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Questions tagged [cavalry]

Part of army that is moving and fighting on horseback. In some areas other animals were used, like camels in Arabia. The modern cavalry units are equipped in helicopters.

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For the French Army under Jean Martinet (d1672) how and why were cavalry used instead of infantry?

For France's army of the period of Jean Martinet (d1672) in the Early modern, how and why were cavalry used instead of infantry? In European warfare the default company is the infantry company. This ...
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Hussars Elite force [closed]

I wanted to write about a group of Hussars light cavalry that wore black feathers head to toe. I saw a book from Poland with a drawing on the inside cover, but I have not been able to find out ...
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Were Mongol or Chinese cavalry charges among the largest in history?

In 1683 at the Battle of Vienna, 20,000 Polish, German and Austrian cavalry charged the Ottoman lines in what Wikipedia says is the largest cavalry charge in history. Other references are more ...
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How did sword cavalry charges work?

With a lance and spear, the momentum of the horseman is concentrated on the tip of a point, allowing him to plow through a formation effectively. How does this work when the horseman has swords or ...
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Did armored cavalry have an advantage over unarmored cavalry in 18th/19th century?

Armor was being phased out during the 1500's as muskets capable of penetrating armor proliferated. By the 18th century, hardly any units on the European battlefields wore armor. Except for one - the ...
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What was the heaviest example of horse armor (barding) from 16th and 17th centuries?

I would like to ask what the heaviest known example of armor for war horses is. Specifically, I'm asking about horse-armor in the 16th and 17th centuries (European, primarily, but I will accept other ...
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Did Song troops spread black beans on the ground as a means to defeat the superior Jin cavalry? If so, in which battle?

According to this page on the website Changing Minds, When the superior Jin cavalry were attacking, the inferior Song troops scattered black beans on the ground which the cavalry horses stopped ...
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Help to identify this sword (Confederate)?

I inherited this sword from my uncle. It is by S & K (Schnitzler & Kirschbaum) with the inspector stamp of 'F.C' although the 'F' is not clear to me. Is it a copy? Measurements are: Blade is ...
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Why did cavalry keep becoming a thing if spears were always around?

There seems to be a pattern in history, starting with bronze age chariots, and ending with the medieval heavy cavalry, where warfare starts to center around highly specialized horse-based soldiers. ...
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How were heavily armored Cataphracts killed?

I've always wondered how an infantry soldier, without a pike (which cavalry wouldn't charge into normally), deliver a fatal blow to a Cataphract? What I know is that Cataphracts were used as heavy ...
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Physics of a heavy cavalry charge?

Can someone explain a heavy cavalry charge? A bunch of 500kg animals smashes into a dense crowd of men at speed of 40km/h. This simply cannot end good for neither side. Let's say the charge fails. The ...
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How Hussars had turned from heavy cavalry into light cavalry?

In 16th century Polish hussars were heavy cavalry, they were what knights became. In 17-18th centuries hussars were light cavalry. How and why did the change happen? Wiki mentions the change, but ...
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What tactical situations made the use of traditional horse cavalry effective in World War II?

In another question When was the last cavalry charge?, answers discussed several occasions where horses were still used in combat, including in cavalry charges. I thought that the invention of the ...
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Is the first visually recorded use of anti-cavalry defences on the Bayeux Tapestry?

The Norman cavalry was feared throughout Northern France before October 1066. Are there any depictions of a working defence against them before Harold II?
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Have human runners delivered messages faster than horses?

Is it true that there have been human runners who have outran horses (over the course of a long period of time)? I have even heard people say that some runners can beat riders who change their horses ...
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Can the Largest Infantry Polearms be Wielded by Cavalry?

Someone was telling me that cavalry can use any polearm infantry can use. Including the largest halberds and pikes that were ever used. I would like to ask if this is feasible and true. I only know ...
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Using a lance while on a charging horse against ground based enemy

In historic light cavalry, if a rider was using a lance, how many times could it be reused? How long before it became a liability by getting someone stuck on the end of it, or got snagged on a body ...
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How far could Mongolian horses travel in a day?

Help! I searched this up on Google and there was nothing, I even looked it up on the Wikipedia. I need information by tomorrow. It is for a project.
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Did cavalry in China use spears instead of swords?

In Japan, yari (spear) seems inferior to katana. In Shogun: Total War, for example. Spear wielding troops are "cheaper" than Samurai. The spear wielding troops are peasants. Samurai are warior classes....
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How common was cavalry in medieval Brittany?

The House of Rohan was a dynasty of French nobles from Rohan, Brittany. The early branch existed from 12th century to about 15th century or so. My question is: to what extent did medieval Brittany (...
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When did cavalry soldiers unsheathe swords?

Most movies depict cavalry's unsheathing of swords before a cavalry charge, far before their swords can ever be used. Is this authentic? The Young Winston (1972) exemplifies the above, but bizarrely....
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What are the capabilities of a warhorse?

