horses crashing into soldiers like tanks

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manuelcipo

Recruit
I don't see how Winston Churchill charge is not to take in consideration, they were lightly armored? so the enemy much an easier target for cav, the enemy had firearms? it means they were not in tight formation and so much easier target, and from what we hear from the story the cav got to the formation without heavy losses so the firearms did not stop the charge it was the perfect chance for a frontal charge like the one you propose and still most of them got with their ass down.

You are replying only what you want and with no real evidence beside your faulty logic and drawing ability, all the historian say the same thing go grab a book and leave hollywood movies.
You are clearly misunderstanding the word charge everywhere, i'll just post you what wikipedia have to say about the matter.

"The shock value of a charge attack has been especially exploited in cavalry tactics, both of armored knights and lighter mounted troops of both earlier and later eras. Historians such as John Keegan have shown that when correctly prepared against (such as by improvising fortifications) and, especially, by standing firm in face of the onslaught, cavalry charges often failed against infantry, with horses refusing to gallop into the dense mass of enemies,[4] or the charging unit itself breaking up. However, when cavalry charges succeeded, it was usually due to the defending formation breaking up (often in fear) and scattering, to be hunted down by the enemy.[5] "

Source given too:

4. N. Machiavelli, Art of War, II
5. A History of WarfareKeegan, John, Vintage, Thursday 01 November 1994

The truth is we are speaking with real info, you are talking of battle were there are no proof of charge like you mean it beside the use of the word charge and charge is a word used for the infantry too, you will never be able to find any battle with charge like you mean, i understand your misanderstanding of the word, let's see how wikipedia define the word "charge" at the beginning of the same page.

"A charge is a maneuver in battle in which combatants advance towards their enemy at their best speed in an attempt to engage in close combat, most commonly a melee. "

"Charge" mean engaging at the max speed it doesn't mean using yourself and your horse like a battering ram, cause it was never a war tactics as i said it would be suicidal.
 

hruza

Knight at Arms
A good source, I'll grant you. There are three complicating factors, however, with wielding this as your sole source to prove your argument:

1. This is the era of black powder. Frontal charges did occur during this time, yes. However, it was much, much easier to destroy a cavalry charge at that time than it was in the middle ages. Cavalry of the era were unarmored, and their foes has firearms, the noise and smell of which would spook many a horse alone. Horses were trained to get used to being shot at, but you can only do so much to teach a horse to brave a hail of gunfire.

Easier or not, cavalry charges did happen during this era, both successful and unsuccessful and this example shows that crashing horses in to the infantry formation in the charge wasn't the way to do it.

2. These were lighter horses. Again, unarmored, and bred for speed and temper rather than size and strength. They were less durable, brought less mass to bear,

That's just your speculation. I have already posted source about medieval war horses, they were only slightly larger then larger modern ponies and of medium build.

and their riders carried shorter arms than a medieval knight would have.

Lances of the 21th Lancers were certainly longer then spears carried by the Norman knights at Hastings.

To say nothing of the lack of armor they wore.

Say nothing of the lack of armor Dervish infantry wore. If you want to consider armor as a factor, then you need to consider it for both sides.

These two pose difficulty in using this as an example for the Bannerlord discussion. But what really gets you is the third issue.

3. The account of this battle given by a correspondent from Reuter who bore witness:

It's stated in record that, "Of less than 400 men involved in the charge 70 were killed and wounded and the regiment won three Victoria Crosses."

So let's look at what actually happened.

Problem with your diagram is that cavalry can't form as closely as infantry can, because riders on the horses are much larger then men of foot are. And from the description we know that 21th Lancers' formation in charge have extended Dervish infantry formation. We also know that infantry formation was 12 deep and not 20 deep. Although that was likely approximation, somehow I doubt that Churchill had time to count them.

These presume 3,000 Dervish, as records state "2,500 behind" the initial "few hundred" the charge was leveled against.

With these odds, 400 mounted warriors devoid of armor...

Against foot warriors also devoid of armor.

