Australian Light Horse
Australian Light Horse crossing sandunes anl-pic an-238160-v
The Australian Light Horse were not cavalry but were variously called:
Mounted Infantry (in Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia) or
Mounted Rifles (in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia).
However all performed the roles of both Mounted Infantry and Mounted Rifles as defined below.
Cavalry: the traditional horsed soldier, trained in the skill of use of cavalry sword and lance they were required to do scouting, reconnaissance, outpost and quard duty, skirmishing, surprise attack and defence. They traditionally fought on horseback but increasingly by World War I also on foot. This mode of combat was phasing out as firearms took over.Later in World War I some of the Australian Light Horse were equipped with swords, and became cavalry.
Mounted Infantry: are Infantry- foot soldiers, armed with rifles, but mounted on horses to move rapidly from place to place.
Mounted Rifles: are horsed soldiers who as well as fighting on foot, are required to do scouting, reconnaissance, outpost and quard duty, skirmishing, surprise attack and defence with a firearm only (and bayonet).
The Australian 4th and 12th Light Horse Regiments at the Battle of Beershebain 1917 made what is the only successful Mounted Infantry charge (Light Horse is not considered Cavalry) in history.
The Australian Light Horsemen used their horses to swiftly transport troops to the battle-field.
They fought dismounted while horse-handlers took the horses to safety, then the horse-handlers returned with the horses for the troops to remount, and just as quickly retreat or retire from the battlefield.
⇐ Australian Light Horse Units, Jordan Valley, Palestine
The Australian Light Horse were a highly mobile force, which was a great advantage on the battlefield.
The English Commander-in-Chief - General Sir Edmund Allenby wrote a remarkable tribute to the Australian Light Horse, it concluded:
"The Australian lighthorseman combines with a splendid physique a restless activity of mind. This mental quality renders him somewhat impatient of rigid and formal discipline, but it confers upon him the gift of adaptability, and this is the secret of much of his success mounted or on foot. In this dual role . . . The Australian lighthorseman has proved himself equal to the best.
He has earned the gratitude of the Empire and the admiration of the world."
The Australian Light Horse served ...
||from before Federation|
||during the Boer War|
||and World War I.|
||became Militia units between the world wars|
||Many became Motorised Units during the World WarII|
NORFORCE Soldiers on Horsback in the Northern Territory 2009
A small number of horses are still in use for recconnaisance, surveillance and ceremonial purposes in NORFORCE - the North West Mobile Forces - in the Northern Territory and north Western Australia
The Mounted Soldiers of Australia
This is a comprehensive article that describes history and details of the way the Australian Light Horsemen and their horses lived and fought. I reccommend it to you. Click on the on link below to go to the Australian Light Horse Association website: http://www.lighthorse.org.au/resources/military-stories-ww1/the-mounted-soldiers-of-australia
The Australian Light Horse - Structure
"We are all concentrated in sections. A section is four men. A section lives together, eats together, sleeps together, fights together, and when a shell lands on it, dies together. A full troop of men has eight sections. There are four troops to a squadron, three squadrons to a regiment. I'm not going further than the regiment. Our big world is the regiment and even then most of us don't know intimately the men out of our own squadron. Our life is just concentrated in the "section". We growl together, we swear together, we take one another's blasted horses to water, we conspire against the damned troop-sergeant together, we growl against the war and we damn the officers up hill and down dale together; we do every-thing together — in fact, this whole blasted war is being fought in sections. The fate of all the East at least, depends entirely upon the section."
From: Idriess, IL,The Desert Column, (Sydney 1933), p. 63.
Parts of the Light Horse Units
There is a detailed description of the Structure of the Australian Light Horse from the Australian Light Horse Studies Centre under the following sections:Author's note p. x
Regimental Service Number
Composition of the Light Horse Squadron and placement of members within the individual Troop
Australian Light Horse
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jean Bou-"LIGHT HORSE A History of Australia's Mounted Arm"- Author's note p. x