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The following are notes based on my translations of passages from Jürgen Kraus’s 3-Volume Work Die feldgraue Uniformierung des deutschen Heeres 1907-1918, pp. 583-585. The translation was made via a computer translating program and as such, has its limitations. I have inserted question marks where I was unable to make sense of the translation. This is just a first attempt so please be patient, my knowledge of the German language is poor.

Cavalry Organization:

Cavalry regiments were composed of five squadrons[1](three of the Bavarian Chevauleger Regiments only had four squadrons) and each regiment had a peacetime establishment of approximately 25 officers, 3 medical officers, 3 veterinary officers, and 750 enlisted men (privates and NCOs). During wartime, cavalry regiments went to the field with four squadrons while the fifth remained at home station (8 officers and 260 enlisted men) and were intended as a source of replacements for the other four squadrons.[2]In the field, the cavalry regiment had a wartime strength of 30 officers and 690 enlisted men.

After the transition to trench warfare, there was hardly any use for cavalry while on the other hand, there was a great need for replacement horses for the existing artillery formations. Therefore, from October 1916 on, more and more cavalry regiments formally gave up their horses and were instead used for dismounted combat. From November 1917 on, these cavalry regiments received the designation of “Cavalry-Schützen-Regiment”[3]but retained their old active cavalry regimental designation.

By spring 1918, 53 cavalry regiments had been formally dismounted (designated as “Kavallerie-Schützen”) and 19 Cavalry-Schützen-Regiments were dissolved by the war’s end due to large losses.

[1]A squadron would be equivalent to a company of infantry for organizational purposes. Unlike the US Army, German cavalry lacked the intermediate organizational unit of the battalion.

[2]The fifth squadron was designated as the “Ersatz Eskadron” while the four squadrons in the field were numbered 1 through 4.

[3]The formal term was “Kavallerie-Schützen-Regimenter” which translates into“Cavalry Rifle Regiments”. For ease of understanding, “Cavalry Schützen Regiment” will be used.

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