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Old 02-26-2009, 01:10 AM
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Default Cavalry in T2K

I know that we already talked about that in the past but i wanted to know/say more about that subject as cavalries have been included again in the game.

I'll talk of Russian cavalry as this is my field of expertise.

In T2K, several units have been turned into cavalry, especially among the Warsaw Pact (Poland and Russia). I find that plausible even if that requires some times. Russia, still has enough horses to achieve that, several people know very well how to use horses and several of the older officers (in the time of T2K) must retain a practical idea of the use you can make of a cavalry. At last, it is well documented and past experience will be very usefull. CCCP had used cavalry on a large scale as late as 1945 and I think that they were retired only in the very late 1940's. The offensive on Manchuria was launched using cavalry collaborating with tanks and, in T2K, I would not be surprised to see Russia use the old Trotsky's saying again: "Workers get on Horsback!"

However, T2K cavalry would have nothing in common with 18th and 19th century cavalries and I doubt that many heroic charge will ever take place. In fact, it will be more like WW2 cavalry units: a mobile infantry using horses for movement (No, the poles never launched a charge on Panzer!! ). That bring me to a point. Per cannon, the game describes the front to be fairly static but, in Poland, with the fairly important number of cavalry, I see that to be quite unrealistic. Of course, the lack of communication could bring the front to exactly that but what would have been the point of rebuilding a cavalry to simply leave it in cantonments?

What are the weakpoints of cavalry:
- You need remount to replace the losses. You can count that the Russians would not have forgot that and remount sections would have been constituted. However, the horses you can get are often not as sturdy as military mounts and that will reduce efficiency.
- It can be easily wiped out by airstrike. Not really a problem anymore in T2K. Still, it remains an important threat, especially from helicopters.
- You need to feed it. That might seem to be a problem but the red cavalry proved that it was often capable of feeding from the land. After all, horses will eat what you won't. Nevertheless, that can also reduce your efficiency and make you unpopular among locals.
- It lacks firepower. Your mounted troops are only carrying light weaponry (AK-47, LMG, RPG...). However, this was overcome with the use of "Tatchanka", a type of carriage mounting a weapon that is put on the ground or fire to the back. As a result it can easily provide cover fire even in case of retreat. That would be pressed into service again, no doubt, mounting not only HMG but light auto cannon, mortars, anti tank and anti aircraft weapon (including light SAM). You should look at another thread if you want to avoid bad bruns to the driver.

What are the main strong point
- It doesn't use fuel and grass is much easier to find.
- You need much less support troops to make it battle worthy. In 1921 a red army cavalry brigade was composed of 2982 men and 3210 horses with 2700 sabers (combat troops). That is a very good ratio I think.
- It can move something like 60 miles per day (100km) which gives it a very high mobility in T2K (of course this is not the case every day). Moreover, if the ennemy doesn't retain the same kind of mobility it can often escape destruction and becomes very efficient using hit and fade tactics. It can also conducts raids behind ennemy lines, quickly becoming a pain. As a result, a relatively small cavalry units can force you to mobilize troops to protect your supplies that would be needed elsewhere
- If the charge is not anymore the main form of attack it still can be of use and a saber remains a very threatening weapon (I have several much to my wife dismay )
- It can actively collaborate with your tanks. In such case, it can allow your forces to conduct full scale offensives with very little need for gas (reduced to only tanks). Just imagine: your tanks on the offensive, followed by mounted cavalry supported by mortars and auto cannons on Tatchankas.
- They can move in very harsh weather conditions while your tanks and truck are still stuck in the ice or mud. Very realistic in Russia.

I always found that warsaw Pact cavalry units were a very interesting idea that was underused by the authors (and may be gamers). They should provide some mobility to the Warsaw Pact while NATO would be more static (because of the lack of supply). They also should be more of a threat than described.

Moreover, I hardly see why NATO doesn't rely on them as well. I remember that Jester (I think it's him) answered me that it would certainly be used by special forces (as in Afghanistan today). That's a good idea (used for the recon units in UK and among the Dutch) but that won't be the only case IMO.

During WW2, Nazi Germany rebuilt a number of cavalry units to answer the threat of the Russian cavalry. What do you think will be the case in T2K? Do you think that the western countries still have the horse to achieve that?

