Napoleonic Light Cavalry Tactics (Elite, Volume 196) by Philip Haythornthwaite

By Philip Haythornthwaite

Throughout the Napoleonic Wars, all of the significant warring parties fielded huge numbers of sunshine cavalry as Hussars, Dragoons, Chasseurs, Lancers, or maybe Cossacks. Ridley Scott's 1977 characteristic movie debut The Duelists portrayed French Hussars. gentle cavalry supplied nimble, fast-moving regiments that played quite a few important roles, from reconnaissance and holding touch with the enemy through the stream of armies, to raiding, skirmishing, and the pursuit to destruction of crushed enemies. In perform, mild cavalry have been usually additionally hired for battlefield fees along the heavy cavalry.

The gentle cavalryman generally carried a curved sabre, one or pistols and infrequently a carbine, and rode a smaller horse than his counterpart within the heavy cavalry. because the Napoleonic Wars stepped forward, the rushing Chasseurs and light-weight Dragoons and glamorous Hussars have been joined by way of transforming into numbers of Lancers, whereas the Russians hired large numbers of Cossacks. frequently the 1st to have interaction the enemy, those vibrant regiments observed wrestle on a bunch of bloody battlefields throughout Europe.

Featuring interval illustrations and in particular commissioned color art, this is often the second one quantity of a two-part examine of the cavalry strategies of the armies of Napoleon and people of his allies and rivals. Written through a number one authority at the interval, it attracts upon drill manuals and later writings to provide a shiny overview of the way mild cavalry truly fought at the Napoleonic battlefield.

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Extra resources for Napoleonic Light Cavalry Tactics (Elite, Volume 196)

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Com 1 c. 150 yards 1 2 3 c. 50 yards c. com  Two double lines of skirmishers extended all along the bottom [of a shallow valley] – the foremost of each line were within a few yards of each other – constantly in motion, riding backwards and forwards, firing their carbines and pistols, and then reloading, still on the move. This fire seemed to me to be more dangerous for those on the hills above than for us below; for all, both French and English, generally stuck out their carbines or pistols as they continued to move backwards and forwards, and discharged them without taking any particular aim, and mostly in the air.

From the advanced guard, the officer detaches to his front, a serjeant and twelve men, who are to preserve the same distance from the officer's party, that the officer is from the column. The serjeant is in like manner to send two men forward, and detach two others, one at each flank, as side patroles [sic], who are to keep in a line with those men most in advance. The officer will, for the same purpose, detach one non-commissioned officer and four men, on each of his flanks. The side patroles are distant between three and four hundred yards on the flanks, which distance varies according to the places they have to examine, and the impediments met with on the march.

A common tactic was to deploy Cossack units as a screen in advance of conventional forces, like ordinary skirmishers, and to use them to secure an army's flanks. In combat, Suvarov recommended that they were held at the rear of the conventional cavalry as a third line, or on the flanks, to assail the enemy's flanks during the initial action and to pursue once the enemy had given way. When acting as a primary force rather than as a support, Cossack units might form in a single rank calculated to exceed the frontage of the enemy, so that when collision occurred they could exert extra pressure by lapping around the enemy's flanks.

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