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

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

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

  • 1st Guards Cavalry Brigade
  • 2nd Guards Cavalry Brigade
  • 3rd Guards Cavalry Brigade
    • 1st Guards Dragoons "Queen of Great Britain and Ireland"
    • 2nd Guards Dragoons "Empress Alexandra of Russia"
  • 4th Guards Cavalry Brigade

Combat chronicle

Initially assigned to I Cavalry Corps preceding 3rd Army on the Western Front. On the Western Front until December 1914, then frontier guard duties against Holland until 30 June 1915, then to Russia. From 16 March 1918 to 9 April 1918 dismounted, re-formation and training on the Zossen troop training ground. Thereafter Guard Cavalry Schützen Division on the Western Front. In Artois to 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

Upon the outbreak of war, the 4th Guards Cavalry Brigade was dissolved. 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, its structure was:[3]

  • 1st Guards Cavalry Brigade
  • 2nd Guards Cavalry Brigade
  • 3rd Guards Cavalry Brigade
    • 1st Guards Dragoons "Queen of Great Britain and Ireland"
    • 2nd Guards Dragoons "Empress Alexandra of Russia"
  • Horse Artillery Abteilung of the 1st Guards Field Artillery Regiment
  • 1st Guard Machine Gun Detachment
  • Pioneer Detachment
  • Signals Detachment
    • Heavy Wireless Station 2
    • Light Wireless Station 1
    • Light Wireless Station 2
  • Cavalry Motorised Vehicle Column 10

See: Table of Organisation and Equipment

Guard Cavalry Schützen Division

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 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 alloted 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

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

  • 5th Landwehr Brigade
  • 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 Vet. Hospital
  • Train
    • 636th Motor Transport Column

See also


  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


  • 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. 

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