4th Army (German Empire)
Flag of the Staff of an Armee Oberkommando (1871–1918)
|Active||2 August 1914 – 28 January 1919|
The 4th Army (German: 4. Armee / Armeeoberkommando 4 / A.O.K. 4) was an army level command of the German Army in World War I. It was formed on mobilization in August 1914 from the VI Army Inspection.1 The army was disbanded in 1919 during demobilization after the war.2
At the outset of war, the Fourth Army, with the Fifth Army, formed the center of the German armies on the Western Front, moving through Luxembourg and Belgium in support of the great wheel of the right wing that was intended to outflank the French armies, roll them up, and capture Paris. The Fourth Army defeated Belgian forces on the frontier, drove the French out of the Ardennes and then encountered the British Expeditionary Force in the "Race to the Sea" at the First Battle of Ypres. The Fourth Army faced the British in Flanders for the rest of the war, notably defending in the Battle of Passchendaele (1917), attacking in the 1918 Spring Offensive and finally being pushed back in the Hundred Days Offensive from August 1918.
By the end of the war, the 4th Army was organised as:
The 4th Army had the following commanders during its existence.5
|2 August 1914||Generaloberst Albrecht, Duke of Württemberg||VI Army Inspectorate (VI. Armee-Inspektion)||Heeresgruppe Albrecht|
|1 August 1916||Generalfeldmarschall Albrecht, Duke of Württemberg|
|25 February 1917||General der Infanterie Friedrich Bertram Sixt von Armin||IV Corps||Resigned|
- Armee-Abteilung or Army Detachment in the sense of "something detached from an Army". It is not under the command of an Army so is in itself a small Army.6
- Armee-Gruppe or Army Group in the sense of a group within an Army and under its command, generally formed as a temporary measure for a specific task.
- Heeresgruppe or Army Group in the sense of a number of armies under a single commander.
- German Army order of battle (1914)
- German Army order of battle, Western Front (1918)
- Schlieffen Plan
- Cron, Hermann (2002). Imperial German Army 1914-18: Organisation, Structure, Orders-of-Battle [first published: 1937]. Helion & Co. ISBN 1-874622-70-1.
- Ellis, John; Cox, Michael (1993). The World War I Databook. Aurum Press Ltd. ISBN 1-85410-766-6.