Of what use were the British cavalry during the years of trench warfare on the Western Front? On a static battlefield dominated by the weapons of the industrial age, by the machine gun and massed artillery, the cavalry were seen as an anachronism. They were vulnerable to modern armaments, of little value in combat and a waste of scarce resources. At least, that is the common viewpoint. Indeed, the cavalry have been consistently underestimated since the first histories of the Great War were written. But, in light of modern research, is this the right verdict? David Kenyon seeks to answer this question in his thought-provoking new study. His conclusions challenge conventional wisdom on the subject – they should prompt a radical re-evaluation of the role of the horseman on the battlefields of France and Flanders a century ago. Using evidence gained from primary research into wartime records and the eyewitness accounts of the men who were there – who saw the cavalry in action – he reassesses the cavalry’s contribution and performance. His writing gives a vivid insight into the cavalry tactics and the ethos of the cavalrymen of the time. He also examines how the cavalry combined with the other arms of the British army, in particular the tanks. His well-balanced and original study will be essential reading for students of the Western Front and for anyone who is interested in the long history of cavalry combat.
HORSEMEN IN NO MAN’S LAND British Cavalry and the Trench Warfare 1914-1918
David Kenyon questions the assumption that the cavalry played no useful part in the Great War,this is the definitive book on the subject, in which we see the real complexities, constraints, achievements and limitations in a thoroughly accurate context.