1st Cavalry Division (Wehrmacht)

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German 1st Cavalry Division
Active 20 November 1939 – 27 November 1941
Country  Nazi Germany
Branch Army
Type Cavalry
Size Division
Garrison/HQ Insterburg, Angerburg
Nickname(s) none
Colors Golden yellow

World War II

Engagements World War II
Kurt Feldt
Werner von Fritsch
1939–1941 The logo of the 24th Panzer Division until 1942The Standard for Cavalry units 1936-1945

The 1st Cavalry Division (German: 1. Kavallerie-Division) was formed in October 1939. It fought in the Netherlands, Belgium, France and on the Eastern Front. It was officially transformed into the 24th Panzer Division in late 1941.

Operational history[edit]

The campaign in Western Europe began in the Netherlands before it was assigned to the 4th Army and sent to France. The division crossed the Somme on 7 June and fought near Meulen. On 18–19 June it fought around Saumur and attempted to capture a bridge across the Loire but the attack failed when it was blown up by English troop with a patrol still on it. The division reached La Rochelle when the fighting in France ended.

After the French capitulation the division was stationed in France on occupation duties until the early summer of 1941 when it was moved east in preparation for the attack on the Soviet Union. It was assigned to the XXIV Army Corps in the opening stages of Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union. The division fought in the southern sector of the front, seeing action around the Berezina and Dniepr rivers, especially in efforts to clear the Pripet Marshes of by-passed Red Army units.

It was withdrawn to France in November 1941 and its 17,000 horses were handed over to infantry divisions. The “Schlußappell”, the last divisional parade, was held on 5 November at Gomel before it was finally disbanded and reformed as the 24.Panzer-Division.[1]


  • General der Kavallerie Kurt Feldt (25 October 1939 – 28 November 1941)

Area of operations[edit]

  • The Netherlands and France (May 1940-Jun 1941)
  • Eastern front, southern sector (Jun 1941-Nov 1941)

Order of battle[edit]

  • Reiter-Brigade 1 (2x regiments); Reiter-Regiment 1; Reiter-Regiment 2; Reiter-Regiment 21; Reiter-Regiment 22


  • Hubertus Schulz, ed. (1993) (in German), Die Aufklärer (Rf.1, K 4, PzAA 24) der 1. Kavallerie-Division/24. Panzer-Division, Gross-Umstadt: Dohany, ISBN 3-924434-07-7 


  1. ^ Die 24. Panzer-Division 1939-1945. Vormals 1. Kavallerie-Division