Royal Bavarian 1st Heavy Rider Regiment "Prince Karl of Bavaria"

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The 1st Heavy Cavalry Regiment "Prince Karl of Bavaria" was a cavalry association of the Bavarian Army , which was set up on July 16, 1814 as the Regiment Garde du Corps in the Palatinate . From 1815, the regiment's peacetime location was Munich .


Positioning and development

The regiment was set up on July 16, 1814 in accordance with the highest resolution as the Regiment Garde du Corps in the Palatinate . The main regiment was the National 7th Chevauleger Regiment "Prince Carl of Bavaria" founded in 1813. In addition, all other Bavarian cavalry units deployed personnel and material, and the Grand Ducal Würzburg Life Guard took over 32 men. Bayern had until then only light cavalry - regiments . The regiment was divided into six squadrons and one reserve squadron. The 1st and 2nd squadrons were assigned black horses , the 3rd and 4th brown , the 5th and 6th foxes and the trumpeter a roan . After returning from the Wars of Liberation against Napoleon , the Garde du Corps moved into the Isar barracks on Museum Island . The staff and the 1st to 3rd squadrons were housed there, the 4th squadron was quartered in Nymphenburg . The 5th and 6th squadrons were in Schleissheim . For hygienic reasons, the New Isar Barracks was later built on the banks of the Isar , where the cuirassiers moved. A riding arena remained on the Museum Island.

The first regimental commander, Prince Konstantin zu Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg (1786–1844)

Prince Konstantin zu Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg was appointed the first supreme commandant (the term “Kommandeur” was not used until 1872) . The first regiment holder was General of the Cavalry Prince Karl of Bavaria . In 1815 the regiment was divided into four field squadrons with 456 men and 450 horses, the reserve division into 18 NCOs, 26 riders and 136 horses. On December 14, 1815, the consecrated standards were presented in Nymphenburg. The 1st Division (1st and 2nd Squadron) led the body standard, which was pure white with heavy gold embroidery , with the king's name in the medallion, on the other side the national coat of arms from 1806, surrounded on both sides by embroidered laurel wreaths, with the guards du corps a suite of oak leaves. In addition, old white and blue ribbons were hung on the Leibstandarte. The 2nd (3rd and 4th Squadron) and 3rd Divisions (5th and 6th Squadron) had blue standards that were embroidered with silver or gold. On April 30, 1818 August Graf von Lerchenfeld-Brennberg was appointed Colonel Commander. In May 1819 it took on 80 men from the 1st Cuirassier Regiment. On July 1, 1822, the regiment was disarmed to four squadrons with 500 horses. The bulk of the regiment was quartered in Munich, one squadron in Nymphenburg.

On November 20, 1825 it was renamed the 1st Cuirassier Regiment "Prince Karl of Bavaria" and given up the rank of guard in the course of the austerity measures ordered by King Ludwig I. The body flag and the drums were the armory issued and simplifies uniforms.

The reclassification to the 1st Cuirassier Regiment began on November 30, 1825. The following day, the 1st and 2nd squadrons of the former 1st Cuirassier Regiment were incorporated as 5th and 6th squadrons. The war strength was now 1195 men and 1159 horses, the peace strength 1052 men and 690 horses. From December 15, Friedrich Freiherr von Hertling led the regiment, which was replaced on April 22, 1831 by Leopold Freiherr von Zandt.

On October 28, 1835 it was renamed the "Prince Karl of Bavaria" Cuirassier Regiment , and from April 26, 1848 back to the "Prince Karl of Bavaria" cuirassier regiment . On May 26, 1848, a 7th (reserve) squadron was set up, which was then managed as a depot and dissolved again on January 1, 1857. On October 16, 1849, Lorenz Schäzler was appointed as the first bourgeois commander. On October 21, 1850 four squadrons with 378 cuirassiers were assigned to the corps of Lieutenant General Prince Eduard von Sachsen-Altenburg. At the beginning of 1857, 44 officers, 126 NCOs and 915 cuirassiers were registered as strength, 215 of them on leave. The rampant in 1858 typhus - epidemic left 22 deaths in the regiment. Because of the epidemic, the regiment was housed in Fürstenried , Schleissheim, Freising and Benediktbeuern until 1859 . In 1859 it again took over quarters in Munich, an squadron in Nymphenburg. On April 24, 1859 the 7th Squadron was reestablished, which was disbanded on December 21, 1863. The 5th and 6th Squadrons were temporarily assigned to the combined 3rd Cuirassier Regiment as 1st and 2nd Squadron in 1859 and 1863. In 1862 another squadron was relocated to Nymphenburg and one squadron to Benediktbeuern. On March 26, 1863 Prince Karl donated 10,000  fl to the regiment, the interest of which the regiment commander was to dispose of. For several years the prince gave the regiment about 950 fl for library, music and fencing master. From 1864 the regiment was stationed in the Munich garrison.

