Cavalry

French 4th Hussars at the Battle of Friedland, 1807
A trumpeter of the Representative Cavalry Squadron in the Polish Army
A Polish winged hussar
Assyrian cavalry
Parthian horseman, now on display at the Palazzo Madama, Turin
Warrior's departure; an Athenian amphora dated 550–540 BC
Tombstone of a Roman auxiliary trooper from Cologne, Germany. Second half of the first century AD
Reenactor as a Roman auxiliary cavalryman
Chinese caltrop jar
Mongols at war 14th century
A bas-relief of a soldier and horse with saddle and stirrups, from the tomb of Chinese Emperor Taizong of Tang (r 626–649), c 650
The Qianlong Emperor in ceremonial armor on horseback, painted by Giuseppe Castiglione, dated 1739 or 1758
A mounted samurai with bow and arrows, wearing a horned helmet. Circa 1878
In the Battle of Ichi-no-Tani, Japanese cavalry moving down a mountain-side
Manuscript illustration of the Battle of Kurukshetra
Coin of Chandragupta II or Vikramaditya, one of the most powerful emperors of the Gupta empire during times referred to as the Golden Age of India
Rajput warrior on horseback
Akbar leads the Mughal Army during a campaign
Horse-mounted Normans charging in the Bayeux Tapestry, 11th century
A 13th-century depiction of a riding horse. Note resemblance to the modern Paso Fino
A Hussite war wagon: it enabled peasants to defeat knights
Arab camelry
A Moroccan with his Arabian horse along the Barbary coast
Kanem-Bu warriors armed with spears in the retinue of a mounted war chief. The Earth and Its Inhabitants, 1892
Knighted cavalry and noblemen, painting by Jan van Eyck (c. 1390–1441)
Husarz (Polish Hussar) by Józef Brandt
Cavalry charge at Eylau, painted by Jean-Antoine-Siméon Fort
British infantry formed into anti-cavalry squares at the Battle of Quatre Bras
The charge of the Venezuelan First Division's cavalry at the Battle of Carabobo
"The Thin Red Line" at the Battle of Balaclava, where the 93rd Regiment held off Russian Cavalry
Monument to the Spanish Regiment of light cavalry of Alcántara
The charge of the 21st Lancers at Omdurman
19th Lancers near Mametz during the Battle of the Somme, 15 July 1916
Algerian spahis of the French Army 1886
Union Cavalry capture Confederate guns at Culpepper
Italian cavalry officers practice their horsemanship in 1904 outside Rome
Austro-Hungarian cavalry, 1898
German cavalryman in September 1914, German South-West Africa
Dead German cavalry horses after the Battle of Halen - where the Belgian cavalry, fighting dismounted, decimated their still mounted German counterparts
A British cavalry trooper in marching order (1914–1918)
German dragoons, armed with lances, after the capture of Warsaw, August 1915
Lithuanian lancers training in the 1930s
Turkish cavalry during mopping‐up operation 1922
Polish uhlan with wz. 35 anti-tank rifle. Military instruction published in Warsaw in 1938
A German cavalry patrol in May 1940, during the Battle of France
Mongolian cavalry in the Khalkhin Gol (1939)
U.S. Special Forces and Combat Controllers on horseback with the Northern Alliance of Afghanistan, which frequently used horses as military transport
Italian Army regiment “Lancieri di Montebello” (8th) on public duties in Rome 2019
Horse-mounted color guard from Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow
A cavalryman of Hakkapeliitta, the Finnish cavalry of Thirty Years' War, featured on a 1940 Finnish stamp
Mongol mounted archer of Genghis Khan late 12th century.
Tatar vanguard in Eastern Europe 13th–14th centuries.
Manikin of a Safavid Qizilbash, showing characteristic red cap (Sa'dabad Palace, Tehran).
Persian Zamburak.
Ottoman Sipahi.
An Ottoman Mamluk cavalryman from 1810, armed with a pistol.
Akinci of the Balkans.
Ottoman Ghazi cavalrymen during the Battle of Nicopolis.<ref>{{cite web|last=Lokman |url=http://warfare.atwebpages.com/Ottoman/Ottoman.htm |title=Battle of Nicopolis (1396) |year=1588 |work=Hünernâme |url-status=dead |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20130529094441/http://warfare.atwebpages.com/Ottoman/Ottoman.htm |archive-date=2013-05-29 }}</ref>
Washington National Guard cavalry pictured in Tacoma, Washington in 1907.
French cuirassiers, wearing breastplates and helmets, parade through Paris on the way to battle, August 1914.
Spanish light cavalry (cazadores) during the Rif War 1921.
Polish PZL W-3 Sokół of the 66 Air Cavalry Squadron, 25th Aeromobile Cavalry Brigade.
The mounted President's Bodyguard of the Indian Army
French Republican Guard – 2008 Bastille Day military parade
The President's Body Guard of the Pakistan Army, 2006.
Troopers of the Blues and Royals on mounted duty in Whitehall, London
Turkmenistan ceremonial cavalry in the Independence Day parade 2011
A Mongolian military horseman, 2013
Representative Cavalry Squadron of the Polish Army on military parade in Warsaw, 2006