  • Rode through withering gunfire.​
Anything but withering given Churchill don't mention 21th Lancers sustaining any losses. Which is hardly surprising given accuracy and range of smoothbore muskets Dervishes used and speed of the cavalry.

  • Cut their way through one end of the enemy formation and out the other ("... who absolutely had to hack their way through the enemy twenty deep ...").​
Churchill clearly states that actual fighting did not even start until 21th Lancers, those that survived the collision and did not lose their mount, did not push through and emerged on the other side of the ravine. So no, they did not hack their way. And it was 12 deep.

  • Succeeded at their mission with only 70 casualties, including both dead and wounded.​
    • This means that 82% of the lancer contingent came out unscathed.​
    • This also means that, mathematically speaking, it took 42.85 Dervish infantry to wound or kill a single lancer.​
    • This also means that each unscathed lancer was, mathematically speaking, worth 9 Dervish infantry in the fighting.​

Succeeded only once they dismounted and opened fire from their magazine fed rifles against force using swords and muskets. Charge utterly failed to break Dervishes and 21th Lancers suffered 1/4 of their men and 1/3 of their horses as a casualties accomplishing nothing in the tactical sense. That's a disastrous result.

I'd say if anything, the charge at Omdurman proves true what I've been saying all along about horses colliding with humans.

I say nothing but cite historian again:

The entire clash of arms lasted less than two minutes, and resulted in the loss of one officer and twenty men of the 21st Lancers killed, while another four officers and forty-six men were wounded. Of the 320 horses engaged in the charge, 119 had been either killed or wounded. Yet the charge had achieved little, and is largely viewed as a near disaster and a terrible mistake by military people of the day and historians ever since.

Ambush at Abu Sunt: The 21st Lancers at the Battle of Omdurman
 

manuelcipo

Recruit
Easier or not, cavalry charges did happen during this era, both successful and unsuccessful and this example shows that crashing horses in to the infantry formation in the charge wasn't the way to do it.



That's just your speculation. I have already posted source about medieval war horses, they were only slightly larger then larger modern ponies and of medium build.



Lances of the 21th Lancers were certainly longer then spears carried by the Norman knights at Hastings.



Say nothing of the lack of armor Dervish infantry wore. If you want to consider armor as a factor, then you need to consider it for both sides.



Problem with your diagram is that cavalry can't form as closely as infantry can, because riders on the horses are much larger then men of foot are. And from the description we know that 21th Lancers' formation in charge have extended Dervish infantry formation. We also know that infantry formation was 12 deep and not 20 deep. Although that was likely approximation, somehow I doubt that Churchill had time to count them.



Against foot warriors also devoid of armor.

Anything but withering given Churchill don't mention 21th Lancers sustaining any losses. Which is hardly surprising given accuracy and range of smoothbore muskets Dervishes used and speed of the cavalry.

Churchill clearly states that actual fighting did not even start until 21th Lancers, those that survived the collision and did not lose their mount, did not push through and emerged on the other side of the ravine. So no, they did not hack their way. And it was 12 deep.

Succeeded only once they dismounted and opened fire from their magazine fed rifles against force using swords and muskets. Charge utterly failed to break Dervishes and 21th Lancers suffered 1/4 of their men and 1/3 of their horses as a casualties accomplishing nothing in the tactical sense. That's a disastrous result.



I say nothing but cite historian again:

The entire clash of arms lasted less than two minutes, and resulted in the loss of one officer and twenty men of the 21st Lancers killed, while another four officers and forty-six men were wounded. Of the 320 horses engaged in the charge, 119 had been either killed or wounded. Yet the charge had achieved little, and is largely viewed as a near disaster and a terrible mistake by military people of the day and historians ever since.

