4th Thuringian Infantry Regiment No. 72 - 4. Thüringisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 72

The fourth Thuringian Infantry Regiment. 72 was an infantry joined the Prussian army .


The association goes back to the 32nd Landwehr Regiment of the Prussian Army. In the course of the reorganization of the army, the 32nd Combined Infantry Regiment emerged, which AOK received the name of 4th Thuringian Infantry Regiment No. 72 on July 4, 1860. The garrison was in Torgau . The III. Battalion was later stationed in Eilenburg .

First World War

At the beginning of World War I , the regiment was mobile on August 2, 1914. In conjunction with the 16th Infantry Brigade, it moved into neutral Belgium and took part in the battle of the Gete .

Battle of Le Cateau

At the battle of Le Cateauon August 26, 1914, the regiment, under the command of Colonel Fritz von Zehmen, took Le Cateau against an English brigade. The peculiarity of this was, "Cut off from any connection with its own troops, the regiment had stormed Le Cateau in the early morning after the exhausting, hot days of combat and marching that had preceded it, according to captured English officers, with more than one mixed brigade and it not only held it against significant superiority and gained ground, but also substantially supported the attack of our own troops, which were brought forward to the west of the place. ”Furthermore, it is the III. Half battalion under Captain Huber and the 2nd Battalion under Captain Rogge managed to reach the heights east of St. Benin. You were now behind the enemy battle line. The 1st battery of Field Artillery Regiment No. 74, under the command of Captain Funke, had made a significant contribution to this success.

The regiment marched on August 25, 1914 at the beginning of the bulk of the 8th Division and reached Valenciennes . Around noon the order was given by the leader of the Gros, Major General Reichenau, to turn off to Verchain, together with the 1st battery of the 74th Field Artillery Regiment.Then we went to Saulzoir, Montrécourt, Haussy, St. Python-Solesmes, on 26 August 1914 to Neuvilly and Montay, later to Le Cateau and St. Benin. During the march route, the detachment's location remained unclear and uncertain. Nothing could be learned about the whereabouts of the 8th Division and the entire IV Army Corps . The surprise capture of Le Cateau would almost be General John French, 1st Earl of Ypresbeen captured. However, he was able to leave the combat zone with the last train a few minutes beforehand (information from captured soldiers). The 2nd battalion was fired at around 9 o'clock by its own troops around Le Cateau. The regimental adjutant Leutnant Rauch succeeded in establishing a connection with the 7th Division , then with the 8th Division and the General Command , using a captured enemy carof the IV Army Corps. A general staff officer commented on the situation of the regiment on August 26, 1914: “There is no such tactical situation again. The regiment should not have come out of the mousetrap by legal means. ”According to Zehmen, the captains, but also the other officers and men, deserved great credit for surviving this difficult situation, which ended with a brilliant victory.

Third Battle of Flanders

After a long train journey, the regiment arrived in Flanders from Champagne on September 30, 1917 to take part in the Third Battle there . The enemy tried to overrun the positions with barrage of artillery and the use of tanks and to achieve a breakthrough in the Ypres area . The detachmentThe first support arrived at midnight. The machine gun was important for this successMG 08/15 , a variant of the MG 08 machine gun and that the tanks got stuck in the mud. There was also heavy fighting for the 1st Battalion (Major Paulus) and the III. Battalion (Captain of the Reserve Mühlenpfordt) between Reutel, Zwaanhoek and Becelaere. During these days the two battalions lost ten officers and 538 men. The opponent's Flanders offensive was halted at two crucial points. The breakthrough did not succeed and the gains in land were, as is usual on the western front , very small and were fought with enormous losses of soldiers and war material. That is why the Flanders Offensive stands today for the brutality and senselessness of war.


Fallen memorial for members of the regiment in Torgau

After the armistice of Compiègne , the remnants of the association returned home. From December 24, 1918 in Torgau, the III. Battalion in Eilenburg, the demobilization until the regiment was finally disbanded on March 30, 1919. Before the demobilization at the beginning of December 1918, parts of the volunteer detachment "Pavel" were transferred to Werne and were deployed in the Eastern Border Guard .

The tradition in the Reichswehr was adopted by the 8th Company of the 12th Infantry Regiment by decree of the Chief of Army Command, General of the Infantry Hans von Seeckt , on August 24, 1921 .


