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"The Last Cavalry Charge in History? " Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2017 12:43 p.m. PST

"…To the best of Beachcombing's knowledge and he has six books open before him on the table the Warsaw Cavalry Brigade took part in the last cavalry charge in history. But he can't quite believe this. Was there not, somewhere in one of the Colonial Wars, another cavalry charge in the 1960s or 1970s? A few colonials in Rhodesia, some gung ho improvising French paras in Vietnam? He waits with bated breath to know more…"
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Kevin C Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2017 1:06 p.m. PST

Here is one from 2001: link

Major Mike10 Aug 2017 3:14 p.m. PST

Yep, some SF guys with the Northern Alliance early on in Afganistan.

Old Wolfman11 Aug 2017 6:50 a.m. PST

And there was reportedly one in the Phillipines in 1941-42 by US troopers.

Personal logo brass1 Supporting Member of TMP11 Aug 2017 8:55 a.m. PST

And there was reportedly one in the Phillipines in 1941-42 by US troopers.

Jan 16, 1942, the Japanese were driven from the village of Morong by a mounted charge by a small force of the 26th Cavalry (Philippine Scouts) commanded by LT Edwin Ramsey. Not the last mounted attack by US troops in general but probably the last by regular cavalry.


twawaddell Supporting Member of TMP11 Aug 2017 11:48 a.m. PST

Major Mike is right. U.S. Special Forces of ODA 543 (many of whom had never ridden a horse before) participated in a charge by the Northern Alliance against Mazar-i-Sharif in Balkh Province. They were aided by seven ridges so that the charging units appears and disappeared repeatedly.

This was recounted in the book "The Horse Soldiers." Horseback riding was then included in Special Forces training because you just never knew when you'd need it.

Major Mike11 Aug 2017 12:31 p.m. PST

The made a monument of it link

Haitiansoldier Inactive Member11 Aug 2017 6:40 p.m. PST

The Special Forces in 2001 against the Taliban. It's hard to believe that you could still ride into battle on horseback in this day and age.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member11 Aug 2017 8:39 p.m. PST

I should think that a horse would still make excellent sense in rough terrain like Afghanistan. I was not surprised to read about these special forces exploits in 2001-2002. I have said for years that reliance on mechanized forces has blinded military thinkers in the rich nations to the potential of horses or mules in landscapes where a vehicle or aircraft simply can't go and a footslogger would be too slow. Just the sort of resource a guerrilla or commando force could use.

GreenLeader13 Aug 2017 9:47 a.m. PST

Without meaning to denigrate their bravery in any way, was the charge in Afghanistan a 'real' cavalry charge? I read the link about it, and it was a little vague as to what happened when the horsemen hit the enemy positions – did they dismount to fight? Did the enemy flee before they got there?
I imagine there is a lot more detail in the book mentioned by twawaddell?

I only ask as a much larger cavalry 'charge' in the Boer War was dismissed by many at the time as 'not a real charge' despite the fact that it involved several thousand horsemen and saw fleeing Boers killed by lances.

'when is a charge not a charge?'

GreenLeader13 Aug 2017 9:49 a.m. PST


I agree that a horse would make perfect sense for moving about on rough terrain like Afghanistan, but I wonder if that same rough, rocky terrain is suitable for actual charges?

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