Mounted Russian dragoon armed with an infantry long gun, c. 1710
Cartoon of a French dragoon intimidating a Huguenot in the dragonnades
French dragoon of the Volontaires de Saxe regiment, mid-18th century
French Dragoons with captured Prussian flag at the Battle of Jena
German dragoons near Reims 1914
Baden dragoon in a World War I monument at Karlsruhe. 
 While almost an anachronism after the early stages of that war, German dragoons did see continuing service on the Eastern Front until 1917. Note the functional Stahlhelm helmet.
Memorial stained glass window at Royal Military College of Canada of 2770 LCol KL Jefferson, a member of the 12th Manitoba Dragoons, an armoured regiment of the Canadian Army and Canadian Forces
United States dragoons charging Mexican infantry at the Battle of Resaca de la Palma in May 1846.

Dragoons were originally a class of mounted infantry, who used horses for mobility, but dismounted to fight on foot.

- Dragoon

500 related topics



Military specialization which engages in ground combat on foot.

Various infantry of the 17th through 18th century (halberdier, arquebusier, pikeman, and mix of musketeers and grenadiers) of Duchy of Württemberg
Infantry of the US 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment enter their M2 Bradley IFV during a combat patrol, Tall Afar, Iraq, 2006
Ancient Greek infantry of the Greco-Persian Wars (499–449 BC): light infantry (left, slinger), and the heavy infantry (middle and right, hoplites)
Rocroi, el último tercio ("Roicroi, the last tercio") by Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau, portraying infantry of a battered Spanish tercio at the 1643 Battle of Rocroi
French infantry line performing a bayonet charge in 1913
Swiss infantry kits arrayed in front of a field kitchen in Spitalacker, Bern during a workers' strike, c. 1918
US Army infantryman c. 1973
Russian weapons from the 13th to 17th centuries
The Roman testudo performed during a siege, as shown on Trajan's Column.
Ancient depiction of infantry formations, from the Stele of the Vultures, Early Dynastic Period (Mesopotamia), c. 2500 BC
The charge of the French Cuirassiers at the Battle of Waterloo against a British infantry square
Canadian army reserve infantrymen train in urban operations

From the mid-18th century until 1881 the British Army named its infantry as numbered regiments "of Foot" to distinguish them from cavalry and dragoon regiments (see List of Regiments of Foot).


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

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

An individual soldier in the cavalry is known by a number of designations depending on era and tactics, such as cavalryman, horseman, trooper, cataphract, knight, hussar, uhlan, mamluk, cuirassier, lancer, dragoon, or horse archer.

Mounted infantry

Mounted infantry were infantry who rode horses instead of marching.

A French dragoon (c. 1700).
Two Australian light horsemen in 1914

The original dragoons were essentially mounted infantry.

Edict of Fontainebleau

Edict issued by French King Louis XIV and is also known as the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes.

The Edict of Fontainebleau in the Archives Nationales
Plaque commemorating Edict of Nantes
The palace at Fontainebleau as it now stands
French Huguenots fleeing to Brandenburg

As a result of the officially-sanctioned persecution by the dragoons, who were billeted upon prominent Huguenots, many Protestants, estimates ranging from 210,000 to 900,000, left France over the next two decades.

Thomas Fairfax

English politician, general and Parliamentary commander-in-chief during the English Civil War.

Thomas Fairfax by Robert Walker
Sir Thomas Fairfax, Knight, line engraving, 1680. National Portrait Gallery, London
Doublet worn by Fairfax at the Battle of Maidstone in 1648
Gold medal depicting Thomas Fairfax in profile, 1645. National Portrait Gallery, London
The Most Excellent Thomas Fairfax, Captin Generall of the Armyes etc, etching, 1640s. National Portrait Gallery, London
Lead bust of Thomas Fairfax, c. 1650, National Portrait Gallery, London

In 1639 he commanded a troop of Yorkshire dragoons which marched with King Charles I against the Scots in the First Bishops' War, which ended with the Pacification of Berwick before any fighting took place.

Imperial Russian Army

The land armed force of the Russian Empire, active from around 1721 to the Russian Revolution of 1917.

