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Re: [civilwarwest] Re: Real Cavalry VS Real Dragoons... Something more...

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  • James L. Choron
    All, I agree with the arguments against lancers in combat. I was just wondering, as much as some elements on both sides tended to try and copy European
    Message 1 of 23 , Mar 31, 2004
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      All,

      I agree with the arguments against lancers in combat. I was just wondering,
      as much as some elements on both sides tended to try and copy European
      fighting styles, weapons and uniforms, why, at least initially, this type of
      cavalry formation wasn't used. I think the lessons learned at Balaclava, by
      the British, and in Mexico, where a single patrol, armed with revolvers
      could route an entire company of Mexican lancers might have played a part in
      it.What do you think?

      Jim


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "jblake47" <jblake47@...>
      To: <civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Thursday, April 01, 2004 1:54 AM
      Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Real Cavalry VS Real Dragoons... Something
      more...


      > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Bob Huddleston"
      > <huddleston.r@c...> wrote:
      > > Rush's Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry. However, they are off topic
      > since they
      > > participated in the unmentionable war east of the Alleghanies!
      > However, if
      > > you ever go to the site of that little skirmish in Southern
      > Pennsylvania,
      > > check out their regimental marker: it has two medal reproductions
      > of their
      > > lances. Which they turned in early in 1863.
      > >
      > > The problem was that, unlike Europe, the US was still pretty much
      > trees and
      > > brush and small fields and cavalry, let alone lancers, would not
      > adequately
      > > maneuver in them.
      > >
      > > And, of course, infantry would have destroyed the lancers before
      > they got
      > > within lance-length of the bayonets.
      > >
      > > How many times during the War did a cavalry charge break up an
      > infantry
      > > formation? I can not think of any although there may have been one
      > or two.
      > >
      >
      > I would doubt there were any sincere cavalry charges against massed
      > infantry. First of all the cavalry would need to get into the "no-
      > man's-land between the two lines, thereby exposing themselves to
      > massef fire and negating the support from the friendly fire from
      > behind.
      >
      > Their effectiveness would be better used to flank the end of the
      > line, using thier speed to get behind and create havoc. By havoc I
      > don't mean anything other than making the enemy nervous about having
      > a cav regiment running loose in their rear.
      >
      > On the battlefield the cavalry could not charge from behind battle
      > lines because there was no room for them to pass thru the elbow to
      > elbow infantry line.
      >
      > Their most effective use would be in raids, scouting, harrassing the
      > infantry from behind and rear guard, other than cav to cav battles.
      > What was happening was the initial stages of an archaic form of
      > military operations.
      >
      > Jeff
      >
      > > And the problems of mounted charges would have been even more
      > severe in the
      > > West than in the East.
      > >
      > >
      > > Take care,
      > >
      > > Bob
      > >
      > > Judy and Bob Huddleston
      > > 10643 Sperry Street
      > > Northglenn, CO 80234-3612
      > > 303.451.6376 Huddleston.r@c...
      > >
      > > -----Original Message-----
      > > From: James L. Choron [mailto:lordjim@r...]
      > > Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2004 12:23 PM
      > > To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
      > > Subject: [civilwarwest] Real Cavalry VS Real Dragoons... Something
      > more...
      > >
      > > I agree. "Real" Cavalry would win hands down... Now, here's another
      > question
      > > for you...
      > >
      > > Why were there never lancers or "Uhlans" in the United States Army?
      > They
      > > were effective, in Europe even up to the Crimean War, only a few
      > years
      > > before our Civil War, and used effectively for thirty or more-odd
      > years
      > > afterward.
      > > It would seem, an Uhlan regiment, armed with lance, saber and
      > revolver,
      > > along British or Prussian lines would have been pretty effective
      > against
      > > infantry armed with single-shot rifles. This would seem to be
      > especially
      > > true in the West, where there was more room for horse mounted
      > troops to
      > > maneuver on the battlefield.
      > >
      > > Jim
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >
    • John Beatty
      ... technology changed and more effective weapons came on-line with longer range, the quick charge that would infact bring lancers the 100 yards from musket
      Message 2 of 23 , Apr 1 4:10 AM
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        >The lancers were effective in their day, but as the
        technology changed and more effective weapons came
        on-line with longer range, the quick charge that would
        infact bring lancers the 100 yards from musket range
        to battleline in less time it would take to reload a
        musket were passing into history.

