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Any improvement in performance vs machinegun fire?

 

These horses are intended for long marches, not cavalry charges with raised swords. ;)

 

 

IIRC US units used horses in Afghanistan for reconnaissance troops, too. Not as obvious as cars or helicopters. And better than walking.

Edited by Panzermann
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Anyway, nice to see, but I think they could afford to look a little more ceremonial. Not much point wearing camouflage sat on the back of an animal that defies all attempts at it.

 

You could always leave some of the men behind with the horses and send a section forward to take a peek when you have to be extra sneaky.

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Having seen the fodder requirements for horse units in WWI and II, they would rapidly lose value in large quantities and in places where natural food sources are not abundant.

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There are modern feeds, cubes that can replace foddler and they are allot less bulking than anything we had avaible 70 + years ago but the horse needs to have allot of water when those are fed. Horses can go in places that no vechiles can go.

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Somewhere I have a book from a vet who served on M48's in Vietnam recounting different tank battles from different wars. At the end of the book he makes an argument for the reintroduction of horses. I wish I could remember his name. He also wrote a separate book recounting his experiences as a M48 crewman in Vietnam.

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The author is Ralph Zumbro and the book your thinking of is Iron Cavalry, the one where he recounting his time in Vetnam is Tank Sergant, he wrote a third book about US tankers Tank Aces, Here is an old topic about that him. http://www.tank-net.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=13341
I personally wonder how pactical that idea of bringing back horse cavalry would be for certain situations.

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The author is Ralph Zumbro and the book your thinking of is Iron Cavalry, the one where he recounting his time in Vetnam is Tank Sergant, he wrote a third book about US tankers Tank Aces, Here is an old topic about that him. http://www.tank-net.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=13341

I personally wonder how pactical that idea of bringing back horse cavalry would be for certain situations.

 

Thank you, I had the name on the tip of my tongue. I will have to look into his Tank Aces book. Have not read it.

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I saw a documentary about the Austrian army last horse regiment. They have some local breed of short legged horses use for the alpin corps. Apparently, it's either horse, man or helicopter if you want to carry heavy weights on difficult terrain. They had light artillery, mortars, recoilles weapons as standard load and each horse could carry 80kg ( or was it 2x80 loads, can't remember ).

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Not cavalry

 

Dragoons!! : mounted infantry (aka light horse).

 

Whilst not much use in Europe post 1914 (Russian recon / Cossacks in the east excepted of course) played a major role in the ME 1916-1917.

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I saw a documentary about the Austrian army last horse regiment. They have some local breed of short legged horses use for the alpin corps. Apparently, it's either horse, man or helicopter if you want to carry heavy weights on difficult terrain. They had light artillery, mortars, recoilles weapons as standard load and each horse could carry 80kg ( or was it 2x80 loads, can't remember ).

 

 

The horses used by the Austrians are a quite peculiar breed. Looking almost more like a very big pony than a big horse. They’ve been specially bred for mountain warfare by the then Austrian-Hungarian army during the 19th century. The local farmers in the mountainous areas originally acted as caretakers and in return could use the horse as work animal in peacetime, on the condition that they provide them to the army during war. Despite their small size they’re quite robust. From what I’ve been told, the short legs (and low centre of gravity) are actually an advantage in rocky mountain territory.

 

As a rule of thumb each horse can carry a load of 100 – 150kg over a distance of ~50km per day. The speed is similar to the walking handler in mountainous areas (~4km/h) or about 12 km/h if the handler is riding as well while leading some other animals carrying loads. I’ve been told they are even quite decent swimmers (never witnessed that though).

 

 

 

 

The Haflinger is capable to walk with a full load pretty much wherever his handler can walk upright (steps as high as 40 cm, gradients of 40%).

 

My information is about 5 yrs old but back then the Austrian Army still used about 30 horses in a central training centre attached to their mountain infantry brigade (working out as ~10/battalion, 3/infantry company or 1/platoon – allocation of course varies depending on needs and strategy). On top of it there about as many again for training. (young horses being trained by experienced handlers and vice-versa :) ).

 

From a tactical point of view they can walk in terrain that is inaccessible to pretty much any vehicle and under conditions that make helicopter flights difficult in the mountains (strong winds, at night, otherwise bad weather). They are also much more “discreet” than vehicles or helicopters. An additional advantage is the fact that they are quite frugal animals that can survive for quite a while without resupply (water and some grass is usually available in the alps). Compared to cars this makes logistics much easier. It is less of an issue today but was definitely a factor in the kind of guerilla type warfare the Austrian army used to prepare for during the cold war.

 

From my own observation I can say that even a single horse attached to a platoon can be a quite a boost to their effectiveness. It allows to carry heavy infantry weapons in areas where this would otherwise be impossible or slow down the troops substantially (you are only as fast as your slowest/heaviest carrying man) or improve your supply situation substantially (100kg of extra food, ammo, etc.). In inhospitable regions that can go a long way to tilt the fight in your favour. It is amazing what a difference an additional M2 (or thousands of rounds of additional ammo) makes to the fire-power of a platoon or a mortar squad to that of a company engaging other light infantry (and not much else gets up there).

Edited by Ferret
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In the winter of 1944/45, 4th Princess Louise Dragoon Guards, the div recce regiment for 1st Canadian Infantry Division in Italy, were re-rolled as infantry while things were stalemated. Being cavalry pre-war, they decided to mount a squadron on horses and did it until they went back to their carriers and armoured cars.

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Monument honors U.S. 'horse soldiers' who invaded Afghanistan

http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/06/us/afghanistan-horse-soldiers-memorial/

 

 

That dude is about as hard as woodpecker lips:

 

That almost happened to Jung. When his horse slid backward, he jumped off, and the horse landed on him.

"It was the first week. Winded up breaking my back," Jung says quietly.

The sculptor's eyes are wide; his hand rubs his chin. "So, you rode the rest of the mission with a broken back?" Blumberg asks.

"Correct," Jung answers, "Two shots of morphine to relieve the pain, and get back on the horse. I would not allow myself to be the weak link. It's not in my nature, and it's not in any Green Beret's nature."

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Seriously though, how do you camouflage a horse? I wonder if that cameleon skin the British MOD was working on might prove practical?

 

 

 

 

 

How do you camouflage a truck or a tank? You can make a horse lay down. Can you make a tank lay down?

 

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As I recall, Soviet partisans made use of horses for mobile operations in the German rear (apologies for the turn of phrase) throughout WWII. I suspect they used them as mounted infantry rather than as cavalry though. Seems like for some wars, where climbing mountains or traversing large areas of poorly defended territory are part and parcel of the task at hand, horses might be quite handy to have around.

This whole threat reminds me a bit of the armoured train thread... i.e. they might have some (albeit limited) uses but you wouldn't want to take them into combat. Also, both were used pretty intensively during the Russian civil war.

Edited by ink
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