One last thing, here is a link to a fairly interesting article on that subject that was published in 1946 (USA):

http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/cavalry/

More facts can be found it gives an accurate view of that subject.
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Old 02-26-2009, 02:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohoender
What are the weakpoints of cavalry:
- It can be easily wiped out by airstrike. Not really a problem anymore in T2K. Still, it remains an important threat, especially from helicopters.
Horses, being larger than a person, are more likely to be hit by artillery shell fragments. With mortars still reasonably common, this is a problem.

Quote:
- It lacks firepower. Your mounted troops are only carrying light weaponry (AK-47, LMG, RPG...). However, this was overcome with the use of "Tatchanka", a type of carriage mounting a weapon that is put on the ground or fire to the back.
Chariots of fire(power)!
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Old 02-26-2009, 02:29 AM
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Default Horse Cav

The way I read your deployment of cavalry in modern terms ,(being a cavalry man myself -Royal Norwegian Army -ret.),it is what we used to call our own cavalry men -and do up til this day though the horses were all done for in april 1940.

We call them dragoons-meaning a mounted soldier who primarily fights dismounted.

We used to have a force of dragoons and deployed a small number in 1940 when the germans invaded ( history snippet).

The downside to a strategic use of cavalry is that it takes a tremendous amount of horses ,and that horse breeding farms -stutteri- I believe its called in our guttural language -takes years to set up before they start to "yield" .Cavalry horses are supposed to be highly trained -on par with many special K9 units or better imho - the animal must be able to do loads of tricks,like not scared by load bangs ,silent when needed,slow down,speed up,dont fight other horses etc etc .

This is a process that takes along time also and needs professionals to do it right .

I wholly go for the idea of horse cav in T2K -lack of fuel and parts will make it inevitable .( they last used horse cav in Rhodesia in the 1970s as far as I know).But mounting ,training and equipping large formations isw quite the logistical challenge -and one that would take years -5-10 maybe - to get going on a lareger scale .

all imho
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Old 02-26-2009, 02:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by copeab
Horses, being larger than a person, are more likely to be hit by artillery shell fragments. With mortars still reasonably common, this is a problem.
That is equally true for any type of vehicles. The main difference with airstrike is that you can mount an MG or some kind of anti air weapon on a vehicle (not on a horse). What you point out for horses is even more true for a truck or a modern light vehicle.
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Old 02-26-2009, 03:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by headquarters
...The downside to a strategic use of cavalry is that it takes a tremendous amount of horses ,and that horse breeding farms -stutteri- I believe its called in our guttural language -takes years to set up before they start to "yield" .Cavalry horses are supposed to be highly trained -on par with many special K9 units or better imho - the animal must be able to do loads of tricks,like not scared by load bangs ,silent when needed,slow down,speed up,dont fight other horses etc etc .

This is a process that takes along time also and needs professionals to do it right .

I wholly go for the idea of horse cav in T2K -lack of fuel and parts will make it inevitable .( they last used horse cav in Rhodesia in the 1970s as far as I know).But mounting ,training and equipping large formations isw quite the logistical challenge -and one that would take years -5-10 maybe - to get going on a lareger scale .

all imho
I didn't know about your dragoons in 1940 (also many countries still had horse cavalry at the time).

I agree with your strategic view of the situation (except may be for the numbers) and that's why I put remount among the weak points as well as the lower quality of non military horses. Training is important of course but not that much when needs arise. The soviets (1919) built their cavalry in a matter of weeks. However, it was not fully efficient before 1920 and started to dominate only in 1921.

That's also why I understand the fact that such units are essencially given for Russia. That country still had 30 million horses or so in the 1990's and plenty of people trained in riding them among the populations of Ukraine, Caucasus, Central Asia, and even Russia. Therefore, that's also what I'm looking for. What about other countries?

I found some numbers for France (300.000), Germany (400.000), Mexico (6.5 million), Poland (1.6 million), and the USA (11 million). Therefore, you have a point as that will limit the hability of NATO on that matter.

If I take the exemple of France, I would assume that we could easily build 2 regiments (hardly more) with one from the Republican Guard and one from the military schools. We could expend that using volunteers knowing how to ride but we would need time (as you say).

What about the USA and Mexico? Especially when I'm thinking about the invasion by Mexico.

Then, what about the European theater? Wouldn't that be a true advantage to the Pact, especially after the american withdrawal?
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Old 02-26-2009, 03:40 AM
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2006 Horse population numbers

According to the 2006 report, there are 58,372,106 horses in the world. The United States, by far, reports the highest total number of horses with an approximate 9,500,000. This new data provided by FAOSTAT is strikingly similar to the AHC’s own independent study, which reported a U.S. horse population of 9,223,000 in 2005.

