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The following brief overview of the Jäger is based on the work of Hermann Cron, the 2nd part of the article is based on research by Hartwig Busche


The Jäger Battalions


The Prewar Jäger Battalions consisted usually of men who were or were destined to become, foresters. During the war this changed and men from other walks of life joined the Jäger but even then the Jäger recruits were above average material compared to other branches of the army.



As the war progressed they were used tactically in the same role as the infantry, their special fields of knowledge seldom being called for. At the beginning of the war, attached to Cavalry Divisions, they usually had a Bicycle company and a Motor pool to give them mobility. Later in the war the mountains became the domain of the Jäger. Fighting in Tirol, the Karpathans and the Italian Alps gave the incentive to create Jäger Divisions while Jäger Regiments served in Macedonia.

At the outbreak of the war the four Company Jäger Battalions superficially resembled the Infantry Battalions, but the Jägers had double the number of Ammunition wagons,  They had their own machine Gun Company, a Bicycle company and a Jäger Kraftwagen Kolonne with 10 Vehicles, giving them more mobility and firepower than an infantry battalion.


The 1st and 2nd Bavarian Jäger battalions started the war without their own machine Gun Companies and the reserve Jäger battalions in 1914 had no Machine Guns, no Bicycle Company and no trucks. Later in the war they would get a machine Gun Company.

There were no Landwehr or Landsturm Jäger units.

Left: The Stereotypical Jäger, at home in the forest



In 1915 the active Jäger battalions received a 2nd Bicycle Company and in August 1916 all Jäger Battalions were increased to having two Machine Gun companies and a Minenwerfer Company with 8 light Minenwerfer. In 1917 the Bicycle Companies were removed to form Bicycle battalions and were no longer considered Jäger.

The following section borrows heavily from Busche’s Formationsgeschichte and explains where the Jäger Battalions disappeared to…


Amalgamation and Evolution of the Jäger Battalions


In May of 1915 the process of amalgamating Jäger and Reserve Jäger Battalions into newly created Jäger Regiments began.

The loss of independence was not appreciated by all Jäger battalion commanders, but the restructuring was born of tactical necessity. To justify their existence in the age of mass troop concentrations the Jäger Battalions had to sacrifice part of their traditional tactical autonomy/initiative.

For the rest of the army it was a big advantage. In the Kavallerie Divisions the Jäger Regiments became the Divisional commander’s new muscle. In the Infantry and Reserve Divisions they shared the trials and tribulations which came with being a fixed part of a frontline division. In the divisions in the Vogesen the Jäger were the young blood, the raiders and assault troops who livened up sectors occupied by older Landwehr and Landsturm troops. The Jäger Regiment commanders were usually younger than their infantry counterparts.

Throughout the war the Jäger Battalions succeeded by in large in maintaining their elite status. This was accomplished not only by the better than average recruits, but also by their experience at mountain warfare where they fought in the Vogesen, the Alps, the Karpathans as well as in Romania, Serbia and Macedonia.

The following Jäger Regiments were set up in 1915

Bayer. Jäger Regiment Nr. 1
The Regiment was formed in May 1915 as part of the Alpenkorps. The Regiment had just one M.G. company per Battalion as M.G. Gebirgs Formations were usually attached to the regiment.
The first commander of the Regiment was Major Paulus from the 4. b.I.R.

1. B. Jäger Battailon (Hauptmann Merk), 2. Bayerisches Jäger Bataillon Oberstleutnant Lettenmayer), 2. Bayerisches Reserve Jäger Bataillon (Major Plötz)

Left: 2 members of the 2nd Bavarian Jäger Battalion from Aschaffenburg

Jäger Regiment Nr. 2

The Regiment was formed in May 1915 as part of the Alpenkorps. The Regiment had just one M.G. company per Battalion as M.G. Gebirgs Formations were usually attached to the regiment.
The first commander of the Regiment was Oberstleutnant von Götze (ex Jg.-Btl.-Nr. 8, killed in an accident in May 1915)

Jäger Bataillon Nr. 10 (Major von Rauch), Reserve Jäger Bataillon Nr. 10 (Major von Lattorf), Reserve Jäger Bataillon Nr. 14 (Major von Krahmer-Möllenberg)

Jäger Regiment Nr. 3
The Regiment was originally formed in May 1915 as part of the Alpenkorps.

