1st Cavalry Division (German Empire)

The 1st Cavalry Division (1. Kavallerie-Division) was a unit of the German Army in World War I. The division was formed on the mobilization of the German Army in August 1914. The division was disbanded in 1919 during the demobilization of the German Army after World War I.

1st Cavalry Division
(1. Kavallerie-Division)
Flag of the Staff of a Division (1871–1918)
Active2 August 1914-1919
Country German Empire
Branch Imperial German Army
SizeApproximately 5,000 (on mobilisation)
EngagementsWorld War I
Battle of Stallupönen
Battle of Gumbinnen
First Battle of the Masurian Lakes

Combat chronicle

Initially, it was the sole cavalry division on the Eastern Front, where it was assigned to the 8th Army. It remained in the East throughout the war. From 6 January 1915 to 22 August 1917, the division was involved in coastal defence duties in northern Courland. It was transferred to the Ukraine in March 1918,[1] where it remained until 29 January 1919. From 16 January 1918, it contained just one brigade of 3 regiments.

Battle Calendar

The Division was formed as Part of the Mobilization at the Beginning of the First World War and was used exclusively on the Eastern Front. Here it remained as a German Police Force after the Peace of Brest-Litovsk. It was first used in Livonia and Estonia and then came to Ukraine, where it remained until 16 March 1919.

1914 - 17 August – Battle of Stallupönen 19 to 20 August – Battle of Gumbinnen 23-31 August – Battle of Tannenberg 5-15 September – Battle of the Masurian Lakes 25 to 30 September – Battle of the Njemen 1 October to 5 November – position Fights at Grajewo-Wizajny 6-8 November – Battle of Göritten 13-16 November – Battle of the Romintener Heath From 15 November – jockeying for position for The Field position at Lötzen and at the Angerapp

1915 - Until 7 February – jockeying for position for the Field Position Lötzen-Angerapp 8-22 February – Winter Battle in Masuren 23 February to 6 March – Battles at the Bobr 7-16 March – Battles in the Border position Sereje-Simno-Luzhwinov and Mariampol 9-12 March – Battles at Sejny 25-30 March – Battles at Krasnopol and Krasne 31 March to 20 July – Position Battles between Augustov, Mariampol and Pilwiszki 21 July to 7 August – battles at the Jesia and at Wejwery 8-18 August – Siege of Kowno 19 August to 8 September – Njemen battle 9 September– Szyrwinty 9 to 24 September – Battle of Vilnius 24 September to 19 October – Battles at the Mjadsjolka and Dryswjata From 6 November – Coastal Protection in Northern Courland

1916 - Coastal Protection Northern Courland

1917 - Until 22 August – Coastal Protection North Kurland 23 January to 3 February – Winter Battle on the Aa 1-5 September – Battle of Riga 6 September to 28 October – Position Battles north of the Düna From 29 October – Crew service at Budget Inspection 10

1918 - Until 10 March – Crew service at Budget Inspection 10 11 March to 2 May – Occupation of Livonia and Estonia as a German Police force 3 May to 21 June – Fighting in Ukraine 22 June to 15 November – Occupation of Ukraine From 16 November – Eviction of Ukraine

1919 - Until 16 March – Evacuation of the Ukraine

Order of Battle on mobilisation

On formation, in August 1914, the component units of the division were:[2]

See: Table of Organisation and Equipment

Late World War I organization

In the course of the War, the Division saw a number of changes to its assigned Brigades.

Allied Intelligence did not rate the Division's fighting value.[4] Its late war organisation was:[5]

  • 2nd Cavalry Brigade
  • Horse Artillery Abteilung of the 1st (Prince August of Prussia) (1st Lithuanian) Field Artillery Regiment
  • Horse Artillery Abteilung of the 35th (1st West Prussian) Field Artillery Regiment[6]
  • 1st Pioneer Detachment
  • 347th Searchlight Section
  • 70th Ambulance Company
  • 66th Vet. Hospital
  • 142nd Vet. Hospital
  • 152nd Cyclist Company
  • 153rd Cyclist Company
  • 159th Cyclist Company

See also


  1. Ellis & Cox 1993, p. 126
  2. Cron 2002, p. 324
  3. "1. (kgl. sächs.) Kavallerie-Brigade Nr. 23". Militär/Formationsgeschichte/Deutschland/Erster Weltkrieg. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  4. AEF GHQ 1920, p. 47
  5. War Office 1995, p. 225
  6. 1917 was changed into a field artillery abteilung; Cron 2002, p. 139


  • 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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