Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Mounted Cavalry

Discussion in 'Other Weapons' started by justdags, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. justdags

    justdags Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    1
    Besides the actions of the Us calvery in the PI and the polish and russian actions did the horse play any signifigant role in the conflict? I am wonder as I am very into the equine world as well as the world of history
     
    Gen.grant likes this.
  2. Gen.grant

    Gen.grant Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Germeny used around 2.75 million horses more than it had used in World War I and One German infantry division in Normandy in 1944 had 5,000 horses with them on june 6th other than that i cant help you sorry.
     
  3. Wolfy

    Wolfy Ace

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,900
    Likes Received:
    90
    Horses played a major role in the German and Soviet Armies. On the eve of Operation Barbarrossa, only 1/3rd of German divisions were motorized. The other 2/3rds had their equipment and supplies hauled into Russia by horses complemented by a small motor vehicle element.

    As the war went on, the Germans got more and more dependent on horses.

    Does anybody know if the Soviets used more horses than the Germans?
     
  4. razin

    razin Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    83
    Have a look at JCFalkenbergIIIs thread high tech German Military
     
  5. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,237
    Location:
    Michigan
    There's also a thread on horses in the Wehrmacht over on the axis history forum. I believe the Italians conducted at least one mounted charge on the Eastern front. Horses definitely played an important part in WWII but mounted cavalry not so much.
     
  6. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,599
    Likes Received:
    230
    And don't forget to check his thread on Russian cavalry tactics under War in Russia.
    The most famous example of Russian cavalry in action would be Belov's daring raid during the Battle of Stalingrad, in which General Belov led a mixed Cavalry-Mechanized Group in a deep attack against the Germans, got cut off and fought surrounded behind German lines for five months before being relieved.

    The Russians used their cavalry not as a second-rate substitute for the lack of motorized forces but a unique formation that gives them the ability to maintain mobility in rough, untankable terrain. The cavalry fought dismounted, riding their horses only during long marches. The cavalry corps, though smaller in the number of men than a rifle division, was well endowed in firepower disproportionate in spite of its small size. In action, it was augmented by mortars, Katyusha rocket launchers and heavy guns towed by motorized vehicles and T-34 tanks.

    Russian cavalry continued to play a prominent role throughout the war, especially in the swampy, heavily wooded terrain of Belorus and Ukraine. The Germans too created a few cavalry divisions and other smaller sized units, including at least one SS Cavalry Brigade, to operate in places like the Pripet Marshes.
     
  7. Wolfy

    Wolfy Ace

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,900
    Likes Received:
    90
    I assume that the horse Calvary divisions were an "elite" troop then?

    I didn't know that the SS Flogen (?) Geyer division was made out of picked troops since this formation, under Hermann Fegelein, spent much of its time massacring civilians..
     
  8. razin

    razin Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    83
    I can't see where anyone said that? especially with regard to SS units. Floyen Geyer was a cavalry unit and like LAH Das Reich and Totenkopf had a very dubious war record.
     
  9. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2000
    Messages:
    8,386
    Likes Received:
    887
    Location:
    Jefferson, OH
    The Florian Geyer was made up of 40% Volksdeutsche from Siebenbürgen and Banat. The Training and Replacement Battalion of the 8th SS Cavalry Division was involved in suppressing the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The Division saw action on the Eastern Front in areas such as Bryansk and Vyasma, amongst others. It also saw action in the Balkans, and finally in Budapest, Hungary where it was destroyed by the Red Army.
     
  10. Wolfy

    Wolfy Ace

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,900
    Likes Received:
    90
    Nobody said that, but for a Calvary unit, I would suspect that the men were picked troops.

    The 1st/2nd/3rd SS seemed to have fought very well in the defense although they were less successful in offensive actions compared to their army colleagues.
     
  11. Totenkopf

    Totenkopf אוּרִיאֵל

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,460
    Likes Received:
    89
    Cavalry divisions were no more then a replacement for motorized troops. They were infantry that were trained to ride a horse to ride onto front lines and dismount then resume fighting as a ground pounder.

