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-NRLF 




MODERN CAVALRY 



THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 

NEW YORK BOSTON CHICAGO DALLAS 
ATLANTA SAN FRANCISCO 

MACMILLAN & CO., LIMITED 

LONDON BOMBAY CALCUTTA 
MELBOURNE 

THE MACMILLAN CO. OP CANADA, LTD. 

TORONTO 



MODERN CAVALRY 



STUDIES ON ITS ROLE IN THE WARFARE 
OF TO-DAY WITH NOTES ON TRAIN- 
ING FOR WAR SERVICE 



BY 

MAJOR MALCOLM WHEELER-NICHOLSON 

Cavalry, United States Army 



THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 
1922 

AH rights reserved 



PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 



COPYRIGHT, 1922, 
BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 



Set up and printed. Published January, 1922. 

\VpW\v^ *1 1 



Press of 

J. J. Little & Ives Company 
New York, U. S. A. 



PREFACE 

THE tumult and shouting of the world war has had a 
little time to die down. Throughout its course and for 
some time afterward it was impossible to clarify ideas and 
to deduce lessons. These require a certain amount of 
perspective for their better rendering. 

This perspective has been a little furnished by the 
passage of time. Time is a cold analyst who makes 
tangible the real causes and effects and relegates the 
merely subsidiary to a nebulous background. Out of the 
haze and smoke of conflict we can begin to see dimly the 
simple primitive forces that were at war and to see the 
underlying causes that make for victory or defeat. In 
freeing the mind from the thralldom of the present, in 
deliberately comparing this war with all wars, the mind 
of the military student becomes amazed at the simplicity 
of the predominating factors in warfare. 

This last war has complicated the issue by the use in 
battle of a larger variety of innovations in the way of 
auxiliaries and mechanical aids, than any war in history. 
The aeroplane and the tank and a host of like aids have 
a tendency to obsess the mind of the unthinking to the 
exclusion of the important factors in victory or defeat, 
to the real forces that battle for ascendency. 

Battle is decided by men. Mechanical aids and aux- 
iliaries end by neutralizing each other. They do not 
decide a war. It is the actual physical contact of men 



904B11 



vi PREFACE 

or the fear of physical contact that decides battles. In 
the final analysis it is the preponderance of man power 
that wins. 

To secure this preponderance of man power at the 
right place and time is the aim of all military leaders. 
It is the aim of all strategy and the reason for all the 
cumbersome mechanics of war. The Great Captains, 
from Hannibal to Napoleon, have been great because 
they, above all others, realized the fundamental simplicity 
of war. The failures and mediocrities in military history 
have failed because they grasped at the shadow, were 
obsessed with forms, formulas, geometrical figures and 
thereby missed the substance. "Getting there firstest with 
the mostest men" has always been and will always be the 
principle of warfare. All else is accessory. 

The "getting there firstest" part of this principle is the 
part upon which the argument for cavalry is based. In 
using tfie word cavalry it is first necessary to disabuse 
the mind of the untechnical civiMan of any ideas of 
waving plumes, whipping pennons and flashing cuirasses. 
The horse has become more of a means of transportation 
whereby to transport a soldier, armed, equipped and 
trained in all respects as the footman, to the firing line. 
Our cavalrymen use the same rifle, and are trained in 
the same musketry course as are the infantrymen of our 
army. They expend the same amount of ammunition at 
target practice as do the infantrymen. Why the battle 
value of our cavalry should be lessened by the fact that 
they approach the field of battle on horse rather than on 
foot has yet to be proved. 

Since the World War there are those who would sup- 
plant cavalry with infantry mounted in trucks and lorries. 
This, it is claimed, would make cavalry superfluous by 
rendering infantry equally mobile. This was done in the 



PREFACE vii 

war on the Western front, argue they. This argument 
takes for granted that there will be, in any terrain we 
will be called upon to march over, similar roads to those 
existing in Northern France. If one will take an atlas 
and estimate just how much -of the earth's surface is 
covered by roads in any way similar to those of Northern 
France this argument is at once proved fallacious. To 
particularize, in Europe one finds good roads in France, 
Germany, and the British Isles. And by good roads is 
meant roads that will stand up in rain and shine against 
the fearful racketing and tearing of heavy motor traffic. 
From the standard set by these three countries the roads 
of the remainder of Europe grade down to the cattle 
tracks on the immense steppes of Russia. The great 
highlands of Asia, the enormous extent of Africa, China, 
Siberia and Australia must be taken into consideration. 
In the two Americas we have a few good roads on our 
Atlantic seaboard, a narrow strip, and a few good ones 
on the southern end of our Pacific seaboard. Against 
these must be put the enormous territories of South and 
Central America, Mexico, the remainder of the United 
States and Canada. To base our transportation needs 
solely upon conditions existent in the comparatively tiny 
proportion of the earth's surface containing good roads 
and to disregard the hundreds of thousands of square 
miles not so blessed is putting too many eggs in one 
basket. The weakness of this is further exemplified when 
one takes into consideration the remote chances of another 
war between two white civilized races on civilized terrain, 
as compared to a war between a white civilized race and a 
colored race of lesser civilization fighting on a primitive 
terrain. And the greater portion of the earth's surface 
is primitive terrain inhabited by semi-civilized, barbaric 
or savage peoples. 



viii PREFACE 

In addition to the great extent of the earth's surface 
where it is impossible to use gasoline transportation, there 
is another phase of the problem that few people know or 
reflect on the fact that the gasoline supply of the world 
has a known limit and that limit much closer than people 
realize. 

Before relegating cavalry and the horse to the limbo 
of forgotten things, it is wise to reflect a little upon the 
Palestine campaign a campaign undertaken and pushed 
through while the fighting on the Western front was in 
progress with forces having access to the innovations 
introduced in this war. Because of the terrain, these 
forces fought, with few modifications, as Richard and 
Saladin fought in days gone by. The man, aided by the 
horse (a proportion of something like three divisions of 
cavalry to four of infantry) struggled as he has always 
struggled and always will struggle when a little removed 
from the good roads of civilized countries. 

Civilization has been overrun by horsemen from time 
immemorial. At recurrent periods throughout the course 
of history, hordes of horsemen have swept over Europe 
from the highlands of Asia. Our own America was 
discovered because o<f the closing of the trade routes 
to the East by the Seljukian Turks, marauding horsemen 
who had, themselves, been pushed from their fastnesses 
by still other roving horsemen in the interior of Asia. 

As long as the enormous stretches of almost trackless 
land surface on the globe are so much greater in extent 
than the small area of improved country, as long as these 
great domains are inhabited by people inferior in civiliza- 
tion, just so long will there be need of the mounted man. 

This necessity for cavalry was impressed upon the 
writer after having served on the plains of the Texas- 
Mexican border, after having served with Cossacks and 



PREFACE ix 

Japanese cavalries in Siberia and after having traveled 
over most of Europe, which traveling was followed by an 
exhaustive study of the World War. The necessity of 
attempting to correct some of the current fallacies in 
regard to cavalry was impressed upon him. 

This work is not intended as an exhaustive or complete 
treatise upon cavalry. It is an attempt to put between 
the covers of one book the best thought on the subject as 
represented in the conversation and writings of English, 
French, Belgian, Japanese, Russian and German cavalry 
officers. The writer has had the privilege of studying at 
first hand the cavalry services of all of the above named 
cavalries except the German and made up for this latter 
lack by studying the Swedish which is closely modeled 
r>n the German. Good ideas have been freely pre-empted 
wherever found. The notes on training have been for 
the most part hammered out from personal experience 
extending over nearly ten years of service as a cavalry 
officer. 

It is hoped that the young cavalry officer will be 
enabled to find herein enough matter of interest to lead 
him to reflection on the tactical possibilities and responsi- 
bilities of his profession. 

The work is offered with no apologies. It represents 
a lot of hard work honestly undertaken in an effort to 
contribute a little to thought on the subject of National 
defense. It tries, as best it can, to fill the gap caused 
by the fact that there is no modern work based on cavalry 
service in the World War. 

M. W. N. 



ACKNOWLEDGMENT 



The following works have been valuable in furnishing 
materials : 

Cavalry in War and Peace von Bernhardi 

Cavalry in Future Wars. von Bernhardi 

Cavalry on Service von Pelet-Narbonne 

The Nation in Arms von der Goltz 

The Conduct of War von der Goltz 

On War von Clausewitz 

Tactics, Cavalry and Artillery Balck 

Entwicklung der Taktik im Weltkrieg 

(Berlin, 1920) Balck 

The March on Paris von Kluck 

Die Rieter Patrouille im Weltkrieg Rittmeister K'ronberger 

Die Militarischen Lehren des Grossen 

Krieges M. Schwarte 

Heerfiirhrung im Weltkrieg von Freytag-Loringhoven 

Our Cavalry Rimington 

A History of Cavalry Denison 

1914 Field Marshal French 

The Palestine Campaign British Official Account 

Aids to Scouting Baden-Powell 

The Art of Reconnaissance Henderson 

Some Achievements of Cavalry Field Marshal Sir 

Evelyn Wood 
British Campaigns in France and 

Flanders Conan Doyle 

The Tank Corps Williams-Ellis 

La Cayallerie Franchise de la premier 

battaile de la Marne Hethay 

The Principles of War Marshal Foch 

Cavaliers de France (1914 Etapes et 

combats) Capitaine Langevin 

xi 



xii ACKNOWLEDGMENT 

The Crowd Le Bon 

The Transformations of War Commandant Colin 

American Campaigns Steele 

The Mounted Rifleman Brig. Gen. Parker 

In addition to the above many valuable ideas have been gleaned 
from various articles in the British Cavalry Journal, the Journal 
of the Royal United Service Institute and the American Cavalry 
Journal. Thanks are hereby expressed to Lieut. Col. David 
Biddle, Cav. Liaison Officer with the British Army of Occupation, 
to Captain Royden Williamson, Cav. Liaison Officer with the 
Belgian Army of Occupation and to Lieut. Mark Devine, Cav- 
alry attached to the i6th Cuirassier Regiment, French Army of 
Occupation, for the assistance and information furnished by 
them. Valuable facts as to the campaign in Palestine were found 
in the reports of Colonel Davis, Cavalry. 

M, W. N. 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

I THE VALUE OF CAVALRY i 

II TROOP TRAINING SOME BASIC FACTORS .... 15 

III TROOP TRAINING MORALE FACTORS 31 

IV TROOP TRAINING THE OFFICER 49 

V TROOP TRAINING THE HORSE 66 

VI AUXILIARIES WITH CAVALRY 75 

VII CAVALRY TACTICS MOUNTED ACTION 88 

VIII CAVALRY TACTICS DISMOUNTED ACTION . . . . 106 

IX CAVALRY TACTICS VARIED REQUIREMENTS ... 120 

X CAVALRY TACTICS VARIED REQUIREMENTS (Cont.) . 136 

XI RECONNAISSANCE AIR SERVICE AND CAVALRY . . .151 

XII CAVALRY RECONNAISSANCE, PATROLS AND SCOUTS . . 160 

XIII NOTES ON FOREIGN CAVALRY .... 182 



MODERN CAVALRY 



MODERN CAVALRY 



CHAPTER I 

THE VALUE OF CAVALRY 

Far from having had its luster dimmed by tj^c world 
war, the cavalry service has guinfeS ne\v power and value 
by the lessons learned therein. n Cavalry > has Always had 
certain advantages and Virtues .possessed' by' 1 no' other 
branch. It has still those virtues and advantages but 
has added immeasurably to the original stock. It has 
lost certain of its disadvantages. 

The great advantages possessed by cavalry have always 
been its superior mobility and offensive power. The 
great lack has always been stability and defensive power. 
It still has its original mobility. It has, in addition, a 
greatly enhanced offensive power. It has now a stability 
and defensive power only slightly less than that of the 
infantry. It went into the world war an auxiliary branch 
it has come out with the position that rightfully be- 
longs to it that of a co-equal combatant branch. 

The future of the cavalry lies in its ability as a com- 
batant or fighting branch. It is in developing to their 
fullest capacity these capabilities that the energy of the 



2 MODERN CAVALRY 

cavalry must find its fullest expression. It can and must 
be made the powerful arm in our army that it is fully 
capable of being. It has always been the only arm in the 
hands of a general whereby to dominate movement. It 
is the arm of decision. There can not be a decisive 
victory without its aid. This has always been true. This 
truth has gained greater strength and importance owing 
to the increased fighting value of cavalry and its in- 
creased range of capabilities. 

Cavalry is an arm highly sensitive to leadership. It is 
not only necessary to have good cavalry but the higher 
commanders must understand the proper handling of it. 
Many faults laid at the door of cavalry can be laid directly 
at the door of the higher authority unskilled in its use. 
This was: the chief -fault <D the German leaders in 1870 
and of tfre'Japanesfe aM- Russian leaders in 1904. 

The pffipef ^ ^fto is ambitious to wear the general's 
stars*a*nd^o Jekd irirbajttteS'Olt'he future must thoroughly 
understand the powers and capabilities of cavalry. Any 
officer who hopes to rise to successful command must 
understand how to direct or cooperate with cavalry. 
The proof of this needs no more than a critical study of 
the cavalry operations in the world war, not only a study 
of the comparatively limited sector of the Western front, 
as valuable as that is, but a study of all fronts. 

The chief lesson to be learned from this study is, that 
upon the results gained by the cavalry in the first weeks 
of a war will depend, to an enormous extent, the success 
or failure of the first decisive encounter of all arms. 

The second lesson to be learned is the one stated above 
the increase in the value of cavalry as the result of 
its action in the world war. To realize this it is only 
necessary to study the Allied cavalry performances; 



THE VALUE OF CAVALRY 3 

above all, the British cavalry. Such a study will convince 
one that never has cavalry in the past performed duties 
as valuable or as varied as it has in the war just finished. 

It is further necessary to disabuse the mind of all ideas 
as to the importance of position warfare in the wars of 
the future. It is necessary to remember, especially for 
American officers, that after the first few weeks in 1914 
the war on the Western front was nothing but one stu- 
pendous battle. A battle has ordinarily three phases, the 
maneuvering or contact period, the encounter period, and 
the withdrawal period. Cavalry, as cavalry, is of para- 
mount importance in the first period, when the opposing 
armies are finding each other, and in the third period 
when one has been defeated and retreats and the other has 
been victorious and pursues. But in the second period, 
the period of infantry and artillery action, cavalry finds 
its greatest sphere of influence upon the flanks. In this 
great battle of the Western front the second period 
lasted over four years and there were no flanks. 

On the Western front the cavalry performed nobly in 
the first period, acted as infantry and a mobile reserve 
in the second period and was denied participation in the 
third owing to the moral collapse of the Germans while 
they were still practically intact physically. To say that 
the warfare of the future will be similar to the warfare 
on the Western front is to say that all wars of the future 
will be fought by millions of men facing each other with 
the sea on one flank and a neutral country on the other. 

Half-baked enthusiasm for or half -baked condemna- 
tion of cavalry are both valueless as being based upon 
ignorance. It is necessary to give heed, however, to 
the opinions of the leaders in this stupendous struggle. 
Such men as Field Marshal French, Field Marshal Haig> 



4 MODERN CAVALRY 

Field Marshal Allenby, General Pershing, General von 
Kluck and General Ludendorff to mention a few, whose 
viewpoint is necessarily based upon a knowledge of the 
whole rather than restricted to any special part, have 
expressed opinions upon cavalry that are well worth 
quoting. 

Among a great many other commendatory remarks 
upon the work of the British cavalry Field Marshal 
French * has this to say referring especially to the share 
of his cavalry in battle : "The greatest threat of disaster 
with which we were faced in 1914 was staved off by the 
devoted bravery and endurance displayed by the cavalry 
corps under a commander, General Allenby, who handled 
them throughout with consummate skill ... it is no dis- 
paragement, however, to the other troops engaged if I 
lay stress upon the fact that it was the cavalry alone 
who, for more than a fortnight previously, had been dis- 
puting foot by foot every yard of the ground to the 
river Lys. They had fought day and night with the 
utmost tenacity and the battles of October 31 and Novem- 
ber i were but the climax to a long and bitter spell of 
heroic effort. . . . Taking into account the losses they 
suffered they can hardly have opposed 2,000 rifles to the 
onslaught of what has been computed at more than two 
German army corps." 

Field Marshal Haig, in his careful report of the war 
to his government, had the following to say about the 
cavalry service: "In the light of the full experience of 
the war the decision to preserve the cavalry corps has 
been completely justified. It has been proved that cavalry, 
whether used for shock effect under suitable conditions, 
or as mobile infantry, have still an indispensable part to 

"1914,". P. 266. 



THE VALUE OF CAVALRY 5 

play in modern war. Moreover, it can not safely be 
assumed that in future wars the flanks of the opposing 
forces will rest on neutral states or impassable obstacles. 
Whenever such a condition does not obtain, opportunities 
for the use of cavalry must arise frequently." 

"Throughout the great retirement in 1914 our cavalry 
covered the retirement and protected the flanks of our 
columns against the onrush of the enemy; and on fre- 
quent occasions prevented our infantry from being over- 
run by the enemy cavalry. Later in the same year at 
Ypres their mobility multiplied their value as a reserve, 
enabling them rapidly to reinforce threatened portions of 
our line." 

General Pershing in his article in our Cavalry Journal l 
stated that "The splendid work of the cavalry in the 
first few weeks of the war more than justified its exist- 
ence and the expense of its upkeep in the years of peace 
preceding the war. The American theory for the em- 
ployment of cavalry is correct and the Allied cavalry 
would have been of even greater use in the early months 
of the war if it had been trained as American cavalry is 
trained." 

On the other side von Kluck, the commander of the 
First German Army that made the rush through Belgium 
and France to be stopped at the First Battle of the Marne, 
has this to say as to one occasion when he lacked cavalry : 
"On the occasion of the pursuit of the British army after 
Mons and their successful and skilful retreat on the 24th 
and 25th of August 1914 . . . the chief factor 2 that en- 
abled the British Army to escape was that the German 
First Army (von Kluck's) lacked the effective means of 

1 Journal U. S. Cavalry Association, April, 1920. 
a< The March on Paris, 1914," page 56. 



6 MODERN CAVALRY 

making it stand and fight, namely, the three divisions 
which composed Marwitz's Cavalry Corps." 

Ludendorf l is quoted in the Cavalry Journal as saying : 
"The cavalry was of the greatest importance and service 
to me in all campaigns of movement. In the March, 1918, 
offensive in France, I felt seriously handicapped by the 
lack of cavalry." 

It will be noted that most of these testimonies as to the 
value of cavalry refer to it in the movement phase of the 
war. As long as armies are forced to maneuver, as 
long as there are great stretches of broad continent in 
the world, in America, in Africa, in Europe and in Asia 
just so long will there be need of highly mobile troops. 
So far the cavalry is the only successful mobile branch 
fit and able to discharge all duties that a war of movement 
would make necessary. 

Cavalry has improved to an enormous degree. It can 
defend itself from surprise more fully, can deceive, 
threaten and hold in check and is much more capable of 
vigorous offensive action than in former days. It is 
keeping up with the demands of modern war. The very 
innovations that were loudly proclaimed as capable of 
supplanting cavalry are developing now into aids that 
have added immeasurably to the value of cavalry. It is 
high time we stopped speculating on the numerous and 
varied substitutes that were to supplant cavalry, such as 
aeroplanes, tanks, etc., and study as to how we can best 
utilize the power of these new weapons to aid cavalry. 

The history of the art of war has been the history of 

battle. Battle has always been decided by men, men 

armed with spear and shield or men armed with rifle 

and bayonet. The scythe-bearing chariot, the elephant 

journal U. S. Cavalry Association, July, 1920, 



THE VALUE OF CAVALRY ^ 

tower, the tank and the aeroplane were and are auxil- 
iaries that aided or aid the elemental man to fight his 
enemies, to come to actual physical contact with them. 
This actual physical contact, or the fear of it, is what 
always has and what always will, decide battles. 

Battles have been won by men, armed with this weapon 
and that, aided by this auxiliary and that. In some 
periods the mounted man predominated in others the foot- 
man. The history of the development of tactics has been 
the history of the alternate rise and fall in importance of 
horsemen and footmen as battle troops. Cavalry occu- 
pied a high place as offensive troops in battle down to the 
period of the invention of the breech-loading quick-firing 
rifle. The American Civil War blazed the way towards 
a new development of cavalry tactics the development of 
the highly mobile cavalryman armed also with the quick- 
firing breech-loading rifle, capable of fighting mounted 
against cavalry or dismounted against infantry. This 
was simply a revival of the dragoon principle which is as 
old as the history of cavalry. In spite of the lessons 
taught by the American Civil War, European cavalries 
stood fast by their out-of-date tactics, the idea of the 
arme blanche to the exclusion of aught else. 

The English carried out these ideas even as late as the 
Boer War. There they encountered a highly mobile 
type of rifleman who ran rings around their old-fashioned 
cavalry tactics. They learned in the Boer War what 
we learned in the Civil War. They profited well by their 
teaching, amplified their armament and carried things to 
a still further point in their insistence upon cooperation 
of horse artillery with cavalry at all times, a high degree 
of rifle and machine gun fire and a general augmentation 
of the offensive fire power of cavalry. They have not 



8 MODERN CAVALRY 

forgotten the use of the horse as a weapon but have at- 
tached the proper weight to that use. 

Our theory as to the use of cavalry is correct as has 
often been stated. Our practice in training does not fully 
carry out the tenets of our theory. It is a serious 
question whether the British have not outstripped us in 
their practice while we have been content with the theory. 
It must be remembered that they have had two wars in 
which their cavalry has fought and learned since our 
Civil War, which was the last that saw American cavalry 
used in any numbers as cavalry. 

It is inspiring to read the words of Field Marshal 
Allenby in the January, 1921, number of the American 
Cavalry Journal as representing the opinion of a most suc- 
cessful British leader in the World War : "I have been a 
cavalry officer ever since I joined the army in 1882 and I 
have never felt more confidence in the future of the arm 
than I do today. . . . Recent inventions and appliances 
affecting the conditions of war, so far from lessening the 
power and scope of cavalry have added thereto/' 

The chief value of cavalry is its value as a highly mobile 
battle arm. It is a fighting branch. That it can, in ad- 
dition, perform valuable screening and reconnaissance 
duties, can threaten flanks and rear, can act as a highly 
mobile reserve, can on occasion use its horses as weapons, 
can pursue and can cover a retreat does not detract from 
the fundamental reason for its being that its men can 
fight shoulder to shoulder with the infantryman. It can 
do it because it has done it and accomplished glorious 
results in modern war. 

It is only in the minds of that type who read as they 
run that cavalry has suffered in estimation. This type 
of mind has concentrated itself upon the special opera- 



THE VALUE OF CAVALRY 9 

tions covering a comparatively limited period upon the 
Western front. It is the only front with which the 
American public is at all acquainted as a whole. The 
splendid operations of Allenby's cavalry in Palestine are 
now known to the army as well as the operations in 
Mesopotamia and Syria. The cavalry operations of the 
early days of 1914 on the Western front are available 
for study. Little light has as yet been thrown on the 
operations of the German and Russian cavalries on the 
Eastern front though fragmentary references to these 
are contained in the Militdr Wochenblatt that point to the 
existence of great decisions gained by the arm in that 
sector. The operations in Rumania are not available for 
study at the time of writing. There is however a wealth 
of material available for study without these. 

Had any one of these fronts, in which open warfare 
was the rule, been in the limelight by being the sole 
theatre of operations, with the world's attention focussed 
upon it to the exclusion of aught else, it is believed that 
the value of open warfare and the correspondingly 
greater value of that essential open fighting arm, cavalry, 
would not have suffered to the extent that it has in hasty 
civilian estimation. 

The civilian mind forms its notion of military happen- 
ings from press despatches. The military mind must not 
content itself with the same information. This condition 
has worked a species of injustice on the cavalry service. 
One does not stop to think that it is an unusually active 
newspaper correspondent who can accompany cavalry on 
campaign, and to reflect that the rare press correspondent 
who did must be a species of military genius to evolve 
news items out of his restricted view of any cavalry 
operations with their enormous extension and extreme 



io MODERN 'CAVALRY 

rapidity. His viewpoint would necessarily be restricted 
to the minor sHare played by the squadron or other small 
unit that he accompanied. Small blame to him if he 
turned to the spectacular innovations that were more 
nearly under his eye and whose "news value" from his 
viewpoint and from the viewpoint of the people he 
served the reading public was immeasurably greater. 
The work of cavalry on campaign extends over a greater 
area and is exceedingly difficult for the layman, with his 
hazy notions of tactics and strategy, to understand. 
For these reasons the work of the Allied and German 
cavalries during the first phase of the war, in the early 
days of 1914, has never been assessed at its full value by 
the public as a whole. 

There is no excuse for the military mind following this 
model. Sufficient study and reflection on the part of the 
most skeptical will convince them of the value of cavalry. 
It is a waste of time to argue upon a question so easily 
proved. This time should be devoted to a study of the 
tactics and training of cavalry. 

A study of armament, training and tactics for cavalry 
would lead to a study of the probable theatres of war for 
that branch. Any place on the earth's surface is a 
possible theatre of operations. What would have been 
the reply of an American cavalry officer cheerlessly doing 
"fours right" in the sun and sand of the Mexican border 
in the year 1912 if he had been told that in seven short 
years he would be struggling against the German in the 
fields of France? He would most likely be as uncon- 
vinced today if told that he might in a few short years 
be struggling on the rich and productive spaces in Siberia 
against a powerful military autocracy to ease its strangle- 
hold on a virgin continent. There is scarcely any place 



THE VALUE OF CAVALRY n 

on the earth's surface that is improbable as a theatre of 
future operations and still fewer that are impossible. 
Modern means of transportation make of the sea a high- 
way rather than a barrier. As to causes, no man knows 
what the morrow will bring forth ; this however is 
certain every point of contact with a foreign nation is a 
possible point of irritation. Our points of contact have 
increased a thousand fold in the last few years and are 
still increasing by leaps and bounds. The cavalryman 
has no means of foretelling upon what broad continent 
his training and skill may be called in as a bulwark to his 
country ; it behooves him prepare for any eventuality. 
He must not be narrow. He must above all refrain from 
adopting as his model the type of warfare on the Western 
Front. 

Sir John French * says : "It is always a danger when 
some particular campaign is picked out at the fancy of 
some pedagogue, and its lessons recommended as a 
panacea. It is by study and meditation of the whole of 
the long history of war and not by concentration upon 
single and special phases of it, that we obtain safe guid- 
ance to the principles and practice of an art which is as 
old as the world itself." 

For all these reasons it is to be hoped that the type of 
mind that bases all its conclusions upon the American 
phase of the warfare on the Western Front will not be 
the deciding voice in our legislative chambers and military 
councils, so that cavalry shall not undergo the danger of 
being assessed at less than its true value and that its 
strength shall not be cut down to a point where it can 
seriously affect the strength of the army as a whole. 

1 Preface to translation, "Cavalry in War and Peace," von 
Bernhardi. 



12 MODERN CAVALRY 

The public as a whole should be educated to the value 
of cavalry. Propaganda is only the official word for 
advertising and there should be- few Americans unaware 
of the value of advertising. The necessity for it is this 
that the army originates and is supported by the people 
and it is due them that they be informed of it in spite 
of themselves. Without the popular support thus stimu- 
lated the cavalry will not be the strength to the army and 
the country in the hour of need that it should be. 

Every cavalry officer should consider himself duty 
bound to educate all with whom he comes in contact. 
The Cavalry Association and the Cavalry Journal should 
be supported enthusiastically. Close touch should be 
maintained with National Guard and Reserve Cavalry 
Officers. Effort should not only be made to give them 
all the assistance and encouragement possible and to make 
them feel that they are brothers in arms but their assist- 
ance must be secured in furthering the advance of the 
mounted service as a whole, which as civilians, they can 
do in mai\y ways not open to the Regular officer, the en- 
couragement of horse breeding and horse interests 
generally, being one. 

Effort should be made to secure as reserve officers that 
class of young men whose interests are allied with cavalry 
interests horse breeders, polo players, gentlemen 
jockeys, and horse enthusiasts generally. Their co- 
operation would succeed in keeping the cavalry more in 
touch with the public, and would have its effect in raising 
the value of cavalry in civilian estimation. The educa- 
tion of the public to the value of cavalry will lead to an 
increased appreciation of it and this will be valuable in 
that it will react quickly and favorably upon the morale 
of the service. 

The morale of our cavalry service suffered somewhat, 



THE VALUE OF CAVALRY 13 

both from the fact that so many of the younger cavalry 
officers were not enabled to share in the fighting on the 
Western front, and from the temporary eclipse of the 
value of cavalry owing to the non-use of our mounted 
men in France. It is necessary to raise this morale. 
One of the best means is the educating of the cavalry 
officer to the value of his branch. He must not only be 
informed of what it has done in modern war of the past 
but what it is capable of doing in war of the future. 

He must remember that cavalry, while less numeri- 
cally, is more important strategically, owing to the ex- 
tension of modern battle fronts, and to the increased sen- 
sitiveness of the enemy's lines of communications caused 
by the demands of modern war. The modern army is 
comparatively much more dependent upon its line of 
communications than formerly. This renders move- 
ments against such lines of greater value than in the days 
when an army could live off the country. Any interrup- 
tion of the enemy lines of communication has a much 
more telling effect than formerly. 

He must remember that while cavalry has to a certain 
extent been supplanted as the organ of strategical recon- 
naissance by the air service, that such supplanting operates 
to aid the cavalry and to allow it to develop to the fullest 
its capabilities in tactical reconnaissance, which the aero- 
plane cannot replace. That side which through any 
cause is denied the assistance of its air force whose air 
force meets with defeat will be deprived of all means of 
reconnaissance unless it can rely upon cavalry. 

It must be remembered that cavalry is the arm of de- 
cision. It is the strategic and tactical weapon capable of 
swift and extended movement. Cherfils * says that 
"three-quarters of. the strategy of war lies in the method 

1 Quoted in "Our Cavalry," Rimington, page 98. 



14 MODERN CAVALRY 

of the employment of cavalry." This is true because 
cavalry, if properly handled, ensures to the higher com- 
mand freedom of action and correspondingly denies that 
privilege to the enemy. 

As long as the individual soldier with his weapon re- 
mains the ultimate factor in warfare so long will cavalry 
retain its importance as a combatant arm; the world as 
yet has too many broad spaces wherein armies of the 
future can be moved. That army that retains the largest 
force of highly mobile battle troops will hold the winning 
cards in the future as in the past. 

The value of cavalry will be nothing unless we have 
leaders trained in its use -not only leaders in the arm 
itself but leaders of all branches. A combination of fine 
horses, excellent riders and excellent shots will not make 
cavalry. All these are worthless unless they are led, led 
by leaders who understand the tactical and strategical 
value of that most sensitive and responsive of all arms to 
leadership. Leaders are needed who can cooperate in- 
telligently with higher command, who can cooperate with 
infantry and artillery and who can in addition fulfill all 
the manifold duties demanded of a cavalry officer. 

To have cavalry of the highest value it must be led and 
well led to be able to lead it properly should be the am- 
bition of every cavalry officer. To achieve leadership re- 
quires a careful balance of study and action, requires 
moreover, a sticking to the main issue, a constant objective 
in view, a daily analysis of one's activities, a daily asking 
of the question "Am I following the road that is leading 
to improved readiness for war or am I plucking daisies 
by the road side ?" 



CHAPTER II 

TROOP TRAINING SOME BASIC FACTORS 

In the cavalry service we must realize that the Ameri- 
can cavalry has not had the advantages of service as 
cavalry in campaign in the World War. We have not 
had the opportunity of learning lessons, of correcting 
errors, of formulating doctrines, that has been granted the 
other branches. In other words, we are behind the other 
branches. They have had their trial by fire, we have not. 

The only alternative is the alternative of learning by 
the experience of others. How can we best do that? 
What do we want to learn? 

At the present time we are formulating a cavalry 
doctrine. A cavalry doctrine is necessary before we will 
ever make a united and efficient working force of the 
cavalry. This will first require the development of a 
clear and uniform combat policy for the cavalry. This 
policy should be enunciated definitely and unmistakably 
and should be the basis for peace time training and war 
time service. 

The next step is the concentration of the best brains 
in the cavalry on the training problem, to determine the 
limit and scope of the training necessary to realize the 
tactical ideals announced in the doctrine. This then would 
be the basis for determining the standards of training of 
all units of the cavalry from the private on up through 

15 



16 MODERN CAVALRY 

the squad and platoon to the division. Lastly, there 
should be a strict and uniform test for every unit. 

Scharnhorst * is quoted as saying that in war it did not 
matter so much what was done as that it should be done 
with vigor and singularity of purpose. Vigor and singu- 
larity of purpose are the necessary forces to put into effect 
if we are to have a cavalry fit to hold its own. 

The adoption and strict carrying out of any system, 
based on good sense, would obviate the very common 
practice of devoting time and energy to subjects that have 
no bearing upon battle efficiency. It would stop the 
branching off of the main road that leads to preparation 
for war and the following of innumerable small by-paths 
that lead nowhere. 

The ideal for which the cavalry should strive should 
be a thorough training for fighting. Every activity 
should be analyzed from that -viewpoint. Individual 
hobbies should be banned with bell and book. All 
hobbies contain in them some element of good to the 
service. It is when one hobby is followed to the ex- 
clusion of all other training that the harm results. 

It used to be possible very often to find regiments that 
were simply aggregations of lettered troops. In this type 
of regiment it was not seen that the regiment was failing 
to justify its existence by being a tactical organization, 
but was simply content with being called a regiment, in 
other words, this term had degenerated into nothing more 
nor less than a drill designation and an administrative con- 
venience. In the regiment of this type, one troop was 
composed of excellent horsemen and well-trained horses, 

*At the council of war held on Oct. 5, 1806, in the Prussian 
Headquarters at Erfurt. Quoted in "The Nation in Arms," von 
der Goltz, page 63. 



TROOP TRAINING SOME BASIC FACTORS 17 

another was proficient with the sabre, another was a 
shooting troop and a lot were simply mediocre at every- 
thing. 

The commander of that regiment labored under the 
delusion that he was commanding a tactical unit ; he was 
not. He was commanding twelve troops, each troop 
more or less of a specialist at some one phase of work, 
all of them varying in efficiency in any number of classes 
of work that they were liable to be called upon to perform 
in the field. To achieve any results in campaign with that 
type of command, it was necessary that the regimental 
commander have a highly developed knowledge of all the 
peculiarities and specialties of his subordinate command- 
ers. The problem was further complicated when it reached 
the brigade because the brigade commander had to know 
all the personal quirks of all the subordinate commanders 
with the addition of the personalities of his regimental 
commanders. In other words, to be a successful higher 
commander of cavalry under such conditions would re- 
quire an intimate and detailed knowledge of all the idiosyn- 
crasies of all the subordinate commanders who had any- 
thing to do with training. Such a lack of system is 
dangerous. Some day in the field men will be sent on 
missions that they are not trained for, men will be put 
into the firing line and waste ammunition, they will be 
sent on patrols and hurt their unit by being captured in- 
stead of aiding it by bringing back information. Men in 
every unit will vary in the nature and degree of their 
training in all phases of cavalry work. 

It is absolutely necessary that every regiment, every 
squadron and every troop be trained in the same subjects 
and be equally well trained. This can only be achieved 
by standardization of training. 



i8 MODERN CAVALRY 

When training is standardized there will be the in- 
evitable cry from the unthinking regarding "initiative." 
Initiative is a term that has been abused a great deal. It 
is wise to consider initiative and its relation to training. 
The development of the highest degree of initiative com- 
patible with the military machine should be the ideal 
especially in the cavalry. But the difference between 
the initiative that leaves the choice of results in the hands 
of many and diverse personalities and the initiative that 
finds expression in choice of means to fulfil certain pre- 
scribed requirements should be clearly understood. In 
the one case there are some ten or twelve requirements 
for a trained force of cavalry; the initiative finds ex- 
pression in choosing the number and type, in selecting 
which of these subjects shall be worked upon. In the 
other case the initiative finds expression in choice of means 
to comply with certain standards prescribed for the whole 
service. This is the proper outlet for initiative. 

To develop the highest degree of initiative possible in all 
subordinates is a laudable objective for the cavalry service. 
To do it implies that every subordinate leader should 
actually lead. He must have command of his unit, and 
this must hold true from the squad on up to the division. 
The corporal and the sergeant must be given the highest 
degree of responsibility possible. They, like all others, 
should be required to render an accounting of their 
stewardship at stated intervals by means of prescribed 
tests. The lieutenant, who in many troops of the old 
army, was detailed hither and yon on a variety of odd 
jobs, must be developed by responsibility. And one of 
the best methods of developing responsibility in a combat 
officer is to allow him to command. Give the lieutenant 
a platoon and make him responsible for it ; he has to lead 



TROOP TRAINING SOME BASIC FACTORS 19 

it in war, he should learn in peace. In practice such a 
system is found to develop the enthusiasm and energy of 
the lieutenant to a remarkable degree. 

The troop commander, an individual upon whom the 
responsibility should rest, should be judged by his results. 
It is believed that the comparative youth of present field 
officers has a tendency to work a hardship on many troop 
commanders who find that they have too many means 
prescribed when, as a matter of fact, the choice of means 
should be left to their judgement. The squadron com- 
mander should look upon his duties more in an advisory 
light and should consider himself, as far as training goes, 
more as a guide and a counsellor. When the time comes 
for testing the state of training of his unit then he should 
be very exacting. Up to that time he should consider 
that his main duty is the training of officers. If he wants 
highly efficient, dependable and responsible troop officers 
under him then he should work to develop these qualities 
in his subordinates, remembering that the ideal is to give 
a man a job and then let him develop it (and incidentally 
himself) to the highest degree. If he is incapable of de- 
velopment and is unworthy of being trusted take measures ' 
to get rid of him. 

The troop commander must carry out the same principle 
with his subordinates. His lieutenants and non-commis- 
sioned officers are entitled to the same amount of re- 
sponsibility and trust that he desires. 

The non-commissioned officer is an important person 
in any branch. Owing to the dispersed work of cavalry 
he is exceptionally important in this branch. His 
capabilities as a trainer are very often not sufficiently de- 
veloped. He should in the first place be selected more 
carefully than he is in many organizations. Simply being 



20 MODERN CAVALRY 

an old soldier is not sufficient. There are old soldiers 
and old soldiers. The non-commissioned officer should 
be a professional soldier of a high type of efficiency and 
capability. As to selection, let the troop commander 
select him as heretofore, but let the higher authority pre- 
scribe a test before he is appointed. This test should be 
a thorough examination of him as a horseman, as a shot, 
as a leader, and as a scout. Let this test be held fre- 
quently in the organization so as to make it an incentive 
for the private to better his condition. Some means of 
advancement should be made open to the private in addi- 
tion to the whim of his troop commander. The non-com- 
missioned officer once made should have as much honor, 
responsibility and initiative allowed him as is possible. It 
would be the better part to attempt the formation of a 
class of professional soldiers amongst the non-commis- 
sioned officers, to make this more of a career for a young 
man than it now is. There should be a greater difference 
in the pay of the non-commissioned officer and the private 
than there is now. The non-commissioned officer should 
not be treated as simply a private with some marks on his 
arm. His initiative and responsibility should be de- 
veloped by throwing upon his shoulders the direct re- 
sponsibility for the training of the individual. The officer 
should visualize his duties more as a trainer of groups. 
The task of the officer does not end with developing his 
own -energy to the highest point. He will fail signally 
as a leader if he does not develop the capabilities of his 
subordinates. This after all is the test of leadership. A 
study of means to encompass these ends will repay an 
officer out of all proportion to the labor involved. Every 
part of the machine should function under its own power. 
It should function automatically, the energy coming from 



TROOP TRAINING SOME BASIC FACTORS 21 

within, the sum of the energies of the subordinate leaders. 
The difference is like the difference between one man 
who laboriously pushes an automobile with a dead engine 
and another who rides in a machine moving along under 
the power of its own engine. 