        To get just slightly off-topic...Richtofen started WWI
        in the Uhlans. Lancers may have been passing into
        history, but they didn't do it very fast.

        =====
        _________________________________
        John D. Beatty, Milwaukee Wisconsin
        AMCIVWAR.COM/AMCIVWAR.NET
        "History is the only test for the consequences of ideas"

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      • Mark Peters
        ... John, This is a good point. British, German and Austraian lancers were all operational during WWI, although the machine gun and trench warfare made them
        Message 3 of 23 , Apr 1 6:12 AM
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          --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, John Beatty <jdbeatty.geo@y...>
          wrote:
          > >The lancers were effective in their day, but as the
          > technology changed and more effective weapons came
          > on-line with longer range, the quick charge that would
          > infact bring lancers the 100 yards from musket range
          > to battleline in less time it would take to reload a
          > musket were passing into history.
          >
          > To get just slightly off-topic...Richtofen started WWI
          > in the Uhlans. Lancers may have been passing into
          > history, but they didn't do it very fast.

          John,

          This is a good point. British, German and Austraian lancers were all
          operational during WWI, although the machine gun and trench warfare
          made them somewhat ineffective. The last cavalry charge in Europe,
          that I know of, was by the Poles in an attempt to halt German tanks
          in 1939. As you say, there passing into history was a somewhat slow
          process.

          With regards to European lancers, I think Tom would agree, is that
          they were used to counter attack against spent charges from the heavy
          cavalry. They were not primarily used against infantry due to the
          problems of firepower and the skill required to ride a horse
          and 'stick people' with a long pole. The nature of the Civil War
          provided increased firepower and the mounted 'trooper'.

          Mark
          >
          > =====
          > _________________________________
          > John D. Beatty, Milwaukee Wisconsin
          > AMCIVWAR.COM/AMCIVWAR.NET
          > "History is the only test for the consequences of ideas"
          >
          > __________________________________
          > Do you Yahoo!?
          > Yahoo! Small Business $15K Web Design Giveaway
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        • Tom Mix
          Yes, Mark, I agree. There was always a romanticism attached to the flash and dash of the lancers that was slow to die. But technology made the lancer himself
          Message 4 of 23 , Apr 1 7:43 AM
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            Yes, Mark, I agree. There was always a romanticism attached to the flash
            and dash of the lancers that was slow to die. But technology made the
            lancer himself die quickly. Gen. John Buford was a pioneer in
            transforming the cavalry into what he would an eclectic form of mobile
            infantry. He is often referred to as the father of today's rapid
            helicopter transported infantry, sometimes called cavalry in today's
            American army.
            Buford wanted the cavalry to do more than scout, raid and harass. He
            believed the cavalry actually take and hold territory until the more
            numerous infantry arrived. He displayed this beautifully at Gettysburg
            on Day One. They occupied the ground of their choosing and held until
            1st Corps arrived. They did it with repeating fire carbines of a greater
            range than those of Napoleonic times and with mobility. When he saw a
            problem, he promptly mount some men to fill, adjust or extend a line as
            the need arose.

            He was not adverse to the charge and used the sword when needed but felt
            the cavalry needed to evolve with modern technology to survive and that
            is where the eclectic part comes in. Buford believed the cavalry could
            do much more than scout and raid. He would not live beyond the end of
            1863 so he did not get to see his theory bloom as it soon would. This
            was especially true in the up-coming Indian Wars that would follow the
            Civil War.

            The lancers were simply an archaic wing of the cavalry by this time.
            That is one reason they did not exist in the U.S. Regular Cavalry. The
            one mentioned was a volunteer unit from Pa. As noted by others, the
            lancers did exist up to 1939 but not as a rational and realistic
            military entity. The rifled musket, breech loading carbine, the
            Winchester, the machine gun each made the Lancer a suicidal adventure.

