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The 172nd Imperial German Infantry Regiment or the 3.Ober=Elsassisches Infanterie=Regiment as it was originally know as, was established on 31 March 1897 in Strassburg as part of the XV German Army Corps. It was subsequently relocated to Nieubreisach, assigned to the 39th Division, XV Army Corps, VII German Army and located there at the outbreak of WWI. This regiment remained assigned to the 39th Division throughout the entirety of WWI and fought exclusively on the Western Front in several key battles (Champagne, Flanders, Verdun, Somme and was in the general vicinity of Ypres in November of 1918).

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