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When was the last instance of a unit of cavalry charging? I know that the Polish forces had units of cavalry during World War II and those were used against Nazi units but was there any later than that?

Edited notes: Got my original facts wrong. Polish cavalry did not charge tanks but did charge units of Nazi troops at Krojanty. That charge was successful but the battle was lost. However, cavalry charges were used during the war but not as the popular myth has it. Source: guardian, historynet and wikipedia.

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  • Not sure if this question belongs here? google.com.au/… – RedBlueThing Oct 13 '11 at 9:54
  • If you downvote, please leave a comment as to how to improve the question. Thanks. – Sardathrion - against SE abuse Oct 13 '11 at 10:25
  • That down vote wasn't me, but I have raised a meta question on the suitability of the question. Feel free to come and discuss. meta.history.stackexchange.com/questions/46/… – RedBlueThing Oct 13 '11 at 11:08
  • I think "charge" might be slightly misleading in the title. Perhaps renaming it to "When was the last cavalry used?" Of course ignoring the recent "cavalries" that exist in the modern military by way of tanks or helos. – Sorcerer Blob Oct 13 '11 at 13:00
  • @GPierce helos would be more like "horse archers" than "cavalry" imo – user2296 May 21 '13 at 23:33
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Even in modern combat horses are still used. There was a book written about US Special Forces soldiers in Afghanistan who relied heavily on horses in combat. The book is called Horse Soldiers.

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  • +1 - Nomads in Africa still use horses and camels in military actions and raids against farming villages. – T.E.D. Jun 22 '12 at 17:08
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    Use of horses and cavalry charge are two different things. Does this book mention charges in particular? – Darek Wędrychowski Mar 29 '13 at 10:45
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There was a number of minor fight incidents, involving cavalry units during WW2, see here or here. However cavalry was used as a mean of transportation, or as a mounted infantry.

The last significant battle where cavalry used as a separate combat arms seems to be battle of Komarow in August 1920, during Polish-Soviet war.

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    This is incorrect. Perhaps this was the last use of cav as a separate combat arm, but the last charge was March 1, 1945 when the the 1st Warsaw Cavalry Brigade charged through German lines to return to their Soviet allies. – RedBlueThing Oct 13 '11 at 11:13
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    That incident could be the last cavalry charge indeed, but it was a minor episode (7 KIA and 10 WIA), and not a major event. More info in Polish: pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/… – Nikita Barsukov Oct 13 '11 at 11:32
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    Yep I agree it was minor, but still more recent than your example. The OP doesn't specify a minimum size. – RedBlueThing Oct 13 '11 at 22:32
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    Red Army definitely used cavalry at least to the end of WWII. Red Army included 19 army cavalry corpses and 7 guards cavalry corpses during WWII, each corps consisting of three divisions. – Anixx Mar 21 '12 at 16:59
  • @Anixx: but do you have evidence they were used as such? – Felix Goldberg Nov 28 '12 at 20:42
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One of the last significant cavalry charges was the Charge of the Savoia Cavalleria at Izbushensky August 24, 1942 when the Italian Reggimento "Savoia Cavalleria" (3°) performed a charge against the Soviet 812th Rifle Regiment near Избушенский (Izbushensky).

In the early morning, Italian scouts discovered Soviet troops preparing a surprise attack. With surprise spoiled, the Soviets attacked the encamped Italians. Colonel Alessandro, commanding the regiment, ordered a cavalry charge with saber and grenade as a last resort. 2nd squadron (100 horsemen) used a gorge to outflank the Soviets and began storming along the entrenched infantry line.

2nd squadron took heavy casualties. Rather than breaking, the Soviets would shelter in their holes until the cavalry passed, then get up to fire into their backs. Alessandro ordered 4th squadron to dismount and launch a frontal attack while 2nd squadron regrouped behind the Soviets for another charge. 3rd squadron then charged in the open taking awful casualties.

The regiment lost over 100 horses, but the charge relieved pressure and delayed the Soviets by 24 hours.

This was pointed out by The Armchair Historian in his video Times Italy WAS Effective in WWII, though I think his statement of 1050 Soviet casualties are overblown.

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While not military, but the police in Malmö, Sweden performed several cavalry charges in 2014.Polisens kavallerichock får hård kritik video

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  • The Dutch police used horses last week to control riots. Police use of horses is somewhat different from military use. – Jos Feb 24 at 4:39
  • @Jos Yes, using horses for crowd control is standard procedure. A cavalry charge isn't. youtu.be/OB0-MXNPUIU – liftarn Feb 24 at 9:12

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