ALCON: This article is a guest post from a military dependent. We figured some of you would have kids that identified with him, if you don't yourself. Check it out and let us know if this is something you might be interested in seeing in the future. The moniker 'Spawn of Shooter' was chosen for its relevance to fps gamers (you know as well as I do how many "military brats" play CoD3, MW3 and the like) and also because youngsters dad and all his uncles are military...literally every branch, and some of them deployed right now. See what you think. -Brandon
Real Warhorses and their Riders
by Spawn of Shooter
About a month ago (on Christmas Day, perhaps you remember it), the movie Warhorse was released to the public in theaters. So far almost all the reviews (and most of my friends) say it's pretty dang good. Now a lot of Kit Up! readers probably knew better, but back when it came out a lot of people (myself included) were asking "Did they seriously use cavalry in WWI, the so-called 'Great War'? Against machine-guns and all the tools of modern warfare?
Why yes, yes they did. There's a lot of reasons behind that. Entire books have been written about the hows and whys of the various mistakes made back then. (It's not for nothing that millions of guys died stupidly: stop and think about it, what if those were my uncles or my dad, or yours?)
This is a picture of American cavalry in WWI. American troops sent to WWI were called the American Expeditionary Force (AEF).
Anyway, they did use cavalry (not Calvary, that's a pretty important hill near Jerusalem). In fact, on August 22, 1914, the very first British shot of the war in France was apparently fired by a cavalryman, Edward Thomas of the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards, Near Casteau, during a patrol in the buildup to the "Battle of Mons". The last cavalry charge was by the Australian 4TH Light Horse on Halloween night, 1917 at the Battle of Beersheba.
There's a really good article about it on Command Posts, if you're interested. You can find out more about the movie Warhorse on IMDB. The other thing you can do is check out the book the movie's based on, Warhorse.
Oh, and there's a "society of military horse" too, like a historical study group of cavalry and warhorses. Its pretty cool.
"The use of horses in World War I marked a transitional period in the evolution of armed conflict. Cavalry units were initially considered essential offensive elements of a military force, but over the course of the war, the vulnerability of horses to modern machine gun and artillery fire reduced their utility on the battlefield. This paralleled the development of tanks, which would ultimately replace cavalry in shock tactics. While the perceived value of the horse in war changed dramatically, horses still played a significant role throughout the war."
If you want to see an older movie about cavalry in WWI, you should check out The Lighthorsemen. I'd never heard of it until I talked to one of my uncles who saw it on a pump to the Philippines right after it had actually come out. Here's a clip. It's really good.
Until the next time, I hope your family's safe if they're deployed. Thank you for your service. I may see some of you soon at Ft. Leonard Wood!
Spawn of Shooter
Spawn of Shooter is a military dependent and a gamer. His great-grandfathers, grandfathers, dad, uncles, pseudo-uncles and other influences (arguably worthy of the title 'role model') present a wide mix of military (some now LE) personnel from all four branches, including a grunt CSM, a gunner's mate, one green-side corpsman, a couple of MSGTs, several junior NCOs of various MOS/AFSCs, a grunt/STA Marine, one FO, a couple military police, a nurse and some civilian cops who all were in the military. He likes first person shooters, gets his dork on in WoW and Skyrim and can competently shoot basic qual courses with a shotgun (20ga. not 12, yet) and pistol (still working on the rifle). He understands the advantages and disadvantages of living in the fishbowl that is base housing (and of getting on and off base during FPCON exercises). He doesn't particularly care for shopping at AAFES, though unlike some of his peers and age groups does not mind rendering proper courtesies during retreat or colors. He does love Anthony's pizza.