Mengenang Tuduhan Berkuda Major Terakhir Sejarah

Mengenang Tuduhan Berkuda Major Terakhir Sejarah

Dengan menarik pedang, sekitar 600 tentera berkuda Itali menjerit seruan pertempuran tradisional mereka tentang "Savoia!" dan berlari menuju ke arah 2.000 askar Soviet yang bersenjatakan mesingan dan mortar. Pada 23 Ogos 1942 (beberapa sumber mengatakan 24 Ogos), pasukan berkuda — sebahagian daripada pencerobohan Paksi ke Soviet Union semasa Perang Dunia II — berusaha menutup jurang yang telah terbuka antara tentera Itali dan Jerman di sepanjang Sungai Don . Itu adalah akhir zaman. Walaupun para pakar percaya bahawa tuduhan berkuda yang lebih kecil dan kurang didokumentasikan mungkin berlaku kemudian pada Perang Dunia II dan mungkin pada akhir tahun 1970-an di Rhodesia (sekarang Zimbabwe), mereka secara umum menggambarkan ini sebagai tuduhan besar terakhir dalam sejarah.

Dalam formasi yang penuh sesak, pasukan berkuda Itali meluru diri mereka di sayap kiri dan belakang garis Soviet, melemparkan bom tangan dan memukul dengan pedang mereka. Walaupun mengalami kerugian besar, mereka kemudian melewati garis ke arah terbalik dan membantu melepaskan Soviet dari kedudukan mereka. Tuduhan berkuda Perang Dunia II yang lain tidak begitu beruntung. Pada awal konflik, penyerang Polandia kononnya menyerang sebuah batalion infanteri Jerman (tetapi bukan kereta kebal, kerana propaganda Nazi akan membuat kita percaya) dan mengalami hasil yang sangat buruk. Tuduhan terakhir A.S. berlaku di Filipina pada Januari 1942, ketika penunggang kuda dari Rejimen Kavaleri ke-26 sementara menyebarkan Jepun. Namun, tidak lama kemudian, tentera A.S. dan Filipina yang kelaparan terpaksa memakan kuda mereka sendiri. Dua bulan kemudian, tentera Jepun di Burma hampir sepenuhnya menghapuskan rejim India yang berkuasa di bawah komando British.

Sebenarnya, senjata api cepat pada dasarnya menjadikan tuduhan berkuda sudah usang lebih dari satu abad sebelumnya. Tetapi tradisi lama mati dengan teruk. Selama beribu-ribu tahun, pemimpin tentera terkenal seperti Alexander the Great, Hannibal, Genghis Khan dan Frederick the Great telah menggunakan prajurit yang dipasang dengan berkesan. Alex Bielakowski, seorang profesor bersekutu di Komando Tentera Darat A.S. dan Kolej Staf Am, mengatakan seperti ini: "Sekiranya anda melihat semua lelaki ini menyerang anda, naluri manusia untuk jumlah orang yang berlebihan adalah seperti berlari. Maka mudah kerana apabila mereka melarikan diri, anda boleh memilihnya. "

Napoleon Bonaparte, yang membangun kekuatan pasukan berkuda yang kuat, biasanya melemahkan barisan musuh dengan tembakan artileri dan kemudian menghantar pasukannya untuk serangan yang menentukan. "Kavaleri Perancis di bawah Napoleon terkenal sebagai yang terbaik di dunia," terutama dalam cara mereka menangani formasi besar, kata Jeffrey T. Fowler, seorang profesor bersekutu di Universiti Ketenteraan Amerika. "Mereka terlatih dengan sangat baik sehingga mereka dapat berhenti, mereka dapat bermanuver, mereka dapat mengubah arah, mereka dapat melakukan semua hal ini." Walaupun begitu, mereka mengalami kekalahan teruk di Waterloo pada tahun 1815.

Sepanjang sisa abad ke-19 dan awal abad ke-20, pasukan berkuda muncul sebagai komponen utama operasi gerila dan anti-gerila. Tetapi mereka tidak akan bersinar dalam pertempuran bernada. Dalam Perang Krimea, artileri Rusia memotong kavaleri Inggeris menjadi hancur semasa Charge of the Light Brigade yang terkenal. Tidak lama kemudian, komandan Union dan Konfederasi semasa Perang Saudara Amerika mengetahui bahawa bunuh diri untuk menghantar penunggang kuda mereka ke medan terbuka terhadap senapan senapang. Hasilnya, mereka mula menyelamatkan pasukan berkuda mereka untuk tujuan pengintaian dan serangan jarak jauh di belakang barisan musuh. Lebih banyak pembunuhan besar-besaran berlaku semasa Perang Franco-Prusia, termasuk satu di mana sekumpulan penunggang kuda dan kuda Perancis yang terkorban menggagalkan usaha kemudiannya untuk bergerak ke kawasan itu. Selepas itu, Kor Perubatan Jerman memutuskan bahawa hanya enam askar yang mati akibat luka pedang dalam semua pertempuran perang itu.

Namun sangat sedikit pelajaran ini tenggelam sebelum Perang Dunia I, di mana tentera di kedua-dua pihak muncul dengan lancer dan pendekar berkuda. "Anda akan menentang senapang mesin dengan tongkat panjang," kata Bielakowski. "Ini adalah salah satu contoh keengganan untuk melepaskan sesuatu kerana kita selalu melakukannya dengan cara itu." Semasa bahagian pertama perang, pasukan berkuda memainkan peranan sebagai mata dan telinga tentera. Tetapi paling tidak di depan Barat, mereka dipotong secara berkala setiap kali mereka menyerang posisi yang diperkuat dengan kawat berduri, parit, senjata automatik dan kereta kebal.

Mungkin kerana beberapa tuduhan berkuda benar-benar menerobos di bagian Timur yang kurang maju dari segi teknologi, pasukan tetap tidak sabar untuk melepaskan kuda mereka. Kavaleri bahkan mempunyai penyokongnya di Amerika Syarikat, yang merupakan salah satu negara pertama yang melakukan mekanisme sepenuhnya. "Kuda dan keldai bukanlah kepingan muzium," tulis Kolonel John F. Wall dalam laporan tahun 1951 yang kini disimpan di arkib Persatuan Kavaleri A.S. "Jika dibuang sepenuhnya sekarang, dalam beberapa hari yang akan datang, mereka akan muncul kembali. Memang memalukan bahawa hari ini berada di jarak yang sangat jauh sehingga tidak ada orang yang tersedia untuk mengemas pelana atau melempar Diamond Hitch. "

Pada zaman moden ini, pasukan berkuda telah digantikan oleh kereta kebal untuk serangan kejutan, oleh kenderaan berperisai dan helikopter untuk pengangkutan dan oleh pesawat untuk pengintaian. Tetapi walaupun dengan persenjataan moden yang ada, seekor kuda tetap berguna sesekali. Sebagai contoh, pada tahun 2001, pasukan A.S. di Afghanistan difoto dengan menunggang kuda di kawasan yang teruk di samping sekutu-sekutu Perikatan Utara mereka.


Kisah Tuduhan Berkuda Inggeris Terakhir dalam Sejarah

Pada bulan Ogos 1898, Jeneral Britain H.H. Kitchener sampai di Omdurman. Pentas ditetapkan untuk pasukan berkuda terakhir dalam sejarah ketenteraan Britain.

Fasa Pertama Berdarah

Kira-kira 50 ela dari zareba, dua cengkerang meletup, pecah lubang di kerikil dan pasir merah. Peluru itu berasal dari artileri Mahdist, tetapi senapangnya tidak berfungsi dengan baik sehingga mereka gagal. Artileri Anglo-Mesir menjawab, tetapi dengan ketepatan yang jauh lebih mematikan. Di sebelah kanan, Ibrahim al-Khalil dan anak buahnya bergerak ke depan, tumpah di jurang yang menandakan sempadan timur Jebel Sergham. Senjata dari Battery Field ke-32 dibuka pada jarak 2.800 ela, hujan peluru yang menghasilkan pembunuhan yang mengerikan. Sebanyak 20 peluru memukul jisim hitam yang semakin meningkat pada minit pertama, meletupkan bunga api dan debu merah yang kotor dengan setiap letupan.

Lelaki dipenggal, diusir, dikoyakkan dari anggota badan tetapi yang lain tampil dengan keberanian dan ketegasan yang luar biasa. Al-Khalil ditiup dari pelana, jatuh di kotoran ketika kepala kudanya hampir dipatahkan oleh serpihan cangkang. Dengan menaiki kuda segar, dia memimpin anak buahnya ke depan — tetapi pada waktu ini mereka berada di jarak dekat senapan mesin Maxim dan senapang Lee-Medford. Senapang mesin dibuka, mengucapkan hujan es yang stabil, dan Pengawal Grenadier berdiri dan menembakkan api yang terus menerus pada barisan musuh. Ibrahim al-Khalil ditembak di kepala dan dada, dan mangsa yang berdarah itu dengan berat hati jatuh ke belakang.

Serangan Sheikh Osman al-Din di bahagian tengah sama bencana. Tembok Britain merobek jurang berdarah dan melemparkan lelaki seperti boneka kain ke udara, namun kaum Darwis enggan menyerah. Permaidani cangkang kartrij yang dihimpun berkumpul di sekitar setiap askar Britain, dan senapang menjadi sangat panas sehingga mereka harus diganti dengan senjata dari tempat simpanan.

