When/how exactly did cavalry die out?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by ChaoticBrilliance, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. Halagaz Well-Known Member

    May 28, 2013
    Best Moesia
    For a neutral and temperate power, Finland sure has some weird and ominous insignia. A horseshoe, a Swastika and totally-not-Voldemort's-symbol on top...is this the SS Paranormal Division? Nah, just the Finnish cavalry.

    Does the symbol with the deer skull(?) have some specific meaning or story behind it?
    Yanez de Gomera and cpip like this.
  2. cpip Penguin Wrangler

    Dec 3, 2010
    East of the Rockies, West of the Appalachians
    At least one book about an extended WW3 in the 1980s-90s proposed that after a couple of years of fighting, the NATO and WARPAC militaries would be reintroducing cavalry units out of desperate necessity in Europe as global supply chains broke down and vehicles couldn't be replaced or refueled easily.
  3. DrakonFin Very Nearly the Finnish Pub Quiz Champion Donor

    Oct 25, 2007
    The Land of the Northern Lights
    The deer head/skull is apparently a symbol taken from the vision of St Hubertus, the patron saint of hunters. It is basically the same thing you can see on a Jägermeister bottle, even if the HRR version is somewhat more ominous. Some Finnish military units have this weird fascination with patron saints, even if their soldiers have traditionally been Lutheran.
  4. Gannt the chartist Well-Known Member

    Nov 8, 2010

    False, the main distinction between British and every other cavalry in the world in 1914 was the British were mounted infantry and the others not. The German even provided jaeger bns to give infantry support to the charging cavalry.

    The soviets into 45 used cavalry/mechanised groups in corps strength with horse mounted troopers and on occasion were perfectly content to charge home with the sabre - AGC map depot got that in 41.
  5. Saphroneth Just don't ask me to write a normal world Banned

    Apr 22, 2013
    Er, I'm pretty sure the British charged with the cavalry sword. That's why they introduced it.
  6. Somedevil Well-Known Member

    Apr 16, 2015
    US mounted Cavalry did a good job in the Philippians during WWII also the US used tons of Donkey's and other pack animals in Burma and other pacific locals and I feel they also used them in Italy??
    Driftless and cpip like this.
  7. Gannt the chartist Well-Known Member

    Nov 8, 2010

    Exception not the rule. The general training was as mounted infantry and equipment geared around that not mounted combat. Boer war experience.
  8. Saphroneth Just don't ask me to write a normal world Banned

    Apr 22, 2013
    But the 1912 pattern cavalry sword is specifically designed for mounted charge action. British cavalry was flexible, yes, but that's an 1850s thing and all that changes is the balance.
  9. RodentRevolution Chewer of Wires

    Jan 14, 2015
    Actually there was something of an enormous bunfight in the cavalry over that and while you are right the mounted infantry approach was dominant up to 1907 or thereabouts it swung back and forth with mounted action being somewhat in the ascendancy as of 1914. There were however in any given year plenty of advocates of both schools in positions of authority within the British Cavalry.
  10. Alamo Well-Known Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Northwest New Jersey
    And there have been successful bayonet charges in the past decade, but I think it's safe to say that the bayonet as a major factor in warfare has been dead for a long while. A few incidents in isolation don't change a general trend.
  11. plenka Polyethnic Dualism Descends Upon You!

    Dec 28, 2013
    In my personal opinion, cavalry was kept on into WW1 because of technological limitations. Motor technology was not as developed, the cost of motorization was too high, road network was not what it would become in latter years. And, truthfully cavalry could and did play a important role, as a mobile reserve, mounted infantry and reconaissance units.
    Yanez de Gomera likes this.
  12. yulzari Well-Known Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Yeomanry cavalry regiments were trained as mounted infantry although possessed of lances and sabres. When they went to war in 1914 they were instead put into the Cavalry Division and had to have rapid retraining in the the use of armes blanches in the charge. In 1918 in France and Belgium they mostly acted as mobile infantry but charged when circumstances required it.

