British Cavalry Tactics

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British Tactics
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Against Cavalry

British cavalry units were trained to advance upon the enemy horse at "a moderate pace" and then, get as near as possible to them before drawing swords for the attack.
Ideally, the sabres would be unsheathed at the same time as the spurs were put into the horses, creating an attack momentum that was hard to stop.


Against Infantry

The British had set ideas about attacking infantry and would try to time the charge so that the cavalry could spur the final assault just after the soldiers had fired their muskets.
When moving against infantry squares the British would strike at the corners of the formation to lessen the number of muskets that could be brought to bear.
The perfect time for such an attack was while the infantry were trying to move, or if it had been softened up by artillery.
The King's German Legion's success in breaking a square at Garcia Hernandez came about when a dead horse crashed into the side of a square opening a hole in the bayonet hedge through which other riders were able to plunge through.

Against Artillery

When charging enemy guns the British tried to make the assault in two groups.
One would be the real attack force while the other's move would be a feint to draw away the attention of the gunners.
Once the charge was initiated it not only had to deal with the artillery crews, but also any support troops nearby.
This allowed the cavalry at the guns to either kill all the gunners, spike the guns with nails through the touch holes, or capture - or kill - the artillery horses.

British Cavalry
Cavalry Weapons




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