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The I Cavalry Corps (German language: I. Kavalleriekorps), initially known simply as the Cavalry Corps (German language: Kavalleriekorps), was an army corps of the German Wehrmacht during World War II. It was formed in 1944 and existed until 1945.

History[]

The Cavalry Corps was formed on 25 May 1944 in the General Government,[1] using most of the personnel of the short-lived LXXVIII Army Corps.[2] The corps was commanded throughout its lifetime by Gustav Harteneck,[3] earning it the nickname Cavalry Corps Harteneck.[4] The corps served at times under the 2nd Army, 4th Army, 6th Army and 2nd Panzer Army.[1] Starting in June 1944, the Cavalry Corps was deployed on the Eastern Front against the Red Army. The corps, not yet fully deployed and operational, was thrown against the Soviet forces that advanced against the German lines as part of Operation Bagration, the Soviet offensive which brought about the collapse of the German Army Group Centre. After the end of Bagration, the Cavalry Corps fought at the Narew river and in East Prussia.[5]

The Cavalry Corps was known as I Cavalry Corps starting in February 1945.[1]

The I Cavalry Corps participated in the failed Operation Spring Awakening in March 1945, the last major German offensive during World War II. After the failure of Spring Awakening, the I Cavalry Corps staged a fighting retreat towards Austria. After German surrender on 8 May 1945, the corps, still largely intact, was taken prisoner by British Army forces and transported to Württemberg and Hesse. Subsequently, the surrendered formations were formally dissolved by the United States Army in June 1945. The horses were confiscated by the Allies and repurposed for agricultural tasks.[5]

Legacy[]

The I Cavalry Corps was the last major cavalry formation in German military history.[6] After the re-establishment of independent German military forces in 1955, the Bundeswehr of West Germany and the National People's Army of East Germany did not establish significant cavalry formations.[7]

Structure[]

Organizational chart of the Cavalry Corps (later I Cavalry Corps) of the Wehrmacht[1]
Year Date Subordinate units[8][9][10][11] Army Army Group
1944 31 August 3rd Cavalry Brigade, 4th Cavalry Brigade, Panzerbrigade 104, 14th Infantry, 102nd Infantry, 129th Infantry 2nd Army Army Group Centre
16 September 3rd Cavalry Brigade, 4th Cavalry Brigade, 14th Infantry, 102nd Infantry, 129th Infantry
13 October 14th Infantry, 102nd Infantry, 129th Infantry, 292nd Infantry
5 November 3rd Cavalry Brigade, 4th Cavalry Brigade, 558th Infantry 4th Army
26 November
31 December 1st Panzer, 23rd Panzer, 4th Cavalry Brigade 6th Army Army Group South
1945 19 February 6th Panzer, 3rd Cavalry Brigade, 96th Infantry, 711th Infantry
1 March 6th Panzer, 3rd Cavalry Brigade, 96th Infantry, 711th Infantry, 23rd Hungarian
12 April 23rd Panzer, 14th SS, 16th SS, 3rd Cavalry Brigade, 4th Cavalry Brigade, 44th Infantry 2nd Panzer Army
7 May 23rd Panzer, 16th SS, 3rd Cavalry Brigade, 4th Cavalry Brigade Oberbefehlshaber Südost

Noteworthy individuals[]

See also[]

External links[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Tessin, Georg (1977). "Generalkommando I. Kavalleriekorps" (in German). Die Landstreitkräfte 1-5. Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1945. 2. Osnabrück: Biblio Verlag. pp. 14. ISBN 3764810971. 
  2. Tessin, Georg (1977). "Generalkommando LXXVIII. Ameekorps z. b. V. (röm. 78. AK)" (in German). Die Landstreitkräfte 71-130. Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1945. 6. Osnabrück: Biblio Verlag. pp. 40. ISBN 3764810971. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 MacLean, French L. (2014). Unknown Generals - German Corps Commanders In World War II. Pickle Partners Publishing. pp. 121–122. ISBN 9781782895220. 
  4. Fowler, Jeffrey T. (2001). Axis Cavalry in World War II. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. pp. 19. ISBN 1841763233. "In July 1944 the 3rd & 4th Cav[alry] [Brigades] and the 1st Hungarian Cav Div[ision] together formed the so-called Cavalry Corps Harteneck." 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Richter, Klaus Christian (1994) (in German). Kavallerie der Wehrmacht. Wölfersheim: Dörfler Zeitgeschichte. pp. 29. 
  6. Radtke, Heinz (1982) (in German). Der letzte Reiter-Großverband der Kriegsgeschichte: Festschrift zum 90. Geburtstag d. Generals d. Kavallerie Gustav Harteneck. 
  7. Richter, Klaus Christian (1994) (in German). Kavallerie der Wehrmacht. Wölfersheim: Dörfler Zeitgeschichte. pp. 7. 
  8. Tessin, Georg (1977). "2. Armee (AOK 2)" (in German). Die Landstreitkräfte 1-5. Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1945. 2. Osnabrück: Biblio Verlag. pp. 83–84. ISBN 3764810971. 
  9. Tessin, Georg (1977). "4. Armee (AOK 4)" (in German). Die Landstreitkräfte 1-5. Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1945. 2. Osnabrück: Biblio Verlag. pp. 219–224. ISBN 3764810971. 
  10. Tessin, Georg (1977). "6. Armee (AOK 6)" (in German). Die Landstreitkräfte 6-14. Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1945. 3. Osnabrück: Biblio Verlag. pp. 1–8. ISBN 3764810971. 
  11. Tessin, Georg (1977). "2. Panzer-Armee (Pz. AOK 2)" (in German). Die Landstreitkräfte 1-5. Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1945. 2. Osnabrück: Biblio Verlag. pp. 89–93. ISBN 3764810971. 

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