Cockade of the Imperial Russian Army
General Suvorov crossing the St. Gotthard Pass during the Italian and Swiss expedition in 1799
Capture of a French regiment's eagle by the Russian Imperial Guard at the Battle of Austerlitz
Russian dragoons and hussars in 1807
Russian artillerymen in 1812–1814
The Russian Army entering Paris in 1814
Emperor Nicholas II of Russia in the uniform of the Chevalier Guard Regiment, 1896
Church parade of the Finland Guard Regiment, 1905
Organization of the Imperial Russian Army, 28 June 1914
Life Guards Cossack Regiment, 1855
2nd Orenburg Cossacks Regiment in 1910
Cossacks and Bashkirs attacking French troops at the Berezina
39th Tomsk Regiment, 1916
Russian military districts in 1913
Defence of Przasnysz by the Imperial Russian Army on the Eastern Front, 1915
Orenburg Cadet Corps
15th Rifle His Majesty King Nikola I Regiment
5th Kargolovsk Dragoon Regiment
Orlov Cadet Corps

There were different kinds of regiments, such as the regulars, dragoons, and reiters.

New Model Army

Standing army formed in 1645 by the Parliamentarians during the First English Civil War, then disbanded after the Stuart Restoration in 1660.

Sir Thomas Fairfax, appointed commander of the New Model in April 1645
Oliver Cromwell, appointed commander of the cavalry
Drill manual for musketeers
Historical reenactors depicting the New Model Army during the Battle of Naseby. The New Model Army was formed in 1645 by the Parliamentaries of the English Civil War.
A typical cannon used during the English Civil War
Modern reenactment of English Civil War battle
Agreement of the People (1647–1649)

It comprised 6,600 cavalry, divided into eleven units of 600 men, 14,400 foot, comprising twelve regiments of 1,200 men, and 1,000 dragoons.


Firearm with a short, large caliber barrel which is flared at the muzzle and frequently throughout the entire bore, and used with shot and other projectiles of relevant quantity or caliber.

A flintlock blunderbuss, built for Tipu Sultan
An English flintlock blunderbuss.
A French blunderbuss, called an espingole, 1760, France.
Musketoon, blunderbuss and coach gun from the American Civil War era.
A blunderbuss pistol, or dragon, found at a battlefield in Cerro Gordo, Veracruz, Mexico
An 1808 Harper's Ferry blunderbuss, of the type carried on the Lewis and Clark Expedition
A pair of early blunderbuss pistols from Poland fitted with the miquelet lock
A recreation of one of Lewis and Clark's pirogues with a blunderbuss mounted to the bow with a pintle.

A blunderbuss in handgun form was called a dragon, and it is from this that the term dragoon evolved.

Battle of Naseby

The Battle of Naseby took place on Saturday 14 June 1645 during the First English Civil War, near the village of Naseby in Northamptonshire.

Battle memorial, and beyond the fields of Broad Moor, the site of the battle
Disposition of the two armies, Royalists at top
Sir Thomas Fairfax, Parliamentarian commander
Battle of Naseby, hand-coloured copper engraving by Dupuis after Parrocel, 1727 (for Rapins History, v.2, p. 527)
Royalist horse after the battle, painting by Sir John Gilbert, 1860
Historical re-enactment

At the last minute, as the Royalists began to advance, Cromwell sent a regiment of dragoons under Colonel John Okey into the Sulby Hedges, where they could fire into the flank of Rupert's cavalry.

Battle of Cowpens

Engagement during the American Revolutionary War fought on January 17, 1781 near the town of Cowpens, South Carolina, between U.S. forces under Brigadier General Daniel Morgan and British forces under Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton, as part of the campaign in the Carolinas .

The Battle of Cowpens, painted by William Ranney in 1845. The scene depicts an unnamed black man (left), thought to be Colonel William Washington's waiter, firing his pistol and saving the life of Colonel Washington (on white horse in center).
Brigadier General Daniel Morgan
"Lieutenant-Colonel Banastre Tarleton" by Sir Joshua Reynolds
Reenactors at Cowpens
Battle of Cowpens Reenactment, 225th anniversary, January 14, 2006
Reenactment on the 225th anniversary of the battle, January 14, 2006
British attack at Cowpens, the first phase of the Battle of Cowpens
American counterattack, the second phase of the Battle of Cowpens
Battle of Cowpens January 17, 1781. Lieutenant Colonel William Washington's cavalry (right flank) and the militia (left flank) return to enfilade the British.
Reenactors portraying Colonial troops march into battle at Cowpens
Battlefield monument
The 13-striped, 13-starred American flag, with a single star in the center of a circling constellation, once believed to be flown during the battle, became known as the Cowpens flag.

General Charles Cornwallis dispatched cavalry (dragoons) commander Tarleton to defeat Morgan's command.