Orang-orang Dervish tidak bernasib baik di sebelah kiri. Rejimen Sudan sedikit mencintai senegara Mahdis mereka, dan ada yang mungkin ingin membalas dendam atas kemerosotan khalifa. Orang Sudan terbuka pada jarak 800 ela, asap, api, dan timbal yang hebat dari Martini-Henry mereka. Pemimpin Darwis terus maju, tetapi daging dan darah manusia tidak tahan melawan taufan timbal dan logam ini.

Tuduhan Berkuda Formal Terakhir dalam Sejarah British

Fasa pertama Pertempuran Omdurman telah berakhir. Dataran di antara Bukit Keriri dan Jebel Surgham ditutup dengan ribuan mayat Mahdis. Yang cedera merangkak di antara orang mati, kebanyakan dari mereka meninggalkan jejak berdarah yang hilang dari tangan, kaki, atau kaki. "Hentikan api!" Teriak Kitchener, lalu memerintahkan tentera untuk membelok ke selatan dan terus menuju Omdurman. Jenderal itu khalifah mungkin berdiri di kota, dan pemikiran pertempuran rumah ke rumah sangat menakutkan.

Sebagai langkah pertama, Kitchener memerintahkan Kolonel Rowland Martin dan Lancers ke-21 untuk mengumpul semula kota itu dan menghentikan pengunduran Dervishes yang melarikan diri. Martin gembira untuk mematuhi rejimen itu gatal untuk bertindak. Lancer maju berjalan-jalan, kemudian mengintai garis Dervishes kira-kira setengah batu jauhnya. Orang-orang Darwis — hanya sekitar 100 orang pencakar langit - mula melepaskan tembakan ke arah penunggang kuda Inggeris. Martin memerintahkan "roda kanan ke dalam garis," yang dilemparkan oleh bugler dalam nota muzik. 320 pasukan berpusing dengan cerdas, bersiap sedia untuk pertuduhan penuh pertama rejimen dan tuduhan berkuda rasmi terakhir dalam sejarah Britain.

Lancer dikenakan gaya halus, tombak diratakan dan pedang dilukis. Tetapi ketika mereka mencapai tujuan mereka, mereka terkejut ketika mendapati tanah jatuh sejauh lima kaki untuk mengekspos khor - anak sungai yang kering - yang dipenuhi dengan 3,000 pahlawan 10 hingga 12 pangkat dalam. Yang ke-21 telah komited - tidak ada yang tersisa untuk dilakukan melainkan meningkatkan kadar dan berharap yang terbaik. Kesan seterusnya sangat dahsyat, ketika kuda-kuda terjun ke arah musuh. Kira-kira 30 anggota pasukan tidak mendapat bantuan ketika mereka menyerang pasukan yang penuh sesak, dan mungkin sebanyak 200 Darwis dibaringkan, dipijak dan terpegun. Tetapi orang-orang Mahdis pulih dengan cepat — inilah jenis peperangan yang mereka fahami.

Setiap lancer mendapati dirinya terperangkap di lautan musuh yang melemparkan tombak dan memukul pedang dengan liar. Pasukan ditarik dari dudukannya, dikepung dan digodam. Pengantin dipotong, kulit sanggul dipotong, dan kuda disangkut dalam usaha untuk menjatuhkannya. Churchill adalah salah satu yang bernasib baik, sebahagiannya kerana dia berada di paling kanan, di mana massa Dervishes lebih kurus, dan juga kerana dia menggunakan pistol. Walaupun begitu, dia hampir tidak dapat melarikan diri dengan nyawanya. Setelah mendapati dirinya dikelilingi oleh beberapa dozen Dervish, Churchill mengosongkan Mausernya ketika mereka mendekat untuk menyelesaikannya. Seorang penyerang, mengayunkan pedang melengkung, mendekati pistol sehingga dia menabraknya. Churchill melarikan diri pada saat terakhir dan berlari ke keselamatan.

Lancer yang masih hidup berjaya keluar dari khor dan berhenti untuk membentuk semula. Jarak dekat hanya dua minit, tetapi dalam masa yang singkat 22 orang telah terbunuh dan 50 yang lain cedera. Sebanyak 119 ekor kuda telah disembelih. Lancers ke-21 telah menutupi diri mereka dalam kemuliaan, tetapi dengan harga darah yang tinggi. Setelah dia pulih dari euforia pertempuran, Churchill mencatat "kuda menyemburkan darah, lelaki berdarah akibat luka yang mengerikan, tombak cangkuk ikan tersekat tepat di dalamnya, lelaki terengah-engah, menangis, berakhir." Seorang letnan berdekatan cedera di bahu dan kaki, tangannya hampir dipukul oleh serangan pedang, dan wajah seorang sarjan "dipotong-potong ... seluruh hidung, pipi dan bibirnya mengepal gelembung merah."

Gordon Avenged

Pertempuran belum selesai. Kitchener keliru mempercayai tentera Mahdis telah pecah. Dervish telah menderita dengan teruk, tetapi sebahagian besar bahagian bendera hitam Khalifa dan korps Ali Wad Helu masih utuh. Briged Mesir Pertama Kolonel Hector MacDonald, pengawal belakang yang terdiri daripada orang Sudan dan Mesir, terdedah kepada bahaya. Sekiranya khalifa dapat menerkam MacDonald, dia mungkin memusnahkan Scotsman sebelum unit-unit lain dapat menolongnya. Seluruh tentera Kitchener dapat dibawa dengan sayap dan belakang ketika masih dalam perarakan dan berguling.

Tidak menyedari bahaya, Kitchener kesal. "Tidakkah dia dapat melihat kita berbaris di Omdurman?" umum mengeluh. "Suruh dia ikut." Mematuhi, General Hunter menyampaikan mesej kepada MacDonald untuk menarik diri. Tetapi tepat pada waktu dia menerima pesanan itu, MacDonald menyedari bahaya itu. "Saya tidak akan melakukannya," katanya tegas dalam bahasa Skotlandia. Sekiranya dia menarik diri, anak buahnya akan disembelih. Ketika bahagian bendera hitam khalifa muncul di hadapan, mereka disambut oleh pasukan tentera yang berdisiplin dari tentera Inggeris. Seperti sebelumnya, kekuatan api moden mengalahkan keberanian abad pertengahan, dan serangan itu goyah dan terhenti.

Tepat ketika itu, pejuang Ali Wad Helu menyapu dari utara, mengancam akan memukul pasukan MacDonald secara serentak. Scotsman menilai situasi dengan tenang dan menggeser Batalion Sudan ke-11 untuk menghadapi ancaman baru. Briged MacDonald kini berada dalam bentuk L, menembak dengan pantas sehingga banyak lelaki bahkan tidak menyasarkan. Gerombolan Dervish, layu di bawah api yang kuat, mulai berpusing di sekitar sayap ke-11, berusaha memanfaatkan ruang yang mereka lihat antara Batalion ke-11 dan ke-9. Batalion Mesir ke-2 memasang jurang dalam pelarian, menembak lawan mereka pada jarak dekat. Serangan itu gagal. Melihat di belakang, khalifa menerima kekalahan dan melarikan diri ke Kordofan yang jauh, meninggalkan bendera hitamnya yang hebat sebagai piala bagi para pemenang.

Kemahiran dan keberanian pasukan Sudan dan Mesir telah menyelamatkan Kitchener dari bencana. Pujian yang sewajarnya juga diberikan kepada lelaki MacDonald. MacDonald sendiri mendapat sobriquet yang penuh kasih sayang, "Fighting Mac." Winston Churchill menambah kedudukan lain dalam legenda pemula.

Jarang ada kemenangan besar yang dimenangkan dengan kos yang kecil. Korban tentera Anglo-Mesir adalah 47 orang mati dan 340 cedera. Sebaliknya, tentera Mahdis kehilangan hampir 10.000 terbunuh, 13.000 cedera, dan 5.000 ditawan. Khalifa akhirnya dikesan setahun kemudian dan terbunuh dalam pertempuran. Namun secara tidak langsung, Gordon telah membalas dendam.


Kandungan

Caj kuno Edit

Mungkin diasumsikan bahawa tuduhan itu dilakukan dalam perang prasejarah, tetapi bukti yang jelas hanya datang dengan masyarakat yang celik belakangan. Taktik phalanx Yunani klasik termasuk perarakan pendekatan yang teratur, dengan bayaran terakhir untuk dihubungi. [1]

Edit caj Highland

Sebagai tindak balas kepada pengenalan senjata api, pasukan Ireland dan Skotlandia pada akhir abad ke-16 mengembangkan taktik yang menggabungkan volley musketry dengan peralihan ke pertempuran tangan-ke-tangan yang cepat menggunakan senjata jarak dekat. Pada mulanya berjaya, itu ditentang oleh disiplin yang berkesan dan pengembangan taktik bayonet pertahanan. [2]

Bayaran Bayonet Edit

Perkembangan bayonet pada akhir abad ke-17 menyebabkan muatan bayonet menjadi taktik pengisian infanteri utama pada abad ke-18 dan ke-19 hingga abad ke-20. Pada awal abad ke-19, para sarjana taktik sudah memperhatikan bahawa kebanyakan tuduhan bayonet tidak mengakibatkan pertempuran jarak dekat. Sebaliknya, satu pihak biasanya melarikan diri sebelum pertempuran bayonet sebenar berlaku. Tindakan membetulkan bayonet dianggap berkaitan terutamanya dengan semangat, pemberian isyarat yang jelas kepada rakan dan musuh kesediaan untuk membunuh pada jarak dekat. [3]

Caj Banzai Edit

Istilah yang digunakan oleh pasukan Sekutu untuk merujuk kepada serangan gelombang manusia Jepun dan gerombolan yang dilakukan oleh unit infanteri. Istilah ini berasal dari tangisan pertempuran Jepun "Tennōheika Banzai" (天皇 陛下 万 歳, "Hidup Baginda Yang Maharaja"), dipendekkan menjadi banzai, secara khusus merujuk kepada taktik yang digunakan oleh Tentera Jepun Imperial semasa Perang Pasifik.