Countries, with horse population totals over one million included: China (7,402,450); Mexico (6,260,000); Brazil (5,787,249); Argentina (3,655,000); Columbia (2,533,621); Mongolia (2,029,100); Ethiopia (1,655,383); Russian Federation (1,319,358); and Kazakhstan (1,163,500). Guam (20) and Grenada (30) had the lowest population totals. Two countries, Rwanda and Saint Helena, reported a zero horse population.

Texas reports the largest horse population, with an estimated 978,822. Other leading states include: California (698,345); Florida (500,124); Oklahoma (326,134); Kentucky (320,173); Ohio (306,898); and Missouri (281,255). The state with the fewest horses is Rhode Island (3,509), followed by the District of Columbia, which reports a fluctuating total of around 33.


While searching for that I also found this.


http://faostat.fao.org/site/573/Desk...geID=573#ancor

It has historical agricultural and livestock data for every country in the world.
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:08 AM
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Here is the horse data from 1997 from the link above

Afghanistan 100,000
Albania 70,000
Algeria 52,370
Angola 1,150
Antigua and Barbuda 460
Argentina 3,300,000
Armenia 13,170
Australia 230,000
Austria 73,234
Azerbaijan 48,600
Barbados 1,000
Belarus 231,500
Belgium-Luxembourg 67,000
Belize 5,000
Benin 500
Bermuda 900
Bhutan 32,062
Bolivia 322,000
Bosnia and Herzegovina 44,000
Botswana 32,500
Brazil 5,831,533
British Virgin Islands 100
Bulgaria 170,469
Burkina Faso 29,181
Cambodia 22,000
Cameroon 16,000
Canada 400,000
Cape Verde 470
Chad 190,414
Chile 600,000
China 8,717,126
Colombia 2,450,000
Congo 65
Cook Islands 300
Costa Rica 114,500
Croatia 19,000
Cuba 525,300
Cyprus 650
Czech Republic 19,059
Denmark 39,000
Dominican Republic 329,000
Ecuador 520,000
Egypt 43,000
El Salvador 95,800
Estonia 4,200
Ethiopia 1,220,000
Falkland Islands 1,215
Fiji 43,500
Finland 54,600
France 339,862
French Guiana 250
French Polynesia 2,200
Gambia 16,422
Georgia 27,800
Germany 670,000
Ghana 2,800
Greece 32,967
Grenada 30
Guadeloupe 950
Guam 15
Guatemala 118,000
Guinea 2,700
Guinea-Bissau 1,850
Guyana 2,400
Haiti 490,000
Honduras 176,000
Hungary 78,900
Iceland 79,804
India 827,000
Indonesia 582,284
Iran, Islamic Republic of 150,000
Iraq 47,000
Ireland 71,900
Israel 4,000
Italy 305,000
Jamaica 4,000
Japan 27,000
Jordan 4,000
Kazakhstan 1,310,000
Kenya 2,000
Korea, Democratic People's Republic of 40,000
Korea, Republic of 7,652
Kuwait 1,100
Kyrgyzstan 314,100
Lao People's Democratic Republic 26,000
Latvia 25,800
Lebanon 5,000
Lesotho 100,000
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya 40,000
Lithuania 81,400
Madagascar 420
Malawi 42
Malaysia 4,000
Mali 135,700
Malta 1,000
Martinique 2,000
Mauritania 19,500
Mauritius 150
Mexico 6,250,000
Moldova 58,700
Mongolia 2,770,500
Morocco 145,100
Myanmar 120,000
Namibia 57,099
Netherlands 112,336
New Caledonia 11,800
New Zealand 75,000
Nicaragua 245,000
Niger 99,000
Nigeria 204,000
Norway 23,700
Pakistan 331,000
Panama 165,000
Papua New Guinea 1,700
Paraguay 400,000
Peru 665,000
Philippines 230,000
Poland 558,000
Portugal 22,000
Puerto Rico 24,000
Qatar 3,608
Réunion 400
Romania 816,000
Russian Federation 2,197,000
Rwanda 0
Saint Lucia 1,000
Samoa 2,300
Sao Tome and Principe 240
Saudi Arabia 3,000
Senegal 444,000
Serbia and Montenegro 90,000
Sierra Leone 360,000
Slovakia 10,000
Slovenia 8,450
Solomon Islands 100
Somalia 800
South Africa 255,000
Spain 248,000
Sri Lanka 1,500
Sudan 24,500
Suriname 360
Swaziland 1,370
Sweden 87,477
Switzerland 45,799
Syrian Arab Republic 27,488
Tajikistan 63,900
Thailand 14,672
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 65,869
Timor-Leste 32,713
Togo 1,600
Tonga 11,400
Trinidad and Tobago 1,000
Tunisia 56,200
Turkey 391,000
Turkmenistan 17,000
Ukraine 753,500
United Arab Emirates 320
United Kingdom 177,000
United States of America 5,170,000
Uruguay 500,000
US Virgin Islands 280
Uzbekistan 146,000
Vanuatu 3,100
Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of 500,000
Viet Nam 119,800
Wallis and Futuna Islands 144
Yemen 3,000
Zimbabwe 24,500