The only head of the regiment was the Bulgarian Tsar Ferdinand I from June 7, 1912 until the association was dissolved.


Rank Name Date [1]
Lieutenant Colonel / Colonel Ludwig von Januschowski 0 July 1, 1860 to October 16, 1864
Oberst Bruno Neidhardt from Gneisenau December 25, 1864 to March 21, 1868
Oberst Karl von Helldorff March 22, 1868 to August 16, 1870
Lieutenant Colonel / Colonel Adalbert Löwenberger von Schönholz 23 August to 28 March 1871 (entrusted with the tour)
Oberst Adalbert Löwenberger von Schönholz March 29, 1871 to May 10, 1872
Lieutenant Colonel / Colonel Karl von Wienskowski May 23, 1872 to March 11, 1878
Lieutenant Colonel / Colonel Maximilian von Eberstein March 12, 1878 to October 16, 1883
Lieutenant Colonel / Colonel Moritz von Kunowski October 17 to December 5, 1883 (in charge of the tour)
Oberst Moritz von Kunowski December 6, 1883 to June 9, 1888
Lieutenant Colonel / Colonel Friedrich Gericke July 18, 1888 to November 18, 1889
Oberst Egbert von Frankenberg and Proschlitz November 19, 1889 to January 26, 1890
Lieutenant colonel Richard Goebel January 27 to March 23, 1890 (in charge of the tour)
Oberst Richard Goebel March 24, 1890 to May 19, 1893
Oberst Max Giesche May 20, 1893 to June 15, 1894
Lieutenant colonel Heinrich von Bünau June 16 to September 11, 1894 (in charge of the tour)
Oberst Heinrich von Bünau September 12, 1894 to March 18, 1896
Oberst Ludwig Moeller March 19, 1896 to September 9, 1897
Oberst Curt von Grawert September 11, 1897 to March 21, 1900
Oberst Ferdinand of Ledebur March 22 to July 8, 1900
Oberst Friedrich Bode July 22, 1900 to April 23, 1904
Oberst Ernst Heinrich von der Becke April 24, 1904 to April 24, 1908
Oberst Bruno Albert Lölhöffel from Löwensprung April 25, 1908 to May 29, 1911
Oberst Gustav von Arnim May 30, 1911 to September 30, 1913
Oberst Fritz von Zehmen 0 October 1, 1913 to November 24, 1914
Lieutenant Colonel / Colonel Hermann von Doetinchem de Rande November 25, 1914 to March 29, 1917
Major Ernst Gruson March 30, 1917 to January 9, 1919


  • Paul von Seebach: History of the 4th Thuringian Infantry Regiment No. 72. 1860-1910. Uhlandsche Buchdruckerei, Stuttgart 1910.
  • Paul von Seebach: Officer master list of the Royal Prussian 4th Thuringian Infantry Regiment No. 72. 1860-1910. Uhlandsche Buchdruckerei, Stuttgart 1910.
  • Fritz von Zehmen: Le Cateau, a day of honor for the Inf. Regiment 72nd contributions to the history of the regiment, association of officers of the former Königl. 4. Thuringia. Infantry Regiment No. 72 (eV), Torgau 1921.
  • Ernst Gruson: The 4th Thuringian Infantry Regiment No. 72 in the Battle of Flanders. October 1917. Contributions to the history of the regiment, association of officers of the former Royal. 4. Thuringia. Infantry Regiment No. 72 (eV), Torgau 1922.
  • Jürgen Kraus : Handbook of the associations and troops of the German army 1914-1918. Part VI: Infantry. Volume 1: Infantry Regiments. Verlag Militaria, Vienna 2007, ISBN 978-3-902526-14-4 , pp. 131-132.
  • Fabricius: History of the 4th Thuringian Infantry Regiment No. 72 in the years 1869 to 1878 , 1879.
  • Friedrich von Mülmann: A short history of the 4th Thuringian Infantry Regiment No. 72 . Schultze, Torgau 1896.


Individual evidence

  1. Günter Wegmann (ed.), Günter Wegner: Formation history and staffing of the German armed forces 1815-1990. Part 1: Occupation of the German armies 1815–1939. Volume 2: The staffing of the active infantry regiments as well as the hunter and machine gun battalions, military district commands and training managers from the foundation or list until 1939. Biblio Verlag. Osnabrück 1992. ISBN 3-7648-1782-8 . P. 192f.