Guard Dragoon Regiment (1st Grand Ducal Hessian) No. 23 - Garde-Dragoner-Regiment (1. Großherzoglich Hessisches) Nr. 23

The Guard - Dragoons . Regiment (1st Grand Duchy of Hesse) No 23 1914 was one of the two cavalry regiments of the Grand Ducal Hessian army, as a contingent in the Prussian Army had set.

Garde-Chevaulegers 1859

Organization and association membership

Commanding General : Adjutant General of His Majesty the Emperor and King General of the Infantry Dedo von Schenck
Commander : Lieutenant General Otto von Plüskow


Chevaulegers um 1866

On April 6, 1790, Landgrave Ludwig X of Hessen-Darmstadt ordered the establishment of a cavalry regiment that was to be named Chevaulegers Regiment . It was initially formed into three squadrons and garrisoned in Bickenbach , later in Kranichstein Castle . In 1793 the regiment was reinforced to four squadrons and moved with garrisons to Bessungen, Griesheim and Pfungstadt . From 1799 the locations were only in Bessungen and in the Darmstadt residence.

On August 18, 1806, Grand Duke Ludwig I named the regiment "Garde Chevaulegers Regiment"

With a decree of December 1, 1859, Grand Duke Ludwig III. the reclassification of the previous "Guard Chevaulegers Regiment" into two cavalry regiments and one cavalry brigade. The 1st regiment was named "Garde Chevaulegers Regiment" , the 2nd regiment the name "Leib Chevaulegers Regiment" .

The two regiments were stationed in Darmstadt and (one Esc. GCR from 1818 - or two Esc. LCR) in the Chevaulegers barracks in Butzbach .

Garde Dragoner 1901

With the military convention of April 7, 1867, the Grand Ducal Hessian troops came under Prussian command and in their entirety formed the Grand Ducal Hessian (25th) Division . Together with the troops from the former:

Electorate of Hesse ,
Landgraviate of Hessen-Homburg
and Duchy of Nassau they formed the XVIII. (Hessian) Army Corps.

After the war against France in 1870/71, the Garde Chevaulegers Regiment was renamed and initially bore the name

"1. Grand Ducal Hessian Dragoon Regiment (Guard Dragoon Regiment) No. 23 " ,

which on November 25, 1906 again and finally in

"Guard Dragoon Regiment (1st Grand Ducal Hessian) No. 23" was changed.

Since the barracks in Butzbach was needed in 1898 for the 1st Battalion of the newly established 5th Grand Ducal Hessian Infantry Regiment No. 168 , the dragoons there moved to Darmstadt, so that the entire Hessian cavalry was now united in one garrison.

Cavalry barracks in Darmstadt 1899

The Castle barracks of Chevaulegers in Butzbach was the oldest and fiscal longest unused barracks Europe (in operation from 1818 to 1992).

Battle calendar

  • In the Revolutionary War against France , the regiment fought on the side of the coalition ( Prussia / Austria ) in the Palatinate and the Netherlands until 1796 . After Hesse-Darmstadt was forced into the Rhine Confederation by Napoléon I , the Chevaulegers fought against Prussia in 1806/07, against Austria in 1809 and against Russia in 1812. In 1813 the regiment fought on the French side near Großgörschen , Bautzen and against the alliance of Napoleon's opponents. In the Battle of Nations near Leipzig It stood with the 92 rider strong 1st Escadron in the French 29th Light Cavalry Brigade of the 38th Infantry Division in the 4th Corps of Général Bertrand.

After Hesse left the Confederation of the Rhine and switched to the victorious powers, the regiment did not make any notable missions in the battles of 1814/15.

  • In 1848 the Chevaulegers fought against insurgents in southern Baden.

German war

In the war against Prussia in 1866, the regiment was part of the VIII Federal Army Corps together with Austrian, Baden , Bavarian and Württemberg troops . The unfortunate course of this campaign in the Aschaffenburg - Würzburg area against the Prussian Main Army under Colonel General von Manteuffel forced Hessen-Darmstadt to conclude peace with Prussia on September 3, 1866, and to withdraw its troops from the Federal Army .

