1st Cavalry Division (Kingdom of Yugoslavia)
The 1st Cavalry Division of the Royal Yugoslav Army was established in 1921. It was part of the Yugoslav 1st Army Group during the German-led World War II Axis invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941. The divisional headquarters and all attached units were captured by armed Croat fifth column groups, or surrendered to German troops.
About 1st Cavalry Division (Kingdom of Yugoslavia) in brief
The 1st Cavalry Division of the Royal Yugoslav Army was established in 1921. In peacetime it consisted of two cavalry brigade headquarters commanding a total of four regiments. It was part of the Yugoslav 1st Army Group during the German-led World War II Axis invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941. The divisional headquarters and all attached units were then captured by armed Croat fifth column groups, or surrendered to German troops. Shortly before the end of the war, an abortive abortive engineer squadron was established before the division was fully mobilised. The theoretical strength of a Fully mobilised Yugoslav cavalry division was 6,000–7,000 men, with a maximum strength of 8,000. The 2nd CavalryDivision, which was manned by a mixture of full-time and part-time personnel, was located in southeastern Yugoslavia’s Niš region. It consisted of four cavalry squadrons, a machine gun squadron, an engineer squadron, and an anti-aircraft squadron. The brigade headquarters was based in Belgrade, and the division’s cavalry regiments were based in Zagreb. It had a wartime organisation specifying one cavalry brigade HQ commanding two or three regiments, and divisional-level combat and support units.
The 1st cavalry brigade was the only cavalry brigade in the Yugoslav Army during the Second World War. The German 14th Panzer Division captured the division on 10 April 1941, with the rest of the division being detached for duty with other formations of the 1stArmy Group. The army was formed around the nucleus of the victorious Royal Serbian Army, as well as armed formations raised in regions formerly controlled by Austria-Hungary. Many former Austro-Hungarian officers and soldiers became members of the new army. In 1929, King Alexander changed the name of the country to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, at which time the army was renamed the Royal Yugoslavia Army. From the beginning, much like other aspects of public life in the new kingdom, theArmy was dominated by ethnic Serbs, who saw it as a means by which to secure political hegemony for the large Serb minority. The weaknesses of the VKJ in strategy, structure, equipment, mobility and supply were exacerbated by serious ethnic disunity within Yugoslavia, resulting from two decades of Serb hegemony.