Certain physical demands were placed on Bavarian cuirassiers: the heavy cavalry requires a height of at least 5 feet 11 inches, [approx. 172/173 cm] and broad-shouldered, stocky people who have grown out of their hips, so that the cuirass does not fall troublesome by lying on their hips.

War against Prussia 1866

Grave of the veteran Joh. Amling (1866 and 1870/71) of the 1st Bavarian Cuirassier Regiment; Main cemetery Neustadt an der Weinstrasse (2012)

During the mobilization phase, a reserve squadron and a depot were set up in 1866. The regiment entered with twenty officers, two doctors, two officials, 64 NCOs, twelve trumpeters, 415 cuirassiers and 469 horses under the command of Colonel Commander Ernst von Schubaert, who had led the regiment since August 24, 1862, and was divided into four squadrons . It was subordinate to the Cuirassier Brigade of the Reserve Cavalry Corps under General of the Cavalry Fürst Turn und Taxis. After the battle near Hünfeld (Neuwirtshaus) on July 4, 1866, panic broke out in the Bavarian cavalry due to false alarms and a lack of leadership practice. The 2nd and half of the 4th Squadron were completely blown up. It took about a week for most to find their way back to the regiment. One officer was killed, seventeen men and eighteen horses were lost. On July 13, 1866, a lieutenant, 32 cuirassiers and 33 horses were replaced, and on July 22, a lieutenant, 31 cuirassiers and 38 horses were replaced. On July 26, 1866, the regiment's daily strength was given as 19 officers, 47 NCOs, 13 miners, 316 cuirassiers and 376 horses. On the same day the regiment rode an attack at the Hettstädter Höfe.

The regiment had to complain during the German War:

  • Dead: a lieutenant, a trumpeter, four cuirassiers and three horses
  • Wounded: two NCOs, a trumpeter, seven cuirassiers
  • Missing: nine cuirassiers and 19 horses.

On August 18, 1866, Johann Feichtmayr was given command of the regiment. On September 2, the reserve squadron and the depot were disbanded. On May 11, 1867, the 1st and 4th squadrons of the 3rd cuirassier regiment were incorporated, the regiment was now divided into five squadrons. On August 1, 1867, the regiment gave 82 men to the 3rd Chevaulegers Regiment . A year later (August 1, 1868) four cuirassiers, a blacksmith, a saddler and thirteen horses were transferred to the equitation institute .

War against France 1870/71

On July 29, 1870, the regiment, divided into four field squadrons, mobilized a total of 620 cuirassiers, 618 horses and seven vehicles. It was subordinated to the Heavy Cavalry Reserve of the I. Army Corps (Lieutenant General von und zu der Tann ). At Beaumont on August 30, 1870 and at Bazeilles on September 1, 1870 it was held as a reserve. From September 5th to 24th the regiment was charged with guarding transports of prisoners of war. On September 6, 1870, one officer, three non-commissioned officers and fifty cuirassiers arrived on September 6, and 110 men and 50 horses on October 6. At Chevilly , the regiment entered with a combat strength of 21 officers and 537 men under the command of the Prussian 4th Cavalry Division " Prince Albrecht ". Twenty French men were captured by two squadrons, but they also had to mourn the first one who fell. In the vicinity of Orléans , the regiment performed reconnaissance on October 12, 1870. The 2nd squadron was able to establish a connection with the Prussian 22nd Division . A cuirassier and two horses were wounded. In the battle of Coulmiers on November 9, 1870, the regiment suffered losses of two dead and four wounded, and a cuirassier was missing. The combat strength at the end of the day was twenty officers and 571 men. For the battle at Villepion on December 1, 1870, the regiment with a strength of twenty officers and 486 men entered, the illnesses due to the cold, wet weather made themselves felt in terms of the combat strength. The next day on December 2nd it was used for defense and lost two horses. On December 6th, at Beaugency , it took part in the pursuit of French troops without loss. From January 4 to June 2, 1871, the regiment was deployed in the siege ring of Paris near Grisy, Cossigny and Charenton. Rittmeister Rhomberg and NCOs Gstatter, Bechteler and Edmayer were allowed to participate in the imperial proclamation in Versailles on January 18, 1871. On June 2, 1871, they marched from Paris to Strasbourg , which the troops reached on July 9, 1871. A day later the regiment was back in Munich. The daily duty strength on July 8, 1871 was given as 18 officers, 494 men and 493 horses.

