Lets build the Battle of the Frontiers

Discussions on all aspects of the First World War not covered in the other sections. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
User avatar
tigre
Member
Posts: 9346
Joined: 20 Mar 2005 11:48
Location: Argentina

Re: Lets build the Battle of the Frontiers

Post by tigre » 11 May 2020 22:16

Hello to all :D; a little more.............................

Actions of the III Bavarian Corps in Lorraine 1914.

On 20 August, 1914, the German Sixth and Seventh Armies began their advance from the general area: Metz, Saarburg, and the Vosges, towards the French First and Second Armies. The Germans believed that at least an effort of double envelopment should be made. The situation seemed especially adapted for such a maneuver. During the last few days the French First and Second Armies had assembled the mass of their forces, between Saarburg and Mörchingen (Morhange), in order to oppose at the west slope of the Vosges Mountains an attack of the Germans.

The French flanks were weak, especially their left flank, which was exposed from Nancy to Mörchingen (Morhange). The German high command decided to have the III Bavarian Corps move quickly via Delm on Chateau Salins while the mass of the French forces were to be contained in the vicinity of Mörchingen. This Corps had been intentionally concealed in rear of the Rotte, north of the Wallersberg. The protection of the right flank of the corps was the mission of the 33d Reserve Division, which was to move forward against an enemy advance on Delm and prevent an enemy attack from the direction of Nancy.

The III Bavarian Corps began the advance against -the enemy at 5:00 AM, 20 August, from both sides of the Wallersberg; the 5th Bavarian Division on the left and the 6th Bavarian Division on the right. No enemy had been seen in front of this Corps for some time. During the previous evening only some weak French advance detachments had been observed in the vicinity of Lixingen.

Not knowing where the French would offer any resistance, both divisions refrained from making preliminary contacts. However, the zones or advance had been clearly and definitely designated. These measures undoubtedly prevented undesirable surprise. In addition, phase lines for the advance were also prescribed.

Source: USE OF PHASE LINES. Captain F. During. Military Review. June 1934.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
tigre
Member
Posts: 9346
Joined: 20 Mar 2005 11:48
Location: Argentina

Re: Lets build the Battle of the Frontiers

Post by tigre » 18 May 2020 20:37

Hello to all :D; a little more.............................

Actions of the III Bavarian Corps in Lorraine 1914.

When the units reached their first objective, which was not very distant (1 to 2 miles), they received orders to continue the advance to the next phase line. In this manner, the units-completely prepared for combat-went forward across hill and valley, and through high cornfields and wet meadow land. Initial contacts were made south of Lixingen and east of the Hochberg. As a matter of fact the 5th Bavarian Division and the left flank of the 6th Bavarian Division met onb' advanced parties of the enemy, while west of the Hochberg the 6th Bavarian Division advanced unopposed. But the piercing of this screen had consumed much time.

At 10:00 AM the corps was entirely deployed, astride the Hochberg and near Orn. It had taken five hours to advance about 4 1/2 miles. The principle of the limited objective attack had been so thoroughly instilled and was so firmly impressed upon the troops, that not even a weak enemy or no enemy at all could change this sytem. When the enemy was later met about 6 miles south of the Wallersberg on the Delm-Weiher-Fax line, prepared for defense, he was attacked along his entire line.

This attack came too late. At about 10:00 AM the commander of the French Second Army had issued instructious for a withdrawal. He had in time realized the danger to his left flank if the army should become engaged in a hard and prolonged battle southeast of Mörchingen. Only the rear guard of the French 68th Division opposed the III Bavarian Corps on the Delm-Weiher-Fax line. An unrestricted advance and pursuit in the direction of Chateau Salins might have been very successful.

However, the consequences of the limited objective attack now appeared anp demanded a heavy penalty. The long hours ofl'marching across country in combat formation, and in the parching heat, had entirely exhausted the troops. In addition, the units had become mixed in spite of the definite boundaries for the advance. As a result, a halt of the Delm-Fax line within range of the enemy artillery fires was ordered, and the divisions went into bivouac for the night on the battlefield. Only two infantry regiments (19th and 21st) continued the advance, during the evening, to the heights of Telegraph Mountain northwest of Chateau Salins. The French Army, in the meantime, had pulled its head out of the noose and disappeared.

Source: USE OF PHASE LINES. Captain F. During. Military Review. June 1934.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
tigre
Member
Posts: 9346
Joined: 20 Mar 2005 11:48
Location: Argentina

Re: Lets build the Battle of the Frontiers

Post by tigre » 25 May 2020 17:47

Hello to all :D; a little more.............................