Historically, cavalry (from the French word cavalerie, itself derived from "cheval" meaning "horse") are soldiers or warriors who fight mounted on horseback.

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French 4th Hussars at the Battle of Friedland, 1807

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French cuirassier (1809)

Cuirassier

French cuirassier (1809)
Cuirassiers giving fire with their pistols (cuirassiers of Gottfried Heinrich Graf zu Pappenheim)
A pair of long-barrelled wheel-lock pistols, the primary weapon of the early cuirassier
The charge of the French cuirassiers at the Battle of Waterloo against a British infantry square.
French cuirassiers in Paris, August 1914. These regiments wore cloth-covered cuirasses and helmets during the early months of World War I.
Captain of Her Majesty's Lifeguard Cuirassier Regiment in winter uniform. Krasnoe Selo, Russian Empire, 1892.
Italian corazzieri during a public event
An Austrian cuirassier from 1705
Saxon heavy cavalry (wearing rolled greatcoats instead of breastplates) and Polish lancers clashing with Russian cuirassiers, during the Battle of Borodino.
Cuirassier of the army of Napoleon I (reenactment of the Battle of Waterloo June 2011, Waterloo, Belgium)
Prussian Garde du Corps cuirassier during the Franco-Prussian War.
French 6th Cuirassier Regiment in 1887.
Nicholas II of Russia in the uniform of His Majesty's Cuirassier Guards Regiment, 1896
Cuirassier (16th century)
Three-quarter armour (early 17th century)
French Cent-garde breastplate (19th century)
Ceremonial cuirass of the Spanish Escuadrón de Escolta Real (20th century)

Cuirassiers were cavalry equipped with a cuirass, sword, and pistols.

Polish Lancer (left) and Austrian Cuirassier (right) in a mêlée

Lancer

Polish Lancer (left) and Austrian Cuirassier (right) in a mêlée
Charge of the Polish uhlans at the city of Poznań during the November Uprising 1831
The charge of the British 16th Lancers at Aliwal on 28 January 1846, during the Anglo-Sikh war
Imperial French lancer from 1812
Lancers of the Spanish Royal Guard
German dragoons armed with lances take down a border marker from 1914
Coat of arms of the Cavalry Group "Lancers of Bourbon" (11th Cavalry Regiment "Spain")
British lancers taking part in a homecoming parade in 2008
Italian regiment "Lancieri di Montebello" on public duties in Rome in 2019

A lancer was a type of cavalryman who fought with a lance.

Western-style cowboy spurs with rowels, chap guards and buttons for the spur straps

Spur

Metal tool designed to be worn in pairs on the heels of riding boots for the purpose of directing a horse or other animal to move forward or laterally while riding.

Metal tool designed to be worn in pairs on the heels of riding boots for the purpose of directing a horse or other animal to move forward or laterally while riding.