The regiment had to complain during the war

  • three fallen cuirassiers and six dead horses
  • four wounded
  • three missing people and one runaway horse and
  • fifteen men who died of disease.

On February 18, 1873, Prince Leopold of Bavaria took command of the regiment. On November 1, 1875, Edmund Rhomberg was appointed commander of the regiment, and Prince Leopold was placed à la suite in 1878 . In 1876 the cuirass and the metal helmet were handed over. This ended the regiment's time as battle cavalry. On November 29, 1878 it was renamed the 1st Heavy Cavalry Regiment "Prince Karl of Bavaria" . In 1880 a member of the Wittelsbach family, Prince Max Emanuel in Bavaria, was placed à la suite. In 1882 the regiment received the standard of the 1st Division , which it held until 1919. On September 9, 1897, Prince Leopold was appointed owner of the regiment, but it kept the designation "Prince Karl of Bavaria". In March 1900, a squadron of hunters on horseback was set up, which was recruited by surrendering all cavalry regiments. It had a combat strength of one captain, four officers, one veterinarian, sixteen non-commissioned officers and 118 men and was subordinate to the regiment. For the China expedition in 1900, a platoon consisting of one officer, three non-commissioned officers and 27 men were selected and assigned from the more than sixty volunteer registrations. In 1902 the Schweren Reiter moved into the newly built Prinz-Leopold-Kaserne on Oberwiesenfeld . This eliminated the daily ritual of parading through the city from the Isar to the Oberwiesenfeld, which the people of Munich very much regretted. Wasn't it an attraction when 700 riders rode through the city every day with their lances with waving white-blue pennants and in blue uniform, supported by a cavalry music corps, and entertained the people in their gray everyday life. When she passed away on December 6, 1902, the daughter Stephanie of Rittmeister Karl Zur Westen, who died in 1872, left the regiment 20,000 Reichsmarks, the interest of which was to be distributed on November 4 at the discretion of the regimental commander. In 1904/05 some riders fought as volunteers in South West Africa . On October 1, 1905, the squadron hunters on horseback was transferred as 1st squadron to the newly established 7th Chevaulegers Regiment . From July 15, 1892 to December 18, 1899, Prince Alfons of Bavaria was regimental commander and from 1901 was à la suite. During this time, on September 9, 1897, Prince Leopold of Bavaria was appointed owner of the regiment. The then general of the cavalry, Prince Leopold of Bavaria, donated 10,000 Reichsmarks to the regiment on November 11, 1905, the interest of which was to be used to obtain riding and shooting prices as well as for the members of the officers' restaurant. From March 31, 1910 to October 1, 1912, a member of the royal family was once again the commander of the regiment: Prince Franz of Bavaria , who handed over command to Major Joseph von Tannstein called Fleischmann. Also in 1912, Colonel Duke Ernst August von Braunschweig was placed à la suite. The Duke, who had served as a first lieutenant in the regiment for five years, donated 10,000 Reichsmarks to the regiment in 1913. In July 1914 the regiment celebrated its centenary. At the suggestion of the state parliament were him by King Ludwig III. The beautiful drums of the Garde du Corps regiment were handed over again, but they had to be handed in again on August 2, 1914 because of the mobilization . Rittmeister Luitpold Graf Wolffskeel von Reichenberg and Lieutenant Baron von Koenitz left the regiment before the beginning of the First World War and switched to the newly formed air force .