Ambush at Abu Sunt: The 21st Lancers at the Battle of Omdurman

It seems to me they read only what they want and take into account what is best for them, not giving any evidence beside faulty logic.
I have to send you a friend request.
 

mAtAtA

Wikipedia history discussion intensifies, a clone joins ranks

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😂
 
I've already paid this discussion more heed than I'd intended to. You're not going to see reason, and that's fine, you don't have to. You're free to see what you wish. What I will do, however, is correct your facts:

That's just your speculation. I have already posted source about medieval war horses, they were only slightly larger then larger modern ponies and of medium build.

You're very, very wrong about this. Where did you get this information? Destriers measured as high as 15 or 16 hands.

Ponies reach about 14 hands.

The modern Friesian, who you so actively dismissed as being much larger than a medieval destrier in earlier articles, averages 15.2 hands.

Ponies are remarkably smaller than medieval warhorses. The smallest destriers might have been roughly comparable in size, but certainly not the average.

Scholars have speculated about the nature of destriers and about the size they attained. They apparently were not enormous draft types.[7] Recent research undertaken at the Museum of London, using literary, pictorial and archeological sources, suggests war horses (including destriers) averaged from 14 to 15 hands (56 to 60 inches, 142 to 152 cm), and differed from a riding horse in their strength, musculature and training, rather than in their size.[8] An analysis of medieval horse armour located in the Royal Armouries indicates the equipment was originally worn by horses of 15 to 16 hands (60 to 64 inches, 152 to 163 cm),[9] about the size and build of a modern field hunter or ordinary riding horse.[10]

In modern use, many organizations define a pony as a mature horse that measures less than 14.3 hands (59 inches, 150 cm) at the withers, but there are a number of exceptions. Different organizations that use a strict measurement model vary from 14 hands (56 inches, 142 cm) to nearly 14.3 hands (59 inches, 150 cm).

The Friesian stands on average about 15.3 hands (63 inches, 160 cm), although it may vary from 14.2 to 17 hands (58 to 68 inches, 147 to 173 cm) at the withers, and mares or geldings must be at least 15.2 hands (62 inches, 157 cm) to qualify for a "star-designation" pedigree.

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"A charge is a maneuver in battle in which combatants advance towards their enemy at their best speed in an attempt to engage in close combat, most commonly a melee. "

"Charge" mean engaging at the max speed it doesn't mean using yourself and your horse like a battering ram, cause it was never a war tactics as i said it would be suicidal.

You're completely misrepresenting my stance. I never said that the point of a charge was to run into the enemy with your horse (though on foot, shield tackling was the norm). I said that as a matter of course, cavalry would collide with infantry, and this is how the charge broke the enemy's formation. You're suggesting that either A, the charge rode at full gallop and then timed it so that the horse would awkwardly and aggressively slide to a stop right in front of the enemy at melee range, taking all the force of momentum off the tip of their lance in the process, and lance only the first rank... or B, that the charge managed to pass through lightly grouped infantry without touching a single person, and then just stood there and poked the enemy from horseback, which would be suicidal.

Which do you reckon it was, out of curiosity? What does "engaging at max speed" look like in your mind?

In either situation, it sounds pretty ridiculous when you actually try to visualize it. I ask again, why gallop at all? Why not just yell really loudly and shout threats while trotting in a controlled manner towards the enemy? If the goal isn't to crash through, don't you think it would've been more expedient to approach in a way that held the line closer? This should be especially true of infantry charges, where tightly formed ranks could just walk towards the foe, shields overlapping. Why run? Why ever run?

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Lances of the 21th Lancers were certainly longer then spears carried by the Norman knights at Hastings.

The mounted lancer experienced a renaissance in the 18th and especially in the 19th century. [...] Formations of uhlans and later other types of cavalry used 2-3 m (6.5-10 ft) lances as their main weapons.

[Medieval] Lances were much longer and sturdier than their cousin the spear. Usually ranging up to about ten feet in length with the jousting versions sometimes even longer - as long as twelve feet or more.

The Medieval Lance was an interesting polearm with a few different variations.

The first and most popular type of lance is the extremely long handled lance that was used by Jousting knights in tournaments. This type of lance could exceed 20 feet in length and typically had a modified point so as not to seriously injure an opponent.

