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TOP 12 cavalry of all time.[no order]

AUSTERLITZ

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Early delhi sultanate troops.The left most ghulam heavy lancer was the standard heavy cavalry of the sultanate armies.At 2nd tarain the charge of 12000 lancers broke the rajput centre.



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Elite ghulam cavalry.



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Rajput elephant archer.Elephants were effective against cavalry armies if used in a combined arms fashion.At first battle of tarain the rajput elephant cavalry was primarily responsible for the defeat of the ghurid cavalry.



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Ghulam medium horse archer and ghulam heavy lancer.The horse archers's hit and run tactics were a major advantage for the turkic sultanate armies over the local indian armies.



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Sultanate war elephant in action against the mongols.Alauddin khilji's defeat of the mongols was due to a combination of similar cavalry and 300-400 war elephants.A similar attempt by later sultans with around 100 of these,to repulse timurlane would fail due to timur's brilliance.



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Baburid Heavy Cavalry.Babur's timurid mogul cavalry was a direct descendant of the mongols,despite the hype recieved by babur's artillery his horse archers were equally important for his victory.The sultanate's turkic horse archers while at an advantage to the indigineous indian cavalry,where no match for babur's mongol style timurid horse archers.
 

AUSTERLITZ

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Mughal heavy cavalry.Cavalry,both horse and elephants and artillery were the mainstay of the mughal armies,infantry was mediocre and often levies.



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Rajput heavy cavalry chainmail armour.The armour of the rajput and mughal heavy cavalry were very similar.



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Rajput cavalry with battle axe.The rajputs,succesors of the gurjara pratihara were responsible for decisively defeating the arab expansion in india.Later they served against and for the mughals with distinction.



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Mughal talwar.



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Rajput talwar.The talwar was the most popular weapon of choice for cavalrymen.



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Shahjahan with matchlock and guard horsemen.



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The popular sword types during medieval india.



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The flail.A populatr armour piercing melee weapon.
 

AUSTERLITZ

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The katar,a weapon unique to the indian subcontinent.



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Indian maces.



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Lance



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Cavalry shield.Usually obsolete after increase in gunpowder weapons.Provided protection in cavalry on cavalry encounters though.



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Battle axe,a favourite armoour piercing weapon.



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The khanda was a indigineous indian broadsword in use from before the time of the mauryas,possibly from vedic times.Popular among rajputs,marathas and sikhs.



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Equipment of indian heavy cavalry.
 

AUSTERLITZ

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Note ,the patta weapon used by the maratha light cavalryman.This was another unique indian weapon especially popular among rajputs and marathas.



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Maratha silahdar,the light and mobile maratha cavalry were masters of ambush,hit and run and skirmishing.The deccan campaign in hilly maharashtra was prefect ground for their operations.The deccan was the beginnng of the end for the mughals.



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Nadir shah's iranian cavalry.The declining mughals were unable to stop nadir's invasion.
Note cavalry of the period slowly shedding their heavy armour due to massive increase in gunpowder weapons.



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The zamburak camel artillery.Originally designed by shah abbas of iran,it was adopted by the durranis and was ahmad shah abdali's trump card at the third battle of panipat,the marathas had no answer to the mobile camel mounted field cannonfire.Panipat was a major blow to maratha power.



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Pashtun tribal cavalry.Like all cavalry forces,armour was becoming lighter.Excellent light cavalry.



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Maratha pindari against british redcoat.The disciplined drilled and technologically superior british forces were too much for most oriental armies in straight field battles.



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The indian spear.
 

AUSTERLITZ

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Maratha light lancer.Excellent light cavalry.



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The firangi.Adopted from european influence this stabbing longsword became fashion after european power began to increase.


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Haider ali's heavy mysore cavalry.Tipu put up a valiant resistance against the advancing british but was defeated.



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Khalsa sowar.And sikh heavy cavalry.
Sikhs emerged as a dominant force after defeating the durannis.But they too were unable to overcome the british.
The british emerged victorious over mysore,the marathas and sikhs by seperately fighting each,through classic divide and conquer,and playing of each against other using religious/ethnic differences and greed of individual feudal and the use of native troops from bengal and madras under european officers to bolster their numbers.Also Technological superiority and superb discipline were other major factors.
 

AUSTERLITZ

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Iranian Safavid heavy savar.The safavids were the shia empire of persia,reached their peak under shah abbas,a contemporary of jahangir.Shah abbas reformed his army,also introduced the zamburak.



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Safavid lancer.Gunpowder weapons made too much armour redundant,note all cavalry had by this time shed armour for their horses.Speed became important than before.



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Nadir shah's lancer.Nadir was brutal,but militarily brilliant.His inavasion of mughal india was studied by the russians for their own proposed invasion of british india.



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Kyrghyz heavy cavalry chargin.Lamellar armour and weapons show enormous mongol influence.