Nilai kejutan dari serangan muatan telah dimanfaatkan terutama dalam taktik berkuda, baik dari ksatria berperisai dan pasukan yang dipasang lebih ringan dari era awal dan kemudian. Sejarawan seperti John Keegan telah menunjukkan bahawa ketika disiapkan dengan betul (seperti dengan memperbaiki benteng) dan, terutama, dengan bersikap tegas dalam menghadapi serangan, tuduhan berkuda sering gagal melawan infanteri, dengan kuda menolak untuk berlari ke dalam massa musuh yang padat , [4] atau unit pengecas itu sendiri rosak. Namun, ketika serangan pasukan berkuda berjaya, itu biasanya disebabkan oleh formasi bertahan yang pecah (sering dalam ketakutan) dan berselerak, untuk diburu oleh musuh. [5] Meskipun tidak disarankan agar pasukan berkuda terus melawan infanteri yang tidak putus, biaya masih merupakan bahaya yang memungkinkan bagi infanteri berat. Lancer Parthian diperhatikan memerlukan formasi legiun Rom yang sangat padat untuk dihentikan, dan kesatria Frank dilaporkan lebih sukar untuk dihentikan, jika penulisan Anna Komnene dipercayai. Walau bagaimanapun, hanya kuda yang terlatih secara sukarela yang akan menagih formasi musuh yang padat dan tidak patah secara langsung, dan agar berkesan, formasi yang kuat harus dijaga - formasi yang begitu kuat adalah hasil latihan yang cekap. Kavaleri berat bahkan tidak mempunyai satu pun dari gabungan ini - terdiri dari semangat yang tinggi, latihan yang sangat baik, peralatan yang berkualiti, kehebatan individu, dan disiplin kolektif kedua-dua pejuang dan tunggangan - akan dikenakan tuduhan melawan infanteri berat yang tidak putus, dan hanya pasukan berkuda berat terbaik (mis., ksatria dan cataphracts) sepanjang sejarah yang memiliki ini berkaitan dengan era dan wilayah mereka.

Edit Zaman Pertengahan Eropah

Tuduhan pasukan berkuda adalah taktik penting pada Abad Pertengahan. Walaupun pasukan berkuda telah dikenakan sebelumnya, kombinasi penggunaan pelana bingkai yang diamankan oleh tali payudara, sanggur dan teknik membungkuk tombak di bawah lengan memberikan kemampuan yang belum dapat dicapai untuk memanfaatkan momentum kuda dan penunggang. Perkembangan ini bermula pada abad ke-7 tetapi tidak digabungkan sepenuhnya sehingga abad ke-11. [6] Pertempuran Dyrrhachium (1081) adalah contoh awal muatan berkuda abad pertengahan yang biasa dicatat mempunyai kesan buruk oleh penulis sejarah Norman dan Bizantium. Pada masa Perang Salib Pertama pada 1090-an, pasukan berkuda telah digunakan secara meluas oleh tentera Eropah. [7]

Namun, sejak awal Perang Seratus Tahun dan seterusnya, penggunaan pikeman profesional dan busur panjang dengan semangat dan taktik fungsional yang tinggi bermaksud bahawa seorang ksatria harus berhati-hati dalam serangan pasukan berkuda. Lelaki yang menggunakan pike atau halberd dalam formasi, dengan semangat yang tinggi, dapat menahan semua kecuali tuduhan berkuda terbaik, sementara pemanah Inggeris dengan busur dapat melepaskan arus anak panah yang mampu mendatangkan malapetaka, walaupun tidak semestinya pembantaian, di kepala kepala infanteri berat dan berkuda di kawasan yang tidak sesuai. Menjadi kebiasaan bagi para ksatria untuk turun dan berperang sebagai infanteri berat elit, walaupun ada yang terus bertahan sepanjang pertempuran. Penggunaan pasukan berkuda untuk manuver mengapit menjadi lebih berguna, walaupun beberapa penafsiran tentang kesatria yang ideal sering menyebabkan tuduhan melulu, tidak berdisiplin.

Kavaleri masih dapat mengenakan formasi infanteri berat yang padat jika pasukan berkuda mempunyai kombinasi sifat tertentu. Mereka mempunyai peluang besar untuk berjaya jika mereka berada dalam formasi, berdisiplin secara kolektif, berkemahiran tinggi, dan dilengkapi dengan senjata dan perisai terbaik, serta dipasang pada kuda yang dilatih untuk menahan tekanan fizikal dan mental dari tuduhan tersebut. Namun, mayoritas anggota pasukan berkuda tidak memiliki sekurang-kurangnya salah satu sifat ini, terutama disiplin, formasi, dan kuda yang dilatih untuk melakukan on-on charge. Oleh itu, penggunaan tuduhan berkuda secara langsung menurun, walaupun hussars Poland, Cuirassiers Perancis, dan penakluk Sepanyol dan Portugis masih mampu berjaya dalam tuduhan tersebut, selalunya disebabkan oleh kepemilikan gabungan sifat-sifat yang disebutkan sebelumnya yang diperlukan untuk berjaya dalam usaha sedemikian.

Suntingan abad ke-20

Pada abad kedua puluh, muatan pasukan berkuda jarang digunakan, walaupun ia sukses secara sporadis dan sesekali.

Dalam apa yang disebut "pertuduhan berkuda benar yang terakhir", unsur-unsur Rejimen Berkuda ke-7 Amerika Syarikat menyerang pasukan Villista dalam Pertempuran Guerrero pada 29 Mac 1916. Pertempuran itu adalah kemenangan bagi orang Amerika, yang berlaku di kawasan padang pasir, di bandar Mexico Vicente Guerrero, Chihuahua. [ 8] [9] [10] [11]

Salah satu tuduhan berkuda ofensif yang paling berjaya pada abad ke-20 sama sekali tidak dilakukan oleh pasukan berkuda, melainkan oleh infanteri yang dipasang, ketika pada 31 Oktober 1917, Briged Kuda Ringan ke-4 Australia menyerang di kawasan terbuka sejauh dua batu di hadapan Uthmaniyyah tembakan artileri dan senapang mesin untuk berjaya menangkap Beersheba dalam apa yang akan dikenali sebagai Pertempuran Beersheba.

Pada 23 September 1918 Jodhpur Lancers dan Mysore Lancers of the 15 (Imperial Service) Briged Kavaleri membebankan kedudukan Turki dengan menunggang kuda di Haifa. Bersama-sama dua rejimen menangkap 1.350 tahanan Jerman dan Uthmaniyyah, termasuk dua pegawai Jerman, 35 pegawai Uthmaniyyah, 17 senjata meriam termasuk empat senjata 4.2, 8 senjata 77mm dan empat senjata unta serta senapang tentera laut 6 inci, dan 11 mesingan. Korban mereka sendiri berjumlah lapan mati dan 34 cedera. 60 ekor kuda terbunuh dan 83 yang lain cedera.

Pada 16 Mei 1919, semasa Perang Anglo-Afghanistan Ketiga, Pengawal Dragoon Raja 1 membuat tuduhan terakhir yang dicatatkan oleh rejimen berkuda berkuda Inggeris [12] di Dakka, sebuah kampung di wilayah Afghanistan, di barat laut Pas Khyber. [13]

Semasa Perang Saudara Sepanyol, terdapat tuduhan berkuda besar oleh bahagian Fasis semasa Pertempuran Alfambra pada 5 Februari 1938, serangan terakhir yang hebat di Eropah Barat. [14]

Beberapa tuduhan cubaan dilakukan dalam Perang Dunia II. Pasukan berkuda Poland, walaupun dilatih untuk beroperasi sebagai infanteri cepat dan bersenjata lebih baik daripada infanteri Poland biasa (lebih banyak senjata anti-tank dan kenderaan perisai per kapita) melakukan hingga 15 tuduhan berkuda semasa Invasi ke Polandia. Sebilangan besar tuduhan berjaya dan tidak ada yang dimaksudkan sebagai tuduhan terhadap kenderaan perisai. Sebilangan tuduhan tersebut adalah tuduhan bersama oleh pasukan berkuda Poland dan Jerman seperti Battle of Krasnobród (1939) dan satu kali, pengakap pasukan berkuda Jerman dari Divisi Cahaya ke-4 (Jerman) menuduh infanteri Poland dari Briged Kavaleri Bermotor ke-10 (Poland) ditentang oleh tanket Poland yang bergerak dari kedudukan tersembunyi di Zakliczyn. Pada 17 November 1941, semasa Pertempuran Moscow, Bahagian Berkuda Soviet ke-44 menyerang pasukan Jerman berhampiran Musino, sebelah barat ibu negara. Soviet yang dipasang dirusak oleh artileri Jerman, kemudian dengan senapang mesin. Tuduhan itu gagal, dan Jerman mengatakan bahawa mereka membunuh 2.000 tentera berkuda tanpa satu kerugian pada diri mereka sendiri. [15] Pada 24 Ogos 1942, serangan pertahanan Savoia Cavalleria di Izbushensky terhadap garis Rusia berhampiran Sungai Don berjaya. Unit berkuda Inggeris dan Amerika juga membuat tuduhan berkuda serupa semasa Perang Dunia II. (Lihat Rejimen Berkuda ke-26). Tuduhan berkuda yang terakhir berjaya, semasa Perang Dunia II, dilaksanakan semasa Pertempuran Schoenfeld pada 1 Mac 1945. Kuda berkuda Poland, yang bertempur di pihak Soviet, membanjiri kedudukan artileri Jerman dan membiarkan infanteri dan kereta kebal menyerang ke kota . Pasukan berkuda hanya menderita 7 orang mati, sementara 26 kapal tangki Poland dan 124 pasukan infanteri serta sekitar 500 tentera Jerman akhirnya mati. [16] [17] [18])

