Items

Forums
 
War Horses
 By Winniefield Park   •   18th Nov 2015   •   5,306 views   •   1 comments
War Horses

Remembrance Day and Memorial Day are celebrated in many countries during the month of November. It’s a time to thank veterans and remember fallen heros. Along with the human heros, many of us also give some thought to the thousands of four-legged heros that endured the horrors of battle alongside their human counterparts. When World War One broke out, the western world was experiencing a transition from real horsepower to engine power. It was the last war in which horses played a major role.

Motorcars were becoming popular and tractors and fuel driven machinery was taking over agricultural work formerly done by teams of horses. When WWI began Cavalry still existed and horses played a major part in battles, but it was quickly apparent that the role of horses changed drastically in the face of mechanized war machines. Cavalry had the advantage over foot soldiers carrying weapons like swords, but machine guns, and modern artillery defeated that advantage, with often devastating results. Even with the disadvantage, horses were often more valued than men, which were more easily replaceable. Horses still pulled loads through terrain trucks could not handle, artillery and supply wagons, and ironically, first-aid ambulances.

Related: A Brave Marine - Sergeant Reckless
Related: Four Kiwi Horses Return From The Great War
Related: FRemembering the Horses of World War I

Even with new technology, horses still played a major role. Sadly, few returned home and their names are not inscribed on the many cenotaphs and monuments erected in honor of fallen heros. When WWII began in 1939, horses took a much lesser role. Britain had mechanized its military and the U.S. had only one mounted cavalry unit, stationed in the Philippines.

But still, over six million horses were used by Nazi Germany and the U.S.S.R. for hauling cargo, such as troop transport, artillery and supplies, largely because these countries did not have access to the raw materials for building vehicles and fueling them. But, the use of horses was ineffectual against the faster, more durable motorized transports of the allies. And, the cost of maintaining horsepower was very high. Horsepower also limited the distance that supplies and weaponry could be moved. A truck can run 24X7 with repair and refueling. A horse must be rested and fed. Poor food, housing and care and the logistics of providing it all was a major challenge.

As WWII progressed, fewer and fewer horses were used. France started out with 500,000 horses that included light cavalry and horse-drawn artillery. By the end of the war, only a few cavalry units remained. Few countries used them for drawing supplies, as trucks proved far more efficient. The last British mounted cavalry charge occurred on March 21, 1942 in Burma.

Now, most horses play a ceremonial role when it comes to the military, with units kept specifically for parades and demonstrations. But in Afghanistan in 2001, Special Operations soldiers rode horses into combat with the Northern Alliance against the Taliban. Cavalry type units still train because small horseback mounted units can move around a battlefield quietly and don't require the gasoline and supplies that constrain motorized forces. Oddly, this sounds exactly why horses fell out of favor in battle.

So while the somber celebrations take place around the world, many of us will be giving thanks to the unsung four-legged heroes that fell and share in the sentiment, ‘never again’.



--
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/06/22/horses-marines-afghanistan/10744395/
https://canadianhorsedefencecoalition.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/the-soldiers-kiss/
http://www.animalsinwar.org.uk/index.cfm?asset_id=1422
Horse News More PB Articles About:  Military,
Horse News More In This Category:  Equine History and Culture      Horse News More From This Author:  Winniefield Park
Valkyrie   MOD 
Australia loves their war horses. The Australian Light Horse was a very popular brigade during WWI. They fought unhorsed at Gallipoli (due to the treacherous heights above Anzac Cove) but regained their mounts after the withdrawal from the peninsula in January 1916. Thereafter they were used in Palestine in the desert. There are some fascinating stories that came about from the New Zealand and Australian mounted troops there. After the war ended a lot of them put down their faithful mounts rather than see them sold into hard labour in Egypt. Only a handful of horses returned to their home countries. Bess is a famous New Zealand mare who did.

