Help support TMP

"The development of the British army during the wars" Topic

8 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

Please do not post offers to buy and sell on the main forum.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Napoleonic Media Message Board

Areas of Interest


Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Link

Featured Ruleset

Featured Workbench Article

Modeling 1:1200 Scale Napoleonic Sailing Ships

Volunteer Fezian shares his techniques for painting, rigging and basing Age of Sail warships.

Featured Profile Article

First Look: Barrage's 28mm Roads

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian takes a look at flexible roads made from long-lasting flexible resin.

Current Poll

664 hits since 7 Jun 2022
©1994-2023 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

TMP logo


Please sign in to your membership account, or, if you are not yet a member, please sign up for your free membership account.
Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP07 Jun 2022 9:19 p.m. PST

…with France, 1793-1815

Of possible interest?

Free to read

PDF link


Green Tiger07 Jun 2022 9:58 p.m. PST

Yes – thank you very much.

42flanker08 Jun 2022 4:05 a.m. PST

A curious assertion.

"That year saw the culmination of the trials of Major Le Marchant of the 16th Light Dragoons, who developed a system of sword drill and fighting technique in response to the poor performance of British cavalry in the campaignsin Flanders in 1793-4. During the engagements, not only were they invariably beaten by their opponents, but many of the wounds they sustained, were found to be self inflicted,
due to poor swordsmanship." (pp 182-83)

{Footote: 123 Le Marchant, 'Le Marchant'}

Consider the actions of Villers-en-Cauchies, Beaumont and Willems in April-May 1794 (see Fortescue pp 295-320 link

Fortescue did observe, however, that:
"The Light Dragoons likewise continued to belie their name, being trained in reality simply as cavalry of the line of battle…
Thus Light Dragoons were untaught because there were no [experienced] officers to teach them; patrols and advanced detachments lacked the daring and adventurous leading of youth; and one of the highest schools for the training of subalterns was wholly neglected." ( p.279)

Nonetheless, they held their own against the French, as this contemporary report asserts:

"The British Light Cavalry, are reckoned much superior to any other, whether Austrian, Dutch, or French ; the French Hussars in particular, who are mounted upon (what in England would be called)ponies; the general size of them, not being more than twelve hands high ; which gives our Light Horse-Men that advantage over them, which was fully evinced in every engagement, or skirmish, which happened on the continent; as they variably terminated in favour of the British, and procured them the name in the French Army of the 'English Butchers', which name they might justly be said to deserve; not in the 'cutting up', but 'cutting down' the Enemy so repeatedly, though frequently three or four to one, against them… This should not however by any means, be construed into a depreciation of natural courage of the French regular troops, who in general were Men of very great bravery."
('A Journal Kept in the British Army from the Landing of the Troops under the Command of Earl Moira, at Ostend, in June 1794, to their Return to England the Following Year,' London, 1796. p.23)

An assessment echoed, at least part, by Fortescue:

"The cavalry were of better material than the infantry, and was very well mounted; but both officers and men were so ignorant of their work that, at first, they could not even throw out vedettes and outposts without instructions from foreigners."

15th Hussar08 Jun 2022 6:30 a.m. PST

42F… You're correct on both accounts.

Oddly, the 15th and other LD regiments only had the basic rudiments of field craft, etc., though their raw material in men and horses was first rate.

From all of my reading and studies, the Austrian Hussar regiments gladly took them under their wing and trained them regarding maneuvers, field craft, etc. and they learned the ropes rather quickly and exhibited great skill at Villiers, etc.

This training was not forgotten during the next decade or so, as the entire Hussar Brigade exhibited remarkable skill during Moore's Retreat…the only regiment that was never "quite" up to par was the 18th, for what reasons is another matter altogether.

[It's been a while since I did my critical research in this area, as my head is still stuck in Inja with the Sikhs, but the basics are there]

42flanker08 Jun 2022 9:28 a.m. PST

It probably didn't help that the cavalry had not seen European service since the Seven Years War, when the newly formed light dragoon regiments seem to have operated as much as shock troops as light cavalry, and with the role of the few light dragoons employed in America having been ancillary to the infantry war.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP08 Jun 2022 3:26 p.m. PST

Many thanks!


Cavcmdr09 Jun 2022 4:28 p.m. PST

Cheers, Armand.
297 pages is a bit much at this time of night, but…


Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP10 Jun 2022 3:33 p.m. PST

A votre service mon ami….


Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.