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Native american apache cavalry.Excellent raiders and ambushers.The europeans introduced the horse to north america.Armed usually with muskets,rifles and axes.



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Infamous prussian death's head hussars[totenkopf].Took a major role in germany's war of liberation against napoleon.The ss division totenkopf[death head] would take this insignia as their own during world war 2.Note the skull and crossbones on the headgear.



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Hungarian hussar.Austria's best light cavalry,were excellent horsemen and man to man better than their french counterparts.But still couldn't stand up to french cavalry in massed action due to inferior leadership and organization and lack of the reckless 'elan' of the french.



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Chinese imperial heavy cavalry.In its heyday the tang dunasty maintained a huge cavalry force to counter the steppe invaders.
 

gubbi

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@ Austerliz, wonderful and excellent threads on cavalry and your previous battlefield formations and tactics! For an amateur history buff, this is too much to absorb all at once.

I presume that this is your field of expertise and so a humble request. Would it be possible to classify these according to the time periods (which would help again in highlighting their achievements in a geographical area - given there were major powers in an area at a particular time). For someone who is interested in these but not an expert, such a classification would help put into perspective their rudimentary history knowledge.

Oh, btw while you are on the Mongol hordes, there is a recent Mongolian film - Genghis Khan, the legend of the ten. Was pretty decent IMHO.
 

AUSTERLITZ

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History is usually divided into 3 ages.

The ancient age is generally regarded from around 500 B.C to 500 A.D from the rise of the persian empire to the fall of the western roman empire.
500A.D TO 1453A.D is considered middle ages.From the fall of the roman empire to the fall of constantinpole or the byzantine empire and the beginning of renaissance.
From 1450 to 1789 the french revolution is called early modern history.From the end of the napoleonic wasr 1815 to today with the beginning of the industrial revolution is called modern history.
Before this the great kingdoms are the hittites of syria,the egyptians of the pharaohs,the assyrians and babylonians of the middle east.

The great powers of the ancient age
The persian empire.
The athenian empire.[modern day greece]
The macedonian empire and its successor staes the ptolemic and seleucid empires.
The maurya empire.[india]
The kushana empire.afganisthan,india,parts of central sia]
The han dynasty empire[china]
The roman empire.[italy]
Carthage[modern north africa]
Parthia[persia] followed by sassanids[persia]

Middle ages

Frankish kingdom[france-germany under charlemagne]
Holy roman empire[germany-italy]
Byzantine empire[eastern roman empire]
Arabic caliphates[rashidun,umayyad,ayyubid]
Gupta empire,chola empire[india]
Tang dyansty[china]
Song dynasty[china]
Mongol empire[huge,origin present mongolia]
Delhi sultanates[india]
Timurids[central asia]
Ghaznavid/ghorid central asian sultanates.
Mamelukes[egypt]


Early modern age

Ming dynasty[china]
Qing dynasty[china]
Ottoman empire[turkey,middle east,north africa,balkans]
Spanish empire[italy,spain,south america,parts of north america]
France bourbon dynasty
Mughals
Britain
Russia
Safavid persia
Austrian holy roman empire
Dutch empire.
Sweden.
And after 1815 u know,the modern european powers with unification of italy and germany.And rise of america.
1789 to 1815 are the french revolutionary and napoleonic wars.
 

AUSTERLITZ

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Balkan stradioti.Superb mercenaries.Many fought against the turks.Note the cool eagle wings.



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Finnish hakkapellita[literally 'hack them down' men],elite swedish light cavalry under gustavas adolphus.



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Perhaps the least intimidating looking,yet most effective cavalry in history.The north african numidian skirmisher cavalry,were the finest light cavalry of the ancient mediterranean.Thye were used by hannibal in his victories against rome,but later switched sides to the romans and helped defeat hannibal at zama,his only defeat.Later they served in roman armies as auxillaries.Masters of raiding,ambush,skirmishing these were born berber cavalrymen rode their horses without saddles!



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Napoleon's polish lancers,among the deadliest cavalry of the age.These served in french service as exiles trying to free poland which had been broken up by russia,austria and prussia.



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French hussars,known for their dash and elan,colourful uniforms,reckless bravery and their notorious womanizing,drinking and dueling skills.The primary type of napoleonic light cavalry it was said 'the hussars were loved by every wife and hated by every husband'.They were the eyes and ears of the french army.They were nicknamed beau sabreurs[handsome sabres].


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A famous daredevil hussar general lasalle once quoted 'Any hussar who isn't dead by the age of 30 is a blackguard'.Lasalle's brigade was called 'hell's brigade' and among the most decorated ones in the french army.Lasalle was a brilliant commander, once bluffed a prussian general into surrendering a fortress with 10000 troops with 500 hussars!

