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

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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 1 of 23 , Apr 1, 2004
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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"
      >
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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 2 of 23 , Apr 1, 2004
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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
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • 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 3 of 23 , Apr 1, 2004
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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 4 of 23 , Apr 1, 2004
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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 5 of 23 , Apr 1, 2004
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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 6 of 23 , Apr 1, 2004
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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"

                __________________________________
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              • John Beatty
                ... the Eastern front, besides:) Not to mention the US in the Phillipines... ===== _________________________________ John D. Beatty, Milwaukee Wisconsin
                Message 7 of 23 , Apr 1, 2004
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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"

                  __________________________________
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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 8 of 23 , Apr 1, 2004
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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


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                  • 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 9 of 23 , Apr 2, 2004
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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 10 of 23 , Apr 3, 2004
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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 11 of 23 , Apr 3, 2004
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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 12 of 23 , Apr 5, 2004
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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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