During the war German cavalry units increased in numbers from a single brigade to a larger but still limited force of six cavalry divisions and two corps HQ. All regular cavalry troops served on the Eastern Front and the Balkans and a few Cossack battalions served on the Western Front.

    German and Polish mounted troops fought one of the last significant cavalry vs cavalry clashes, during the Battle of Krasnobrod in 1939.

    The German Army of 1941 had a single cavalry division assigned to Heinz Guderians panzer group. Continuously engaged against Soviet troops, it increased in size to six regiments and in the beginning of 1942 was reformed into the 24th Panzer Division that later perished in the Battle of Stalingrad. In April–June 1943 the Germans set up three separate cavalry regiments (NordMitteSüd) – horse units reinforced with tanks and halftrack-mounted infantry. In August 1944 these regiments were reformed into two brigades and a division forming, together with the Hungarian 1st Cavalry Division, Gustav Hartenek’s Cavalry Corps that operated in Belorussia In February 1945 the brigades were reformed into cavalry divisions (German stud farms in East Prussia were not affected by the Allied air raids that crippled German industry).

    Russia, 1941. SS Cavalry Brigade.

    The SS operated both paramilitary horse units (23 cavalry regiments in 1941) and military Waffen SS cavalry. The SS Cavalry Brigade, formed in 1940, was engaged against civilians and guerrillas in the occupied territories and then severely checked by the Soviet Rzhev-Sychevka offensive. In 1942 the SS reformed the brigade into the 8th SS Cavalry Division manned by Volksdeutche, which operated on the Eastern Front until October 1943. In December 1943 the 8th Cavalry spun off the 22nd SS Cavalry Division manned with Hungarian Germans. These divisions were properly augmented with heavy, field and anti-aircraft artillery. Another SS cavalry division, the 33rd Cavalry, was formed in 1944 but never deployed to full strength.

    The Germans recruited anti-Soviet Cossacks since the beginning of Operation Barbarossa, although Hitler did not approve the practice until April 1942. Army Cossacks of 1942 formed four regiments and in August 1943 were merged into the 1st Cossack Cavalry Division (six regiments,up to 13,000 men) trained in Poland and deployed in Yugoslavia. In November 1944 the division was split in two and reformed into the XV SS Cossack Cavalry Corps. The Kalmyks formed the Kalmykian Cavalry Corps, employed in rear guard duties.

    In February 1945 German and Hungarian cavalry divisions were thrown into the Lake balaton Offensive; after a limited success, German forces were ground down by the Soviet counteroffensive. Remnants of Army cavalry fell back into Austria; 22,000 men surrendered to the Western allies, bringing with them 16,000 horses. Remnants of SS cavalry, merged into the 37th SS Division, followed the same route.

    Item Description

    This is rare to find such a complete WW2 German Cavalry saddle with the 34 Packtashen Saddle bags, Stirrups, leather straps and Saddle Girth. Clear Waffen Ampt stamps with the number 3 indicating 3rd Cavalry Division or Regiment and clear date stamp for 1942. There is nothing to spend on this item to complete it.