British Cavalryman 1792-1815 by Philip Haythornthwaite, Richard Hook

By Philip Haythornthwaite, Richard Hook

Within the campaigns of the French innovative and Napoleonic Wars, the deserved acceptance of the British infantry has tended to overshadow the contribution of the cavalry, yet in truth they did shape a vital part of the military, conducting tasks the most important to the luck of different fingers. British Cavalryman 1792-1815 recounts what those tasks have been and examines the boys who played them. the several regiments of the cavalry are indexed and a few of the arm's extra unique or expert corps, resembling the King's German Legion, tested.

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Fortune was favouring the 1st/16th. As the heavy clouds closed down, not a sound was to be heard from the Japanese lines. At nine o'clock a host of stretcherbearers arrived from Brigade Headquarters. It was a ten-mile carry over rough hill-tracks to roadhead; a badly wounded man had little hope. Then the mules came, were loaded up and were gone. The grey clouds hung around the mountain face and masked the Battalion as it quietly filtered away. m. Ben Nevis was clear. Not a shot had been fired. Except for 'A' Company remaining on Knoll to cover the withdrawal, the remainder of the Battalion marched back to the gun lines in the Sengmai Turel.

A straightforward attack down the ridge would certainly be costly and would most probably fail. The Colonel decided to send two companies down into the valley on a wide outflanking movement to come in on the Japanese from their flank and rear. While this move was in progress the gunners were to bombard the crest with a very slow rate of fire to be followed by a feint attack straight along it to keep the attention of the Japanese focused on the ridge. m. 'A' and 'C' Companies started to descend into the valley; to avoid disclosing their movements from the inevitable noises of switched-on radio sets, they preserved wireless silence.

After a vigorous engagement all objectives were captured. To give weight to the attack, 6-inch howitzers had been brought down from Razmak, and deployed outside Bannu. Bannu was a family station and the families took exception to being woken up at six o'clock in the morning by a heavy artillery bombardment, particularly as the blast from the howitzers shattered some of their windows. The Pathans also lodged an objection, as they thought heavy guns like 6-inch howitzers were out of place in a Frontier operation.

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