            The terrain in both the Eastern and Western Theaters of the Civil War
            made the lance an impractical tool.

            The American Indians of the Plains also used lances but would stop for
            the same reason. They were getting blown out of the saddle by the
            dismounted cavalry with repeating carbines and rifles. They too would
            adjust and carry the same weapons along with pistols.

            The lance had seen its day at Waterloo. But the Polish Lancers were a
            beautiful sight to see.

            Tom Mix

            -----Original Message-----
            From: Mark Peters [mailto:mark-peters.midlandsandnorth@...]
            Sent: Thursday, April 01, 2004 8:13 AM
            To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Real Cavalry VS Real Dragoons... Something
            more...

            --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, John Beatty <jdbeatty.geo@y...>
            wrote:
            > >The lancers were effective in their day, but as the
            > technology changed and more effective weapons came
            > on-line with longer range, the quick charge that would
            > infact bring lancers the 100 yards from musket range
            > to battleline in less time it would take to reload a
            > musket were passing into history.
            >
            > To get just slightly off-topic...Richtofen started WWI
            > in the Uhlans. Lancers may have been passing into
            > history, but they didn't do it very fast.

            John,

            This is a good point. British, German and Austraian lancers were all
            operational during WWI, although the machine gun and trench warfare
            made them somewhat ineffective. The last cavalry charge in Europe,
            that I know of, was by the Poles in an attempt to halt German tanks
            in 1939. As you say, there passing into history was a somewhat slow
            process.

            With regards to European lancers, I think Tom would agree, is that
            they were used to counter attack against spent charges from the heavy
            cavalry. They were not primarily used against infantry due to the
            problems of firepower and the skill required to ride a horse
            and 'stick people' with a long pole. The nature of the Civil War
            provided increased firepower and the mounted 'trooper'.

            Mark
            >
            > =====
            > _________________________________
            > John D. Beatty, Milwaukee Wisconsin
            > AMCIVWAR.COM/AMCIVWAR.NET
            > "History is the only test for the consequences of ideas"
            >
            > __________________________________
            > Do you Yahoo!?
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          • James L. Choron
            John, That was my point. I had a great-uncle in the Imperial German Army. He was an engineering officer, but was posted with the 1st Uhlan Guards for a while.
            Message 5 of 23 , Apr 1 8:00 AM
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              John,

              That was my point. I had a great-uncle in the Imperial German Army. He was
              an engineering officer, but was posted with the 1st Uhlan Guards for a
              while. He saw service in the Boxer Rebellion, in 1900 as a part of that
              unit. As far as I know, the last Uhlan charge, by German forces, with
              lances, was against the
              Imperial Russian Army at the battle of Tannenburg, in 1915.

              Jim


              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "John Beatty" <jdbeatty.geo@...>
              To: <civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Thursday, April 01, 2004 4:10 PM
              Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Re: Real Cavalry VS Real Dragoons... Something
              more...


              > >The lancers were effective in their day, but as the
              > technology changed and more effective weapons came
              > on-line with longer range, the quick charge that would
              > infact bring lancers the 100 yards from musket range
              > to battleline in less time it would take to reload a
              > musket were passing into history.
              >
              > To get just slightly off-topic...Richtofen started WWI
              > in the Uhlans. Lancers may have been passing into
              > history, but they didn't do it very fast.
              >
              > =====
              > _________________________________
              > John D. Beatty, Milwaukee Wisconsin
              > AMCIVWAR.COM/AMCIVWAR.NET
              > "History is the only test for the consequences of ideas"
              >
              > __________________________________
              > Do you Yahoo!?
              > Yahoo! Small Business $15K Web Design Giveaway
              > http://promotions.yahoo.com/design_giveaway/
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
              >
            • Kristin Scherrer
              Dear Group, Due to my upcoming wedding this July and the end of school and all that comes with both of those I am requesting removal from this group simply
              Message 6 of 23 , Apr 1 8:06 AM
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                Dear Group,

                 Due to my upcoming wedding this July and the end of school and all that comes with both of those I am requesting removal from this group simply because of lack of time.  Thank you for letting me be a part of this discussion and I wish you all the best.

