Cavalry

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Cavalry (from the French cavalerie, cf. cheval 'horse') or horsemen are soldiers or warriors who fight mounted on horseback.wikipedia
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Dragoon

dragoonscavalryIndependence Dragoons
An individual soldier in the cavalry is known by a number of designations such as cavalryman, horseman, dragoon, or trooper. Infantry who moved on horseback, but dismounted to fight on foot, were known in the 17th and early 18th centuries as dragoons, a class of mounted infantry which later evolved into cavalry proper while retaining their historic title.
From the early 18th century onward, dragoons were increasingly also employed as conventional cavalry, trained for combat with swords from horseback.

Infantry

infantry regimentinfantrymanP.
Infantry who moved on horseback, but dismounted to fight on foot, were known in the 17th and early 18th centuries as dragoons, a class of mounted infantry which later evolved into cavalry proper while retaining their historic title.
Infantry is a military specialization that engages in military combat on foot, distinguished from cavalry, artillery, and tank forces.

Heavy cavalry

cavalryheavyarmoured (heavy)
In Europe cavalry became increasingly armoured (heavy), and eventually evolving into the mounted knights of the medieval period.
Heavy cavalry was a class of cavalry intended to deliver a charge on the battlefield and also to act as a tactical reserve; they are also often termed 'shock cavalry'.

Military animal

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The designation of cavalry was not usually given to any military forces that used other animals, such as camels, mules or elephants.
Horses, elephants, camels, and other animals have been used for both transportation and mounted attack.

Light cavalry

light horseLight Brigadelight horseman
In many modern armies, the term cavalry is still often used to refer to units that are a combat arm of the armed forces which in the past filled the traditional horse-borne land combat light cavalry roles.
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 with pistols or carbines.

Horses in warfare

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cheval 'horse') or horsemen are soldiers or warriors who fight mounted on horseback.
This was the original horse used for early chariot warfare, raiding, and light cavalry.

Trooper (rank)

troopertroopersTpr
An individual soldier in the cavalry is known by a number of designations such as cavalryman, horseman, dragoon, or trooper.
Tpr) from the French "troupier" is the equivalent rank to private in a regiment with a cavalry tradition in the British Army and many other Commonwealth armies, including those of Australia, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand; it is also used by the Irish Army.

Combat arms

combat armcombatant arm of the linecombat
In many modern armies, the term cavalry is still often used to refer to units that are a combat arm of the armed forces which in the past filled the traditional horse-borne land combat light cavalry roles. Cavalry were historically the most mobile of the combat arms.
In general they include units that carry or employ a weapon system, such as infantry, cavalry, and artillery units.

Mongolian People's Army

Mongolian People's Army Air ForceMongolian People's Army AviationMongolian People's Air Force
However, some cavalry still served during World War II, notably in the Red Army, the Mongolian People's Army, the Royal Italian Army, the Romanian Army, the Polish Land Forces, and light reconnaissance units within the Waffen SS.
In 1921–1927, the land forces, almost exclusively horsemen, numbered about 17,000 mounted troops and boasted more than 200 heavy machine guns, 50 mountain howitzers, 30 field guns, seven armored cars, and a maximum of up to 20 light tanks.

Camel cavalry

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The designation of cavalry was not usually given to any military forces that used other animals, such as camels, mules or elephants.
They provided a mobile element better suited to work and survive in an arid and waterless environment than the horses of conventional cavalry.

Lance

lanceslance headspear
Three types of cavalry became common: light cavalry, whose riders, armed with javelins, could harass and skirmish; heavy cavalry, whose troopers, using lances, had the ability to close in on their opponents; and finally those whose equipment allowed them to fight either on horseback or foot.
The lance is a pole weapon designed to be used by a mounted warrior or cavalry soldier (lancer).

Spur

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At this time, the men had no spurs, saddles, saddle cloths, or stirrups.
When used in military ranks, senior officers, and officers of all ranks in cavalry and other formerly mounted units of some armies, wear a form of spur in certain orders of dress which is known as the box spur, having no spur strap, but a long metal prong opposite the neck, extending between the arms of the heel band, which is inserted into a specially fitted recess or "box" in the base of the boot heel.

