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"Cossacks again" Topic


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493 hits since 4 Jul 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Major Bloodnok04 Jul 2018 5:22 a.m. PST

My impression is that is that they defeated their enemies by inflicting death by a thousand paper cuts and if attacked they just scarpered. So would any one know, I certainly don't, how often were Cossacks caught by formed cavalry and what the results were?

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP04 Jul 2018 6:16 a.m. PST

I think a bloody rout and the scattering of the pitiful remnants of the Cossacks would be most likely

Personal logo jeffreyw3 Supporting Member of TMP04 Jul 2018 6:50 a.m. PST

This has several anecdotes: link

Garryowen Supporting Member of TMP04 Jul 2018 8:03 a.m. PST

Excellent source jeffreyw3

Tom

Major Bloodnok05 Jul 2018 4:21 a.m. PST

So far it looks as if they didn't get caught that often. I wonder what formation the 16th Chasseurs a Cheval were in when they fired upon the cossacks at Ostronvo.

Zhmodikov05 Jul 2018 10:52 p.m. PST

Major Bloodnok wrote:

My impression is that is that they defeated their enemies by inflicting death by a thousand paper cuts and if attacked they just scarpered. So would any one know, I certainly don't, how often were Cossacks caught by formed cavalry and what the results were?

The regular cavalry could hardly catch the Cossacks. After the Cossacks turned to flight, they rode away very quickly in full disorder, trying to disperse as wide as possible. If the regular cavalry tried to keep their formation, they rode not fast enough to catch the Cossacks. It the regular cavalry broke their formation and dispersed to ride faster, the Cossacks could suddenly switch from flight to counterattack, and as individual horsemen and fighters they were on average superior to the regular cavalry. French cavalry officer Antoine de Brack explained that if one sees the Cossacks dispersing in full flight, he should not think that they had lost their confidence and courage: this is their usual method of retreat, very dangerous to those who would try to pursue them.
Brack A. F. de, Avant-postes de Cavalerie Légère. Souvenirs. Paris, 1831, p. 110.

I heard that an English edition of Brack's book appeared recently.

Personal logo jeffreyw3 Supporting Member of TMP06 Jul 2018 4:07 a.m. PST

grin
And if you're really interested in Russian tactics of the period, Bloodnok, these two volumes are quite authoritative:
link

Zhmodikov06 Jul 2018 4:22 a.m. PST

jeffreyw3 wrote:


And if you're really interested in Russian tactics of the period, Bloodnok, these two volumes are quite authoritative:

I hope that a new edition of this book will be available in a few months. It contains more information on Russian tactics in general, and on the Cossacks tactics in particular.

Wu Tian06 Jul 2018 4:34 a.m. PST

@Zhmodikov
Brack's book did have several English editions.

If the Cossacks scatter in their retreat in proportion as your attacks are prolonged, do not suppose that it is because they have lost confidence or courage; it is their way of retiring, a very dangerous one for the enemy in pursuit, who has too often cause to repent of his audacity.
If, on the contrary, other European troops do not rally promptly in a retreat, it is a proof of demoralisation, and they should then be vigourously pursued.

Brack A. F. de, Light cavalry out-posts. London, 1876, p. 78.

link

If the Cossacks, in their retreat, keep breaking up more and more the longer you pursue them, do not infer from that that they have lost confidence and courage: it is their way of retreating, and a very dangerous one for their pursuers, who may very often have good reason to repent of their boldness. If, on the contrary, other European troops do not rally promptly in retreat, it is a proof of demoralization, and they must then be vigorously pushed.

Brack A. F. de, Cavalry outpost duties. New York, 1893, p. 79.

link

Personal logo jeffreyw3 Supporting Member of TMP06 Jul 2018 4:37 a.m. PST

Excellent, Alexandr--very good to hear, as my Volume 2 is beginning to fall apart.

Nice to see you back!

Major Bloodnok06 Jul 2018 1:52 p.m. PST

I just picked up volume 1, the period I am focussing on, but there is nowt in it that is specific about the cossacks.

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