    As an aside large irregular cavalry forces were active in charges in the violence of the break up of India in 1947.
    RodentRevolution likes this.
  13. Saphroneth Just don't ask me to write a normal world Banned

    Apr 22, 2013
    Given that the British launched six bayonet charges in the Falklands (and succeeded at all of them - Goose Green, Mt Harriet, Mt Longdon, Wireless Ridge, Mt Tumbledown, Two Sisters) I think that argument doesn't wash. They're clearly still a viable means of attack in infantry warfare.

    In any case. Cavalry was useful in WW1 because it fulfilled a tactical niche that had not yet vanished. I can find some specific engagements if you want.
  14. Minchandre Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2009
    The Garden State
    Though cavalry remains in use in a lot of places for police work and some irregular work like that stuff with the US special forces in Afghanistan, the PLA used regular cavalry against Vietnam in the 70s (though found it was mostly ineffective and ended up disbanding the units). The PLA also uses cavalry to this day along their northern and northeastern borders for regular patrols, since the terrain isn't super suited to vehicles and most potential smugglers/infiltrators would be using horses. I'm pretty sure that this is the only "real", "regular" military cavalry today.
  15. Mike D Well-Known Member

    Nov 30, 2013
    Several in Iraq and Afghanistan too.
    Stenz likes this.
  16. Nick P Donor

    Jan 4, 2013
    Just outside London, UK
    Let's not forget the Indian cavalry.
    The Central India Horse launched a charge in May 1942 at Toungoo where they clashed with Japanese forces. This may be the last charge under command of the British Crown.
    The 61st Cavalry Regiment are the main horse regiment in India, possibly the largest in the world, and carried out mounted patrols during the 1971 Pakistan war.
    The Indian Border Security Force use horses on patrol, as do the US Border Patrol http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-horses-idUSKBN14V1J4

    Burma Frontier Constabulary carried out mounted attacks in 1945 http://www.britishempire.co.uk/forces/armyunits/burma/bfc.htm

    The last US Cavalry charge was in 1942 by the Philippine Scouts at Bataan.
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  17. urielventis Well-Known Member

    Jul 24, 2013
    Paris Area
    Infantry switch from phalanx to line infantry then to modern troop fighting boots on the ground in small team, still holding the lines... Nobody ask "when infantry disappear"?

    Same for cavalry, cavalrymen never disappear, they adapt. Horse transform into trucks, tanks .... But they role stay on: recon, flank coverage and breaking enemy lines by frontal attack.
    In several conflict they were less efficient, wwi for example, but they are still here.

    In a lot of armies, the armored force became a separate part, but in France, we still have cavalry:
    - Cuirassier: heavy armored soldier are now in Leclerc MBT, but same role, heavy hitting, shinny and expensive
    - Hussards: light horsemen for recon, are still reconnoitring ennemy lines (see the 2nd and 3rd hussard, on VBL and AMX-10RC), some are even paratroopers, the 1st RHP on ERC-90
    - Spahis on AMX-10RC
    - Chasseurs and chasseurs à cheval: AMX-10RC
    - Infantrie de marine and Infanterie Char de marine: maritime infantry cavalry, yes we have this! on AMX-10RC and ERC-90
    - the Dragons : on regiment for the special force (13th RDP) for very deep recon, one regiment (4th RD) on Leclerc MBT, one ( 2nd RD) specialised in NRBC combat and recon
    - the 501 regiment de char (tank regiment): formed in 1918 as a specialist regiment to use the new tanks, the cavalry keep it. Now on leclerc MBT

    As you see, cavalry keep almost the same missions, but evolve in his material and tactics. They obtain some specialised missions (deep recon, NRBC...) cause they are more intelligent than infantrymen :cool:

    ps: the best cavalrymen evolve in an even superior species: the pioneer and the artillerymen :angel:
  18. joho6411 Tanned

    Sep 4, 2010
    In the doghouse
    I seem to recall reading somewhere during the Korean War that the CPLA (Chinese People's Liberation Army) used cavalry in a limited fashion. Don't recall the details if they acted as dragoons or as conventional cavalry. But the Korean War may have been the last time that horse cavalry were used by one side against the other.

    Cheers, Joho :).
  19. darthfanta Offline

    Feb 15, 2015
  20. edgeworthy Well-Known Member

    Oct 1, 2013
    A Squadron you say?