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German Cavalry Uniform 1914


jnickwilliams
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I'm trying to identify the unit that one of my German great grandfathers served in, and have attached a photo taken in 1914: can his unit be identified from this? My problem is: he was stable master to the Count von Der Schulenburg at Wolfsburg and he went to war in 1914 with the Count's son who was a Lieutenant in the King's Uhlan Regiment (1st Hannoverisches) no. 13. However, his medals are an Iron Cross 2nd Class, a 4th Army  badge 1914-15 (Feldzug 4 Armee 1914-15) and a 47th Reserve Division (Eiserne Division 47 Res.) with battle honours an (association medal). This Division had the Reserve Cavalry Detachment no. 47 (a new unit) as part of its ORBAT from 1914 to 1916: does anyone know what type of cavalry/uniform they wore? Both were in France at first, which fits my knowledge, and then both went to the Eastern Front in later 1914. Is it possible that a Squadron of the Kings was attached to he 47th? The 47th were attached to the Austro-Hungarian 4th Army when they arrived. Both came back to the Western Front in 1916 - early 1917 which does not fit my photos. However by late 1916 no.3 Squadron 13 Uhlan Regiment was attached to the new 225 Division(along with an Infantry regiment from the 47th) in the Carpathians, which does fit photos I have from 1917 of mountain scenery, cavalry and place names.

I've been struggling with this for a while, so any help would be great.

Regards,

Nick1594094731_1914HinrichHeidtmann.jpg.b68e2e2c208435ce9d4aca831e50af26.jpg

 

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He is wearing the Czapska (distinctive square-topped helmet of Polish origin) of an ‘Uhlan’ (Lancer) Regiment. These were light cavalry with quite a fearsome reputation, and used for reconnaissance and outpost duty as well as for shock action when their long lances enabled them to potentially outreach opposing cavalry who were not armed in the same way.  However, they suffered greatly of course up against cavalry that dismounted and used accurate musketry and light machine guns to bring them down.  There were a number of well recorded encounters between Uhlans and British and French cavalry in 1914 (the enclosed colour artwork relates to a clash with the British 9th Lancers).  The jacket of Uhlans was also of a special design and double breasted with a type of front called ‘plastron’ that could be unfastened and reversed to show a contrasting colour.  Lancers originated with the Polish cavalry of Napoleon’s Armies and their effective offensive action in a charge led to other Nations adopted their own lancers in response.  See: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/patrickbaty/german-cavalry-uhlans/

 

 

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Edited by FROGSMILE
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I checked the regimental history of the Ulanen-Regiment 13 and a Lt. Graf von der Schulenburg is mentioned regularly there. Looking at the Tschapka in the picture, this definitely looks like Ulanen-Regiment 13 (the unit had a distinctive badge with the guard eagle and a few bandeaus).

These Reserve-Kavallerie-Abteilungen are very elusive and difficult to find a lot about. I don't know which unit raised Res.Kav.Abt. 47, but most likely this was a Westphalian cavalry regiment, making it improbable that Lt. von der Schulenburg was ever attached there (the Ehrenrangliste also doesn't mention this).

I'll have a closer look at the regimental history of Ulanen-Regiment 13 to see whether I can find anything more.

 

Jan

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I just found Reserve-Kavallerie-Abteilung 47. They were connected to Husaren-Regiment 8, which doesn't fit with the Ulanen uniform.

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Hi,

can you give us the name of your relative, place of birth and maybe date of birth?

The unit he served with (Res Kav. Abt. 47) was attached (as you already noted) to the 47. Res. Division which published an illustrated account of their action in the war:

47. Reserve-Division (Hrsg.): In West und Ost. Kriegsbilder aus der Geschichte der 47. Reserve-Division. F. Bruckmann Verlag, München 1917.

The only real medal you mentioned, was of course the EKII. The two others were informal badges.

Best,

GreyC

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38 minutes ago, GreyC said:

Hi,

can you give us the name of your relative, place of birth and maybe date of birth?

The unit he served with (Res Kav. Abt. 47) was attached (as you already noted) to the 47. Res. Division which published an illustrated account of their action in the war:

47. Reserve-Division (Hrsg.): In West und Ost. Kriegsbilder aus der Geschichte der 47. Reserve-Division. F. Bruckmann Verlag, München 1917.

The only real medal you mentioned, was of course the EKII. The two others were informal badges.

Best,

GreyC

GreyC,

I'm not convinced he served with Res.Kav.Abt. 47 as it doesn't fit with the uniform in the picture (Ulanen-Regiment 13) and the close connection to the von der Schulenburg family.

Jan

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Hi Jan,

you may very well be right there. Without more information as requested, we will be hard pressed to know.

GreyC

Edited by GreyC
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Many thanks for your time and all of this information. You asked for more details.

My g. grandfather was Hinrich Heidtmann, born 6.8.1869 in the Khedingen area near the Elbe estuary. My mother (and she must have been told this - she was 10 when he died) said he joined the Hanoverian army as a young man and became an excellent horseman - this was where he first met the Count von Der Schulenburg: this must have been Werner who joined the 1st Hannoverians in 1877 and left in 1892 as a Rittmeiseter to manage the Wolfsburg estates for his father. In the 1890's he was appointed stable master at Wolfsburg Castle. In 1914 Hinrich went to war with the count's son (Gunther - I read that he joined the Regiment in 1911 as a Lieutenant and was appointed Brigade Adjutent in 1918). She said he saved the son's life from French cavalry in 1914 and then they went to the Eastern Front. A photo shows that Gunther had the Iron Cross by 1915 (no ribbon on Hinrich, but he is a lance corporal), but by 1917 both had it. 

