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"Medium Cav" Topic

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Comments or corrections?

gamer120 Apr 2017 9:49 a.m. PST

Some how I was under the impression that there were units that were considered medium cav. But, as I continue to do more reading it seems there was only heavy and light?
Is this correct or am I missing something? Thanks.

keithbarker20 Apr 2017 10:00 a.m. PST

Some people class French dragoons as medium cavalry while cuirassiers are heavy and hussars/chasseurs a cheval are light. Others class dragoons as heavy. It really depends on your point of view and why you are asking!

acatcalledelvis20 Apr 2017 10:05 a.m. PST

And also the theatre – in Spain the French Dragoon would be considered heavy if used in the battle line as nothing 'heavier' was committed to Spain by the French – in central Europe your average Dragoon regiment would be considered medium.

And then you have the British and their designations…….

Pattus Magnus Inactive Member20 Apr 2017 10:11 a.m. PST

I'm no expert, but my understanding is that the "medium" category corresponds with units like French dragoons that were jacks-of-all trades. They seemed to have heavier horses than the light cavalry (hussars, chasseurs, light dragons), and perhaps a bit more weight in combat, but weren't specialized for close-order shock in the way the cuirasseurs and heavy dragoons were.

Others on the forum will be able to provide more details.

Rod MacArthur20 Apr 2017 10:46 a.m. PST

As far as I am aware, all nations contemporary definitions were as Heavy or Light Cavalry. The Medium Cavalry category is a modern definition, used by some historians and wargamers. It may be an accurate description of their role, but use of the term Medium Cavalry is not supported by Napoleonic era original sources.


acatcalledelvis20 Apr 2017 10:50 a.m. PST

The term isn't just a descriptor of the physical characteristic of the unit – but also of the tactical use on the battlefield – and therefore there are many examples of overlaps by units depending on the context used.

gamer120 Apr 2017 11:10 a.m. PST

Thanks guys, your comments explain why I was getting different info and all are good points.

RudyNelson20 Apr 2017 4:29 p.m. PST

Medium cavalry was an old term, i first saw in the Empire miniature rules. Many rule designers used the class as a matter of function/duty rather than horse size.

Function in some armies saw the medium rated cavalry performing both reaction charge (battle Cav) and scouting/screening duties (Light).

The term is not even used in some rules where battle and Screen functions are highlighted.

traveller20 Apr 2017 11:33 p.m. PST

What rules sets have medium cavalry? I only know of a local set of rules that had all dragoons except British listed as medium. I have not come across any other rules that list medium cavalry.

rmaker21 Apr 2017 9:31 a.m. PST

The Medium Cavalry classification is a post-Napoleonic distinction. By the 1850's, the French Army was classifying Dragoons and Lancers as Mediums, Hussars and Chasseurs as Light, and Cuirassiers as Heavy, based on the regulation size of the horses.

It is interesting that, during the Napoleonic Era, the Prussians classed Dragoons as Light Cavalry.

Scharnachthal Inactive Member21 Apr 2017 10:11 a.m. PST

"Medium cavalry": subject was discussed here only recently:

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