Light cavalry


Light cavalry

Light cavalry refers to lightly-armed and armored troops mounted on horses, as opposed to heavy cavalry, where the riders (and sometimes the horses) are heavily armored. The missions of the light cavalry were primarily reconnaissance, screening, skirmishing, raiding, and most importantly, communications, and were usually armed with spears, swords, bows and later pistols.

Light cavalry was used infrequently by the Greeks and Romans (though Roman auxiliaries were often mounted), but were popular among the armies and hordes of Central Asia. The Huns, Turks, Mongols and Hungarians were all adept light cavalrymen and horse archers.

With the decline of feudalism and knighthood in Europe, light cavalry became more prominent in the armies of the continent. Many were equipped with firearms, as their predecessors had been with bows. European examples of light cavalry included stradiots, hobelars, hussars, chasseurs à cheval, chevau-légers and some dragoons. [citebook|title=Wellington's Light Cavalry|author=Bryan Fosten|year=1982|publisher=Osprey Publishing|id=ISBN 0850454492]

Historical Use

During the Crusades between the Arabians and the Europeans, Light Cavalry were often used as foot-troops; the first of the military lines to charge into the conflict. The purpose of this was to establish room for the more heavier warriors to attack and to provide tactical benefit.

The ancient frontier war between Rome and Germania made use of Light Cavalry as patrolling squads, or armed scouts, and often had them in the front lines during regional battles.

ee also

*Cavalry
*Heavy cavalry
*Horse archer
*Horses in warfare
*Waler horse

References and notes

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Light cavalry — Light Light, a. [Compar. {Lighter} (l[imac]t [ e]r); superl. {Lightest}.] [OE. light, liht, AS. l[=i]ht, le[ o]ht; akin to D. ligt, G. leicht, OHG. l[=i]hti, Icel. l[=e]ttr, Dan. let, Sw. l[ a]tt, Goth. leihts, and perh. to L. levis (cf.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • light cavalry — Cavalry Cav al*ry, n. [F. cavalerie, fr. It. cavalleria. See {Cavalier}, and cf. {chivalry}.] (Mil.) That part of military force which serves on horseback. [1913 Webster] Note: {Heavy cavalry} and {light cavalry} are so distinguished by the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • light cavalry — /ˈlaɪt kævəlri/ (say luyt kavuhlree) noun Military 1. lightly armed soldiers mounted on horses. 2. lightly armoured vehicles, especially for reconnaissance, seen as fulfilling the historical role of mounted light cavalry. See heavy cavalry …   Australian English dictionary

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