Selepas Perang Dunia II, tuduhan berkuda jelas ketinggalan zaman dan tidak lagi digunakan [ rujukan diperlukan ] ini, bagaimanapun, tidak menghentikan pasukan moden menggunakan kuda untuk pengangkutan, dan di negara-negara dengan polisi yang dipasang, teknik serupa (walaupun tidak bersenjata) dengan tuduhan pasukan berkuda kadang-kadang digunakan untuk menangkis perusuh dan orang ramai.

Pada zaman senjata api, parameter asasnya adalah kecepatan maju terhadap kadar (atau keberkesanan) kebakaran. Sekiranya penyerang maju dengan kadar yang lebih pantas daripada pembela yang dapat membunuh atau melumpuhkannya, maka penyerang akan mencapai pembela (walaupun tidak semestinya tanpa jumlah yang sangat lemah). Terdapat banyak pengubah perbandingan sederhana ini - masa, meliputi kebakaran, organisasi, pembentukan dan medan, antara lain. Tuduhan yang gagal boleh menyebabkan calon penyerang terdedah kepada serangan balas.

Terdapat peningkatan berterusan dalam jumlah tembakan tentera selama 700 tahun terakhir atau lebih, tetapi sementara tuduhan besar-besaran berjaya dipatahkan, mereka juga berjaya. Hanya sejak pertengahan abad ke-19, tuduhan lurus menjadi kurang berjaya, terutama sejak pengenalan senapang berulang, senapang mesin, dan artileri pemuatan breech. Mereka sering berguna pada skala yang jauh lebih kecil di kawasan terkurung di mana kekuatan tembakan musuh tidak dapat ditanggung. Tuduhan Bayonet masih terlihat pada awal abad ke-20, tetapi sering dibatasi untuk digunakan terhadap musuh dengan senjata api yang lebih rendah, ketika persediaan peluru jarang, atau hanya sebagai bentuk serangan bunuh diri untuk menimbulkan ketakutan kepada musuh.

Pada zaman moden ini, tuduhan jarak dekat secara praktikal telah pupus di luar kawalan rusuhan dan pertempuran jalanan, dengan beberapa pengecualian seperti tuduhan bayonet di Battle of Danny Boy, tetapi taktik pengisian tentera berlaku terutamanya dengan kenderaan tempur berperisai seperti kereta kebal, pertempuran infanteri kenderaan dan kereta perisai. Kenderaan tempur darat ini dapat bergerak langsung dengan tembakan berbaris, atau mengangkut penyerang infanteri dengan cepat ke dekat dengan posisi sasaran untuk menyerang dan menangkapnya. Serangan udara juga merupakan taktik yang sering digunakan untuk memasukkan serangan operasi khas terhadap sasaran bernilai tinggi.


Mengenang Tuduhan Berkuda Major Terakhir Sejarah

SGT (Sertailah untuk melihat)

Pada 23 Ogos 1942, semasa Perang Dunia II, pasukan berkuda terakhir dalam sejarah berlaku di Isbushenskij, Rusia. Savoia Cavalleria Itali menagih infanteri Soviet. Dari artikel:

Dengan kutipan pedang, kira-kira 600 tentera berkuda Itali menjerit seruan pertempuran tradisional mereka tentang "Savoia!" dan berlari menuju ke arah 2.000 askar Soviet yang bersenjatakan mesingan dan mortar. Pada 23 Ogos 1942 (beberapa sumber mengatakan 24 Ogos), pasukan berkuda — sebahagian daripada pencerobohan Paksi ke Soviet Union semasa Perang Dunia II — berusaha menutup jurang yang telah terbuka antara tentera Itali dan Jerman di sepanjang Sungai Don . Itu adalah akhir zaman. Walaupun para pakar percaya bahawa tuduhan berkuda yang lebih kecil dan kurang didokumentasikan mungkin berlaku kemudian pada Perang Dunia II dan mungkin pada akhir tahun 1970-an di Rhodesia (sekarang Zimbabwe), mereka secara umum menggambarkan ini sebagai tuduhan besar terakhir dalam sejarah.


4 Jawapan 4

Bahkan pada kuda tempur moden masih digunakan. Terdapat sebuah buku yang ditulis mengenai tentera Pasukan Khas AS di Afghanistan yang sangat bergantung pada kuda dalam pertempuran. Buku ini dipanggil Horse Soldiers.

Terdapat sejumlah insiden pertempuran kecil, yang melibatkan unit berkuda semasa WW2, lihat di sini atau di sini. Namun pasukan berkuda digunakan sebagai alat transportasi, atau sebagai infanteri yang dipasang.

Pertempuran penting terakhir di mana pasukan berkuda digunakan sebagai senjata tempur yang terpisah nampaknya merupakan pertempuran Komarow pada bulan Ogos 1920, semasa perang Poland-Soviet.

Salah satu tuduhan berkuda terakhir yang ketara adalah Tuduhan Savoia Cavalleria di Izbushensky 24 Ogos 1942 ketika Reggimento Itali & quotSavoia Cavalleria & quot (3 °) melakukan tuduhan terhadap Rejimen Senjata 812 Soviet berhampiran Избушенский (Izbushensky).

Pada awal pagi, pengakap Itali mendapati tentera Soviet sedang menyiapkan serangan mengejut. Dengan kejutan yang dimanjakan, Soviet menyerang orang-orang Itali yang berkemah. Kolonel Alessandro, yang memerintah resimen, memerintahkan pasukan berkuda dengan pedang dan bom tangan sebagai pilihan terakhir. Skuadron ke-2 (100 penunggang kuda) menggunakan gaung untuk mengalahkan Soviet dan mula menyerang di sepanjang garis infanteri yang telah dikuasai.

Skuadron ke-2 mengorbankan banyak korban. Daripada pecah, Soviet akan berlindung di lubang mereka sehingga pasukan berkuda berlalu, kemudian bangun untuk menembakkan punggung mereka. Alessandro memerintahkan skuadron ke-4 untuk turun dan melancarkan serangan depan sementara skuadron ke-2 berkumpul di belakang Soviet untuk satu lagi tuduhan. Skuadron ke-3 kemudian didakwa di tempat terbuka dengan banyak korban.

Rejimen kehilangan lebih dari 100 kuda, tetapi pertolongan itu menghilangkan tekanan dan menunda Soviet selama 24 jam.

Perkara ini ditunjukkan oleh The Armchair Historian dalam videonya Times Italy TELAH Berkuatkuasa pada Perang Dunia II, walaupun saya rasa pernyataannya mengenai 1050 korban Soviet terlalu banyak.


Mengenang Tuduhan Berkuda Major Terakhir Sejarah

SGT (Sertailah untuk melihat)

Pada 23 Ogos 1942, semasa Perang Dunia II, pasukan berkuda besar terakhir dalam sejarah berlaku di Isbushenskij, Rusia. Savoia Cavalleria dari Itali membebankan infanteri Soviet. Dari artikel:

& quotMengingat Tuduhan Berkuda Major Terakhir Sejarah
Pada tahun 1942, apa yang dianggap oleh banyak orang sebagai tuduhan berkuda besar terakhir berlaku di Kesatuan Soviet.
Dengan menarik pedang, sekitar 600 pasukan berkuda Itali menjerit seruan pertempuran tradisional mereka tentang "Savoia!" dan berlari menuju ke arah 2.000 askar Soviet yang bersenjatakan mesingan dan mortar. Pada 23 Ogos 1942 (beberapa sumber mengatakan 24 Ogos), pasukan berkuda — sebahagian daripada pencerobohan Paksi ke Soviet Union semasa Perang Dunia II — berusaha menutup jurang yang telah terbuka antara tentera Itali dan Jerman di sepanjang Sungai Don . Itu adalah akhir zaman. Walaupun para pakar percaya bahawa tuduhan berkuda yang lebih kecil dan kurang didokumentasikan mungkin berlaku kemudian pada Perang Dunia II dan mungkin pada akhir tahun 1970-an di Rhodesia (sekarang Zimbabwe), mereka secara umum menggambarkan ini sebagai tuduhan besar terakhir dalam sejarah.