To achieve such results it is necessary to crowd sub- 
ordinates with responsibility, to avoid worrying them, to 
demand results, to rate them competitively, to praise and 
reward the successful and energetic ones and rid oneself 
of the failures. Every subordinate should be tested and 
his capabilities measured. 

The troop commander's success or failure depends upon 
the performance of his organization. This depends in 
great measure upon the amount of energy developed from 
his officers and non-commissioned officers. How many 
troop commanders really have anything but a rather hazy 
idea of the comparative virtues and failings of their sub- 
ordinate leaders ? The only successful means of arriving 
at this ability to judge is to test them in command of a 
unit appropriate to their grade. 

Owing to the nature of cavalry requirements, the 
cavalry soldier is required to absorb a knowledge of many 
things. The horse, the rifle, the automatic rifle, the 
automatic pistol, the sabre, scouting, care of self and 
equipment are a few of the most important. To train 
properly a man in all these subjects in addition to the 
other many demands upon his time, presupposes a very 
exact and scientific system of training the individual if 
results are to be gained. There cannot be any duplica- 
tion, any lost motion or any slighting of any of the sub- 
jects. To neglect any link in this chain of instruction 
will weaken the whole. 

It is a serious question whether we even approximate a 



22 MODERN CAVALRY 

thorough covering of all the subjects of training with the 
individual soldier. All these things have to be crowded 
in the short space of time left in a soldier's enlistment 
from guard duty, from the hospital, from schools, from 
the guard house and from fatigue duties, all of which 
take time from the important duty of training the in- 
dividual for war. To achieve this means a great deal 
of thinking must be applied to the problem. 

There is not enough thought expended upon the in- 
dividual as an individual. The average troop officer is 
prone to look upon him in the aggregate. He is prone to 
concentrate his energy upon the proportion of men he 
turns out each day for drill but he does not think of the 
men who are not at drill. He does not visualize his 
problem with the idea of seeking to turn out an organiza- 
tion in which every man has a thorough, equal and uni- 
form training for war. The present method is too much 
of a hit and miss affair. If the cavalry is going to meet 
the many and varied demands that will be made of it in 
modern war we must make the training of the individual 
more of a scientific business. 

The methods now in use with some officers are open to 
serious objections, first because there is no uniformity in 
the organization, men varying in the same troop to a great 
extent in various qualifications, some being good horse- 
men, some poor, some being good scouts, others hopeless, 
some being good shots, while with others ammunition 
would be saved and better results gained by supplying 
them with a handful of rocks. Secondly, such methods 
tend to deaden the initiative and interest of the individual 
soldier. He is drilled as hard and painstakingly at the 
subjects in which he is proficient as the most newly joined 
recruit who has, as yet, gained proficiency in nothing. 



TROOP TRAINING SOME BASIC FACTORS 23 

There is no incentive for him to apply his abilities and 
his energy in learning a subject; he is given no considera- 
tion for having learned it. 

The time saving system, where results would be more 
certain of accomplishment, would be a system of rating 
cards for each man. When he has become a satisfactory 
horseman let him devote his time to the pistol or to some 
subject in which he is deficient. He would be a much 
more satisfactory soldier and much more interested in the 
game if he were given some credit for having learned a 
subject quickly and permitted to devote his time to other 
necessary things. It would conserve the energies of both 
officers and non-commissioned officers and save dupli- 
cation of effort if they could be permitted to concentrate 
energy upon the backward men of the organization. 

Individual proficiency should be made a goal for the 
soldier to strive for. Upon his attainment of the neces- 
sary degree of proficiency let him even have a slight let 
up in his labors as a reward, while the energies of the 
instruction personnel were being devoted to making the 
backward men proficient and the standard of instruction 
thereby more uniform in the unit. 

The troop unit is the important training and administra- 
tive organization, as well as a tactical element. The 
squadron unit is a highly important tactical unit. The 
principle of command and organization, the giving of a 
unit to every leader and allowing him to command it, 
should be adopted throughout the regiment and especially 
with the squadron. The tendency upon the part of some 
regimental commanders is to deal too directly with the 
troop commanders and to disregard the intermediate 
leader, the squadron commander. The squadron unit is 
so essentially important as the cavalry tactical unit that 



24 MODERN CAVALRY 

every effort should be made to lay stress upon it in peace 
time. The regimental commander, who commands only 
a group of troops in peace time, in war will be forced to 
command through the squadron unit. The logical thing 
to accomplish is to make the transition from peace to war 
with as little disturbance as possible and with as little 
necessity for change. It must be remembered that the 
squadron commander of our cavalry will have as much 
responsibility in war as the regimental commander of a 
foreign cavalry. He must be permitted in peace to train 
for this responsibility. 

All matters affecting training and combat efficiency 
should come through the squadron commander as a mat- 
ter of course. The major's opportunities of actually 
commanding his squadron should not be limited simply to 
the occasions when the squadron is detached from the 
regiment for a peace time practice march. The highest 
type of regimental commander will command through his 
squadron commanders to the greatest extent possible. He 
cannot hope to maneuver an aggregation of troops in war, 
he must work for preparation for war in this as in other 
matters. 

The question of readiness for war service, of a regi- 
ment, requires some thought. Take for an example any 
regiment at any time of the year ; our possible enemy or 
enemies will not let us pick and choose the time when our 
units will be at the highest percentage of efficiency. A 
case in point would be a regiment suddenly ordered. to 
take the field in a winter month before target season had 
taken place for the year. That regiment since last target 
season, would have lost a great number of time-expired 
men and gained a great number of recruits. It would 
amount, in some cases, to as much as a third of the men 



TROOP TRAINING SOME BASIC FACTORS 25 

who had had no previous rifle or pistol practice. Yet they 
would have to take the field and be put in the firing line 
as well as any of the other men. 

Our regiments are not ready under the present system 
to take the field at any time. We have no reservists to 
complete cadres (it must be remembered that filling cadres 
in the cavalry means also filling out the horse strength 
with green horses). The regiment under the present 
methods will never be a uniformly trained first line unit 
thoroughly dependable in any phase of work that it is 
called upon to perform. There will always be a large 
proportion of men deficient in some necessary instruction, 
the rifle, the pistol, the automatic rifle, horsemanship, 
scouting or something equally important. 

The fault lies in the fact that we are prone to carry 
out the "season" habit to too great an extent. This is 
perfectly feasible in an army with men required to join 
at stated periods for stated training upon the receipt of 
which they pass to the reserves. But it is not practicable 
for us with our recruits received at any time and in any 
quantity and our trained men leaving whenever their en- 
listments expire. 

These conditions are important. They strike directly 
at war efficiency. The evil effects inherent in the happy- 
go-lucky military system that any volunteer army has to 
work under, must be nullified by training methods formu- 
lated with the object of correcting the conditions to as 
great an extent as possible. 

The training scheme in the regiment should have in view 
as high a condition of immediate readiness for war as is 
possible. To accomplish this end it will be necessary to 
have a little training in all the subjects all the time. We 
cannot have a target "season." Our men, irrespective of 



26 MODERN CAVALRY 

their length of service, must be constantly practiced with 
their rifles. This has advantages outside of the subject 
under discussion. We cannot devote a certain season to 
scouting and patrolling without always being in danger 
of war finding us with great numbers of our men unpre- 
pared. The men untrained in horsemanship and the care 
of the horse may look very well in ranks but the first 
minute of detached work and the exigencies of campaign 
will show them up as broken reeds and they will have 
lowered the strength of the command by losing horses on 
the first march. 

The thing to strive for is a certain uniform advance in 
preparation for war. This will require a closer searching 
and knowledge of the individual qualifications and in- 
struction of each man, and a change of our seasonal train- 
ing habits to varied training in every subject every week. 

The regiment taking the field after months spent on 
training of this nature will be in better shape than one 
under the old system. It will still suffer from some of 
the disadvantages inherent in our American habit of ex- 
temporizing armies after the outbreak of war. The last 
war saw many Regular regiments entirely denuded, not 
only of officers but of a great proportion of non-commis- 
sioned officers. We must guard against this contingency. 
If our officers are promoted to higher rank and transferred 
and our non-commissioned officers commissioned and sent 
to different regiments, what will be left? 

We will have junior officers promoted to higher rank. 
They should have the training necessary to handle their 
new responsibilities. We will have many reserve officers 
and many enlisted men assigned to command units. We 
must get hold of the reserve officer and keep in touch with 
him. We must have a high degree of training for our 



TROOP TRAINING SOME BASIC FACTORS 27 

non-commissioned officers and they must all be tested in 
peace time and their fitness for commissions noted on 
their records. Every effort must be made in peace time to 
make the transition stage from peace to war as orderly 
and as smooth an affair as possible. 

In the cavalry especially we must train and habituate 
all juniors to higher command. This should include as 
many selected privates as possible. For more reasons 
than one it is advisable to hold exercises and drills in 
which all officers and non-commissioned officers drop out 
and privates take charge. This not only arouses the in- 
terest of the privates but it grounds them more thoroughly 
in their duties. The advantages of such a training for an 
organization in the event of casualties in which all the 
officers or non-commissioned officers are lost needs no 
argument. It should be a settled policy of the cavalry to 
train all juniors to higher command and this should be a 
regular part of the training prescribed. 

The necessity of developing the self-reliance and in- 
itiative of the cavalry soldier should never be lost sight 
of. To enable him to have these qualities in the field they 
should be developed in the post. Application of imagina- 
tion and energy on the part of officers to stimulate interest 
and enthusiasm in the men this is the key to the situa- 
tion. The spirit of competition is an important aid ; give 
rewards for individual and unit proficiency. This is an 
old method. "Xenophon has * described the steps taken 
by Agesilaus to train a body of cavalry in Phrygia. . . . 
When he had collected his forces at Ephesus, he drilled 
them continually and to incite them to take pains he of- 
fered prizes to the troops of horse to such as shoul3 ride 
best. The places of exercise were consequently crowded 

1 "History of Cavalry," Denison, page 34. 



28 MODERN CAVALRY 

with men practicing, the horse course full of horsemen 
riding about and javelin men and archers aiming at marks. 
This cavalry, so carefully drilled, aided materially in gain- 
ing the successes which followed in the campaign." Age- 
silaus evidently understood the principle of touching up 
the enthusiasm and energy of his subordinates. 

Competitions and prizes are one means of achieving this. 
There are many others ; judicious commendation is a good 
one. Above all, an officer must be observant and quickly 
note exceptional energy and ability. Stimulate the 
sporting qualities of the men by contests for performance 
in various training subjects. Carry a stop watch and 
make speed an essential in training as it is an essential 
in cavalry work. The difference between ten seconds 
gained and ten seconds lost in dismounting to fight on 
foot may mean the difference between several men and 
horses added to the casualty list or saved. 

An officer must be familiar with the time element in his 
work. He should know, for example, how long it takes 
him to open fire from different formations, how long to 
mount and charge, which are the best formations of led 
horses to facilitate quick mounting, etc. He can lend 
much interest to his work, stimulate the abilities of his 
men and speed up on many of his combat formations by 
competitions between units. He must always deduct 
points for any neglects. He should strive to have his 
men at all times capable of accomplishing results swiftly 
and correctly. 

The one idea of striving for war efficiency should be 
kept in mind. Anything that does not lead directly to 
this should be examined with suspicion. Examine every 
phase of training work with this in mind. 

An examination, for example, of the question of fire 



TROOP TRAINING SOME BASIC FACTORS 29 

action shows that we are undoubtedly following good 
infantry standards but shows also that we are forgetting 
cavalry requirements. One of these is the led horse 
question. Many cavalry units go dismounted to their 
combat firing. No lesson is learned in regard to their 
care in combat. Combat firing practice should be com- 
bined, wherever suitable terrain exists, with cavalry tactical 
work. Every lesson in fire action should be learned as 
the culmination of a tactical lesson which it would be 
in war. 

There are many things that interfere with this striving 
for war efficiency. One is our system of guard duty 
a relic of the turreted castle, the moat, the wall and the 
drawbridge. It has no value in war. It absorbs too 
much time from training and is too great an interference 
with consecutive and uniform progress. It is to be hoped 
that we discard it in the near future. Excessive amounts 
of fatigue duty constitute another interference with train- 
ing. A regimental commander must watch this very 
closely and cut it down to the minimum absolutely neces- 
sary. 

The combination of the two factors above, guard and 
fatigue, make it extremely difficult for a troop com- 
mander ever to turn out enough men to form his small 
but important unit, the squad. This is the basis of the 
troop organization. It is also the basis of combat forma- 
tions; the squad leader on the firing line, on the march, 
on patrol and elsewhere in the service of cavalry on cam- 
paign is a very important subordinate commander. If he 
is made into a fifth wheel by seldom, if ever, having men 
to handle, he will not be the mainstay and backbone of 
the troop that he should be. 

It is hoped that the system of receiving recruits and 



30 MODERN CAVALRY 

remounts will be modified by the enlargement and use of 
cavalry recruit depots and by the augmentation of our re- 
mount service so that it can provide us replacements of 
trained horses in war time. This, or some other system 
that will accomplish the same results, will have to be 
adopted in peace time if we are ever to be worth anything 
after the first month or two of campaigning. 

We must not be so obsessed with training matters and 
methods as to lose our perspective. We must occasionally 
ask ourselves "What are we training for ?" We are train- 
ing for war, for battle. We are in danger of spending 
so much thought on the forging of the weapon that we 
are liable to forget learning how to use it. Our need is 
tactical training to learn to use that exceedingly sensitive, 
finely tempered and powerful weapon, the cavalry. This 
training should extend through all ranks. It should start 
with a cavalry doctrine upon the tenets of which all train- 
ing and all work should be based and to which all should 
subscribe loyally and energetically regardless of personal 
viewpoint. 



CHAPTER III 

TROOP TRAINING MORALE FACTORS 

In a truly scientific training for combat we must work 
in peace for what is required in war. We know, for 
example, that some of our divisions in France covered 
themselves with glory. We know that other divisions 
barely "got away with it" to put it mildly. What was 
the underlying cause that made this difference between 
two groups of men of the same nation, in the same uni- 
form, armed with the same weapons, and fighting against 
the same enemy? The whole difference lies in the word 
"morale." One division had a high degree of morale, 
the other lacked it. When the German morale broke they 
retreated. In war the moral is to the physical as three 
is to one, or so Napoleon states ; and it is easily proved. 

We all vaguely realize the importance of morale in war. 
What we do not all realize is the necessity of morale in 
peace, the necessity of training for morale. It is simply 
another phase of the requirement that the transition from 
peace to war is to be made as smoothly as possible. To do 
this we must make peace-time training fit war-time needs. 
And the great need in war is high morale. 

What is morale? It is made up of many factors. 
Chief among these are, loyalty to, and confidence in, the 
officers, self-confidence upon the part of the men, confi- 



32 MODERN CAVALRY 

dence in their weapons, esprit de corps, and a high degree 
of physical well being. 

These are all dependent upon and superinduced by the 
following: loyalty to the officer, consideration, justice > 
understanding and exertion of energy on the part of the 
officer for his men. Confidence in the officer by his ac- 
quiring a happy faculty "of delivering the goods" ; men 
will stand any degree of hardship and effort if they know 
that they are being well led, witness the soldiers of Stone- 
wall Jackson. Confidence in their weapons, by a high 
degree of individual training. Esprit de corps, by a de- 
liberate fostering of this quality, means for which will be 
hereinafter suggested. Physical well-being, fitness for 
field service upon the part of the individual before taking 
the field, a knowledge of how to care for himself after 
arrival in the field and solicitude for his comfort and 
welfare upon the part of his officers. 

The use of these expressions creates an impression in 
the minds of many that we are floating into a sea of ab- 
stractions. They sound like copy-book maxims. It must 
be remembered that copy-book maxims contain many of 
the "eternal verities." A neglect to follow the copy-book 
maxims brings down its own punishment. A neglect to 
realize the foundations of martial achievement leads to 
mediocrity. What we are striving for is the highest de- 
gree of efficiency. In striving for that let us take these 
seeming abstractions and reduce them to concrete appli- 
cation on the problem before us, the training of the cavalry 
soldier for war. 

One of the most striking things about war is the great 
degree in which a national army expresses the national 
characteristics. One of the greatest causes of victory is 
the superiority of one set of national characteristics over 



TROOP TRAININGS-MORALE FACTORS 33 

that of another. If, as we believe, our national character- 
istics are superior to those of most other nations, then it 
logically follows that we must take full advantage of them 
for training our armies so as to utilize this power to the 
greatest degree in war. The consideration now is how to 
use these inbred characteristics of the American so as to 
make a better cavalry soldier of him. 

The American of a few generations is the descendant of 
pioneers. The American of recent assimilation is himself, 
or comes from, pioneering blood. This because it takes 
the pioneering virtues to force a European peasant from 
his village, in which his people have lived for generations, 
and start a new life in a new country. The latter class 
very quickly assimilate American customs and habits of 
thought. To all intents and purposes they are the same 
as the native American stock. 

The classes of Americans from which our soldiers come 
have a higher standard of education, a higher standard of 
living, and have inherited and acquired a greater degree of 
energy, initiative and intelligence than those of foreign 
countries, with the exception of British Colonials. 

If we disregard all this, and simply drill until we have 
drilled all of this out of the man, we are blunting the in- 
herited instincts of the man, are making an automaton of 
him instead of cultivating the degree of initiative and in- 
telligence necessary for the cavalry soldier above all, and 
we are disregarding and throwing away means whereby to 
achieve our objects more quickly and more efficiently. 

The solution is to develop a type of discipline and train- 
ing suited to the nature of the American soldier. The 
difference between the types necessary to the European 
peasant, for example, and to the American, is the differ- 
ence between the discipline of intelligence and the disci- 



34 MODERN CAVALRY 

pline of habit. It is necessary, with the slow-witted 
peasant, to handle him in masses, to depend upon him 
alone as little as possible, to reduce the number of things 
that he has to perform to the minimum that can be learned 
automatically. These things are then drilled into him 
with unceasing repetition until his mind and muscles co- 
ordinate automatically, until his subconscious personality 
reacts for him and he does not have to think. 

Like all other things, this contains an element of good. 
Every soldier is the better for some of this type of work, 
especially relating to those things that have to do with the 
handling of his weapons. The fault is not in the use of 
the correct proportion of this type of training. The fault 
lies in blindly considering this as the sum and substance 
of training. The danger of it for the cavalry service 
especially, is that too much of it deadens individual in- 
itiative. That there is too much of it is due to several 
factors: lack of thought on the part of officers, the fact 
that it is the following of the line of least resistance, since 
it is much easier to get out and command a unit through 
a morning's drill than to sit up half the night thinking of 
new methods of teaching; and that it presents something 
material for the eyes of the inspecting officer who does not 
always realize that an outfit capable of a high performance 
in close order drill might fall down badly in actual cam- 
paign. The chief fault lies in making it the end rather 
than only one of the means. 

To hark back, we are training for war. In peace we 
must cultivate the qualities that will be essential in war. 
If we can combine the cultivation of those qualities with 
the instruction of the soldier in all things pertaining to 
his war requirements, then we are cutting down our labors 
and taking fuller advantage of our time. As it is now, 



TROOP TRAINING MORALE FACTORS 35 

many officers waste valuable hours in disciplinary drills 
when they might secure the same amount of discipline 
while at the same time teaching a soldier practical fighting 
methods. This will have the effect of raising morale, be 
cause the American is by nature essentially practical and 
much more interested in the practical side of his profes- 
sion or work. 

The Value of Interest in Training and Morale: 

In the word "interest" lies the key to the development 
of more scientific, thorough and rapid training. Psy- 
chology teaches us that interest and memory are intimately 
connected. Interest makes a strong impression which re- 
collection revives in the form of memory. Interesting 
things make a deeper groove in the brain tissue. Cast 
your mind back and try to remember all that you did in 
the last week. Analyze the incidents you remember and 
you will find that they are the things in which you were 
interested. 

Our work is principally with the soldier's memory. 
We teach him to-day so that he will remember to-morrow 
to carry out our teachings. We teach him in peace and 
depend upon his memory in war for carrying him through 
and adding to the defence of his nation. If our work is 
principally with the soldier's memory, then we must use 
all the aids that will properly stimulate that memory. Of 
these the greatest is interest. 

It is especially valuable in the cavalry, owing to the high 
degree of intelligence the individual trooper will be called 
upon to display. General von Schmidt, 1 who is said to 

1 "Instructions for Cavalry," von Schmidt, page 7. Quoted in 
"Our Cavalry," Rimington, page 177. 



36 MODERN CAVALRY 

have exercised a greater influence for good upon the Ger- 
man cavalry than any leader since Frederick the Great, has 
this to say, "Everything that is dull, cannot be easily un- 
derstood, or is uninteresting, must disappear ; the cavalry 
soldier has less need of this than anyone. With such in- 
struction he is quite useless, for to him more than to any- 
one else are freshness, life, activity, mental quickness and 
vivacity necessary." 

Many of our men, who could not give a simple sum- 
mary of the duties of the private on the firing line, could 
reel off without thought the batting averages of every 
player of note in the big leagues. The first does not ap- 
peal to his interest, the second does. With a proper degree 
of imagination on the part of the officer there is no reason 
why all the interest-producing means in the cavalry can 
not be used properly. The horse, the rifle, the sabre and 
the pistol alone are romantic enough in their appeal to a 
red-blooded young man. 

Skill at imparting knowledge must be the ambition of 
every officer who hopes to be successful. Few of us 
realize this. We go to drill daily, unprepared, bore our 
men excessively through a long period and are somewhat 
pleased at ourselves because they did not fail to react to 
most of the commands ! We do not realize that we are 
breaking down morale by slighting the capabilities of the 
individual, by under-estimating his intelligence and by 
treating him as a block of wood. 

A great deal of the superiority of the American soldier 
arises through the fact that he is a person given excessively 
to thinking for himself. He is very apt to discover what 
is essential and what is non-essential after a few weeks in 
the ranks. Unless properly instructed he is very prone to 
classify even essential things as non-essentials. As a 



TROOP TRAININGMORALE FACTORS 37 

consequence when you hold him for long and straining 
periods upon what he rightly or wrongly conceives to be 
non-essential and trivial, his intelligence rebels, his interest 
flags and you have succeeded in inculcating bad habits of 
body and mind that it will be exceedingly difficult to eradi- 
cate. 

He is easily interested in practical things. A little time 
spent with him in the explanation of the practicability of 
certain things that have only an indirect influence upon 
war is time well spent. The safest plan is to assess the 
value of any subject by the measure of its direct ap- 
plicability to war. 

The value and power of interest in instruction needs 
no proof. A short study of any manual of psychology 
will demonstrate the basic necessity for it. Interest is a 
necessary thing in any successful scheme of instruction ; 
look back for instance upon your own instructors and 
analyze the amount you have remembered from those that 
bored you and those that interested you. It is necessary 
that we look upon our role of teaching seriously and study 
teaching methods. It is necessary that we concentrate 
our faculties upon adding interest to our work and in 
minimizing the things that result in lack of interest. 

Chief among these are long periods of mounted drill. 
They are useful so long as they contribute to the ease of 
handling masses of mounted men. The time spent upon 
mounted drill should be analyzed carefully. It should 
not be allowed to take up hours that could be spent upon 
subjects that have a proved and high ratio to battle effi- 
ciency. This, as all other things should be examined 
closely with one thought in mind, "Is this leading to 
readiness for war?" 

The proper application of the principle of cultivating 



38 MODERN CAVALRY 

the interest power reacts directly in favor of higher 
morale. It increases the trooper's knowledge, his self- 
respect and his self-confidence. It puts a greater value 
upon his officer in his estimation, it teaches him to handle 
himself and his weapons in far more thorough manner. 

One of the means of cultivating interest and improving 
instruction is the application to training of the principles 
of team-work, in other words to make use of the spirit 
of the team at sports. Team-work is a word used very 
much and very wrongly. The guiding influence of the 
spirit of team-work, and its stimulus, is the spirit of com- 
petition, the spirit that makes men risk life and limb for 
the gaining of a slight advantage over another group of 
men. See men training for long and inconvenient hours 
upon the football field, see them keenly alert on the base- 
ball diamond and then contrast this with their normal atti- 
tude while at work. The good officer should have his men 
just as keen at work as they are at play. He can do it by 
using his imagination. Remember that you are striving for 
interest. And there is nothing more interesting to the 
average American than to beat another man or group of 
men at the same game. 

The neglect to use the spirit of competition, which is 
so strong in the breast of the average American, is only 
comparable to the neglect of a man owning an eight- 
cylinder car who through choice or ignorance, should be 
content with running only upon four cylinders habitually. 
There is power latent in every man and every organiza- 
tion which only a development of the competitive spirit 
can bring out. 

Make every squad and every platoon in the troop a 
small team. Let them compete, mark them, rate them 
and reward the winners by some means of your own de- 



TROOP TRAINING MORALE FACTORS 39 

vising. Properly carried out it will mean a new lease of 
life and a new influx of power for the organization. It 
will interest the men in their work. You will find them 
after hours practicing behind the stables or in the bar- 
racks. You will have non-commissioned officers asking 
to take their sections out on holidays and after working 
hours. You will have power developed and coming from 
below as it should come. It will increase the energies and 
capabilities of your organization to an undreamed of ex- 
tent. It will make for contentment. It will raise morale 
by leaps and bounds. 

There are officers who will say that it will hurt the or- 
ganization spirit as a whole. It does not, as proved by 
experience, but rather increases the amount and makes 
more spirit available when the time comes for combined 
action. It will develop esprit de corps as nothing else can. 

The Cultivation of Loyalty: 

To discount the loyalty and esteem of your men is to 
betray a serious lack of judgment. We are preparing for 
war. In war there arise situations in which the force 
of orders and regulations, the fear of courts-martial and 
the mechanics of military control will fail or waver. 
Nothing but men are left, the leader and the led. If the 
leader has been tried and found wanting in peace time, 
in time of extreme danger in war his unit will break under 
him. It is always possible that a time will come when 
the personal feelings of the men for the officer decide the 
day. This possibility alone is worth preparing for in ad- 
dition to the many other advantages of loyalty. 

Remember that the confidence of men in their leader 
and esteem for him grow if they realize that he is doing 



40 MODERN CAVALRY 

all within his power to ameliorate any harsh conditions 
that might arise. This is true even if the results are 
almost negligible. The men impute the blame to Provi- 
dence for the unpleasant conditions and their esteem for 
their officer grows for his efforts. There is no quicker 
or more certain method of losing the confidence of men 
than to let bodily fatigue or desire for comfort keep the 
officer from laboring until all his men and animals have 
been granted the highest degree of comfort possible. 

One of the many virtues of the army before the war 
was the paternal solicitude displayed by the troop com- 
manders for their men. These older captains were more 
abrupt and distant in outward seeming than the present 
generation. But they succeeded in gaining and holding 
the respect and affection of their men to a greater extent, 
principally because they devoted so much time and energy 
to the well being of every man and animal. Each trooper 
realized that the "old man" had done everything in his 
power and was looking after him. 

A thoughtless and careless misuse of the punishing 
power leads to bad conditions of discipline. An ounce 
of prevention is worth a pound of cure. An organiza- 
tion which has the proper spirit will refrain from evil 
doing if they are convinced that it not only hurts them 
but hurts the organization as a whole. There is a whole 
lot to be done in appealing to the better side of the men's 
nature. This savors of "coddling" to some. But it is 
sound doctrine nevertheless. Soldiers are ordinary human 
beings, nothing more nor less. A whole lot of the youth- 
ful spirit that finds outlet in the soldiers in the form of 
minor misdemeanors, is punished as a crime. The read- 
ing of the Articles of War once every six months is not 
sufficient to obviate this, any more than the perusal of 



TROOP TRAINING-MORALE FACTORS 41 

the college regulations deters a student from breaking 
them. An organization in which the issue is put squarely 
up to the reasoning power and intelligence of its men will 
seldom offend. An example in point was an American 
battalion of infantry once marching through an allied 
country. Great trouble and many complaints arose 
through pillaging orchards and gardens. Men had been 
warned and some punished. Nevertheless it still con- 
tinued. An old woman came into camp weeping one 
evening. The soldiers had pillaged her garden and taken 
her winter supply of food. Her sons were at the front. 
The whole battalion was lined up, the results of their 
actions forcibly pointed out to them and a parallel drawn 
in which foreign troops were imagined tramping over 
the United States and the result of their acting in the 
same manner. About ten minutes after the battalion 
was dismissed a sergeant brought in a hatful of money, 
the result of a voluntary collection taken up from every 
man in the battalion. It was given to the old woman and 
proved to be enough to see her through many winters. 
That was the end of pillaging for that battalion. 

It is believed that the American soldier has a higher 
standard than we sometimes give him credit for. The 
officer who treats him like a convict will have to watch 
him like a convict as he certainly will act like one. The 
officer, on the other hand who adopts as his policy a firm, 
just but considerate attitude will find that he has a far 
higher standard of discipline, real discipline, discipline 
that will not break down when his back is turned. Culti- 
vate the self-respect of your men. A fighting man can- 
not fight without self-respect, it is one of the constituents 
of courage. 

It is a good thing for an officer to feel a heavy load of 



42 MODERN CAVALRY 

responsibility for the actions and behavior of his men. 
He must cultivate the feeling that perhaps every man of 
his unit in the guard house is a direct and tangible sign 
of his failure as a leader. An army is an autocracy. It 
cannot be run by kindness. It will run a lot more 
smoothly and with a minimum of lost motion if the quali- 
ties of consideration and understanding are shown. 

No troop officer can feel satisfied until he can visualize 
the character and personal characteristics of every man 
in his organization. It will repay him to take up the in- 
tensive study of his constant offenders and really de- 
termine whether they are criminal types that should be 
eliminated or whether they are not just youngsters with 
an excess of animal spirits which could be diverted into 
more useful channels to the credit of the organization. 
He should feel that every man of his in the guard house 
is the direct result of mishandling somewhere along the 
line. He must remember that his value to the govern- 
ment is lowered by every failure upon his part to under- 
stand and secure results from the men entrusted to his 
charge. If they add to the expense of administration, the 
work of courts and all the legal machinery, and in addition 
are failing to be trained as soldiers, it amounts to a 
distinct loss to the Government. It is a distinct loss in 
fighting efficiency as far as the organization is concerned. 
He must remember that he is supposed to make soldiers 
and better citizens out of the men entrusted to him. He 
must not throw them impatiently into the guard house 
without analyzing carefully his own responsibility in the 
matter. 

Every troop commander should have his desk some- 
where separate from the First Sergeant and troop clerk, 
where any man in the organization can come and talk to 



TROOP TRAINING MORALE FACTORS 43 

him personally and alone. Men do not mind punishment, 
and punishment will have a corrective influence rather 
than the reverse, if they feel that their officer is "square" 
that he has carefully weighed the case, heard the soldier's 
side and explained the necessity for the disciplinary action 
taken. They do become sullen, resentful and discouraged 
if they feel that they have not had a hearing and been 
denied justice accordingly. The officer has great power 
over his men. Power implies responsibility. He must 
not exercise his power without a due sense of the re- 
sponsibility. 

That organization in which there is not a strong bond 
of sympathy, even though it be unspoken, of under- 
standing and mutual consideration between officers and 
men is as "sounding brass and tinkling cymbal." It is 
not solidly founded, the first real test will knock it down 
like a card house. 

Remember that after all you are not judged so much 
by the words that you utter as by the actions you perform 
and leave unperformed. The American soldier really has 
more confidence in the officer who is not "easy," the exact- 
ing, strict and impartial type of officer. All he wants is a 
"square deal," he does not want someone to weep on his 
shoulder and "hand him a line of bull." You cannot 
pose before your men and get away with it. They will 
see through your pretence. There are a hundred pairs of 
eyes more or less watching you daily. You are discussed, 
in the barracks, in the field, and at the stables. Your im- 
perfections are noted quickly, and as quickly forgiven if 
you counterbalance them by virtues that transcend them. 
Men have more confidence in a strict officer, they feel that 
he is "on the job." If he can carry that impression into 
the field with him he need never to look behind him, he 



44 MODERN CAVALRY 

will know that his outfit is with him. Men are so con- 
stituted that they want a leader, a real "he man" ; bars on 
your shoulder are nothing if there is nothing to back them, 
distinctions between officer and men are broken down 
in the ordeal of battle. After all is said and done you 
will get loyalty if you are deserving of loyalty. And to 
deserve loyalty you will have to develop a knightly sense 
of "noblesse oblige/' a feeling of responsibility towards 
the subordinates entrusted to your care. The time to de- 
velop that is in the post, on the march and in the camp in 
peace time, 

Esprit de Corps: 

Esprit de corps will often carry an outfit through when 
many other things fail. It is one of the best aids to peace 
time training. It can be fostered by successful partici- 
pation in sports, a winning baseball or football team will 
start the spirit better than almost anything else. Compe- 
tition with other units in training subjects will foster it. 
It is a plant that needs judicious watering. It can be 
increased by the use of suggestion. Suggestion is a 
powerful tool to build with if properly used. Every 
officer should study psychology, especially the psychology 
of the crowd if he wishes to be a successful leader. 
Whenever your unit gains a slight success intensify the 
effect by remarking upon it and use the spirit thus en- 
gendered to win again. Appeal to it often when it has 
gained sufficient strength. 

An example of its use was the case of a troop of cavalry 
that was to march through and camp near a certain village 
in the Philippines. Seven other troops of the regiment 
had marched through there on different days. Each one 



TROOP TRAININGS-MORALE FACTORS 45 

had had trouble owing to the virulently fighting qualities 
of a certain brand of native gin that was dispensed there. 
This troop was lined up after its arrival in camp. The 
men were told that the regimental commander had ad- 
vised making a detour. They were told that the troop 
commander had replied that he had perfect confidence 
in this troop and would camp there without any trouble. 
The men were then asked if that confidence was to be 
justified. The men said nothing. That was the only 
troop of the regiment that succeeded in making the march 
without trouble. An appeal to their manhood as well as 
to the esprit de corps. 

Example and its Effect upon Morale: 

To realize the powerful effect of example an officer 
should again be advised to study that part of psychology 
which pertains to the crowd and the crowd mind. The 
effect of the example of the leader is far-reaching and 
important upon the led. This should be kept in mind 
constantly by the officer. His bearing, his dress, his man- 
nerisms are all unconsciously copied by his men. If he 
is tired on a long march he cannot show it, as it flies like 
wildfire down the column. If he is anxious, if things 
are going wrong in combat he cannot show it as it has 
worse effect then than at any other time. In time of un- 
certainty and danger the leader is especially watched. 
Men's minds become almost childlike. They want some- 
one stronger than themselves to direct. In time of hard- 
ship the officer with a joke on his lips and a cheerful de- 
meanor will bring in men and animals comparatively 
fresh. The snarling, irritable type, who has not strength 
of character enough to keep his real feelings to himself, 



46 MODERN CAVALRY 

will bring in a crowd of tired, sullen men. The mental 
is so closely allied to the physical and the effect of the 
leader so great, that the one type of officer will raise the 
spirits and morale of his men and keep them fresh and 
fit, with some reserve strength always left, while the other 
type will have them dropping by the wayside. Remember 
that the officer is watched by a hundred eyes. He is only 
one amongst many. He cannot be too careful as to the 
character of the example he sets. 

Remember that growling and grumbling lengthen the 
miles and add to the hardships. When you take hold of 
an outfit in which this spirit is rampant, break it up. Call 
your non-commissioned officers in to aid (in this as in 
everything). Tell them that there is too much growling 
in the outfit and you want to break it up. They will go 
at it with ridicule, with jokes and with methods that you 
cannot use. Do not forget to call your non-commis- 
sioned officers in when you want to adopt a policy. They 
are pleased by the confidence shown and will lie awake 
nights thinking of means to aid if you handle them 
properly. They are more nearly in touch with the pulse 
of feeling in the organization than you are, they are closer 
to the men. Make them your allies in all cases. Do not 
be too proud to ask them for suggestions. Many of them 
have been at the game many years and have picked up a 
lot of knowledge of sorts. 

Physical Well Being and Its Effect Upon Morale: 

Every effort must be made to raise the physical standard 
of the men entrusted to you. Not alone because this 
turns better citizens back 'to civil life but because a man 
is a more cool, resourceful and courageous soldier when 



TROOP TRAINING MORALE FACTORS 47 

he is physically fit. You must have a good athletic or- 
ganization. The solution of the physical problem is sport 
and more sport. Games in which one unit competes 
against the other are good. Football, baseball, basket ball, 
boxing and swimming are all valuable. Every soldier 
should be taught the rudiments of boxing at least. It in- 
creases his poise and self-confidence to an undreamed of 
extent. Your men must be practiced at running not only 
for the value to them but because of the tactical value of 
having men well able to move swiftly dismounted. It is 
especially valuable in advance guard work where a cavalry 
unit can dismount and by a quick run outflank the enemy 
and drive him out. It is valuable against hostile in- 
fantry, tired with marching and burdened with a pack, 
a cavalryman can run all around them and shoot them up 
if he is fit. Swimming is valuable in case of destroyed 
bridges in war. It gives a man confidence in crossing 
water even if he does not have to swim. 

Remember that the army that is the more physically fit 
has a big edge on the enemy from the start. It is a prime 
consideration in considering the factors that build up' 
morale. 

The Effect of Dress: 

An officer must not forget how much his self-confidence 
and efficiency is lowered when he is dressed in an ill fitting 
uniform. The same thing applies to the men. One of 
the first things to do with a newly joined recruit is to get 
him to the tailor and have his uniform fitted properly. 
One of the first signs of reform in the case of an old 
offender is the fact that he begins to shine up and shows 
his renewed self-respect by the neatness of his clothing. 



48 MODERN CAVALRY 

There is a lesson in this. A snappy outfit, that dresses 
well will, in nine cases out of ten, reflect their efficiency 
in other ways. It is a small point but is one pf those 
small points whose cumulative effect makes the difference 
between a good organization and a poor one. 

Conclusions: 

We have gone into the subject of morale enough to 
show that it is an important matter. It is well worthy 
the study of an officer. Time spent upon this phase of 
his work is time well spent. He must study his men from 
day to day, he must not only study his subordinates but 
he must study his seniors and analyze them and their effect 
upon him. There are some that get a high degree of 
work and enthusiasm from him : why ? There are others 
with regard to whom he feels that any slight exertion is 
an immense labor. Why is this? He must weigh and 
analyze and out of it all must formulate for himself a 
working code that will fit any group of men anywhere. 
Once he has done this he has added immeasureably to his 
equipment as an officer and as a leader. 



CHAPTER IV 

TROOP TRAINING THE OFFICER 

The man who rides into danger for the love of it, the 
man who keenly enjoys cross-country going and -polo, 
contains in his disposition the germs of success as a 
cavalry officer. After all the tumult and the shouting of 
tactics and strategy, of paper work, of schools, of auto- 
matic rifles and all the thousand and one things that a 
cavalry man has to be proficient in, the fact still remains 
that he has to have, as a base, the love of the horse and 
all that pertains to him. 

Chief among these are the mounted sports. These are 
valuable to the cavalry officer, first, because they are a 
test of heart and courage, secondly because they teach 
him to think at the gallop, to judge pace, to study ground, 
to know the capabilities of a horse and above all to keep 
him fit to take the field even at an advanced age. 

No officer who is not an enthusiastic horseman has any 
place in the cavalry. This is based upon purely practical 
considerations. The horse enthusiast is the man who will 
study the horse and make the most of his capabilities. The 
enthusiastic cavalry horseman is the man who will get 
better results from his horses and bring them in in better 
shape than the man lacking in this spirit. There is 
another reason also, the fact that mental efficiency de- 

49 



50 MODERN CAVALRY 

pends so much upon physical well being. The horseman 
is usually a fitter man at greater age than the man who 
has no such interest. This may be one of the reasons 
why so many cavalrymen rise high in every war. At the 
time that age begins to dim the faculties of another man, 
the cavalryman, who has been a consistent horse lover, is 
usually more mentally alert through having kept physi- 
cally fit throughout his life. 

