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Cavalry Charges

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Poll Question: Can Horses be trained to charge what they think is a solid object?
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Count Belisarius View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Count Belisarius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2009 at 07:49
The Gens d' Armes' (thanks for pointing that out BTW) got trapped at Pavia (which is one isolated battle) and no they didn't advance with infantry that would have slowed them down and made them usless. As I said their job was to sweep away enemy cavalry and then take out the infantry) and I said they were some of the heaviest cavalry and they are very different from Hetarioi (which didn't have armoured horses or gear like the Gens d' Armes' IIRC) and Maus crew members which makes no sense anyway Tanks aren't cavalry and the crew have different jobs. The Uzaria wern't supermen, alone they too would be hacked up (like any unit throughout history). Combined arms wins the day which is why the Uzaria got their rear ends handed to them by Gustavus Adolphus.
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rider View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2009 at 08:32
Some forms of Hetairoi did have protective helmets for the horses. However you name those.
 
Tanks are quite the equivalent of cavalry in these more modern times.
 
The Gendarmerie strived on combined arms. When the cavalry was isolated, they died. The Huszaria however -- Kircholm: little infantry, untrained in themselves with a larger party of Huszaria trained properly. The cavalry won the day. At Kokenhausen, again, a smaller Rzespospolita army won the day against superior cavalry, with the infantry playing little to no role. Pretty much, I can say that, all of the decisive battles against the Swedes were accomplished by the heavy Polish cavalry with little or no assistance from infantry.
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Count Belisarius View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Count Belisarius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2009 at 08:55
And the swedish infantry was pretty awful as well before Gustavus Adolphus came along. The Husaria died like the Gens d' Armes' as well if they didn't have combined arms support remember what Gustavus Adolphus' highly trained combined arms force did to them? And Tanks perform a completely different function than earlier cavalry.  
 
Could you please get over your bizzare dislike of the Gens d' Armes'? They did fine on their own without combined arms support granted they didn't function as well but then name a unit that does. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2009 at 17:07
I just did that actually. The percentage of units in armies of Francis I or Koniecpolski/any other Commonwealth Hetman should prove that the Poles never trusted infantry (or at least their own infantry) to hold the lines. However, the majority of Francis' armies were always infantry with the French cavalry on it's own rarely crossing the ten thousand men mark -- infantry at that ranged from ten thousand to forty or fifty thousand. In Poland, the native infantry units perhaps numbered a few thousand, with the full gathering of szlachta, perhaps ten thousand at a location. In addition to this was at least the same number of cavalry, in many cases two to four times as much.
 
This in itself is a fact that Francis (and other French generals) didn't have the Gendarmerie win his battles by itself but only by having infantry along and the majority of the importance was still in the hands of the infantry. In Poland, with the infantry never numbering much or it's training being too great, it should be obvious that the exact opposite was in force.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Count Belisarius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Aug 2009 at 03:22
The reason the poles were so sucessful without combined arms support was because they mostly picked on people that weren't their own size so to speak (Besides you haven't refuted what Gustavs well trained professional force did to them). As for Gens d' Armes' being outnumbered they still managed to muster thousands and the reason why they couldn't get more was because they were so expensive and time consuming. And in a lot of battles the infantry chickened out or were next to useless and the Gens d' Armes' were the ones who saved the or would have had the infantry gotten their act together.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bernard Woolley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Aug 2009 at 04:37
Hello Count. Sorry to nitpick, but you're still not spelling "gens d'armes" correctly. There is only one apostrope, after the "d", and no space following. Capitalization is also unneccessary.
 
By way of explanation, the word is gens(men) de(of) armes(arms). Because "de armes" is awkward to say, an apostrophe is substituted for the "e" and the two words are contracted to "d'arme".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Aug 2009 at 05:09
Bernard,
 
Just a tiny "nitpick" Tongue.  Certain Pre-revolutionary European regiments of cuirassiers carried the capitalized name Gens d'Armes, or in the case of the Prussian CR number 10, Gendarmes.
 
I know it is chicken ----,  but just as information.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Aug 2009 at 06:33
Originally posted by Count Belisarius Count Belisarius wrote:

The reason the poles were so sucessful without combined arms support was because they mostly picked on people that weren't their own size so to speak (Besides you haven't refuted what Gustavs well trained professional force did to them). As for Gens d' Armes' being outnumbered they still managed to muster thousands and the reason why they couldn't get more was because they were so expensive and time consuming. And in a lot of battles the infantry chickened out or were next to useless and the Gens d' Armes' were the ones who saved the or would have had the infantry gotten their act together.
 