In Italy, Lasalle was exchanged and took up a love affair with an Italian marquise in Vicenza. This led to an incident on 17 December 1796 in which he led a party of troopers to his lover's house — deep within Austrian lines. Lasalle was a good nobleman and fluent in many languages, including German, so he deceived the various patrols that gave him and his men trouble. After making love to his marquise, he left at dawn revealing his French uniform in the light. Lasalle and his men were found and surrounded by 100 Austrian hussars. Once he was discovered he escaped by bluffing and fighting his way out eventually leaping his horse over the parapet of a bridge to avoid capture. With only 18 men he routed 100 Austrian hussars but in the heat of the pursuit he found himself isolated.

He was then alone and surrounded by four of these Austrian hussars that refused to surrender. Lasalle fought his way out, injuring all four hussars, lost his horse, and swam across the Bacchiglione River. He arrived on the banks of the Bacchiglione regrouped with his men as they gave him a captured Austrian horse to ride back to camp uninjured. This incident brought Lasalle to Napoleon Bonaparte's attention the morning after when he rode a captured Austrian horse on parade. Napoleon questioned Lasalle and Lasalle told him it was a horse from an Austrian hussar patrol in Vicenza. Napoleon shouted “Are you crazy?” and was preparing a court martial until Lasalle gave him the information that he obtained during the skirmish. Napoleon saw in Lasalle a daring and courageous man that could be a useful in missions of infiltration behind enemy lines where one needs to make his own decisions with haste and good judgment. Napoleon pardoned Lasalle and even made him chef d'escadron of the 7th Regiment of Hussars on 6 January 1797 by only saying “Commandant Lasalle, remember that name.”

He justified his rapid progress and reputation when The Battle of Rivoli was won with 5,000 French casualties and 14,000 enemy Austrian casualties including eleven captured flags, six of which were captured by Lasalle.

He also founded the “Society of Alcoholics” an initiative that shocked the entire high society of Paris except for Napoleon. It is reported that in one month they drank all that existed of foreign wines in Salamanca.

Back in Egypt Lasalle had been intimately connected with Joséphine Berthier, wife of General Victor-Leopold Berthier, the then Minister of War and Chief of Staff. Joséphine and Berthier divorced in which Lasalle proposed to her. Napoleon gave Lasalle 200,000 francs as a reward. When they met at the Tuileries Palace, Napoleon asked “When is the wedding?” Lasalle replied saying “Sire, when I have enough money to buy the wedding presents and furniture.” Napoleon said “But I gave you 200,000 francs last week, what did you do with them?” Lasalle replied “I used half to pay my debts and have lost the rest gambling.”
Such a confession would have broken the career of any other soldier but coming from Lasalle made the Emperor smile. Napoleon merely ordered Marshal Duroc to give Lasalle another 200,000 francs. Napoleon thought highly of Lasalle and would pay off his debts and forgive his rowdy behavior unfitting of an officer. When a prefect asked why Napoleon didn't discipline Lasalle for his conduct, Napoleon responded saying that “It only takes a stroke of a pen to create a prefect, but it takes twenty years to make a Lasalle.”



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Lasalle was known for charging into battle with only a pipe ,he was killed in 1809 at wagram.His loss was deeply felt by napoleon.Lasalle's pipe and sabre are displayed at the french war museum at the les inavlides,paris.
 

Targon

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I would not say Tımarlı Sipahi was one of the best, they were just fairly good and numerous/cheap, also had good organization(organization/logistics was one of the specialities of the Ottoman empire).

On the other hand Kapıkulu Sipahi was elite, handpicked from either Janissaries or anyone who showed high skill and bravery in battle, well armoured and used a variety of weapons starting from bows to lances, maces, sabres etc. and of course being in the center of the Ottoman military had very strict organization and discipline.

Too bad that they aren't oftenly used as a frontier force in the battle but rather a guard of sultan and rear.
 

gokturkdenkorkun

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Ask me if anyone needs info/pics on any cavalry of any era/nationality here.
i would ask all the images you have about cavalry , could you tell me what is the source of your study and your nationality and where you found all this stuff , because i find most of them bias not that i claim to no better than you on this matter but i would like to absorb your information and knowlagede on any military case
 

AUSTERLITZ

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i would ask all the images you have about cavalry , could you tell me what is the source of your study and your nationality and where you found all this stuff , because i find most of them bias not that i claim to no better than you on this matter but i would like to absorb your information and knowlagede on any military case
This is a very old thread,imageshack has deleted the images and i never updated it.I am an indian,a history student and a military history enthusiast.Sources are the many military history books and magazine articles i read and collected over the years,especially osprey publishing.This list is just a personal opinion not a absolute set in stone fact in any way,feel free to disagree.Though i am curious what you find biased,as far as i see i have represented most of the major historical dominant cavalry forces of their time and region.
 

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