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21372Re: [SCA-JML] Re: Off topic but strange

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  • Tim McShane
    Jun 25, 2006
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      Apologies to the list for continuing this decidedly off-topic thread. I waded into it merely to correct some factual errors, in the interest of trying to reduce the circulation of a widely-held, but mistaken belief . However, I have been asked to provide some additional information, so I beg the list's indulgence one more time.

      Noble Cousin!

      Greetings from Solveig!

      >> This is much-cited, but incorrectly identified as the last British
      >> cavalry charge. Churchill was indeed with the 21st Lancers at the
      >> Battle of Omdurman (Sept. 2, 1898, in the Sudan--not part of the
      >> South African War, colloquially known as the Boer War, which didn't
      >> break out until 1899), as both a war correspondant and an active
      >> officer. There was extensive horse use in the SAW, but the
      >> guerrilla tactics of the Boers were could not be effectively met by
      >> large-scale cavalry action, so most horse troops were used as
      >> mounted infantry.

      >The question is not whether or not pony soldiers mostly functioned
      >as dragoons. The question is whether or not there was a cavalry
      >charge. As in a mounted charge by British regulars.

      The questions I was addressing was the falacy of Omdurman as the last British cavalry charge, and the contention that the last charge was supposed to have taken place during the South African War. I made no assertion of "pony soldiers" acting as dragoons during the SAW, but asserted that most horsed units during that conflict acted as mounted infantry (there is a difference between dragoons and mounted infantry; you would be well advised to educate yourself in such matters before incorrectly ascribing meaning to another's post). I offered this statement to re-iterate that the last British cavalry charge definitely did not occur during the SAW, as that war saw little, if any, true cavalry action. The question that you raise here, of whether or not there was a mounted charge by British regulars, I addressed further on in my posting.

      >> There were other charges by British mounted units, though not
      >> specifically cavalry and not at regimental strength, during the
      >> Iraq rebellion (1920-1921); at Mers-el-Kebir (against the Vichy
      >> French, 1940); Toungoo, Burma (against the Japanese, March, 1942);
      >> and Isiolo, Kenya (vs. Mau Maus, 1953).

      >Great! Now that is interesting stuff to find out. Please supply
      >references. Of course one of my favorite British charges occurred
      >during the Crimean War.

      Since you don't question the actions of the Buckinghamshire Hussars and the 20th Hussars noted in my last post, I take it we agree that Omdurman was definitely not the last British cavalry charge, which is sufficient to make my point.

      Most of the above actions are covered in Lord Angelsey's, "A History of the British Cavalry," Volume 8, Appendix I. However, as you may find this book difficult to obtain;

      For the Scinde Horse in Iraq;

      For the Cheshire Yeomanry against the Vichy French (my mistake--in Syria, not at Mers-el-Kebir);
      http://www.answers.com/topic/timeline-of-the-british-army (entry under 9 June 1941)

      For elements of the Burma Frontier Force at Toungoo, 1942;

      Now, would you be so good as to reciprocate by offering references to support your contention that "The last regular army British cavalry charge was supposed to be during the Boar [sic] War." I've already indicated a number of charges that post-date the South African War, but I'd be most interested in any reliable account of a cavalry charge in the SAW.

      - Shiro

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