It also has camels and mule data if anyone wants to take a look.
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohoender
Per cannon, the game describes the front to be fairly static
That is a common misconception.

Although "in spring of the year 2000, the armies of Europe" had "settled into their new cantonment system", the timeline goes further to say "In early summer, the German 3rd Army, spearheaded by the US 11th Corps, moves out of it's cantonments on what is to become one of the last strategic offensives of the war."

As can be seen here http://forum.juhlin.com/showthread.php?p=3255#post3255 virtually the entire Nato forces in Europe were to be involved in one way or another in the offensive. Yes, I realise this is only one person's take on events, but I'd very much like to hear somebody come up with a better one.

Note also that during the research for the above, I found that the positions stated in the various books and marked in the 2.0and 2.2 yellow books are by and large starting positions for the units before the offensive (only the US 5th ID and US 8th along with those Pact units directly mentioned in "Death of a Division" are shown in their late July 2000 locations).

Now, back to the original topic of this thread...

I tend to agree that cavalry in 2000 is very likely to see a resergence, however horses, just like humans, are subject to disease, radiation, starvation and injury. As food supplies dwindle, more and more people are going to be looking for sustenance in places previously not considered. Horses therefore are certainly going to be in relatively short supply.

Nato has a greater history of mechanisation than Pact forces and most westerners are likely to be loathe to give up their technical advantage just because of a lack of parts and fuel. This coupled with most troops not having the exposure to rural life that the less industrialised Communists have would leave them less able to adjust quickly.

I estimate that Nato commanders would not consider horses until early 1998 when fuel and supply shortages really started to bite. At that time, Nato had on the whole been forced back into Germany and behind their start lines - the Pact had access to a much greater area to draw those animals surviving from the cold 1997-98 winter, radiation, disease, etc. With the only significant Nato offensive of the year being into Czechoslovakia, and only raiding carried out in 1999, very few opportunities would have existed for Nato to aquire mounts.

Those few they did possess would have been far more useful behind the lines, freeing up fuel for the tanks and APCs on the front lines. Also, being a more technically advanced society, less personnel would be available to form cavalry units or train others in horsemanship and mounted operations.
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Old 02-26-2009, 05:46 AM
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This link might be of interest for this topic...

http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~dh.../BritCav2k.htm
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Old 02-26-2009, 06:11 AM
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Nice elements, I see here. One thing, however, kato. The horse account I have are about ten times more important than yours for former Pact countries at the same time (I have 15 million for Russia in 2005).

Take me right, I'm not saying than mines are better than yours, simply that there are some uncertainty on that matter, erf.

Nice link Rainbow, I had not found it before. Thanks.
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Old 02-26-2009, 06:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legbreaker
just like humans, are subject to disease, radiation, starvation and injury. As food supplies dwindle, more and more people are going to be looking for sustenance in places previously not considered. Horses therefore are certainly going to be in relatively short supply.
Those horse populations IMO don't mean a heck of a lot I would think considering the quote above. You're going to have to expect a huge decrease in horse numbers if the human population has been through a drastic change. Actually more so, I would believe - humans have a much better ability to adapt and are higher on the food chain for more than one reason.

I can see horse mounted units, or at least service support elements employing them, but I'm doubtful on the amounts listed in the books vs the time frame. I tend to downplay their numbers in my games - the Cav units use them, but its still mostly leg mobile or whatever.
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Old 02-26-2009, 08:52 AM
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Kato

Your numbers make me look more closely at horse population and the least you can say is that they are unreliable at best . Depending on the source, you get 230.000 in Australia, 400.000, 500.000... One source will take wild horses, the other doesn't and so on so forth.

Your source gave about 10 million for US but i have found one with 5.2 and another with 6.3.

Same for China, Russia...