Chariot

chariotswar chariotwar chariots
Before the Iron Age, the role of cavalry on the battlefield was largely performed by light chariots.
The latter Greeks of the first millennium BC had a (still not very effective) cavalry arm, and the rocky terrain of the Greek mainland was unsuited for wheeled vehicles.

Companion cavalry

HetairoiCompanionshetairos
The Macedonian Kingdom in the north, on the other hand, developed a strong cavalry force that culminated in the hetairoi (Companion cavalry) of Philip II of Macedon and Alexander the Great.
The Companions (ἑταῖροι, hetairoi) were the elite cavalry of the Macedonian army from the time of king Philip II of Macedon, achieved their greatest prestige under Alexander the Great, and have been regarded as the first or among the first shock cavalry used in Europe.

Eurasian nomads

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The speed, mobility and shock value of cavalry was greatly appreciated and exploited in armed forces in the Ancient and Middle Ages; some forces were mostly cavalry, particularly in nomadic societies of Asia, notably the Mongol armies.
They developed the chariot, wagon, cavalry and horse archery and introduced innovations such as the bridle, bit and stirrup, and the very rapid rate at which innovations crossed the steppelands spread these widely, to be copied by settled peoples bordering the steppes.

Reconnaissance

scoutscoutsreconnaissance in force
These include scouting, skirmishing with enemy reconnaissance elements to deny them knowledge of the disposition of the main body of troops, forward security, offensive reconnaissance by combat, defensive screening of friendly forces during retrograde movement, retreat, restoration of command and control, deception, battle handover and passage of lines, relief in place, linkup, breakout operations, and raiding.
Traditionally, reconnaissance was a role that was adopted by the cavalry.

Mounted archery

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The cavalry acted in pairs; the reins of the mounted archer were controlled by his neighbour's hand.
A horse archer is a cavalryman armed with a bow, able to shoot while riding from horseback.

Horses in the Middle Ages

horsesMiddle Ageshorse
The speed, mobility and shock value of cavalry was greatly appreciated and exploited in armed forces in the Ancient and Middle Ages; some forces were mostly cavalry, particularly in nomadic societies of Asia, notably the Mongol armies.
Their quiet and dependable nature, as well as size, made them popular as riding horses for ladies; however, they were also used as cavalry horses by the Spanish.

Kontos (weapon)

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There were also the Ippiko (or "Horserider"), Greek "heavy" cavalry, armed with kontos (or cavalry lance), and sword.
The kontos was the Greek name for a type of long wooden cavalry lance used by Iranian, especially Achaemenid successors' cavalry, most notably cataphracts (Grivpanvar).

Socii

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As the class grew to be more of a social elite instead of a functional property-based military grouping, the Romans began to employ Italian socii for filling the ranks of their cavalry.
75% of a normal consular army's cavalry was supplied by the Italian socii.

Roman legion

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The cavalry in the early Roman Republic remained the preserve of the wealthy landed class known as the equites—men who could afford the expense of maintaining a horse in addition to arms and armor heavier than those of the common legions.

Hoplite

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The role of horsemen did however remain secondary to that of the hoplites or heavy infantry who comprised the main strength of the citizen levies of the various city states.
At least in the early classical period, when cavalry was present, its role was restricted to protection of the flanks of the phalanx, pursuit of a defeated enemy, and covering a retreat if required.

Mongol military tactics and organization

Mongol ArmyMongolsMongol raids
The speed, mobility and shock value of cavalry was greatly appreciated and exploited in armed forces in the Ancient and Middle Ages; some forces were mostly cavalry, particularly in nomadic societies of Asia, notably the Mongol armies.
The Mongols could shoot an arrow over 200 m. Targeted shots were possible at a range of 150 or, which determined the optimal tactical approach distance for light cavalry units.

Battle of Carrhae

Carrhaedefeat at Carrhaefailed campaign
After defeats such as the Battle of Carrhae, the Romans learned the importance of large cavalry formations from the Parthians.
Despite being heavily outnumbered, Surena's cavalry completely outmaneuvered the Roman heavy infantry, killing or capturing most of the Roman soldiers.

Tang dynasty

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Tibetans also had a tradition of cavalry warfare, in several military engagements with the Chinese Tang dynasty (618–907 AD).
Li Shimin had commanded troops since the age of 18, had prowess with bow and arrow, sword and lance and was known for his effective cavalry charges.