Dalam formasi yang penuh sesak, pasukan berkuda Itali meluncur diri di sayap kiri dan belakang garis Soviet, melemparkan bom tangan dan memukul dengan pedang mereka. Walaupun mengalami kerugian besar, mereka kemudian melewati garis ke arah terbalik dan membantu melepaskan Soviet dari kedudukan mereka. Tuduhan berkuda Perang Dunia II yang lain tidak begitu beruntung. Pada awal konflik, penyerang Polandia kononnya menyerang sebuah batalion infanteri Jerman (tetapi bukan kereta kebal, kerana propaganda Nazi akan membuat kita percaya) dan mengalami hasil yang sangat buruk. Tuduhan A.S. terakhir berlaku di Filipina pada Januari 1942, ketika penunggang kuda dari Rejimen Kavaleri ke-26 sementara menyebarkan Jepun. Namun, tidak lama kemudian, tentera A.S. dan Filipina yang kelaparan terpaksa memakan kuda mereka sendiri. Dua bulan kemudian, tentera Jepun di Burma hampir sepenuhnya menghapuskan rejim India yang berkuasa di bawah komando British.

Sebenarnya, senjata api cepat pada dasarnya menjadikan tuduhan berkuda sudah usang lebih dari satu abad sebelumnya. Tetapi tradisi lama mati dengan teruk. Selama beribu-ribu tahun, pemimpin tentera terkenal seperti Alexander the Great, Hannibal, Genghis Khan dan Frederick the Great telah menggunakan prajurit yang dipasang dengan berkesan. Alex Bielakowski, seorang profesor bersekutu di Komando Tentera Darat A.S. dan Kolej Staf Am, mengatakan seperti ini: "Sekiranya anda melihat semua lelaki ini menyerang anda, naluri manusia untuk jumlah orang yang terlalu banyak adalah berlari seperti sih. Maka mudah kerana apabila mereka melarikan diri, anda boleh memilihnya. "

Napoleon Bonaparte, who built up a potent cavalry force of his own, typically weakened the enemy lines with artillery fire and then sent in his cuirassiers for the decisive blow. “The French cavalry under Napoleon were known to be the finest in the world,” particularly in the way they handled large formations, said Jeffrey T. Fowler, an associate professor at the American Military University. “They were very well trained to the point where they could stop, they were maneuverable, they could change direction, they could do all of these things.” Nonetheless, even they suffered a disastrous defeat at Waterloo in 1815.

Throughout the rest of the 19th and early 20th centuries, cavalry popped up as a major component of both guerilla and anti-guerilla operations. But never again would they shine in pitched battles. In the Crimean War, Russian artillery cut the British cavalry to pieces during the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade. Soon after, Union and Confederate commanders during the American Civil War learned it was suicidal to send their horsemen over open terrain against rifled muskets. As a result, they began saving their cavalry for reconnaissance purposes and long-distance raids behind enemy lines. More mass slaughters occurred during the Franco-Prussian War, including one in which throngs of dead French horsemen and horses thwarted a later attempt to march through the area. Afterward, the German Medical Corps determined that only six soldiers had died of saber wounds in all of the war’s battles combined.

Yet very few of these lessons sank in prior to World War I, in which armies on both sides showed up with lancers and swordsmen on horseback. “You’re going against machine guns with a long stick,” Bielakowski said. “This is one of those examples of unwillingness to give something up just because we’ve always done it that way.” During the first part of the war, cavalry played some role as the eyes and ears of the army. But at least on the Western front, they were mowed down in droves every time they charged against positions fortified with barbed wire, trenches, automatic weapons and tanks.


The Last Great Cavalry Charge of WW1: The Jodhpur Lancers

During the First World War cavalry became largely irrelevant in warfare. Machine guns, repeating rifles, and the advent of trench warfare made the battlefield almost impossible for mounted attacks. But, in September 1918 the Jodhpur Lancers, one of India’s elite cavalry regiments, attacked German and Turkish defenses in the Mediterranean town of Haifa in what has been described as the last great cavalry charge in history.

Pratap Singh was born in October 1845, the third son of Maharaja Takhat Singh, the ruler of the Princely State of Jodhpur in northwestern India. Pratap Singh learned to ride and shoot when he was a young boy and served in the British Army during the Second Afghan War in the late 1870s.

Singh’s experiences led him to become interested in the notion of forming an army for the State of Jodhpur. Although the state did have what passed for an armed force, it was ill-disciplined and almost completely without training. Singh decided to form his own regiment of lancers.

Sir Pratap Singh of Idar

With his father’s agreement, he provided horses, weapons, and uniforms for sixty of his followers, while Singh was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of Cavalry. In 1889, the colonial Indian government requested that each Princely State should raise military units to serve with the Imperial forces.

Singh’s small force rapidly expanded into a regiment of three hundred mounted men, named the Sardar Rissala (Jodhpur Lancers).

During the late 1800s, the Jodhpur Lancers became one of the best-known and most glamorous regiments in India. They adopted the motto Jo Hokum (I obey) and the wealth of the Maharaja ensured that the unit was always superbly equipped and mounted.

Imperial Service Troops circa 1908

Meanwhile, the regiment’s polo team became very successful and traveled as far as the United Kingdom to participate in competitions. Additionally, Pratap Singh mingled with some of the most senior officers in the British Army and with members of the British Royal Family who often visited Jodhpur.

Although the Lancers were involved in occasional actions against rebellious tribes, what Singh wanted more than anything was to lead his men into action on behalf of the British Empire. In 1900 he got his chance–the Jodhpur Lancers were ordered to China as part of a multi-national force of British, Russian, Japanese, German, and American troops formed to fight the Boxer Rebellion.

NSW Naval Contingent & 12 pdr 8 cwt gun Boxer Rebellion

Pratap Singh was leading when the Lancers finally encountered the enemy. However, until he personally killed an enemy soldier, his troops only used the blunt end of their lances since it was important for the honor of the regiment that the commanding officer drew first blood.

This he did, and although the Lancers saw relatively little combat, they performed well. Singh was later promoted to the rank of Major-General and appointed Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB).

When the First World War began in 1914, Sir Pratap Singh immediately offered to lead the Jodhpur Lancers to France where he hoped to be allowed to fight the Germans. When he was informed that there was very little chance of any cavalry unit being involved in a charge in the war he replied, “I will make an opportunity!”

Pratap Singh in 1914

The Jodhpur Lancers arrived in Flanders in October 1914 and remained on the Western Front for over three years. There they participated in several unsuccessful attempts to break through German lines, including at the Battle of Cambrai where they followed British tanks into action.

In early 1918 the regiment was posted to the 15 th Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade. With the brigade they were sent as part of an Expeditionary Force first to Egypt and then to the British Mandate of Palestine (present day Israel) where British forces were fighting Turkish and German troops.

A Mark IV (Male) tank of ‘H’ Battalion, ‘Hyacinth’, ditched in a German trench while supporting 1st Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment near Ribecourt during the Battle of Cambrai, 20 November 1917.

By this time, Sir Pratap Singh was seventy-three years old and many of his subordinates urged him to take a less active role in leading the regiment. Nonetheless, he refused and often spent whole days in the saddle and nights camped in the desert with his men.

During the British advance in September 1918, the Jodhpur Lancers were continuously in action. At one point, Pratap Singh spent over thirty hours in the saddle and the regiment covered more than five-hundred miles in thirty days.

On September 23, 1918, the Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade was ordered to take the strategically important and heavily defended port city of Haifa. Turkish troops had taken up positions in front of the town and were supported by German and Austro-Hungarian artillery on the hills above.

Indian Jodhpur lancers marching through Haifa after it was captured

By this time Pratap Singh was ill with a fever exacerbated by exhaustion. In his absence, the Lancers were led by Major Dalpat Singh.

A unit of the Mysore Lancers was sent to attack German and Austro-Hungarian gun positions while the Jodhpur Lancers were ordered to attack the city itself. The four hundred Jodhpur Lancers drew themselves up in a battle formation to the east of the city, 4,000 yards from the enemy. They faced almost one-thousand entrenched Turkish troops protected by barbed wire and covered by at least four machine guns.

Mysore Lancer sowar and horse

Led by Major Dalpat Singh, the regiment began to trot towards the Turkish lines. Ignoring constant enemy fire, they accelerated to a canter until, as they passed through a narrow gorge close to the entrenchments, they reached the ‘break-in point and accelerated into the final gallop. Almost at once Major Singh fell, mortally wounded by a Turkish bullet.

Maddened with rage at the loss of their commander, the remaining Jodhpur Lancers hurled themselves at the Turkish positions. Many men and horses were brought down by the hail of rifle and machine gun fire, but as they smashed into the trench line the survivors wrought terrible carnage with lance and saber.

Firing line of a troop of Jodhpur Lancers

Stunned by the ferocity of the attack, the Turkish troops fled towards the town square with the Lancers in pursuit. A short time later, the defenders of Haifa surrendered en-masse.

After more than four hundred years of Turkish occupation, Haifa was finally in British hands. Seven-hundred Turkish troops were captured along with sixteen artillery pieces and ten machine guns. In the official history of the British campaign in Palestine that was published in 1919, it was said of the charge of the Jodhpur Lancers that “No more remarkable cavalry action of its scale was fought in the whole course of the campaign.”

Troop of Jodhpur Lancers coming into action dismounted

The charge was the last large-scale cavalry action made by the British Army in wartime. The Jodhpur Lancers fought again for the British in the Second World War, but by then they had swapped their horses for armored vehicles. The unit was later absorbed into the Indian Army following independence in 1947.