Every opportunity to indulge in mounted sports should 
be granted to our officers. Polo at last seems to have 
come into its own, officially recognized and fostered by 
the Government. Polo is the finest sport for the cavalry 
officer. There is another, however, that is almost equally 
valuable. That is fox-hunting. There are any number 
of excellent hunt clubs, whose members are hospitable, 
whose packs are excellent and whose country can give a 
multitude of thrills any morning, that are situated along 
the Atlantic seaboard. It is hoped that some system of 
rotation of regiments will be worked soon to enable 
officers to get their fair share of eastern service. They 
should avail themselves of this hunting whenever possible. 
A substitute can be found in the Western posts by or- 
ganizing paper chases. A good paper chase laid over a 
stiff course is a fair test of horsemanship. In the Ameri- 
can Forces in Germany a good course is laid out over the 
hills back of Forts Ehrenbreitstein and Asterstein every 
Sunday and many officers, from the Commanding General 
on down, turn out. 

There is no comparison between the somewhat cold 
and mechanical jumping that an officer gets in the show 
ring, the riding hall or jumping pen compared to the same 
thing across country, with a good crowd all riding hard. 
It is a better test of horsemanship and gives an officer a 



TROOP TRAINING THE OFFICER 51 

good eye for country as well as a better knowledge of his 
horse's capabilities. It teaches him to ride boldly and is 
thereby a direct aid to cavalry work in campaign. 

The cavalry officer must keep himself fit. The posses- 
sion of a horse and polo pony or two will not do this 
unless he throws himself body and soul into sports. He 
will be subjected to more strain, more exposure and more 
privation than the officers of other branches when on 
campaign. If he is not prepared beforehand the un- 
accustomed strain will break him when the country most 
needs his services. 

Next to keeping himself physically fit and of equal 
importance, is the question of keeping himself mentally 
fit. The work of cavalry on campaign is largely a matter 
of good judgment upon the part of its officers. The 
cavalry officer has more initiative in war than most officers. 
He is less under the direct supervision of an immediate 
superior. It is precisely for this reason that his initiative 
should spring from knowledge. The infantry officer is 
thoroughly trained in combat work. The work of the 
artillery officer is almost purely combat work. The 
cavalry officer, who has to be trained to use a great many 
more weapons and combinations of weapons than either, 
is not sufficiently trained tactically. He may become a 
good machine gunner, a good musketry instructor, or a 
good horseman. What he is in grave danger of not be- 
coming is a trained cavalry tactician, capable of using all 
these weapons and all forms of attack and knowing when 
and where not to use them. 

The cavalry officer must be a highly trained specialist. 
It is not believed that we specialize enough in our army. 
We require an officer to be capable of handling any job 
at any time from spending a few million dollars in dis- 



52 MODERN CAVALRY 

bursements to taking charge of an aviation camp. This 
undoubtedly has some value in giving an understanding 
of these tasks. But the success of any commercial ven- 
ture depends upon picking the trained man for the right 
place, the salesman for the road work, the advertising 
man for the publicity, etc. Looked at from the same 
viewpoint the cavalry organizations of our army should 
only be officered by cavalry officers. And simply carrying 
the crossed sabres on the collar does not imply neces- 
sarily that a man is a cavalryman. 

What then is meant by a cavalryman? An officer 
who is first and foremost a horseman, who is able and fit 
to march his unit great distances and bring it in in shape 
to fight, who has an instinctive knowledge of what forma- 
tion and weapon to use in emergency and who is fitted 
by his training to cooperate tactically with other arms 
for the good of the whole, a man, in short, who is in- 
terested in cavalry as a fighting arm. If an officer is not 
interested in the combat possibilities of his branch he has 
no place in it. 

In no other branch does the influence of the leader exert 
such an influence as it does in the cavalry. For this 
reason it is extremely difficult to assess the value of any 
given force of cavalry. This influence is marked at all 
times ; it is marked in war to a much greater extent than 
in most other branches. How many times in history has 
good cavalry, poorly led, produced results worthy of the 
poorest cavalry? Cavalry cannot be officered by leaders 
who are' liable, by lack of trained judgment, to throw it 
away in the hour of need. Its relative size makes it 
much more valuable proportionally. Given 900 cavalry- 
men to 20,000 infantrymen, the relative value of each 
cavalryman to his division commander is much greater 



TROOP TRAINING THE OFFICER 53 

than that of each infantryman. It is more difficult, 
moreover, to replace both the cavalryman and his horse. 
For these reasons there must be no waste of cavalry 
through poor leadership. 

The cavalry officer of almost any grade requires a 
higher degree of combined tactical training than the 
officer of most other branches. He, opposing, or co- 
operating (commanding an independent unit in many 
cases) with all branches, has to have a deep knowledge of 
tactics as a whole. How are his reconnaissance reports 
to be effective and valuable if he has not the remotest 
idea of what bearing his report has upon operations? 
How can he show as he is required to do, initiative in ab^- 
sence of orders, if he has no foundation of tactical train- 
ing upon which to base initiative? How is he to base 
reconnaissance reports from the viewpoint of higher com- 
mand if he has no conception of what the higher com- 
mand is driving at? 

The tactical training of a cavalry officer should be 
thorough. He should be tested in the tactics of his 
branch. Upon his failure to pass a certain number of 
tests he should be transferred to some branch or position 
where he will not need so high a degree of the quality 
of tactical leadership. He should read and study the 
possibilities of his own branch. It might be advisable 
to have him write an occasional thesis on stated phases 
of cavalry work or history to stimulate his study. The 
war game should be part of the equipment of every 
garrison. He should have a fair acquaintanceship with 
the tactics of other branches, to enable him to cooperate 
intelligently with or fight against them. 

Excellence in tactical things should open a door of 
further advancement to him if he perseveres and shows 



54 MODERN CAVALRY 

ability. Excellence in the 'regiment should lead to the 
Cavalry School with the future possibility of making 
the General Staff as a goal. European armies can teach 
us a great deal as regards the proper stimulation of the 
ambitions of officers. 

The value of all this is that study and reflection lead 
an officer to form a doctrine or a set of principles, to 
evolve for every situation a rough working plan that 
becomes part of his nature. When the emergency arises 
he will have no time to reason. He will have to act in- 
stinctively. His instinct should be trained so that no 
situation finds him lacking in resource or in the means 
of solving it. 

It is Von Moltke who is reported to have said, "People 
say that one must learn by experience ; I have always en- 
deavored to learn by the experience of others. " In that 
saying lies the whole sum and substance of the reasons 
for study. It is to learn by the experience of others. If 
ten minutes of study now can mean the saving of the 
lives of fifty men and horses, the winning of a decision 
over the enemy, reputation gained and safety to the army, 
in the future, then ten minutes' study is well repaid. It 
can mean all of these things. 

Sir John French has written a preface to a work of 
von Bernhardi's that is well worth reading, "Let him (the 
cavalry officer) continue to study profoundly the train- 
ing tactics and organization of the best foreign cavalry. 
Let him reflect long and deeply upon the opinions of 
such acknowledged authorities as Field Marshal Sir 
Evelyn Wood and General von Bernhardi. Let him keep 
abreast with every change in the tendencies of cavalry 
abroad, so that he may help us to assimilate the best of 
foreign customs to our own. Finally let him realize the 



TROOP TRAINING THE OFFICER 55 

great mental and physical strain that modern war will im- 
pose on the cavalry, and let him preserve that 'mens sana 
in corpore sano/ that equable balance between study and 
action, which alone will enable him to rise superior to 
every difficulty in the great and honorable calling to 
which he belongs." * 

It is to be hoped that the many and excellent reports 
made by our observers in cavalry work abroad will be 
put in such shape that they can be disseminated among 
the cavalry officers for their instruction. 

It is well for the military student to remember that 
his main task is to strip all subjects of their non-essen- 
tials. He must endeavor to reduce all subjects to their 
most simple and basic elements. The tendency in mili- 
tary writings is to overlay the profession with a mass of 
verbiage and practice that has no relation to the object 
in view. 

The young officer must keep the idea of war constantly 
in his mind and not allow his energies to be diverted 
from preparation for war. He must constantly prac- 
tice both himself and his men in every situation that could 
possibly arise. He must have imagination. An officer 
lacking in imagination will not only be a poor trainer of 
troops in peace but he will be a poor leader in war, 
through a lack of ability to visualize the probabilities of 
the enemy's actions. Imagination can be cultivated by 
study and reflection. A proper forecast of the future can 
be acquired by studying the past. 

We have discussed the mental and physical needs of 
the officer. What more is necessary? In addition to be- 
ing a sportsman and a student he must be an organizer, a 
leader and a teacher. 

1 "Cavalry in War and Peace," von Bernhardi preface. 



56 MODERN CAVALRY 

It is Very surprising how many younger officers have 
failed to grasp the essential principles of organization. 
The cavalry drill regulations lay down clearly the mech- 
anics of this but few grasp the spirit. Many excellent offi- 
cers work hard drilling and training a troop of one hun- 
dred men instead of handling an organization composed 
of several platoons of two squads each. The gaining of 
results through subordinate leaders, the principles of 
the allocation of duties, and the utilization of all the en- 
ergies of all the subordinates not only to train the men 
but to train and make efficient group leaders in war is 
a subject that will well repay the time spent in its study. 

It is highly important that the officer should learn early 
in his service to have his will carried out through the me- 
dium of subordinate leaders. He must rarely command 
men directly. He must always work through their im- 
mediate commanders, the non-commissioned officers. 

The attitude of many officers is fundamentally wrong 
from this viewpoint. The officer in too many cases 
usurps the prerogatives of the sergeant, to the lowering 
of his own prestige and the lessening of the value of the 
sergeant. The officer places too much stress on the hand- 
ling of the individual soldier and his training and instruc- 
tion. He considers his own training as a group leader 
or tactical leader merely incidental. He will never have 
well-trained subordinates nor will he acquire that high de- 
gree of tactical training necessary to a cavalry officer un- 
less he defines his relation to this phase of the work. 

If he usurps the duties of the non-commissioned offi- 
cer he leaves that excellent individual nothing to do but 
act as a fifth wheel. He devotes time to doing the ser- 
geant's work that he should devote to perfecting himself 
as a combat leader, the practice of having his will car- 



TROOP TRAINING THE OFFICER 57 

ried out through the medium of subordinate leaders being 
an essential. 

The enthusiasm and energy of many officers leads 
them to take the sergeant's command from him and han- 
dle the men directly. This is bad for the sergeant as he 
will inevitably lose interest and his energy is no longer 
available for the organization to use. In the British 
army they carry things almost too far to the other ex- 
treme. They leave things in the hands of the non-com- 
missioned officer that we would never dream of doing. 
The British non-commissioned officer is certainly devel- 
oped by the system, however, into a most dependable 
person. We have better non-commissioned officer mate- 
rial than the British but we do not develop it to the ex- 
tent that they do. 

Next comes the question of leadership. Leadership is 
rather an indefinite term. Reduced to its simple terms 
it resolves itself into the faculty of securing prompt, will- 
ing and intelligent obedience. 

The officer must not take obedience for granted simply 
because the Articles of War and Army Regulations re- 
quire obedience. It is not the ever present factor that 
the layman might imagine. Obedience, perfect, implicit, 
willing and intelligent is one of the most difficult things 
to secure. That it is not always secured is generally the 
fault of the leader. He has perhaps not expressed his 
order clearly enough. It was perhaps clear in his own 
mind but he failed to convey his idea to the subordinate. 
Someone quotes General Grant as saying that he wrote 
every order with one of his subordinates in mind, a par- 
ticularly slow-witted and dense individual. He made the 
order so clear that he could convince this man. He felt 
that if he understood it anyone else could. 



58 MODERN CAVALRY 

Another reason for failures in obedience is the bear- 
ing and manner of issuing an order. Many times an 
officer issues an order in an easy conversational way that 
leaves considerable doubt in the mind of his hearer as to 
whether he is not simply indulging in conversation. An 
officer must be careful of this, he must train himself to 
give incisive, clear cut and unmistakable orders that will 
not leave room for the slightest element of doubt. Apro- 
pos of this it is wise for an officer to remember that the 
more he uses his voice with his men the more accustomed 
they become to it and familiarity breeds a certain amount 
of contempt. The officer who is continually talking has 
nothing left when the time for quick action comes. He 
must cultivate the habit of letting his subordinates do 
most of the talking. When his voice is raised it should 
be raised decisively; he will soon find that if he follows 
this plan, when he does raise his voice, every man's and 
every horse's head goes up. His words are listened to. 
This may have an important bearing on some future time 
of stress and strain when order can only be made out 
of chaos by the influence of the leader's voice. 

Implicit obedience is necessary. A higher type of obe- 
dience is the type that is both implicit and cheerfully will- 
ing. That can only come from loyal and contented subor- 
dinates. They strive in the Navy for what is called 
"a happy ship." It is considered a more efficient ship. 
The "happy ships" have a faculty of making excellent 
scores at target practice and of "delivering the goods" 
generally. 

Work is important. Results are more important. Many 
officers do not differentiate enough between the two. An 
organization simply going through the motions at com- 



TROOP TRAINING THE OFFICER 59 

mand is working satisfactorily according to that type of 
officer. With nothing more, that type of work is me- 
chanical and productive of no lasting results. A con- 
tented organization does not dissipate its energy in 
grumbling, in going absent without leave ; in keeping the 
guard house full and the courts martial busy. It con- 
centrates its energy upon that one thing, a striving for 
battle efficiency. A mechanical performance of duties 
by command, rote and schedule may simulate a working 
for fighting efficiency but it will not realize that stand- 
ard. The first crucial test will prove it unsound. The 
most important factor after all we have to work with in 
the service is the human factor. Study of it will repay 
an officer. 

The next important quality for an officer to possess is 
the ability to teach. The necessity of inculcating a high 
degree of knowledge in all ranks in the cavalry admits of 
no gainsaying. The extreme dispersion of the cavalry 
formations in campaign, the high degree of knowledge 
required for intelligent reconnaissance and reporting 
work and the comparatively greater degree of responsi- 
bility resting on the lower ranks, makes it essential that 
they all be trained to cooperate intelligently with higher 
command. They must be trained to look at things from 
the viewpoint of several grades in rank above them. To 
accomplish this it is necessary first of all that the cavalry 
soldier be taught to think. He must not only be taught 
the use of his individual weapons but must be shown 
his important place in the great army team. He must be 
taught to produce a high degree of intelligent coopera- 
tion. 

To sum up then: our ideal cavalry officer must be an 



60 MODERN CAVALRY 

enthusiastic horseman, he must be a student, he must be 
an organizer, a leader and a teacher. In addition to this 
he must have the faculty of being a good team man. 
There are two kinds of polo players, there is the "grand 
stand player," perfectly willing at any time to ride off his 
own team mate and break up his team to make a goal 
himself and thereby gain the plaudits of the side lines, 
who imagine that making goals is all there is to polo. 
Then there is the other type who lies back coolly, rides 
off interference and thus permits his team to score. The 
latter type would be a good man to have in campaign. 
An officer must not only have the ability and desire for 
cooperation with his own branch but he must remember 
that his is not the only branch, that wars are won by the 
cooperation of all branches. Usually the most bitter 
critic of another branch is the man that knows least about 
his own. Langlois, 1 in his work, "The Lessons of Two 
Recent Wars/' has this to say of the British army in the 
South African War, "Each arm acted on its own. . . . 
Comradeship can only be fostered in peace. ... In 
England it exists neither between the different arms nor 
between one battalion and another. . . . Good fel- 
lowship in the fight can only be produced by good fellow- 
ship in time of peace and the latter results from a life in 
common." A good team will win against an aggregation 
of good players any time. And this applies with par- 
ticular force to the great game of war. 

The foregoing attempts to outline some of the quali- 
ties that go to the making of the excellent cavalry offi- 
cer. Given an officer with these qualities, energetic and 
ambitious, of distinct value to the Government, what are 

1 Langlois' "Lessons from Two Recent Wars/' page 70, quoted 
in "Our Cavalry," Rimington, page 175. 



TROOP TRAINING THE OFFICER 61 

the factors that might tend to lower his morale or nullify 
his efforts? 

One of the factors is undoubtedly a certain uneasy lack 
of confidence in the future of his own branch. The 
remedy for this lies in a study of the World War and a 
discounting of the thoughtless statements of ill-informed 
persons whose whole knowledge of the war is comprised 
in their own small share in a limited sector. A close 
study of the World War as a whole should convince the 
most skeptical, not only that cavalry did its share in that 
immense conflict but that as a result of it, and the new 
methods there made use of, the cavalry has, if anything, 
a greater future before it. 

Another factor is the question of Mexican Border ser- 
vice. This is ceasing to be the bugbear that it was sev- 
eral years ago, when an officer had to leave his family in 
the North and live in the sage brush and sand in a tent 
for years. With a proper system of rotation of regi- 
ments on the border which it is hoped will be put into 
effect, with an increase and enlargement of the border 
posts, better barracks and quarters and stables, service on 
the border will lose some of its terrors. Its advantages 
must not be lost sight of at that ; the exceedingly healthy 
outdoor life that it is possible to lead there at all times of 
the year; the knowledge that officers and men gain in 
campaign conditions ; the excellence of the country for 
cavalry, with its broad open spaces, are some advantages 
that a cavalryman truly fond of his profession can appre- 
ciate. The great drawback is the lack of conveniences 
and comforts for an officer's family. This is a weak spot 
as the normal life of a man impels him to marry and make 
a home for himself. Many excellent officers have trans- 
ferred from the cavalry for this reason and there will be 



62 MODERN CAVALRY 

danger of more if the conditions so easily remedied are 
not taken in hand. There is no necessity for an officer 
living in war conditions at all times. 

Probably the greatest factor, one of the reasons that 
officers do not like to serve with troops, has yet to be 
touched upon. It is a serious condition directly influenc- 
ing the efficiency of the cavalry service. It is that ener- 
getic, loyal and efficient service with troops is only occa- 
sionally and almost accidentally noted upon an officer's 
efficiency record. 

There is in the first place no scientific or standard 
method of judging an officer as a troop or unit com- 
mander. He is given a vague rating upon leadership, 
intelligence, etc., all matters of opinion on the part of his 
next higher commander. He may have had the organi- 
zation with the smallest number of disciplinary reports, 
he may have had the best administered unit, he may be 
exceptionally keen and efficient tactically, his troop may 
be the best shooting troop in the regiment. None of this 
is likely to appear upon his record. His mark depends 
upon the vague and variable impressions of a succession 
of higher commanders, based in very many cases on lim- 
ited personal knowledge of the officer concerned. 

It is strongly to be hoped that this lack of system in 
so important a thing will soon be changed for the bet- 
ter. If not there is a serious danger that the energies of 
the younger officers will be blunted. There should be a 
fair, impartial and uniform test of an officer as a unit 
commander. He must be tested by results gained. He 
must stand or fall on the results of these tests. 

His unit should be the criterion. Provisions for carry- 
out the proper tests could be made by higher authority. 
These could take the form of the issuing of tables con- 



TROOP TRAINING THE OFFICER 63 

taining standards of proficiency in training in all its 
phases, training proper, troop management, horse man- 
agement, tactical ability, disciplinary ability, etc. 

A special form of efficiency record should be put into 
use. It should contain headings devised for ratings for 
all of the subjects considered essential to a cavalry offi- 
cer. Take administration, for example ; this could be 
rilled in by the regimental commander from a special rec- 
ord, kept by the adjutant, of all administrative faults 
and virtues of that particular officer. This would indi- 
rectly have the effect of taking a load of worry from the 
adjutant's shoulders for the tardy submission of reports 
and communications, the necessity of returning papers 
for correction, etc. A simple notation every time there 
was a fault and a comparison at the end of a stated period 
with the records of all other officers would soon fix a 
standard for this. 

Troop training would be one of the simplest things to 
judge. The application at stated periods of standard tests, 
the comparison of the total results with all other units in 
the regiment and a noting of the same on the efficiency 
record. Tactical ability could be handled by the same 
means, preferably by actual problems upon the terrain, 
these to be suited to the officer's grade and length of ser- 
vice. 

The disciplinary standing of the officer's unit should be 
immediately reflected upon his efficiency record. This is 
a simple matter to determine, simply a comparison at 
stated periods of the total disciplinary reports with the 
average of the command and the marking of the offi- 
cer on the results. 

The sum of these requirements and others judged nec- 
essary would determine in a very fair and thorough man- 



64 MODERN CAVALRY 

ner the standing of an officer as a leader of units in his 
grade. It would tend to eliminate the consistently ineffi- 
cient and would give a goal to strive for to many excel- 
lent and hard working officers who now feel that their 
work is not observed and noted. This would end the 
feeling that it was necessary to get some "coffee cooling 
job" in order to be favorably commended. It would be a 
positive record instead of the negative record now in 
vogue and would end the feeling that service with troops 
was unrewarded service. 

After the sheep have been separated from the goats 
by this method, then only officers of proved ability with 
troops should be sent to troops. Increase by this means 
the prestige of troop duty, make it an honor rather than 
a punishment. Remember that our duty is to fight ; we 
require good leaders in war in the cavalry above all other 
branches. It would be the greater part of wisdom to 
weed out the poor ones and encourage the good ones in 
peace time. 

The cavalry officer must remember above all that he has 
comparatively only a short time in which to teach the 
mass of things that each cavalry trooper must learn. The 
officer should study the fine points of teaching the ele- 
ments of the military game and its essentials. He must 
learn to separate the essential from the non-essential, he 
must develop practical instruction in lieu of theoretical, 
realizing that the soldier learns more by being shown than 
he does by being talked at. He must take advantage of 
all psychological aids and learn thereby the best and most 
approved method of combining brain and muscle. He 
must learn to state facts tersely and in an interesting 
manner, realizing that the soldier's brain quickly tires of 
long-drawn-out explanations. 



TROOP TRAINING THE OFFICER 65 

Above all the cavalryman must remember what it is 
all about. He must stick to the main issue, war and prep- 
aration for war. Von Clausewitz, who was the first to 
analyze and realize how completely Napoleon had 
smashed the old traditions, the "old fencing," the 
rococo methods of making war previous to his time and 
whose work on it is the foundation of modern military 
thought says, apropos of sticking to the main issue, 
"Every activity in warfare therefore necessarily relates to 
combat, either directly or indirectly. The soldier is lev- 
ied, clothed, armed, exercised, he sleeps, eats drinks and 
marches, all merely to fight at the right time and place." l 

The great essential is to train soldiers for fighting. In 
our efforts to accomplish this let us not forget another 
great essential, that we must also train officers for lead- 
ing. 

la On War," von Clausewitz, Vol. I, Book I, page 37. 



CHAPTER V 

TROOP TRAINING THE HORSE 

The expression "training the horse" that we hear so 
often in the cavalry, should be amplified to make the ex- 
pression "training the horse for war." Anything ex- 
tending beyond that necessity should be taken from the 
sphere of work, of drill schedules and from training 
proper. The training that extends beyond direct neces- 
sity should be placed where it belongs, amongst pleasures 
and sports. The difference should be sharply defined. 

There are so many opinions and differences of opin- 
ion on the subject of horse training that it is wise to nar- 
row the field of discussion to simply the training of the 
horse for war. This does not tend to disregard the im- 
mense value of the horse as an instrument of pleasure or 
the direct value of mounted pursuits and sports generally. 
The question is now : what is the standard of training that 
we require for the horse to fit him for his place in cam- 
paign ? 

He must be hard and fit to carry his rider and the 
weight of the pack for long distances upon successive 
days. He must be able to pick his way across country at 
speed. He must be able to pass obstacles of not too great 
a height or width. He must be handy enough for his 
rider to use his weapons mounted. He must be docile 

66 



TROOP TRAINING THE HORSE 67 

and trained so as to not hinder his rider's mounting and 
dismounting. 

The next point is to decide as to what degree of train- 
ing is necessary in order to enable him to reach this stand- 
ard. It is only a matter of taking the methods we now 
have and cutting the amount to what is necessary for the 
purpose in view, arranging for this amount of training 
and testing the horses after they have been trained. Let 
hours be spent outside of working time, encourage every 
man and officer to work on his horse and make horseman- 
ship a pleasure, but keep in view the fact that we are 
working for war and let us differentiate between pleasure 
and business. In our working hours let us prepare for 
war ; in our rest and recreation periods, encourage every- 
thing that will indirectly help us in preparation for war. 
Modern warfare has become too scientific a game, we 
have too many things to teach the soldier in working 
hours to allow any more than the proper amount of time 
necessary on each subject. 

A great aid to attaining the necessary degree of train- 
ing would be the stimulation of the soldier's interest in 
his horse. He is driven now by unimaginative methods 
in training and long hours of drill spent in acquiring un- 
necessary things, to look upon his horse as only an addi- 
tional source of labor. Means must be adopted to make 
the condition of a man's horse a source of punishment 
or commendation if he fails or succeeds in handling it 
properly on the daily routine. He should be made to feel 
that he is just as responsible for the condition of his 
horse as he is of his gun. In many organizations there 
is a feeling of divided responsibility in this respect. 

The soldier is detailed to some fatigue duty, he is ab- 
sent from stables for some cause: does he worry about 



68 MODERN CAVALRY 

his horse ? He does not, he knows that someone will look 
after it. The responsibility for the care of the mount 
rests upon the stable sergeant, the first sergeant, the pla- 
toon commander or some one else, it does not rest on the 
soldier. This condition is unsafe in that it leads to a gen- 
eral lack of care for the horses on the march and in cam- 
paign, and the organization in which it is most prevalent 
is the organization that will turn up with the smallest 
strength in effectives after a few weeks of campaigning. 

The solution of the problem is to assign a man a 
horse, the animal to be his as long as he cares for it prop- 
erly. Make him groom it every day no matter what duty 
he is upon. If he cannot get to stables at stable time let 
him come later and groom under the supervision of the 
stable sergeant, or for the inspection of the stable ser- 
geant. This may seem to defeat the object of interesting 
a man in his horse by increasing the amount of his drudg- 
ery. It can be lessened by lessening the amount of time 
he is required to attend duties that take him from stables. 
Moreover, every man absent from stables means that 
some other man has to groom an extra horse which is a 
daily task that does not increase the man's interest in him. 
Make it a fixed rule that every man is to groom his own 
horse every day; then the few extra horses that are left 
because of a man absent sick or for some other un- 
avoidable cause can be groomed by detailing several men 
upon them, which would make the labor almost negligible. 

Allow the trooper more individual work with his 
mount and cut down the amount of mechanical riding 
around in a circle to a minimum. Let him compete for 
some prizes in the troop, squadron or regiment for the 
condition and training of his mount. A great deal of 
instruction will be absorbed by the man under such 



TROOP TRAINING THE HORSE 69 

a method and he will be a better cavalry soldier for 
it. 

He will be more prone to give heed to the teachings 
of his instructors when they advise him as to the care of 
the horse when alone, how to watch for every chance to 
rest it, to examine its bits and saddling at every oppor- 
tunity, to give it every chance to nibble a mouthful of 
grass or to drink whenever opportunity offers. He will 
be more prone to ease the horse over rough going, to dis- 
mount when making a steep ascent and to watch his back 
and legs and report the condition of his shoeing, if he is 
fond of his mount and desirous of keeping him. The 
sum total of these minor things, their observance or ne- 
glect make the difference between an organization that 
remains at all time close to full strength and one that is 
depleted below its effective power after a few weeks of 
campaigning. 

When training the trooper, stress should be put upon 
campaign riding and the individual's care of the horse. 
He should constantly be warned of all the little things 
that save or break a horse on the march. He should be 
taught more individual care of his horse and a little less 
of the refinements of riding than he now receives. It 
must be remembered that the individual soldier will be 
very often detached in the cavalry service and that upon 
the extent of his knowledge of the care of the horse will 
depend the accomplishment of his mission. We see many 
excellent organizations, with horses in good condition, 
smoothly gaited and well handled while under the eye of 
the officer. But let almost any of his men get away from 
his watchful eye and every principle is violated. Very 
often non-commissioned officers cannot be trusted even 
to march a unit smoothly at the trot when ordered to 



70 MODERN CAVALRY 

move out on their own. How many times do you see a 
troop that has come to the drill field smoothly under the 
command of the officer sent back under a non-commis- 
sioned officer and return like a mob ! They are not 
trained in gaiting and are not trained in a great many other 
things that have to do with the efficiency of the horse. 

It is a lesson sometimes to compare two troops in the 
regiment, perhaps both in the same line and adjacent. In 
one troop about half the horses are restless, are fidgeting, 
stamping and shifting their position with heads tossing 
and tails switching. Another troop seems to be standing 
tranquilly and easily. Inspect the first troop closely. You 
find curb chains too tight, throat latches cinched up like 
girths, equipment pressing against the horse uncomfort- 
ably, bits too low or too high in the horse's mouth, in 
other words a multitude of little things wrong. It is the 
lack of attention to little things that means lost horse- 
flesh. The men of one organization are properly trained 
and their troop's commander has an eye for every detail 
wrong; in the other the men do not know and have no 
method of finding out as their troop commander does not 
know. 

These things occur in time of peace in the post where 
a horse's work is not exhausting, where he is fed and 
watered regularly, where he is inspected by competent 
people on his return to stable, and immediately given at- 
tention if he needs it. How much more will their cumu- 
lative effect be under campaign conditions where these 
attentions are not possible? How much, for instance, 
does a soldier know about feeding and watering a horse 
and how to care for him when away from the solicitude 
and system of the stable sergeant? "J ust as in any busi- 
ness the profits are effected by small and seemingly petty 



TROOP TRAINING THE HORSE 71 

economies, so in a regiment it is the small economies of 
horse flesh which mount up to a great sum in a month 
or so of campaigning." * 

The great cause of losses of horse flesh on campaign 
is that so much of the cavalry work is necessarily dis- 
persed ; the trooper is on his responsibility to a great ex- 
tent. If he has gained no idea of the limitations and 
needs of his horse in peace he is certain to be an expen- 
sive liability in war. He ordinarily has simply ridden his 
horse to and from drill, at drill and at equitation or per- 
haps on a carefully conducted march or two. He has 
never been faced with a mission in which there was any 
danger of overriding his mount or failing to find care for 
him when he arrives at his destination. As a conse- 
quence the moment he finds himself in such a situation he 
begins automatically to wear his horse down to the break- 
ing point. 

Campaign principles of horse management must be 
instilled into the soldier. It is one of the most important 
parts of his instruction. The officers and non-commis- 
sioned officers must preach and reiterate these principles 
until they become part of his nature. He must be made 
into an enthusiastic horseman who develops enough af- 
fection for his mount to be willing and anxious to take 
every care of it. 

Every subordinate leader must be trained constantly 
to observe the horses under his care. The best way of 
accomplishing this is to hold every one responsible for 
the horses of his unit, the sergeants for their sections 
and the lieutenants for their platoons. Once a forceful 
commanding officer of an organization severely corrects 
an individual or two who is not rendering a good account 

*"Our Cavalry," Rimington, page 204. 



72 MODERN CAVALRY 

of his stewardship and commends those who are, the idea 
will begin to become part and parcel of the outfit. 

Men and officers must be warned against carrying un- 
authorized articles which add to the weight of the horse's 
load on the march. The use of the horse as an easy chair 
must be treated as a crime. An English observer tells of 
seeing in 1914 an entire brigade of French cuirassiers, 
both men and horses tired after arduous work, which re- 
mained at a halt for over one hour, every man in the bri- 
gade lounging in the saddle throughout the whole time. 
The memoirs of French cavalry officers tell of the many 
nights that the saddles and packs were left on the horses 
while the men slept holding the reins. The French cav- 
alry was nearly ruined as a tactical force by the lack of 
knowledge of horse care on the march and campaign upon 
the part of officers and men. The British were enabled 
to do more brilliant and important work with smaller 
forces because of the knowledge they displayed in the 
care of the horses. They learned their lesson in the 
South African War where the lesson cost them about 
twenty-two million pounds sterling and untold lives and 
time. 

The officers and non-commissioned officers must set an 
example of solicitude for the horses. The trooper must 
be taught the habit of looking to his horse the moment 
he puts feet to ground and before he rolls the cigarette 
or starts chaffing with his neighbor. The need for all 
this care of minor details must be explained to him so as 
to ensure that he will carry it out intelligently when he 
is out from under the eye of his superiors. He must be 
taught the principles of horse feeding, that a horse's 
stomach is small and requires several feeds. The dog is 
a carnivorous animal, his food is highly concentrated. He 



TROOP TRAINING THE HORSE 73 

can gorge once in twenty-four hours and keep well and 
fit. The horse is a grazing animal. His nourishment 
has to be absorbed from a great deal of bulk. 

The horse cannot tell of his discomfort or his pains. It 
needs a watchful eye on the part of his rider or the offi- 
cers and non-commissioned officers. The experienced 
horsemaster can very often tell from the expression of 
an animal whether or not all is well with him. 

An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure 
for more reasons than one in regard to the care of horses. 
But if even the ounce of prevention fails and a horse does 
receive some minor injury or fall heir to some minor ail- 
ment the better part is to take him immediately from 
ranks and try to have him cured. The remount service 
in the Palestine campaign, where they had it very well 
organized, was responsible for turning back and saving 
great numbers of horses. It is better to save a trained 
animal and return him to duty than to break him down 
for good and then be forced to replace him with a poorly 
conditioned remount, if it is possible to replace him at all. 
We will require a well organized system of mobile vet- 
erinary columns to prevent any wastage of horseflesh. 
The study of this phase of the cavalry problem alone 
should lead to some excellent results. 

Nansouty said to Murat after the latter had crossed 
the Niemen in Napoleon's Russian campaign and had 
only 18,000 horses left out of the 43,000 that he had 
started with two months previously, "The horses of the 
cuirassiers, not,- unfortunately, being able to sustain them- 
selves on their patriotism, fell down by the road and died." 

There is always a large amount of wastage in horse- 
flesh in campaign. Most of it is preventable by measures 
taken in peace time. Of these measures the most effec- 



74 MODERN CAVALRY 

tive is a high degree of knowledge upon the part of the 
officers and men as to the care of horses. This training 
can be had in peace time if due attention is paid to the 
education of the individual. One of the best means of 
making this education "stick" is to cultivate a high degree 
of personal responsibility and liking for his mount in each 
individual soldier of cavalry, 



CHAPTER VI 

AUXILIARIES WITH CAVALRY 

Cavalry is itself a combatant branch. It must on occa- 
sion fight with or against infantry, artillery and machine 
guns in the same manner as infantry. To enable it to 
do this effectually it is necessary that cavalry be furnished 
with the same aids that are furnished the infantry. It 
will have the same opponents as infantry. These will 
be machine guns, barb wire, tanks, armored cars, artil- 
lery and aeroplanes. The infantry division will contain 
neutralizing agents for all of these. The cavalry division 
must contain no less. 

After all is said most of these innovations tend to neu- 
tralize each other as time goes on. Battle is decided by 
men. But an enemy strength in certain auxiliaries that 
is not met by an equal strength on our own side puts our 
men at a disadvantage. Our cavalry must not be impeded 
in its main role which is to fight. The cavalry division 
must be enabled to carry out its basic combat duty, the 
ability to hurl a mass of men on to the battle field. It 
must have all deterrent mechanical factors on the enemy's 
side neutralized by corresponding or superior factors on 
our own side. 

Field Marshal Allenby in his message to the Ameri- 
can Cavalry in the January number of the Cavalry Jour- 
nal says " Armed with weapons of precision, rifle and ma- 

75 



76 MODERN CAVALRY 

chine guns, in addition to its old time equipment of sword 
and lance and supported by mobile quick-firing artil- 
lery, cavalry can adapt itself to any conditions . . . 
Cavalry enterprise is aided, too, by mechanical means of 
transport, lorries, tanks, armored cars assuring supply, 
while fighting cars and swiftly moving tanks can work 
in cooperation with cavalry and horse artillery over any 
ground. The machine guns and automatic rifles, now 
forming part of the armament of our cavalry, give of 
themselves great independence of action. By adopting 
every helpful device, the mounted arm can continually 
improve its fighting power." 

The main need of our cavalry is a higher degree of 
cooperation with horse artillery. Next in importance is 
the need for closer cooperation and communication with 
the air forces. Next in order would be the necessity for 
tanks, armored cars, motor cycles, increased signal com- 
munications and caterpillar tractors. With these auxil- 
iaries cavalry need not be content with simply fighting 
against cavalry. It is a worthy antagonist for any branch 
or combination of branches. The ability to fight, and to 
fight under any and all conditions is the ideal for which 
to strive in our service. 

A cry that will be raised by some will be one pointing 
out a fancied loss of mobility. Horse artillery does not 
detract from the mobility of cavalry. There are few 
places where the horsed guns cannot go. Places where 
they are unable to go will in most cases resolve them- 
selves into places where they are not needed any way. 
The rapid development of the whippet tank idea should 
give us a light and speedy cross-country tank that can 
follow cavalry anywhere. The armored car question is 
simply a question of motor transportation. It is hoped 



AUXILIARIES WITH CAVALRY 77 

that the caterpillar truck will develop into a dependable 
factor in our supply problem, especially in waste country. 
The cooperation of all these auxiliaries will be availa- 
ble for the cavalry in all conditions and they will not de- 
tract from cavalry mobility. Cooperation entails unity 
of action, and unity of action entails similarity of move- 
ment. In this case similarity of movement resolves it- 
self into capabilities for like speed. Nothing is added to 
the cavalry division that will detract in the slightest from 
its marching speed. On the other hand it will possess 
added units of greater speed under certain conditions. 
While speed is not all of cavalry mobility, the problem is 
now to work out types of mechanical traction that will 
cover all classes of country. This problem seems to be 
fairly on the road to solution. The final result will be 
speedy machine-gun and field-gun-bearing types of light 
tanks and caterpillar trucks that can accompany cavalry 
anywhere and that will add immeasurably to its radius 
of action and to its offensive power. 

The need, now, is to study the points of cooperation 
and fullest utilization of the good qualities of these aux- 
iliaries. This study is only possible with the assignment 
of these units to cavalry, preferably to the cavalry divi- 
sion. A tactical policy to govern their use could soon be 
formulated under these conditions. Some few points in 
relation to each which have been developed during the 
last war are noted here. 

Horse Artillery and Cavalry: 

One of the heritages of the old two-company post days 
in our Army is the lack of opportunity that is found to 
learn cooperation with other branches in peace time. 



78 MODERN CAVALRY 

What Rimington calls "The watertight compartment" at- 
titude has obtained to a great extent. Our greatest loss 
in this respect is the lack of opportunity we have had in 
the cavalry to learn the fine points of cooperation with 
horse artillery. 

This cooperation requires a high degree of knowledge 
and understanding of each other's problems upon both 
sides. 1 It requires a carefully worked-out system of tac- 
tics designed to develop the best points of each branch in 
combination. To develop to the highest degree the attack 
possibilities of cavalry we must have close cooperation 
with horse artillery. One of the infantry principles has 
resolved itself into making no attack without the sup- 
port of artillery. This necessity is, if anything, greater 
in the cavalry. 

From the policy of determining standard principles of 
procedure or methods of action, a cavalry tactical prin- 
ciple, in other words, that will insure team work and in- 
telligent initiative, flows the necessity of carrying out this 
policy in respect of cooperation with other branches. A 
definite policy must be laid down and followed in train- 
ing so that in war time there will be no necessity for com- 
plicated orders to cover each case. This applies both to 
cooperation with, and action against, different branches. 

Cavalry accompanied by modern horse artillery and 
machine guns and highly trained in fire power, as well 
as in cooperation with its auxiliary arms, will be the 
offensive force of the future in wars of movement. But 
we cannot secure the high degree of cooperation neces- 
sary in war unless we practice it in peace time. Lang- 
lois' "Lessons from Two Recent Wars," referring to the 

1 Langlois, "Lessons from Two Recent Wars," page 140, quoted 
in "Our Cavalry," Rimington, 



AUXILIARIES WITH CAVALRY 79 

British and Boer War says : 'The English took no steps in 
peace to correct and strengthen any union between the 
arms, and evil overtook them. I cannot insist too much 
on this point, and we (the French) must profit by this 
lesson." 