Actions of the III Bavarian Corps in Lorraine 1914.

The III Bavarian Corps was opposed, on 20 September, only by the French 68th Reserve Division. The French 59th and 70th Divisions, which were in position on the Selle and on the heights northeast of Nancy, were engaged by the German 33d Reserve Division (Main Reserve from Metz) which had changed direction towards Nomeny. During the forenoon the German 8th Cavalry Division appeared northwest of, Delm and, in the afternoon, the Bavarian Cavalry Division also arrived in the same area.

The right flank of the III Bavarian Corps was therefore fully protected, and this corps could have thrown its full strength into the balance without restriction. Of course, the situation was not as clear then as we see it now. But who will ever have complete information in battle? A certain caution in a clouded situation is justified, but to wait until the situation is fully clarified is giving up the best opportunities for a possible victory. We can therefore understand why the III Bavarian Corps placed so much stress upon closely controlled advances.

From a tactical point of view the III Bavarian Corps was successful. The advance was made in a model way, well organized and strictly controlled. Strategically it was a failure, for the envelopment of the enemy and its destruction was not accomplished.

The German Sixth Army.

The forward elements of the German Sixth Army (XVIII and XXI Corps and the I Bavarian Corps) advanced, on 25 September, trom the area on both sides of St. Quentin and engaged two fresh French corps (XIV and XX Corps), a part of the French Second Army, half-way between Amiens and St. Quentin, which were trying an envelopment from the direction of Amiens. On the night of 25 September, the northern flanks of both forces rested on the Somme west of Peronne.

The left flank of the French Army, north of the Somme, was covered only by the reinforced Cavalry Corps of Brousseau (1st Cavalry Division, 5th Cavalry Division, a detachment of perhaps half a Cavalry Division under Beaudemoulin, and the 45th Infantry Division), which was located between Peronne and Albert. West of Albert were four French Territorial Divisions which had a combat efficiency of a poorly equipped Landwehr division, and which were lacking in artillery.

Opposing these forces, on the right flank of the German Sixth Army, in the vicinity of Peronne, were four German cavalry divisions (Guard, 2d, 7th, and 9th Cavalry Divisions) and two newly arrived fresh German Corps (II Bavarian Corps apd XIV Reserve Corps). In addition, the German 4th Cavalry Division had arrived at Cambrai.

Source: USE OF PHASE LINES. Captain F. During. Military Review. June 1934.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
tigre
Member
Posts: 9346
Joined: 20 Mar 2005 11:48
Location: Argentina

Re: Lets build the Battle of the Frontiers

Post by tigre » 01 Jun 2020 19:03

Hello to all :D; a little more.............................

The German Sixth Army.

The II Bavarian Corps received orders to cross the Tortille River north of Peronne at 6:00 AM, 26 September, and to advance on Bray. Its mission was to attack the enemy north of the Somme and then, from the north, to take part in a decisive battle south of the Somme. The cavalry divisions which were in the vicinity of Peronne moved in the direction of Albert, on the right flank of the corps, to drive back the French cavalry and to contain the Territorial Division mentioned above. The German XIV Reserve Corps received orders to assemble a strong force at Bapaume at 10:00 AM, and to move on Albert. Thus all plans had been made to overcome the enemy resistance north of the Somme and then to obtain a decision south of the Somme.

The high command of the II Bavarian Corps ordered the 3d Bavarian Division to move at 10:00 AM from the line: Moislans-Allaines, in the direction of Maurepas, while the 4th Bavarian Division received orders to advance in one column, at 6:30 AM, from Manancourt via Combles on Guillemont.

The 3d Bavarian Division (less the 22d Infantry, which was a day's march in rear; and the 23d Infantry together with the 1st Battalion of the 5th Bavarian Field Artillery, which were attached to the I Bavarian Corps) having developed east of the line: Moislans-Allaines, the night before, saw no reason for changing its advantageous dispositions. Although there was no doubt that the area west of the Tortille was held only by French cavalry, yet the troops were directed not to advance past the heights on both sides of Bouchaveness.

Therefore, when this position was captured at about 8:00 AM, without much opposition, they halted. Two hours later they were again ordered to advance and, at about noon, reached the vicinity of Maurepas. Even though the French did not offer much opposition, it took six hours to cover the 5 1/2 miles between the Tortille and Maurepas. The infantry had advanced, partly deployed and partly in approach formation, while the artillery had advanced by echelon.

