Orders of Battle

45. Infanterie-Brigade: Leib-Grenadier-Regt. 100 | Grenadier-Regt. 101
46. Infanterie-Brigade: Schützen-Regt. 108 | Infanterie-Regt. 182
Husaren-Regt. 20
23. Feldartillerie-Brigade: Feldartillerie-Regt. 12 | Feldartillerie-Regt. 48
1. Komp. / Pionier-Bataillon 12 (attached from XII.AK) | Divisions-Brücken-Train 23
Sanitäts-Kompanie XII.1 | Sanitäts-Kompanie XII.3

45. Infanterie-Brigade: Leib-Grenadier-Regt. 100 | Grenadier-Regt. 101 | Schützen-Regt. 108
1. Esk. / Husaren-Regt. 20
Divisions-Artillerie-Kommandeur 23: Feldartillerie-Regt. 12 | I. Batl. / Fußartillerie-Regt. 19 (plus attached units)
Pionier-Bataillon 12: 1 .& 3. Komp. / Pionier-Bataillon 12 | Handscheinwerfer-Trupp 125
Divisions-Nachrichten-Kommandeur 23: Divisions-Fernsprech-Abteilung 23 | Divisions-Funker-Abteilung 12
Sanitäts-Kompanie 30


13.09.1912-07.07.1915: Genlt. Karl Freiherr von Lindeman
08.07.1915-06.02.1919: Genmaj. Georg Bärensprung (Genlt. as of ??.??.191?)


The division formally came into existence in 1867, via reorganisation and renumbering of the Saxon 1. Infanterie-Division which had fought on the Austrian side against Prussia a year before. Together with the 24.ID it served with great distinction in the war of 1870-71, earning battle honours at St. Privat, Beaumont and Sedan. Throughout its existence the 23.ID contained both of the active grenadier regiments, Schützen-Regiment 108 and the senior Feldartillerie-Regiment 12, and could therefore reasonably be considered as Saxony’s equivalent of a 'guards division'. In peacetime the majority of its units were based in Dresden, and provided ceremonial guard detachments for the royal palaces in and around the city.

The division was mobilised as part of XII. Armeekorps / 3. Armee, and saw its first action in over forty years in the terrible battle for Dinant on 23 August 1914. In September it fought in the Battle of the Marne west of Vitry-le-François, and was transferred together with the rest of XII.AK to 2. Armee on the 14th. When the fighting ground to a standstill the corps had established itself on the Aisne northwest of Reims, where it remained until 1916 building the fortifications on which the French Nivelle Offensive would subsequently founder. In July 1916 elements of both divisions were withdrawn to form the ad-hoc Division Francke to oppose the French on the southern part of the Somme battlefront. In early September the rest of 23.ID followed, while all elements assigned to Division Francke returned to XII.AK from the 9th of that month and were replaced with non-Saxon units; Generalmajor Francke's command was then officially numbered as the new 212.ID.

After suffering grievously in the battle, 23.ID remained south of the Somme until withdrawing toward St. Quentin as part of the general retirement in late March 1917. In April it went back into action in the Champagne east of Reims, where it helped to defeat the French offensive before remaining on this front for the rest of the year. In January 1918 it briefly returned to the Aisne valley at Brimont north of Reims, only to be withdrawn in late February for use as an Angriffsdivision with 18. Armee in the forthcoming offensive. Initially in reserve, it took part in the westward drive north of St. Quentin and saw severe fighting in early April. After rebuilding on the then-quiet Champagne front it took over a newly captured sector south of Soissons from the exhausted assault troops in late June. Withdrawn at the end of the month, it was committed to the abortive Marne offensive on 15 July and then to the desperate defensive fighting that followed.

In the last days of August it again suffered grievously against British tanks east of Bapaume, and was withdrawn to Flanders in early September. The division returned to the line at Houthulst Forest on 26 September, and the relief was still incomplete when it was hit by a devastating Belgian offensive. Its grievously depleted remnants spent the remainder of the war in desperate delaying actions on the successive German defensive lines in Flanders. In November it beat off repeated French attacks on the Scheldt before retiring to the Antwerp-Maas Stellung on the last night before the armistice.