Western-style cowboy spurs with rowels, chap guards and buttons for the spur straps
Parts of a simple spur
Spur straps on an English "Prince of Wales" spur
"Rowel spur", circa 1400 Metropolitan Museum of Art
Western spur rowel with jingo bobs
Boot with spur, 19th century
English riding spur
Motorcycle spurs from Loop Spurs
A pair of barrel-racing spurs with unique nonrowel design
Prince of Wales
Disc
Swan neck, rowels
Waterford spur

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.

Norman cavalry attacks the Anglo-Saxon shield wall at the Battle of Hastings as depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry. The lances are held with a one-handed over-the-head grip.

Lance

Norman cavalry attacks the Anglo-Saxon shield wall at the Battle of Hastings as depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry. The lances are held with a one-handed over-the-head grip.
Lance head, Warring States period
Warring States lance head (pi)
A lance head from the reenactment of the Eglinton Tournament (1839)
Drawing from The War Illustrated representing a Russian Don Cossack lancing a German infantryman.
Russian lance "cavalry pike", type of 1910.

A lance is a spear designed to be used by a mounted warrior or cavalry soldier (lancer).

A Priest 105mm self-propelled gun of British 3rd Infantry Division, 1944

Division (military)

Large military unit or formation, usually consisting of between 6,000 and 25,000 soldiers.

Large military unit or formation, usually consisting of between 6,000 and 25,000 soldiers.

A Priest 105mm self-propelled gun of British 3rd Infantry Division, 1944
Members of the Australian 6th Division at Tobruk, 22 January 1941
Headquarter of 11th Infantry Division of Bangladesh Army near Bogra
British soldiers from the 1st Armoured Division engage Iraqi Army positions with their 81mm mortar in Iraq, 26 March 2003.
10th Mountaineers advance on a sniper.

For most nations, cavalry was deployed in smaller units and was not therefore organized into divisions, but for larger militaries, such as that of the British Empire, United States, First French Empire, France, German Empire, Nazi Germany, Russian Empire, Empire of Japan, Second Polish Republic and Soviet Union, a number of cavalry divisions were formed.

A Greek hoplite

Hoplite

Hoplites ( : hoplítēs) were citizen-soldiers of Ancient Greek city-states who were primarily armed with spears and shields.

Hoplites ( : hoplítēs) were citizen-soldiers of Ancient Greek city-states who were primarily armed with spears and shields.

A Greek hoplite
Hoplite, 5th century
Hoplites shown in two attack positions, with both an underhand thrust and an overhand prepared to be thrown
Phalanx fighting on a black-figure amphora, c. 560 BC. The hoplite phalanx is a frequent subject in ancient Greek art
Probable Spartan hoplite (Vix crater, c. 500 BC).
Hoplite armour exhibit from the Archaeological Museum of Corfu. Note the gold inserts around the chest area of the iron breastplate at the centre of the exhibit. The helmet on the upper left is a restored version of the oxidised helmet on the right.
Stele of Aristion, heavy-infantryman or hoplite. 510 BC. Top of helmet and pointed beard missing.
Armour of an ancient Athenian Hoplite
Athenian cavalryman Dexileos fighting a naked Peloponnesian hoplite in the Corinthian War. Dexileos was killed in action near Corinth in the summer of 394 BC, probably in the Battle of Nemea, or in a proximate engagement. Grave Stele of Dexileos, 394-393 BC.
Chigi Vase with Hoplites holding javelins and spears
Hoplites on an aryballos from Corinth, c. 580–560 BC (Louvre)
Crouching warrior, tondo of an Attic black-figure kylix, c. 560 BC (Staatliche Antikensammlungen)
Achaemenid king killing a Greek hoplite. Circa 500 BC–475 BC, at the time of Xerxes I. Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Spartan hoplite. (Image from Vinkhuijzen Collection of Military Costume Illustration, before 1910)
Paintings of Ancient Macedonian soldiers, arms, and armaments, from the tomb of Agios Athanasios, Thessaloniki in Greece, 4th century BC
Etruscan warrior, found near Viterbo, Italy, dated circa 500 BC.

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.

Ottoman camel corps at Beersheba during the First Suez Offensive of World War I, 1915.

Camel cavalry

Generic designation for armed forces using camels as a means of transportation.