(From here on, the regiment always fought together with its sister regiment , the Leib Chevaulegers Regiment )

Franco-German War

In the war against France in 1870/71, the regiment at Vionville and Mars la Tour (August 16-18) was only used to a limited extent. It later participated in the enclosure of Metz and was used against the French Loire Army after the city fell . (Fights at Orléans on December 3rd and 4th, 1870). After that, the war was practically over for the Guard Chevaulegers.

First World War

At the beginning of the First World War in August 1914, the now dragoons fought first in the Ardennes and then advanced to the Rhine-Marne Canal . After the Battle of the Marne and the order to withdraw in September, they had to retreat to the Aisne . The regiment was then transferred to Flanders and took part in the Battle of Ypres . After that, in the spring of 1915, it was moved to the eastern theater of war. In the War of Movement, the Dragoons fought in Lithuania and Courland and near Vilnius in September 1915.

In 1916 the regiment found itself engaged in trench warfare in Galicia and was used in the campaign against Romania in 1917 (November 1916 to February 1917). In March 1917 it was relocated to the Western Front . Here the dragoons provided border protection on the Dutch border until 1917 . After that, the regiment relocated to the east and operated in the Kovel area and in Ukraine .


Until December 1918 there was security service in the occupied eastern territory against insurgent and Bolshevik troops. Then the march back home followed, which was associated with great difficulties, as it had to be covered in part fighting.

On January 16, 1919, the regiment arrived in Laubach , was demobilized and dissolved by May 1, 1919. Until its dissolution, it had retained its status as a cavalry regiment.

The tradition in the Reichswehr continued the training squadron of the 16th Cavalry Regiment in Hofgeismar by decree of the Chief of the Army Command, General of the Infantry Hans von Seeckt on August 24, 1921 .


Peace uniform 1914:

  • Tunic and trousers made of dark green cloth (in contrast to the other dragoon units in the German Army, which otherwise wore light blue skirts and black trousers in the Prussian pattern)
  • Swedish surcharges
  • red badge color
  • white lace on the collar and lapels
  • Helmet fitting: armored, crowned Hessian lion in three-quarter oak leaves / laurel wreath in white metal
  • Helmet: Infantry helmet (in contrast to the other dragoon regiments) with black hair bush, round front visor and white and red country cockade (As Chevaulegers, they still wore a helmet with a black caterpillar according to the Bavarian pattern and the name "L" without further decoration on the front.)
  • Red epaulets with yellow crown and signature "L"
  • Buttons in white
  • Lance flag white-red

Already ordered by AKO on February 14, 1907 and gradually introduced from 1909/10, the colorful uniform was replaced for the first time by the field-gray field service uniform (M 1910) on the occasion of the imperial maneuver in 1913. The leather gear and the boots were natural brown, the helmet was covered by a fabric cover called reed-colored. The bandolier and the cartridge were no longer attached to this uniform.


  • Karl von Zimmermann: 1st Grand Ducal Hessian Dragoon Regiment (Guard Dragoon Regiment) No. 23 from 1790 to the present. Berlin 1894. in the Internet Archive
  • v. Ulrich: The Guard Dragoons Regiment (1st Grand Ducal Hessian) No. 23. Oldenburg / Berlin 1923.
  • Otto von Brandenstein: The Guard Dragoon Regiment 1st Grand Ducal Hessian No. 23, 1914-1919, Wittich 1931
  • Hugo FW Schulz: The Prussian Cavalry Regiments 1913/1914. Weltbild Verlag 1992.
  • HA Eckert, Dietrich Monten: The German Armed Forces. Harenberg publishing house 1990.
  • Jürgen Kraus : The German Army in the First World War. Uniforms and equipment. Militaria Publishing House, Vienna 2004.