                Kristin Scherrer


                Do you Yahoo!?
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              • John Beatty
                ... was by the Poles in an attempt to halt German tanks in 1939. WAYYY off topic...the Polish cavalry that attacked the German panzers were heavy infantry on
                Message 7 of 23 , Apr 1 8:06 AM
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                  >The last cavalry charge in Europe, that I know of,
                  was by the Poles in an attempt to halt German tanks
                  in 1939.

                  WAYYY off topic...the Polish cavalry that attacked the
                  German panzers were heavy infantry on horseback backed
                  by howitzers. The romantic vision most of us have
                  from that incident ain't quite right.

                  =====
                  _________________________________
                  John D. Beatty, Milwaukee Wisconsin
                  AMCIVWAR.COM/AMCIVWAR.NET
                  "History is the only test for the consequences of ideas"

                  __________________________________
                  Do you Yahoo!?
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                • NPeters102@aol.com
                  In a message dated 4/1/2004 3:42:44 AM Eastern Standard Time, lordjim@rol.ru writes: I was just wondering, as much as some elements on both sides tended to try
                  Message 8 of 23 , Apr 1 8:25 AM
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                    In a message dated 4/1/2004 3:42:44 AM Eastern Standard Time, lordjim@... writes:
                    I was just wondering, as much as some elements on both sides tended to try and copy European fighting styles, weapons and uniforms, why, at least initially, this type of cavalry formation wasn't used. I think the lessons learned at Balaclava, by
                    the British, and in Mexico, where a single patrol, armed with revolvers could route an entire company of Mexican lancers might have played a part in it.What do you think?
                     
                    Jim:
                     
                    You may be right. The 6th PA Cavalry, "Rush's Lancers," wouldn't have carried lances if they would have been formed earlier, like many other units, in the summer of 1861. By the fall of that year, when they were formed, there were not enough traditional weapons to go around. "Little Mac" asked Rush if he would consider using lances. Eric Wittenberg wrote the following re: Rush's response:
                     
                    "Because there were no other weapons available to the men of the 6th Pennsylvania, Rush had little choice but to agree to McClellan's request."
                     
                     
                    Sincerely,

                    Mike Peters
                    npeters102@...
                     
                  • DPowell334@AOL.COM
                    In a message dated 4/1/2004 10:10:31 AM Central Standard Time, ... And ignores both Italian and Soviet use of Cavalry on the Eastern front, besides:) Dave
                    Message 9 of 23 , Apr 1 8:25 AM
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                      In a message dated 4/1/2004 10:10:31 AM Central Standard Time, jdbeatty.geo@... writes:

                      WAYYY off topic...the Polish cavalry that attacked the
                      German panzers were heavy infantry on horseback backed
                      by howitzers.  The romantic vision most of us have
                      from that incident ain't quite right.




                      And ignores both Italian and Soviet use of Cavalry on the Eastern front, besides:)

                      Dave Powell
                    • GnrlJEJohnston@aol.com
                      In a message dated 4/1/2004 11:08:31 AM Eastern Standard Time, wacogaurds64@yahoo.com writes: Due to my upcoming wedding this July and the end of school and
                      Message 10 of 23 , Apr 1 8:50 AM
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                        In a message dated 4/1/2004 11:08:31 AM Eastern Standard Time, wacogaurds64@... writes:

                        Due to my upcoming wedding this July and the end of school and all that comes with both of those I am requesting removal from this group simply because of lack of time.  Thank you for letting me be a part of this discussion and I wish you all the best.

                        Kristin Scherrer

                        Congrats on all Kristin -  Always remember what Shakespeare said about getting married. "What fools us mortals be." 
                         
                        JEJ
                      • Tom Mix
                        Nor is the often felt notion that the Poles were stupid and backward accurate. The attack was supported with available modern ordinance. True, the Lancers
                        Message 11 of 23 , Apr 1 9:15 AM
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                          Nor is the often felt notion that the Poles were "stupid" and "backward"
                          accurate. The attack was supported with available modern ordinance.
                          True, the Lancers were outmoded but there was a reason for the attack
                          but there was also a logical reason for its failure.
                          Tom Mix

                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: John Beatty [mailto:jdbeatty.geo@...]
                          Sent: Thursday, April 01, 2004 10:07 AM
                          To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Re: Real Cavalry VS Real Dragoons...
                          Something more...

