Military district

Military districts are formations of a state's armed forces (often of the Army) which are responsible for a certain area of territory. They are often more responsible for administrative than operational matters, and in countries with conscript forces, often handle parts of the conscription cycle.

Navies have also used a similar model, with organizations such as the United States Naval Districts. A number of navies in South America used naval districts at various points in time.

Chinese Republic

There were 76 northern military districts or Military Regions (軍區), or War Areas, which were the largest formations of the National Revolutionary Army, under the National Military Council, chaired by Chiang Kai Shek during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II. During the Second Sino-Japanese War the National Revolutionary Army eventually organized itself into twelve Military Regions.

People's Republic of China

Originally thirteen military regions were established in the 1950s, but the number was reduced to eleven in the late 1960s. The resulting eleven military regions - Shenyang, Beijing, Lanzhou, Xinjiang, Jinan, Nanjing, Fuzhou, Guangzhou (including Hainan Island), Wuhan, Chengdu, and Kunming - were reduced to seven by 1985-88. The active military districts now include Lanzhou, incorporating the former Urumqi MR, Chengdu Military Region, incorporating the former Kunming MR, Nanjing, which includes the former Fuzhou MR, Beijing, and Shenyang. Finally Guangzhou and Jinan Military Regions both appear to include parts of the former Wuhan MR.

This has recently changed from eleven to seven.

The military regions are divided into military districts, usually contiguous with provinces, and military sub-districts.

German Reich

During World War II Germany used the system of military districts (Wehrkreis) to relieve field commanders of as much administrative work as possible and to provide a regular flow of trained recruits and supplies to the Field Army. The method they adopted was to separate the Field Army (Oberbefehlshaber des Heeres) from the Home Command (Heimatkriegsgebiet) and to entrust the responsibilities of training, conscription, supply and equipment to that command.

The Commander of the Infantry Corps with the identical number also commanded the Wehrkreis in peacetime, but command of the Wehrkreis passed to his second-in command at the outbreak of war.

In peace time, the Wehrkreis was the home to the Infantry Corps of the same number and all subordinate units of that Corps.

Federal Republic of Germany

Today's German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) have four military districts - Wehrbereichskommando as part of the Streitkräftebasis or Joint Service Support Command. The headquarters are in:


The Indonesia National Army (Indonesian: Tentara Nasional Indonesia) used military districts, created by General Soedirman as a system called Wehrkreise, adapted from the German system during World War II. The system was later ratified in Surat Perintah Siasat No.1, signed by General Soedirman on November 1948.

The Wehrkreise was used in Indonesia as a means of circles of defense, or regional defense, to defend islands and provinces under Indonesian control. Each regional commander had full authority to begin operations with assets available in the district. Wehrkreise region commanders had command over the military, political, the economic, education, and local government structures and organisations.

Today the military districts are called KODAMs.


Initially, right after First World War, Poland had five military districts (1918-1921):

In 1921, due to reorganization, the military districts were replaced with Dowodztwo Okregu Korpusu (DOK - Corps District Command). In the Second Polish Republic there were ten DOK's:

Each DOK consisted of four large units (three infantry divisions and one cavalry brigade).

In mid-1945, after World War Two, Polish Army was divided into six (later seven) districts:

  • Warsaw Military District, HQ in Warsaw,
  • Lublin Military District, HQ in Lublin,
  • Krakow Military District, HQ in Krakow,
  • Lodz Military District, HQ in Lodz,
  • Poznan Military District, HQ in Poznan,
  • Pomeranian Military District, HQ in Torun
  • Silesian Military District, HQ in Katowice, created in the fall of 1945.

In 1949 this number was limited to four Military Districts:

  • Pomeranian Military District, HQ in Bydgoszcz,
  • Silesian Military District, HQ in Wroclaw,
  • Warsaw Military District, HQ in Warsaw,
  • Krakow Military District, HQ in Krakow.

In November 1953, Krakow Military District was dissolved and until 1992, Poland was divided into three Districts. Then, in 1992, Krakow Military District was recreated.

Since January 1, 1999, Poland has been divided into two military districts:

Russian Empire

The Russian Empire's military district (вое́нный о́круг, voyenny okrug) was a territorial association of military units, formations, military schools, and various local military establishments. This territorial division type was utilized in Imperial Russia, USSR and is currently in use in Russian Federation.

Such territorial division provided convenient management of army units, their training and other activities regarding the country’s readiness to defend itself.

Soviet Union

In the USSR, the military districts continued to performe the same role they had done in the Russian Empire, with first six military districts (Yaroslavsky, Moskovsky, Orlovsky, Belomorsky, Uralsky, and Privolzhsky) were formed on 31 March 1918 during the Russian Civil War.

This increased to 17 military districts of the USSR at the beginning July 1940 shortly before the start of the Second World War, and were used to create combat Fronts after commencement of the German invasion of the USSR.

During the war the districts were further divided into geographic regions for logistic reasons, these being:

  • North and North Western districts
  • West and Central USSR districts
  • South and South Western districts
  • Siberian and Central Asian districts
  • Far Eastern districts

After the war, the number was increased to 33 to aid in demobilisation of forces, but by October 1946, they had been reduced to 21.

By the end of the 1980s, immediately before the dissolution of the Soviet Union, there were sixteen military districts, within three to five main strategic Theatre groupings.

Russian Federation

A military district (вое́нный о́круг, voyenny okrug) in the Russian Federation operates under the command of the district headquarters, headed by the district commander, and is subordinated to the Ground Forces Headquarters. It is a territorial association of military units, formations, military schools, and various local military establishments. This territorial division type was historically adopted, originally by Imperial Russia, to provide a more efficient management of army units, their training and other operations activities related to combat readiness.

In today's Russia, there are 6 military districts:

In this classification, Kaliningrad and the surrounding Kaliningrad Oblast are considered to be a special region.

See also


  • for official Russian military district information

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