Napoleonic Light Cavalry Tactics (Elite)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
During the Napoleonic Wars, all the major combatants fielded large numbers of light cavalry as Hussars, Dragoons, Chasseurs, Lancers, or even Cossacks. Ridley Scott's 1977 feature film debut The Duelists portrayed French Hussars. Light cavalry provided nimble, fast-moving regiments that performed a variety of vital roles, from reconnaissance and keeping contact with the enemy during the movement of armies, to raiding, skirmishing, and the pursuit to destruction of beaten enemies. In practice, light cavalry were often also employed for battlefield charges alongside the heavy cavalry.
The light cavalryman typically carried a curved sabre, one or two pistols and sometimes a carbine, and rode a smaller horse than his counterpart in the heavy cavalry. As the Napoleonic Wars progressed, the dashing Chasseurs and Light Dragoons and glamorous Hussars were joined by growing numbers of Lancers, while the Russians employed vast numbers of Cossacks. Often the first to engage the enemy, these colourful regiments saw combat on a host of bloody battlefields across Europe.
Featuring period illustrations and specially commissioned colour artwork, this is the second volume of a two-part study of the cavalry tactics of the armies of Napoleon and those of his allies and opponents. Written by a leading authority on the period, it draws upon drill manuals and later writings to offer a vivid assessment of how light cavalry actually fought on the Napoleonic battlefield.
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while the lancers find it difficult to present the point of their poles. So the Cossacks were constrained to show their backs, and then my troopers did great execution'.(16) (Marbot’s last remark also reminds us of the fact that in a cavalry combat most casualties were caused after one side had broken and turned). Other writers concurred with Marbot. For example, William Tomkinson wrote of an incident in the Peninsula in 1811 in which 'The Lancers looked well and formidable before they were
vigilance was required at daybreak and twilight, when attacks could be mounted almost unseen, and commanders of posts should ensure that their information was accurate, lest they fall into the traps of either overlooking a genuine attack, or rousing the entire army on a false alarm. Reconnaissance, claimed de Brack, was not just a matter of seeing, but seeing correctly. It was often more effective to use two scouts than 200, so that they might not be spotted by the enemy. Individual vedettes
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