    I still laugh at the Polish cavalry wielding sabers that attacked German Panzers at the suburbs of Warsaw.
     
  12. razin

    razin Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    83
    Sorry if I picked that up the wrong way,

    By WW2 Cavalry was effectively what the Mounted horse had been in the past, in effect a mobile form of infantry, they were not true cavalry as they would not be expected to fight on horseback, but in 1939 many people outside major cities were familiar with horses, and were not elite cavalry in the way of the household Divison or French Chasseurs or the Krechowiecki Lancers.
    I would imagine that The SS cavalry division were such units, However the Russian Cavalry still seemed to be true cavalry -with sabres as well as carbines! however laughable that might be!- Crim and Chechinan raised Cossak cavalry fought on the German side but I am unclear whether they fought as true cavalry or as mounted foot or both.

    .

    When I said dubious War record that was not their ablity to fight (although F. G. had a poor reputation in fighting), it was the other aspects of their war record that I find questionable.

    Steve
     
  13. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,237
    Location:
    Michigan
    If this is the incident I remember reading about that's quite a ways off from what happened. The account I read had the Polish cavalry catching a German infantry unit in road march formation and chopping it up pretty badly when some German armor appeared. The cavalry then retreated.
     
  14. Wolfy

    Wolfy Ace

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,900
    Likes Received:
    90
    The prime weakness of the poles in 1939 were their lightly armed infantry divisions.
    They had a big firepower inferiority compared to German infantry divisions and they were subsequently chewed up by German mortars and artillery.


    Their logistics were poor due to very little motorization and fewer horsetrains compared to the Germans. Polish workhorse artillery pieces were also low in caliber (mostly 75mm) and suffered from lack of ammunition due to their slow supplies. Heavy weapons were also lacking.

    The fighting in Poland was not so much dominated by the Panzer divisions (which were at their infancy at the start of the campaign) like the battles in France 1940. Poland was mainly a footslogger affair.
     
  15. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,599
    Likes Received:
    230
    This is untrue. Cavalry units can go where motorized units cannot. The vast marshlands in Belarus for example is impassible by panzer or motorized infantry elements.

    German propaganda. It is as lwd described: The Pole cavalry, riding mounted, found a German infantry on road march and charged them, cutting the unformed infantry to pieces, and then they were surprised by the sudden appearance of panzers and were cut down themselves. By doctrine, Pole cavalry fight dismounted as dragoons. One thing that people keep forgetting was that the Poles actually had a superb army for the wrong war.
     
  16. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    13,892
    Likes Received:
    2,349
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I posted this in another forum, but it sounds gallant, so here it is again.

     
  17. Totenkopf

    Totenkopf אוּרִיאֵל

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,460
    Likes Received:
    89
    Well of coarse there is that, that is a givin. I just meant in the sense that it was an easy way for primitive "motorization".


    What I said derived from my book which was a history of the SS Pre-war to the end, and it said that SS panzers on the near warsaw were attacked by Polish cavalry wielding sabers. Not propaganda, written fact.
     
  18. Wolfy

    Wolfy Ace

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,900
    Likes Received:
    90
    I don't think the SS had tanks in Poland. They were still merely motorized elite infantry regiments (possibly with STUG support) in 1939.

    They were only reorganized as Panzergrenadier divisions in the early stage of the Russian campaign.
     
    Triple C and PzJgr like this.
  19. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2000
    Messages:
    8,386
    Likes Received:
    887
    Location:
    Jefferson, OH
    Correct, minus the Stug. The three Waffen SS units were not even full fledged divisions but only regiments attached to the Heere divisions during the invasion of Poland and France.
     
  20. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,599
    Likes Received:
    230
    You know what they say about the man of one book. :rolleyes: If it's printed rubbish, it is still trash.

    http://www.pacim.org/polam/april2008.htm

     
    DocCasualty likes this.

Share This Page