First World War


Rider of the regiment in field gray uniform (1915)

At the beginning of the First World War, the regiment entered with its 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th squadrons with a strength of 36 officers, 690 riders and 760 horses. It was subordinate to the 1st Cavalry Brigade / Cavalry Division . The 3rd squadron was a replacement squadron. In addition, the 1st Landwehr Squadron and the 1st Landsturm Squadron of the 1st Army Corps of the 6th Army were set up by the regiment in August 1914 . From 6 to 14 August 1914, the regiment was used as a border guard in Lorraine . The 2nd squadron under Rittmeister Prince Heinrich of Bavaria led the regiment's first and last classic cavalry attack at Gondrexon on August 13, 1914. One non-commissioned officer was killed, sixteen horses and five men were wounded, including Prince Heinrich. In the further course of the battle in Lorraine until August 23, 1914, there were only minor personnel losses, although 200 horses were lost due to death or illness. In the fighting at the Côtes Lorraines from September 9th to 30th there were losses of five dead and three wounded. Then the regimental commander Major Joseph von Tannstein was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Military Max Joseph Order on October 6, 1914 . In fighting in the Lille - Lens area from October 4 to 12, 1914, one rider and six horses were killed on October 7, two officers and ten riders were wounded and one rider and 49 horses were missing. On October 13th another officer and thirteen horsemen were wounded near Neuf-Berquin. Briefly deployed on the Lys in mid-October , the regiment reached the Ypres area , where it remained until November 4, 1914. During the storming of Hollebeke on October 21st and 24th, the regiment suffered the loss of thirty fallen or wounded riders. Before Gheluvelt (November 2nd to 4th, 1914) 200 riders had to "sit down" and a rifle squadron was formed.

The regiment's losses over the past thirty days are unknown. Compared to those of the cavalry division, however, they were considerable. On November 11, 1914, the longed-for replacement of four NCOs, 72 riders and 92 horses arrived. In the battles at Warneton on November 14th and 29th, the regiment lost nine horsemen, two of them dead.


From January 21st to March 30th, 1915, the regiment was an army reserve in the fortress of Metz . During that time, three NCOs, 122 riders and 142 horses were replaced. Then it was moved to the Eastern Front and from April 1915 was deployed in the " Lauenstein " army group in Lithuania and Courland . On April 26th, initially in Rossienie , two days later they faced a difficult battle at Kielmy . In the battle near Schaulen on April 29 and 30, 1915, the 2nd and 5th Squadrons succeeded in destroying the important railway line at Radziwilischki . The reconnaissance department of the "Gonnermann" regiment of the 1st and 4th Squadrons took 300 prisoners. On May 1, 1915, the reconnaissance department "Gonnermann" successfully fought at Poszwityn , for which Rittmeister Karl Gonnermann was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Military Max Joseph Order . After the battle of Beisagola on May 5, we moved on May 7 after Kiejdany and was used there to secure the Cavalry Division to Kople-Dolne. From Krakinow (May 8) via Szadow (May 9) the regiment came to Szawlany (May 10), where it was used for security. At Skaisgiry the containment of Russian troops was successful. On May 11, 1915, there was a heavy battle at the Johanpol manor in the Szydlowo area , and people had to go behind the Dubissa . On May 28, 1915, the regiment reached Jozefowo. On May 29, the regiment took part in the attack of the Cavalry Division in conjunction with the Prussian 3rd Cavalry Division on Lawgola-Swirnie. It reached Cytowiany by the end of June . On July 1, 1915, Kurt Scherf was given command of the regiment, which he held until the end of the war. After that, the regiment had to hold a 35 km wide section of land between Szydlowo and Lake Rekijiew until July 13, 1915 . On July 25, 1915, the regiment at Kineiki went into pursuit of the Russians. On August 3rd and 4th there was a skirmish near Onikschty . After violent reconnaissance around Wilkomierz (August 6th and 7th) it fought on August 12th and 19th, 1915 in the battle of Schymany-Ponedeli. At the Swienta and Jara , the regiment went into defense on August 20, 1915 and had to endure trench warfare until September 8. From September 9 to October 2, 1915, the regiment was deployed near Vilna . By October 1915, the number of horses was reduced to around fifty horses per squadron. At the Komeika (tributary of the Birveta ) the advance came to an end and the regiment took up position on October 20, 1915 between Mazischki and Swirki Lake.


