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Kaiser Wilhelm II in Naval Uniform.

 

Imperial German Cavalry Uniforms


The following links will take you to individual pages displaying illustrations of the uniforms for each of the major branches of the Imperial German military:

Uniforms and Insignia of The Imperial German Army:
Guard Regiments & Cavalry
Line Infantry, Jäger & Schutzen
Artillery & Support Troops
Headquarters, General Staff & Cadet Schools
The Imperial German Navy & Colonial Forces:
Fleet
Admiralty
Schutztruppen
 

 

   

The dash and colour of pre-WW1 military uniforms cannot fail to fire the imagination. Different regiments adopted uniform styles based on medieval history or traditional costumes of Eastern Europe.

Guard Regiments - The Kaiser's elite regiments, all granted permission to use the star of the Order of the Black Eagle in their regimental insignia. These troops were charged with guarding the Kaiser and were often deployed to handle the toughest battle situations.

Dress uniforms of the Kaiser's elite guard regiments - 1912.

The Kaiser's cavalry regiments can be roughly divided into Heavy, medium and ligh cavalry. The elite were the cuirassiers, the heavy cavalry, borrowing their "lobstertail" helmets and breastplates from the knights of the Middle Ages:

Dress uniforms of Imperial German cavalry regiments - 1914.

Hussars - Decked out in their fur busby, "kolpak," headgear and "Attila" jackets, hussar troops were feared for their swift, ferocious attacks, like the Cossack horsemen they were patterned after.

Uhlans - The medium cavalry of the Kaiser's army were the Uhlan regiments, with their unusual, "Tschapka" helmets, with the flat "mortarboard" top, patterned after the heroic Tatar lancers, of Poland. Travelling light and quick, the uhlans were often deployed to make rapid, penetrating attacks in advance of a main invading force - probing for weak points, capturing prisoners for intelligence.

Dress uniforms of Prussian husar and ulan regiments-1914.


Dragoons - Also referred to as musketeers, dragoons were a compromise between cavalry and infantry, the Kaiser's mounted rifle troops, highly mobile and quick to deploy. Their link to the infantry is demonstrated by the special pickelhaube helmet they adopted, similar to the line troops' pickelhaube, but with a squared visor.

Other cavalry formations included Chevauleger (Light Cavalry), Garde Reiter (Mounted (Royal) Guards, Leibgendarmerie (The Kaiser's Life Guards) and Stabbsordonnanzen and Stabswachen (Staff Guards).

The Kaiser's key reserve cavalry units were the Jäger zu Pferde horsemen (Mounted Rifle or Mounted Skirmisher units).

Dress uniforms of Prussian curassier, dragoon and Jaeger zu Pferde regiments

 

 

 

 


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