Our cavalry and horse artillery must be quartered 
within working distance of each other. If this is not 
feasible we should hold a sufficient number of combined 
problems per year properly to instruct our officers. A 
variety of problems could be worked out, teaching not 
only this phase of combat work, but teaching many other 
important things; cavalry staff work and the service of 
intelligence, amongst many. 

The German Cavalry Drill Regulations state: "The 
Horse Artillery will often, by its fire, cause the foe to dis- 
close his strength and thus help reconnaissance. In union 
with Maxim's it enables the opposition of the enemy in 
occupied positions and defiles to be overcome, and thus 
spares the Cavalry the dismounted attack." 

"Horse artillery and machine guns enable the Cavalry 
to hem in at long range the enemy's marching column to 
cause them to partially deploy; through flank fire to 
change the direction of their march." 

Horse artillery drives the enemy out of positions and 
therefore permits the cavalry commander to utilize the 
most precious quality of his branch, its mobility. 

The Germans learned their lesson in 1870 when there 
was no trace of cooperation between their artillery and 
cavalry. It was held that cavalry in battle had no need 
of artillery. In 1907 the view point was completely 
changed and horse artillery and machine guns ordered to 
remain with the cavalry throughout the course of the en- 
gagement. It is a question as to whether some of the 



80 MODERN CAVALRY 

great failures in mounted action in 1870 would not have 
been overwhelming successful had they been properly 
prepared for by the action of artillery and supported by 
that arm. 

The English learned the lesson of cooperation of horse 
artillery and cavalry in their Boer War. They applied 
this lesson brilliantly in the World War. 

The whole question of artillery cooperation with cav- 
alry is one phase of the great cavalry need, the augmenta- 
tion of fire power. 

In the mounted attack alone there are great possibili- 
ties with the proper support of artillery. The Palestine 
campaign proved conclusively that thin lines of rapidly 
moving horsemen, properly supported by fire action, 
could cross in a few seconds and with small loss, ground 
that the infantry could cross only in a vastly longer time 
and with heavy loss. 

Our colonels and brigadiers must have an opportunity 
to learn the fullest capabilities of the combination of fire 
and shock which reaches almost its highest culmination 
in the mounted attack supported by artillery. To learn 
to handle this, horse artillery must be available and in 
reach for combined training. 

For the cavalry to ever amount to anything in our ser- 
vice, we must look beyond the platoon and troop and 
think in terms of regiments, brigades and divisions. The 
Europeans considered it necessary to have horse artillery 
assigned to the cavalry brigade and to have the brigadier 
trained in combining the action of the two. As one of 
our regiments is about equal to a European brigade, it 
may be necessary to have horse artillery assigned to de- 
tached regiments. In any action against European or 
Asiatic cavalry we would be the sufferers, if we do not 



AUXILIARIES WITH CAVALRY 81 

strengthen our fire power with horse artillery. Criticize 
European cavalry as we like, we are no less than foolish if 
we do not follow their lead when they outstrip us in any 
particular. The particular in which they outstrip us now 
is in learning to combine cavalry action with the action 
of other arms. German, French and English cavalries 
carried it out in the war to a much greater extent than 
we have ever done, even in the Civil War. We must 
modernize ourselves in this particular. 

There are several factors that must be considered in 
the close cooperation of horse artillery and cavalry. The 
mobility of the two is almost equal. The equipment of 
horse artillery may have to be slightly modified, owing 
to the fact that horse artillery batteries will, from the 
nature of cavalry work, act less in battalion units and 
function more as individual batteries. Officers of each 
branch must be educated in the possibilities of the other 
branch. This could best be done by requiring them to serve 
for a short course of training attached to the other 
branch. 

Cavalry tactical movements must take into considera- 
tion the needs of horse artillery ; i. e., in mounted action 
they must be careful to avoid masking the fire of their 
batteries, they must aim at keeping the artillery informed 
at all times, signal communications must be amplified for 
better liaison with the batteries, and artillery commanders 
must be trained sufficiently in cavalry tactics to enable 
them to act with good judgment in the absence of in- 
structions. 

In working against mounted enemy forces supported 
by horse artillery, the cavalry commander must maneuver 
to the end of always making the enemy mask his batter- 
ies and making his own cavalry unmask the fire of his 



82 MODERN CAVALRY 

supporting batteries. He must maneuver to lead or drive 
the enemy cavalry under his own artillery fire, or move 
to have them enfiladed. He must make all mounted at- 
tacks with the object of permitting his batteries to con- 
tinue their fire until the last second. 

One of the great objects in the attack would be to give 
our own guns the best target possible as long as possi- 
ble. In preparation for a mounted action the horse ar- 
tillery commander must receive his orders first. Then 
an attempt should be made to combine the shock and fire 
action so that one should not nullify the other ; in other 
words, make the artillery line of fire and the line of the 
cavalry attack at an angle sufficiently great to insure that 
one does not interfere with the other. The highest degree 
of concealment must be striven for. 

It is essential that the artillery be kept from observa- 
tion, both from the ground and from the air. This con- 
sideration must not weigh as heavily on the horse artil- 
lery as upon other types. It will very often be neces- 
sary for horse artillery, in order to add a decisive note, to 
move very much farther forward and well up with its 
cavalry than would be the case when operating in conjunc- 
tion with infantry. This would apply especially to the 
rear guard action and the pursuit. 

The escort for the guns must not be allowed to be tied 
down and immobilized, but must be free to act, mounted 
or dismounted, must not be so near the guns as to be re- 
cipients of "overs" or "shorts" from opposing artillery, 
and must have a high degree of initiative. They must 
provide security by reconnaissance and not simply wait 
until something hits them. 

The cavalry command must never allow its role to de- 
generate into that of a simple escort for the guns, It 



AUXILIARIES WITH CAVALRY 83 

must be kept in mind that the guns, while a very impor- 
tant auxiliary, are still an auxiliary. 

The artillery commander must seek important targets. 
When supporting the attack and after the period when 
his fire endangers his own cavalry, he must switch his 
fire to the enemy's supports, or to his led horses. He 
must be ready to drop his shells on any means of egress 
liable to be taken by the retreating enemy. He can con- 
tribute materially to the course of the action by seeking 
out and locating new targets and pointing them out by 
bursts of fire to the cavalry commander ; i. e., the un- 
expected appearance of reserves or reinforcements, 
enemy artillery, etc. He can herald any new movements 
of the enemy by this means and greatly assist the cavalry 
commander. 

The artillery commander must have full confidence in 
his supporting cavalry and must know that they will 
make every effort to save his guns if need arises. Nearly 
every modern war has in it many incidents such as Gren- 
f ell's heroic rescue of the guns with the Qth Lancers in 
1914. Cavalry officers must remember that cavalry is 
very often called upon to save the guns of their own side 
and to capture the enemy guns. 

Armored Cars: 

The question of armored car cooperation with cavalry 
is one well worth our study. The armored car is espe- 
cially valuable in advance or rear guard work. An ex- 
ample of close cooperation is given in the Palestine cam- 
paign, noted elsewhere in this volume. The operations of 
armored cars with the 5th Cavalry Division in Palestine 
October 7th to 26th, give much food for thought. In 



84 MODERN CAVALRY 

these operations valuable work was done by the armored 
cars as reconnoitering agents. In country with fair roads 
they can be exceedingly valuable and result in the saving 
of much horse flesh. They would also be valuable in par- 
tisan warfare, operating against irregular or guerrilla 
troops. In the action with the 5th Division in Palestine, 
there were examples of armored car reconnaissance, of 
combats between opposing armored cars, and combats of 
armored cars with cavalry. 

A type of armored car that could also be used for the 
carriage of anti-aircraft guns would be exceedingly valu- 
able to the cavalry. Cavalry is vulnerable to attacks from 
the air, both bombing and machine gun fire. It is vul- 
nerable when in mass or marching on the roads, and its 
picket lines and camps are especially good targets. It 
was found necessary in the Palestine campaign to guard 
the picket lines against aerial attacks. There must always 
be some form of reserve defense in the event of the de- 
feat or temporary absence of our own air forces. 

The armored car should have a turret, equipped with 
a machine gun or light field gun. The field gun should 
be large enough to engage hostile armored cars and there- 
fore should have sufficient muzzle, velocity. It might be 
advisable to have a proportion of anti-tank guns, with 
armor-piercing projectiles. 

A suggested French organization for an armored car 
unit is to have a battalion divided into three companies, 
with one extra light-section for supply and repairs. The 
company would contain four sections and one echelon. 
The section would comprise three cars, two machine gun 
cars and one light cannon car. The combat unit would 
be the section. These are never to be placed on duty 
with units less than the French squadron. They must be 



AUXILIARIES WITH CAVALRY 85 

placed under the orders of the commanding officer of the 
cavalry which they are to support. 

The usual formation is with two machine gun cars on 
the flanks of the light cannon car, which carries the sec- 
tion commander. The French recommend that a car 
company be assigned to the brigade and a battalion to the 
cavalry division. The battalion commander would be 
under direct orders of the divisional commander. 

The tactical use of the armored car must be governed 
by the fact that it is a delicate instrument. It is above 
all essential to avoid wearing it out for feeble results. It 
should not be used on minor reconnaissance duty or in 
general such duties as would place it at the disposition 
of units of cavalry smaller than a French squadron. 

Motor Cycles: 

A substantial aid to cavalry would be the attachment of 
numbers of motor cycles. They would result in a 
saving of horse flesh in campaign. They could be used 
to considerable advantage in the service of reconnais- 
sance and would wonderfully speed up the service of 
communication. French, Belgian and German cavalry 
authorities seem to concur in the value of cyclist troops, 
as accompanying troops for cavalry. There are possi- 
bilities in the development of motor cycle troops for the 
same purpose. It is not known whether this possibility 
has ever been tested in our army. 

Signals: 

A portable wireless set that could be carried on four 
Ford cars, with all equipment and personnel, including 



86 MODERN CAVALRY 

two days' rations and water, was used very successfully 
in the Palestine campaign. Its range was twenty-five to 
thirty miles. It can be carried either as a pack or a wagon 
set. Corps headquarters used a larger set, with a radius 
of about eighty miles. Each division in Palestine carried 
two of the first sets, so as to enable the station to be kept 
open behind while the division was moving to the new 
station in front. 

The signal forces with cavalry should be easily sub- 
divisible, so as to permit the detachment of sufficient 
strength with even smaller units than the regiment. It 
might be advisable in our cavalry to be able to send light 
wireless sets with our squadrons and heavier sets, with 
greater sending radius, for the brigades and divisions. 

In Palestine many other means of secondary communi- 
cation were used, and gave varying results. The helio- 
graph was used as secondary communication ; experi- 
ments wer? even made in heliographing by moonlight. 
The buzzer gave the best results as a rule, but sometimes 
broke down. In addition to all these, lamps, flags, motor 
cyclists, gallopers or mounted officers, mounted soldiers, 
and pigeons were used when circumstances demanded. 

In the use of wireless in campaign, the mistake made 
by the Germans in their advance in 1914, of sending un- 
coded messages, should not be repeated. In this advance 
von Kluck complained that the wireless was listened in 
upon by the enemy, and many plans disclosed thereby, 

Tanks: 

It is not definitely known yet what stage of develop- 
ment can be reached in tank construction and improve- 
ment. The tank is essentially an infantry weapon at its 



AUXILIARIES WITH CAVALRY 87 

present stage of development. There seems to be strong 
reason for believing that the English have developed a 
type of light whippet tank that may fulfill cavalry re- 
quirements. This tank is stated to have a speed of twenty 
miles an hour across country, a cruising radius of some 
two hundred miles, and to be so delicately balanced that 
it can be run over a brick on the roadway without crush- 
ing it. A great fault of the tank has been its effect upon 
road surfaces. Its chief drawback is its vulnerability to 
direct artillery hits. There seems to be only one exam- 
ple of a combat between tanks on the Western Front. 
In this combat the results were indecisive. 

The tank is chiefly useful against machine gun nests 
and wire. It may be found necessary in any future war 
to attach enough of the whippet type of tank mentioned 
above to the cavalry to overcome the above antagonists. 

Anti- Air craft Guns: 

It will undoubtedly be necessary in the next war of 
any magnitude to provide anti-aircraft protection for the 
cavalry. The size of the cavalry masses, both upon the 
march and in camp (when their picket lines afford a 
tempting target) will make them very liable to attack from 
aerial machine-gunning or bombing. This contingency 
should be guarded against by the assignment of anti-air- 
craft guns to the cavalry division to provide security. The 
possibility of the defeat of our own air force and the 
consequent loss of its protective power, must always be 
held in mind. 



CHAPTER VII 

CAVALRY TACTICS MOUNTED ACTION 

To decry the mounted offensive abilities of cavalry be- 
cause of modern weapons, is to show a poor grasp of one 
of the underlying principles of war the value of the 
offensive. It is also indicative of a lack of study of the 
lessons of the most recent war at least, not to mention 
past wars in modern times. 

The American cavalry officer must not be a faddist 
enthusiastic about this weapon or that, to the exclusion 
of other weapons he must not be an exponent of one 
form of action to the exclusion of others. To adopt this 
narrow attitude of mind is wilfully to disregard the pow- 
ers and capabilities of his own branch and to limit him- 
self to a circumscribed course of action. He must be 
prepared to use any and all forms of action and weapons 
when the opportunity presents itself for each special 
type. 

To enable himself to do this with not only good but 
exceedingly rapid judgment he should, by study, experi- 
ment and reflection have formulated for himself a work- 
ing code ready for instantaneous use in time of emer- 
gency. This code should be a set of working rules, each 
rule containing the elementary principles as to the use of 
each form of attack, each weapon and combined forms 
of attack and weapons. 

88 



CAVALRY TACTICS MOUNTED ACTION 89 

He must not be a bigoted enthusiast concerning the use 
of cavalry mounted but, on the other hand must assign 
it its proper place in the tactical scheme of things. The 
mounted attack, while not, as formerly, the sum and end 
of all cavalry work, is still an important thing, both from 
its moral and from its physical effects. 

The moral effects are of two kinds the influence upon 
the spirit of the cavalry that is anxious to close with the 
enemy, and the effect upon the enemy. Its great value to 
us is the offensive spirit that it inculcates. This is of 
such importance as to make it highly probable that, if 
given two opposing cavalry forces all other factors be- 
ing equal the side that enthusiastically sought the de- 
cision with the sword, whenever opportunity offered, 
would very quickly rise superior in morale to the side that 
dropped to the ground every time the enemy came in 
view. Continued insistence upon fire action to the ex- 
clusion of ought else will inevitably blunt the offensive 
spirit of any cavalry. Cavalry fire action as opposed 
to cavalry shock is an illustration of the defensive atti- 
tude as compared to the offensive spirit. 

The old fallacy upon which so many discouraging de- 
cisions were formerly made at our field exercises that 
every time a rifle is fired somebody drops has been 
pretty well exploded. Some one has computed the 
amount of metal it takes to kill or wound an individual 
in modern war at well over a ton. 

General Parker x has compared the vulnerability of the 
target offered by the dismounted man advancing 500 
yards to that of the target offered by a mounted man and 
his horse advancing the same distance. A mounted man 
presents little more than twice the target, head on, offered 

1 "The Mounted Rifleman," Brig.-Gen. Parker. 



90 MODERN CAVALRY 

by the dismounted man. A dismounted man advancing 
by rushes presents a full target for 3 minutes and a 
prone target for 10 minutes. The mounted man covers 
the same ground in i minute. It is figured out roughly 
that the mounted man and his mount are exposed to 
about one half the fire that the dismounted man receives. 

Add to this the moral effect of a line of horses, sur- 
mounted by a crest of gleaming steel, swiftly and irre- 
sistibly advancing ; the effect upon the defending rifleman 
and his nerves is bound to be destructive to markmanship 
when you add to this the difficulty of hitting a moving 
target and the fact that both man and horse will continue 
to advance unless absolutely vitally hit, thus giving the 
effect of invulnerability the total gives a whole lot to 
the efficiency of the mounted attack. 

As to the difficulty of hitting a rapidly advancing 
target an incident is cited by Rimington that occurred in 
the South African War. A group of picked shots had 
been left by a British cavalry outfit to fire at long range 
upon a small force of Boers moving along their front at 
extreme range. The officer in charge, who was also 
firing, suddenly noticed that the Boers had changed di- 
rection and that about seventy of them were galloping 
rapidly towards his party. He gave orders to continue 
firing until the last possible second. He himself picked 
out one Boer, slightly in advance, mounted upon a white 
horse. He fired an entire clip at this man, firing steadily. 
When the attacking horsemen came dangerously closer he 
mounted his party and rejoined his unit at speed. When 
last seen the Boer on the white horse was still in the lead. 
When opportunity offered he compared notes with the 
men of his party. It seems that they had all picked the 



CAVALRY TACTICS MOUNTED ACTION 91 

same target at whom they had collectively discharged 
about forty rounds. 

The lessons of the Palestine campaign should teach 
us that first, there are occasions when mounted attack 
against rifle and machine gun fire is not only possible but 
highly preferable ; secondly, that cavalry, like infantry, 
is entitled to support in its attack and should be sup- 
ported by the fire of rifles, machine guns or artillery to 
secure the best effects. 

The cavalry that dismounts in face of hostile cavalry, 
unless it has hopes of ambushing or surprising the same, 
is on the defensive. It has been proved upon numerous 
occasions and by many famous generals notably Gust- 
avus Adolphus, Charles XII of Sweden, Turenne, 
Conde, Frederick the Great and others that the cavalry 
which dismounts in the face of opposing cavalry or re- 
ceives it at a halt with mounted fire will be caught and 
ridden down. To argue that the rate of fire was slow 
in the days of these leaders is to forget that the trained 
infantry and cavalry of those days had in many cases, 
due to their formation in many ranks, a rate of fire at 
shorter range that closely approximates the fire rate of 
today. 

It has been proved upon many occasions that mounted 
infantry cannot last in the field against cavalry. Sooner 
or later they will be caught in the saddle and then they 
are finished. In the Shenandoah Valley in 1864 the 
Southerners, though admirable horsemen, were armed 
only with the rifle and were defeated by the Federals 
under Sheridan, who were trained in both fire and shock. 

The true ideal for our cavalry is the ideal of combined 
action, the use of fire and shock, artillery and machine 



92 MODERN CAVALRY 

guns well up and used with a high degree of cooperation 
and intelligence, a high state of training in rifle and auto- 
matic fire in the ranks and a thorough confidence in the 
thrusting sword. We must be balanced cavalrymen, 
quick to seize the advantage of every weapon and style 
of combat that will enhance our physical and moral 
superiority and lower that of the enemy. 

The question of pistol or sabre in the mounted attack is 
argued at great length in our service. It is the modern 
American shape of the old controversy, as old as the his- 
tory of cavalry, the question of ballistics from the horse's 
back, a question that has been rising periodically for cen- 
turies since the time of the Parthian horse bowman. 

The rise of the Zulu dynasty, and its stubborn fight 
against the might of the British Empire can be traced 
to one fact, that the Zulu dynasty forbade its warriors 
to throw their assegai and forced them to close and use 
them as stabbing weapons. Whoever issued that dictum 
understood the morale that accrues to the side which 
insists upon closing with the enemy in shock. 

The pistol is a valuable weapon, a typically American 
weapon. It is our heritage; every youngster who has 
read a dime novel is imbued with the romance and the 
love of the pistol. Insofar it is valuable. It is a weapon 
in which a man has confidence, a begetter of morale, a 
steadier of courage. The lone mounted scout, picking his 
way over perilous terrain, is twice the man for having 
the pistol strapped to his hip and twenty-one rounds of 
ammunition ready to hand in convenient clips. The 
patrol is twice as bold for having the pistol and being 
able to use it. Its value and the appreciation in which 
the average American holds it can be seen from the fact 
that every "doughboy" in France that could beg, bor- 



CAVALRY TACTICS MOUNTED ACTION 93 

row, steal or pick one up from the field had a pistol at- 
tached to him. That these exerted an enormous effect 
upon the American morale as a whole there can be no 
gainsaying. 

As a cavalry weapon for the shock, for the gaining 
of ascendancy over the enemy cavalry, for use in mass 
it is not the ideal weapon. The ideal weapon is the cold 
steel, the long sharp sword whose gleam can cast terror 
into the enemy and whose weight and length provide 
an objective upon which the cavalryman can concentrate 
the whole of his energy and lust of slaughter as the 
infantryman does on his bayonet. It is the concrete 
expression of the desire for contact, the desire to close 
and smash with the enemy. This desire must find ex- 
pression if our cavalry is to remain superior to its an- 
tagonists. To keep the cavalry spirit we must keep the 
sword. It is our concrete expression of the will for 
the offensive. And without the offensive spirit cavalry 
is as nothing. 

Without the sword we become mounted infantry. In 
other words, we lose, for the reason that mounted in- 
fantry is not equal to good infantry and can always be 
beaten by good cavalry. Let us become balanced cavalry- 
men, not faddists, wholly prejudiced against this weapon 
and that, but with an all around development, capable of 
using each weapon and form of attack as the situation 
requires. Thus and thus only can we fulfil the role that 
we will be called upon to fill in the next war. 

Too much improper training in the use of the sabre will 
lead to a lack of confidence in it on the part of the 
average soldier. Its instruction time should be cut to 
the limit consistent with practical use. An ability to point 
the sabre at the enemy and to ride him down should 



94 MODERN CAVALRY 

be all that is required in training as it is all that is re- 
quired in war. It is not possible to make the American, 
cavalryman a finished swordsman and moreover it is 
not necessary. If he is taught that the sabre is a weapon 
of undoubted value, taught to handle it but not bored 
excessively in practice with it, and most of the instruction 
concentrated upon the rapid gallop straight to the front, 
he will have more confidence in it when the opportunity 
for its use occurs. 

This confidence could also be increased by the substitu- 
tion of a lighter, more graceful and better balanced 
weapon for the present atrociously ugly, ill-balanced and 
ungainly sword. 

It must not be forgotten that three out of the five 
brigades of the Australian Light Horse, who had no arme 
blanche, applied for the sword before the big advance 
of 1918 as a result of their experience in the previous 
months. It is stated that the two remaining brigades 
made a similar request just before the signing of the 
armistice. 

It is futile to talk of frontal attacks mounted against 
unshaken infantry. The experience in the world war 
has shown that if infantry, from one reason or another, 
is in such condition that success would attend a hurried, 
dismounted attack of the regular cavalry variety, a 
mounted attack will succeed and result in saving of time 
and lives, to an incomparably greater degree. The object 
of the infantry attack is to come to close quarters and 
cold steel. This is also the cavalry object. 

One factor in favor of the mounted as against the 
dismounted attack is the superior morale that results from 
the former. There is certainly a feeling of innate su- 
periority on the part of the man who rides on a horse 



CAVALRY TACTICS MOUNTED ACTION 95 

over the man who walks upon the ground. Another 
factor is the demoralization produced in the enemy by the 
combination of numbers and speed. In March, 1917, 
the 5th Cavalry Division (British) charged Villers Faucon 
and two other villages. Many Germans, posted in 
trenches and behind wire, put up their hands while the 
cavalry were still some distance off. One of them in 
reply to the question as to why they had done this, stated : 
"It would have been all right if infantry had been at- 
tacking us, but what can one do when the cavalry gallops 
at one!" 

One of the chief arguments in favor of the sword is 
the value of such a weapon in the rencontre of small de- 
tachments where the side that attacks first at the great- 
est speed will drive off the enemy. It is claimed that the 
British cavalry in 1914 gained the superiority in morale 
over the Uhlans because they rode at the enemy on sight, 
who, in many cases, was caught in the act of trying to 
dismount to fire. 

Offensive action on the part of one cavalry compels 
the other to corresponding activity or to the loss of its 
''edge" or morale. Two cavalry forces that stand off 
and take pot shots at each other will never have any 
violent contact nor will the action of either one be decisive. 
The moment one begins to take the initiative, or to push 
its opponent it will have to have recourse to the steel 
and the other will have to retaliate in kind or rest con- 
tent with defeat. 

It must be remembered that there are charges and 
charges. The charge against cavalry is the type that 
requires consideration of some factors that cannot be 
omitted. Very few of us consider the charge more than 
in one way a quick forming of line to the front and the 



96 MODERN CAVALRY 

development of speed. This is wrong as it will lead at 
the best to indecisive results. The following points must 
be observed: I. The enemy must be kept ignorant until 
the last moment as to the point of attack. 2. The leader 
must retain control over his unit as long as possible. 3. 
He must be able to pick his angle of attack. To accom- 
plish these, it is best to move rapidly to the flank, keeping 
in column as long as possible, until opposite the point 
selected, then form line by wheeling into line fours 
right or left and attack. 

De Brack, in his excellent work on cavalry says, "When 
you charge make a change of front and attack them in 
flank. This maneuver can always be successfully prac- 
ticed against an enemy like the English, who make a 
vigorous and disunited charge, whose horses are not very 
manageable, and whose men, brave but uninstructed, be- 
gin the charge too far away from the enemy." 

In the training for the mounted attack, great stress 
must be laid upon prompt rallying. The advantage of 
this lies in the fact that the unit most quickly rallied is 
available for further concerted action, either mounted or 
dismounted, and can act as a new reserve. The more 
quickly the unit can be gotten in hand the more quickly 
is it available to parry a counter attack or to move against 
fresh bodies of the enemy. 

Cromwell, who in addition to his other qualities was 
one of the greatest English cavalry leaders, realized the 
necessity of rallying speedily after the charge. He gained 
many successes through this faculty alone. "After Ru- 
pert's defeat Cromwell rallied well and quickly and re- 
formed ready for the next job at hand. The pursuit of 
Rupert's troopers was intrusted to the smallest fraction 
sufficient to do the work efficiently . , . after each at- 



CAVALRY TACTICS MOUNTED ACTION 97 

tack he reforms quickly and in good order ready for 
the next effort . . . attacks the Royal infantry. . . . 
Towards the end of the battle he is rallied and ready to 
meet yet another effort; ready to meet Lucas' and Gor- 
ing's squadrons." 1 

In peace time we do not carry problems to a logical 
conclusion. What is to happen after the charge is driven 
home? the cavalry or infantry ridden down? the position 
captured? We do not practice this phase of the attack 
sufficiently. In meeting these situations the rally is 
one of the most important means. It should be practiced 
constantly in peace time. 

Some necessary factors in the mounted attack against 
cavalry are: the maintenance of cohesion at speed, not 
starting the charge too soon, skillful utilization of the 
terrain, hitting the enemy in flank, keeping out supports 
and reserves and rallying quickly. 

The Palestine campaign proved that the cavalry charge, 
far from being a thing of the past, has assumed a new 
value. This value is gained through the proper com- 
tination of fire and shock. The speed with which 
mounted troops can cross a fire-swept zone is a great 
factor in their favor. Fire alone will not stop the mounted 
attack supported by fire. Impassable obstacles will stop 
it. In terrain free from impassable obstacles and with 
proper support of machine guns, artillery or dismounted 
fire from other portions of the command, cavalry can 
cross a fire-swept zone, mounted, if they move in waves, 
in extended order and move with speed. The moral 
effect of such an attack is very high. It is in close co- 
operation with fire power that cavalry mounted attacks 
reach their greatest efficiency. 
1 "Cromwell," Capt. P, A. Charrier, page n. 



98 MODERN CAVALRY 

Machine guns and horse artillery should be well for- 
ward and should be trained to a high degree of coopera- 
tion. The advantage of forming the charge to a flank 
is this that it uncovers the fire of the artillery and 
machine guns. Wellington criticized the British officers 
in the Peninsular campaign, speaking of the l "trick our 
officers have acquired of galloping at everything; they 
never think of maneuvering before an enemy." It is not 
possible in these days to do much maneuvering before 
an enemy ; it is possible to reason out the manner of the 
attack with judgment and knowledge of the ground, and 
to issue clear-cut orders to subordinates before the 
launching of a charge. 

Take plenty of time for initial reconnaissance. In 
large bodies move forward slowly so as to give time 
for the patrols to send back information. The com- 
mander should ride well forward, accompanied by his 
subordinates, especially his machine gun or artillery com- 
mander. He should strive for the advantage of quicker 
deployment and correct direction of attack. He must 
follow the principle of keeping his troops under cover 
from view and fire until plans are made, and then only 
send them forward when this is completed. 

The mounted attack against cavalry should not neces- 
sarily lead to the melee but should be an attempt to break 
the enemy by the impact of a solid mass. The melee 
is usually indecisive as it absorbs the strength of both 
combatants. The best example of the value of solid at- 
tacks is the action of the closely formed I3th Dragoon 
Regiment which in the Franco-Prussian war, at the battle 
of Mars-la-Tour, defeated and drove away the French 
Brigade Montaigu who were in disorder after having 

1 Quoted in "Our Cavalry," Rimington, page 42. 



CAVALRY TACTICS MOUNTED ACTION 99 

made an easy prey of the loth German Hussars. It 
may be impossible to rally a unit after it has once been 
committed to the charge. For this reason it is essential 
always to keep out one or more reserves. The cavalry 
fight of Mars-la-Tour in 1870 was finally decided by the 
second line of the i6th Dragoons who threw themselves 
in from the rear. 

In the cavalry fight mounted it should be the endeavor 
to secure the advantage of the outer lines that is to 
attack concentrically. As this forces the enemy to re- 
treat concentrically, his lines of retreat cross each other. 
The second advantage is that in case of a repulse the re- 
tirement can be made eccentrically and the enemy's pur- 
suit dissolves against a multiplicity of objectives. 

Against dismounted cavalry always endeavor to at- 
tack the led horses by a detachment of a part of the* 
command. Artillery should be attacked like infantry in 
successive waves. 

When in face of a hostile cavalry of any degree of ac- 
tivity, mounted combat will be frequent. This will be 
especially against small detachments of the enemy. If the 
enemy shows superior force endeavor to lead him under 
the fire of machine guns or dismounted portions of the 
command. 

Every attack made on horseback is a case of risking all 
to gain all. It will mean a certain amount of risk. 
Whoever avoids it will always have an excuse. With 
a desire for mounted attack comes also the desire for 
the offensive and it is the offensive that wins. 

It is not believed that mounted charges in units larger 
than the regiment (American) will occur in the future. 
The large massed charges of the Napoleonic days are 
things of the past as they provide too great a target for 



ioo MODERN CAVALRY 

hostile artillery and machine guns. In units from the 
regiment down, the charge should, and will be, a thing of 
frequent occurrence. The idea of the charge should al- 
ways be kept in mind to preserve the essential boldness 
and offensive spirit of cavalry. 

Attacks against artillery should be sought for. There 
are many of these which will have a strong probability of 
success. Some of these are surprise attacks against the 
flanks and rear of firing batteries, attacks against bat- 
teries on the march and against artillery unsupported by 
infantry. Ammunition columns can be attacked suc- 
cessfully. It may be of the greatest importance, on some 
occasions, to silence a battery, or to divert its fire if only 
for a few moments. Surprise is the essential in this 
as in all charges. 

Mounted action implies the offensive which implies 
taking the initiative. The taking of the initiative is in 
itself a powerful aid to the raising of the morale of one's 
own side and the lowering of the enemy's. It is human 
nature to feel instinctively that there is a good and well 
founded reason for the courage of the aggressive person. 
He must have a foundation for his belief in his invulner- 
ability and in his power to damage, or so instinct leads 
one to reason. This instinct leads opponents to surrender 
their initiative in cases where there is very slight physical 
justification for it. 

We have many combinations of weapons and forms of 
the mounted attack. We have the choice of the pistol 
and the sword or a combination of the two. We have 
the choice of attacking in a solid line, in a succession of 
solid lines, in waves of foragers, and combined mounted 
and dismounted action. Each has its value. The main 
thing is to realize that our offensive spirit in the cavalry 



CAVALRY TACTICS MOUNTED ACTION 101 

must always find outlet and be fostered in, and by, the 
horse, as an ally, in our attack, - -, ; 

The pistol and the sabre,' miist" not be 'compared and 
one or the other 'discarded.. They ,are both necessary 
each in its place and fo'r its ^pie.cikt "situation/: The pistol is 
a deadly weapon properly handled. More instruction 
must be had in its use. It undoubtedly kills more of the 
enemy than the sabre. In comparing the killing qualities 
one must remember the old proverb which says that 
battles are not won by the numbers of people killed but 
by the numbers of people frightened. 

There are many examples of mounted charges against 
infantry in the World War. One decisive charge was 
that of the Bavarian Uhlan Brigade, near Lagarde, on 
the nth of August, 1914, against a battalion of French 
infantry. The infantry was over-ridden and was forced 
into the line of fire of a battery which caused them many 
losses. Another example of a successful German charge 
was that on the 26th of September, 1914, when three 
squadrons of the 3rd Guard Uhlans charged successfully 
against two companies of French infantry. This infantry 
was driven into Le Mesnil. Here it was caught under the 
fire of the 1st Guard Uhlans, who were dismounted. The 
French Infantry was forced to retreat to Rocquigny, with 
a loss of forty-five dead and a great number of prisoners. 
On the 25th of August, 1914, the German ist Life Hus- 
sars charged against a French infantry battalion, taking 
four hundred prisoners and four machine guns. 

One of the most brilliant charges against dismounted 
troops occurred in Palestine on September 3Oth, when 
the 4th and I2th regiments of the Australian Light Horse, 
after bombarding the Kaukab line held by 2,500 rifles 
and numerous machine guns, charged; the 4th regiment 



102 MODERN CAVALRY 

making the frontal charge, while the I2th regiment charged 
on the left "flank. The -charge* was entirely successful. 
Seventy-two prisoners and twelve machine guns were cap- 
tured immediately, while most of the defenders were 
ridden driver* in tile pursuit. \o 

Another brilliant charge was that against a retreating 
column in the same campaign, on the 2nd of October. 
The 3rd Australian Light Horse Brigade pursued the 
enemy, who was escaping near Damascus. The brigade, 
after riding hard for six miles, charged the retreating 
column before guns could be unlimbered or machine guns 
brought into action. They captured 1,500 prisoners, in- 
cluding a divisional commander, and three guns and 26 
machine guns. 

The capture of the town of Beersheba by the 4th Aus- 
tralian Light Horse Brigade was an excellent example of 
cavalry offensive power. On October 3ist this brigade 
made a surprise attack on Beersheba. Alternate lines 
dismounted during the course of the charge and cleaned 
up trenches, while other lines galloped through into the 
town, capturing this strong Turkish position, with 1,148 
prisoners. This attack rolled up the Turkish left flank. 

A charge by ten. troops of the Warwick and Worcester 
Yeomanry succeeded in facilitating the march of the 
6oth Division on November 8th, in Palestine. This 
charge was against a strong position. It was completely 
successful. In addition to the prisoners, n field guns 
and 4 machine guns were captured. This was an excellent 
example of offensive advance guard work. 

On November I3th the Royal Bucks Hussars and 
Dorset Yeomanry charged the El Mughar Ridge from the 
Wadi Jamus. This cavalry force rode 4,500 yards across 
an open plain, devoid of cover, and subjected through- 



CAVALRY TACTICS MOUNTED ACTION 103 

out to a heavy shell, machine gun, and rifle fire. The 
whole hostile position was captured and consolidated, 
resulting in the capture of 1,096 prisoners, two field 
guns and fourteen machine guns. 

Another example of good advance guard work by 
cavalry was the charge on November 8th at Huj by 
Worcester and Warwick Yeomanry, on a Turkish rear 
guard. This resulted in the capture of 12 field guns 
and the breaking of the Turkish resistance. 

On September 22nd a cavalry charge by the i8th Lan- 
cers (i3th Brigade) succeeded in repelling a Turkish 
attack against Nazareth. The attack was made by about 
700 Turks. After a short fight the Lancers charged, 
repulsing the attack and capturing 311 prisoners and 4 
machine guns. 

Another example of the charge in conjunction with the 
advance guard was that that occurred in the pursuit which 
had reached the Plain of Esdraelon. As the advance 
guard of the 4th Cavalry Division debouched from the 
defile at Lejjun, a Turkish battalion with several machine 
guns was observed deploying on the plain below. They 
were charged without hesitation by the leading regiment, 
the 2nd Lancers, and in a few minutes the division was 
able to continue its advance. Less prompt action would 
have caused fatal delay in this case. 

The engagement at Haifa gives some brilliant examples 
of the mounted attack against infantry, artillery and ma- 
chine guns. On approaching that place the I5th Cavalry 
Brigade was met by the fire of a battery of 77*5 on the 
slopes of Mount Carmel. At least ten machine guns 
covered the entrance to the town. The Jodhpur Lancers 
made a brilliant charge, riding over the machine guns and 
pursuing the enemy through the streets. A squadron of 



104 MODERN CAVALRY 

the Mysore Lancers was sent over Mount Carmel at 
the same time, to turn the place from the south. They 
captured two Turkish naval guns, mounted on the ridge 
of Carmel and made a very gallant and successful charge 
in the face of a very heavy machine gun fire. The Turks 
made a very stubborn defense of Haifa and but for the 
dash of the I5th (Imperial Service) Cavalry Brigade, 
would have undoubtedly held out for a considerable 
length of time. 

Another example of a charge against riflemen and ar- 
tillery occurred on September 23rd, near Makt Abu Naj. 
The patrols of the 29th Lancers were fired upon by forces 
which were covering the ford. The Middlesex Yeomanry 
moved around the enemy's left flank, while two squadrons 
of the 29th Lancers charged a mound forming the center 
of the hostile position, and captured 800 prisoners and 15 
machine guns. There were two charges by Jacob's Horse 
on the left bank, which were held up by hostile artillery. 
The accompanying horse artillery, the Hampshire Bat- 
tery, was ordered into action. This battery was imme- 
diately subjected to heavy fire from two concealed enemy 
batteries. A squadron of the Middlesex Yeomanry forded 
the river at Makt Fathallah and charged these batteries, 
putting them completely out of action. This resulted in 
the withdrawal of the enemy. 

There were some examples of successful charges by 
the Germans in 1914. On the ist of September the i8th 
Cavalry Brigade (iSth and i6th German Hussars) 
charged in waves against the English infantry. This in- 
fantry was advancing and seriously threatening the left 
wing of the 4th German Cavalry Division. The charge 
was successful and stopped the British advance. 

On the loth of October the 9th Hussar Regiment 



CAVALRY TACTICS MOUNTED ACTION 105 

(German) at Orchies, near Lille, captured 200 French 
replacement troops in their first charge. The first squad- 
ron of the regiment thereafter charged a wagon column, 
marching under escort of infantry. They were received 
by rifle fire. In spite of this they captured 5 officers, 250 
men, 36 horses and 23 wagons. The mounted men with 
the column escorting the wagon fled. The Hussars lost 
in this engagement 3 dead, 2 officers and 12 men wounded, 
and 6 horses killed. The enemy lost 30 dead and 40 
wounded, in addition to prisoners and the train. 

Among many charges recorded during the war there 
occurred an example at Fretoy, September 7th, 1914, 
when an English squadron charged a German squadron. 
The English made the charge at speed while the Ger- 
mans seemed to have charged at a lesser gait. The Ger- 
man charge was overthrown. The English squadron 
rallied and came into action again. 

In 1916 near Bobocul, Rumania, three squadrons of the 
24th Guard Dragoons, charged against a strong Russian 
cavalry force. The Russians seem to have partially 
avoided the charge and to have partially met it by mounted 
rifle fire. The Germans succeeded in driving the hostile 
cavalry from the field. 