The core of the regiment were the bayerisches Schneeschuh Bataillon I and the Schneeschuh Bataillon II. Each of these had four Companies.  In April 1915 Schneeschuh Bataillon II was split into two Battalions, each with three companies. The Schneeschuh Bataillon I became I. / Jäger Regt. Nr. 3 while the Scheeschuh Bataillon II formed the II./ Jäger Regt. Nr. 3 and III./ Jäger Regt. Nr. 3. The fourth battalion, IV./ Jäger Regt. Nr. 3 was formed from the 4. Komp. of the I. Bataillon along with members of the Ersatz Abteilung and select members of the Bavarian Landwehr Infantry Regiments active in the Vogesen.
By Juli 1915 each Battalion had an active strength of 24 Officers and 1013 other ranks.
The original Regimental commander was Oberstleutnant Dürr.

The Battalion Commanders

I. Oberstleutnant Steinitzer, II. Hauptmann d. Res. Paulcke, III. Hauptmann d. L. Ziegenmeyer, IV. Hauptmann von Winckler



Jäger-Regiment Nr. 4


The Regiment was formed on the 4th of July 1916
Jäger Bataillon Nr. 11, Reserve Jäger Bataillon Nr. 5, Reserve Jäger Bataillon Nr. 5
It was part of the 200th Infantry Division, original commander Oberstleutnant Lehmann from Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 9 )

Jäger-Regiment Nr. 5

The Regiment was formed in July 1916
Reserve Jäger Bataillon Nr. 17, Reserve Jäger Bataillon Nr. 18, Reserve Jäger Bataillon Nr. 23
It was part of the 200th Infantry Division, original commander Oberstleutnant Thümmel from I.R. 145)

Jäger Regiment Nr. 6

The Regiment was formed in July 1916
Jäger Bataillon Nr. 5, Jäger Bataillon Nr. 6, Jäger Bataillon Nr. 14

In September 1916 the Jäger Bataillon Nr. 14 left the regiment and resumed its independent status, the Reserve Jäger Bataillon Nr. 2 joined the regiment in April 1917)

Left: a member of the 14th Jäger Battalion

It was part of the 195th Infantry Division, original commander Major von Koecknitz from I.R. 152

Sächsisches Jäger-Regiment Nr. 7

The Regiment was formed in August 1916
Sächsisches Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 13, Sächsisches Reserve Jäger- Bataillon Nr. 25, Sächsisches Reserve Jäger- Bataillon Nr. 26
It was part of the 197th Infantry Division, original commander Oberst Pudor from I.R. 172

Jäger-Regiment Nr. 8

The regiment was formed in August 1916
Reserve Jäger Bataillon Nr. 4, Reserve Jäger Bataillon Nr. 16, Reserve Jäger Bataillon Nr. 24
It was part of the 195th Infantry Division, original commander Major Freiherr von Meerscheidt-Hüllesem from I.R. 136

Jäger-Regiment Nr. 9

Originally formed in Galizien August 1916 as “Regiment Veith” (Commander of the Ulanen Regiment Nr. 14) it was renamed Jäger Regiment Nr. 9
Jäger Bataillon Nr. 8, Sächsisches Reserve Jäger- Bataillon Nr. 12, I/ Landwehr Infanterie Regiment Nr. 15
In Novemeber 1916 the L.I.R. Nr.15 Battalion left the regiment and was replaced in 1917 by the Sächsisches Reserve Jäger- Bataillon Nr. 13. Later in 1917 the Regiment was disbanded. The Jäger Bataillon Nr. 8 Became independent once again while the 2 Saxon Battalions joined Jäger-Regiment Nr. 10
It was part of the 199th Infantry Division, original commander Major von Notz of the XX. Armee Korps.

