French cavalry ready to follow an infantry attack


French cavalry ready to follow an infantry attack


Here we see French cavalry behind the lines, waiting the issue of an infantry attack. After the infantry has swarmed over hidden machine gun nests and thrown the enemy line into confusion, the cavalry follows up the attack and turns confusion into rout. Gone are the days of cavalry charges on infantry in formation–the modern repeating rifle and the machine gun throw a stream of fire into the charging squadron that piles men and horses, dead and dying, in one writhing mass of utter confusion. But once the infantry formations are broken, once the men scatter in retreat, the cavalry are among them cutting and slashing, hurrying them from place to place, giving them no time to re-form and by their mass of fire beat off the foe. After Haig's great drive between St. Quentin and the Oise (waz) in October, 1918, the cavalry "came into its own" everywhere, for hundreds of miles, on the heels of the retreating Germans who, beaten disastrously on all fronts, were hurrying to escape from France. The cavalry swooped down upon these broken lines, beat them apart into still worse confusion, intercepted their retreat, capturing thousands and thousands. French cavalrymen still use the heavy, straight sabre of the first Napoleon's Cuirassiers (kwe'ra-ser'), and some of their officers still wear the casque and plume. The men before us are well mounted, on wiry, well-groomed horses that give evidence of care and attention. Cavalrymen become very much attached to their horses, often after a hard day's march attending to their wants before seeking food and rest for themselves. And the noble animals merit all that is done for them.



1 stereograph : b&w
1 gelatine silver print stereograph (8 x 15 cm) mounted on card (9 x 18 cm)


Copyright. The Keystone View Company
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World War through the stereoscope

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Keystone View Company, “French cavalry ready to follow an infantry attack,” Monash Collections Online, accessed May 23, 2024,

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