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.

Spear designed to be used by a mounted warrior or cavalry soldier .

- 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.

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Renaissance-era depiction of a joust in traditional or "high" armour, based on then-historical late medieval armour (Paulus Hector Mair, de arte athletica, 1540s)

Jousting

Renaissance-era depiction of a joust in traditional or "high" armour, based on then-historical late medieval armour (Paulus Hector Mair, de arte athletica, 1540s)
Depiction of a late 13th-century joust in the Codex Manesse. Joust by Walther von Klingen.
Depiction of a standing joust in an Alsatian manuscript of ca. 1420 (CPG 359); protection for the legs of the riders is integrated into the horse armour.
The Stechzeug of John the Constant (c. 1500). The shield strapped to his left shoulder is called an ecranche.
Jousting at Middelaldercentret
Armor of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor, 1549
Parade Armour of Henry II of France, c. 1553-55
Armour for King Henry VIII by Matthew Bisanz, 1544
Armour worn by King Henry VIII

Jousting is a martial game or hastilude between two horse riders wielding lances with blunted tips, often as part of a tournament.

Ottoman Sipahi heavy cavalry, c. 1550

Heavy cavalry

Class of cavalry intended to deliver a battlefield charge and also to act as a tactical reserve; they are also often termed shock cavalry.

Class of cavalry intended to deliver a battlefield charge and also to act as a tactical reserve; they are also often termed shock cavalry.

Ottoman Sipahi heavy cavalry, c. 1550
Early 16th-century French gendarmes, with complete plate armour and heavy lances
Spanish Heavy Cavalry - Royal Armoury of Madrid, Spain
Alexander the Great on horseback
The oldest known relief of a heavily armoured cavalryman, from the Sasanian Empire, at Taq-i Bostan, near Kermanshah, Iran (4th century)
Northern Wei heavy cavalry
A recreation of a medieval joust between heavily armoured knights at a modern Renaissance fair
Contemporary depiction in the Liber ad honorem Augusti, of Dipold of Acerra, an early 13th-century knight, when the knight was undisputed master of the battlefield
Mongol heavy cavalry in battle (13th–14th century)
Christian the Younger of Brunswick in the armour of a cuirassier
A re-enactor dressed as a Winged Hussar, who served as the heavy cavalry of the Polish Commonwealth
French cuirassiers, 19th century

Although their equipment differed greatly depending on the region and historical period, heavy cavalry were generally mounted on large powerful warhorses, wore body armor, and armed with either lances, swords, maces, flails (disputed), battle axes, or war hammers; their mounts may also have been protected by barding.

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.

German man-at-arms 1498 by Albrecht Dürer. The equipment is that of a demi-lancer.

Man-at-arms

Soldier of the High Medieval to Renaissance periods who was typically well-versed in the use of arms and served as a fully armoured heavy cavalryman.

Soldier of the High Medieval to Renaissance periods who was typically well-versed in the use of arms and served as a fully armoured heavy cavalryman.

German man-at-arms 1498 by Albrecht Dürer. The equipment is that of a demi-lancer.
Armour of an early 16th-century man-at-arms
English man-at-arms, funerary brass c. 1431
Fully armoured gendarmes from the Italian Wars (mid 16th century).
Armour for man-at-arms and fully barded horse, Royal Armory of Madrid

Though in English the term man-at-arms is a fairly straightforward rendering of the French homme d'armes, in the Middle Ages, there were numerous terms for this type of soldier, referring to the type of arms he would be expected to provide: In France, he might be known as a lance or glaive, while in Germany, Spieß, Helm or Gleve, and in various places, a bascinet.

French cuirassier (1809)

Cuirassier

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

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

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 first appeared in mid-to-late 16th century Europe as a result of armoured cavalry, such as men-at-arms and demi-lancers, discarding their lances and adopting the use of pistols as their primary weapon.

Polish uhlans from the Army of the Duchy of Warsaw 1807–1815 January Suchodolski painting

Uhlan

Polish uhlans from the Army of the Duchy of Warsaw 1807–1815 January Suchodolski painting
Uhlan of the 'Volontaires de Saxe' in 1745
Uhlan of the Natzmer-Uhlanen (1740–1742)
Polish uhlans of the Kościuszko Uprising in 1794 – Walery Eljasz Radzikowski
Polish chevaulegers of the Imperial Guard in the Battle of Peterswalde – Juliusz Kossak
Charge of the Poznań Cavalry Regiment at the Battle of Rajgród during the November uprising of 1831
Prussian Guard Uhlans about 1912
Prussian uhlans in pre-1914 uniform
Charge of the Austrian 13th Galician Uhlan Regiment during the Battle of Custoza (1866)
Tatar uhlans from Grodno area – soldiers of Polish Army in 1919
Polish uhlans during the Polish-Soviet War 1919–21, painted by Czesław Wasilewski, 1920s or 1930s
Volunteers recreating the 15th Poznań Uhlans Regiment in 1939 uniforms
Lithuanian Army's uhlan officers in 1925

Uhlans (ułan; ulonas; Ulan; hulan) were initially Lithuanian, later also Polish light cavalry units primarily armed with a lance.

Spear-armed hoplite from Greco-Persian Wars

Spear

Pole weapon consisting of a shaft, usually of wood, with a pointed head.

Pole weapon consisting of a shaft, usually of wood, with a pointed head.