After the First World War, Sir Pratap Singh returned to Jodhpur where he died in 1922 at the age of seventy-seven. At the time of his death, his full and rather intimidating title was Lieutenant-General His Highness Maharajadhiraja Maharaja Shri Sir Pratap Singh Sahib Bahadur, GCB, GCSI, GCVO.

Officers of the Jodhpur Lancers

However, perhaps his memory is best served by a description of Sir Pratap Singh provided by General Harbord, a friend and the Commander of the Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade:

“I have always looked upon him as the finest Indian I have ever had the honor to know–loyal to the core, a sportsman to his finger-tips, a gallant soldier and a real gentleman.”


The Battle of Beersheba 'Last Successful Cavalry Charge in History'

Thousands of Aussies attended a ceremony to mark the 100 th anniversary of the last successful great Calvary charge in history in southern Israel.

The Battle of Beersheeba involved the legendary mounted charge of the 4 th Light Horse Brigade in October 1917. The 800 young men of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) were remembered for their bravery that changed the course of the First World War.

Starting at first light, thousands of Australians and New Zealanders gathered to commemorate the turning point in the Palestine campaign of the war, Australia’s ABC reports.

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The country’s minister of veterans affairs, Dan Tehan, spoke of the Sinai Peninsula campaign as having taken place in a “land they had only heard of in scripture.”

“Here at Beersheba, 100 years ago, Australians and New Zealanders fought to end a war that had begun for them at Anzac Cove,” he said.

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“For the people of Australia and New Zealand, the war here in the Middle East added an important and enduring chapter to the Anzac story.

“In a land that many had only heard of in scripture, The Light Horsemen, the New Zealand Mounted Rifles and the Cameliers fought through the Holy Land for our values and for our freedom. This was not an easy campaign.

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“Throughout this campaign, long hours in the saddle, the scarcity of water, the lack of fresh fodder for horses in the desert, the dust and heat of the Middle Eastern summer, the hazards of battle and the absence of comforts behind the lines tested the Anzacs, sometimes to the limit of their endurance.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that the “mad Australians” helped set the stage for the creation of the State of Israel.

“There were more men on horses in this charge than there were in the Charge of the Light Brigade. It was a bigger charge and it was successful,” Mr Turnbull said.

“Had the Ottoman rule in Palestine and Syria not been overthrown, the declaration would have been empty words. But this was a step for the creation of Israel.

“While those young men may not have foreseen — no doubt did not foresee — the extraordinary success of the state of Israel, its foundations, its resilience, its determination, their spirit was the same.

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“And, like the state of Israel has done ever since, they defied history, they made history, and with their courage they fulfilled history. Lest we forget.”

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, was also in attendance and thanked the ANZAC soldiers for their bravery. He said the liberation of Beersheeba “allowed the Jewish people to re-enter the stage of history.”

He paralleled the ceremony for the even to current attacks against Israel, warning that “we must attack those who seek to attack us.”

The Battle of Beersheba was against the Ottoman and German empires. When the dust cleared in the battle, there were 171 allied soldiers killed and more than 1,000 enemy soldiers killed or wounded with close to 2,000 taken prisoner. The commanders of the ANZAC forces were Field Marshal Viscount Allenby and Lt. Gen. Sir Henry George Chauvel.


The Battle of Killa Kazi

11 December 1879

Following the deaths of the British resident and his guard at Kabul in September 1879, the 9th (Queen’s Royal) Lancers joined Major-General Sir Frederick Roberts on the march to the Afghan capital. On 11 December, a squadron of the regiment encountered a huge Afghan force near Killa Kazi.

Roberts wanted to delay the enemy’s advance on Kabul, so gave the order for 170 men to charge around 10,000 Afghans. Losses were heavy. The 9th Lancers suffered 18 officers and men killed, and 10 more wounded. 46 horses died.

Despite their severe mauling, the 9th Lancers remained in Kabul until August 1880, when it joined Roberts's epic 300-mile (480km) relief march to Kandahar.

The 'Moonlight Charge' of the Household Cavalry at Kassassin, 1882

The 'Moonlight Charge' of the Household Cavalry at Kassassin, 1882


Remembering History’s Last Major Cavalry Charge - HISTORY

By Eric Niderost

It was the morning of September 1, 1898, the day before the Battle of Omdurman. Lieutenant Winston Churchill of the Queen’s 4th Hussars rode out with four squadrons of the 21st Lancers to scout the approaches to Omdurman, a Sudanese village on the west bank of the Nile opposite Khartoum, epicenter of a revolt that had rocked the very foundations of the British Empire. An Anglo-Egyptian army under Maj. Gen. Sir Herbert Kitchener was a few miles behind the cavalry screen. Kitchener’s object was to reconquer the Sudan, restore order, and forestall any encroachments from opportunistic European rivals.

The British horsemen cautiously advanced over the sun-baked plain, the eye-numbing sandy desolation relieved by a few thorn bushes, scrub, and patches of grass. Churchill and the lancers ascended a low ridge to scan the horizon. Officers raised their field glasses and were rewarded with a sweeping panorama. Omdurman itself was in sight, and Churchill recalled later that “to the left the river, steel gray in the morning light, forked into two channels, and on a tongue of land between them the gleam of a white building showed among the trees.”

The white building was part of Khartoum, capital of the Sudan, where the Blue Nile and White Nile converge to form Africa’s greatest river. Nearby, there seemed to be a long, dark smear that the British assumed was a zareba, a thorn bush barrier that commonly served as a prickly fortification in the treeless land. Some of the enemy, whom the British called Dervishes, could be seen lurking behind the barrier, confirming the officers’ first assumption.

The lancers advanced, supported by Egyptian cavalry, the Camel Corps, and some horse artillery. Dervish horsemen came forward to meet them but were sent packing by dismounted troopers firing Lee-Medford carbines at 800 yards. The lancers halted and waited for the enemy to make the next move.

About 11 am, the distant zareba suddenly sprang into malevolent life. It was made of men, not thorns—thousands of them, so thick that they made an undulating black wave. Churchill was awed by the sight. The roiling mass, he said, was “four miles from end to end and, as it seemed, in five great divisions, this mighty army advanced swiftly. Above them waved hundreds of banners, and the sun, glinting on many thousands of hostile spear points, spread a sparkling cloud.”

The young lieutenant rushed back to alert Kitchener to the enemy’s latest moves. Filled with a growing sense of urgency, Churchill galloped up the hillside to get his bearings. Once on the crest he could plainly see the Dervish army’s dark masses in stark relief against the brown, sandy plain. Turning around, he could also view the Anglo-Egyptian army, some 24,000 men, drawn up with their backs to the Nile. The two armies, separated by the hill’s looming slopes, could not yet see each other, but an enormous clash seemed inevitable. Churchill drank in the mesmerizing spectacle—an irresistible wall of Dervishes about to collide with an immovable force of British and Egyptian soldiers.

His sense of duty breaking the spell, Churchill pulled the reins of his horse and galloped down the hill in search of Kitchener. He briefly dismounted, in part to collect his thoughts and calm his rising excitement. The lieutenant had seen action before, in India, but this was going to be a major battle, and his pulse quickened at the idea. The action shaping up at Omdurman might well decide the fate of a continent and the destiny of a people.

The Mahdist War

In the late 19th century, Egypt was a nominal province of the decaying Turkish Ottoman Empire. Because of Egypt’s growing debts, the ruling Khedive Ismail was forced to sell his shares of the Suez Canal to Great Britain in 1876. The Suez was Britain’s lifeline to India and its empire in the Far East. Once Great Britain had a foothold on the Nile, it became unavoidably involved in the Sudan.

Egyptian rule in the Sudan was characterized by brutality and corruption. Taxes were so high that parents were regularly forced to sell their children into slavery, and government officials ruled by the whip. The Sudan was ripe for revolt. All it needed was a charismatic leader to galvanize the people and channel their hatred and resentment into political action.

In late June 1881, such a leader arose when a mystic named Muhammad Ahmad announced that he was the Mahdi, or the “Expected One,” a kind of Islamic messiah. The Egyptians were more than just oppressors, he said they were also heretics whose railroads, telegraphs, and other modern inventions were leading Muslims away from the true path. The Mahdi’s vision was a medieval one in which the Turks, Egyptians, and infidel Europeans would all be irresistibly swept away, enabling the Sudan to return to its former glories.

Thousands of disaffected Sudanese flocked to the Mahdi’s banner, and soon the Sudan was in full revolt. The Mahdists managed to defeat several Egyptian forces that were sent against them. A 7,000-man Egyptian army under a British Army colonel named William Hicks was massacred almost to the last man in late 1883. With each defeat, the Mahdi gained prestige, followers, and modern captured rifles.

The British Withdrawal From Sudan

The Mahdi threatened Egypt itself, but British Prime Minister William Gladstone refused to be drawn into the spreading conflict. Instead, Khartoum and the remaining Egyptian garrisons were to be evacuated, abandoning all of the Sudan to the Mahdist rebels. General Charles George Gordon, an Army engineer, was sent to the Sudan to supervise the evacuation. In retrospect, Gordon was a poor choice for such a delicate mission. Eccentric and charismatic, he was a devout Christian who felt that he was an instrument of God. Once in Khartoum, he decided to disobey orders and stay in the Sudan. He hoped by doing so to pressure the British government to send more troops, but Gladstone refused to play into the general’s hands. In April 1884, Gordon and his remaining forces were besieged inside Khartoum. The siege dragged on for nine months.