Some of the Australian horses that took part in that war are the famous Waler breed from New South Wales. They are tough, hardy horses used a lot of the time by stockmen. One of the more famous Walers from the war was called "Bill" (his full name is a bit inappropriate to post, see the link I'll attach). He was notorious for bucking people off.
  10 days ago  •  6,576 views
 Related Horse News
A Brave Marine - Sergeant Reckless
11th Jul 2012   |   Equine History and Culture   |   mosquito
This isn’t the story of just any marine. Sergeant Reckless was unique. First of all, I think I’m safe in saying she was the first female marine ever, certainly the first to be promoted to Sergeant. She was like her comrades in man ...
War Horses
18th Nov 2015   |   Equine History and Culture   |   Winniefield Park
Remembrance Day and Memorial Day are celebrated in many countries during the month of November. It’s a time to thank veterans and remember fallen heros. Along with the human heros, many of us also give some thought to the thousand ...
Military on Horseback
10th Apr 2018   |   Equine History and Culture   |   Winniefield Park
As soon as man learned to ride horseback, they probably rode horses into battles, raids and other types of conflicts. But the earliest use of horses in battle, 3000 to 4000 years ago, was for pulling loads. Eventually the chariot ...
Awards For Horses
14th Dec 2018   |   Equine History and Culture   |   Winniefield Park
In many countries November is the month to mark Armistice, Remembrance or Memorial Day. No matter what it’s called, it’s a time to reflect on and honor those who sacrificed to maintain our freedom. Services and events are often at ...
Miles Ranch Connects PTSD Military Vets with Horse Therapy
8th Aug 2020   |   Equine History and Culture   |   Winniefield Park
Ex-military personnel who have been on active duty often struggle with PTSD when they return to what is supposed to be normal life. The suicide rate of veterans is alarming. But there are many programs that use horses to help woun ...
  View More PonyBox Related Horse Articles
 More News by Winniefield Park
BLM Highlights The First Cowboys
24th Nov 2020   |   Equine History and Culture   |   Winniefield Park
Black lives matter. And, so does their history. The Caucasion ten-gallon-hatted cowboy may be legend, but it might not be accurate. Skilled African Americans worked cattle, pioneered rodeo sports, ran famous cattle drives, and wer ...
RavenSide Stud Breeds Record Breaker No More Pain
22nd Nov 2020   |   Equine History and Culture   |   Winniefield Park
Two horses have jumped over 103", and a new highest jump record has been set beating out the third whose best jump was 102.75". These top three record breaking horses are bred and owned by the same stable and all three are Thorou ...
Horse Rescued from Well
21st Nov 2020   |   Equine History and Culture   |   Winniefield Park
A farmer helped his Amish neighbor's horses escape a frightening accident after they fell while backfilling a dry well. The Working With Horses YouTube channel covers many different aspects of working the land with real horsepower ...
Top PonyBox Karma Barns
15th Nov 2020   |   Equine History and Culture   |   Winniefield Park
We’ve looked at stables with the highest rank, the most winnings and greatest total earnings, but some stables, many very successful in these things, are also leaders in good will. Karma points are earned or lost when members inte ...
Wild Horses Run Through Cyclists in Vuelta a España Event
13th Nov 2020   |   Equine History and Culture   |   Winniefield Park
It was another man against beast match at the Vuelta a España, a cycling race that winds through the Pyrenees mountains and finishes in Madrid, Spain. Wild horses nearly collided with several cyclists as they sped around the mount ...
Stadium Jumping in the Modern Pentathalon
11th Nov 2020   |   Equine History and Culture   |   Winniefield Park
We’ve heard of horses that are all-rounders, but there’s a type of human athlete that could be described that way too. Participants in the modern pentathlon compete in five different sports, including stadium jumping. ...
Devil Dog Slides While My Glory Charger Leads PonyBox Ranks
8th Nov 2020   |   Equine History and Culture   |   Winniefield Park
Friesians, TBs and Fjords are in the top ranks. 3P My Glory Charger became top horse and was one of several PYTHON Friesiens within the top fifty horses when he reached the #1 spot. My Glory Charger is a 14.1 hand 11 year old stal ...
Video of Horse Mistaken for Loch Ness Monster
7th Nov 2020   |   Equine History and Culture   |   Winniefield Park
It’s easy to trick the eye. So when local residents in Scotland saw a strange figure traveling through the misty waters of a loch you might forgive them for thinking they spotted the elusive Loch Ness monster. ...
  View All News by Winniefield Park
 
©2002 - 2020   PonyBox LLC Create Account Advertise Terms Privacy Contact Us
163 Members Online 269,469 Registered Members 2,801 News Articles 11,928,583 Unique News Article Views 284,969,962 Website Views