Spear-armed hoplite from Greco-Persian Wars
Wooden spear point from about 420,000 years ago. Natural History Museum, London
Hunting spear and knife, from Mesa Verde National Park
Sumerian spearmen advancing in close formation with large shields – Stele of the Vultures, c.2450 BCE
Athenian warrior wielding a spear in battle
Re-enactor outfitted as a Late Roman legionary carrying a pilum
Assyrian soldier holding a spear and wearing a helmet. Detail of a basalt relief from the palace of Tiglath-pileser III at Hadatu, Syria. 744–727 BCE. Ancient Orient Museum, Istanbul
German reenactors of pikemen
Spear with inscription, Zhou dynasty
Shang Dynasty spear heads
A bronze spear, notice the ears on the side of the socket.
A later period qiang
Razakars during Operation Polo
Engraving of a Maratha soldier with spear by James Forbes, 1813.
Ukiyo-e print of a samurai general holding a yari in his right hand
A Filipino warrior holding a Sibat (spear) in the Boxer Codex.
Zulu man with iklwa, 1917
A photograph of an American native, a Hupa man with his spear – by Edward Sheriff Curtis, dated 1923
Spear Case, Crow (Native American), late 19th century, Brooklyn Museum
Peruvian fisherman spearfishing with a multi-pronged spear
A boar-spear with a bar
The Norse god Odin, carrying the spear Gungnir on his ride to Hel
Statue of the Hindu God of War, Murugan, holding his primary weapon, the Vel. Batu Caves, Malaysia.

A mounted knight would secure the lance by holding it with one hand and tucking it under the armpit (the couched lance technique) This allowed all the momentum of the horse and knight to be focused on the weapon's tip, whilst still retaining accuracy and control.

Charge of the Light Brigade by Richard Caton Woodville Jr.

Charge of the Light Brigade

Failed military action involving the British light cavalry led by Lord Cardigan against Russian forces during the Battle of Balaclava on 25 October 1854 in the Crimean War.

Failed military action involving the British light cavalry led by Lord Cardigan against Russian forces during the Battle of Balaclava on 25 October 1854 in the Crimean War.

Charge of the Light Brigade by Richard Caton Woodville Jr.
The written order which led to the Charge
The Timeline of the Charge taken from Forgotten Heroes: The Charge of the Light Brigade (2007).
Contemporaneous map showing line of the charge, "Charge des Anglais"
The charge was from left to right, with the Russian batteries at the extreme right
The Chasseurs d'Afrique led by General d'Allonville clearing Russian artillery from the Fedyukhin Heights.
Captain Louis Nolan
Officers and men of the 13th Light Dragoons, survivors of the charge, photographed by Roger Fenton
Souvenir picture of the 1904 survivors' reunion
Grave of Charles Macaulay, former Sergeant 8th KRI Hussars "One of the Six Hundred" in Woodhouse Cemetery, Leeds

The men were armed with lances and sabres.

Polish hussars

The Polish hussars (husaria ), alternatively known as the winged hussars, were a heavy cavalry formation active in Poland and in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1503 to 1702.

The Polish hussars (husaria ), alternatively known as the winged hussars, were a heavy cavalry formation active in Poland and in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1503 to 1702.

Entrance of winged Polish hussar delegates in La Rochelle, France, in 1573, following the Siege of La Rochelle (1572–1573) and their offering of the Polish throne to the Duke of Anjou.
A historical reconstruction of a Winged Hussar, 2013
Polish hussars during entry into Kraków, detail of so-called Stockholm Roll, 1605.
Hussar formation at the Battle of Klushino (1610), painting by Szymon Boguszowicz, 1620
Grand Standard Bearer of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland (Chorąży Wielki Koronny) on the Stockholm Roll (c. 1605)
Koncerz husarski – Koncerz a stabbing type of sword of the Polish hussars, often used against heavily armored opponents
Hussar half-armour from the mid-17th century, National Museum in Kraków.
Hussar armour, dating to the first half of the 17th century, Polish Army Museum in Warsaw.
Scale armour of King John III Sobieski.
Polish hussar sabre (Polish "szabla")

The hussar dress was ostentatious and comprised plated body armour (cuirass, spaulders, bevors and arm bracers) adorned by gold ornaments, a burgonet or lobster-tailed pot helmet and jackboots as well as versatile weaponry such as lances, koncerz, sabres, backswords, pistols, maces and hatchets.

Sheathed French sabres of the sailors of the Guard, First French Empire

Sabre

Type of backsword with a curved blade associated with the light cavalry of the early modern and Napoleonic periods.

Type of backsword with a curved blade associated with the light cavalry of the early modern and Napoleonic periods.

Sheathed French sabres of the sailors of the Guard, First French Empire
A szabla used by Polish Hussars, 1614
The Sword Dance (1890) by Paja Jovanović
A British Hussar general with a scabbarded kilij of Turkish manufacture (1812)
The briquet, typical infantry sabre of the Napoleonic Wars
French Navy sabre of the 19th century, boarding sabre
Lieutenant Colonel Teófilo Marxuach's M1902 officer's sabre and scabbard at the National Historic Trust site at Castillo San Cristóbal in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Although there was extensive debate over the effectiveness of weapons such as the sabre and lance, the sabre remained the standard weapon of cavalry for mounted action in most armies until World War I and in a few armies until World War II.