But lances were also used in real combat and they too could reach lengths of up to 14 feet. They had a combat point that was made to penetrate armor.

They certainly were not. At best they were around the same length, but the maximum length of a medieval lance exceeded the maximum length of a 19th century lance by several feet.

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Say nothing of the lack of armor Dervish infantry wore. If you want to consider armor as a factor, then you need to consider it for both sides.

I brought up the armor to show the factors that would have mitigated the impact of the Lancers' charge as opposed to that of a medieval knight. The defenders' armor is irrelevant. Even so, chain and gambeson isn't going to be incredibly effective against a sharp spear rammed into one's chest with 8,000 pounds of force, either.

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Problem with your diagram is that cavalry can't form as closely as infantry can, because riders on the horses are much larger then men of foot are. And from the description we know that 21th Lancers' formation in charge have extended Dervish infantry formation. We also know that infantry formation was 12 deep and not 20 deep. Although that was likely approximation, somehow I doubt that Churchill had time to count them.

Indeed, but the non-combatant observer I quoted would have. He counted them 20 deep. Also cavalry can form quite close. Knee-to-knee is still as close as infantry. Just because the men aren't tight doesn't mean the horses aren't. Medieval knights charged knee-to-knee.

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Anything but withering given Churchill don't mention 21th Lancers sustaining any losses. Which is hardly surprising given accuracy and range of smoothbore muskets Dervishes used and speed of the cavalry.

Withering, not lethal. The noise and smell would have still blunted the impact of the charge as the mounts became apprehensive.

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Churchill clearly states that actual fighting did not even start until 21th Lancers, those that survived the collision and did not lose their mount, did not push through and emerged on the other side of the ravine. So no, they did not hack their way. And it was 12 deep.

Sorry, lad, but I believe Churchill's own words - copied and pasted directly out of your post - tell a different story:

A score of horsemen and a dozen bright flags rose as if by magic from the earth. Eager warriors sprang forward to anticipate the shock. The rest stood firm to meet it. The Lancers acknowledged the apparition only by an increase of pace. Each man wanted sufficient momentum to drive through such a solid line. [...] The collision was prodigious. Nearly thirty Lancers, men and horses, and at least two hundred Arabs were overthrown.

[...]

Meanwhile the impetus of the cavalry carried them on. As a rider tears through a bullfinch, the officers forced their way through the press; and as an iron rake might be drawn through a heap of shingle, so the regiment followed. They shattered the Dervish array, and, their pace reduced to a walk, scrambled out of the khor on the further side, leaving a score of troopers behind them, and dragging on with the charge more than a thousand Arabs.

[...]

Two hundred yards away the regiment halted, rallied, faced about, and in less than five minutes were re-formed and ready for a second charge. The men were anxious to cut their way back through their enemies.

(Edit: I really, really hate the buggy quote function. Or whatever aspect of my browser is making it buggy, as the case may be.)

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Succeeded only once they dismounted and opened fire from their magazine fed rifles against force using swords and muskets. Charge utterly failed to break Dervishes and 21th Lancers suffered 1/4 of their men and 1/3 of their horses as a casualties accomplishing nothing in the tactical sense. That's a disastrous result.

71 men out of 320 (the man who was there reckoned 400) isn't 1/4, it's closer to 1/5. Nevermind that with a thousand Dervish being dragged on with the charge, my, that's a full half of their number shattered by the charge.

You're also missing the point of the historian's statement. It wasn't considered a tactical disaster, it was considered a strategic mistake. Tactically, it went off brilliantly. Minimal losses and a devastated enemy formation. Three of the Lancers received Britain's most prestigious military honor.

Strategically, however, it accomplished very little and probably shouldn't have been ordered in the first place. That's why it was considered a mistake. Not the outcome, but the decision.