"By adopting every helpful device, the mounted arm 
can continually improve its fighting power. Never- 
theless it must not lose faith in its old and tried weapons, 
the sword and the lance. The cavalry leader who has the 
knowledge and the nerve will again and again find his 
opportunity to go in with the cold steel. Losses must be 
faced, but in war, as of old, experience teaches that a 
mounted attack, exactly timed, is almost always success- 
ful, and is less costly than a prolonged fire fight." * 

1 Field Marshal Allenby, American Cavalry Journal, Jan. 19, 1921. 



CHAPTER VIII 

CAVALRY TACTICS DISMOUNTED ACTION 

The underlying principle of cavalry dismounted action 
is, that ten men on time are better than a hundred men 
five minutes too late. The cost of the cavalryman as 
compared to the infantryman is considerable. To justify 
this expense there must be some good reason. The rea- 
son is mobility. Mobility, shock and fire power the 
combination of these factors will put cavalry again back 
in its place as a necessity in warfare. The correct 
balance of these qualities will make a cavalry a powerful 
aid. Insistence upon any one to the exclusion of the 
others will reduce the cavalry's value against any op- 
ponent who balances its capabilities properly. 

The drawback to the full development of the fire value 
of cavalry as compared to the infantry has been in the 
past the necessary shortage of men absent, caring for 
led horses. The dragoon, or dismounted cavalry prin- 
ciple is almost as old as the cavalry itself. The very 
first cavalry was organized on the dragoon principle 
the horse simply being used to carry the warrior to the 
place of battle. Arrived there he dismounted and wielded 
sword and spear. It was only after many years of this 
use of cavalry that the idea of the charge was developed 
and reached a high state under Alexander. Even Alex- 

106 



DISMOUNTED ACTION 107 

ander used the dragoon principle when he mounted his 
most skillful footmen upon horses in the pursuit of 
Darius. There is very little new under the sun. 

What is new in the present day and time is the de- 
velopment of the light automatic weapon. This gives the 
cavalry a largely increased fire power, both through the 
increased amount of fire that can be developed and 
through the ability of the cavalryman to carry more 
ammunition than the infantryman. 

The use of shock is confined to comparatively small 
operations. Its importance for these and its moral im- 
portance must not be lost sight of. The fact remains 
however that fire power is the main consideration for 
large operations and is the justification for the being 
of cavalry. Cavalry must develop thoroughly the ability 
to fight along side of, in support of, and as, infantry any 
time it is called upon. This ability adds to the importance 
of the arm a weight that it has lacked since the invention 
of the breech-loading, rapid-fire small-arm. The proper 
development of fire power raises cavalry from the posi- 
tion of an auxiliary to that of a highly important fight- 
ing branch. 

The main fighting requirement of cavalry is that it shall 
be able to move swiftly to the appointed place and upon 
arrival deliver an effective volume of fire. To achieve 
this the cavalryman must combine the technique of his 
own branch with the requirements of modern combat, in 
other words, to take fullest advantage of all that is help- 
ful to the cavalry and to combine this with all the es- 
sential infantry practice, the result of their experience. 

It must be understood that cavalry has too many diverse 
capabilities and is too difficult of replacement to sacrifice 
it needlessly to perform infantry functions when there is 



io8 MODERN CAVALRY 

sufficient infantry present to solve the problem. Cavalry 
should not be used as infantry when there is any oppor- 
tunity of securing infantry, but should be called upon 
for use as a mobile reserve able and fit to move to any 
part of the battle line to reinforce hard pressed infantry, 
to fill a gap in the line or to drive back an enemy force 
that has forced an entry. It should be used for these 
emergencies. Fullest advantage of its mobility would be 
taken by using it in flanking movements both to rein- 
force a threatened flank and to move against the enemy 
flanks. In addition, its role in the advance or the re- 
treat makes it invaluable. The general who wishes de- 
cisive victories will use his cavalry only for these purposes 
and in the pursuit. Napoleon's remark upon one occa- 
sion when his cavalry failed to make an aggressive pur- 
suit is worth quoting "What, no guns or prisoners cap- 
tured? This. day's battle has been useless." 

For all these purposes cavalry has need of fire power 
and the highest development of fire power. No factor 
should be neglected that will increase fire power. Cavalry 
must not neglect any factor that will increase its dis- 
mounted offensive action. The cavalryman ceases to be 
a cavalryman the moment that he commences the fight 
on foot. This combat has to be carried on with almost 
the same laws that govern the foot soldier in the same 
conditions. The chief difference is, that the cavalry 
should not tie themselves down with a long slow develop- 
ment of fire and preparation of fire. They must gain 
their results more quickly so as not to lose the advantages 
of their mobility. For this reason their fire power, as 
compared to the infantry, must be stronger proportion- 
ally. 

The cavalryman has certain advantages over the in- 



DISMOUNTED ACTION 109 

fantryman. First that he arrives on the field, after a much 
longer distance covered, but much less fatigued com- 
pared to the infantryman, who has carried a heavy pack. 
The infantryman has also to use the same set of muscles 
in battle that he used on the march. The cavalryman may 
have his riding muscles fatigued but has a comparatively 
fresh set to carry on with when he sets foot to ground. 
He has not been under the necessity of carrying his 
equipment on his person but leaves it on his horse. He 
can carry more ammunition upon his person and a reserve 
upon his horse. 

He labors under the disadvantage of having to care for 
his led horses. This makes a cavalry unit suffer a diminu- 
tion in strength amounting from one- fourth to one-tenth, 
upon dismounting. The strength of cavalry, unless care- 
fully husbanded, goes down relatively faster than that of 
infantry, because of the loss of horse flesh in campaign 
the loss of a horse meaning the loss of a man. In a 
populated country the Germans seized all bicycles and 
wagons to obviate this, but this would be impossible in a 
sparsely settled area. 

The problem is then to produce with smaller numbers, 
the same volume of fire as the infantry, or a superior 
volume. The fact that the cavalry force, by its ability 
to range far and wide, to appear unexpectedly on the 
flank and rear of the enemy, to disperse, screen and de- 
ceive, to threaten the enemy arteries of supply and to 
protect and gain information for its own force, can 
render itself exceedingly necessary and valuable in 
ways not open to the foot soldier, is left out of the dis- 
cussion purposely. The question now is of fire power 
and the steps necessary to increase it within the cavalry 
itself. The other modes of increasing the offensive fire 



no MODERN CAVALRY 

power of cavalry have been taken up in a preceding 
chapter on auxiliaries with cavalry. 

These steps are now being taken first by the assign- 
ment of automatic rifles to the troop and secondly by 
the formation of machine gun troops and squadrons. This 
is excellent as a starter. What we must now endeavor 
to do is to devise several things one being the best 
method of carrying the automatic upon the horse, sec- 
ondly the distribution of the automatics in the troop. 
There are many more, the question of the carriage of 
ammunition, for example, that will have to be worked 
out by tests and experiments. 

The writer while commanding the Provisional Squad- 
ron of the American Forces in Germany made some ex- 
periments which may be of interest. It was established 
to his own satisfaction first, that the automatic rifle 
is of immense aid to the cavalry in increasing its fire 
power ; secondly, that it is of aid, not only in the troop 
or squadron firing line but as an aid to the offensive 
power of small patrols and contact platoons, small ad- 
vance guards, etc. ; thirdly, that it is impracticable to carry 
the Browning automatic upon the soldier's person and 
unsatisfactory to carry it upon his horse, the only feasible 
method being to carry it upon a led horse. In this case 
two rifles were carried slung in a slightly enlarged gun 
boot on a McClellan saddle, with a top and side load 
of clips carried in ordinary saddle bags. It was further 
established, that the inclusion of led horses in the same 
units with the regular riflemen's horses was unsatis- 
factory, and, that it was highly desirable to develop a 
type of automatic rifle lighter than the present Browning 
but equally efficacious, that could be carried upon the 
trooper's horse in lieu of the rifle, with every man armed 



DISMOUNTED ACTION in 

therewith, and lastly, that until such a weapon was 
developed and issued the most feasible method from a 
tactical viewpoint was to make an automatic rifle platoon 
of one platoon in each troop leaving the other two as 
rifle platoons. 1 

This last for several reasons, the first being mentioned 
the drawback to mobility and rapid mounted action 
caused by the inclusion of led horses in the sabre and 
rifle platoons. The ideal form of mounted action seems 
to be the combined fire and shock. With a troop moving 
along a road, the column interspersed with led horses, 
it is going to be difficult both to form line quickly and 
to get the automatic rifles out to a flank to commence 
firing at both and the same time. The better system is to 
combine all the automatic rifles in one platoon, to have 
this platoon move at the rear of the column, its com- 
mander to ride with the troop commander. In an emer- 
gency requiring quick action the shock portion of the 
troop could form line, or could dismount to fight on foot 
as circumstance dictated, while a swift order to the chief 
of the automatic platoon would result in his co-operation 
immediately to support a mounted attack by fire or to 
reinforce a dismounted firing line. 

This same system could be caried on up to the squad- 
ron the automatic platoons forming a troop which could 
be used in the same way. The automatic platoon could 
be subdivided into sections and squads. 

The formation of the automatic rifles in a platoon in 
the troop or in a troop in the squadron would be no bar 
to assigning them to units ordered to detached duty. 

1 Since the above was written the new tables of organization 
have been issued prescribing exactly this formation, of two rifle 
platoons and one machine rifle platoon per troop. 



H2 MODERN CAVALRY 

The question of the number of men to leave with the 
led horses simply resolves itself into a question whether, 
it is more desirable to keep the led horses mobile or im- 
mobile. This of course depends upon the special con- 
ditions obtaining, but the safest rule is to keep the led 
horses mobile. The cavalry must retain its freedom of 
action ; if it ties itself down to a group of immobilized 
led horses it is parting with it. With the augmentation 
of his fire power by the automatic rifle the cavalryman 
can make up for the absence of his horseholders by an 
increase in the rate of fire. The automatic rifle ends 
the discussion in the cavalryman's mind in which he 
tried to balance the advantages of more mobility and 
fewer riflemen or less mobility and more riflemen. The 
British experience in Palestine taught them that im- 
mobilized led horses were impracticable and dangerous, 
they did away with circling, coupling, etc., because of 
the danger of aerial bombardment by machine gun or 
bomb a large group of immobilized led horses furnishing 
a very attractive target, difficult to conceal. 

He can have both mobility and fire power but he is still 
under the necessity of caring for his led horses. There 
are some new factors to consider in this. One of these 
is the power of aeroplane directed artillery the other 
the power of aerial bombardment. These two considera- 
tions force the cavalryman to disperse and conceal his 
led horses to as great an extent* as possible. We should 
practice scatter 1 formations with large groups of led 
horses and accustom men and horses to dispersed forma- 
tions and quick assemblies therefrom. 

It is essential that led horses be quickly available for 
rapid mounting whether for a swift withdrawal or the 
surge forward in pursuit. To facilitate this, designated 



DISMOUNTED ACTION 113 

officers and non-commissioned officers will have to take 
charge automatically, the senior to assign areas for each 
unit and establish means of communication with them 
and with the firing line. This should be an important 
part of peace time training so that in war there will be 
no necessity for extemporization. The question how far 
from the field of fire a leader should dismount should be 
governed by the principle that the cavalry is to move for- 
ward mounted as far as possible so as to retain its mo- 
bility. It will probably be necessary to dismount at much 
greater distance than we are accustomed to in peace time 
maneuvers. It may be necessary in many cases to cover 
long distances on foot with suitable security formations 
protecting the front and flanks. 

It is not so necessary in the cavalry that the line of ad- 
vance should coincide with the line of attack ; it will often 
be possible to change the base of the attack after re- 
connaissance by taking advantage of the mobility of all 
or part of the force. 

A large field of usefulness and value is opened to 
the cavalry that takes fullest advantage of its mobility 
in conjunction with its fire power. Hostile forces can 
be caused considerable loss and upsetting of their dis- 
positions by surprise fire on our part ; a quick sharp burst 
of accurate fire, surprise fire, followed by rapid mount- 
ing and disappearance, to reappear against the enemy 
from another angle, should be the form used against 
superior forces, especially if they are dismounted. It 
takes a large dismounted force some time to deploy and 
get into action and a great deal of loss both in personnel 
and in time can be effected by this means. It is best 
to hold the fire in cases of this nature until it can be 
opened simultaneously. The coming into action by 



114 MODERN CAVALRY 

driblets must be condemned in this class of work. The 
cavalry must attain results by fire more rapidly than the 
infantry. 

The cavalry officer must always keep the enemy's flanks 
and rear in mind. He must especially search out the 
enemy flanks in rear guard action. By mobility and en- 
ergy a comparative handful of cavalry can hold back 
great numbers of pursuers by detaching elements to 
fire into their flanks. A few well directed bursts of 
fire into an enemy's flanks will considerably dampen the 
ardor of an enemy pursuit, force him to make disposi- 
tions for this unknown danger and gain valuable time 
for the withdrawal of the main body. Rear guard ac- 
tions, to be successful, will especially require dependence 
upon rifle and machine gun fire. This must be based 
upon the principle of the withdrawal of alternate units 
one part of the force mounting under cover of the fire 
of the other. A skillful officer must be detailed to pick 
out good defense positions and good protection for led 
horses in the rear. 

Dependable service of security must insure against our 
being caught by enemy fire while in the act of mounting 
arid dismounting. Every opportunity should be taken 
to catch the enemy in this position. It must not be for- 
gotten that responsibility for security rests upon the com- 
mander of every unit and that it is his duty to supple- 
ment measures that he considers insufficient. 

It will not always be possible to break off a fire fight 
when once entered into. The cavalry officer must not, 
however, be hypnotized by the action in his front to the 
neglect of hitting the enemy in flank or rear by a mobile 
detachment. This is one of the best means of withdraw- 



DISMOUNTED ACTION 115 

ing. A mounted reserve is an invaluable thing for this 
purpose. 

A mounted reserve can also be of invaluable assistance 
in guarding the led horses which otherwise may be at 
the mercy of any wandering enemy patrol. It can also 
furnish combat patrols, furnish protection to the flanks 
and rear, undertake the first pursuit and cover a with- 
drawal. 

Cavalry in defense must fight bitterly and be prepared 
to sacrifice itself to the last man. It is usually so situated 
that its position has an important bearing in relation to the 
rest of the army. The Japanese defence of Sandepu in 
the Russo-Japanese war was an example of an excellent 
and stubborn defense from which resulted untold good 
to the remainder of the army. 

Training must include training for speed. The differ- 
ence between a few seconds gained or lost in opening 
fife may mean the difference between gaining an en- 
gagement and losing it. In a well-trained troop of cavalry 
lire has been opened in five seconds after the command 
to fight on foot has been given. 

Speed on foot is just as essential. In minor operations, 
especially against heavily laden and tired infantry a 
swift run of a few hundred yards with a column of 
lightly equipped and comparatively fresh troopers will 
often put one into position to outflank and roll up an 
enemy force. 

Cavalry must not engage in dismounted frontal at- 
tacks when there is any possibility of attacking in flank 
or rear or by the charge. A dismouiited frontal attack 
should be the exception for cavalry and it should be, 
moreover, supported as are the infantry frontal attacks, 



ii6 MODERN CAVALRY 

with sufficient artillery and machine gun support. Cavalry 
under these conditions will have the same problems to 
solve as infantry and must have the same means of 
solving them as regards armament and auxiliaries. These 
attacks must be made in depth. 

If cavalry is to fight with infantry against the common 
foe and against enemy infantry it must have the same 
means of attack as the infantry. The only radical addi- 
tion necessary in the cavalry is the bayonet as regards the 
equipment of the individual. He must have some means 
of clinching the argument of battle. We have seen many 
dismounted attacks practiced upon our drill grounds 
and combat ranges. All the attention is devoted to fire 
discipline and fire control. No one seems to bother him- 
self as to what it is all about. The fact that fire is only 
the preparation for the attack is lost sight of. The 
actual attack is not practiced. What is the soldier to 
attack with? With his clubbed rifle, his fists or the 
pistol? It is extremely doubtful if the pistol is as good 
a dismounted attack weapon as the bayonet. The bayonet 
is the final argument of the infantry. If the pistol were 
superior they certainly would have adopted it. It is the 
cold steel that finally decides the infantry attack. It 
should no less decide the cavalry attack. Training in its 
use is not long or complicated it adds very little to the 
equipment of the cavalryman, he has a fixture already 
upon his rifle for its attachment. Its weight is nothing 
to worry over. 

We must develop training in fire action and practice 
in ammunition supply. A great deal of cavalry fire fight- 
ing involves the care and protection of led horses, and 
the problems of rapid mounting and dismounting. All 
our combat work should be in conjunction with the horse. 



DISMOUNTED ACTION 117 

The spectacle seen so many times of cavalry units march- 
ing dismounted to the combat range, there to spend hours 
practicing infantry formations, should be changed. Every 
firing problem should involve the passing from mounted 
to dismounted action, the care of led horses, establishment 
of security, the use of mounted reserves and the passing 
from dismounted to mounted action. This will be of 
especial value as so much of the cavalry work in the 
opening days of war is done by small detachments, 
platoons, troops, etc. We must practice in peace what 
will be required of us in war. 

Practice in this style of combat work will develop many 
faults that are in need of correction. Some of the most 
common ones observed are noted here. They refer prin- 
cipally to the work of squads, sections and platoons. 

Automatic rifles too slow in getting into action. 

Men, especially scouts masked fire of own units in- 
stead of withdrawing to a flank. 

Riflemen too slow in. opening up emergency fire. 

Men remained prone in cover from which targets 
could not be seen, instead of moving to better positions, 
or sitting or kneeling. 

Leader made no effort to find out if his men could see 
target. 

Leader made no effort to change men after he had seen 
their inability to see the target. 

Men did not set sights as ordered. 

Leader too cautious. 

Range to new targets not given by leader, even after 
he could see shots were short or over. 

No liaison between squads of a section. 

Liaison between led horses and firing line poor. 

Leader allowed men to fire over loose dirt bank thus 



n8 MODERN CAVALRY 

raising a cloud of dust every time they fired. Would 
bring down machine gun and artillery fire. 

Many leaders did not direct their units so as to bring 
all rifles and automatics into action in many cases less 
than half were firing, due to faulty positions. 

Horses not properly linked. 

Stirrups not placed correctly. 

Led horses not properly distributed amongst holders, 
some men having only two, while others had five. 

Too much tendency to confusion, talking, shouting in 
quick transition from mounted to dismounted action, and 
vice versa. 

Led horses not properly mobile in problems requiring 
their mobility. 

Led horses placed directly behind firing line so that one 
would have suffered from the "overs" or "shorts" directed 
on the other. 

Tendency to allow men to bunch. 

Advantage not taken of cover. More practice required 
in this, difference between cover from view and cover 
from fire explained, with value of each. 

Scouts content with galloping back madly but without 
information upon which leader could act intelligently. 

Many section leaders take command of their nearest 
squad instead of handling two sections: 

Section leaders split squads detaching part to each flank 
thereby making squad leader superfluous. 

Men too slow in passing from mounted to dismounted 
action and vice versa. 

Unit leaders not careful enough in designating respon- 
sible man for led horses and giving him general instruc- 
tions in advance. 

Unit leaders not skilled in making personal reconnais- 



DISMOUNTED ACTION 119 

sance while men and horses are under cover from fire 
and view, fixing avenues of approach, issuing instructions 
to subordinate leaders and making all preliminary dis- 
positions. 

No proper grasp of the principle of fire and movement, 
advancing one unit under cover of the fire of the other. 

No skill in handling sub-divisions not enough attempt 
made to secure flanking fire with automatics for example. 

The whole success of the dismounted work depends 
upon the ability and degree of training and command 
shown by the subordinate leaders, the squad and section 
leaders especially. They should be habituated to com- 
mand by giving them authority in their daily work, full- 
est authority possible, over the units that they will com- 
mand on the firing line. To have them function well as 
leaders in the firing line they must be accustomed to 
commanding and having authority over their men. Other- 
wise they will simply be in the way when they are most 
badly needed. 



CHAPTER IX 

CAVALRY TACTICS VARIED REQUIREMENTS 

The Advance Guard: 

The advance guard is primarily a security formation 
for advancing troops. For cavalry, with its offensive 
spirit, it is the first blow struck at the enemy. This first 
physical contact is very important. Two things can hap- 
pen; the first being that the advance guard may be effi- 
cient enough to push on through any interference with- 
out interrupting the advance of the main body. The 
second possibility is that the advance guard may involve 
itself in a situation from which it is impossible to with- 
draw. The problem then for the main body is to extricate 
the advance guard from its dilemma. This will un- 
doubtedly involve a combat under conditions that were 
not selected by the main body. In other words, an im- 
properly handled advance guard may result in loss of 
initiative. For this reason, it is important that the com- 
mander of the advance guard be selected carefully and 
carefully instructed. It is important that the commander 
of the main body of the cavalry command be well up 
with his advance guard. 

Napoleon used the advance guard as a holding force. 
This is an essentially offensive use of this formation. It 
implies sufficient skill upon the part of the advance guard 

120 



VARIED REQUIREMENTS 121 

commander to meet the enemy in an unfavorable situa- 
tion, to catch him off guard or unprepared, and then to 
grapple with him and hold him for the heavy blows of 
the main body. 

The enemy may be found in superior strength. With 
this use of the advance guard it is necessary to hold him. 
The duty of the advance guard is then to seize strong 
points and with rapid rifle, machine gun and horse ar- 
tillery fire to hold the enemy until the arrival of the main 
body. This necessitates a wide front and plentiful use 
of ammunition. The advance guard in such a situation 
acts as a pivot from which is swung the crushing blow of 
the main force. 

In order to fight an enemy he must be held in position. 
A man who is running away cannot be hurt by a blow. 
He has to be held by one hand and punched with the 
other. An attempted use of these tactics was made by 
the Germans in their initial attack in 1914. While the 
British were in retreat on the 25th of August, the Ger- 
mans wished to hold them for an outflanking movement. 
To accomplish this they sent forward four cavalry divi- 
sions accompanied by one Jaeger battalion and a large 
number of guns and howitzers of all calibres. The 
dogged stubbornness of the British and the superiority 
and dash of their cavalry made the scheme ineffective in 
this case. 

It must be remembered that the advance guard is pri- 
marily a security force. Security is based on three fac- 
tors, viz., time, space and resisting power of troops. The 
first two, time and space, are comparatively simply fac- 
tors with cavalry mobility as aid. Resisting power must 
be increased by increasing the fire power of cavalry 
units proper and by the assignment to the cavalry of 



122 MODERN CAVALRY 

auxiliaries that will supply it with added power, auto- 
mobile and horse artillery and a plentiful supply of ma- 
chine guns. 

The advance guard commander must secure the unin- 
terrupted march of the main body by accelerating its 
passage through cities and towns, marking the streets and 
leaving directions that can be easily followed. He must 
seize the mails and telegrams in hostile countries. He 
must insure the absence of hostile artillery on his flanks. 
He must gather all information possible for the intelli- 
gence service in his rear. 

The work of the advance guard, which is mostly along 
roads, would be enormously facilitated by the addition 
of armored cars. These could be rushed through to 
clean out small parties of the enemy who might other- 
wise delay and hinder the march. They were used 
for this purpose in the first phase of the World War in 
1914. 

An example of the combined use of cavalry and armored 
cars in the advance guard is found in the action of the 
2Oth Lancers and Armored Car Battery moving from 
El Afule in the Palestine Campaign, September 2Oth, 
1918. On debouching from the pass, Turkish forces in 
strength were found astride the road. One squadron dis- 
mounted, and the armored car battery held the enemy in 
front by fire power while the remaining squadrons of the 
regiment charged the left flank. The Turks were dis- 
persed with a loss of 46 killed and wounded and 470 
captured. 

Communication with the rear would be aided at a con- 
siderable saving of horse flesh by the addition of suffi- 
cient motor cycles. For the small advance guard, these 
would be nearly sufficient. The larger force would re- 



VARIED REQUIREMENTS 12^ 

quire improved means of communication radio, buzzer, 
aeroplane messages, etc. 

The advance guard commander must be thoroughly 
cognizant of his general and special mission. He should 
be informed as to whether he is empowered to bring on 
an engagement or not. He must be well aware of his 
responsibility as to the security and uninterrupted advance 
of the main body. This will require rapid flank move- 
ments to oust small hostile parties from his front. He 
must seize and protect the march through defiles. He 
must seize bridges and cover crossings. An excellent 
example of this duty was the action of the cavalry under 
Allenby in 1914 when, in the pursuit after the Battle 
of the Marne, he seized the bridge at Charly-sur-Marne 
and Saulchery and advanced 'rapidly to the high ground 
north of Fontaine Fauvel covering the passage of the 
First Corps over the Marne. 

The advance guard commander must keep his machine 
gun and artillery commanders well up with him towards 
the front. He must be prepared to use any and all forms 
of offensive action ; the mounted attack, the dismounted 
attack, the combination of fire and shock and the fullest 
use of his artillery must aid his mission when occasion 
requires. 

With a large command, he must cover parallel roads as 
well as his own road. He must constantly keep his mis- 
sion in mind. In the advance, he, or some officer detailed 
to that end, must constantly observe positions for led 
horses in case there should arise a necessity for sending 
them back. 

In minor operations the endeavor of the cavalry com- 
mander must be to deceive the enemy as to his strength. 
This would apply especially to a holding action. Every 



124 MODERN CAVALRY 

artifice must be used in the case of a holding attack to 
convince the enemy that superior forces are on his front. 
The spirit of the offensive finds its highest example 
in the proper handling of the advance guard. It is the 
first blow struck at the enemy. Upon the result of this 
blow depends in a great measure the success or failure 
of the succeeding operations. 

Rear Guard: 

The security of the rear of a retreating body is one 
of the most typical of cavalry problems. It is a phase 
of work for which cavalry is unusually well fitted. It 
requires a vigilant, intelligent and courageous commander. 
Cavalry can use to the full all of its advantages in mobility 
and fire power in this sort of work. 

The problem requires that an advancing enemy should 
always be under the necessity of deploying under fire, 
that he should be covered by the fire of alternate units 
which cover each other's withdrawal to selected positions 
in the rear. It requires quick decision and good judgment 
in the matter of breaking off the fire action and in mount- 
ing, in selecting alternative defensive positions and in 
protecting led horses. 

The offensive here as elsewhere is the best defensive. 
Cavalry must not be content with simply moving along 
the road pressed back by an advancing enemy. It must 
hit the flanks of the enemy. It must guard against the 
enemy's attempts at a parallel pursuit by covering the 
flanks of the main body as well as its rear. It must 
not hesitate to sacrifice itself to gain time for the with- 
drawal of its main body. It must use fire and shock and 
the combination as they seem necessary. 



VARIED REQUIREMENTS 125 

At the initiation of a retreating movement, it must 
cover the withdrawal and break off the fight by great 
activity. The essential points in this stage are the holding 
of some few strong points firmly while the main body 
draws away under their protection. The pursuing enemy 
is liable to concentrate his attention upon these, to the 
neglect of the main body. 

To realize thoroughly the value of cavalry in the rear 
of a retreating force, the retreat of the British Army in 
1914 must be studied. The value of the cavalry in the 
rear guard was especially marked in these operations. 
One example was the rescue of the 5th Division in the 
retreat from Mons, August 24th, 1914. This division was 
dangerously pressed and in danger of being outflanked 
by the pursuing Germans. De Lisle with the 2nd and 
Gough with the 3rd Cavalry Brigades came to the rescue. 
They threatened and harassed the pursuers to such an 
extent as to take this pressure off the retreating division 
and allowed it to withdraw in good order. 

Again on the same date at Solesmes the rear guard of 
the 3rd -Division, under McCracken, was heavily at- 
tacked. Allenby, with De Lisle's 2nd Cavalry Brigade 
(4th Dragoon Guards, 9th Lancers and i8th Hussars) 
attacked the Germans so fiercely as to force them to de- 
sist and thus permitted the division to withdraw un- 
molested. On this same day Grenfell, with the gth Lan- 
cers, saved the guns of an artillery unit and dragged them 
off the field safe from capture. 

On the 26th of August during this retreat, after sev- 
eral exhausting and demoralizing days it was absolutely 
necessary to reorganize and reform the British forces. 
The British losses to date had been some 15,000 officers 
and rae,,8p gu&s, mo&t of the raackwe guns and great 



126 MODERN CAVALRY 

quantities of transport. No effective stand could be made 
until order was produced out of the chaos of the retreat. 
"To enable this to be brought about, it was first neces- 
sary to look to the cavalry" (Field Marshal French)'. 
Allenby was given orders to hold off the enemy. This 
he accomplished brilliantly. Gough, at Saint-Quentin, 
with the 3rd Cavalry Brigade and Chetwode, with the 
5th Cavalry Brigade, at Cerizy, vigorously attacked the 
leading troops of the German cavalry at both these places 
and threw them back with loss upon their main bodies. 
This enabled the infantry and the remnants of the artillery 
to withdraw to a new line and re-form. 

There is no doubt that the British Cavalry saved the 
British Army on this and other occasions in this retreat. 
This was accomplished by fire and shock, and a high 
degree of mobility, combined with an effective use of the 
supporting horse artillery. 

In Palestine there is found the example of the success- 
ful covering by the Second Light Horse Brigade of the 
withdrawal of the iSist Infantry Brigade through Es Sir 
on March 3ist, 1918. 

The Germans knew the value of cavalry and used it ex- 
tensively in this sort of work. The enemy forces oppos- 
ing the British advance, after the tide had turned at the 
first battle of the Marne, consisted chiefly of cavalry 
with a strong artillery support backed up by Jaeger de- 
tachments. Sir John French, as a result of his study of 
the German cavalry before the war, states that they were 
especially trained in this sort of work rear guard actions 
which they performed in this retreat. They carried 
a large number of machine guns which they were trained 
to handle very efficiently. To each brigade of cavalry 
was attached whenever possible a regiment of Jaeger, 



VARIED REQUIREMENTS 127 

picked riflemen, chosen for their skill in shooting and in 
taking advantage of ground. These troops were espe- 
cially valuable for the defense of river lines and positions 
which were intended to cause delay to an advancing 
enemy. They permitted the withdrawal in good order of 
the First Army under von Kluck. The work of the 
Cavalry Corps Von Marwitz is well worth studying in 
this campaign. 

Some of the most valuable work performed by the 
cavalry in the whole war was work of this nature in the 
opening phases of the warfare on the Western Front. 
The successful performance in this phase of cavalry duty 
alone would justify the existence of the branch. 

The Pursuit: 

Cavalry is indispensable to that army commander who 
wishes decisive victories. Without cavalry, an army will 
fight one indecisive battle after another, continually fight- 
ing the same antagonists who have been allowed to with- 
draw and re-form. The use of cavalry in a pursuit is 
only a logical carrying out of the theory of absolute war 
decision by battle and that battle is not decisive in 
which the enemy is allowed to withdraw in good order. 
This theory of war requires that an enemy force shall 
be thoroughly broken and incapable of re-forming; his 
tactical unity and his morale thoroughly destroyed. 

Without aggressive and relentless pursuit the enemy 
multiplies because the same units are fought again and 
again with the heavy proportion of losses on the side of 
the attacking forces. 

Beaten troops have low resisting power immediately 
after a battle, They are psychologically ripe for panic; 



128 MODERN CAVALRY 

with confidence in their leaders destroyed, tactical cohe- 
sion broken, and with fatigue and uncertainty adding to 
the whole. At such moments the terror inspired by the 
sudden appearance of shouting horsemen venge fully 
spurring into the mass with drawn sword will effectually 
turn a retreat into a rout. 

To allow beaten forces to draw off unmolested, to reor- 
ganize and to be again forced to attack is very poor 
generalship. There can only be one effective pursuing 
force this is cavalry. 

There are many examples in history of the failure to 
use cavalry in the pursuit. One example was the Prus- 
sian cavalry at Sadowa; it is said that the King of 
Prussia refused to let it pursue in order to spare the 
enemy. Another example was the Battle of Froesch- 
willer. What would have been left of MacMahon's 
beaten army if they had been pursued relentlessly down 
the Neiderbronn Road! 

The finest modern example of the pursuit value of 
cavalry is found in the Palestine Campaign of Allenby. 
He has this to say concerning the pursuit by his cavalry 
(Report to the Secretary of State for War, October 3ist, 
1918) : "The Desert Mounted Corps took some 46,000 
prisoners during the operations (Sept. igth Oct. 3ist). 
The complete destruction of the VII and VIII Turkish 
Armies depended mainly upon the rapidity with which 
their communications were reached, and on quick deci- 
sion, in dealing with the enemy's columns when they 
attempted to escape. The enemy columns, after they had 
out-distanced the pursuing infantry, were given no time 
to reorganize and fight their way through. In these bril- 
liant achievements, the regiment of French cavalry took 
its full share, while east of the Jordan, the Australian 



VARIED REQUIREMENTS 129 

and New Zealand Mounted Division, by its untiring pur- 
suit, threw the IV Turkish Army into a state of disor- 
ganization, intercepted the garrison of Amman and com- 
pelled it to surrender." 

An example of a failure to reap the advantages of 
victory occurred after the Battle of Mukden in the Russo- 
Japanese War. Marshal Oyama stated "If I had had 
only two or three cavalry divisions, it would have been 
impossible for the Russians to have escaped to the north. 
At least their right wing would have been destroyed with 
a proper army cavalry." Another example of the danger 
due to lack of a relentless pursuit is afforded by the situa- 
tion in regard to the Turkish VII Army in the Palestine 
Campaign. They were reported by von Papen to Berns- 
torff as being completely broken down during the first 
phase of the campaign. Owing to delay in the pursuit by 
the British, which delay was due to lack of water, trans- 
port, etc., this army was permitted to re-form. It after- 
wards put up a stiff and bloody resistance in the moun- 
tains of Judea. Had the British pursuit of this force 
been enabled to continue this army would have been 
blotted out as a tactical entity. This would have resulted 
in a great saving of the lives and time that it finally took 
to defeat them. 

On the Western Front there are many examples of the 
pursuit by cavalry. Sir John French speaks of the diffi- 
culties and danger caused to his forces by the pursuit of 
the German cavalry. This cavalry was supported by ar- 
tillery and Jaeger closely pressed his forces in their retreat. 
They were especially active on the 26th of August, 1914, 
when the British were driven through the Foret de Mor- 
mal by this force. The British were continually forced to 
fight them off throughout the course of the retreat, This 



I 3 o MODERN CAVALRY 

pursuit would have been still more effective if the Cavalry 
Corps von Marwitz had not been transferred from von 
Kluck's First Army to the commander of the Second 
Army and sent off on a wild goose chase to the northwest 
when it was badly needed in the pursuit of the British. 

The cavalry which pursues directly in the rear of a 
retreating body is throwing away one of its chief advan- 
tages mobility. It should pursue on parallel lines. The 
enemy is certain to leave strong troops directly in his 
rear. These must be worried and held as much as possi- 
ble but energy should be concentrated on his flanks, on 
getting, if possible, ahead of him and holding him in 
front of some obstacle or holding him up on his line of 
retreat. The pursuit that confines itself to the rear of 
the retreating forces can be held up by a few rifles and 
machine guns or artillery. The pursuit that aims at the 
flanks is exceedingly difficult to withstand. 

An excellent example of a pursuit carried out on paral- 
lel lines is that by General French in the South African 
War in his pursuit of Cronje. This pursuit resulted in 
the capture of Cronje, who was intercepted at a crossing 
of the Modder River. 

An example of parallel pursuit is found in the Palestine 
Campaign after the break through by the infantry on the 
Ramleh line. The infantry was engaged in breaking 
down the last organized resistance of the Turks. At the 
same time the swift action of the cavalry insured the 
success of the operations by destroying or capturing the 
whole Turkish force east of the Jordan River. Pressing 
along all night in parallel columns, the 4th Cavalry Divi- 
sion on Megiddo (Lejjen) and the 5th Cavalry Division 
on Abu Shushesh (a few miles to the north), the Plain 



VARIED REQUIREMENTS 131 

of Esdraelon was reached before dawn and the Turkish 
forces rolled up. 

Close cooperation of cavalry and horse artillery is es- 
sential to an effective pursuit. In line with this, it is 
interesting to read the memorandum issued by the Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the British Forces on the loth of 
September, 1914, after the First Battle of the Marne. 
"The latest experience shows that the enemy never neg- 
lects an opportunity to use all his available artillery in 
forward positions under cover of cavalry and other 
mobile troops. 

"Our cavalry is now organized into two divisions, the 
first of three, the second of two brigades, each with a 
brigade of horse artillery. During the present phase of 
the operations, which consist of as rapid a pursuit and 
pressure of the enemy as is possible in his retreat, two 
corps will generally be in the first line. A cavalry division 
will be directed to work on the front and flanks of either 
corps and well in advance. The commander of the cav- 
alry will remain in the closest concert with the corps 
commander on the flank on which he is working. 

"The corps commanders will send forward with their 
cavalry as much of their field artillery as can be usefully 
employed in harassing the enemy's retirement. They will 
place them under the cavalry commander for the day, 
the latter officer being responsible for their safety. 

"When, owing to the darkness, the field artillery can 
no longer find useful targets they will be withdrawn 
from the cavalry back to the division to which they be- 
long. Should the enemy make any decided stand during 
such operations and a general action arise or become 
imminent, the field artillery in front will either fall back 
or retain their position, at the discretion of the corps 



132 MODERN CAVALRY 

commander, and again come under their divisional com- 
mander. The withdrawal from under the supervision of 
the corps commander will always remain at the discretion 
of the corps commander." * 

The pursuit by fire must not be lost sight of and the 
retreating forces must be kept under fire as long as pos- 
sible while the mounted pursuit is under way. 

The mounted pursuit must not be too reckless ; many 
fine cavalry units were nearly annihilated by rash and ill- 
considered mounted pursuits of German forces. These 
forces drew them skilfully under the fire of concealed 
machine guns or artillery. Many French cavalry units 
met serious losses in this manner. 

The cavalry commander has need of all his energy in 
the proper carrying out of a pursuit. He must magnify 
his numbers by every artifice. Colonel von Alvensleben, 
in 1870, with three small squadrons in pursuit of the re- 
treating French so harassed and worried the enemy that 
a large army of 70,000 men was convinced that it was 
pursued by the entire German forces. The plans and dis- 
positions of this force were changed in accordance with 
this viewpoint. The course of the war was materially 
influenced by this. Fighting by day and perpetual sniping 
and alarms at night alarmed the enemy and disturbed his 
rest and strengthened his belief that he was being relent- 
lessly pursued. 

Cavalry in pursuit must never lose contact with the 
enemy. After the Battle of Forbach in this same war, 
the German cavalry lost all touch with the enemy and 
allowed him to withdraw unmolested. The touch with 
the enemy is exceedingly liable to be lost in the first flush 
of victory when everyone's mind is filled with the duties 

1 "1914," Sir John French, page 132. 



VARIED REQUIREMENTS 133 

of reorganizing and there is a certain amount of fatigue. 
No consideration should be allowed to stand in the way 
of a relentless pursuit by the cavalry. On one occasion 
Blucher reprimanded the German cavalry for failure to 
pursue. The excuse was that the horses were too tired. 
Bliicher's reply was "No attention should be paid to the 
excuses of the cavalry, for when such an object as the 
destruction of the enemy's army can be attained, the 
country can well spare the few hundred horses that die 
of exhaustion." 

The Raid: 

The condition of the enemy's rear and line of com- 
munications is much more sensitive today than it has been 
in past wars. This is due to the modern army's increased 
dependence upon its rear with all its thousand and one 
details of supply for the highly complicated and technical 
machine at the front. In addition to the opportunity of 
stopping the flow of these supplies, even for only a short 
time, a raid may find his artillery without support, his 
reserves without proper security, his aeroplane hangars 
may be demolished and railroads, roads and bridges de- 
stroyed. An incalculable amount of damage may be done 
by even a small force of cavalry daringly led and well 
supplied with demolition materials. 

