Guard Rider Regiment (1st Heavy Regiment)

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Crest of the Guard Rider Regiment

The Garde-Reiter-Regiment (1st Heavy Regiment) was a cavalry regiment in the association of the Saxon Army .


Established in 1680 as a regiment for Roß Graf von Promnitz , it was one of the oldest cavalry regiments in Germany. It has been renamed several times, as follows:

  • Cuirassier Regiment (1695)
  • Cuirassier-Leib-Regiment (1735)
  • Leib-Cuirassier Regiment (1763)
  • Elector Cuirassier Regiment (1764)
  • Cuirassier Regiment "Elector" (1784)
  • Elector Cuirassiers (1800)
  • King Cuirassiers Regiment (1806)
  • Guards for body curling (1807)
  • Guard Rider Regiment (1822)
  • Guard Rider Regiment (1st Heavy Regiment) (1876)

The first owner of the regiment was Elector of Saxony Friedrich August II in 1735. He was followed by the respective sovereigns until the regiment was dissolved, as the last owner, King Friedrich August III. The regiment was always stationed in Dresden and had guard status from 1735. It provided the guard in the royal palace and was used for representative tasks. The cut of the uniform resembled that of the Prussian Guard cuirassiers . From 1907 the previous white hair bush on the helmet was replaced by a screw-on, silver lion. In peacetime the regiment was always equipped with light brown horses.

Officer and soldier of the cuirassier regiment "Kurfürst" (around 1791)
Guard rider still with a helmet (before 1907)

Association membership

XII. (I. Royal Saxon) Army Corps in Dresden,
Commanding General : General of the Infantry Karl Ludwig d'Elsa
1st Division No. 23 in Dresden
Commander : Lieutenant General Freiherr von Lindemann
1st Cavalry Brigade No. 23 in Dresden
Commander: Colonel Otto von der Betten


  • Regiment owner: King Friedrich August III. of Saxony
  • Foundation Day: October 31, 1680

Campaigns and fighting

In the course of its long and eventful history, the regiment took part in numerous battles and skirmishes. The regiment first came into combat during the relief of Vienna , which was besieged by the Turks in 1683. In 1688 it fought against France in the Palatinate War of Succession and from 1701 in the Spanish War of Succession .

In 1741/42 the regiment fought against Austria on the Prussian side in the First Silesian War . After Saxony had changed sides politically, the regiment initially fought in the Second Silesian War in 1744/45 on Austria's side against its former ally. Here it was involved, among other things, in the battles of Hohenfriedberg and Kesselsdorf . The anti-Prussian stance of State Minister Count Brühl also meant that Saxony had to take part on Austria's side in the Third Silesian War, the Seven Years' War in 1756/63. In the end, this led to the electoral army having to capitulate to the Prussians near Pirna on October 16, 1756. The Saxon horsemen were forcibly incorporated into the Prussian army , but most of them deserted again in the spring of 1757.

The regiment that was re-established then fought in coalition with the Prussian Army in the battle of Jena against France in 1806 . After joining the Rhine Confederation , the Saxon royal cuirassiers came under French command and took part in the Battle of Wagram on July 5 and 6, 1809. As the king's bodyguard, the regiment remained in the residence in Dresden in 1812 and so did not take part in Napoleon's disastrous Russian campaign. In 1813 the regiment had to fight the Prussians, Austrians and Russians again alongside the French troops near Dresden and Bautzen . Likewise in the Battle of Nations near Leipzig . However, after the Saxon king was taken prisoner by the anti-French coalition on October 19, 1813, the war for the Saxons on this side of the front was over.

In 1814/15 the Leib-Kürassier-Guard took part in Field Marshal Blücher's campaign against France. After the division of Saxony on May 2, 1815 at the Congress of Vienna , the team from the ceded areas of Saxony was taken over into the Prussian Army and incorporated into Hussar Regiment No. 12 .

The now Guard-Reiter-Regiment fought in the federal execution against Prussia in 1866 and also took part in the war against France in 1870/71. Then it was stationed in the newly built Albertstadt in Dresden .

In the First World War , after mobilization in the association of the 8th Cavalry Division (Royal Saxon) , the regiment first went to the western front in Lorraine , where it was used in border protection. As early as September 1914, it was transported to the Eastern Front , where it initially took part in the Battle of the Masurian Lakes from September 9th to 15th, 1914. Further deployments were in Poland and Courland in 1915, then in trench warfare until March 1917 in Jakobstadt . This was followed by missions in Riga and Belarus in 1918.

In January 1919 the regiment returned to Dresden, was demobilized and finally disbanded on March 31, 1919.

The tradition of guard riders continued in the Reichswehr with the 6th Squadron of the 12th (Saxon) cavalry regiment in Dresden .


Rider of the regiment in field gray uniform (1915)

As a uniform, the riders wore cornflower-blue bowls based on the pattern of the Prussian cuirassiers with Swedish facings . The badge color was white, the advances and stripes cornflower blue. Yellow buttons, brass epaulettes with axillary scales. A crown was inlaid in the field of the epaulettes . The helmet also corresponded to that of the Prussian cuirassiers, but with a Saxon guard star and, for the parade, a silver lion that could be screwed on instead of the tip. All brass parts were gilded by the officers. Officers conducted a braid of gold spun on cuffs and on collar.


  • Hugo FW Schulz: The Bavarian - Saxon - and Württemberg cavalry regiments 1913/1914 Weltbild Verlag, 1992.
  • Jürgen Kraus: The German Army - Uniforms and Equipment 1914-1918 , Verlag Militaria, Vienna, ISBN 3-9501642-5-1 .
  • von Egan-Krieger: The German Cavalry in War and Peace. Wilhelm Schille & Co. Verlagbuchhandlung, Karlsruhe i. B. and Dortmund 1928, pp. 1-496. Explanations of the history of the Royal Saxon Guard Rider Regiment in general and its operations in the First World War in particular, cf. 182-185.

Web links

Commons : Garde-Reiter-Regiment  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files