisionen, and there weren't any Reserve or Landwehr-Kavallerie division-sized formations, there wasn't any real need to designate the RD/LD/ED as "Infanterie" to know that's what they were. That wasn't always the case at brigade-level and below, where you needed to distinguish an RIR from an RFAR, for example. On the flip side, I have seen Ersatz-Infanterie-Brigade wrongly used for formations which were properly Ersatz-Brigaden or gemischte Ersatz-Brigaden.

I wouldn't know what regiments were in the "GrossDeutchland Div"

Actually, you probably know more than you realize. All the regiments were also named "Großdeutschland": Panzer-Regiment Großdeutschland, Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment Großdeutschland, Panzer-Artillerie-Regiment Großdeutschland, etc.

Have you ever heard of a Artillery Div

Yes, the Soviet Army had Artillery Divisions in World War II.

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I used the wrong division, try the 10th Panzer Div (Wehrmacht), I don't know off my head what Inf Rgts were part of that Div but I do know it was part of the Africa Corps and brought shite down on us at Kasserine Pass. I'm strictly talking as in basic knowledge but I'm sure I could go over on the WWII german forum and there are fellows there who know the name of each regiments mascot was.

I love the core History, not the headshed were all they did was to prostate over maps. Down to the lonely private and non-coms, the mud, beer and the babes is where am I !!!!!! :cheers:

as Plt Sgt Big Joe said "There's no booze, there's no broads....there's no action!!!!!!!"

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