Guards Cavalry Division (German Empire)

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Guards Cavalry Division
(Garde-Kavallerie-Division)
Stab einer Division.svg
Flag of the Staff of a Division (1871 – 1918)
Active pre 1914 – 1919
Country  German Empire
Branch Army
Type Cavalry
Size Approximately 5,000 (on mobilisation)
Engagements World War I
Disbanded 1919

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).

Pre-war Order of Battle[edit]

Before the outbreak of war, the component units of the division were:

Combat chronicle[edit]

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 / Aisne.[1] By the end of the war, it was serving under VI Reserve Corps, 1st Army, Heeresgruppe Deutscher Kronprinz on the Western Front.[2]

A more detailed combat chronicle can be found at the German-language version of this article.

Order of Battle on mobilisation[edit]

Upon the outbreak of war, the 4th Guards Cavalry Brigade was dissolved and its component regiments were assigned as divisional cavalry to the 1st Guards Infantry Division (Life Guard Hussars) and 2nd Guards Infantry Division (2nd Guard Uhlans). With the addition of support units, the Division's structure was:[3]

See: Table of Organisation and Equipment

Guard Cavalry Schützen Division[edit]

German cavalry of the 11th Reserve Hussar Regiment in a trench in France in 1916

The Guard Cavalry Division was extensively reorganised in the course of the war, culminating in the conversion to a Cavalry Schützen Division, that is to say, dismounted cavalry. Here, 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 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).[4]

  • 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 renamed 11th Cavalry Schützen Command on 8 May 1918
  • 14th Cavalry Brigade joined from 9th Cavalry Division on 23 February 1918 and 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

Late World War I organization[edit]

Allied Intelligence rated this division as 2nd Class (of 4 classes).[5] Its late war organisation was:[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ellis & Cox 1993, p. 126
  2. ^ Ellis & Cox 1993, pp. 186-187
  3. ^ Cron 2002, p. 299
  4. ^ Cron 2002, p. 130
  5. ^ AEF GHQ 1920, p. 39
  6. ^ War Office 1995, p. 225

Bibliography[edit]

  • Cron, Hermann (2002). Imperial German Army 1914-18: Organisation, Structure, Orders-of-Battle [first published: 1937]. Helion & Co. ISBN 1-874622-70-1. 
  • Ellis, John; Cox, Michael (1993). The World War I Databook. Aurum Press Ltd. ISBN 1-85410-766-6. 
  • Histories of Two Hundred and Fifty-One Divisions of the German Army which Participated in the War (1914-1918), compiled from records of Intelligence section of the General Staff, American Expeditionary Forces, at General Headquarters, Chaumont, France 1919. The London Stamp Exchange Ltd (1989). 1920. ISBN 0-948130-87-3. 
  • The German Forces in the Field; 7th Revision, 11th November 1918; Compiled by the General Staff, War Office. Imperial War Museum, London and The Battery Press, Inc (1995). 1918. ISBN 1-870423-95-X.