I came across a reference in a history book to the Soviet 4th Cossack Cavalry Corps attacking and defeating Axis tanks during the Battle of Kushchevskaya. In the book this is presented as an "actual" cavalry charge, not just mounted infantry, with men on horseback carrying sabers attacking tanks and artillery "like an avalanche" and driving them from the field.

I'm curious because as far as I'm aware men on horseback charging against tanks and winning is unprecedented, but the book doesn't give any more details on the battle and I haven't been able to find any other references to the battle specifically or Cossack cavalry fighting tanks in general in English.

The date of the battle is not given, but in context occurred in late 1941 or later. The book also claims that the 4th Cossack Cavalry Corps was raised to the status of a Guards corps shortly afterward, which may help in dating it.

Did this battle actually happen as described? If so, were there any unmentioned factors that explain the outcome?

  • If you liked such stories, I'd gather you will love the hilarious story of the Night Witches. – Denis de Bernardy May 14 '19 at 18:23
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    There's quite detailed wikipedia page in Russian. In short: there're controversial versions, but in summary it was not pure cavalry vs. tanks fight. Both sides actually had artillery, tanks, infantry and so on. – seven-phases-max May 14 '19 at 18:30
  • And the Molotov cocktail within close range of a tank was a deadly weapon. Not saying that it was used, but there are tactics in which tanks loose their superiority in battle. – Ajagar May 15 '19 at 21:36
  • @Ajagar Btw., some sources claim that the cavalry did destroy a few tanks in that fight with Molotov (the other sources doubt this though). Either way while the cossack rush was decisive, the key point about that particular fight is that their target were infantry and then artillery/mortar lines near the village, not tanks. – seven-phases-max May 15 '19 at 23:34
  • To get more specific answers mention the book you refer to in the body of your question. – Ajagar May 18 '19 at 23:50

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