That year a machine gun squadron was set up. In mid-April the regiment was pulled from the front to the Kovno - Olita area for recreation, where it stayed until July 6, 1916. On July 8, 1916, the regiment was transferred to the Stochod to take part in the defense against the Russian Brusilov offensive . During the fighting at Tscherwishche and Toboly from August 18 to 30, 1916, the regiment suffered heavy losses, which was repeated again on September 10. The trench warfare on the Stochod dragged on until early 1917.


On July 13, 1917, the regiment on the Lomeika was involved in the fighting for the heights near Berlohy. On July 19, it resisted the Russian attacks at Brody-Stanislau in Galicia . On July 26, 1917, the regiment under the Cavalry Division began the counterattack at Kolomea , which ended at Sadagora on August 5, 1917. The regimental commander, Lieutenant Colonel Kurt Scherf, was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Military Max Joseph Order for the extremely dashing execution of the counterattack. From September 3 to November 20, 1917, it was used in the Radautz area in trench warfare. With the peace treaty of Brest-Litovsk , the regiment was used from November 21, 1917 as an occupying force in the Ploieşti - Piteşti - Slatina -Sivstowo area.


On March 14, 1918, the regiment moved via Kiev and Odessa to Nikolayev , where it performed security tasks until the beginning of April 1918. On April 18 and 19, 1918, it captured the isthmus near Perekop in Crimea . Until May 2, 1918, the regiment remained in the eastern part of the Crimea as an occupation force. On May 2, 1918, the Kerch regiment captured . On May 24, 1918, the regiment was involved in the battle near Eigenfeld in the Crimea , today Ujutnoe . After reaching Grammatikowa on April 26, it was used as a garrison of Tauria until the end of June . In mid-December 1918 the regiment was north of Lugansk on the eastern border of Ukraine .

The regiment's total casualties during the First World War were given as 12 officers and 194 NCOs and men.


In January 1919, the regiment moved from the east to return to Bavaria. After arriving at the garrison, the regiment was demobilized and finally disbanded on September 30, 1919.

The tradition was taken over by the 4th Squadron of the 17th (Bavarian) Cavalry Regiment in Straubing in the Reichswehr .


  • Parade march on foot: "Military March" by Ludwig Rixner
  • Parade march in step: "Military March" by Ludwig Rixner
  • Parade march at a trot: "Lily of the Valley Polka" by Gustav Michalis
  • Parade march at a gallop: “Gallop March” by Johann Sonntag
  • Presentation march: "Crusader fanfare" by Richard Henrion


See also


  • Günter Wegner: Germany's armies until 1918. Volume 11: Bavaria: Cavalry, artillery, technical troops. Biblio publishing house. Osnabrück 1984. ISBN 3-7648-1199-4 .
  • Karl von Gonnermann : The KB 1st Heavy Rider Regiment Prince Karl of Bavaria in the World War 1914–1918. (at the same time 4th part of the history of the regiment) (= memorial sheets of German regiments. Bavarian Army. Vol. 86). Fancy. Munich 1936.
  • Konrad Krafft von Dellmensingen , Friedrichfranz Feeser : The Bavaria book of the world wars 1914-1918. 2 volumes. Chr. Belser AG publishing bookstore. Stuttgart 1930.
  • Josef von Tannstein: Overview of the activities of the KBI Heavy Rider Regiment Prince Carl of Bavaria in the war of 1914/18. Homeland. Munich 1921.
  • Baptist Schrettinger: The Royal Bavarian Military Max Joseph Order and its members. R. Oldenbourg. Munich 1882.

Web links

Commons : Royal Bavarian 1st Heavy Rider Regiment "Prince Karl of Bavaria"  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Correct name, according to the regimental history.
  2. ^ Friedrich von Meier: Handbook on the Army Supplementary Law [of August 15, 1828], Munich 1857, p. 168, link