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.
Dr David Kenyon has had a lifelong interest in military history. A keen horseman himself, he has dedicated many years to the study of mounted combat in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and in the Great War in particular. He is also one of the most experienced Great War archaeologists in the UK and has worked all over Britain as well as in Europe and the Near East. He was the lead archaeologist on the television project Finding the Fallen, and he has contributed to Great War programmes for the BBC and other broadcasters. He is the archaeological director of the Thiepval Wood Great War archaeology project in France, and a consultant to the Seddulbahir Fortress project in Gallipoli.