This spectacular encounter earned considerable public attention and praise for the regiment, though it was also criticized as a costly and unnecessary anachronism - since the 2,000 Dervish spearmen dispersed by the 21st Lancers could have been destroyed by rifle fire with few if any British losses.[3]
 
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GitiUsir

Sergeant
WB
Battle of Kircholm
...The Swedish defeat was utter and complete. The army of Charles IX had lost at least half, perhaps as much as two-thirds, of its original strength. The Polish–Lithuanian losses numbered only about 100 dead and 200 wounded, although the hussars, in particular, lost a large part of their trained battle horses.
...During the hussar's charges it was the horses that took the greatest damage, the riders being largely protected by the body and heads of their horses.
...and so the campaign faltered. An additional factor was the large number of trained horses lost during the battle, which proved difficult to replace.
 

Tork789

Knight at Arms
WBNWWF&SM&BVC
Meanwhile the impetus of the cavalry carried them on. As a rider tears through a bullfinch, the officers forced their way through the press; and as an iron rake might be drawn through a heap of shingle, so the regiment followed. They shattered the Dervish array, and, their pace reduced to a walk, scrambled out of the khor on the further side, leaving a score of troopers behind them, and dragging on with the charge more than a thousand Arabs. Then, and not till then, the killing began; and thereafter each man saw the world along his lance, under his guard, or through the back-sight of his pistol; and each had his own strange tale to tell.

Stubborn and unshaken infantry hardly ever meet stubborn and unshaken cavalry. Either the infantry run away and are cut down in flight, or they keep their heads and destroy nearly all the horsemen by their musketry. On this occasion two living walls had actually crashed together. The Dervishes fought manfully. They tried to hamstring the horses. They fired their rifles, pressing the muzzles into the very bodies of their opponents. They cut reins and stirrup-leathers. They flung their throwing-spears with great dexterity. They tried every device of cool, determined men practiced in war and familiar with cavalry; and, besides, they swung sharp, heavy swords which bit deep. The hand-to-hand fighting on the further side of the khor lasted for perhaps one minute. Then the horses got into their stride again, the pace increased, and the Lancers drew out from among their antagonists. Within two minutes of the collision every living man was clear of the Dervish mass. All who had fallen were cut at with swords till they stopped quivering, but no artistic mutilations were attempted. The enemy's behavior gave small ground for complaint.
Ok, this is epic. The fact that the lancers in a gunpowder era managed to charge right into an infantry formation, lose all momentum and push through regardless just proves beyond doubt that charging into infantry formation was a viable tactic. I can't understand how someone can read this and come to a conclusion that charging into infantry was either never done or that it's somehow a bad decision, I believe it would require quite significant mental gymnastics.
 

hruza

Knight at Arms
Ok, this is epic. The fact that the lancers in a gunpowder era managed to charge right into an infantry formation, lose all momentum and push through regardless just proves beyond doubt that charging into infantry formation was a viable tactic. I can't understand how someone can read this and come to a conclusion that charging into infantry was either never done or that it's somehow a bad decision, I believe it would require quite significant mental gymnastics.

Mental gymnastic is rather trying to turn military disaster done by accident in to "viable tactic".
 

manuelcipo

Recruit
Wikipedia history discussion intensifies, a clone joins ranks

1. We gave example,hruza gave ****ing Winston Churchill report.
2.
Source given too:

4. N. Machiavelli, Art of War, II
5. A History of WarfareKeegan, John, Vintage, Thursday 01 November 1994

Some may find better to use as source faulty logic and hollywood movies, but wikipedia give here his soruce that doesn't seem stuff to laugh on, but maybe you know better the fact than Niccolò Macchiavelli.

Ok, this is epic. The fact that the lancers in a gunpowder era managed to charge right into an infantry formation, lose all momentum and push through regardless just proves beyond doubt that charging into infantry formation was a viable tactic. I can't understand how someone can read this and come to a conclusion that charging into infantry was either never done or that it's somehow a bad decision, I believe it would require quite significant mental gymnastics.

