Horsemen in No Man's Land : British Cavalry and Trench Warfare 1914-1918 Hardback
by David Kenyon
Of what use were the British cavalry during the years of trench warfare on the Western Front?
On a static battlefield dominated by the weapons of the industrial age, by the machine gun and massed artillery, the cavalry were seen as an anachronism.
They were vulnerable to modern armaments, of little value in combat and a waste of scarce resources. At least, that is the common viewpoint. Indeed, the cavalry have been consistently underestimated since the first histories of the Great War were written.
But, in light of modern research, is this the right verdict?David Kenyon seeks to answer this question in his thought-provoking new study.
His conclusions challenge conventional wisdom on the subject - they should prompt a radical re-evaluation of the role of the horseman on the battlefields of France and Flanders a century ago.Using evidence gained from primary research into wartime records and the eyewitness accounts of the men who were there - who saw the cavalry in action - he reassesses the cavalry's contribution and performance.
His writing gives a vivid insight into the cavalry tactics and the ethos of the cavalrymen of the time. He also examines how the cavalry combined with the other arms of the British army, in particular the tanks.His well-balanced and original study will be essential reading for students of the Western Front and for anyone who is interested in the long history of cavalry combat.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 240 pages, Illustrations
- Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 18/08/2011
- Category: British & Irish history
- ISBN: 9781848843646
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Review by douboy50
David Kenyon, the author, argues the case that British Cavalry on the Western Front was of use during the war and in fact contributed to the Allie's success; however, admittedly not in a decisive way. The prevailing opinion among historians is that cavalry had no place on the Western Front, were a drain on resources and generally confused matters in battle and at the front.David Kenyon, himself an avid horseman, believes otherwise. He uses a great deal of source documents as well as histories to prove his case. When an author has so much documentation (footnotes, etc.), it is hard not to give the person acknowledgement; without writing an oposing view you cannot realy argue against them.I have read a great deal on the subject of the First World War and nowhere have I ever come across anyone who had anything good to say about cavalry efforts on the Western Front! This book is a first for me. So.....the only comments I will make about the book is the style in which it was written. There is a great deal of detail and analysis in the work. There is so much detail here that at times I found myself skimming parts. This is something I normally do not do. Kenyon definately did his homework. He calls out the names of well known military historians to counter their work and opinions on the issue of cavalry. If you are looking for an in-depth study of British cavalry on the Western Front this is for you. If you are looking for an overview, get the book and just read the last chapter entitled "Conclusions". It will give you the overview you may be looking for. I still gave the book 4 star because I did find it interesting and I did get a different view of the cavalry in the Great War.