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63 votes

What was the point of horse armour?

I would contend that we tend to overestimate the effectiveness of bows vs armour, and that the armour would likely prevent at least some percentage of the damage to the mount. If we look at the wiki ...
justCal's user avatar
  • 39.1k
46 votes
Accepted

What tactical situations made the use of traditional horse cavalry effective in World War II?

Whenever 20th century cavalry comes up, it often gets confused with mounted infantry. So let's clear that up. Cavalry is trained to fight from horseback using pistol, sabre, carbine, lance, and the ...
Schwern's user avatar
  • 55.2k
21 votes

What was the point of horse armour?

Knights didn't just face longbows. There were also swords, pikes, maces etc. on the battlefield and good plate armor also protected against firearms. Two knights fighting on the battlefield - they're ...
Fruit Monster's user avatar
16 votes

Physics of a heavy cavalry charge?

Your question is underpinned by a key misunderstanding of the course of an ancient or medieval battle: the slaughter occurs in the pursuit (or endgame if you will), not what might be termed the battle ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
15 votes

Did the Vikings use horses in battle?

Short Answer Generally, there is no evidence in medieval sources for the widespread use of cavalry or horsemen in battle by the Vikings. The Vikings in Western Europe (from the late 8th century to the ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

Why did cavalry keep becoming a thing if spears were always around?

That's an overly simplistic way of thinking about cavalry. Battles usually didn't focus on cavalry charges (though they often were used as shock operations during battles) but massed infantry holding ...
jwenting's user avatar
  • 11.3k
13 votes

Did Cossack cavalry defeat German tanks during WW2?

There are no reports from the 13th cavalry division, luckily however all is described quite well in reports of the 15th cavalry division. Further I translated most important parts of that report: At ...
Zmur's user avatar
  • 455
12 votes
Accepted

How were heavily armored Cataphracts killed?

Lighter, Faster Cavalry. The heavier the cavalry, the harder it is to maintain speed and perform sharp maneuvers. At the battle of Turin, Constantine used light cavalry with iron-tipped clubs to ...
Mynott95's user avatar
  • 187
12 votes

What was the point of horse armour?

The long bow was a particularly effective weapon against armored cavalry, and the French were surprised by this fact. The (relatively thin) armor that you mentioned had earlier provided the horse ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 104k
11 votes

Was it possible to "aim for the epaulette boys" during the Middle Ages?

Yes and no. Uniforms and rank insignia as we understand them didn't exist back then. It was very easy to see who was high(er) in rank, though. Members of the knightly class wore their coat of arms on ...
Jos's user avatar
  • 21.9k
10 votes
Accepted

Have human runners delivered messages faster than horses?

I looked into this some more, and I'll share my findings here. 100 Miles Record In the FEI Endurance Riding Competition senior level, horses travel about 100 miles in one day. The world record for a ...
Johnny's user avatar
  • 593
10 votes
Accepted

Were warhorses unable to graze in grass fields and thus needed to be manually fed an exclusive type of hay?

No. War horses are simply horses. Perhaps a little bit finicky with eating but not overly so. The reason why they were fed hay is different. You need a LOT of fields with edible grass to daily feed ...
Jos's user avatar
  • 21.9k
9 votes
Accepted

Using a lance while on a charging horse against ground based enemy

Using the Wikipedia article as source, lances were indeed once-use items for shock attacks. If they hadn't splintered then they were sure to have gotten stuck, so they were intended to be dropped. ...
Marakai's user avatar
  • 2,466
9 votes

What tactical situations made the use of traditional horse cavalry effective in World War II?

Sometimes Soviet Army (especially during the first two years of the war agains Germany, 1941-43) successfully used its cavalry units. Success depended on many factors including tactical skills of its ...
Moishe Kohan's user avatar
  • 6,298
8 votes

Was the Napoleonic era cavalry armour effective against firearms?

