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I Cavalry Corps
(Höhere Kavallerie-Kommando Nr 1)
Higher Cavalry Command No. 1
Stab eines Generalkommandos.svg
Flag of the Staff of a Generalkommando (1871–1918)
Active 2 August 1914-3 March 1918
Disbanded 1919
Country  German Empire
Branch Army
Type Cavalry
Size Approximately 13,000 (on mobilisation)
Engagements World War I

The I Cavalry Corps (German language: Höhere Kavallerie-Kommando 1 / HKK 1 literally: Higher Cavalry Command 1) was a formation of the German Army in World War I. It was formed on the mobilization of the German Army in August 1914 and disbanded in March 1918.

I Cavalry Corps

The Corps initially served on the Western Front with the Guards and 5th Cavalry Divisions and preceded the 3rd Army.[1] By 15 September 1914, it was assigned to 2nd Army and comprised the Guards and 2nd Cavalry Divisions.[2] Transferred to the East on 6 November 1914[3] and attached to the 9th Army. By 8 February 1915, it consisted of the 6th and 9th Cavalry Divisions.[4]

At various times, the Corps was named for its commander as Cavalry Corps Richthofen, Corps Richthofen and Army Group[5] Richthofen.

It remained with 9th Army until 20 November 1916, when it was redesignated as 56th Corps (z.b.V.).[6][7]

56th Corps

56th Corps (z.b.V.)[8] was formed on 20 November 1916 by the redesignation of I Cavalry Corps.[9] As the need for large mounted cavalry formations diminished as the war went on, the existing Cavalry Corps increasingly took on the characteristics of a normal Corps Command. This culminated in them being redesignated as "General Commands for Special Use" Generalkommandos zur besonderen Verwendung (Genkdo z.b.V.). 56th Corps was disbanded on 5 March 1918.[10]

Order of Battle on mobilisation

Initially, the Corps simply consisted of 2 Cavalry Divisions (with 3 Jäger battalions attached) without any Corps troops; in supply and administration matters, the Cavalry Divisions were entirely autonomous. The commander was only concerned with tactics and strategy, hence his title of Senior Cavalry Commander Höherer Kavallerie-Kommandeur.[11]

On formation in August 1914, the Corps consisted of:[12]

Each cavalry division consisted of 3 cavalry brigades (6 regiments each of 4 squadrons), a horse artillery Abteilung (3 four-gun batteries), a machine gun detachment (company size, 6 MGs), plus pioneers, signals and a motor vehicle column. A more detailed Table of Organisation and Equipment can be seen here. The Jäger battalions each consisted of 4 light infantry companies, 1 machine gun company (6 MGs), 1 cyclist company and a motorised vehicle column.[13]


I Cavalry Corps / 56th Corps had the following commanders during its existence:[14][15][16]

Commander From To
General der Kavallerie Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen 2 August 1914 23 September 1916
General der Kavallerie Götz Freiherr von König 23 September 1916 5 March 1918

See also


  1. Cron 2002, p. 299
  2. Ellis & Cox 1993, p. 176
  3. Cron 2002, p. 94
  4. Ellis & Cox 1993, p. 189
  5. Armee-Gruppe in the sense of a part of an army formed for a specific task. Heeresgruppe is an Army Group in the sense of a number of armies under a single commander.
  6. General Commands for Special Use Generalkommandos zur besonderen Verwendung (Genkdo z.b.V.)
  7. Cron 2002, p. 95
  8. Note that Corps (z.b.V.) were designated with Arabic, not Roman, numerals.
  9. Cron 2002, p. 89
  10. German War History Accessed: 13 April 2012
  11. Cron 2002, p. 94
  12. Cron 2002, p. 299
  13. Cron 2002, p. 116
  14. The Prussian Machine, HKK Accessed: 20 May 2012
  15. The Prussian Machine, GenKdo Accessed: 20 May 2012
  16. German War History Accessed: 20 May 2012


  • 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. 

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