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Post Info TOPIC: Organization of French cavalry?


Major

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Organization of French cavalry?
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Does anyone know how it was organized? I can't find any To&E info of it on the internet.



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Major

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Not found much, but the Osprey "French Army" book (Ian Sumner) has the following:

Cuirassiers:
1914 - 12 regts cuirassiers, organised into 2 brigades of 2 regts serving in the 1e, 3e, 4e, 6e 7e & 9e cav. div's.
- from Nov '14 each cav. brigade formed a Light Group of several squadrons drawn from its constituent regts & attached cyclists. These were in fact infantry units; those drawn from cuirassiers were called "cuirassiers a pied". From 1916, 6 mounted regts (4e,5e,8e,9e,11e,12e) were formally organised as infantry.

Dragoons: 32 regts employed in different cav. div's; also organised into brigades of 2 regts, forming a div. with either a brigade of cuirassiers or a 2nd brig. of dragoons (2e,5e,8e & 10e div's).

Chasseurs a cheval: 21 regt's, forming part of the light cavalry arm. The light brig. in each of the 2e to 8e cav. div's; 2e to 5e had 2 chasseur regt's, those of 6e to 8e had a regt of chasseurs and a regt of hussars. The remaining retgs were largely dispersed and served as corps or div. cavalry. Where possible the four pre-war regular squadrons formed the corps of cav., whilst the 5e & 6e squadrons (formed from reservists on mobilisation) were div. cav. reserve squadrons of those light regts serving in cav. div's functioned as div. cav. with reserve & territorial div's (!).

Hussars: The 14 hussar regts formed the other element of light cav. 3e & 4e cav. div's eahc had alight cav. brigade of 2 regts of hussars; the remainder served as div. or corps cav.

Hope that helps...! If I find anything smaller, I'll put it here.

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Major

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From Anthony Claytons Paths of Glory:
Each cav. Div. consisted of 3 brigs of 2 regts., a groupe of 2 or 3 75mm horse artillery batteries, a 350-strong groupe cycliste and, in theory, an aircraft reconnaissance squadron. Regts comprised 4 squadrons (expanded to 6 in army corps units on mobilisation), and on war establishment totalled 35 officers and 734 troopers. There were 12 cuirassier-, 32 dragoon-, 21 chasseur-, 14 hussar- and 6 chassuers dAfrique regts the latter producing 1 regt de marche in 1914 [if that contradicts Osprey, too bad!].
Horses purchased for the cavalry were not the most suitable; selection being made according to budgetary and agricultural considerations an economy to prove false in 1914 when large nos of horses died.

That's exhausted my references.



-- Edited by Excelsior1 on Wednesday 20th of February 2013 10:23:05 PM

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Major

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Thanks. I guess it's a rather obscure topic?

Does anyone know how it looked in later years?

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Field Marshal

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Bonjour,

If you read french, you can found informations on French units, during WW1, in the AFFG (Armées Françaises dans la Grande Guerre),

published on website "Gallica" from the BNF (Bibliothéque Nationale de France).

106 volumes (26 from maps). All is not yet published on internet (maps for example).

Bonne recherche - Michel



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