All the historian make a lot of mental gymnastics then.
As always people see what they want to see, instead of seeing a full sprint charge made in a time were infantry formation were lot less tight cause they had to shoot, with unarmoured target, which the witness and historian say it was catastrophic, they see how despite they were stopped by this unarmored and not tight formation they got to the other side, evading and ignoring the clear fact that most of the man who got on the other side did it off horse cause the charge was a failure itself and they got dismounted on first impact, ignoring that the one who is telling the story say clearly that after the disastrous impact both army was so stunned that they didn't fight each other for 10 seconds, ignoring the fact that historically battle had very few losses cause people differently of you might think cared about their life and was very careful with it, they didn't just throw themselves in the middle of the enemies with "viable tactic" that usually ended in massacre for both side.
 

mAtAtA

It's si cute how you still adress to your own two accounts as "we" :sneaky:
Now jokes aside, if you are actually two different members, ignoring other ppls proof (such as the most obvious bayeaux tapistery) in plain sight, by simply saying "i don't see that there, no proof" will just confirm that hruza being a ridicule for the forumites is justified. People are making jokes for quite some time on his expense, and i start to see why. I'm really sorry to see he has no intention of changing his attitude, pull together and normaly converse with others, because otherwise it will never end.
I suggest finding a hobby or something, 'cause history , observing or proving points is just something he is awfully bad at.
This is the last time i log in to write, tought it might be worth a shot to let him realise whats going on. Nor will i read this thread anymore, its stressful to me seeing anyone being ridiculed, even him.
 

Androme1

Banned
Point of the wedge was to increase controlability of the cavalry unit as all horseman simply follow lead of the man on the point. Colliding in to line of infantry will only send the men and horses flying to the ground, and the only thing it will break is riders neck, if they were lucky enough not to land on the lance or spear before that.

And you break enemy ranks on horse the same way you break them on foot: by fighting them. That's why cavalry carries actual weapons. Horse was not weapon, horse was a transport device.

Nowhere does "breaking enemy formation" imply colliding yourself in to it.
Where can I read more about this? It must certainly be a very popular myth if I've been led to believe this for almost 30 years. I really did think enough horsemen with enough armoured mounts could crash into enemy formations.
 

hruza

Knight at Arms
Where can I read more about this? It must certainly be a very popular myth if I've been led to believe this for almost 30 years. I really did think enough horsemen with enough armoured mounts could crash into enemy formations.

I have already posted this here:
Combat Training for Horse and Rider in the Early Middle Ages by Jürg Gassmann
You can download it there in the PDF format for free.

Late Medieval Lance Use: Mounted Combat and Martial Arts in Western Europe from the 14th to the 16th Century, Michael S. Curl
That one you have to buy.

There are several works by John Keegan that manuelcipo have mentioned, you may find some pieces online.

Here you can find lot of interesting info about Napoleonic era cavalry, advantage is that it's much better documented then earlier eras:
Cavalry Tactics and Combat during the Napoleonic Wars
 

Tork789

Knight at Arms
WBNWWF&SM&BVC
Not necessarily, if you know where to look: https://sci-hub.tw/10.1080/17416124.2019.1573963
And this article mostly talks about different lance techniques employed by Europeans and several other cultures for comparison. Although it was an interesting read, the only sentence that could concern us would be the following:
Although the charge with the couched lance was a valid, even favourite tactic of the medieval knight, it was only one of many.

As for the other sources, I believe it's been said enough about them in this thread and now everyone is free to form their own conclusion.
 

hruza

Knight at Arms
Not necessarily, if you know where to look: https://sci-hub.tw/10.1080/17416124.2019.1573963
https://sci-hub.tw/10.1080/17416124.2019.1573963

If you want to obtain that work legally, you need to pay for it.

And this article mostly talks about different lance techniques employed by Europeans and several other cultures for comparison. Although it was an interesting read, the only sentence that could concern us would be the following:

There's whole section called "Principles of Mounted Combat" that clearly mentions need to pass the target, either on left or right side and gives references to the historical sources to confirm it. Moreover M. Curl completely shatters popular myth that lance was only, or even primarily used to deliver strike couched. He shows that lance was used in much more active way to fight from the horse that it was thought previously and he backs that up again with historical sources.