After a public outcry, Gladstone relented. But when the advance party of a British relief expedition finally reached Khartoum in January 1885, they found that the city had fallen two days earlier. The city had been sacked, its men ruthlessly butchered, the women raped and sold into slavery. Gordon had been fatally speared and his severed head presented to the Mahdi as a trophy.

Gordon’s death produced a predictable uproar in Great Britain. Overnight, the eccentric engineer became a national martyr, seemingly sacrificed on the altar of political expediency. Queen Victoria herself was appalled, noting firmly in her diary that “the government alone is to blame.” Unshaken by the torrent of public protest, Gladstone withdrew all British troops from the Sudan.

Men of the 12th Sudanese battalion awaiting the Dervish attack at the Battle of Omdurman, 1898. Photograph by Major H M Dunn, Royal Army Medical Corps, Sudan, 1898

“Cape to Cairo”

The Mahdi did not live long to celebrate his triumph, dying of typhus three months after taking Khartoum. Just before he died, the Mahdi chose Abdullah al-Taaishi, a member of the warrior Baggara tribe, as his hand-picked successor. Abdullah was now the khalifa, or deputy of Allah. The khalifa continued the Mahdi’s hard-fisted religious totalitarianism. The few tribes that resisted were ruthlessly exterminated. Villages were depopulated and famine stalked the land. Many Sudanese believed that they had exchanged Egyptian tyranny for another kind of oppression, one even more ruthless because it was clothed in the sanctity of religion.

In the meantime, Egypt became a British colony in all but name. Sir Evelyn Baring was appointed the khedive’s chief adviser on economic, military, and political affairs. The Egyptian Army was re-formed and trained under the supervision of British officers. The memory of Gordon’s demise remained fresh in the minds of the British public. In 1896, the new prime minister, the Marquess of Salisbury, decided that the time was ripe to return to the Sudan. In this, he was motivated more by international politics and imperialism than by any thoughts of personal revenge.

The French were in equatorial Africa, pushing east. If the British dreamed of a “Cape to Cairo” domain that stretched the length of the continent from north to south, the French envisioned a similar west-to-east “Atlantic to Red Sea” empire. Success of the French vision would mean control of the sources of the Nile—and whoever controlled the Nile controlled Egypt. The Sudan had to be reconquered to forestall Gallic territorial ambitions.

Kitchener’s Sudan Military Railway

General Herbert Horatio Kitchener was appointed sirdar, or commander, of the joint Anglo-Egyptian forces. Standing over six feet tall, with a bristling handlebar mustache, Kitchener seemed the very embodiment of John Bull. He was cold, methodical, and seemingly emotionless, a man who used the army as an instrument of his will. As a soldier, he was far from brilliant, but he excelled in logistical planning—always a must in Africa‘s inhospitable countryside.

As Kitchener pored over his maps, a plan began to form in his mind. The Nile was his lifeline, yet shipping supplies upriver was a laborious, time-consuming process. The river was punctuated by six cataracts, stretches of rocky rapids that were difficult to cross. The Nile also added mileage as it curved west, its meandering ribbon of water impossible to fortify at all twists and turns.

Kitchener decided to build a railway straight across the arid Nubian Desert, a shortcut that would eliminate 900 miles of the river’s curve between Wadi Halfa and Abu Hamad, north of Berber. The railroad would be 400 miles in length, including a stretch of pre-existing line that hugged the Nile. The real challenge would be the 230-mile shortcut through the desert, a desiccated region infamous for not having water of any kind.

Most experts considered the desert portion of the railway impossible to build. But Royal Engineer Edouard Girouard, an experienced Canadian railway builder, was more than willing to try. It was a gargantuan task, made worse by a harsh climate and lazy, incompetent, and dishonest subordinates. Despite an outbreak of cholera and a bad case of sunstroke suffered by Girouard himself, work continued throughout the summer, with temperatures reaching 116 degrees in the shade. When a massive rainstorm washed away 12 miles of track, 5,000 men worked day and night for a week to repair the break.

The British 1st Egyptian Brigade advances toward Omdurman from Abu Hamad. The British laid down railroad tracks across the Nubian Desert as they went to transport supplies.

By the time Abu Hamad had been captured on August 7, 1897, the Sudan Military Railway was roughly halfway though the Nubian Desert. The ever-impatient Kitchener wanted the remaining 120 miles to Abu Hamad completed quickly, and Girouard pressed on. Up to three miles of track was laid each day. While the railroad was being built, Kitchener marched south by stages. There were several small-scale battles with the Mahdists, all resulting in defeat for the khalifa’s forces. The months dragged on, but slowly the Anglo-Egyptian army closed in on Khartoum. The railway shortcut was finally completed when it reached Atbara on July 3, 1898. Girouard had achieved the impossible. By August 31, Kitchener was only 18 miles from Khartoum.

Making a Stand at Omdurman

The general had little time to savor his progress—the khalifa still had to be defeated. It was feared that the khalifa would retreat into the desert vastness, away from the railroad and the vital Nile supply line. On reflection, however, Kitchener was sure that the Mahdists would make a stand at Omdurman. To Europeans, Omdurman was a primitive collection of shoddy mud huts clinging to the western banks of the Nile, but to the Dervishes it was almost a second Mecca. Omdurman was the khalifa’s capital and the site of the Mahdi’s elaborate tomb. If the khalifa gave it up without a fight, he would lose face, and his position as God’s chosen deputy would be severely compromised.

Now, as Churchill galloped up to his commander in chief, the stage was set for a final reckoning at Omdurman. Saluting, Churchill announced that he was a messenger from the 21st Lancers. He reported that the Dervish forces were on the move, marching rapidly in Kitchener’s direction. “How long do you think I have?” Kitchener asked. “You have got at least an hour,” Churchill replied, “probably an hour and a half, sir, even if they come at their present rate.”

Kitchener’s gunboats were drawing closer to Omdurman, pushing their way past the khalifa’s riverside forts. Once past the forts, the gunboats opened fire with their 40-pounder cannons. They were accompanied by British howitzers that had been placed on the eastern bank. The shells rained down on Omdurman, each explosion marked by gouts of flame that rose through great clouds of dust and flying fragments of stone. The Mahdi’s tomb was hit several times, leaving great gaping holes in the white dome. Inexplicably, the khalifa halted his forces for the night.

Deciding When to Attack

As the sun sank beneath the horizon, the Anglo-Egyptian army retired to its camp along the Nile. Sudanese scouts were sent out to give early warning of a night attack. That evening, the khalifa presided over an acrimonious council of war. His son Osman Sheikh al-Din wanted to attack at daybreak, immediately after morning prayers. He counseled, “Let us not be like mice or foxes sneaking into our holes by day and peeping out at night.” Ibrahim al-Khalil favored a stealthy night assault—the very thing Kitchener feared the most. If the zareba was breached at night, rifles and artillery would be useless in the pitch-black darkness. Perhaps British discipline would still triumph, but Kitchener’s army was sure to suffer heavy casualties in the confused and bloody melee.

The khalifa decided to attack in broad daylight. From the Sudanese point of view, it was a decision of almost criminal stupidity. Kitchener’s fortified camp was well positioned to meet a Dervish attack. It was semicircular in shape, about 1,200 yards wide at its widest point. The south end of the perimeter was protected by a line of mimosa thorn bushes, and the northern end featured a double line of trenches.

Major General William Gatacre’s British division occupied the zareba portion of the defenses, comprising such famed regiments as the Grenadier Guards, the Rifles, Lincolns, Warwicks, and Cameron Highlanders. Gatacre was known as a hard-driving general whose men had nicknamed him “Back-Acher.” The Egyptian troops under Maj. Gen. Sir Archibald Hunter occupied the trenches facing west and north. Hunter was a veteran of the failed Gordon relief expedition and knew his Egyptian and Sudanese soldiers well. Colonel Hector MacDonald, one of Hunter’s subordinates, had come up from the ranks and personally trained his brigade to a peak of efficiency.

Kitchener’s army had 46 artillery pieces and a battery of Maxim machine guns. The disciplined fire of British troops was almost as good as an artillery barrage. Each British Tommy was armed with an eight-shot Lee-Medford rifle and 100 rounds of hollow-point “dum-dum” ammunition, bullets that caused massive internal injuries wherever they struck.

The Battle of Omdurman Begins

Buglers sounded reveille at 3:40 am on September 2. British troops gathered behind the zareba and were told to lie down until the battle started. Friendly Sudanese and Egyptian troops swarmed into the trenches, making sure their single-shot Martini-Henry rifles were in working order. A few native huts in the rear served as protection for the sick and wounded, and the army’s menagerie of camels, horses, mules, and donkeys were picketed close by.

The 21st Lancers, on point, moved out of the zareba at about 5 am and headed toward the looming mass of the mountain, Jebel Surgham. Churchill accompanied them, mounted on a sturdy gray pony. He had a bad shoulder, so he decided that wielding a saber was out of the question. Instead, he would rely on a Mauser pistol he had purchased in London. The young officer loved the 10-shot weapon, which he called a “ripper.”

Perched on the slopes of Jebel Surgham, Churchill and the lancers had a ringside seat to the Battle of Omdurman’s opening moves. The Dervish army began to slowly climb the slopes, their advance described by one embedded reporter as “a moving, undulating plain of men.” The khalifa’s 52,000-man army stretched for some five miles, a frightening yet mesmerizing pageant of motion, color, and sound. Most followers of the khalifa wore the rough jibba, a woolen tunic that sported black patches as signs of humility before Allah. Human nature being what it is, many Dervishes had gotten their wives to sew on additional swatches of yellow, blue, and red.