                          >The last cavalry charge in Europe, that I know of,
                          was by the Poles in an attempt to halt German tanks
                          in 1939.

                          WAYYY off topic...the Polish cavalry that attacked the
                          German panzers were heavy infantry on horseback backed
                          by howitzers. The romantic vision most of us have
                          from that incident ain't quite right.

                          =====
                          _________________________________
                          John D. Beatty, Milwaukee Wisconsin
                          AMCIVWAR.COM/AMCIVWAR.NET
                          "History is the only test for the consequences of ideas"

                          __________________________________
                          Do you Yahoo!?
                          Yahoo! Small Business $15K Web Design Giveaway
                          http://promotions.yahoo.com/design_giveaway/




                          Yahoo! Groups Links
                        • John Beatty
                          ... the Eastern front, besides:) Not to mention the US in the Phillipines... ===== _________________________________ John D. Beatty, Milwaukee Wisconsin
                          Message 12 of 23 , Apr 1 12:55 PM
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                            >And ignores both Italian and Soviet use of Cavalry on
                            the Eastern front, besides:)

                            Not to mention the US in the Phillipines...


                            =====
                            _________________________________
                            John D. Beatty, Milwaukee Wisconsin
                            AMCIVWAR.COM/AMCIVWAR.NET
                            "History is the only test for the consequences of ideas"

                            __________________________________
                            Do you Yahoo!?
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                          • Daniel Giallombardo
                            Congratulations !!!!!! I look forward to a time when you (and your spouse) can return.--Dan _____ From: Kristin Scherrer [mailto:wacogaurds64@yahoo.com] Sent:
                            Message 13 of 23 , Apr 1 1:44 PM
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                                                                              Congratulations !!!!!! I look forward to a time when you (and your spouse)  can return.--Dan

                               


                              From: Kristin Scherrer [mailto:wacogaurds64@...]
                              Sent: Thursday, April 01, 2004 10:06 AM
                              To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: [civilwarwest] Goodbye

                               

                              Dear Group,

                               Due to my upcoming wedding this July and the end of school and all that comes with both of those I am requesting removal from this group simply because of lack of time.  Thank you for letting me be a part of this discussion and I wish you all the best.

                              Kristin Scherrer


                              Do you Yahoo!?
                              Yahoo! Small Business $15K Web Design Giveaway - Enter today

                            • James L. Choron
                              Mike, Being a Texan, I m fairly up on the Mexican War. The reason I mentioned it was because I know of several instances where cavalry, both United States
                              Message 14 of 23 , Apr 2 1:06 AM
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                                Mike,
                                 
                                Being a Texan, I'm fairly up on the Mexican War. The reason I mentioned it was because I know of several instances where cavalry, both United States regular troops and Texas Rangers, broke up charges by lancers and compeltely routed them, even though outnumbered significantly, simply because the Rangers and U.S. troops were armed with pistols.
                                 
                                I can see where the 6th would take lances, because there was no other option, but I can't see them choosing that weapon as a "first choice". I would also tend to wonder how long the lances remained in service, once better weapons came available.
                                 
                                Jim
                              • NPeters102@aol.com
                                In a message dated 4/2/2004 10:30:44 PM Eastern Standard Time, lordjim@rol.ru writes: I would also tend to wonder how long the lances remained in service, once
                                Message 15 of 23 , Apr 3 7:49 AM
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                                  In a message dated 4/2/2004 10:30:44 PM Eastern Standard Time, lordjim@... writes:
                                  I would also tend to wonder how long the lances remained in service, once better weapons came available.
                                  Jim:
                                   
                                  The lances of the 6th PA Cavalry were exchanged for Sharps carbines prior to Gettysburg. Tom Smith of the unit wrote the following in a 2 June 1863 letter to his brother:
                                   
                                  "The regiment have turned in their lances and ordered carbines."
                                   