I am really curious about the capabilities of warhorses that the military used before the combustion vehicle came and mostly replaced them on modern battlefield. I had read a bit about warhorse, but ...
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Thoroughbred horse history on British Islands prior to 1686

It is well established, but oft overlooked, fact that almost all thoroughbred horses on the British Islands trace their ancestry to a single stallion, called Darley Arabian, brought to Britain by one ...
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How was Takeda defeated at the Battle of Nagashino?

The 1575 Battle of Nagashino resulted in the eventual end of the Takenda clan during the sengoku jidai in Japan. In the movie "Kagemusha", the Takeda cavalry charges guns and is devastated. The ...
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How and why did the Cavalry lance temporarily fall out of favour during the 16-18th centuries?

In the late middle ages, every knight or even his retainers and squires were armed with a spear or a lance. When heavy cavalry gave way to pike squares, we still see the lance still in use among the ...
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What is the origin of the black/devil riders?

From what I understand, the black/devil riders were a group of German soldiers or mercenaries who were famous for using black painted armor. They developed various techniques for fighting on horseback,...
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Why are modern tanks regiments called cavalry?

The word cavalry is derived from the French word cavalerie which means horse. Historically the term cavalry has been used to represent troops mounted on horseback. After the invention of battle tanks ...
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What exactly were currours, and what were they used for?

In researching this question on Medieval light cavalry, I came across this reference to "currours" in Wikipedia, with no link: Many countries developed their own styles of light cavalry, such as ...
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How were mounted infantry (like dragoons) used in battle?

During the Napoleonic Wars, Some troops performed as "mounted infantry", i.e. they rode horses to move, but dismounted and fought like infantry. Dragoons are usually given as examples. How was this ...
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Did it make sense to bring along infantry to reinforce attacking cavalry before the introduction of firearms?

At the Civil War battle of Brandy Station, the attacking Union cavalry general Alfred Pleasanton brought along some 3,000 infantry to even the odds, because his cavalry was outnumbered 9,500 to 8,000 ...
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Why were troops with bayonets often effective against enemy cavalry even though the bayonet was a “secondary” weapon?

The bayonet was introduced in the late 17th century as a knife (later a short sword) attached to a musket, to enable the musketeer to protect himself when reloading their single-shot weapons. As such, ...
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Were cavalry used in the First World War?

Due to the nature of trench warfare, a cavalry or a horse-back squad would’ve been rather useless in the war. But, I also know that countries had not anticipated trench warfare – they didn’t know that ...
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Military tactics specifically aimed against cavalry horses

Were tactics specifically aimed against horses common in past cavalry warfare and what forms did they take? For instance, did opponents try to harm (poison or shoot-them-first), distract (loud ...
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What did squires do in the middle of a medieval battle?

According to wikipedia, a normal squire daily job included: Carrying the knight's armour, shield, sword, Holding any prisoners the knight takes, Rescuing the knight should the knight be ...
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Was the Napoleonic era cavalry armour effective against firearms?

During the Napoleonic wars in Europe, many heavy cavalry units still retain the use of armours, for example, French Carabiniers-à-Cheval below, How effective were these to protect the cavalryman ...
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Was any significant percentage of Mongol army infantry?

Mongols of Khan's time are generally considered to be a cavalry army, which makes sense logistically, given the width and speed of their military maneuvers. But is there historical evidence of Khan's ...
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How were war elephants used against cavalry?

In this question: How do war elephants fight? it was mentioned that horses tend to dislike elephants, so they are effective against cavalry. How does this work in practice? I don't imagine it would be ...
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Why were there “hussars” all across Europe?

From what I read, hussars are originally a cavalry forces in Medieval Hungary. But then it became a class of light cavalry that were in service in many European nations, and during the Napoleonic wars:...
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When people use spears to fight cavalry do infantry stab the horse or the rider?

I am just curious. In most games spear infantry is a "counter" against cavalry. How does that really work anyway? Any clips on actual cavalry fighting infantry that's historically accurate would be ...
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What weapons did Yue Fei used against the Jin Cavalry

One of my Chinese friends said that the Jin troops rode 5 horse at once and charged as a very heavy cathaprac. Yue Fei used a special halberd and cut off the horses legs. The riders fell off their ...
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Was Cossack cavalry ineffective relative to other troops?

I know that some people in Europe very much admire Russian Cossack cavalry and think it is very effective. But in Russia there was a proverb that one hussar is equal to two cossacks, one dragoon is ...
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What kind of heavy horses did the Manchu use?

My friend told me that the Manchus would link 4 horses together and fight. Yufei then cut off the horses feet and won anyway. Is this true? Where can I learn about 4 horses tied together?
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How well can cavalry fight infantry?

In the Battle of Pharsalus, Caesar's infantry won by throwing their spears at the horsemen's faces. So how come in Battle of Zama and many other battles, including the battle where Khalid ibn al-...
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When was the last cavalry charge?

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 ...