Six-Squadron Cavalry Regiments

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Six-Squadron Cavalry Regiments

Post by Hoplophile » 21 Jul 2018 20:56

In 1914, at the very start of the Great War, the German Army mobilized six cavalry regiments that consisted of six squadrons. (All other active cavalry regiments went to war with four squadrons.) The six six-squadron regiments were assigned to active army corps, where each was divided into two three-squadron half-regiments, each of which was assigned to an active infantry division.

The six-squadron regiments were:

3rd Hussars
10th Hussars
16th Uhlans
16th Dragoons
17th Hussars
6th Cuirassiers

Each peacetime regiment consisted of five squadrons, one of which, upon mobilization, become the depot squadron for the regiment. Thus, in order to field six squadrons, each of these regiments had to find the officers, men, and horses for two additional squadrons.

Does anyone know where these additional officers, men, and horses came from? Were they transferred from other units? Were they reservists of the regiments in question?

Dave Danner
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Re: Six-Squadron Cavalry Regiments

Post by Dave Danner » 05 Aug 2018 07:46

As far as I know, they didn't field additional squadrons. They went to war as four-squadron regiments, and when they were divided among divisions, it was as two-squadron entities. Below, for example, is the Kriegsgliederung for the Garde-Kavallerie-Division, showing all regiments as having four squadrons. In the case of the Leib-Garde-Husaren-Regiment, it was initially a four-squadron regiment in the 1. Garde-Infanterie-Division, but by September 1914, a two-squadron half-regiment went to the 2. Kavallerie-Division.

Which squadron became the Ersatz-Eskadron varied from regiment to regiment. In the case of the 1.Garde-Ulanen-Regiment, for example, it was the 1.Eskadron, while in the case of the 3. Garde-Ulanen-Regiment it was the 3. Eskadron. For the Leib-Garde-Husaren-Regiment, it was the 5.Eskadron.

Also note that the Ersatz-Eskadron was not just responsible for bringing the peacetime regiment up to strength, but also providing horses, men and equipment for its allocated reserve and Landwehr cavalry. 33 reserve cavalry regiments (including two Bavarian and 1 Saxon) were raised on mobilization, along with two Landwehr cavalry regiments. 3 Ersatz cavalry regiments were also raised in 1914. Also in the course of 1914, to provide cavarly for the newly raised reserve corps, 21 Reserve-Kavallerie-Abteilungen were raised. There were also 57 Landwehr-Kavallerie-Eskadronen and a number of Landsturm-Kavallerie-Eskadronen assigned to various corps.

In Husaren-Regiment Nr. 12, the 3. Eskadron became the Ersatz-Eskadron. The NCOs, men and horses fit for frontline duty were sent to the other squadrons of HR 12, to Reserve-Husaren-Regiment Nr. 2, and to other formations and staffs as needed. The Ersatz-Eskadron was then filled out with call-ups from the reserve components, war volunteers and new recruits, as well as horses acquired by the remount commissions scouring the countryside. The Ersatz-Eskadron was responsible for providing men and horses to both HR 12 and RHR 2. Soon, it was also tasked with doing the same for the 3. mobile Landsturm-Ersatz-Eskadron IV. Armeekorps. When the XXV. Reservekorps was formed, Ers./HR 12 was also responsible for forming Reserve-Kavallerie-Abteilung Nr. 49 of the 49. Reserve-Division. Reserve-Husaren-Regiment Nr. 2, by the way, was even smaller than the active regiments, having only 3 squadrons. Reserve-Kavallerie-Abteilung Nr. 49 had a strength of approximately 150 men.

Several Ersatz-Eskadronen also became mobile formations. The Ersatz-Eskadron of Leib-Husaren-Regiment Nr. 1, for example, became partially mobile and on 27.8.1914 was sent to the front. In October 1914, it became the Ersatz-Eskadron XVII. Armeekorps. The Ersatz-Eskadronen of HR 4 and HR 6 became mobile and were replaced by Ersatz-Depots. These two squadrons were joined with two other Ersatz-Eskadronen to form the Ersatz-Kavallerie-Regiment VI. Armeekorps.

Kriegsgliederung GKD 1.jpg
Kriegsgliederung GKD 2.jpg
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