                                  The full letter is found in "We Have it Damned Hard Out Here" The Civil War Letters of Thomas W. Smith, 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry," edited by Eric Wittenberg.
                                   
                                   
                                  Sincerely,

                                  Mike Peters
                                  npeters102@...
                                • jblake47
                                  One must also remember that the armament of the American Plains Indian consisted mostly of lance and bow. While there is a lot of discussion on this, it is a
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Apr 3 10:28 AM
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                                    One must also remember that the armament of the American Plains
                                    Indian consisted mostly of lance and bow. While there is a lot of
                                    discussion on this, it is a known fact that the Plains Indians were
                                    one of the best light cavalry ever produced in the world. One of
                                    the main reasons the Plains were the last to be conquered was
                                    because these horsemen could outfight the whites on most occasions.

                                    Inroads to the plains began in the southwest with the Texans moving
                                    into Apache and Commanche territories, somethings the Mexicans
                                    couldn't do. As they did so, they quickly found out that the
                                    armament they carried was inappropriate for the type of warfare the
                                    Indians capitalized upon. Once a single shot rifle or pistol was
                                    discharged, the person was unarmed for quite some time. In the
                                    meantime a well trained warrier could have as many as 3 - 4 arrows
                                    in the air at the same time. A definite advantage of firepower.
                                    The lance was the coup de gras to save arrows when the enemy had
                                    fired their weapon.

                                    The most significant change in plains warfare occured with the
                                    multiple round handgun. The Texas Rangers quickly found out that
                                    this weapon at least put them on equal footing with the superior
                                    weaponry of the Indian. Walker even went so far as to get his hands
                                    on as many revolvers that were available throughout the US,
                                    traveling east to collect as many as were available. He even
                                    designed one for specific use from the Colt Mfg company which was
                                    heavy enough to be used as a club when emptied.

                                    Only when the handgun was developed could the full use of cavalry be
                                    attained. This applied with the saber in Civil War combat and as
                                    time went on specialty handguns were developed to improve the life
                                    expectancy of the trooper. The LaMat was a classic example of such
                                    a weapon. It was too heavy to carry on a belt and had to be carried
                                    in a saddle holster. It fired 9 rounds of ball and a 20 guage
                                    shotgun round. This along with other side-arms began to change the
                                    tactics of cavalry operations. This was something that had been
                                    learned from the Texans the the earlier years dealing with the
                                    plains Indians. Off horseback, the shortened, repeating carbine
                                    held an advantage. The increase in firepower against mounted enemy
                                    again changed the face of the cavalry. The Lancers were on their
                                    way out as were the traditional saber armed troopers. Being mounted
                                    offered a quick manuvering ability, but until small, repeating
                                    weapons were developed, limited them the increased firepower of the
                                    enemy.

                                    Jeff

                                    --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "James L. Choron"
                                    <lordjim@r...> wrote:
                                    > Mike,
                                    >
                                    > Being a Texan, I'm fairly up on the Mexican War. The reason I
                                    mentioned it was because I know of several instances where cavalry,
                                    both United States regular troops and Texas Rangers, broke up
                                    charges by lancers and compeltely routed them, even though
                                    outnumbered significantly, simply because the Rangers and U.S.
                                    troops were armed with pistols.
                                    >
                                    > I can see where the 6th would take lances, because there was no
                                    other option, but I can't see them choosing that weapon as a "first
                                    choice". I would also tend to wonder how long the lances remained in
                                    service, once better weapons came available.
                                    >
                                    > Jim
                                  • Mark Peters
                                    ... Don t patronise. War is not romantic, and if you have that vision ...
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Apr 5 3:32 PM
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                                      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, John Beatty <jdbeatty.geo@y...>
                                      wrote:
                                      > >The last cavalry charge in Europe, that I know of,
                                      > was by the Poles in an attempt to halt German tanks
                                      > in 1939.
                                      >
                                      > WAYYY off topic...the Polish cavalry that attacked the
                                      > German panzers were heavy infantry on horseback backed
                                      > by howitzers. The romantic vision most of us have
                                      > from that incident ain't quite right.

                                      Don't patronise. War is not romantic, and if you have that
                                      vision ...
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