Common Army Infantry

The following information is in the main drawn from the semi-official publication titled "Heerwesen" by H Schmid as was published in Vienna in 1917. It was in fact a self-teach handbook for officers for a reserve commission. Published in ten parts, the 2nd dealt with unit organization and the first part of this article deals with the k. und. k. (common army) infantry, Kaiserjäger and Bosnian Herzegovinian infantry regiments as at peacetime in 1914.

The following diagram is a schematic organizational table showing both the peacetime (Frieden) and wartime (Krieg) establishments of an infantry regiment.

In peacetime the Common Army infantry regiments were numbered from 1 to 102 and if they had a honorary colonel or an historically significant name "carried for all time" this was part of the regiment's name. For example "K.u.k. Infanterieregiment Albert I., König der Belgier Nr.27". 

The Tyrolean Kaiserjäger and the Bosnian-Herzegovinian infantry regiments were both titled only with their regimental numbers, in both cases originally number 1 - 4.  As can be seen from the upper part of the diagram the peacetime establishment of all infantry regiments on the strength of the common army had four field battalions although the Kaiserjäger regiments 1, 3 & 4 had only three. Most infantry regiments had only three machine gun detachments (MGA) in peacetime, the fourth only occasionally being raised for exercises and large scale maneuvers. The Ersatzbataillonskader  (replacement battalion cadre) maintained the registers of reserves and the administration of the magazines and of the train columns for their respective regiments. The replacement battalion cadre was normally commanded by an Oberstleutnant or Major with a relatively small staff. As a rule the commanding officer of a infantry regiment was an Oberst and occasionally an Oberstleutnant, the commanding officer of a battalion an Oberstleutnant or a Major. Companies were commanded by a Hauptmann and the machine gun detachments by a subaltern officer or an Hauptmann. 

The companies were numbered consecutively throughout the regiment as follow. Each had four platoons of four sections each:

I.Bataillon: Nr. 1, 2, 3, 4        II Bataillon: Nr. 5, 6, 7, 8        III.Bataillon: Nr. 9, 10, 11, 12        IV.Bataillon: Nr. 13, 14, 15, 16


The NCOs and private soldiers were recruited from from the specific Ergänzungsbezirk (territorial recruiting district) from which the regiment hailed. Each of the 102 infantry regiments, Kaiserjäger and Bosnians had their own defined district bearing the same number as the regiment. The corps of NCOs was provided from suitable private soldiers. The regular officers generally were graduates of either from the Theresian Military Academy in Wiener-Neustadt, an infantry cadet school or in relatively small numbers from the Landwehr Franz Joseph Academy in Vienna and the Hungarian Honvéd Ludovica Academy in Budapest. The reserve officers were provided through the one year volunteer scheme.


As a general rule in 1914 each infantry regiment was stationed within or near it's respective territorial recruiting district and at the very least one battalion had to be co-located with the replacement battalion cadre. Many regiments had one battalion detached to the mountain brigades within 15th and 16th Corps. Although the Bosnian regiments adhered to the one battalion co-located with the replacement battalion cadre rule, the remaining three battalions were stationed outside of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The station of each regiment as at the spring of 1914 can be found here


Although there were slight variations depending on whether a battalion was within or detached from it's parent regiment the peacetime establishment of an infantry company was 99 men at the normal establishment and125 for the higher establishment in abnormal conditions, particularly in frontier areas and with the specific permission of the war minister.

Rank Groups Rank Normal Higher
Officers Hauptmann 1 1
Subaltern 3 3
Officer Aspirants   1 1
NCOs and Men with Rifles Zugsführer 3 4
Korporal 6 8
Gefreite 6 8
Infanterist 70 91
Kompagniehornist (Bugler) 1 1
NCOs and Men without Rifles Stabsfeldwebel 1 1
Feldwebel 1 1
Rechnungsunteroffizier (Pay Sergeant) 1 1
Kompagnietambour (Drummer) 1 1
Offiziersdiener (Officers' Orderlies) 4 4
Ammunition Carrier   1 1
Totals Officers and Officer Aspirants 5 5
  NCOs and Men 94 120
  Ammunition Carrier 1 1
  Grand Total - Ammunition Carrier 99 125
  Of which with Rifles 86 112

The approximate war strength of an infantry regiment rose to about 4000 men, that is a 1000 per battalion and 250 per company.

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