And last thing I would point out in his work is how he stress out the importance of the horsemanship for the mounted combat. Quality of the cavalryman was primarily determined by how well he can control the horse, more so then his weapon. Of course if all you needed to do in battle was point your horse at your opponent and have a strait run to collide in to him that wouldn't be the case, would it?

As for the other sources, I believe it's been said enough about them in this thread and now everyone is free to form their own conclusion.

What was said about them? The only one saying anything about them here was me. And to form conclusion one needs to actually read them.
 

Shun

Squire
WB
I would like to know what the two parties of the discussion think about the topic of the horses' legs becoming entangled (hindered from moving - English is not my first language) when crashing into a massed formation. There would be a lot of stuff on the ground (bodies, weapons - some of them long, shields), hindering the movement of the horses' feet plus also making the ground harder to see and therefore making it harder for the horses to spot obstacles.
This would likely be exaggerated when the horses making first contact are being slowed down and the horses coming after them in the formation start to pile up behind them.
 

GitiUsir

Sergeant
WB
Maybe this is the origin of the myth:

hruza comments are very reasonable to me. Clone accounts are not necessary when someone is arguing his point. Only those who want to troll a thread would do it.

Why not agree on this: cavalry is able to smash into an infantry formation but it will be costly.
 

hruza

Knight at Arms
I would like to know what the two parties of the discussion think about the topic of the horses' legs becoming entangled (hindered from moving - English is not my first language) when crashing into a massed formation. There would be a lot of stuff on the ground (bodies, weapons - some of them long, shields), hindering the movement of the horses' feet plus also making the ground harder to see and therefore making it harder for the horses to spot obstacles.
This would likely be exaggerated when the horses making first contact are being slowed down and the horses coming after them in the formation start to pile up behind them.

Well people who falsely believe Hollywood myth of horse as a battering ram have a problem, because while you can somehow imagine horse colliding with the unarmed men, horse colliding in to spears and pikes, is complete idiocy. Such horse would be impaling itself. In Hollywood films and computer games, this isn't an issue, because it's not a reality of course and films and games solve such issue simply by pretending that it does not exist. In the film, horse can pass spear or pike as easily as sword can cut through plate armor.

Now people who believe this myth of course have to somehow explain how can you collide horse on to a pike planted in to the ground and not impale it, and they usually do so by saying that horse is "heavily armored".

Reality is of course that 99% of the horses that did charge infantry did not had any armor protection. You can look Bayeux tapestry for example if in doubt.

But that's only part of the reason whole horse as a battering ram myth falls apart. Other part is that while you can put armor on a horse, it's very difficult to protect horse legs. They are for most part unprotected:

main-image


Of course legs are the most fragile and vulnerable part of the horse body and at the same time they are the most exposed to the collision with the infantry and it's weapons.

So yes, your point is of curse perfectly valid. Horse crashing full speed in to the dense formation of infantry several ranks deep would very likely trip over and throw it's rider down. I have already posted video of the head on collision between race horse and woman -horse tripped over and had to be put down later due to the injuries it received during the fall. And it's also clear from Churchill's account that at last part of the horses in 21th Lancers threw their riders down during head on collision. 21th lancers lost full 1/3 of their horses in the collision and short fighting afterwards.

Colliding horses makes no sense on many levels, form level of the economy of force to horse biology and mentality to pure physics. But Hollywood is hard to beat with logic. Anything is possible on the screen and people who newer read any books will blindly believe what they saw on the screen, because that's the art of the film making ...making viewer believe that what is happening on the screen is real. Or at last believable.

And computer games unfortunately add to the mess. Way too many people here base their believes on what they learned playing the Total War games. Hence inability to realize that "charge" in real world literature does not mean head on collision and real soldiers, horses and weapons does not have "shock attack value" and "hit points". Horse with broken leg is written off and it's HP is not 90%.
 
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