Without getting too involved in a discussion of terminal ballistics, the Napoleonic period armour certainly offered some protection against firearms, but it was only effective up to a point. This ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.6k
8 votes
Accepted

Did armored cavalry have an advantage over unarmored cavalry in 18th/19th century?

The advantage of wearing cuirass was obviously protection. As you noted, it could deflect pistol shots, and in theory even muskets at distance. Perhaps the main benefit however, was in fact against ...
Semaphore's user avatar
  • 97.5k
7 votes
Accepted

Did Song troops spread black beans on the ground as a means to defeat the superior Jin cavalry? If so, in which battle?

Not sure if anyone will read this, but... From Baidu (https://baike.baidu.com/item/连环计/5842#ref_[2]_5340118): 1.毕再遇连环计 “Bi Zaiyu Uses Chain Stratagems” 宋代将领毕再遇就曾经运用连环计,打过漂亮的仗。他分析金人强悍,骑兵尤其勇猛,...
Guest's user avatar
  • 94
6 votes

Were Mongol or Chinese cavalry charges among the largest in history?

While both Mongolian and Chinese mounted armies could easily outnumber those of the American or European at any point in history, it should be noted that the Mongols or Chinese hosts didn't really ...
Gavin Gnaster's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Were Mongol or Chinese cavalry charges among the largest in history?

I suggested in the comments above, earlier, that the Hindustan peninsula might have some appropriate examples. A cursory look at the Moghul, Maratha and Bengali armies, etc, did show that the cavalry ...
gktscrk's user avatar
  • 10.8k
5 votes

What tactical situations made the use of traditional horse cavalry effective in World War II?

During the first winter of war in the eastern front, Russia used several units of cavalry because they had few tanks during those months, some of these units as part off the called "shock armies". ...
Santiago's user avatar
  • 4,901
5 votes

How did sword cavalry charges work?

I'm talking about cavalry from the Napoleonic era until the end of mounted cavalry. There are two methods: To hold the sword stretched out towards the enemy and try to skewer him. These swords ...
Jos's user avatar
  • 21.9k
5 votes

Why didn't the Byzantines develop anti-cavalary tactics?

What makes you think that the eastern Roman or "Byzantine" army was helpless against cavalry? What makes you think that heavy cavalry and heavy infantry would be useless against enemy cavalry forces? ...
MAGolding's user avatar
  • 19.3k
5 votes

Did the Vikings use horses in battle?

Maybe, depending on your definition of "Viking". There was a group of Norsemen who traveled south into Europe and eventually came into the employ of the Byzantine Empire as elite mercenaries,...
nick012000's user avatar
5 votes

How much did medieval horse armor cost?

I was able to find one single clear citation from this 1967 PhD thesis: WIEDEMER JR, JACK EARL. Arms and Armor in England, 1450-1471, their Cost and Distribution. University of Pennsylvania, 1967 (p. ...
Daniel R. Collins's user avatar
4 votes

Were cavalry used in the First World War?

Cavalry were certainly used during the First World War. It is worth remembering that the First World War was a world war, and wasn't limited to the attritional trench warfare of the Western Front, ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.6k
4 votes

How were heavily armored Cataphracts killed?

Disciplined infantry, whether armed with spears of swords or pikes, will almost always break the charge of heavy cavalry if they are well motivated and organised. The Romans came to know the ...
james jamerson's user avatar
4 votes

Help identify this (probably Confederate) sword?

The problem with this identification is the number of possibilities. Knowing the manufacturer leads us to several options. They absolutely did sell to the US, and many similar weapons can be found ...
justCal's user avatar
  • 39.1k
4 votes

Was it possible to "aim for the epaulette boys" during the Middle Ages?

No. You capture them alive for ransom. Battles like Crecy are atypical. When you neck that fallen lord you’re losing your handful of silver of the share of your lords ransom of the toff. Dismounting ...
Samuel Russell's user avatar

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