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German Cavalry Corps 1st in the Great War - The Wartime Memories Project -

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German Cavalry Corps 1st

 Corps structure  1st German Cavalry Corps preceding 3rd Army (General der Kavallerie Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen)


Each Cavalry Division consisted of 3 Brigades, each of 2 Cavalry Regiments (24 squadrons in total), 3 horse artillery batteries (of 4 guns each) and an MG detachment (with 6 Machine Guns).

  • Guards Cavalry Division
  • 5th Cavalry Division

 Divisional Structure 1914  Guards Cavalry Division part of German 1st Cavalry Corps preceeding 3rd Army

Pre-war - The Guards Corps had four cavalry brigades organised as the Guards Cavalry Division, the only peace-time Cavalry Division in the German Army. On mobilisation, the pre-war cavalry brigades were withdrawn from their divisions. 33 Brigades (66 regiments) were used to form the 11 Cavalry Divisions. The remaining 22 brigades (44 regiments) were broken up and their regiments were employed as divisional cavalry for the 50 active divisions

The Guards Cavalry Division (Garde-Kavallerie-Division) was a unit of the German army that was stationed in Berlin. The division was a part of the Guards Corps (Gardekorps).

Before the outbreak of war, the division order of Battle was:

  • 1st Guards Cavalry Brigade
    • Gardes du Corps
    • Guards Cuirassiers
  • 2nd Guards Cavalry Brigade
    • 1st Guards Uhlans
    • 3rd Guards Uhlans
  • 3rd Guards Cavalry Brigade
    • 1st Guards Dragoons "Queen of Great Britain and Ireland"
    • 2nd Guards Dragoons "Empress Alexandra of Russia"
  • 4th Guards Cavalry Brigade
    • Life Guards Hussars
    • 2nd Guards Uhlans

The division was initially assigned to I Cavalry Corps, which preceded the 3rd Army on the Western Front. It served on the Western Front until December 1914, then undertook frontier guard duties against Holland until 30 June 1915, when it relocated to Russia.

From 16 March 1918 to 9 April 1918, it was dismounted, re-formed and trained on the Zossen troop training ground. Thereafter, it served as the Guard Cavalry Schützen Division on the Western Front. It was in Artois until May 1918, then Champagne and Aisne. By the end of the war, it was serving under VI Reserve Corps, 1st Army, Heeresgruppe Deutscher Kronprinz on the Western Front.

 Divisional Structure 1916 to 1918  Guards Cavalry Division part of German 1st Cavalry Corps preceeding 3rd Army

Conversion to Schutzen Division (Dismounted Infantry Role)

Guard Cavalry Schützen Division

The Guard Cavalry Division was extensively reorganised in the course of the war, culminating in conversion to a Cavalry Schützen Division, i.e. Dissmounted Cavalry. The cavalry brigades were renamed Cavalry Schützen Commands and performed a similar role to that of an infantry regiment command. Likewise, the cavalry regiments became Cavalry Schützen Regiments and were allocated the role of an infantry battalion (and their squadrons acted as infantry companies). However, these units were much weaker than normal infantry formations (for example, a Schützen squadron had a strength of just 4 officers and 109 NCOs and other ranks, considerably less than that of an infantry company).

  • 1st Guards Cavalry Brigade became independent on 9 April 1917
  • 2nd Guards Cavalry Brigade became independent on 6 June 1916
  • 3rd Guards Cavalry Brigade became independent on 18 October 1916
  • 19th Cavalry Brigade joined from 9th Cavalry Division on 8 April 1917 and became independent on 12 February 1918
  • 11th Cavalry Brigade joined from 5th Cavalry Division on 23 March 1918 and was renamed 11th Cavalry Schützen Command on 8 May 1918
  • 14th Cavalry Brigade joined from 9th Cavalry Division on 23 February 1918 and was renamed 14th Cavalry Schützen Command on 8 May 1918
  • 38th Cavalry Brigade joined from 8th Cavalry Division on 20 April 1918 and renamed 38th Cavalry Schützen Command on 8 May 1918

 Divisional Structure 1918  Guards Cavalry Division part of German 1st Cavalry Corps preceeding 3rd Army

Divisional Order of Battle - Late 1918

  • 5th Landwehr Brigade
    • 11th Cavalry Schützen Command
      • Guards Cuirassiers
      • 1st (Silesian) Life Cuirassiers "Great Elector"
      • 8th (2nd Silesian) Dragoons "King Frederick III"
    • 14th Cavalry Schützen Command
      • 4th (1st Silesian) Hussars "von Schill"
      • 11th (2nd Westphalian) Hussars
      • 5th (Westphalian) Uhlans
    • 38th Cavalry Schützen Command
      • 4th (Westphalian) Cuirassiers "von Driesen"
      • 2nd Jäger zu Pferde
      • 6th Jäger zu Pferde

  • 1st Guard MG Detachment
  • 1st Squadron, 5th Jäger zu Pferde (mounted cavalry)
  • 132nd Artillery Command 3rd Guards Field Artillery
  • 722nd Light Ammunition Column
  • 852nd Light Ammunition Column
  • 1135th Light Ammunition Column
  • 412th Pioneer Battalion 2nd Ersatz Company, 18th Pioneer Battalion
  • 307th Pioneer Company
  • 226th Signal Command
  • 226th Telephone Detachment
  • 183rd Wireless Detachment

Medical and Veterinary

  • 257th Ambulance Company
  • 642nd Ambulance Company
  • 1st Field Hospital
  • 302nd Field Hospital
  • 262nd Veterinary Hospital


636th Motor Transport Column

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German Cavalry Corps 1st

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