Sigh...
 
What the hell are you going on about? The Commonwealth was fighting Prussia, Sweden, Russia, the Cossacks in Ukraine, Turkey for the lot of the 17th century. What do you mean by picking on smaller forces? Seriously... no!
 
And please, then, give me an instance where the 'Gustav Adolf's professional force' defeated the Huszaria which did not involve Commonwealth betrayal? Because I can't think of any such defeats (although I do think I know a few where the Ukrainian Regimental Cossack forces defeated the Polish).
 
Also, French infantry was not useless. French infantry was the key to many of the victories and defeats that they suffered -- with the more veteran men dying in their losses, Francis had a hard time regaining his previous edge. After all, he won over the Cantons almost solely with the careful use of infantry (the Habsburg's tried cavalry a few centuries earlier, didn't work at all).
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bernard Woolley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Aug 2009 at 08:31
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

Bernard,
 
Just a tiny "nitpick" Tongue.  Certain Pre-revolutionary European regiments of cuirassiers carried the capitalized name Gens d'Armes, or in the case of the Prussian CR number 10, Gendarmes.
 
I know it is chicken ----,  but just as information.
 
Well, I'm not one to complain about being picked clean of nits. I would imagine, however, that the name "gendarmes" appeared somewhat later on as a grammatically questionable re-pluralization of "gendarme" (the further contracted singular of "gens d'armes).
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Majkes View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Majkes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Aug 2009 at 08:34
Originally posted by Count Belisarius Count Belisarius wrote:

The reason the poles were so sucessful without combined arms support was because they mostly picked on people that weren't their own size so to speak (Besides you haven't refuted what Gustavs well trained professional force did to them)
 
So what exactly they did to them because you seem to have no idea about Gustav Adolf war against Poland. It certainly didn't prove Hussaria being otdated. They still were unmatched on open battlefield.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Majkes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Aug 2009 at 08:36
Originally posted by Count Belisarius Count Belisarius wrote:

The reason the poles were so sucessful without combined arms support was because they mostly picked on people that weren't their own size so to speak ). .
 
Bullsh*t as Rider already said. If Ottomans, Sweden or Russia are for you smaller size than what can we say...
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Count Belisarius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Aug 2009 at 12:42
*Sigh* what I meant was they fought forces that cound't give them a decent fight and yes Gustav beat the crap out of the husaria and his finnish cavalry was pretty contemptous of them. And if Gustav didn't beat the Poles how could he won all those battles, killed a ton of hussars and ended with huge concessions and most of Livonia? You think I like admitting that? It leaves a sour taste in mouth for I am a huge Polish hussar fan and am heavily biased in favor of heavy cavalry fan.   
 
@ Rider the french infantry had a reputation for being worthless and swiss pikemen and landsknechts were the preferred option. I like the Hussars a lot but like any unit in history unless you have decent combined arms support, you will lose when someone comes along with a combined arms force like Gustav did to the Hussars and we seem to be wondering off topic . . .
 
Perhaps it's time for new Polish Winged Hussar thread?  
  


Edited by Count Belisarius - 07 Aug 2009 at 12:44
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Aug 2009 at 19:30
We already have one, Count... Tongue
 
Now. As I said, bring me examples of where the Polish army was not outnumbered. Firstly, you'll find very few of these. After that, do check again what was the relation of infantry to cavalry (cavalry almost always outnumbers infantry by a margin of two to four). And then tell me that the Commonwealth armies didn't rely extensively on Huszaria. Sure, they may have been defeated at some times (no one is undefeated on this scale), but they were the force which granted the Commonwealth the majority of the power that they had. I have had no indications that any type of cavalry (except perhaps the Regimental Cossacks units from Ukraine) could equal to or face the Huszaria on open battlefield. This includes dragoon regiments.
 
What was lethal to the cavalries of Takeda Shingen *and* the Gendarmerie was the musket-fire of the Nobunaga-Ieyasu armies (for the first) and the Reiter's use of pistols (for the second).
 
