Cavalry, 1500-1945

Murray, Williamson
January 1996
Reader's Companion to Military History;1996, p75
Book Chapter
The article provides information on the development of the cavalry from 1500 to 1945. Despite the warning that English longbows and Swiss infantry had conveyed by their victories over aristocratic armies in the late Middle Ages, the armored man on his horse remained the idealized hero of Europe's upper classes right up to the beginning of the twentieth century. However, this great period of Western military development saw the marginalization of cavalry, as infantry and artillery came to play dominant roles on the battlefield. Something along the same lines occurred in Asia as the great threat of steppe horsemen to both China and India began to dissipate in the eighteenth century. The Mughal conquest of most of northern and central India in the sixteenth century had rested largely on the cavalry of the emperors, but by the early eighteenth century the empire's political structure had collapsed. Horse units were still important enough in the duke of Marlborough's time for that commander to lead them into battle and, at Blenheim in 1704, to separate the French right wing from its main body and win one of the greatest military victories in European military history. In the end, only the traditions of the cavalry have survived in the armored cavalry regiments and scouting forces of modern mechanized armies.


Related Articles

  • Editor's Note. Vandervort, Bruce // Journal of Military History;Jan2007, Vol. 71 Issue 1, p35 

    The author discusses a variety of issues concerning the military history in the U.S. He mentions the contributions of Alexander Bielakowski as a soldier in the U.S. Cavalry. He provide an overview of Stephen Badsey's article on the British cavalry leaders that were rescued during the Second Boer...

  • Infantry. Doughty, Robert A. // Reader's Companion to Military History;1996, p218 

    Since the first human beings fought in prehistoric times, the infantry has engaged in close combat with opponents. Though many aspects of the infantry have changed, its offensive missions of closing with and destroying the enemy and seizing and holding terrain and its defensive mission of...

  • Scapegoat Arm: Twentieth-Century Cavalry in Anglophone Historiography. Phillips, Gervase // Journal of Military History;Jan2007, Vol. 71 Issue 1, p37 

    The cavalry has not been treated kindly by military historians. Portrayed as an anachronism on the twentieth-century battlefield, the arm became a convenient scapegoat for failures in war and the slow pace of modernisation in peacetime. This article traces the debate over cavalry over the course...

  • What the Rough Riders lacked in military discipline, they... Pierson, David S. // Military History;Jun98, Vol. 15 Issue 2, p10 

    Presents information on the 1st United States (US) Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, publicly known as the Rough Riders, during the Spanish-American War in 1898. Information on Colonel Leonard Wood, the troop's regimental commander; Weapons used by the regiment; Characteristics and description of the...

  • MacArthur Unleashes 1st Cavalry on Manila. Bolger, Daniel P. // Army Magazine;Feb2015, Vol. 65 Issue 2, p59 

    The article discusses on the arrival of 1st Cavalry Division on the beaches of Lingayen Gulf in Pangasinan, Philippines on January 29, 1945. Topics include reorganization of the division as Infantry for World War II by U.S. General Douglas MacArthur, the orders of MacArthur to the 1st Cav to...

  • Hussars. Parker, Geoffrey // Reader's Companion to Military History;1996, p215 

    The first hussars served as light cavalry in Hungarian armies from the later fifteenth century, specializing in raids and irregular operations. After the failure of a revolt against Hapsburg rule in 1681, many Hungarians took service in the armies of other states, and from 1692 hussar light...


    The article presents information related to the final modular force design developed for the army which includes unit designations that preserve the historic lineages of many of its active component regiments and divisions. The army had used some terms like unit of employment and unit of action...

  • THE LORDS OF THE ATLAS SUBMIT. Price, G. Ward // Saturday Evening Post;11/10/1934, Vol. 207 Issue 19, p8 

    Traces the history of the French Foreign Legion. Popularity of the Legion in the U.S. and Great Britain; Founder of the Legion; Members of the Legion; Military operations of the Legion; Goals of the Legion.

  • THE AMERICAN HOPLITE. Warnock, Jr., Michael T. // Infantry;Nov/Dec2008, Vol. 97 Issue 6, p43 

    The article examines the similarities that exist between the hoplite of ancient Greece and the modern U.S. Infantry soldier. It says that geography, culture and more than 2,000 years of history separate the Greek hoplite and U.S. Infantry soldier, and they are said to represent the alpha and...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics