Friday, April 18, 2008

Definition Of Cavalry

Cavalry were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback in combat. The designation was not usually extended to any military force that used other animals, such as camels or mules. Infantry who moved on horseback but dismounted to fight on foot were in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries known as dragoons, a class of mounted troops which later evolved into cavalry proper while retaining their historic title.

Reenactor showing Roman military cavalry

From earliest times cavalry had the advantage of improved mobility, an "instrument which multiplied the fighting value of even the smallest forces, allowing them to outflank and avoid, to surprise and overpower, to retreat and escape according to the requirements of the moment." A man fighting from horseback also had the advantages of greater height, speed, and inertial mass over an opponent on foot.

Heavy cavalry

In modern armies, the term cavalry is often used for units that fill the traditional horse-borne light cavalry roles of scouting, screening, skirmishing and raiding. The shock role, traditionally filled by heavy cavalry, is generally filled by units with the "armored" designation.

Polish 66 Airforce Squadron of 25th Aeromobile Cavalry Brigade

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