Also, Poland did not concede anything -- true, they were driven back from much of their territory in the beginning of the Deluge but by the end, they were practically at the same borders as before (only real concessions in the East to Russia, I believe). The original Swedish success was due to the treacheries of the szlachta -- no real battles were fought which could have stopped the Swedish advance.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Majkes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Aug 2009 at 19:48
Originally posted by Count Belisarius Count Belisarius wrote:

*Sigh* what I meant was they fought forces that cound't give them a decent fight and yes Gustav beat the crap out of the husaria and his finnish cavalry was pretty contemptous of them. And if Gustav didn't beat the Poles how could he won all those battles, killed a ton of hussars and ended with huge concessions and most of Livonia? You think I like admitting that? It leaves a sour taste in mouth for I am a huge Polish hussar fan and am heavily biased in favor of heavy cavalry fan.   
 
They fought against Ottomans, one of the best cavalry in Europe in that time.
He lost the batlle of Trzcianka for example when he was caught by Polish and Austrian cavalry in open field. He sacrificed his cavalry to save infantry and was wounded himself. He won the battle because Gustav Adolf was able to take castles and polish army wasn't able to conquer them. Saying that he beat the crap out of the husaria is a huge exaggeration. He didn't have any decisive victories in battles against hussaria.
 


Edited by rider - 07 Aug 2009 at 19:54
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Majkes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Aug 2009 at 19:56

It is riduculous to claim that horses can't charge a solid object like wall of pikes. They jum through obstacles on horse races. If someone would see Great Pardubicka horse race where horses often die on too high obstacles he wouldn't be saying such nonsenses. Besides there are many examples in history when cavalry charged solid objects. Of course everyone has a right to think that earth is flat. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Count Belisarius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Aug 2009 at 23:56
Originally posted by Majkes Majkes wrote:

Originally posted by Count Belisarius Count Belisarius wrote:

*Sigh* what I meant was they fought forces that cound't give them a decent fight and yes Gustav beat the crap out of the husaria and his finnish cavalry was pretty contemptous of them. And if Gustav didn't beat the Poles how could he won all those battles, killed a ton of hussars and ended with huge concessions and most of Livonia? You think I like admitting that? It leaves a sour taste in mouth for I am a huge Polish hussar fan and am heavily biased in favor of heavy cavalry fan.   
 
They fought against Ottomans, one of the best cavalry in Europe in that time.
He lost the batlle of Trzcianka for example when he was caught by Polish and Austrian cavalry in open field. He sacrificed his cavalry to save infantry and was wounded himself. He won the battle because Gustav Adolf was able to take castles and polish army wasn't able to conquer them. Saying that he beat the crap out of the husaria is a huge exaggeration. He didn't have any decisive victories in battles against hussaria.
 
 
 
*Cheers* Thank you for that info it's good to know that *goes off to beat up some infantry worshippers who gave the Count misleading info*
 
Originally posted by RIDER RIDER wrote:

What was lethal to the cavalries of Takeda Shingen *and* the Gendarmerie was the musket-fire of the Nobunaga-Ieyasu armies (for the first) and the Reiter's use of pistols (for the second).
 
Actually pistoleers were acknowledged as being helpless against a charge of heavy horse and pistols would have a hard getting through plate and La Noue records that the only you'd get with one was sheer bad luck.
 
Originally posted by RIDER RIDER wrote:

Also, Poland did not concede anything -- true, they were driven back from much of their territory in the beginning of the Deluge but by the end, they were practically at the same borders as before (only real concessions in the East to Russia, I believe). The original Swedish success was due to the treacheries of the szlachta -- no real battles were fought which could have stopped the Swedish advance.
 
Thanks manBig smile That's good to know, my faith in the Husaria is restored
 
(Yes I'm sincere in case you're wondering)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Aug 2009 at 07:11
Quoting Wikipedia, as much as I hate doing it:

Gendarmes faced a further challenge in the second half of the sixteenth century when confronted by a newly-emergent troop type, the cavalry pistolier, which fought with massed pistol fire in deep columns. In the battles of the French Wars of Religion, the pistoliers -- often German mercenary cavalry called Reiters or "Black Riders" -- shot down many of the gendarmes, and this created holes in the very thin lines of gendarmes which put the lancers at a significant disadvantage when they finally closed with the deep formations of pistoliers. As a result, the French, starting with the Huguenot rebels, eventually replaced the heavy gendarme lance with a "brace" of pistols, and the armour of the gendarme rapidly lightened to give the horseman more mobility (and to cut the extreme cost of fielding such troops).

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Choranzanus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2009 at 23:30
In medieval Bohemia knights often trained by charging a wall and breaking a heavy lance against it.
This IMHO shows two things:
1) It is possible to charge a wall.
2) It is not automatic, i.e. it has to be trained.
In my view Polish Hussars and similar units are basically medieval knights, except perhaps with better equipment and training.
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