Railroads may be cut and important arteries of supply 
irretrievably harmed. In cutting railways, it must be 
remembered that they should not be cut too near a sta- 
tion or shops as there will undoubtedly be repair material 
and means available at those places. An excellent raid of 
this nature was carried out successfully by the 2nd Light 
Horse Brigade on March 25th, 1918, in the Palestine 



134 MODERN CAVALRY 

Campaign. A party from this brigade reached the Hejaz 
railway seven miles south of Amman and blew up a sec- 
tion of the line during the night. This was the main line 
of the Turkish communications and its interruption caused 
untold confusion to their army. 

There were many excellent raids by the Russian and 
German cavalries on the Eastern Front in the World 
War. Full accounts of these raids are not yet available 
for study. 

The French cavalry made an excellent raid productive 
of good results on the German communications on Sep- 
tember 1 7th, 1914. They operated from Roye and moved 
rapidly east as far as the neighborhood of Ham and Saint- 
Quentin. Another small raid by a single squadron of 
French cavalry at the, commencement of the German 
retreat from the Marne nearly succeeded in capturing 
von Kluck and his entire staff who were forced to take 
to the fields with any weapon they could find in order 
to defend themselves. 

There is a report of a decisive raid which took place 
in the Balkan War in 1912. This raid was performed by 
the Bulgarian Brigade Tanew, after the Battle of Dedea- 
gatch. This brigade succeeded in capturing 361 officers, 
13,500 men and 8 guns. Another excellent raid was the 
one performed by a Serbian cavalry regiment after the 
Battle of Kumanovo in Saloniki. 1 

Many raids made, of which there are some notable 
examples in the Civil War, accomplished nothing of value 
and on the other hand deprived the army of cavalry when 
it was badly needed. A notable example was Wheeler's 
raid into east Tennessee which left Hood without cavalry 

'Balk, 'The Development of Tactics in the Wo^ld War," 
(Berlin, 1920), page 241. 



VARIED REQUIREMENTS 135 

and consequently in the dark as regarded Sherman's 
movements. A better example was "]eb" Stuart before 
the Battle of Gettysburg. Mischenko's raids, as well as 
Rennenkampf's reconnaissances in force in Manchuria, 
were worthless as far as results went. Von Pelet- 
Narbonne states that the failure of these raids was due 
to the small value of the Cossacks, who were neither 
trained in dismounted offensive action, in intelligence 
duties, nor had they a keen desire to use the steel. The 
Russian army authorities so underestimated the Japanese 
power that they failed to send their European regiments 
to Manchuria, leaving all the cavalry work to the 
Cossacks. 1 

An example of a successful raid was that performed by 
two squadrons of Japanese cavalry a few days before the 
Battle of Mukden. This was admirably timed. The 280 
men of these squadrons marched by night and hid by day, 
reaching and blowing up an important railway bridge 
200 kilometers north of Tieh-Ling directly in rear of the 
Russian Army. This resulted in the interruption of an 
important line of communication for several days. It 
produced a panic at Russian headquarters. The chief 
value of the raid consisted in the fact that 8,000 troops 
were diverted from the battlefield of Mukden to guard 
this line. 

1 "Lectures on and Cavalry Lessons from the Manchurian 
War," von Pelet-Narbonne. 



CHAPTER X 

CAVALRY TACTICS VARIED REQUIREMENTS (Continued) 

The Mobile Reserve: 

The ability of cavalry to act as a highly mobile reserve 
makes this arm of the greatest importance. Its value 
lies mainly in its ability quickly to carry offensive fire 
units to the place of need. It is a valuable and powerful 
weapon in the hands of an army commander for a variety 
of purposes ; to swing an uncertain issue of battle, to 
bolster up a weakened line, to cover a retreat and to or- 
ganize and take fullest advantage of a victory. 

Excellent examples of the use of cavalry as a mobile 
reserve will be found in a study of British operations in 
1914, especially the Battle of Ypres. 

In addition to its basic mobility, the cavalry division 
has this advantage over the infantry division as a reserve, 
that it can come into battle with all its parts assembled 
including field guns, and other auxiliaries and sufficient 
ammunition. All parts are equally mobile and it is not 
forced to come into action piecemeal as an infantry divi- 
sion often is, with its guns, foot troops and ammunition 
supplies separated. 

The British and French both maintained forces of cav- 
alry throughout the war for use as a mobile reserve. 
Had the German morale not broken so quickly as to pre- 
clude further physical action against them, the forces of 

136 



VARIED REQUIREMENTS 137 

cavalry that remained at the close of the war would have 
been very valuable to carry on a pursuit. 

The functions of the reserve are so many that an army 
commander* must use wisdom in selecting the purpose for 
which he intends to use his cavalry. The inclination of 
many higher commanders will sometimes dispose them 
to disregard cavalry as a battle force. In line with this 
von der Goltz l says, "It is not sufficient to have good 
cavalry, it must be well handled by the superior authori- 
ties. These latter are really responsible for many mis- 
takes unfairly laid at the door of the cavalry." The cav- 
alry may be sent miles away on some vague mission to be 
absent there when their presence in the battle might have 
an overwhelmingly decisive effect. German cavalry drill 
regulations state in substance that while attempts upon 
distant hostile lines of communications may produce 
valuable results, they must not distract the attention of 
the cavalry from its true battle objectives. 

With cavalry absent during the course of the engage- 
ment many contingencies might arise requiring its pres- 
ence ; a flank may be in danger, there may be necessity 
for a desperate counter-attack, there may be desperate 
necessity for any number of things that the presence of 
a mobile reserve would insure. 

A mass of modern cavalry, able to fight mounted or 
dismounted, supplied with horse artillery, machine guns, 
and a high proportion of automatic weapons would supply 
a decisive intervening force in battle. Rapidly to extend 
their own flank when it is threatened, to attack the ene- 
my's flanks, to drive back a break-through of the enemy's 
forces on any part of the line, to go to the assistance of 
hard pressed infantry, to minimize the effects of defeat 

1 "The Nation in Arms," von der Goltz, page 206. 



138 MODERN CAVALRY 

and to reap the fruits of victory all of these are the 
duties which cavalry is fully capable of performing as a 
mobile reserve. 

An excellent example of the use of the cavalry as a 
mobile reserve occurred October 3ist, 1914, in the second 
phase of the Battle of Ypres. A gap had occurred on the 
right of the 7th British Division. The 7th Cavalry Brig- 
ade (ist and 2nd Life Guards and Royal Horse Guards) 
was immediately sent and succeeded in closing this gap 
and keeping the line intact. 

Another example of the use of cavalry as a reserve was 
on November 29th, 1918, in Palestine, when a hostile 
force succeeded in penetrating the British line northeast 
of Jaffa. This force was surrounded and captured by the 
Australian Light Horse, who were swiftly moved to the 
threatened point. On the 3Oth of November, 1918, a 
similar fate overtook a Turkish battalion which attacked 
near El Burj ; a counter-attack by the Australian Light 
Horse took 200 prisoners and destroyed the attacking 
battalion. 

Another excellent example of the use of the cavalry 
reserve was shown in this same campaign November 5th, 
1918, when the Yeomanry Division relieved the 74th In- 
fantry Division to enable the latter to join the main 
attack. The Yeomanry Division reached Shellal (some 
20 miles as the crow flies) and came into line on the right 
of the 74th Infantry Division, 2 miles south of Am 
Kohleh and took over their sector. The operations near 
Am Kohleh were in the nature of a holding attack, while 
the main attack was being developed at Kauwukah. The 
horses of this cavalry division were sent back to Beer- 
sheba, distant about 8 miles. 

The saving of the British II Corps in 1914 by the 



VARIED REQUIREMENTS 139 

cavalry under Allenby and Sordet is a good example of 
the use of the mobile reserve against outflanking attacks. 
Had it not been for the cavalry at this time the II 
Corps would assuredly have been pinned to their ground, 
outflanked and surrounded. This would have resulted in 
the loss of three out of five British divisions and the loss 
of the 7th Brigade in addition. It would have resulted, 
according to Sir John French, 1 in a second Sedan for 
the Allies. 

The employment of the French 7th Cavalry Division 
in the Battle of the Marne was a good example of the use 
of cavalry as a mobile reserve. 

The mobility of this reserve must be used offensively 
whenever possible. The outflanking operations in Pales- 
tine are cases in point. The Anzac Mounted Division, 
the Australian Mounted Division and the 7th Mounted 
Brigade outflanked the Beersheba position on the Gaza- 
Beersheba line October 30-3 ist, 1918. The 4th Australian 
Light Horse Brigade of the Australian Mounted Division 
captured Beersheba by a mounted charge, galloping over 
two deep lines of trenches in the face of heavy firo, enter- 
ing and seizing the town. This rolled up the left flank of 
the Turkish position. 

The attack of the Northern Corps of the Niemen Army 
against the Russian Army's right flank was carried out 
by the German cavalry corps consisting of the 2nd, 6th 
and 8th Divisions. This attack was decisive. 2 Balk says 
that "Infantry would never have been able to operate at 
such great distance from the main body and accomplish 
such results in a short space of time." 

In our own Civil War decisive results were gained by 

1 "iQi4," Sir John French, page 80. 
* "The Development of Tactics in the World War," Balk. 



140 MODERN CAVALRY 

the use of cavalry as a mobile reserve. A study of Sheri- 
dan's operations is especially valuable in this connection. 
Another excellent example of the value of a mobile 
reserve was furnished in the Battle of the Aisne. The 
advance of the Guards Brigade to the Ostel Ridge had 
left a considerable gap between them and the nearest unit 
of the II Corps and also between the I Corps and the 
river. A German attack was directed upon this weak spot 
almost immediately. Haig's Corps was in action, cover- 
ing a front of some five miles and not a single man could 
be spared. "Here was the supreme example," x says 
Conan Doyle, "of the grand work that was done when 
our cavalry were made efficient as dismounted riflemen. 
Their mobility brought them quickly to the danger spot. 
Their training turned them in an instant from horsemen 
to infantry. The I5th Hussars, the Irish Horse, the 
whole of Brigg's ist Cavalry Brigade and, finally, the 
whole of De Lisle's 2nd Cavalry Brigade were thrown 
into the gap. The German advance was stayed and the 
danger passed." 

The Cavalry Screen: 

The use of the cavalry as a screen is practicable if the 
screen is used offensively. The mere physical presence 
of cavalry spread out over an area will not suffice. With 
the modern facilities for aeroplane observation, it is 
doubtful if the cavalry screen will be of much value 
except in cases where the hostile air force has lost the 
control of the air, or weather conditions prevent aerial 
reconnaissance. 

1 The British Campaign in France and Flanders. Conan Doyle, 
page 173, vol. I. 



VARIED REQUIREMENTS 141 

The cavalry screen of the present day cannot hope, 
with an active enemy reconnaissance from the air, to 
screen the movements of great armies. What it can do 
is to screen from the knowledge of the enemy the tactical 
components of its own side. It can interfere and keep 
enemy intelligence efforts nullified and deny all the 
knowledge to the enemy forces that aerial reconnaissance 
cannot supply. 

This sort of screening means the movement on a broad 
front of formed bodies each with its own security dis- 
positions, rapid infiltration, rapid mounting and dismount- 
ing, plentiful use of ammunition and the multiplying of 
numbers by rapidity of action and mobility. It means 
offensive action throughout. 

Valuable work was done in screening operations in the 
German advance through Belgium in 1914 by the Cavalry 
Corps von Marwitz and von Richthofen. The former 
commanded the II Cavalry Corps (the 2nd, 4th and 
9th Cavalry Divisions) while the latter commanded the 
I Cavalry Corps (The Guard Cavalry Division and the 
5th Cavalry Division). The advance of the I and II 
German Armies was well screened by this cavalry. This 
screening work was especially difficult as it was carried 
on in the midst of the hostile Belgian population. 

Excellent work is also said to have been accomplished 
by the Cavalry Corps Frommel which succeeded per- 
fectly in screening the change of direction of the German 
Army operating in the region of Thorn. 

Deceiving Enemy: 

A large field of usefulness is open to the cavalry which 
can magnify its numbers by mobility and activity and lead 



142 MODERN CAVALRY 

to false conclusions and dispositions upon the part of the 
enemy. This has been done innumerable times, notably 
in the Franco-Prussian War, where the movements of 
whole armies were changed by the appearance of a few 
cavalry. 

The effect is sometimes secured unconsciously and due 
to the fact that the enemy has exaggerated the forces he 
observes. A case in point was the occupation of the 
village of Sandepu by 4^2 Japanese squadrons with one 
horse battery and six machine guns. The Russians be- 
lieved this force to be 5 battalions of infantry, 2 squad- 
rons of cavalry, 44 field guns and 5 machine guns. 

The appearance of only 2 Japanese squadrons in the 
rear of the Russian Army at the Battle of Mukden forced 
into inactivity 19,000 rifles, 5,000 carbines and 36 field 
guns. 

The mere * appearance of a cavalry force may have a 
decisive effect, as occurred at the Battle of Tarnakova in 
September, 1914, when the Russian Cavalry Division of 
Novikov had a decisive effect on the operations, in this 
case neutralizing nearly an army corps. 

Cavalry can very easily simulate infantry and can de- 
ceive the enemy with .regard to the composition of its 
force on numerous occasions. This would be of value in 
a threatening or holding attack. It can very easily deceive 
the enemy in regard to its numbers by taking full advan- 
tage of its mobility. 

Cavalry in Combat: 

The defeating of the formed bodies of the enemy will 
lead to the purely cavalry fight which will be a combina- 
tion of fire and shock. It is essential that we do not 



VARIED REQUIREMENTS 143 

totally disregard the possible use of shock action. It 
will undoubtedly be a factor in any war of movement. 
It should not, however, be the sum and aim of cavalry 
training of the future as it has been in the past. 

It is first of all essential, in the purely cavalry fight, 
that the commander should retain touch with all his units. 
There should be someone responsible for this to take 
the burden off his shoulders. One system, starting with 
the squadron, is to have two intelligent privates detailed 
to the squadron commander from each troop, who have 
no other duty than to keep informed of their respective 
units and be prepared to carry messages to them. Each 
squadron in its turn details a non-commissioned officer 
and assistant to the regimental commander, and so on up. 

The commander must not fail to notify his senior sub- 
ordinates where to assemble in case of a reverse. This 
point should be determined beforehand, if possible. 

Trains must be provided for. They must be in such 
position as to be able to advance or retire without con- 
fusion. 

-If the result of the fight is at all in doubt Spartan 
measures must be taken and the last reserves smashed 
in without thought of anything except victory. Many 
an uncertain battle has been lost by too great niggardliness 
with reserves. Daring is a strong factor in success. 

It is essential never to lose sight of the fact that the 
spirit of cavalry is offensive and to look upon a tempo- 
rarily defensive role only as a means of preparing for 
the counter attack. It is necessary to increase the rate 
of fire power and utilize every feature of the ground in 
order to release men for this counter stroke. 

If the enemy's strength is unknown, it is better to 
make tentative attacks that will force him- to disclose 



144 MODERN CAVALRY 

himself and to hold the bulk of troops in hand until 
enough information is gained to warrant complete action. 

Keep a careful and automatic check on ammunition. 
The best laid plans can be defeated by the eleventh hour 
report in a critical situation that the ammunition is 
failing. 

If the hostile cavalry acts in conjunction with infantry, 
effort should be made to isolate it and destroy it. 

The commander should be near the head of his troops 
at the initiation of combat and then should be exceedingly 
careful that he makes no movement of himself and staff 
without leaving minute directions as to his whereabouts. 
He should be careful to visualize the engagement as a 
whole and not become engrossed in any small part, an 
exceedingly easy thing to do in a cavalry fight with its 
large dispersion. 

It is exceedingly important that all subordinates should 
understand the intention of the commander, in order to 
be able to act intelligently during the many changes and 
unforeseen incidents of a cavalry fight. 

If the command is accompanied by artillery, it must 
be remembered that its value is rendered almost negligible 
by insufficiency of information. This is true in all com- 
bat but especially true in a cavalry engagement with its 
rapid movement of friend and foe and the mobility of 
the targets furnished. 

In the cavalry rencontre there is no excuse for a sur- 
prise meeting. If there should be one it must be remem- 
bered that the great danger in surprise is the hesitation 
and loss of time caused thereby. To obviate this a leader 
should always have a rough plan mapped out for every 
contingency ; he must never approach, for instance, a 
new locality without planning out beforehand what he is 



VARIED REQUIREMENTS 145 

to do on occasion. He must continually observe, and 
require his subordinates to observe, good cover from 
observation and fire for his led horses. He must warn 
all subordinate commanders against the common dispo- 
sition of commanders to become involved in combat with- 
out sending back information. Information, first, last 
and all the time is essential to the best team work. 

It is essential that a cavalry commander be always near 
the head of his columns. The whole principle is to keep 
his unit under cover from observation and fire until his 
plans are made and his orders issued for rapid decisive 
action. 

Many commanders delay until they have information 
of the enemy down to the most minute details. In other 
words, they surrender their initiative and do not depend 
to a great enough extent upon the compelling effect of 
their own measures. This is the defensive attitude of 
mind as opposed to the offensive type. Let the other 
fellow worry. Daring and initiative are the well springs 
of great success. Inactivity is the direct cause of the 
losses of many campaigns and battles. 

The cavalry commander must keep all elements of his 
command in mind or have subordinates specially detailed 
to that end. At the Battle of Worth, in 1870, the 4th 
Cavalry Division (German) was forgotten after being 
told to await orders. Their strength was thereby lost to 
their side throughout the engagement. It is best not to 
tie cavalry down with such orders. The cavalry com- 
mander must never let absence of orders be an excuse 
for inaction. Every leader who has cavalry assigned to 
him must understand that it is too expensive an arm to 
do nothing. 

Dispersion of cavalry, owing to its mobility, is not the 



146 MODERN CAVALRY 

serious fault that it is in the infantry. Too great a dis- 
persion was corrected by the initiative of the squadron 
leaders of Rederns' Brigade, August 15, 1870, when they 
marched to the sound of the guns and quickly brought 
reinforcements of 15 squadrons to the scene of the en- 
counter, thereby themselves correcting the fault of the 
divisional commander who had dispersed them too much. 

An excellent example of cavalry combat was the fight 
at Haelen, August 12, 1914. German forces consisting 
of six regiments (4th and 2nd Cavalry Divisions), 7th 
and 9th Jaeger Battalions, three batteries of artillery, 
4,000 sabres, 2,000 infantry and 18 guns all told, tried to 
force the passage of the Gette River near Haelen. This 
was defended by Belgian forces consisting of Lancers, 
Guides, Cavalry, Artillery and Cyclists numbering 2,400 
sabres, 450 cyclists and 12 guns. The battle was dis- 
mounted on both sides with the exception of a charge 
made by the 2nd Cuirassiers, 9th Uhlans, I7th and i8th 
Dragoons of the 4th Cavalry Division, which was repulsed 
by the fire of the Belgians. The fight was being decided 
in favor of the Germans when a Belgian infantry force, 
composed of four weak battalions, entered the fight and 
turned the scale. The Germans were repulsed with a 
loss of 3,000 dead and wounded, their advance batteries 
and a standard. 

An excellent illustration of mounted and dismounted 
attack occurred on April 3Oth, 1918, when the 3rd Aus- 
tralian Light Horse Brigade was held up near Es Salt by 
fire from enemy works, These were stormed by the 9th 
and loth Regiments, dismounted, while the 8th Regiment 
galloped along the road and forced its way into the town 
in spite of strong resistance. The enemy fled, pursued 



VARIED REQUIREMENTS 147 

by one troops which captured 300 prisoners, 29 machine 
guns and large quantities of material. 

Another example of a purely cavalry fight occurred 
during the Battle of the Marne on September 7th. The 
2nd Cavalry Brigade was acting as left flank guard to 
the Cavalry Division, with the 9th Lancers as advance 
guard to the Brigade. On reaching Fretoy, the village of 
Moucel was found occupied by a patrol of the Germans. 
It was taken at a gallop by the leading troop (about one 
of our platoons) followed by one machine gun. A troop 
and a half moved up on the left of the village. Shortly 
afterward two squadrons of the First Garde Dragoner 
Regiment charged the village and drove out the troop 
of the Qth Lancers after a little street fighting. A third 
Dragoon squadron (German) came up to the village from 
the north, in support. The troop and a half of the 
Lancers charged in perfect order the left half of the 
squadron and pierced it with loss, both sides facing the 
charge, the Germans at a fifteen-mile rate and the 
Lancers at full speed. Swinging around after the charge, 
the 9th Lancers gained the village and rallied on the 
north side of it. At the same time the i8th Hussars, 
who had been sent up in support, drove off the Germans 
by fire from the wood on the left of the village. British 
losses : i officer, 2 men killed, 2 officers and 5 men 
wounded. The German losses are reported as being very 
heavy. 

It must be reiterated that the cavalryman, even in the 
fire fight, should not lose sight of that most important 
thing, his mobility. He is a poor cavalryman indeed who 
dismounts his whole force and sits down to overcome the 
enemy by a purely frontal attack. By the detachment of 



148 MODERN CAVALRY 

two or more mounted bodies he can feint an attack on one 
of the enemy's flanks or rear and drive home a real attack 
on another flank or the rear. It will, in many cases, be 
advisable to consider the frontal action purely a holding 
attack. The frontal attack compared to the flank attack 
is likened to the difference between a weight held in the 
hand and the same weight at the end of a horizontal 
stick. 

In the attack of localities it is necessary to keep out 
both a mounted and dismounted reserve, the former for 
the offensive and the defense of led horses, reconnoiter- 
ing, etc., the latter to press home the dismounted attack. 

The passage through a defile or a heavily wooded road 
should never be undertaken without throwing forward a 
few troops to hold the far side by fire and prevent an 
attack on the necessarily closely formed bodies as they 
emerge. 

In minor operations the fact must not be lost sight of 
that speed on horseback is .not the only advantage in 
cavalry mobility. A cavalryman should be faster on foot 
for two reasons, first that he is not encumbered with the 
weight that a foot soldier carries, secondly that his leg 
muscles are fit for extended effort after he has traveled 
many miles on horseback. Advantage can be taken of 
this in minor tactical operations to outflank opposing 
bodies. In the recontre a swift dismounting and rapid 
occupation of a strategic point will win against superior 
numbers time and time again. The essence of cavalry 
work is speed and this should be remembered in dis- 
mounted operations as well as mounted. 

To secure the fullest effect from surprise, it is neces- 
sary to act swiftly and resolutely with no hesitation in 
advance or withdrawal. The work of Jeb Stuart in the 



VARIED REQUIREMENTS 149 

Civil War is one of the finest examples of combined fire, 
shock and surprise action. 

Another interesting example of the cavalry fight is 
offered by the 5th Cavalry Brigade (Chetwode) when 
covering the rear and right flank of the First Corps in its 
retreat. On August 28th the pursuing German horse- 
men came into touch with it near Cerizy. At about five 
in the evening three squadrons of the enemy advanced 
upon one squadron of the Scots Greys which had the 
support of J Battery Royal Horse Artillery. The Ger- 
mans were fired upon, dismounted and attempted to ad- 
vance. The fire was so heavy that they could make no 
progress and their led horses were stampeded. They 
retired, still on foot, and were followed up by a squadron 
of the 1 2th Lancers on their flank. The remainder of 
the 1 2th Lancers, supported by the Greys, rode into the 
enemy, killing or wounding nearly all of them with the 
sword and lance. A section of guns had meanwhile been 
firing over the heads of the party into a supporting body 
of enemy cavalry, who retired, leaving many dead and 
wounded behind them. The British lost only 43 killed 
and wounded. The enthusiastic cavalrymen rode back 
between the guns of the horse battery exchanging cheers 
with the gunners and waving x their blood-stained 
weapons. 

In war, generally, and in the cavalry combat, particu- 
larly, indomitable energy is the secret of success. Plans 
once undertaken should be pushed through in spite of all 
obstacles. Success in war is after all largely a matter 
of character, both upon the part of the nation as a whole 
and upon the part of the leaders. The distinction should 
be made between indomitable will and stubbornness. The 

1 The British Campaign in France and Flanders, Doyle, page 121. 



ISO MODERN CAVALRY 

stubborn leader is very liable to act upon preconceived 
opinions which arise very easily in war. A preconceived 
opinion is a thing to be avoided as it leads inevitably to a 
biased interpretation of reports, as the leader sees only 
those reports that confirm him in his mistaken theory and 
disregards the others. This will lead to faulty and dan- 
gerous dispositions. The mind must be kept open until 
there are enough data to form an opinion, after which 
the plan should be formed and pushed through in spite 
of all difficulties, 



CHAPTER XI 

RECONNAISSANCE AIR SERVICE AND CAVALRY 

In line with a great many hasty judgments, the aero- 
plane has been slated to supplant cavalry in the field of 
reconnaissance. This has even been believed by cavalry 
officers themselves. One of the first effects of the ap- 
pearance of any new type of fighting machine or of any 
new method of warfare, is the claim made by its partisans 
and taken up immediately by journalistic laymen, that 
the innovation will supplant all previous measures any- 
where remotely allied to its functions. This was true of 
the tank, of the submarine and especially true of the 
aeroplane. 

The aeroplane was to be the cavalry of the future. It 
was not only to perform all the reconnaissance functions 
of cavalry but was to perform its combat functions as well 
and perform them better. These imaginings have of 
course been tested by reality and as a result the aeroplane 
has been assigned to its proper place in the tactical scheme 
of things. 

There still remains, however, a lingering impression 
that trie aeroplane has supplanted the cavalry in that very 
important sphere of duty, reconnaissance. This impres- 
sion is very strong in the mind of the laymen and also 
in the mind of that type of officer who is willing to accept 
any dictum except study and analysis. 

151 



152 MODERN CAVALRY 

A careful analysis of the capabilities and limitations of 
the aeroplane leads to some rather illuminating conclu- 
sions. The first conclusion is that it would be extremely 
unwise to relegate cavalry to the limbo of forgotten 
things in view of the many manifest limitations inherent 
in air reconnaissance. 

These limitations are so important that they make entire 
dependence upon the air service for reconnaissance a 
dangerous experiment. The following are some of the 
factors that militate against successful air reconnaissance 
or that will militate against it in future wars. 

(a) Hostile control of the air. 

(b) Unfavorable weather conditions. 

(c) Present and future possibilities of anti-air craft 
defense. 

(d) Present and future possibilities in concealment and 
camouflage for troops. 

(e) Night operations. 

(/) Inability of the aeroplane to take prisoners, exam- 
ine dead and wounded, judge of enemy morale, etc. 
(g) Lack of continuity of observation. 

(a) The danger of an army depending entirely upon air 
reconnaissance can be clearly brought home by simply 
considering the possibilities attendant upon the loss of 
air control by our own side. This happened on the 
Western front several times. Its results were not so 
marked owing to the stationary character of the fighting. 
It happened upon the Eastern front with disastrous re- 
sults to the loser. It happened on the Palestine front. 
This is an excellent example as the losing side not only 
lost the control of the air tut were woefully deficient in 
cavalry to repair the loss. 



AIR SERVICE AND CAVALRY 153 



Before the great attack of September i8th and 
1918, on the Turkish lines north of Gaza the Turkish air 
force was almost hors de combat owing to the supremacy 
of the British. On the I5th their reconnaissance reported, 
''Some regrouping of cavalry units in progress behind 
the enemy's left flank apparently, otherwise nothing to 
report." At this time three cavalry divisions, five infan- 
try divisions and a major portion of the heavy artillery 
of the force, were concentrated behind the left flank and 
between Ramleh and the front line of the coastal sector. 
There were 301 guns concentrated instead of the 70 that 
were normally there. The unobserved massing of these 
forces led to the successful attack and overwhelming 
defeat of the Turkish VII and VIII Armies. 

The state of the Turco-German air forces can be gath- 
ered from the following extract from their captured rec- 
ords: "From August 25th, 1918, to August 3ist, 1918, in 
consequence of lively hostile flying activity, no recon- 
naissance could be carried out." For a period of seven 
days, at a most important time, the Turkish air force was 
unable to function. Many such periods occurred in this 
campaign in spite of the excellence of the German airmen 
and their machines. The Turks had no cavalry in num- 
bers or quality to make up for this failure in their air 
forces. They were blinded, they lost tactical freedom 
and the initiative passed from them. 

The above example is cited to show what happens to 
an army that places its full dependence upon aerial re- 
connaissance to the exclusion of cavalry reconnaissance. 
It must not be forgotten that another serious danger that 
results from a total dependence upon the air service is 
the fact that even a great and efficient air service may be 
rendered useless shortly after the outbreak of war by the 



154 MODERN CAVALRY 

appearance of some new invention or improvement 
adopted by the enemy. It might take weeks and months 
to develop a corresponding strength on our own side. In 
a war of movement we would be blinded through this 
period. If, in a war of the future, it takes us as long to 
put an air force into the field as it did in the last war, 
it behooves us to have a force for this purpose that will 
be ready to move out at once and function immediately 
a force of cavalry. 

(b) Unfavorable weather conditions,, especially the 
ones that affect visibility, would render an air force use- 
less at certain periods. This happened in many cases in 
the World War. A notable example, on the Palestine 
front, occurred in the period of three days after Decem- 
ber 7th, during the progress of the converging movement 
upon Jerusalem. Heavy rains and mists prevented the air 
force from observing. The British carried on with their 
cavalry the Turks, without cavalry, were helpless. 

(c) Present and future possibilities of anti-aircraft 
defense. This is another form of the old controversy, 
"shells versus armor." The development of anti-aircraft 
guns at present is advanced enough to warrant that any 
force sufficiently supplied with them and trained in their 
use, can keep the aeroplanes so high in the air that the 
information gained by them is almost negligible. During 
the later stages of the Palestine campaign the British anti- 
aircraft defense had so improved as to achieve just this 
purpose. It is not believed that the possibilities of the 
anti-aircraft gun have been nearly exploited as yet. Their 
efficiency is of proved worth now. The next war will 
see even greater effects produced by them. It is only a 
question of time until most branches will be armed with 
them and trained in their use. 



AIR SERVICE AND CAVALRY 155 

(d) Concealment and camouflage for troops. The 
value of aeroplane reconnaissance is nullified to a certain 
extent today and will be rendered of less value in the 
future owing to the present knowledge and future possi- 
bilities of the art of camouflage and concealment of 
troops. Troops trained in this and practicing its princi- 
ples will be able to render much more difficult the work 
of the air reconnaissance. The combination of a high 
degree of camouflage and concealment with an efficient 
service of anti-aircraft guns has already been put into 
operation with successful results. There are large possi- 
bilities for the future improvement of this phase. 

(e) Movements of troops at night will go practically 
undetected by 'the air reconnaissance. Granted that aero- 
planes can fly at night, what is the good of flying if they 
can see nothing? Cavalry can perform this duty re- 
stricted naturally to security reconnaissance it can hold 
ground and prevent the movements of the enemy or give 
warning of his approach. It can seize commanding points 
of observation and establish effective screens. 

(/) Inability of the aeroplane to take prisoners, etc. 
From the viewpoint of the Intelligence officer, the aero- 
plane only brings back a small part of the needed infor- 
mation. It cannot supply the important information 
gained from prisoners, it cannot take prisoners, it can- 
not identify enemy units and in many cases cannot even 
identify enemy branches of the service. It cannot give 
information leading to deductions as to the state of enemy 
morale. It cannot examine enemy dead and wounded, 
capture documents, search telegraph offices and examine 
post offices, civilians, etc. In other words, it cannot 
supply all the thousand and one small bits of information 
needed to provide the army command with working 



156 MODERN CAVALRY 

knowledge of the enemy. This role will be of paramount 
importance to the army in a war of movement as it has 
been in the position warfare on the Western front. It 
could be carried out there by dismounted troops. In any 
war of movement it must be carried out by mounted 
troops. 

(g) Lack of continuity of observation. The aeroplane 
cannot hold a force long enough under observation in 
many cases to determine its intentions. Its reports must 
of necessity be based upon exceedingly fleeting glimpses, 
insufficient in most cases to warrant any tactical action. 

In addition to all the above mentioned points the aero- 
plane cannot hold ground. Its offensive power is not 
great enough to exercise any decisive effect upon the 
course of battle. On water the problem of naval con- 
struction is to balance the three factors of speed, armor 
and guns. One cannot be increased without correspond- 
ing loss in the others. The same problem applies to the 
aeroplane. The desire for speed in the aeroplane has led 
to the sacrificing of its offensive power. The sum total 
of the results of all the improvements in the air service 
during the world war was to add equations to each side 
which balanced and neutralized each other. The war 
went merrily on on the ground while the opposing air 
fleets fought for mastery. 

Dramatic battles in the air were very spectacular but 
the professional soldier wishes to know what tactical 
results were gained by these battles. It was predicted 
that the air service was to end surprise as a factor in 
war. On the contrary the World War was replete with 
examples of surprises on a vast scale. To mention a few 
of the greatest, there was the German offensive against 
the Russians in the spring of 1915, the German offensive 



AIR SERVICE AND CAVALRY 157 

against Verdun in February, 1916, the withdrawal of 
Hindenburg to the new line of defense in the spring of 
1917, the Austro-German offensive against the Italians 
in October, 1917, and the German offensive on the West- 
ern front in March, 1918. 

Enough has been said to prove that dependence upon 
the air service as the sole reconnoitering force is depend- 
ence dangerously placed. The air service has too many 
disadvantages to be the sole dependence for the service 
of security and reconnaissance. The problem now is to 
assign the aefoplane to its proper place in the tactical 
scheme of things. In the field of reconnaissance that 
place is in close cooperation with cavalry. The study of 
means for closer cooperation should be undertaken with 
a view to utilizing the many manifest advantages of the 
flying service. Studied properly, as an auxiliary to cav- 
alry in this field, there is room for limitless possibilities 
for the mutual improvement of both services. 

One of these possibilities is a fuller exploitation -of the 
mobility of cavalry. A higher degree of development of 
the air service will inevitably tend to render more unusual 
the factor of strategical surprise. Major dispositions of 
the troops on each side will be known to the opposing 
side. The only possibility of success in many cases will 
be the possibility of moving troops to a selected point of 
attack at greater speed than the enemy can move troops 
to repel them. This will render increasingly important 
the role of cavalry. It will find its fullest development 
in this type of operation in working with its air forces. 
The determination of points of attack and the picking of 
routes as well as the strategical security will be the 
function of the air forces. 

It is in the field of strategical security that the air force 



158 MODERN CAVALRY 

can aid cavalry to a material extent. The limitations of 
the air service make it of doubtful value in the field of 
tactical reconnaissance. In the realm of strategic recon- 
naissance it will hold full sway. Its work will take an 
enormous burden from the cavalry. The air service will 
find its role in sketching the broad outlines of the picture. 
The cavalry must fill in the details. The handing over 
of strategical reconnaissance will result in much saving 
of horseflesh to the cavalry. It will save it much disper- 
sion. It will allow it to keep its strength more or less 
intact for battle purposes and will allow it to concentrate 
more thoroughly in the field of tactical reconnaissance. 

Nevertheless we must not blindly turn over all the 
duties of strategical reconnaissance to the air force. The 
possibility of the defeat of the air force must not be lost 
sight of. It is a fragile arm. Being a mechanical inno- 
vation it is subject to the possibility inherent in all me- 
chanical innovations in war the possibility of being 
neutralized or effaced by new and superior mechanical 
innovations. For this reason the cavalry officer must 
study and understand the requirements of strategical 
reconnaissance so as to be prepared to take over such 
duties if called upon. 

Many lessons have been learned in the World War as 
to the tactical cooperation of the air service with immobile 
forces. The subject that now requires study is the sub- 
ject of cooperation of aeroplanes with highly mobile 
forces. One phase alone of this study needs attention, 
the question of means of communication between the 
aeroplane and the rapidly moving cavalry troops on the 
ground. This subject presents problems for solution that 
were not solved satisfactorily in the World War. 

In line with the above, arguments it is interesting to 



AIR SERVICE AND CAVALRY 159 

note the opinion of the great cavalryman developed by 
this war Field Marshal Allenby. He has this to say in 
his article in the American Cavalry Journal of January, 
1921, "In the task of strategical reconnaissance, cavalry 
has in a great measure been displaced by the recent de- 
velopment of the Air Service. Distant reconnaissance is 
carried out infinitely more expeditiously and more effi- 
ciently by aircraft than by horsemen. This effects econ- 
omy in horse power and in man power and the cavalry 
is thereby saved for its ever important duties of tactical 
reconnaissance and battle. 

"Tactical reconnaissance, including the keeping of 
touch and the filling of gaps in the long front of the 
present day battlefields, is still the business of the horse- 
man. 

"The battle value of cavalry increases with the breadth 
of vision bestowed by aircraft. The Air Service, by en- 
larging the horizon, renders possible such bold strokes by 
masses of horsemen as were seen in Mesopotamia, Pales- 
tine and Syria." 



CHAPTER XII 

CAVALRY RECONNAISSANCE, PATROLS AND SCOUTS 

To secure the best results in cavalry reconnaissance the 
army commander must know and must state to the cav- 
alry what information is desired. The broad order to 
discover the position and intentions of the enemy is all 
very well, but that is the cavalry duty in any case. What 
must be done if the best results are to be obtained, is to 
state exactly what information is desired ; whether the 
enemy is at a certain place; whether certain bridges are 
or are not destroyed ; whether the enemy is advancing 
upon certain roads; whether given towns are occupied; 
how far the flanks of the army extend, etc. Such clear 
and definite orders will bring in clear and definite reports. 

In all tactical operations it is not only necessary to 
seek information but it is necessary to know what infor- 
mation to seek. Napoleon's superior information was 
mostly due to the fact that he sent his cavalry on a 
definite mission to secure definite' information. As far 
as the higher command is concerned, it is simply a ques- 
tion of having a plan of action mapped out and of seek- 
ing the special information that will aid or hinder this 
plan. It implies a knowledge of the art of war. Without 
a foundation of the principles of war the officer seeking 
information is working in the dark and at haphazard. 
He is unable to assess correctly the value of the infor- 

160 



PATROLS AND SCOUTS 161 

niation that he does find. With a knowledge of war he 
is enabled to narrow the field of endeavor and to concen- 
trate upon the probabilities of the situation. 

The mobility of the cavalry enables it to anticipate 
events. The intelligence that the cavalry brings is direct 
evidence of the position and intentions of the enemy. 
The intelligence brought by cavalry has this advantage 
over the intelligence gained from other sources ; that it 
is information more valuable from a military viewpoint 
owing to the fact that it is information gathered by 
trained observers. 

In addition to securing the information there is the 
necessity of transmitting it. One of the great faults in 
reconnaissance work in 1870 was the fact that officers 
were sent out on long missions involving in some cases 
rides of 60 and 70 miles without any proper arrange- 
ments being made for the transmission to headquarters of 
the information they obtained. Information, no matter 
of what import, is valueless unless it reaches the higher 
command. 

To further the transmission of information it is of 
great importance that lines of intelligence be established. 
This is accomplished by means of motorcycle dispatch 
bearers, motor cars, light wireless sets, buzzers, pigeons, 
mounted orderlies or relay posts and telephones. It is 
hoped that wireless telephoning will soon reach a state 
where it can be an effective aid to military operations. 
The first point is to secure the information, the second 
point is to place that information where it can be utilized. 

Reconnaissance zones must be allotted by the chief of 
the reconnaissance body. These zones must be care- 
fully defined. For obvious reasons an important road 
should not be used to limit one boundary of a reconnais- 



1 62 MODERN CAVALRY 

sance zone. In the case of the change of the direction 
of the enemy or the shifting of the zone of maneuver, 
new allotment of reconnaissance zones must be made 
quickly. This is best done by recalling the forces already 
out simultaneously with the sending forward of new units 
on the new sectors. 

It is necessary, in seeking knowledge of the enemy, to 
touch him at a number of points, as one piece of informa- 
tion is valuable only in so far as it is supported by other 
pieces of information. Reports from a multitude of dif- 
ferent sources must be in the hands of the army intelli- 
gence authorities before a full appreciation of the situa- 
tion can be distilled and made the basis for action. 

