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Re: Pole Weaps versus Cav Charge

Russo-Polish War would have been a good chance.

Horses will not charge through solid barriers. Decent infantry from the dawn of organised warfare to mid-C19 pack together tight enough to look like a solid hedge, even without shields. But if there's a gap in the wall every horse in the charge will think, "Oh, it's OK, I'll go through there," and by the time they realise they aren't going to all fit it's too late to stop and the horses end up crashing into the line anyway. So discipline is even more essential for infantry versus cavalry than for infantry versus infantry.

Cavalry also pack at maximum density. The French said if you threw a plum at a charge one of the lances should skewer it. So movies where an agile warrior jumps around between the charging horses and grabs one from the side really don't work. On the other hand cavalry on cavalry charges can be even stupider than cavalry on infantry. The horses end up face to face, slow down and stop, and the riders can hardly reach each other.


On 2 Aug. 2018 7:23 am, "Craig Barber" <craigwbar@comcast.net> wrote:

So I wonder if anyone in the 1920s or 1930s caught on movie film the moment of impact between a genuine cav charge and pole weapons?  (Maybe during The River War, or the breakup of the Austo-Hungarian Empire or a Russian invasion of Turkey?)   What really happens?  I wouldn't trust written accounts from the cavalry era(s) --- due to viewpoint problems.  (Herald: "Then our stalwart yeomanry did withstand the enemy charge!" [real world: 60% casualties among the pikemen, go get more yeoman before your next battle]). 

My most vivid "memories" of it are... TLOTR: Peter Jackson has the Rohirrim pretty much pancake the poor orcs twice: Helm's Deep and Minis Tirith.  OTOH, the USMC claimed into the 1910's at least (had an elderly relative) that they were stoic enough to stop a cav charge just with mounted bayonets and discipline.   Seems like good fiction or poor memories are all we have to go on.  Someone here know of some original source material? 

-- Craig