The advance of the 4th Bavarian Division, less its 5th Brigade which was then about 20 miles away, was entirely different. East of Combles its advanced cavalry and artillery quickly defeated a small French cavalry force which was attempting to delay it. West of Combles it again met resistance and was forced to deploy its advance guard. The main body had left the roads but it was in no way delayed nor did it deploy. As a result the 4th Bavarian Division took Guillemont at 9:30 AM. It had covered 7 1/2 miles in 3 hours and that hour was about 3 1/2 miles in advance of the 3d Division. The 4th Division, not having received further orders to advance, halted at Guillemont.

Source: USE OF PHASE LINES. Captain F. During. Military Review. June 1934.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
tigre
Member
Posts: 9346
Joined: 20 Mar 2005 11:48
Location: Argentina

Re: Lets build the Battle of the Frontiers

Post by tigre » 08 Jun 2020 19:13

Hello to all :D; a little more.............................

The German Sixth Army.

In the meantime the high command had been informed that the German 4th Cavalry Division, at 5:00 AM, was advancing on Bapaume from Cambrai, and that two advance guards of the German XIV Reserve Corps would arrive at Bapaume about noon. The 3d Bavarian Division was therefore directed to immediately push via Maricourt on Bray. Orders were also issued to the 4th Bavarian Division to advance via Montaub on Fricourt, but not before 11:40 AM, more than two hours after its arrival at Guillemont. Although this division had to make all preparations for the crossing west of Bray, the order also required the division to protect the right flank of the 3d Bavarian Division, which again delayed the advance.

The opportunity had been lost. While the 3d Bavarian Division reformed into two columns to facilitate its advance, the enemy was able to bring reinforcements from the south into Maricourt, and to bring strong artillery into position. When the 3d Bavarian Division, during the afternoon, unsuccessfully attacked the town its troops were weary and exhausted. The marches of the previous days had worn them, out. The limited advance, ,either deployed or in approach formation, during the morning of 26 September, had exhausted the troops.

The 4th Bavarian Division also came into contact with the enemy. Between 10:00 and 11:00 AM, before it had received its orders for the advance on Fricourt, enemy columns marching to the south were noticed in the vicinity of Bapaume. When it was proven that they were from the four French Territorial Divisions, the 4th Bavarian Division made a change of direction to the north in order to engage and divert the approaching enemy.

At about noon the German Guard Cavalry Division arrived at Rocquigny and the German 4th Cavalry Division, with an advanced guard of the German 26th Reserve Division, arrived east of Beugny to attack the left flank of the four French Territorial Divisions. During the afternoon the German 2d Cavalry Division and the German 7th Cavalry Division, together with a part of the German 28th Reserve Division, arrived in the area between Betincourt and Baustre.

At about 4:30 PM, the Commanding General of the II Bavarian Corps sent orders to the 4th Bavarian Division to break off battle and to advance on Carnoy as soon as possible, but the 4th Bavarian Division was already so completely involved that it was no longer possible to disengage.

Source: USE OF PHASE LINES. Captain F. During. Military Review. June 1934.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

User avatar
tigre
Member
Posts: 9346
Joined: 20 Mar 2005 11:48
Location: Argentina

Re: Lets build the Battle of the Frontiers

Post by tigre » 15 Jun 2020 19:27

Hello to all :D; a little more.............................

The German Sixth Army.

For the race around the flanks; the high command had issued orders to the corps to attack piecemeal and to throw battalions into the line as soon as they arrived. The expediency of this method is debatable; the one justification for such an attack is when time is a determining factor. As a matter of fact, on the morning of 26 September, the way to the French left flank was practically unopposed but the advance had to be made very rapidly.

No doubt the 3d Bavarian Division would have been severely criticized had it advanced impetuously, unrestricted, and had it attacked the enemy without being properly prepared. It advanced cautiously, using phase lines. This permitted the enemy to get up reinforcements and to prepare for a defense at Maricourt. The 4th Bavarian Division also missed a great opportunity. It should have contained the four French Territorial Divisions in the vicinity of Bapaume until the arrival of the Army Cavalry and the advanced elements of the German XIV Reserve Corps, and then advanced via Fricourt to the Somme.

Such action, however, demands decision and iron nerves. The decision to do this would have been easy had the division not been given phase lines, having foreseen more distant objectives from the very beginning. When it made its attack against the Territorials it did exactly what the enemy desired. These smaller units diverted, and drew towards themselves, the danger which was threatening the left flank of the French army.

On 26 September the II Bavarian Corps acted according to what it thought best. The 4th Bavarian Division missed a wonderful opportunity. Only daring would have spelled success. He who ventures nothing gains nothing. This lesson should always be remembered.

Source: USE OF PHASE LINES. Captain F. During. Military Review. June 1934.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

Return to “First World War”