The service of reconnaissance must be carried out in 
an offensive sense. To secure the advantages of superior 
information it is necessary to move on a broad front with 
strong supports. The enemy must be pushed back re- 
lentlessly with rifle, machine gun, and artillery fire power, 
and with the combination of mounted and dismounted 
attack, until his formed bodies are encountered. THis 
will necessitate the overthrowing and the driving from 
the field of his cavalry. 

One duty that will fall particularly to cavalry will be 
that of making prisoners. This is one of the most im- 
portant means of gaining information. Every effort 
should be made to capture prisoners. They must be sent 
back to examining posts that will be established by intel- 
ligence authorities in the rear. 

Owing to the importance of information gained from 
prisoners our own men must be particularly warned of 
the damage they may commit to their own side by giving 
any information if captured. They must be told that 
they will be cleverly cross : examined ; they may be put 



PATROLS AND SCOUTS 163 

in confinement with pretended friends who will pump 
them; they may be subjected to listening devices in their 
prisons ; threats or promises may be made them. They 
must be warned of all these and of the traitorous action 
they would commit if they supplied the enemy with any 
information, no matter how unimportant it might seem. 

The soldier must have explained to him the work of 
the intelligence section of an army staff, how they gather 
in a multitude of seemingly trivial and unimportant 
pieces of information from which they construct impor- 
tant facts. For this reason he must not divulge any in- 
formation no matter how trivial it may seem to him. It 
may be the keystone to an incomplete arch of knowledge 
already in enemy possession. 

There are three types of reconnaissance protective, 
contact and independent. Protective reconnaissance en- 
sures the absence of the enemy and the safety of the com- 
mand and takes the form of outposts, patrols for limited 
range work, flank and rear guards, and in some cases, 
advance guards. 

Contact reconnaissance is employed by larger bodies 
who are prepared to fight for information if necessary. 
This takes the form of reconnaissance in force, large 
cavalry bodies with reconnaissance missions and in some 
cases advance guards. 

Independent reconnaissance takes the form of patrols 
and scouting bodies who have wide discretion granted 
them, who range very far and who are required to secure 
information without fighting if possible. 

March outposts the units who protect the marching 
body when it halts temporarily come under the heading 
of protective reconnaissance. 

Distances in protective reconnaissance should be sufii- 



164 MODERN CAVALRY 

cient to allow the commander of the main body to make 
his dispositions in case of alarm. 

The independent cavalry of an army is the chief recon- 
noitering force. Its mission is to find the enemy and 
keep the army commander informed. To achieve its 
reconnoitering mission it must fight a way through the 
enemy screen and identify formed bodies. 

It is necessary clearly to define the mission of any de- 
tached body i. e., whether the leader is engaged in a 
reconnaissance in which he may find opportunity to 
damage the enemy or whether he is engaged in a tactical 
operation in the course of which he may pick up infor- 
mation. 

The boldness of patrols works to deceive the enemy. 
The same effect is gained also by the use of exaggerated 
numbers. It is often advisable to use a cavalry force as 
a screen for demonstration purposes while the main at- 
tack is developed elsewhere. Ashby, the leader of Stone- 
wall Jackson's cavalry force, was very skillful in this use 
of the cavalry and succeeded in keeping the enemy in 
doubt as to whether his force was strongly supported 
or not. 

The attitude of inhabitants has a strong influence upon 
reconnaissance duties. In hostile countries much larger 
patrols with much stronger supports must be used than 
is possible amongst a friendly population. 

Outpost patrols in front of the lines are not very good, 
not only owing to the fact that they are often mistaken 
for the enemy and useless alarms occasioned thereby, 
but because of the fact that they tend to lessen the vigi- 
lance of the outpost lines who place an exaggerated value 
on the security afforded by them. Patrols on the flanks of 
the force are not open to the same objections. 



PATROLS AND SCOUTS 165 

The whole idea of advance guard reconnaissance must 
be based upon the necessity of securing tactical informa- 
tion. Information and security are synonymous terms. 
The value of the advance guard depends greatly upon the 
quality of the reconnaissance work, even to a greater 
extent than upon its fighting power. Information that 
can lead a commander to a correct decision as to when 
to attack and where, is of untold value. 

The advance guard duties, especially in the cavalry, 
should be carried out in an offensive spirit. A "normal" 
advance guard formation is about as ridiculous as a 
"normal attack." The wedge-shaped formation usually 
adopted as the last word in advance guard formations is 
purely a defensive formation. The offensive advance 
guard should have observing parties well forward on its 
flanks and move on a broad front. This acts also as a 
screen. 

The principle of keeping one's intenlions from the 
knowledge of the enemy is violated by the use of the 
wedge-shaped formation ; any intelligent military observer 
knows immediately that this is an advance guard forma- 
tion, and that the main body is close behind. Further- 
more, upon the rencontre it is necessary to observe the 
enemy's main body as quickly as possible. There can be 
no doubt as to the superior ease of observation from the 
patrols on the flanks of the line formation as compared 
to the same observation attempted from the wedge shaped 
formation. 

The commander of a smaller cavalry detachment such 
as a contact squadron, a large patrol, troop or other body 
would do well to keep the direction of the scouting in 
his own hands. With a fixed formation, the security of 
the column is left to the individual intelligence and energy 



166 MODERN CAVALRY 

of one or more troopers on the flanks. They are very 
prone to disregard strong points that might possibly shel- 
ter an enemy. A better plan is to send out successive 
units to search designated points and then return to the 
column. This can be done without slowing up the march 
by sending these units far enough in advance, watching 
for their signals and then sending out the next trooper 
or troopers before the return of the original ones. It 
might be called "patrolling by successive loops. " 

The reconnaissance on the part of a retreating force 
must extend well to the flanks and well forward, as the 
enemy invariably will attempt to pass the rear guard and 
hit the flank of the main body. 

The cavalry screen is employed to conceal tactical or 
strategical movements from enemy observation. It is not, 
as it is often described, a "cloud" of cavalry. It is the 
advance on a broad front of a line of strong groups, each 
covering its sector by patrols. Basically it consists of a 
line of groups in observation and a line of supporting 
groups, with also a line of reserves. Good communica- 
tion laterally and in depth is essential. 

An advance guard, considered offensively, should not 
rest content with simple protection of the main body. 
This is only the securing of negative results. In war 
you must strike the enemy and deliver your blows on his 
formed bodies. Therefore the purely negative idea of 
simple protection of the main body must be supplemented 
by reconnaissance measures of sufficient value to insure 
prompt enough information to permit the attnck being 
launched quickly and effectually. This information must 
be of such nature as to permit your own commanding offi- 
cer to reap full advantage of the element of surprise and 
to take swift and resolute action against the enemy. 



PATROLS AND SCOUTS 167 

The principles of effective screening and reconnaissance 
are a broad front, strong supports and concerted action. 
There is nothing incompatible in the necessity of ex- 
tension on a broad front and the tactical necessity of 
combined and concerted action. This is only the ap- 
plication of one of the principles of war, the principle 
of the economy of forces. Effective reconnaissance re- 
quires width of front while successful tactical action 
requires depth of formation. The happy combination of 
these two is the indication of a skillful leader. 

The value of negative information must be impressed 
upon all subordinates. It is just as important for higher 
command to know where the enemy is not in many cases 
as it is to know where he is. It is also a check on the 
presence and activities of the reconnoitering detachments 
and assures the commander that all fronts are being 
covered. 

In sending out patrols with two missions to perform, 
instruct the leader as to the more important. 

The highest type of reconnaissance is that where the 
leader is told what is wanted and left to choose his own 
means. Wellington in the Peninsular campaign was par- 
ticularly noted for the excellence of his service of infor- 
mation. This was his guiding principle. 

Do not, when approaching a retreating enemy, do so 
directly from the rear where he has a rear guard but 
strike in on a flank where he does not expect you. 

When a large force is despatched on a contact mission 
the enemy must concentrate his screening bodies to meet 
it. Instructions must be given to all our own troops in 
other sectors to increase their activity in order to take 
advantage of the corresponding weakening of the enemy 
forces in their front. 



168 MODERN CAVALRY 

In combined operations with large bodies the recon- 
naissance should be kept in the hands of higher com- 
mand to avoid duplication of effort. Failure to do this 
was one of the faults committed by the German Army in 
their advance on the Moselle in 1870. 

The Scout: 

The basis of all cavalry reconnaissance work is the 
cavalry trooper. In the final analysis the army having 
the most intelligent and best instructed troopers will 
produce the highest degree of results in reconnaissance. 
The cavalry soldier must be trained carefully in his 
duties. He must learn first of all that the measure of 
the value of a scout is not the number of moving-picture 
hair-breadth adventures that he undergoes but the amount 
of information that he brings back. He must be grounded 
in military knowledge to such an extent as to insure that 
his reports will be intelligent and of sufficient value. He 
must be instructed in the military vocabulary in the rec- 
ognition and designation of the landscape and must be 
taught the essentials of tactics. His intelligence, initia- 
tive and self-reliance must be fostered. 

He must be taught the elements of concealment and 
instructed that they are simply an application of common 
sense. Every opportunity must be used by his officers 
while at drill and on the march to teach him essential 
points in scouting. 

He must be taught the following and shown by prac- 
tical example: 

The avoidance of crest lines, summits, open ground. 
Quiescence when stationary, caution when moving. 



PATROLS AND SCOUTS 169 

Knowledge of backgrounds. 
Concealment ; value of shadow and sunlight. 
"Freezing" (Motion meaning life to most observers). 
To observe on foot and realize that the horse makes 

too many motions for safety. 

To advance by successive bounds ; to make use of a 
good post of observation before moving on to the 
next one. 

The value of silence, especially in wooded country. 
Memory for landmarks. 
Looking over the back trail for a possible return in 

a hurry. 

For night operations, sense of direction, the stars, 
running water, judgment of time and space, wind 
direction, slopes, hills, roads, fences, danger of 
smoking, avoidance of crests (so as not to loom 
up against star or moonlight). The value of 
transverse lines across the direction of route to 
check up on map. 

Training to seize value of cover, shadow, broken sun- 
light, small hillocks, depressions, tufts of grass. 

The value of blurring the outline (the feather bonnet 
of the Indian and the habit of the Zulu in slowly raising 
a small bush over a hill crest before raising his head to 
look through it). 

The danger of disturbing flocks of animals, and the 
value of watching the actions of flocks of animals, wild 
birds, etc. 

The value of patience. 

The avoidance of an appearance of apprehension when 
discovered. The enemy would rather capture than kill. 
A sudden sign of alarm or ill-considered attempt to 



170 MODERN CAVALRY 

escape might precipitate a volley where an unconcerned 
and unsuspicious attitude might lead to an opportunity 
for escape a moment or two later. 

To change direction when out of sight and being pur- 
sued. 

Never to appear where normally expected. Point of 
emergence from a wood for example should never be 
normal exit. 

Avoid use of firearms where possible. 

To remember that most discoveries are made at the 
halt. That scouting work resolves itself into picking one 
good observation post after another and properly ex- 
ploiting the possibilities of each and a quick and incon- 
spicuous movement from one to the other. 

To use field glasses always and whenever opportunity 
offers. 

To look at things from the enemy's viewpoint. As the 
old sea captain in one of Kipling's stories said, to explain 
his success in always locating the schools of cod fish, he 
"thought like a cod." 

Observation of tracks in mud and dust and study of 
the effects of wind and sun upon them. Remember when 
following a dim trail to look several yards ahead rather 
than directly on the ground at your feet. 

Study the enemy, his usual strength of patrols, out- 
posts, the speed and condition of his horses, his skill, 
initiative, courage, etc. 

Always consider possible line of retreat. Never return 
by the same route if possible. Remember that snares 
are always set in runs. 

Always have a rough plan of operations ready for any 
emergency. The danger of surprise is the delay caused 
by hesitation, 



PATROLS AND SCOUTS 171 

Never enter an enclosure without looking for an alter- 
native exit or a "back door." 

In leaving the horse leave him in a position for a quick 
get away. If surprised by horsemen while on foot move 
towards wooded or broken ground where it is difficult for 
horsemen to follow. 

Always carry the rifle. A shot or two will dampen the 
enthusiasm of a pursuer, and make him think that your 
boldness portends support near at hand. 

Train constantly in military fundamentals of knowl- 
edge ; a civilian scout might be clever but his information 
would be useless from a military standpoint because of 
his ignorance of the size of units, branches of service, 
etc. 

Learn the peculiarities of the enemy's footgear, his 
shoeing of horses, his artillery wagon and motor trans- 
portation tracks. Be able to tell whether a large or 
small force has been on the ground. 

An observation of enemy's tracks may lead to the 
avoidance of an ambush. 

Study dust clouds and learn the different forms made 
by different arms of the service. 

Have a unit of estimation for troops and for distances. 

Watch for smoke and fire. 

Observe and report on enemy's system of protection 
and its efficiency. 

Learn to get second hand information from inhabitants, 
prisoners, deserters, etc., and to judge of its value from 
the intelligence or disinterestedness of the person. Con- 
sider hostile inhabitants as enemy spies and avoid where 
possible. 

Collect all documents, letters, note-books, scraps of 
paper and turn them in even if you cannot read them. 



172 MODERN CAVALRY 

Turn in buttons, articles of equipment, etc., for examina- 
tion by the intelligence officers. 

Remember that a live enemy in the form of a prisoner 
is valuable to the intelligence authorities in the rear. 

Do not neglect to report anything unusual that you 
have seen. Remember that your reports may be amongst 
thousands that are sifted and gone over, weighed and 
compared, by trained intelligence personnel and a thing 
that to you may seem trivial may be of undreamed of 
importance when added to other facts. 

Maps should be understood and the scout should be 
able to draw rough sketches. 

Finally, get your information as quickly as possible to 
your immediate superior. 

The Patrol: 

A patrol leader is valuable according to the degree of 
tactical and strategic knowledge that he possesses. For 
this reason our younger officers, on whom so much of 
the actual patrolling work will fall, should be well 
grounded in the tactics of their own and other arms and 
should possess a knowledge of the elements of strategy. 
This applies to non-commissioned cavalry officer as well. 

Before starting on his mission the patrol leader must 
cross-examine himself and examine his command. He 
must assure himself that his men and horses are fit, 
inspect ammunition, food, clothing, shoeing, see that field 
glasses are in working shape and must instruct his com- 
mand in their duties and their mission. He must know 
clearly what information is required, what direction he is 
to take, whether negative information is desired, where 
and how he will transmit information to the rear. 



PATROLS AND SCOUTS 173 

There are a few general things that a patrol leader 
should keep in mind. He must never appear when or 
where normally expected. He must look on the situation 
from the enemy's viewpoint in order to gain an insight 
into the enemy's probable course of action. He must 
never get into a situation with no means of exit. He 
must remember that the more decisive the direction in 
which one moves the greater is the probability of encoun- 
tering the enemy. In hostile country he must conduct 
himself as though surrounded by legions of spies. If 
pursued, he must remember that there is no pursuit so 
enthusiastic as that of defenselessness. He must keep a 
sting in his tail, remembering that a well-placed rifle shot 
or two will considerably dampen the ardor of pursuit. 

When in doubt he must take the offensive. An illus- 
tration of this was the action of a Prussian lieutenant, 
von Papen, who, with his patrol of 15 men, in 1870 was 
pursued by a French party of some 30 men. He found 
himself confronted by a stream. Three of his horses 
refused to jump. To avoid having them captured he 
turned, recrossed the stream and charged the French 
party, taking them by surprise and driving them off with 
loss. The report of this event, brought back to the 
French General, Ladmirault, caused him to deploy his 
whole corps the next day, imagining that such boldness 
could only mean the presence of large enemy bodies in 
his vicinity. 

To have the enemy arrive on the scene simultaneously 
with the arrival of the news of him is a situation that 
very often arises. It is an indication of poor perform- 
ance of reconnaissance duties. . 

When reporting his information, the sending officer 
must remember that it is as difficult to draft a good 



174 MODERN CAVALRY 

report as it is a good order. Clearness and brevity make 
the soul of a report. It must always be examined by the 
sending officer in a detached way in order to visualize the 
information from the receiving officer's viewpoint. 

Every document of any possible value must be 
examined and sent in. This applies to newspapers, 
notebooks, and practically any piece of paper containing 
any writing in the enemy language. Von Kluck, in his 
march through Belgium with the First Army, gained much 
valuable information of the movements of the English 
army through scraps of letters and notebooks and parts 
of orders picked up on the roads and fields and from 
dead and wounded men and prisoners. 

The principle of successful patrolling is to survey 
ground thoroughly before moving over it, using the field 
glasses to cover it carefully. Remember in using field 
glasses to divide the area to be observed into some sort 
of sectors, systematizing the work and leaving no place 
uncovered. In positions in observation have one man as 
observer, dismounted, with the rest of the men and horses 
concealed. 

Before starting on a patrol it is necessary to fix on a 
few signals. There should be one, for instance, for the 
commander to assemble his patrol, another to enable the 
commander to call in a flanker, another for flanker to call 
the commander to observe anything suspicious. It is 
necessary to have the patrol formation elastic. For this 
reason a formation in line is the best. In addition to ease 
of control and to the greater extent of terrain covered, 
this formation gives the commander an ability to swing a 
flank through a dangerous place without risking his entire 
patrol. This will also frustrate enemy attempts at 
ambush. 



PATROLS AND SCOUTS 175 

One man must be kept so far in rear that he can 
make a "get away" in case of surprise and capture. 
Remember it is easier to capture a nian by waiting for 
him than by chasing him. This necessitates an ability to 
see before being seen. One principle of all reconnais- 
sance is to discover the enemy before the enemy discovers 
you. 

In making movements remember that the regular 
recurring movement most quickly catches the eye, 
especially in imperfect light. A quick movement of the 
whole force over exposed ground may be unobserved. 
There is less danger in swift movement than in slow, as 
even if discovered and fired upon it disturbs the enemy 
and lessens his aim. 

In reporting upon ground it is necessary to study it 
from the viewpoint of higher command. Remember that 
a sketch or map tells much more than a statement. 
Strive for useful maps and sketches instead of merely 
artistic ones. 

Attempt must be made to gain information from 
inhabitants. In hostile countries great care must be used 
in this. In questioning a civilian, consider the man's 
intelligence and status in life, find out his business and 
what his viewpoint or his special knowledge might be. 
It is a safe plan to avoid hostile inhabitants, considering 
them as part of the enemy forces. In sending in infor- 
mation, . separate what you have heard from what you 
have actually seen. 

Everything unusual must be reported, no matter how 
irreletant it may seem. Small articles of enemy equip- 
ment must be sent back for examination. Information 
that will lead to the determination of the state of the 
enemy morale will be of value. The finding of a great 



176 MODERN CAVALRY 

many articles of equipment is one means of judging the 
state of enemy discipline. 

Keep constantly the object and the mission in view. 
Attempts to capture prisoners, to fight enemy patrols, 
and to capture trophies must not interfere with the main 
object, which is to gain information. An example of poor 
patrolling work is furnished by a Lieutenant Ramin of 
the Prussian cavalry. On August 8th, 1870, he reported 
the location of an abandoned enemy camp, but made no 
mention of the size of it nor of the direction in which 
the enemy left it ; he pursued a hostile patrol a long dis- 
tance instead of a sufficient distance to determine that 
there were no formed bodies in the rear of it and com- 
pletely forgot his mission in this pursuit. 

If a patrol leader finds important traces of the enemy 
in a direction different from that to which assigned he 
must split his patrol. 

The enemy is best observed while on the march. 
Marches are usually undertaken in the morning. The 
enemy is usually in camp or bivouac in the evening which 
makes the task more difficult. For this reason patrols 
must start early. Patrol leaders should make their plans 
in the evening for the following day if practicable. They 
should study the map of their sector until they have it 
learned by heart. 

Remember the value of negative information. If there 
is certain indication that the enemy is not in a sector to 
which the patrol is assigned the leader must continue, 
sending back negative reports meanwhile and must above 
all not encroach upon territory assigned to another patrol. 

Upon the rencontre, or surprise meeting with an enemy 
patrol, take the immediate offensive, first being sure that 



PATROLS AND SCOUTS 177 

the patrol is not the point, or advance party, of a larger 
body. Arrange an ambush if possible. This is another 
advantage of seeing the enemy before being seen. Every 
success of this nature increases the moral superiority of 
your own men. If it is impossible to care for prisoners 
they can be rendered harmless by being deprived of 
horses, arms and shoes. 

In forward movements the patrol leader must call the 
attention of men to road forkings, lookout positions, 
and in general, have the men study the back trail. This 
will facilitate the progress of messengers returning with 
reports. It is best to acquaint men with the contents of 
any written messages they carry so that, when in danger 
of capture, they can destroy them and still report if they 
succeed in escaping. 

Do not send single horsemen long distances in hostile 
country. In case of important information send a re- 
porting patrol of 2 or 3 men. The strength of a patrol 
for this reason should be based on the number of mes- 
sages it is expected to send. 

Reconnaissance has not attained its objective until the 
main bodjes of the enemy have been located and reported 
upon. These reports must be complete. To state that 
a "party" of the enemy was observed is a waste of time, 
paper and horse flesh. What is wanted is a report on 
the numbers of the party, their branch of the service, 
their tactical significance and any other points that can 
be of value. 

In hostile countries it will be necessary to move with 
stronger patrols. Instruct your men that, when pur- 
sued, they should never return directly to the hiding 
place of the patrol, thereby disclosing it to the enemy. 



178 MODERN CAVALRY 

If your patrol is pursued never lead the enemy directly 
back to the support. The wisest plan is to disperse and 
re-form at some point previously designated. 

In advancing a man to investigate a dangerous point 
cover his approach with the rifles of the rest of the patrol. 
It is hard to hit a mounted man moving rapidly but it 
would be especially difficult if the enemy himself is being 
fired upon. In approaching hills or elevations in which 
the enemy's presence is suspected remember there is usu- 
ally "dead ground" at the base of the hill. This is the 
place to change both gait and direction. If the presence 
of the enemy in concealment is suspected but he refuses 
to disclose himself, one method is to return nonchalantly 
in the direction from whence you have come and when 
out of sight dismount, creep back and observe with glasses. 
This will very often result in finding the enemies' heads 
bobbed up. 

The patrol commander should have rank and experi- 
ence sufficient to make his reports of some value. He 
must state all information in any way bearing upon the 
strength, arm of service, intentions and dispositions of 
the enemy. To deduce these things he must be familiar 
with military practice and procedure. The more knowl- 
edge that he has of the art of war the more valuable 
will he be as a reconnoitering agent. 

If he is in hostile country and does not speak the lan- 
guage he must have an interpreter with him. One ad- 
vantage of our army is the ease with which it is possible 
to locate an interpreter amongst the enlisted personnel. 

It may be advisable to send out an escort, part way, 
with a patrol, to establish a sort of advanced base or mes- 
sage center. This escort may leave relays or communica- 
tion posts behind it. 



PATROLS AND SCOUTS 179 

Patrols sent out with a protective mission to accom- 
plish must fight. Purely information patrols must avoid 
combat unless it is necessary in carrying out their mis- 
sion. Young and active patrol leaders too frequently are 
spoiling for a fight to the extent of forgetting that the 
fight is only a means to the end and that their mission 
is to gather information. 

An electric flashlight is an indispensable portion of a 
patrol leader's equipment, to enable him to read and write 
messages at night, to examine maps, etc. 

The patrol leader must start out with the most complete 
grasp possible of the general and special situation to per- 
mit him to act intelligently. 

The patrol leader should see for himself whenever pos- 
sible. This applies to the cavalry officer in any situation. 

Night Operations: 

The patrol at night should work dismounted. The 
men should be well closed up so as to be able instantly 
to conform to the movements of the leading man. It 
is desirable to have oral communication between all parts 
of the patrol. Signals must be fixed upon in advance. It 
must be remembered that sound is more audible in the 
silence of the night than in the day time. 

It is important not to lose contact with the enemy at 
night. On the night of August 6- 7th, 1870, von Bredow's 
Brigade lost all touch with the V French Corps which 
slipped away through the mountains and formed a junc- 
tion with MacMahon's Army. All touch with the enemy 
on this flank was lost for days. 

The service and practice of night patrolling is a very 
important subject of training for cavalry in peace time. 



180 MODERN CAVALRY 

For finding the way across country at night study the 
map beforehand and figure out the directions of rivers 
or streams, the slope of the ground and its direction;* 
roads, fences, etc., are all helpful in keeping the direction 
or in checking up on it. 

Every effort should be made to give the horses all the 
rest possible at night. A horse is useless or nearly so 
for night patrolling. Select a resting place for the patrol 
where the avenues of approach can be guarded. Horses 
must be unsaddled and the unit guarded against surprise. 
It may be necessary to retire with the bulk of the patrol 
leaving one or two men in observation, dismounted. Their 
horses can be tended by the remainder of the patrol and 
brought up by them in the morning. The patrol must 
not retire so far as to necessitate a long march to recover 
the lost ground. In friendly countries stay in the larger 
villages, in hostile countries avoid villages. 

The Transmission of Information: 

Every means must be used to get information back 
where it can be used. Telegraph and telephone lines, 
buzzer, aeroplane-dropped messages, motor cycles, pig- 
eons, mounted messengers, automobiles, wireless and all 
other means that can be found should be utilized. 

It should only be necessary to get the information back 
to the advanced troops. It must be cared for by their 
intelligence personnel and forwarded. 

Information intended both for other troops and for 
higher authority must be noted as having been sent to 
other troops, "copies to. C.O.'s ist and 2nd Squadrons." 
This will avoid having higher command receive several 
messages of the same import which might exaggerate the 



PATROLS AND SCOUTS 181 

importance of the original information. Keep a record 
of all information sent. 

Patrol leaders and messengers must transmit all in- 
formation to neighboring units and to all officers met, 
telling them to whom they are transmitting the informa- 
tion. 

The ordinary channels of information are from sub- 
ordinate to superior. If there is a certainty of a more 
rapid transmission than this, use it, notifying all inter- 
mediate commanders of the information. Give informa- 
tion ro the first fresh troops met "for transmission." 
The officer or non-commissioned officer receiving it im- 
mediately becomes responsible for its proper transmis- 
sion. The task of the messenger is not finished until he 
has checked its final arrival. 

Urgent information should be sent immediately to 
higher command. This should not be done unless ab- 
solutely necessary and then should be followed by trans- 
mitting it through the customary channels. 

Reports must be carefully made, separating opinions 
from facts. They should be condensed and brief to 
facilitate their transmission by wire or wireless. The 
number of the report should in all cases be noted thereon 
as well as the place, date and time, and name or designa- 
tion of the sending detachment. 

It is important that the statements of inhabitants are 
not sent back as facts. The information coming from 
untrained observers should be accepted with caution. 

In sending important information when there is no other 
means than mounted messengers send it by several men, 
preferably taking different routes. 



CHAPTER XIII 

NOTES ON FOREIGN CAVALRY 

British Cavalry: 

The British cavalry operating in Palestine consisted of 
Australian and New Zealand forces and of British Yeo- 
manry. The Australian and New Zealand forces were, 
properly speaking, at the commencement of the opera- 
tions, mounted infantry. They were armed with the rifle 
and bayonet. The Australian Light Horse Division was 
afterwards armed with the sword and instructed in its 
use. The tendency of these Colonial troops was to de- 
velop more into cavalry as time went on. 

The British Yeomanry was armed and equipped like 
the British regular cavalry. The Yeomanry corresponds 
somewhat to our National Guard. 

The British b'rigades consisted generally of three regi- 
ments, of three squadrons each ; the squadron was divided 
into four troops of some twenty-four men each. This 
makes a British squadron slightly larger than one of our 
troops, their regiment slightly larger than one of our 
four-troop squadrons with corresponding differences up 
to and including the division. 

Mounted Attack Formations 

At the beginning of operations the Colonial troops 
charged with the rifle on the back and the bayonet held 

182 



NOTES ON FOREIGN CAVALRY 183 

in the hand on several occasions. As noted above a 
large proportion of them were later armed with the 
sword. This was by their own unanimous request. The 
Colonial troops had the single rank formation. 

The Yeomanry troops attacked with the sword. They 
had the double rank formation. The mounted attack 
was usually made with two squadrons of the regiment 
in the first line and the third squadron in the second 
line. The same formation was adopted in the brigade, 
the attack being made with two regiments in the first 
and one in the second line. 

Dismounted Attack Formations 

The attack, dismounted, was made by the squadron 
in four lines. With the Australians and New Zealanders 
each line consisted of one troop, with the troop leader 
and an automatic weapon in the center of each line. 
In the Yeomanry the attack was also made in four lines 
but the troops had extension in depth, the first and sec- 
ond troops taking the right and left halves respectively 
of the first and second lines, with the third and fourth 
troops taking the right and left halves respectively of the 
third and fourth lines. In both cases, the squadron com- 
mander took his place in the third or fourth line. 

Each troop had from 18 to 20 men in line. There 
was very little signalling after the action started, the 
main dependence being placed on the cooperation of all 
leaders in the carrying out of the instructions received 
before the commencement of the action. 

The advance by rushes was not considered of any 
value. The advance was made at a walk, moving rapidly 
on the objective, the men neither halting nor lying down 
unless forced to do so by excessive losses. They closed 



184 MODERN CAVALRY 

tip on the enemy with the bayonet. (All mounted troops 
in the Palestine campaign were armed with the bayonet.) 

The majority of the attacks were made after good prep- 
aration by rifle, machine gun and artillery fire. At- 
tacks were organized in depth with as few men as pos- 
sible attacking directly. 

Great stress was laid upon personal reconnaissance 
before entering the attack. The brigade commander, with 
his three regimental and his machine gun and artillery 
commanders, would make a careful reconnaissance. The 
troops were kept under cover until all plans had been 
made and orders issued. The second in command of 
the brigade brought the troops forward on the comple- 
tion of this preliminary survey. The success of the 
operations was, as a whole, due to the care with which 
this preliminary reconnaisance was made. This was 
followed by care in the issuing of orders and instruc- 
tions to the subordinate commanders. 

Led horses were cared for in a manner very similar 
to ours. They were seldom immobilized, however, 
(coupled or circled), owing to the danger from aerial 
bombing or machine gun attacks. 

The Proposed British Cavalry Division 

The trend of thought in British cavalry circles can be 
seen from the recommendations of a recent board of 
general officers convened by the British War Office to 
make recommendations for the future organization of 
the cavalry division. 

These recommendations specifically left out of consid- 
eration any possibilities of trench warfare. It was stated 
that special equipment for this possibility was considered 



NOTES ON FOREIGN CAVALRY 185 

wasteful, believing that any need for this type of equip- 
ment could be met by higher authority at the time the 
need arose. 

They recommended that mixed brigades be done away 
with and that the cavalry brigade contain nothing but 
cavalry, the auxiliaries being kept under control of the 
division. It was noted that the highest degree of co- 
operation was necessary between the cavalry and these 
auxiliaries but that this cooperation could best be se- 
cured directly under the division commander. Special 
needs or detached service on the part of any of the 
brigades or regiments could be met by the assignment 
of the necessary auxiliaries when the occasion arose. 

It was recommended that the division of three brigades 
be adopted because four brigades would be unwieldy 
and two would not be convenient tactically. For similar 
reasons the brigade should be composed of three regi- 
ments. 

The Cavalry Regiment 

The underlying idea in the organization and strength 
of the regiment is the idea of having a unit that can 
easily be controlled by one man, the regimental com- 
mander. It was recommended that it consist of three 
large squadrons, each of five troops, one of which would 
be a Hotchkiss Gun Troop. This would distribute the 
Hotchkiss guns in the most satisfactory manner and 
would still leave the other portions free and available 
for mounted or dismounted work. 

The personnel allotted to regimental headquarters 
should be organized as a squadron. 

The number of Hotchkiss guns allotted to the regiment 



186 MODERN CAVALRY 

should be 14, at the rate of 2 per headquarters squadron 
and 4 per fighting squadron. 

A troop (righting) would consist of 24 rank and file. 
The regimental total would then be 570 of all ranks in 
round numbers. Personnel required for signalling should 
form an integral part of the regiment. Stores required 
for demolitions should not be part of the equipment of 
the regiment as this work should be left to the engineers. 
The discarding of the horse bandolier for the carrying 
of extra ammunition was recommended. 

Artillery with the Cavalry Division 

The main consideration is to have guns that can keep 
pace with the cavalry. The British i8-pounder is con- 
sidered too heavy for this purpose; the I3~pounder, 
or even a lighter gun, is considered more suitable. 

It is necessary to add a proportion of howitzers, this 
to overcome the opposition of enemy detachments in 
places where they cannot be reached by the flat trajec- 
toried field guns. The artillery for the division should 
consist of a headquarters, three 6-gun 13-pounder bat- 
teries, and one 6-gun 4.5 in. howitzer battery together 
with an ammunition column. 

The ammunition column should be so organized as to 
provide three light sections carrying 13 pdr. ammunition 
and a proportion of small arms ammunition. A howitzer 
section and a heavy section of G. S. wagons also carry- 
ing 13 pdr. ammunition are also assigned. Batteries 
with a suitable proportion of the ammunition column 
could be attached to brigades when needed. Each bat- 
tery should be equipped with two Hotchkiss guns. A 
light car should be added for the artillery commander 
of the division. 



NOTES ON FOREIGN CAVALRY 187 

Machine Guns with the Cavalry Division 

While it is necessary to have the closest connection with 
the machine guns and the cavalry it is felt that this is 
best attained by keeping the former under the direction 
of the division, detaching them when occasion requires 
with detached units. They should be organized into three 
self-contained squadrons, capable of being attached each 
to a brigade when necessary. 

Each squadron should have twelve guns, which is 
considered the largest number that can be efficiently 
handled by one commander. Each squadron should be 
organized into three troops of four guns each. Each 
troop would be divided into two subsections. 

In the event that machine guns capable of firing armor 
piercing bullets are adopted, it is recommended that they 
be attached to the cavalry division in suitable numbers. 
These should be attached to the machine guns of the 
squadron and included in the allotment. 

Motor machine guns and armored car units should not 
be included in the cavalry division but should be attached 
to it when necessary, 

The French Cavalry: 

Organisation 

The French cavalry platoon consists of three squads 
which are each composed of ten men and a corporal. 
It is commanded by a first or second lieutenant, who 
has two non-commissioned or sous-ofliciers called marechal 
des logis. 

The squadron is composed of four platoons and is 
commanded by a captain. Its strength is actually about 
no men. 



188 MODERN CAVALRY 

The regiment consists of four squadrons, a machine 
gun section of four guns, and a supply section, both 
commanded by officers. The regiment is commanded by 
a colonel. The major of cavalry commands one or more 
squadrons. His position corresponds somewhat to that 
of our lieutenant-colonel. The cavalry brigade consists 
of two regiments, commanded by a brigadier general. 
The regimental officers have all been through the ranks 
for at least a year's service and then have all been grad- 
uated from the Cavalry School at Saumur. 

The Non-Commissioned Officer 

The French non-commissioned officers are much more 
thoroughly trained and have more responsibility and au- 
thority than ours. 

To qualify for the position of corporal (Brigadier) 
the soldier must have served at least four months with 
the squadron. He is examined in both theoretical and 
practical subjects by his officers. These subjects consist 
of tests in horsemanship, use of arms, both mounted and 
dismounted, and an oral test in cavalry drill regulations. 
To be a sergeant of cavalry (marechal des logis) the 
corporal must have served at least six months in his 
rank. The examination is along the same lines as the 
examination for corporal but is more advanced. 

After two years' service as marechal des logis he may 
make application for written examination for entrance to 
the Cavalry School at Saumur. These examinations are 
very difficult, including both theoretical and practical 
subjects. Assistance to men wishing to prepare for this 
is furnished by the officers who conduct classes in the 
regiment. If successful in this examination the sergeant 
attends the school for one year. While there he holds the 



NOTES ON FOREIGN CAVALRY 189 

rank of aspirant. Upon successful completion of this 
course the aspirant is commissioned as a second lieutenant 
and assigned to a regiment. If unsuccessful he is re- 
turned to the regiment from which appointed, with the 
rank of marechal des logis. 

Automatic Rifles 

There are six automatic rifles (the Chauchat) carried 
in each squadron. Two of these are carried in the first 
and fourth platoons, respectively, and one each in the 
second and third. The gun crew consists of a corporal 
and three privates, one as loader, one as carrier, and one 
to lead the gun horse. The corporal fires the gun. All 
automatic rifle instruction in the regiment is carried on 
under the supervision of one officer. The average rate 
of fire developed is said not to be more than from 20 
to 30 shots a minute per gun owing to the frequent 
stoppages. 

Some Tactical Principles of the French Cavalry 

The tactical principles that guide the French cavalry 
are substantially those of the Regufations of May, 1918. 
They state that rapidity, mobility and capacity for 
maneuver are the first requisites for cavalry as long as 
there exists opportunity for march and maneuver. 
Cavalry must fight. These fights will, in the majority of 
cases, take place on foot. Cavalry tactics, therefore, must 
conform to the modern development of fire power. The 
cavalry must be able to fight on foot unaided, except for 
the artillery. 

The mounted fight, however, must not be lost sight of. 
Training must be had in preparation for this. Opportuni- 
ties for the mounted fight will occur when operating 



190 MODERN CAVALRY 

against cavalry, in making or receiving a charge, against 
shaken or surprised infantry in open warfare, against 
artillery in column of route, and against the flanks and 
rear of artillery. 

Cavalry is an arm easy to expend and difficult to re- 
place. It must not, therefore, be sacrificed under circum- 
stances that do not allow the use of its special charac- 
teristics. 

Cavalry dismounted formations must conform to their 
equivalents in the infantry; the cavalry regiment for 
example, when dismounted, should correspond to and 
have equal strength with two infantry companies. 

The mobility of cavalry must be taken advantage of 
even when in the dismounted fight, and attempts must 
be made upon the enemy's flanks and rear. When the 
enemy stands firm he must be held by fire while the 
mounted portion of the command advances against him. 
The cavalry command is divided into three parts ist 
the dismounted portion, 2nd the led horses and combat 
equipment, 3rd the mounted reserve which can be as 
large as one-fourth of the whole. 

The mounted reserve protects the flanks. It takes 
fullest advantage of success by throwing elements into 
the fire fight against the flanks and rear of the enemy. 
It pursues the retreating enemy and protects the mount- 
ing of the dismounted men. It is charged also with 
maintaining communication with the neighboring units. 

The corps and divisional cavalry ensures success in 
the offensive battle, the army cavalry exploits success. In 
the defense the cavalry can limit and localize the effect 
of the enemy's breaking through any portion of the line. 

Cavalry must make charges against the retreating in- 
fantry and artillery. It must rapidly enlarge points of 



NOTES ON FOREIGN CAVALRY 191 

irruption by the leading forward of fire units and the 
use of the automatic weapons against the flanks of the 
unbroken portion of the enemy forces. 

The general rule for the frontal attack of dismounted 
cavalry units, is, that they shall attack in conjunction with 
army units carrying many machine guns. These troops 
must turn against the enemy's flanks and rear. In de- 
fense the dismounted cavalry units must protect the ad- 
vance of reserves and must hold important points on the 
line of a possible retreat. 

The army cavalry has to undertake the duties of ex- 
ploiting success, magnifying the effect of surprises and 
the protection of the movements of the army. Rapidity, 
mobility and its holding power give the army cavalry 
opportunity to solve tasks which it is impossible for 
the infantry division to solve with the same speed and 
the corps or divisional cavalry with the same power. 
These tasks are the threatening of the enemy's rear, at- 
tacks against those portions of the enemy's line which 
stand firm, reconnaissance and attack against advancing 
reinforcements and against rear-guard positions, preven- 
tion of the enemy's attempts to face again to the front, 
the holding of positions until the appearance of the in- 
fantry, the accomplishment of important demolitions and 
the capture or destruction of the enemy's provision and 
ammunition supplies. 

It will be necessary to assign with the cavalry such 
auxiliaries as aeroplanes, light tanks, artillery, infantry 
and labor units as well as enhanced communication 
facilities. 

