Hi, Indy and crew I have a question about the German cavalry during WWII I’m asking because I’m looking for information about the unit of my grandfather’s brother who served in the Wermacht and the only thing I know is that he died on the eastern front. He was shot dead from a horse near Stalingrad. He was probably a high-rank officer because my grandfather’s friend said that when he was in Stalingrad many years after the war his grave was separated as one of the few that were there. So I ask myself, what did the Germans use horses for? All I can think of is scouting, but I’m not 100% sure, and I want to find out which unit he served in. If it gives more information I came from my hometown Racibórz from Upper Silesia now a city located in Poland I would be happy with any help.
I read somewhere that on September 1st, 1939, the only military that was fully mechanized was the United States military. Many armies were still heavily dependent on horses throughout World War 2. Mostly horses were used as draft animals for hauling supplies and troops but there were still mounted cavalry units. In fact the Nazi government put serious effort into an equine breeding program to produce “genetically perfect” cavalry mounts.
German forces that were in Finland used quite a lot off horses, alltought they had to “hide it” from media. Nazi goverment wanted to show all mechaniced image for public view, thought there were horses on all fronts. If i remember right there were about 600 000 horses with germans on attack to soviet in -41.
Just few months ago i had a book about horses in Finnish wars and there were some numbers off german, soviet and finn horses. I have to find it again so i can answer better to you.
" The German and the Soviet armies used horses until the end of the war for transportation of troops and supplies. The German Army, strapped for motorised transport because its factories were needed to produce tanks and aircraft, used around 2.75 million horses – more than it had used in World War I. One German infantry division in Normandy in 1944 had 5,000 horses."
Thank you for the information I hope to find something more in there.
Edit: I found something the 1st Cavalry Division which later was assigned to Heinz Guderian’s panzer group 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 ( Nord , Mitte , Süd ) – horse units reinforced with tanks and halftrack-mounted infantry. So maybe somewhere was there my great uncle. Thank you once again.