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Was cavalry really all about oil conservation?

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by DamianSilas, Feb 26, 2020.

  1. DamianSilas

    DamianSilas New Member

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    I see a lot of talk about cavalry as a solution to the resource war, not much else. Horses are nowhere as loud as trucks and half-tracks, kind of a big bonus to the element of surprise. And they travel through rougher terrain with ease. What else is there about cavalry doctrine that's seldom mentioned?
    https://sarkariresult.onl/ Mobdro https://pnrstatus.vip/
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2020
  2. Half Track

    Half Track Active Member

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    It was a good idea in 1876.
     
  3. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    IN 1935 the British Staff College selection examination asked whether there was a future for horsed cavalry. There were no right or wrong answers. Some of the arguments in favour of horsed cavalry were:-
    Access to resources. Parts of the British Empire were highly industrialised. Britain's industry and commerce had converted from horse to mechanical transport. The skills needed to train or support horses were dying out. Horsed cavalry were an anachronism. In other parts, such as India, animal transport was still common and mechanical skills limited.
    Horses provided mobility in less developed parts of the world. Cavalry was a key force in internal security operations world wide.

    During WW2 Mules were the key to mobility in mountainous terrain.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
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  4. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I responded on reddit, but here goes. 1939 Louisiana Maneuvers proved that mechanized forces could run rings around cavalry. This despite Patton having to buy gas for his machines from his own funds.

    The biggest advantage of motorized supply is demonstrated by the Red Ball Express. If pressed they could run 24/7, changing drivers as needed, and the trucks would still be usable at the end of such a run. (Some fixes would be taken care of, such as new tires, as needed. A horse would need days to recover from an emergency run.)

    BTW, we have pictures of German and Japanese attaches observing this maneuvers. In the photo they're standing on either side of George Catlett Marshall.
     
  5. Riter

    Riter Member

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    Lack of mechanisation. Lack of industry to produce vehicles. Lack of petrol.

    Cavalry is good for routing a fleeing enemy. Against entrenched foes, it's suicide and a waste of horseflesh. If the enemy is infantry, then cavalry should only be used as a means of increased mobility but not doe combat ala Napoleonic era cavalry roles.
     
  6. Owen

    Owen O

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    Have a look at how much fodder a horse needs & how all that food is transported to the front.
     
  7. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    True in the winter. In the summer you have to give them time to graze.
     
  8. Riter

    Riter Member

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    BTW, horses like people need a break (entire day of rest). You can't expect to ride them all day and expect them to optimally perform. If you don't bring fodder, you must turn them loose to graze. Read about Grierson's Raid in the American Civil War.
     
  9. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    And remounts for when a horse goes lame. The whole thing is glamorous in the telling and tedious in the execution. My mother's grandfather told her about being a horse's ass, meaning the guy who carried fodder to the stalls. ("ass" aka donkey?)
     
  10. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Ever heard of Beersheba?
    Battle of Beersheba (1917) - Wikipedia

    Wait for the charge, it will give you goose bumps...

    <iframe width="853" height="480" src="" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>


    They were considered some of the best horsemen in the world...with some of the best light mounts ever bred the "Whaler" - a cattle horse from NSW Australia.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2020
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  11. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

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    Donkeys are still being used in the mountains of Afghanistan today. Some donkeys are remarkably capable and independent. Fantastic beasts....if a bit cantankerous.
     
  12. Riter

    Riter Member

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    Yes, but the glory days of cavalry charges have passed. Early attempts to use cavalry in WW I resulted in disasters and most cavalry men were dismounted. Barbed wire and machine guns tend to mess things up.

    Napoleonic tactics called for infantry to form squares with bayonets thrusted outward. To break a square, the Cavalry kept the infantry locked in a square, horse cavalry rode up and pounded the square apart.

    The notion of dragoons where mounted infantry fight may still have validity, but the helicopter does it better.
     
  13. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    ... but not without a lot of noise.
     
  14. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    "Helicopters don't actually fly, they just beat the air into submission."
     
  15. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Both the Germans and Soviets (especially the Soviets) put cavalry to good use. The Red Army in winter chased roving pockets of Germans trying to prevent them from escaping. Sometimes they were successful! If the cavalry could get the Germans to panic then they slaughtered them by the thousands! If the Germans kept their cool and set up their MGs, then cavalrymen and their horses were slaughtered.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2020

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