Sächsisches Jäger-Regiment Nr. 10

The regiment was formed in 1917 as part of the 11. Armee in Mazedonia
Sächsisches Reserve Jäger- Bataillon Nr. 12, Sächsisches Reserve Jäger- Bataillon Nr. 13
The Regiment was attached to the 11. Armee, the commander was Oberst von Carlowitz

Jäger-Regiment Nr. 11

The Regiment was formed in October 1917 on the Italian front. The regimental staff was the staff of the Dragoner Nr. 4
Garde Reserve Jäger Bataillon, Garde Reserve Schützen Bataillon, Jäger Bataillon Nr. 1
The Regiment was part of the Deutsche Jäger Division, the commander was Oberstleutnant Freiherr von Bettendorf

Jäger-Regiment Nr. 12

The Regiment was formed in October 1917 on the Italian front. The regimental staff was the staff of the Ulanen Regiment Nr. 2
Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 2, Reserve Jäger Bataillon Nr. 1, Jäger Bataillon Nr. 12 (from 1.12.1917)
The Regiment was part of the Deutsche Jäger Division, the commander was Oberstleutnant von Pappritz of the Ulanen Regiment Nr. 2

Jäger-Regiment Nr. 13

The Regiment was formed in October 1917 on the Italian front. The regimental staff was the staff of the 8. bayerische Chevauleger-Regiment
Reserve Jäger Bataillon Nr. 8, Reserve Jäger Bataillon Nr. 20, Reserve Jäger Bataillon Nr. 21
The Regiment was part of the Deutsche Jäger Division, the commander was Oberstleutnant von Bibra of the 8, bayerische Chevauleger-Regiment

Jäger-Regiment Nr. 14

The Regiment was formed in May 1918, the staff came from the disbanded R.I.R. 233
Reserve Jäger Bataillon Nr. 15, Reserve Jäger Bataillon Nr. 19, Reserve Jäger Bataillon Nr. 22
The regiment came under the command of the 101. Reserve Infanterie Brigade, the commander was Oberstleutnant Riesenthal of the Reserve Infanterie Regiment 233


Bayerisches Reserve-Jäger-Regiment Nr. 15

Formed in August 1918 in the Caucasus as the Kaukasisches Jäger-Regiment Nr. 1. It consisted of the bayerisches Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon and freshly trained released POWs who were formed into a Bahn-Schütz-Bataillon.
On the 20th of September they were renamed b. Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 15 which consisted of a staff and the two battalions. The Regiment was commanded by Major Scheuring from the 8. B.I.R.


29. Bayerisches Infanterie Regiment (Jäger Regiment)

The 29. B.I.R. (Jg.-R.) was an anomaly. Formed in 1916 with the Bayerisches Reserve Jäger Bataillon Nr. 1, IV. Batl. bayerisches Reserve Infanterie Regiment Nr. 4 and the III./Reserve Infanterie Regiment Nr. 79 as the 29. B.I.R. In October 1916 the IV./b.R.I.R. Nr. 4 left to join the 25. B.I.R. and the III./R.I.R. Nr. 79 joined the R.I.R. 440.

The Staff and the b. Res. Jäg. Btl. Nr. 1 (designated as III. Batl.) left for Romanian where they were joined by the Res.-Jg.-Btl. Nr. 7  (Designated I. Batl.) and the Res.-Jg.-Batl. Nr. 9 (Designated II. Batl.). In November 1917 it was renamed “29. b.I.R. (Jäger-Regiment)”

In August 1918 the b. Res. Jäg. Btl. Nr. 1 left to form the b. Jäger-Regiment Nr. 15 The commander of the 29. B.I.R. (Jäger Regiment) was Oberst Aschauer of the 8. B.I.R. the battalion commander I./ Major von der Gröben , II./ Hauptmann Schneider , III. / Major Scheuring.