There were several major divisions within the Mahdist army. Osman Azrak and Osman Sheikh al-Din would lead the attack under the latter’s dark-green battle flag. Sheikh al-Din, the khalifa’s son, had the most riflemen in his division, warriors using captured Remington and Martini-Henry rifles. Sheikh al-Din would be supported on the right by Ibrahim Al-Khalil’s elite troops under a white banner covered with quotes from the Koran. Under a red flag, Khalifa Sherif—not to be confused with the Mahdist leader—and his 2,000 Danagla tribesmen were positioned on the right.

The khalifa himself stayed in the rear with a large reserve of around 20,000 men, sheltering behind Jebel Surgham’s rocky mass. Surrounded by a bodyguard, the Dervish leader had a great black flag carried before him. The sable banner was huge, about two yards square, and covered with texts from the Koran and the Mahdi’s sayings. It was attached to a large bamboo pole about 20 feet long, and wherever it went it was acclaimed as a talisman of victory.

Commanding General H.H. Kitchener, center right, discusses the Battle of Omdurman with Maj. Gen. Sir William Gatacre, in charge of the British Brigade on the Nile.

The Dervish plan was simple: The first waves would crash against the infidels’ zareba. The khalifa’s black flag division would be held in reserve, together with Ali Wad Helu’s 5,000 Degheim and Kenana tribesmen. If the first waves were successful, the reserves would come forward to complete the victory. If not, the khalifa would have enough intact forces to attempt a second round of attacks.

Thousands of spear points twinkled and gleamed in the sun, swords were brandished with fervor, and war drums beat a throbbing tattoo. Mounted warriors sported helmets and chain-mail armor that seemed a throwback to medieval times. Shouts in Arabic of “There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is his Messenger!” and “Mahdi!” sounded from thousands of throats, a swelling chorus that seemed to cause the very earth to tremble. The shouts grew louder when the tribesmen saw the infidels’ zareba in the distance. The Dervishes started forward at the run, banners flying, while emirs on horseback urged them on.

The Bloody First Phase

About 50 yards from the zareba, two shells exploded, the bursts gouging holes in the gravel and red sand. The shells were from Mahdist artillery, but the guns were so poorly served that they fell short. The Anglo-Egyptian artillery replied, but with a far more deadly accuracy. On the right, Ibrahim al-Khalil and his men pressed forward, spilling over the ridge that marked Jebel Sergham’s eastern boundary. Guns from the 32nd Field Battery opened up at 2,800 yards, a rain of shells that produced terrible carnage. As many as 20 shells hit the advancing black mass in the first minute, throwing up dirty blossoms of flame and red dust with each detonation.

Men were decapitated, eviscerated, torn limb from limb yet others came forward with incredible courage and resolution. Al-Khalil was blown from the saddle, tumbling in the dirt when his horse’s head was nearly severed by a shell fragment. Mounting a fresh horse, he led his men forward—but by this time they were within range of the Maxim machine guns and the Lee-Medford rifles. The machine guns opened up, chattering a steady hail of death, and the Grenadier Guards stood up and poured a steady fire on the enemy’s shredded ranks. Ibrahim al-Khalil was shot in the head and chest, and the bloodied survivors reluctantly fell back.

Sheikh Osman al-Din’s attack in the center was equally disastrous. British shells tore bloody gaps in the ranks and tossed men like rag dolls into the air, yet the Dervishes refused to give up the fight. A carpet of spent cartridge shells gathered around each British soldier, and rifles grew so hot that they had to be replaced by weapons from the reserve.

The Dervishes fared no better on the left. The Sudanese regiments had little love for their Mahdist countrymen, and some probably wanted revenge for the khalifa’s depredations. The Sudanese opened up at 800 yards, great gouts of smoke, flame, and lead spouting from their Martini-Henrys. Dervish leaders pressed forward, but human flesh and blood could not stand against this hurricane of lead and metal.

The Last Formal Cavalry Charge in British History

The first phase of the Battle of Omdurman was over. The plain between the Keriri Hills and Jebel Surgham was carpeted with thousands of Mahdist bodies. The wounded crawled among the dead, many of them leaving a bloody trail of missing arms, legs, or feet. “Cease fire!” Kitchener shouted, then ordered the army to turn south and head straight for Omdurman. The general was afraid the khalifa might make a stand in the city, and the thought of house-to-house fighting was daunting.

As a first step, Kitchener ordered Colonel Rowland Martin and his 21st Lancers to reconnoiter the city and cut off the retreat of any fleeing Dervishes. Martin was happy to comply the regiment was itching for action. The lancers advanced at a walk, then spied a line of Dervishes about a half mile away. The Dervishes—only about a 100 or so skirmishers—started to fire on the British horsemen. Martin ordered a “right wheel into line,” which a bugler spat out in musical notes. The 320 troopers turned about smartly, readying themselves for the regiment’s first full-blown charge and the last formal cavalry charge in British history.

The lancers charged with fine style, lances leveled and swords drawn. But when they reached their objective they were shocked to find that the ground fell away five feet to expose a khor—a dry watercourse—filled with 3,000 warriors 10 to 12 ranks deep. The 21st was committed—there was nothing left to do but increase the pace and hope for the best. The subsequent impact was terrible, as horses plunged headlong into the enemy mass. Around 30 troopers were unhorsed as they crashed into the packed ranks, and perhaps as many as 200 Dervishes were laid low, trampled and stunned. But the Mahdists recovered quickly—this was the kind of warfare they understood.

BATTLE OF OMDURMAN, 1898. The first charge of Sudanese dervishes against the British at the Battle of Omdurman, 2 September 1898: illustration, c1900.

Each lancer found himself engulfed in a sea of enemies who thrust spears and slashed swords with wild abandon. Troopers were pulled from their mounts, surrounded and hacked to pieces. Bridles were cut, stirrup leather slashed, and horses were hamstrung in an attempt to bring them down. Churchill was one of the lucky ones, partly because he was on the far right, where the mass of Dervishes was thinner, and also because he was wielding a pistol. Even so, he barely escaped with his life. Finding himself closely surrounded by several dozen Dervishes, Churchill emptied his Mauser as they pressed closer to finish him. One assailant, swinging a curved sword, got so near the pistol he bumped into it. Churchill wheeled away at the last moment and galloped to safety.

The surviving lancers managed to get out of the khor and paused to re-form. The melee had lasted only two minutes, but in that short span of time 22 men had been killed and another 50 wounded. Some 119 horses had been slaughtered. The 21st Lancers had covered themselves in glory, but at a high price in blood. Once he recovered from the euphoria of battle, Churchill noted “horses spouting blood, men bleeding from terrible wounds, fish-hook spears stuck right through them, men gasping, crying, expiring.” One nearby lieutenant had been wounded in the shoulder and leg, his hand almost severed by a sword strike, and a sergeant’s face “was cut to pieces … the whole of his nose, cheeks and lips flapped red bubbles.”

Gordon Avenged

The battle was not yet over. Kitchener mistakenly believed the Mahdist army was broken. The Dervishes had suffered grievously, but most of the Khalifa’s black flag division and Ali Wad Helu’s corps were still intact. Colonel Hector MacDonald’s 1st Egyptian Brigade, a rear guard composed of Sudanese and Egyptians, was dangerously exposed. If the khalifa could pounce on MacDonald, he might annihilate the Scotsman before other units could come to his aid. Kitchener’s whole army could be taken in flank and rear while still on the march and rolled up.

Unaware of the danger, Kitchener was irritated. “Can’t he see we’re marching on Omdurman?” the general complained. “Tell him to follow on.” Obeying, General Hunter relayed a message to MacDonald to withdraw. But just about the time he received the message, MacDonald became aware of the danger. “I’ll nae do it,” he said firmly in his Scots brogue. If he withdrew, his men would be slaughtered. When the khalifa’s black flag division came forward at the run, they were met by disciplined volleys from the British troops. As before, modern firepower trumped medieval courage, and the attack faltered and broke off.

Just then, Ali Wad Helu’s warriors swept in from the north, threatening to hit MacDonald’s troops in flank. The Scotsman coolly appraised the situation and swung the 11th Sudanese Battalion to meet the new threat. MacDonald’s brigade was now in an L shape, firing so rapidly that many men didn’t even aim. The Dervish horde, wilting under heavy fire, started to lap around the 11th’s flank, seeking to exploit a space they saw between the 11th and 9th Battalions. The 2nd Egyptian Battalion plugged the gap on the run, firing into their opponents at point-blank range. Serangan itu gagal. Watching in the rear, the khalifa accepted defeat and fled to distant Kordofan, leaving behind his great black flag as a trophy for the victors.

The skill and bravery of the Sudanese and Egyptian troops had saved Kitchener from disaster. Well-deserved praise was also lavished on MacDonald’s men. MacDonald himself gained the affectionate sobriquet, “Fighting Mac.” Winston Churchill added another notch to his budding legend.

Rarely had a major victory been won at such a small cost. The Anglo-Egyptian army’s casualties were 47 dead and 340 wounded. By contrast, the Mahdist army lost almost 10,000 killed, 13,000 wounded, and 5,000 captured. The khalifa was eventually tracked down a year later and killed in battle. However indirectly, Gordon had been avenged.


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