Generic designation for armed forces using camels as a means of transportation.

Ottoman camel corps at Beersheba during the First Suez Offensive of World War I, 1915.
A Purbiya camel rider in Bihar, India in 1825
Shaffron (head defense) for a camel (Turkey, possibly 17th century)
Italian Dubats in Somalia in the 1930s
India's Border Security Force Camel Contingent during the annual Republic Day Parade.
In reconnaissance duties, camels may still be used. Here, United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea peacekeepers on patrol in Eritrea.

They provided a mobile element better suited to work and survive in an arid and waterless environment than the horses of conventional cavalry.

The western Mediterranean in 218 BC

Second Punic War

The second of three wars fought between Carthage and Rome, the two main powers of the western Mediterranean in the 3rd century BC. For 17 years the two states struggled for supremacy, primarily in Italy and Iberia, but also on the islands of Sicily and Sardinia and, towards the end of the war, in North Africa.

The second of three wars fought between Carthage and Rome, the two main powers of the western Mediterranean in the 3rd century BC. For 17 years the two states struggled for supremacy, primarily in Italy and Iberia, but also on the islands of Sicily and Sardinia and, towards the end of the war, in North Africa.

The western Mediterranean in 218 BC

Most male Roman citizens were eligible for military service and would serve as infantry, with the wealthier equites providing a cavalry component.

Emblem of Mongolian People's Army

Mongolian People's Army

Institution of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party constituting as the armed forces of the Mongolian People's Republic.

Institution of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party constituting as the armed forces of the Mongolian People's Republic.

Emblem of Mongolian People's Army
Sükhbaatar is one of the founders of People's Army
A MPRA soldier on a 1932 Mongolian stamp.
Mongolian People's Army reenactors in 2006.
Roundel of the Mongolian People's Army Air Force
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A horseman with MPA-style uniform performs during the opening ceremony for exercise Khaan Quest 2013 at the Five Hills Training Area in Mongolia 3 Aug. 2013
Georgy Zhukov and Khorloogiin Choibalsan (left) consult during the Battle of Khalkhin Gol.
Mongolian cavalry in the Khalkhin Gol (1939).
Mongolian troops defend against a Japanese counterattack on the western beach of river the Khalkhin Gol, 1939.

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.

A shoot-off between Leopard 2A6 tanks during the Strong Europe Tank Challenge, 2018

Armoured warfare

Use of armored fighting vehicles in modern warfare.

Use of armored fighting vehicles in modern warfare.

A shoot-off between Leopard 2A6 tanks during the Strong Europe Tank Challenge, 2018
British heavy tank of World War I
J.F.C. Fuller
Mikhail Tukhachevsky
A T-34-85 tank on display at the Musée des Blindés in April 2007
Heinz Guderian (right edge) guiding an armoured force in Poland
Structure of a U.S. tank battalion in November 1944. Each battalion had 53 M4 Sherman medium tanks and 17 M5 Stuart light tanks. Heavy armoured divisions had 6 battalions (318 M4 Tanks, 102 M5 Tanks) while light armoured divisions had 3 (159 M4 Tanks, 51 M5 Tanks). Many U.S. infantry divisions had a permanent tank battalion attached during the length of the war in Europe.
M10 tank destroyer in action near Saint-Lô, June 1944
Warsaw Pact "Big Seven" threats
Czechoslovak armoured personnel carrier OT-62 TOPAS, produced by Podpolianske strojárne Detva in Slovakia
A combined force of M1 Abrams tanks, Bradley IFVs and a logistical convoy advancing during the Gulf War
A Leclerc tank in a hull-down position. Note the observation periscope which would allow the commander to observe in turret-down position.
The German Puma is a well protected infantry fighting vehicle capable of delivering troops to the frontline.
Close-up of an A-10 GAU-8 Avenger gun
AH-64 Apache, an attack helicopter designed to destroy armoured vehicles
French AMX-10RC during Operation Desert Shield in the Gulf War
Graphic representation of the U.S. Army's cancelled XM1202 Mounted Combat System

Now extensive armoured combined arms team could be formed, distinct from a purely infantry or cavalry formation.