History of European cavalry. Pictures of European cavalry. Greek cavalry, Roman cavalry, Celtic cavalry, medieval knights, 100 Years war cavalry, renaissance cavalry, 30 Years War cavalry, Napoleonic wars cavalry, ww1 and ww2 cavalry.
EUROPEAN CAVALRY PICTURES
Ancient Greek cavalry has not a big importance except conquests of Alexander the Great.
Infantry was the decisive force of Roman army. Importance of Roman cavalry (equites Romani) grew with barbarian raids in later times.
Cataphract was the precursor to the medieval knight. Used by Byzantian empire against eastern armies.
Ayrudzi-Armenian heavy cavalry protected Armenia and these elite troops served in Byzantian and Persian armies after Armenia lost its independance in 428AD.
Norman cavalry – discipline, chain mail, spears and swords on horseback of norman soldiers ment a terrible defeat for Anglo-Saxon infantry in battle of Hastings 1066. Normans were prototypes of medieval knights.
Cuman cavalry was used mostly in Hungarian army, for example in Battle of Marchfeld 1278. Cumans (Kipchaks, Comani, Polovtsi) were originally nomadic people from Asia.
Elite French knights were terribly defeated in Battle of Crecy 1346 and Agincourt 1415 by English well organized but smaller army. English longbowmen were the decisive element.
Renaissance Cavalry in 16th century
Mounted Spanish soldiers in plate mail, armed by pikes, rapiers and firearms caused a terrible defeates to Indian cultures in Latin America.
Cossacks were military people lived in Russia. They served to Russian empire against Swedes and Turks. Cossacks are also responsible for Russian expansion to Siberia. They fought for Russia in Napoleonic wars, 1ww. Cossacks were mostly of side of White corps during Russian civil war against bolsheviks. Numerous troops of Cossacks were part of Red army during ww2 however a few troops fought on German side in hope to beat communism. Cossacs are still part of Russian armed forces by Decree of president Putin 2005.
Cavalry in 17th century
Swedish cavalry of 17th century during 30 Years war. Gustav II Adolf and his troops.
Polish Hussars were an elite Polish cavalry. Armed by famous Polish sabre – karabela, lance and firearms they defeated Turks, Russians and Swedes in numerous battles. Polish Hussaria lasted from 16th till 18th century. Victory in Battle of Viena saved Europe from Turkish invasion. Polish Winged Hussars were one of the most impressive cavalry units ever.
Cavalry in 18th century
Cavalry in 19th century-Napoleonic wars
The Austrian cavalry consisted
Cuirassiers – Czechs and Moravians, Austrians
Dragoons – Austrians and Moravians (Czechs)
Chevaulegers – Austrians, Czechs, Italians
Hussars – Hungarians
Uhlans – Poles, Ukraininas
French ww1 cavalry man with gas mask.
WW2 was end of massive cavalry use. Cavalry was massively used in Poland and Russia however horses served in all armies during ww2 conflict.
This still does not means end of horses in armies. Numerous special ops still use horses even these days in a very hard accessible terrain like in Peru or Afghanistan.
Sabre – a typical cavalry weapon in post medieval times
Sabre was adopted in medieval times from Asia (Turks and Mongols).