Jäger Bataillon Nr. 27

Another anomaly was the Jäg.-Batl. Nr 27, essentially established to train Finish recruits for their war of independence. The first volunteers arrived in the Lockstedter Lager training grounds in February 1915. By the end of August the numbers had reached 1 000 men. The Training unit was renamed Jäger Bataillon Nr. 27 in May 1916. It consisted of four Jäger Companies, 1 Pionier Company, 1 MG Company, 1 Section of light Field Howitzers and a band. The battalion was under the command of the Stv. General Kommando of the IX. Armee Korps. The original commander was Major Max Bauer who had left by the time the unit was disbanded in February 1918.
Above: Men of the 11th Jäger battalion and what seems to be a member of the 24th Reserve Jäger battalion, missing the "R" on his helmet cover

Overview of the Jäger Battalions

Garde-Jäger-Bataillon                    Independent
Garde-Schützen-Bataillon               Independent
Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 1            1917   Jäger-Regiment Nr. 11
Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 2            1917   Jäger-Regiment Nr. 12
Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 3            1918   Jäger-Sturm-Bataillon Nr. 3
Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 4                       Ostsee-Division
Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 5            1916   Jäger-Regiment Nr. 6
Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 6            1916   Jäger-Regiment Nr. 6
Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 7            1917   Jäger-Regiment Nr. 12
Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 8                       Independent
Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 9                       Independent
Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 10         1915   Jäger-Regiment Nr. 2
Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 11         1916   Jäger-Regiment Nr. 4
s. Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 12                 s. Jäger-Regiment Nr. 10
s. Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 13     1916   s. Jäger-Regiment Nr. 7
Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 14                     Independent
Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 27         1918   Disbanded
Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 31         1916   Küstenschutz, immobil (s. S. 90)
1. b. Jäger-Bataillon            1915   b. Jäger-Regiment Nr. 1
2. b. Jäger-Bataillon            1915   b. Jäger-Regiment Nr. 1
Garde-Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon     1917   Jäger-Regiment Nr. 11
Garde-Reserve-Schützen-Bataillon 1917   Jäger-Regiment Nr. 11
Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 1        1917   Jäger-Regiment Nr. 12
Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 2        1917   Jäger-Regiment Nr. 6
Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 3                   Independent
Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 4        1916   Jäger-Regiment Nr. 8
Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 5        1916   Jäger-Regiment Nr. 4
Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 6        1916   Jäger-Regiment Nr. 4
Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 7        1918   29. b. I.R. (Jg.-R.)
Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 8        1917   Jäger-Regiment Nr. 13
Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 9        1918   29. b. I.R. (Jg.-R.)
Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 10     1915   Jäger-Regiment Nr. 2
Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 11                 Independent
s. Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 12   1916   Jäger-Regiment Nr. 9
s. Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 13   1917   Jäger-Regiment Nr. 9 
Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 14     1915   Jäger-Regiment Nr. 2
Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 15     1918   Jäger-Regiment Nr. 14
Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 16     1916   Jäger-Regiment Nr. 8
Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 17     1916   Jäger-Regiment Nr. 5
Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 18     1916   Jäger-Regiment Nr. 5
Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 19     1918   Jäger-Regiment Nr. 14
Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 20     1917   Jäger-Regiment Nr. 13
Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 21     1917   Jäger-Regiment Nr. 13
Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 22     1918   Jäger-Regiment Nr. 14
Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 23     1916   Jäger-Regiment Nr. 5
Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 24     1916   Jäger-Regiment Nr. 8
s. Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 25 1916   s. Jäger-Regiment Nr. 7
s. Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 26 1916   s. Jäger-Regiment Nr. 7
b. Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 1   1918   29. b. I.R. (Jg.-R.)
b. Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 2   1915   b. Jäger-Regiment Nr. 1

 
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