Cavalry is warned again and again not to become in- 
volved in extensive frontal attacks. It must use its 
mobility in turning against the enemy's flanks or rear 



192 MODERN CAVALRY 

with fire, at the same time keeping the march or attack 
direction. It is above all necessary to keep higher leader- 
ship fully informed at all times. 

Belgian Cavalry: 

The Provisional Instructions of May, 1920, for the 
Belgian cavalry prescribed that tactics for small groups of 
cavalry should be based upon the cooperation of small 
combat groups. It provides that each combat group 
should consist of an automatic gunner, with his weapon, 
ammunition bearers and riflemen. 

The combat group, which is a section (half a platoon) 
is, according to the regulations, an element in either at- 
tack or defense. In the defense, the automatic rifle is 
used in cross-fire ; it serves to defend the neighboring 
groups echeloned near it, the defense of the group itself 
being in the hands of its riflemen. These groups, whether 
in attack or defense, are echeloned. All idea of dis- 
mounted attack in line of skirmishers is abolished. 

Organisation 

The section, which is the combat group, consists at war 
strength of u men. The platoon, which consists of two 
sections, has been adjudged too vulnerable and too cum- 
bersome for maneuver under ordinary conditions of 
combat. The 1 1 men are divided into i non-commissioned 
officer, 3 ammunition bearers, I horseholder, and 6 rifle- 
men. The latter are, in addition, all armed with hand 
grenades. 

The platoon consists of 32 men at war strength. Of 
these 22 compose the two sections or combat groups. 
The remaining men are i non-commissioned officer, horse- 
holders, a trumpeter, horseshoer, etc. The trumpeter is 



NOTES ON FOREIGN CAVALRY 193 

at the disposal of the platoon commander. Horseholders 
are always Nos. 3 in sets of fours. The mounted forma- 
tion is so arranged that they shall always be either super- 
numeraries or specialists such as horseshoers, farriers, 
saddlers, etc. They are not armed with the rifle. 

The regiment on a war footing consists of two groups, 
each consisting of two squadrons and a machine gun 
squadron. The brigade on a war footing consists of 
two regiments and an extra machine gun squadron. 

The horse artillery group, of which there is but one 
in the Belgian army at present, consists of three batteries 
of four guns each armed with the 75 mm. T. R. Krupp. 

The Belgian cavalry is armed with three types of 
automatic weapons and machine guns, the Chauchat for 
the automatic rifle, the Hotchkiss, a light machine gun, 
and the Colt, which is the armament of the machine gun 
squadrons proper. The first two are the weapons of 
the combat groups. 

Some Tactical Principles of the Belgian Cavalry 

It is held that the platoon mounted cannot approach 
nearer to the enemy than 2,000 meters. Platoons, dis- 
mounted, advance in combat groups of two echelons at 
distances of 50 meters and intervals of 40 meters. They 
are preceded by patrols at distances of from 100 to 200 
meters. This formation is said to be based upon war 
experience which showed the necessity for attacks in 
depth. The advance of the reserve waves is made in or- 
dinary line of platoon columns, single file, echeloned at 
100 meters distance and 50 meters interval. 

Great stress is laid upon the necessity of carefully in- 
structing officers and non-commissioned officers, especially 
the latter, in the mechanism of the combat group work, 



194 MODERN CAVALRY 

and the necessity of forgetting the old line of skirmishers. 

The cavalry attack, dismounted, must always be made 
in two echelons. In compliance with this, the squadron 
may be made to attack with two platoons grouped, 
forming the .first two echelons, a third platoon forming 
the third echelon and the fourth platoon, according to 
circumstances, acting as either the mounted reserve, a 
reinforcement for the firing line, as liaison agents or 
simply as horseholders. When the regiment operates as 
a whole, the reserve echelon becomes the regimental re- 
serve which would consist of an entire squadron. This 
is to avoid a series of small local reserve units too widely 
scattered to be effective. 

Freedom of maneuver and the maximum of mobility 
are the governing rules for cavalry operations. The 
disposition to resort to dismounted action too soon must 
be guarded against. This would operate to sacrifice the 
very essence of cavalry as cavalry, reducing it to the 
role of a mere mounted infantry. The advance, mounted, 
should be made as far forward as is possible and the 
dismounted attack only undertaken when further mounted 
maneuver becomes impossible. 

Horse Artillery and Cavalry 

The cardinal rule for the guns with cavalry is to fire 
on sight. The cavalry action should be started with artil- 
lery and this fire should not cease. The great fault is not 
to employ artillery enough. Horse artillery should be 
prepared to take up positions more rapidly than field 
artillery and the artillery commander should be given a 
free hand in his choice of positions for his guns. In these 
days of long range guns, the position of the batteries is 



NOTES ON FOREIGN CAVALRY 195 

of no interest to the cavalry commander as long as the 
artillery can carry out the mission assigned to them. 

German Cavalry: 

There are no official German dictums upon cavalry 
available as yet but the trend of thought in German 
military circles can be judged from the many publica- 
tions upon the subject printed since the war. Balk, 
especially, has written an exhaustive essay upon the sub- 
ject, which essay has been translated and is condensed 
into some of the following notes. 1 

The German General Staff concluded, as a result of 
the Russo-Japanese war and the patent inferiority dis- 
played by the cavalry on both sides, that only a first class, 
highly trained cavalry would be of any value in modern 
war. 

In line with this, the German cavalry was supplied 
with good mounts and armament. The mounts are 
criticized by Balk as not being of sufficient hardiness to 
stand the rigors of campaigning without shelter. The 
armament was also criticized by him, the tubular steel 
lance and carbine being considered excellent but the am- 
munition supply (45 rounds per man) being considered 
insufficient. The thrusting sabre, carried on the saddle, 
he does not consider of any proved value as compared 
to the lance. (It has since been discarded in the new 
German Army and the lance retained as the "arme 
blanche".) 

As a result of the world war, charges by regiment 

1 "Entwickelung der Taktik im Weltkrieg," Balk, Chapter X, 
pages 240-258 inclusive. 



196 MODERN CAVALRY 

and brigade are still considered possible but the charge 
by division is a thing of the past. The Germans felt 
that their armament with the lance gave them decided 
superiority over the Allied cavalry and feel that their 
cavalry had the superior morale throughout. They com- 
plain of a too rapid deterioration of horseflesh and of the 
sacrificing of cavalry units by ill-advised mounted at- 
tacks. It is also stated that there were many opportunities 
for the mounted attack which were not taken advantage 
of. 

The use of cavalry in the battle field is considered to 
be more difficult than it has been in the past but they 
concluded that as long as the human factor is what it is, 
there are still many opportunities to use cavalry mounted 
in battle. 

"There are many charges against artillery which have 
a strong probability of success, for instance mounted at- 
tacks against batteries on the march, surprise attacks 
against the flanks and rear of firing batteries, against the 
front of masked batteries, and against artillery unsup- 
ported by infantry. It can often be extremely important 
to silence a battery if only for a few minutes. Ammuni- 
tion columns are extremely vulnerable to mounted attack." 

Shaken and surprised infantry are considered vulner- 
able to the cavalry attack. "Weapons be they ever so 
powerful are only so in the hands of men." 

It is held that the cavalry of today must be able to 
fight mounted as well as dismounted and that cavalry 
must not be degraded to the role of mere mounted in- 
fantry. Many examples are cited of the decisive effect 
of even the appearance of cavalry in the world war, 
especially on the Eastern Front. 

It is concluded that the charge is not the sum of all 



NOTES ON FOREIGN CAVALRY 197 

cavalry tactics. Dismounted action is the most important 
phase of cavalry duty. In dismounted work, cavalry 
must be independent of other arms and work without 
assistance. The increased assignment of fire weapons to, 
cavalry has raised the value of that branch. Cavalry 
must rapidly drive forward its strong fire power against 
the enemy's flanks, and other weak points. 

Enterprises against the enemy's line of communications 
are of much more value than formerly, owing to the in- 
creased dependence placed by an army on its provisions 
and munitions from the rear. 

Army tasks require a stronger cavalry. Divisional 
cavalry can be weakened or replaced by cyclists. The 
army cavalry reconnoiters in combination with air-craft, 
covers the movements of the army and insures the com- 
munications between separate parts. On the encounter 
of the armies, cavalry must make itself useful against the 
flanks and rear of the enemy, against important railway 
centers, must block the enemy's rear guard and must 
prevent the arrival of enemy reinforcements. 

Air reconnaissance completes cavalry reconnaissance 
when not made impossible by hazy, or unfavorable 
weather. It also gives the general direction to cavalry 
reconnaissance. The principles already developed in 
peace time by study of previous wars on all types of 
reconnaissance, near, distant and battle, have been proved 
sound. The Germans admit, however, that they used 
patrols of inferior strength and that they were too con- 
fident when operating against the Russian cavalry. 

It is stated that the armament with the lance gave their 
patrols great superiority. It is recommended that wire- 
less units be attached to the reconnoitering squadron. 
Patrols should always be well supported by these squad- 



198 MODERN CAVALRY 

rons. The contact squadron must have good fighting 
power in order to break through enemy resistance. 

Many examples are cited of successful screening move- 
ments and this type of cavalry work is considered of in- 
creased value. 

Cavalry is considered of great value as a decisive in- 
tervening force in battle with fire power. It can come 
in swiftly with all parts intact and its effect will be 
decisive. 

The fire power of cavalry must be increased by the 
assignment of a larger proportion of automatics. This, 
not only to make up for the loss in horseflesh (it is stated 
that in Courland in 1916 the squadrons of the 6th Cavalry 
Division could only put from twenty to thirty carbines 
per squadron on the firing line owing to losses in horse- 
flesh), but to make up for the men absent with the led 
horses. Every cavalryman must be more than an average 
good rifleman. 

The Germans recommend the assignment of Jaeger 
battalions to the cavalry division to augment its power. 
They recommend that men dismounted for any cause be 
supplied with bicycles and thus enabled to follow the 
command as a cyclist detachment. They state that this 
was successfully done in the Italian army. 

It is stated that the absence of howitzers and of long 
range field guns with the cavalry was very often felt. 
They recommend that not too many calibres be carried 
with the cavalry division as it tends to confusion in am- 
munition supply and is too cumbersome. 

For the cavalry division they recommend the attach- 
ment of one company of mounted engineers supplied, 
amongst other things, with demolition materials. As al- 
ready remarked, it is considered indispensable to have the 



NOTES ON FOREIGN CAVALRY 199 

reconnoitering squadrons equipped with light wireless sets, 
but the regiments, brigades and divisions should have 
the heavier sets. There should be a signal detachment in 
each regiment to handle this. 

The Germans unite on the efficacy of cyclist units at- 
tached to the cavalry. They state that these were not 
of such great value on the Russian as they were on the 
Western front. They unite on the necessity of increased 
artillery with the cavalry and increased cooperation of 
the two arms. 



In studying the French, Belgian and German cavalries, 
the fact must not be lost sight of that they look upon a 
warfare of position as the most probable form for the 
next war in which they are likely to be engaged. This, 
of course, is based upon the geographical and political 
situation in each case. For this reason the British cavalry 
is a more valuable study for us than the others mentioned. 
It is taking into consideration the necessity of all types of 
warfare on widely separated places on the earth's surface. 
It also considers the warfare of position as the exception 
rather than the rule, 



INDEX 



Abu Shushesh, 30 

administration, 63 

advance guard, 120; resisting 
power of, 121 ; as holding 
force, 120, 121 

advantages, cavalry over in- 
fantry, 108, 109 

aeroplanes, 75 ; lack of con- 
tinuity of observation, 152, 
156; limitations, 152, 157; 
inability to hold ground, 
156; weather conditions 
affecting, 152, 154; see 
"air service" also 

Agesilaus, 27 

air-control, danger of loss of, 
152, 153 

air forces, Turkish, 153; 
Turco-German, 153 

air service and cavalry, 151 
to 159 

air service and cavalry, coop- 
eration, 76, 157, 158 

Aisne, Battle of the, 140 

Alexander the Great, 106 

Allenby, Field Marshal, 3, 8, 
75, 105, 123, 125, 126, 128, 

139, 159 

Alvensleben, Colonel von, 132 
American Civil War, 7 
American theory as to cavalry, 

8 
Am Kohleh, 138 



Amman, 134 

ammunition, carrying of, no; 
check on, 144; column, 
British cavalry division, 
186; supply, 116, 198 

anti-aircraft defense, 87; pos- 
sibilities of, 152, 154 

Anzac Mounted Division, 139 

armament, cavalry, British, 
182 

armament, cavalry, German, 

195 

arme blanche, 94 

Armored Car Battery at El 
Afule, 122 

armored cars, see "cars, ar- 
mored" 

army, British, 60, 125, 126 

army, national characteristics 
expressed by, 32 

army, Russian, 135 

Armies, Turkish 4th, 7th and 
8th, 28, 29, 153 

art of war, 6 

artillery, 75; attack against, 
99, 100, 196; in pursuit, 
131, 132; mounted attack 
with, 98; with British cav- 
alry division, 186 

artillery horse, aids cavalry 
mobility, 79; Belgian, 193, 
194, 195 ; cooperation with, 
76, 77, 78; equipment, 81 ; 



201 



202 



INDEX 



in rear guard and pursuit, 

82 

Ashby, 164 
aspirant, 189 
assembly in case of reverse, 

143 

attack, frontal, 115, 116; 
cavalry object, 94; dis- 
mounted, 196, 197; mount- 
ed against artillery, 196; 
mounted against infantry, 
196; mounted, German 
opinion of, 195, 196; 
mounted, importance of, 
89; mounted, entitled to 
support, 91 ; mounted, 
needs support of artillery, 
80; mounted, moral ef- 
fect, 89, 90, 94, 95, TOO; 
mounted, risk involved, 
99; mounted, against cav- 
alry, 98; mounted, factors 
in, 97; mounted, training 
for, 96; mounted, size of 
units involved, 99, 100; 
mounted in World War, 
101 to 105 ; mounted, see 
"charge" also ; formations, 
dismounted British, 183, 
184; formations, mounted 
British, 183 

Australian Light Horse, 138; 
Third Brigade, 102, 146; 
Fourth Brigade, 102 ; 
Fourth and Twelfth Regi- 
ments, 101, 139 

Australian Mounted Division, 

139 
Australian and New Zealand 

Forces, armament of, 182; 

as mounted infantry, 189 
Australian and New Zealand 



Mounted Division, 128, 
129 

Austro-German offensive 
against Italians in 1917, 

*57. 

automatic weapons, 107, in; 
Belgian cavalry, 193 ; 
French cavalry, 189 ; Ger- 
man cavalry, 198; carry- 
ing of, no, in; see ''ma- 
chine guns" also 

auxiliaries, neutralize each 
other, 75 

Balkan War, 134 
Balck, 139, 195 
Barbwire, 75 
Battle, three phases of, 3 
decided by men, 6, 7 
efficiency, 16 

Bayonet, cavalry need for, 116 
Beersheba, 102, 138, 139 
Belgium, forces at Halen, 146 
German advance through, 

141, 174 

Bernhardi, General von, 54 
Bernstorff, 129 
Bicycles, to replace lost horses, 

109, 198 
Bliicher, 133 
Bobocul, 105 
Boer War, 7, 79, 80 
Boers, 90 
Bredow, yon, 179 
Briggs, First Cavalry Brigade, 

140 

brigade, cavalry, Belgian, 193 
brigades, cavalry, British, 185 
brigades, cavalry, French, 188 
brigadier, French corporal, 188 
British army, see "Army, 

British" 



INDEX 



203 



British cavalry, 7; see also 

"Cavalry, British" 
Buzzer, signalling, 86 

Camouflage, against air obser- 
vation, 152, 155 

Cars, armored, 75, 76, 83; 
armored, with anti-aircraft 
guns, 84 
equipment, 84 
in advance and rear guards, 

83 

in Palestine, 83 

organization, 84 

tactical use of, 85 

with advance guard, 122 
Characteristics, national Amer- 
ican, 33 

Cavalry, advance and retreat, 
108 

advertising, 12 

aids to, 6 

American, lacks advantage 
practice in war, 15 

arm of decision, 13 

as combatant branch, i, 8, 

75 

as escort for artillery, 82 
as offensive troops in battle, 

Association, 12 
Belgian, 192 to 195 
Belgian, armament, 192 
Belgian, combat groups, 192 
Belgian, organization, 192, 

193 
Belgian, tactical principles, 

193, 194 
British, 7, 72, 81, 90, 95, 121, 

126, 182 to 187 
British, armament, 182 
British, organization of, 182 



Cavalry, civilian notion of, 9, 

10 
Colonial, mounted attack' 

formation, 182, 183 
Combat policy for, 15 
Combat training for, 116 
deceiving enemy, 142 
dismounted, attack against, 

99 

dismounting in face of 

enemy, 91 
doctrine, 15 
drill regulations, German, 

79 
education of officers to value 

of, 13 

European, 81 
flanking movements, 108 
French, 72, 81, 128, 134, 187 

to 192 
French, organization, 187, 

188 
French, tactical principles, 

189 to 192 
German, 9, 81, 126, 129, 132, 

133, 134, 195 to 199 
German, armament, 195 
improvement of, 6 
in battle, German opinion 

of, 196 

in combat, 142 to 150 
in 1914, 10 
in defense, 115 
independent, 164 
insures freedom of action, 

in World War, 61 

Japanese, at Sandepu, 115; 

142; before Mukden, 135 
Journal, 12, 75, 105 
less numerically, greater 

strategically, 13 



2O4 



INDEX 



Cavalry, main role of, 75 

man, definition of, 52 

opponents of, 75 

Prussian, 128 

Russian, 9, 105, 134, 197 

School, French, 188 

Serbian, 134 

standards of training, 15 

supplanted in strategical 
reconnaissance, 13 

temporary eclipse, 13 

theatres of war, 10 

training policy, 15 

Turkish, 153 

value in tactical reconnais- 
sance, 13 

vulnerability to air attacks, 

84 

Cerizy, 126, 149 
Character, success in war de- 
pends upon, 159 
Charge, cavalry, 95 ; see "At- 
tack, mounted" ; also fac- 
tors in, 96 

new value of, 97 
Charle-sur-Marne, 123 
Charles XII, 91 
Cherfils, 13 
Chetwode, 149 
Civil War, American, 81, 134, 

139, 149 

Civilian ideas, cavalry work, 
9, 10 

Clauswitz, von, 65 

"coddling" men, 40 

Colonial dismounted attack 
formations, 183, 184 

Colonial mounted attack for- 
mations, 182, 183 

Column, ammunition, British 
cavalry division, 186 

Column, veterinary, mobile, 73 



Combat, mounted ; see "Attack, 
mounted" and "Charge" 

Combat, cavalry in, 142 to 150 

Combat, cavalry training for, 
116 

Commander, patrol, 178 

Commander, position during 
combat, 144 

Commendation, 28 

Communication, air service 
and mobile troops, 158 

Competition, 28; spirit of, 27 

Concealment, effect on air 
service of, 152, 155 

Conde, 91 

confidence, lack of, 61 

cooperation, necessity of, be- 
tween branches, 60 

control of the air, hostile, 152 
to 154 

Corps, Cavalry, Fromel, 141 

Cossacks, 135 
corporals, responsibility, 18 

Cromwell, 96 

Cronje, 130 

crowd, psychology of, 40 

crowd mind, 45 

Cuirassiers, 2nd German, 146 

cyclist units, 199 



Damascus, 102 
Darius, 107 
De Brack, 96 

Dedeagatch, Battle of, 134 
defile, passage through, 148 
de Lisle, 125, 140 
Desert Mounted Corps, 128 
disadvantages, cavalry, 109 
disciplinary drills, 34 
discipline, necessity of Ameri- 
can type of, 33 



INDEX 



205 



discipline, of intelligence, 33 
of habit, 34; danger of too 

much of, 34 
real. 41 

dismounted attack, 197; also 
see "attack, dismounted" 

dispersion, cavalry, 145, 146 

divisions, infantry, 75 
cavalry, 75 

cavalry, basic duty of, 75 
cavalry, marching speed of, 

77 

cavalry, assignment of aux- 
iliaries to, 77 

cavalry, advantages over in- 
fantry division, 136 

cavalry, British proposed, 
184, 185 

cavalry, German Second, 

Sixth and Eighth, 139 
documents, patrol must gather, 

174 

Doyle, Conan, 140 

dragoon principle, 7 

Dragoons, I3th German, at 
Mars-la-Tour, 98 

Dragoons, i6th German, at 
Mars-la-Tour, 99 

Dragoons, 24th Guard Regi- 
ment, German, 105 

Dragoons, I7th and i8th Ger- 
man, 146 

Dragoons, First Guard Regi- 
ment, German, 147 

Dragoons, Fourth Guard, Brit- 
ish, at Solesmes, 135 

dress, effect of, 47 

drill, danger of excessive, 33 

drill, mounted, need of analyz- 
ing value of, 37 

Drill Regulations, Cavalry, 
German, 137 



Eastern front, cavalry on, 9 
Efficiency records, officers, 62, 

63 

Eighth Australian Light Horse 

Regiment, 146 
Eighth Turkish Army, 128 
Eighteenth Cavalry Brigade, 

German, 104 
El Afule, 122 
El Burj, 138 
El Mughar Ridge, 102 
enemy, best time to observe, 

176 

enthusiasm, lieutenant's, devel- 
opment of, 19 

Esdraelon, Plain of, 103, 131 
esprit de corps, 44 
Es Salt, 146 
Es Sir, 126 
example, effect of, 45 



fatigue duty, interference with 

training, 29 
field glasses, use in patrolling, 

174 
Fifteenth Cavalry Brigade, 

103 
Fifteenth Cavalry Brigade 

(Imperial Service), 104 
Fifth Cavalry Brigade, British, 

126, 149 
Fifth Cavalry Division, British, 

charge of, 95 

Fifth Cavalry Division, Ger- 
man, 141 
Fifth Division, British, 1914, 

125 

fire action, 114 
fire action, cavalry, 29, 107 
fire action, cavalry, mounted, 



2O6 



INDEX 



fire power, augmentation of 
cavalry, no 

fire power, cavalry, need of, 
SO* 

fire, volume of, 109 

firing problems, faults in, 117, 
118 

First Army, German, 127, 130, 
141, 174 

First Corps, British, 123, 140, 
149 

First Cavalry Brigade, British, 
140 

First Cavalry Corps, German, 
141 

Fontaine Fauvel, 123 

Forbach, Battle of, 132 

forces, economy of, 167 

formations, patrol, 174 

Fourth Cavalry Division, Brit- 
ish, 130; at Lejjun, 103 

Fourth Cavalry Division, Ger- 
man, 104, 141, 146 

Fourth Turkish Army, 129 

foxhunting, 50 

Franco-Prussian War, 98, 
142 

Frederick the Great, 35, 91 

French, Field Marshal, 3, 4, 
11, 54, 126, 129, 130, 139 

Fretoy, combat at, 105, 147 

Froeschwiller, Battle of, 128 

Frommel, 141 

gallopers, 86 

Gaza, 153 

General Staff, German, 195 

German Cavalry Drill Regula- 
tions, 79 

German Cavalry; see "Cavalry, 
German" 

Germans, 86, 95, 121, 126 



Germans, seize bicycles to aid 

cavalry, 109 

Gettysburg, Battle of, 135 
Goltz, von der, 137 
Gough, 125, 126 
Grenfell, 83, 125 
ground, reporting on, 175 
groups, combat, Belgian cav- 
alry, 192 
guard duty, interference with 

training, 29 
Guards, Brigade of, British, 

140 
Guards, Cavalry Division, 

German, 141 
Guards, First and Second Life, 

British, 138 
Guards, Royal Horse, British, 

138 
Gustavus Adolphus, 91 



Haelen, combat of, 146 

Haifa, 103, 104 

Haig, Field Marshal, 3, 4, 140 

Hampshire Battery, 104 

headquarters, regimental, Brit- 
ish, 185 

Hejaz, 134 

heliograph, 86 

Hindenburg, withdrawal of, in 
1917,. 157 . 

hobbies, individual, 16 

Hood, 134 

horse artillery; see "artillery, 
horse" 

horse, as weapon, 78 

horse, breeding, 12 

Horse, Jacobs, 104 

horse, led; see "led horses" 

horse, cause of losses in cam- 
paign, 7, 73 



INDEX 



207 



horse bowmen, Parthian, 92 

horse, soldier's responsibility 
for, 67 

horse, stimulation of soldier's 
interest in, 67 

horse training, degree of, 67 
scope of, 66 
training for war, 66 

horses, German, cavalry, 195 

horses, losses in German cav- 
alry, 198 

horses, care of, in night opera- 
tions, 180 

horsemanship, practical value 
of, 49; effect on physi- 
cal well being, 50 

Hotchkiss guns, 185 

howitzers, with British cav- 
alry division, 186; with 
German cavalry division, 
198 

Huj, 103 

Hussars, I5th British, 140 

Hussars, i8th British, 125, 

147 

Hussars, I5th and i6th Ger- 
man, 104 

Hussars, 9th Regiment Ger- 
man, 104, 105 

Hussars, loth German, at 
Mars-la-Tour, 99 

Hussars, First German Life 
Guard, 101 

Hussars, Royal Bucks, 102 



imagination, need of, 55 
infantry, mounted, 91, 93 
initiative, abuse of term, 18; 
its relation to training, 18; 
should spring from knowl- 
edge, 51 



inhabitants, attitude of, 164; 
information from, 175 

information, 145 ; negative, 
167, 176; transmission of, 
180, 181 ; valueless unless 
transmitted, 161 

instruction, practical, 64 

interest, effect on memory, 35 ', 
especial value in cavalry 
training, 35 ; means of 
producing in cavalry, 36; 
value of, 35 

interpreter, with patrol, 178 

Irish Horse, The, 140 

Italian Army, bicycles in, 
198 

Jacobs Horse, 104 
Jaegar, 121, 126, 129, 198; bat- 
talions, 7th and 9th, 146 
Jackson, Stonewall, 32, 164 
Jaffa, 138 
Japanese Cavalry at Sandepu, 

H5 

J Battery Royal Horse Artil- 
lery, 149 

Jerusalem, 154 

Jordan, 128, 130 

Judea, 129 

Kaukab, 101 

Kauwukah, 138 

Kluck, General von, 4, 5, 86, 

126, 130, 134, 174 
Kumanovo, Battle of, 134 

Ladmirault, General, 173 
lance, German, 195, 196 
lance, the, 197 
Lancers, I2th, 149 
Lancers, i8th, 103 
Lancers, 2nd, at Lejjun, 103 



208 



INDEX 



Lancers, Jodhpur Regiment, 

103 
Lancers, Mysore Regiment, 

104 

Lancers, 29th, 104 
Lancers, 20th, at El Afule, 

122 

Lancers, 9th, 83, 125, 147 
Langlois, 60, 78 
leaders, importance in cavalry 

of, 52 

leaders, necessity of, 14 
leaders, qualities necessary, 14 
leadership, definition of, 57; 

test of, 20 
led horses, 109, 112, 113, 116, 

117, 118; attack of, 99; 

British handling of, in 

Palestine, 184; cover for, 

T " 45 

Lejjun, 103 

lieutenant, responsibility, 18 

Lille, 105 

localities, attack of, 148 

loyalty, cultivation of, 40; 

necessity for, 39 
Ludendorff, General von, 4, 6 
Lys River, 4 

MacMahon, 128, 179 

machine guns, British cavalry 
division, 187; in mounted 
attack, 98; machine guns, 
75; also see "automatic 
weapons" 

Makt Abu Naj, 104 

Makt Fathallah, 104 

major, opportunities for con> 
mand, 24 

major, cavalry, French, 188 

maps, 175, 180 

Manchuria, 135 



march outposts, 163 

marechal des logis, 188 

Marne, Battle of the, 5, 123, 
126, 131, 139, 147 

Mars-la-Tour, Battle of, 98 

Marwitz, von, 5, 127, 130, 141 

Megiddo, 130 

melee, the, 98 

memory, effect of interest on 
soldiers', 35 

Mesopotamia, 9, 159 

messages, coded, 86 

messengers, 177 

Mexican border, 10, 61 

Militdr lYochenblatt, g 

mission, patrol, 176 

mission, reconnoitering, neces- 
sary to define, 164 

Mischenko, 135 

mobile reserve, 108, 136 

mobility, loss of, 76, impor- 
tance of, 106, 147, 148; 
taking advantage of, 113, 
114 

Modder, 130 

Moltke, von, 54 

Mons, Battle of, 5, 125 

morale, effect of, 31 ; German, 
31 ; in peace, necessity for, 
31 ; constituents of, 31 ; 
enemy, inability of aero- 
plane to judge of, 151, 154 

motor cycles, with advance 
guard, 122; with cavalry, 

85 

Mount Carmel, 103, 104 

mounted attack ; see "attack, 
mounted," and "charge" 

mounted infantry; see "infan- 
try, mounted" 

mounted reserve, 115; see also 
"mobile reserve" 



INDEX 



209 



movements, visibility of, 175 
Mukden, Battle of, 129, 135, 

142 
Murat, 73 

Nansouty, 73 

Napoleon, 31, 108, 120, 160 

Nazareth, 103 

newspaper, report of cavalry 
operations, 9, 10 

night operations, and aircraft, 
I S 2 ^ 1 SS I reconnaissance, 
179, 180 

Ninth Australian Light Horse 
Brigade, 146 

Ninth Cavalry Division, Ger- 
man, 141 

non-commissioned officers; see 
also "officers, non-commis- 
sioned" ; French, 188, 189; 
importance of, 18; coop- 
eration with, importance 
of, 46; British, 57; selec- 
tion of, 20; responsibility, 
20; as trainers of indi- 
viduals, 20 

Northern Corps, N i e m a n 
Army, German, 139 

Novikov, Russian Cavalry Di- 
vision of, 142 

obedience, 57; reasons for 
failure in, 58 

offensive, value of, 88, 95 ; 
German, March, 1918, 6 

officers, cavalry, definition of, 
52; as group leaders, 20; 
cavalry, American, 88 ; 
combat, development of 
responsibility, 18; efficiency 
records of, 62; see also 
efficiency records, officers; 



junior, training of, 26; 
junior, training for higher 
command, 27; keeping fit, 
51 ; keeping mentally fit, 
51 ; necessity of tactical 
training for, 51, 53; must 
know individual soldier, 
42; need of specialization, 
57; National Guard and 
Reserve, 12; Reserve, 
training of, 26; tactical 
training tests in, 53; re- 
sponsibility towards men 
of, 42; gating of, based on 
unit, 64 

officers, non-commissioned, im- 
portance of, 19; selection 
of, 20; as trainers of indi- 
viduals, 20; training of, 
26; duties not to be 
usurped, 56 ; increasing 
prestige of, 20; see also 
"non-commissioned offi- 
cers" 

open warfare, value of, 9 
Orchies, 105 

organization, principles of, 56 
outer lines, advantage of, 99 
Oyama, Field Marshal, 129 



Palestine, 9, 80, 90, 97, 101, 122, 
126, 128, 129, 130, 133, 138, 
139, 152, 154, 159, 182 

paper chases, 50 

Papen, von, 129 

Parker, General, 89 

patrol leader, action before 
start of, 172, 178, 179; 
pointers for, 173 to 179; 
knowledge required, 172, 
178 



2IO 



INDEX 



patrolling, by successive loops, 
165, 166 

patrols, outpost, 164; strength 
of, 177; when to fight, 179 

Pelet-Narbonne, von, 135 

Peninsular Campaign, 98 

Pershing, General, 4, 5 

perspective, necessity of 
proper, 30 

physical training, 46 

pigeons, 86 

pistol, as an American weapon, 
92, 93; as a shock weapon, 
93; and sabre, compared, 
92, 101 

platoon, cavalry, Belgian, 192, 
193; cavalry, French, 187 

policy, combat for cavalry, 15; 
training, for cavalry, 15 

polo, 50 

position warfare, 199; impor- 
tance in future wars, 2 

prisoners, aid to information 
of, 162, 163; inability of 
aeroplane to take, 152, 
155 ; rendering harmless, 
177 

private, developing sense of 
responsibility in, 27; sol- 
dier, means of advance- 
ment, 20 

problems, firing for cavalry, 
117 

Provisional Cavalry Squadron, 
American Forces in Ger- 
many, no 

psychology, 37 

punishing power, misuse of, 40 

pursuit, 127 to 133 ; by fire, 
132; danger of reckless, 
132; magnifying number^ 
in, 132 



raids, 133 to 135 

railroads, 133 

rallying, 96 

Ramleh, 130, 153 

rating cards, for individual 
training, 23 

rear-guards, 124 to 126 

reconnaissence, 151 to 181 ; ad- 
vance guard, 165, 166; 
avoiding duplication in, 
168; air, 197; independent, 
163 ; contact, 163 ; prelim- 
inary to charge, 98; 
protective, 163; protective, 
distances in, 163, 164; of 
retreating force, 166 ; 
strategical, sphere of air 
service, 157, 158; tactical, 
sphere of cavalry, 157, 158 

recruits, system of receiving, 

25 

Rederns Brigade, 1870, 146 
regiment, cavalry, Belgian, 
193 ; cavalry, American, 
not tactical entity, 16; 
cavalry, British, 185, 186; 
cavalry, French, 188; cav- 
alry, American, readiness 
for war, 24, 25 ; cavalry, 
American, loss of officers 
and non-commissioned offi- 
cers, 26; cavalry, Ameri- 
can, training scheme, 

25 

remounts, system or receiving, 
30; service, Palestine cam- 
paign, 73 

Rennenkampf, 135 

rencontre, 176 

reports, 173, I74> 177, 181 ; 
newspaper, of cavalry op- 
erations, 9, 10 



INDEX 



211 



reserve, mobile; see also "mo- 
bile reserve"; 108 

reservists, lack of trained, in 
American cavalry, 25 

resisting power, advance guard, 
121 

riding, cross country, 50 

rifle, influence on cavalry tac- 
tics, 7 

Richthofen, von, 141 

Rimington, 14, 19 

Royal Horse Artillery, J Bat- 
tery, 149 

Roye, 134 

Rumania, 105; operations in, 

9 

Rupert, Prince, 96 
Russian campaign, Napoleon's, 

7.3 
Russian cavalry, 9, 105, 134, 

197 

Russo-Japanese War, 129, 150; 
cavalry in, 195 

sabre, advantage of, in ren- 
contre, 95 ; experience of 
Australian forces with, 94; 
German opinion of, 195; 
improper training in, 93; 
need of better American, 

94 

Sadowa, Battle of, 128 
Saloniki, 134 
Saumur, French Cavalry 

School at, 188 
Sandepu, Japanese cavalry at, 

142 

Saulchery, 143 
San Quentin, 126, 134 
Scharnhorst, 16 
Schmid, von, General, 35 
Scots Greys, 149 



scout, qualities necessary to, 
168; subjects trained in, 
168 to 172 

scouting, night operations, 169 

screen, cavalry. 140, 141, 166, 
167 

season habit, in American cav- 
alry training, 25 

Second Cavalry Brigade, Brit- 
ish, 125, 140, 147 

Second Cavalry Corps, Ger- 
man, 141 

Second Cavalry Division, Ger- 
man, 141, 146 

Second Corps, British, 1914, 
138, 139, 140 

Second German Army, 130, 141 

Second Light Horse Brigade, 
126, 133, 134 

section, Belgian cavalry, 192; 
too few men for, 29; 
leader, importance of, 29 

security, 114, 121 

self-respect, 41 

sergeant, responsibility of, 18 

Seventh Army, Turkish, 128, 
129 

Seventh Brigade, British, in 

I9H, 139 

Seventh Cavalry Brigade, Brit- 
ish, 138 

Seventh Cavalry Division, 
French, 179 

Seventh Division, British, 138 

Seventh Mounted Brigade, 
British, 139 

Seventy-fourth Infantry Di- 
vision, 138 

Shellal, 138 

Shenandoah Valley, 91 

Sheridan, 91, 140 

Sherman, 135 



212 



INDEX 



Siberia, 10 

signals, for patrols, 174; with 
advance guard, 123 

signal service, 85, 86 

soldier, as individual, 22; cav- 
alry, requirements, proper 
training of, 21 ; American, 
points of superiority, 36; 
practical nature, 37; stand- 
ards, 41 ; lack of uni- 
formity in training, 22; 
cavalry, developing self- 
reliance of, 27; see also 
"private soldier" 

Solesmes, 125 

Sordet, 139 

South African War, 130; see 
"Boer War" also 

speed, essential in training, 28, 

US 

sports, mounted, their impor- 
tance, 49 

squad, cavalry, French, 187; 
too few men for training 
in, 29 

squad-leader, 119 

squadron, the importance of 
the, 23; cavalry, British, 
185 ; cavalry, French, 
187 

squadron commander, as ad- 
viser, 19 

standardization of training, 17, 
18 

standards, training for cav- 
alry, 15 

Stuart, "Jeb," 135, 148 

stubbornness, danger of, 150 

study, value of, 54 

suggestion, use of, 44 

surprise, fullest effect from, 
148 



surprises, in World War, in 
spite of air service, 156, 
157 

sword; see "sabre" 

sympathy, necessity of, 43 

Syria, 9, 159 

tactics, cavalry with horse ar- 
tillery, 81 

tanks, 75, 86, 87 

tanks, whippet, 67 

target, furnished by dismount- 
ed man, 89 

target, furnished by mounted 
man, 90 

Tarnakova, Battle of, 142 

teaching, officer must have 
ability in, 59 

teamwork, application to train- 
ing of, 38 

Tenth Australian Light Horse 
Regiment, 146 

tests for training, 16 

tests of officers, 62 

Third Cavalry Brigade, Brit- 
ish, 125, 126 

Third Division, British, at 
Solesmes, 125 

training, standardization of, 
17; weekly compared to 
seasonal, 26 ; individual, 
rating cards for, 23 ; indi- 
vidual proficiency, ^3 

trains, 143 

transportation, modern means, 
ii 

troop, importance of, as unit, 
23; cavalry, British, 186; 
disciplinary standing of, 
tests for, 63 ; duty, increas- 
ing prestige 'of, 64 ; train- 
ing, tests for, 63 



INDEX 



213 



troop commander, 19, 21 
trucks, caterpillar^ 77 
Turco-German air forces, 153 
Turenne, 91 
Turkish Armies, 7th and 8th, 

128, 153 
Turks, 103 

Uhlans, 95 

Uhlans, Bavarian Brigade near 
La Garde, 101 

Uhlans, First Guard Regi- 
ment, 101 

Uhlans, Third Guard Regi- 
ment, 101 

Uhlans, Ninth Regiment at 
Haelen, 146 

value, battle, of cavalry, 159 
Verdun, surprise attack 

against, 1916, 157 
Villers Faucon, 95 
volunteer system, evils of, 25 

Wadi Jamus, 102 

War, Civil, American, 81, 134, 

139, 149 

war efficiency, main object, 28 
war, main issue for army, 65 
War, South African, 60, 72, 

90, 130; see also "Boer 

War" 
warfare, position, 199 



warfare, trench, disregarded 

in future plans British 

cavalry, 185 
Wellington, 98, 167 
Western front, cavalry on, 9, 

129; type of warfare on, 

ii 

Wheeler, 134 
wireless sets, 197, 199 
wireless with cavalry, 86 
Wood, Field Marshal Sir 

Evelyn, 54 
work, and results, difference 

between, 58 

work, mechanical, evils of, 59 
Worth, Battle of, 145 

Xenophon, 27 

Yeomanry, British, armament, 
182 ; dismounted attack 
formations, 183, 184; or- 
ganization and attack for- 
mations, 182, 183 
Yeomanry Division, 138 
Yeomanry, Dorset, 102 
Yeomanry, Middlesex, 104 
Yeomanry, Warwick and 

Worcester, 102, 103 
Ypres, Battle of, 5, 136, 138 

Zones, reconnaissance, 161, 162 
Zulu, 92 



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