In August 1916 the German War Ministry dictated that every Division was to command just 1 Squadron of cavalry and this was put into immediate effect on the Eastern Front: this could explain why 3rd Squadron / 1st Hannoversches Uhlan Regiment no. 13 joined 225 Division in September. Did they split from the Regiment earlier? And was von der Schulenburg with them? If they were attached to the 47th Reserve Division (who were under a lot of pressure with the Austrians) it would explain his medals. It just seems unlikely that a dedicated soldier would wear badges that he was untitled to have. I have attached a couple more photos. The first (1915)is some ceremonial event: Schulenburg (centre) has his Iron Cross medal plus ribbon, Heidtmann (right) and the owner of the billet (?) a medal. The second from 1917 shows billet, Heidtmann (left) and Schulenburg (standing centre) with (probably) his batman standing right (he appears in several photos acting as a bodyguard at times). The 3rd dated 22.8.1917 shows (on horses) from right Heidtmann, Schulenburg, his batman (?); several have Iron Cross ribbons, plus 2 dogs: a relaxed scene. 

Thank you once again for your time, and any further information would be most appreciated.

 

best regards,

Nick

1915 Heidtmann,  Hinrich, Schulenburg.jpg

1917 Heidtmann, Hinrich, Count.jpg

1917.08.22 Heidtmann.jpg

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Hello,

 

The regimental history mentions that Graf von der Schulenburg belonged to 2. Eskadron, which was divisional cavalry of 205 Infantry Division from late 1916 onwards. Von der Schulenburg is mentioned to have been attached to the divisional staff. Unfortunately the regimental history is very short, so no more details.

Your great grandfather was very (too) old to serve in a normal unit, so he must have been the Bursche (batman in English) to Graf von der Schulenburg. He would have been sent home or to another unit otherwise.

 

Jan

 

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Thanks Jan. That's incredibly helpful. I had no idea about 2 Eskadron. Presumably he was with them from the start. I'll now have to research where 205 Infantry Division were.

Nick

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Jan, sorry to trouble you again. Do you happen to know where/when the 1st Hannoversches Uhlan Regiment no. 13 were in 1914 and 1915 and in particular 2 Eskadron? Unfortunately I have no access to any Regimental history.

Nick 

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Von der Schulenburg belonged to 3. Eskadron earlier in 1915 at least according to the pics in the book.

Ulanen-Regiment 13 belonged to the 9. Kavallerie-Division, being in Belgium, France (Marne) and then the race to the sea (Somme, Northern France and Flanders). The division was then sent to Poland.

 

Jan

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Thanks Jan. Thats very helpful.

 

My quandary now is how to tie up 2 Eskadron with 205 Division in 1917 -they were near Riga - with my photos which are of the Carpathians (some named locations on a postcard) in 1917. 3 Eskadron are on the ORBAT for 225 Division from inception in late 1916 to 1918 and were in the right area to match the pictures, so maybe there was a transfer are some point. 

 

Thanks once again,

Nick

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Nick,

 

It is very difficult for us to comment without actually seeing everything you have.

 

As I said, von der Schulenburg was linked to 3. Eskadron until he is mentioned in 2. Eskadron late 1916/early 1917. Perhaps he was transferred back to 3. Eskadron?

 

Jan

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Jan,

I think you are most likely correct: a transfer back to no. 3 is not impossible and it seems to fit the photographic evidence. 

You have been most helpful and patient.

Nick

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I discovered by accident (while browsing in the regimental history of Kürassier-Regiment 7) that RKA 47 was raised by Kürassier-Regiment 7 but its replacement came from Husaren-Regiment 8 from mid 1915 onwards. The first commander was Rittmeister der Reserve a. D. Bernhard von Krosigk of Ulanen-Regiment 13 (23 August 1914 until 5 July 1915)...

RKA 47 only belonged to 47th Reserve Division until 24 September 1916 (when it was replaced by 4. Eskadron Jäger-Regiment zu Pferde 4), RKA 47 was from then under the command of 217th Infantry Division.

 

We would undoubtedly be able to help more if you would be able to post more of the cards.

 

Jan

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Jan,

Thats very interesting that there is some link between RKA 47 and Ulanen-Regiment 13. I wonder if Lieutenant von der Schulenburg and Hinrich Heidtmann went with Rittmeister der Reserve a. D. Bernhard von Krosigk when he took command of what was a new and inexperienced unit in September 1914, and especially going to Poland in November 1914. That would explain the campaign medals for 1914-15 with 4th Army and the 47th Division that Hinrich had. Do you know where Bernhard von Krosigk went after 5 July 1915? And is there a photo of him?

 

I have attached a few more photos as you suggest.

 

best regards,

Nick391467770_1915_04.13HeidtmannHinrich(left).jpeg.b18ab92ef3c973aaaddc1ff2478d4317.jpeg212861268_1915HinrichHeidtmannrightCountvonSchulenburg.jpeg.fb9487c3a5845655f71cc9272b558d95.jpeg

1915.4.13 Heidtmann, Hinrich 2.jpg

1915.09 Heidtmann 1200m .jpg

1917.01 Heidtmann .jpg

1917.02.26 Heidtmann, Hinrich.jpeg

1917.08.23 Heidtmann, Count.jpg

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