However, what is about sure is that this population can change quite quickly in a matter of ten years. I would think that the 30 million for Russia was overestimated but 1.3 might be well be underestimated. What is about sure also is that the Russian horse population was devided by 2 over the past ten years.

Anyway, I would think that any country with an horse population of over 1 million prior to the war is capable of starting a cavalry. Of course, death among the livestock would be a problem but I'm not that convinced that it would dwindle that much. Bringing the horses to the frontline might quickly be a bigger problem, however.
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Old 02-26-2009, 10:58 AM
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I think, before the conversion of entire divisions to horsed cavalry, you should see horses being used at the sub-unit level.

First, as a messenger service when a unit is in a relatively static mode, like in cantonment. Why burn off alcohol that you'll need in a real battle just for delivering mail and messages?

Second, spinning off that, you might see officers on inspections or going to conferences using horses, to save wear and tear on vehicles and, again, fuel.

Third, horse scouts for battalion scout platoons or similar units, again mostly when the unit is static, and expanding to when the unit is on the march. If most of the army is no longer capable of carrying its troops and baggage in motor vehicles, then the infantry is walking, and the whole army is reduced to that same pace. The speed of horses is no longer a liability, and is valuable for scouting again.
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Old 02-26-2009, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohoender
Your source gave about 10 million for US but i have found one with 5.2 and another with 6.3.
Both the American Horse councel and the UN seem to support this range of numbers.

This page http://www.24-7pressrelease.com/pres...ustry-6780.php seems to support that there can be signifigant variation over a 10 year period.

Quote:
In just nine years, the American horse industry has grown from $25.3 billion to $39 billion, an increase of 55%. The equine population in the United States has expanded from 6.9 million to 9.2 million horses, an increase of 33%. Meanwhile, the number of horse owners has risen from 1.9 million to 2.0 million, a modest increase of only about 5%.


8< -----------------Snipped----------------------- >8

Observing that the average number of horses per owner has risen from 3.6 to 4.6, an increase of almost 28%, Andrews said:

"Over the last decade spent working with clients I have observed increases in the number of new breeding farms and in the number of unsold horses that breeders are maintaining. In many cases supply is exceeding demand. I believe that this a primary reason for the increase in the average number of horses per owner reflected in the study."

The exact numbers don't really matter, but the comparison of country to country will give you an idea of how common horses might be in certain areas in a T2k world.
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Old 02-26-2009, 11:20 AM
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Well I know horse owners in this area that have doubled their numbers in the past year... the mares all foaled

Here in Huntsville I daily drive by about five pastures holding at least fifty horses each. All the horses are owned by the state of Texas, the TDCJ (prisons) to be exact. They have a horse breeding program here as well. Every prison unit has a herd for the guards. When the 'inmates' (not refered to as cons any more) are working the fields (yes Virginia they raise most of their own food at the prisons) mouted armed guards man the perimeter.

They are not suppose to let inmates closer than 30 feet, yet about a year ago one of the guards was pulled from her horse and shanked to death. Still don't understand the 'trustee' status of a lifer in for murder.

I'd say locally there could be a squadron of mounted troops put together in a matter of days. A note on the prison horses. According to my 'source' these horses when broke and trained are trained for gunfire. So all are potential cavalry mounts.
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Old 02-26-2009, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kato13
The exact numbers don't really matter, but the comparison of country to country will give you an idea of how common horses might be in certain areas in a T2k world.
I agree with you. And now I see where the difference lies. Your figures would apply to my game by the way However, mine might be more accurate to a regular T2K game. Funny.
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Old 02-26-2009, 01:16 PM
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Canon also mentions that by 2000, that warfare has largely devolved into raiding between cantonments. Cavalry (i.e. dragoons) would be well suited to these types of hit-and-run operations.

I'm not sure there would be horse population numbers or adequate forage to support cavalry divisions at WWII strength levels but the numbers of troops for cavalry "divisions" in T2K canon are much more modest and realistic. We're not talking Attila or Genghis Khan type horse armies here.

As for HW that T2K cavalry could deploy, on the WTO side, the Vasilek 82mm automortar could be towed by a couple of horses and has both indirect and direct fire capability. You could also have a HW section equipped with AGS-17 "Plamya" 30mm AGLs (fired dismounted, of course). Coupled with LMGs and RPGs, a T2K cavalry unit could pack as much firepower as an equivalent leg infantry unit, save some of the heavier artillery support. WWII era Soviet cavalry had horse-drawn 120mm mortar batteries and 76mm DP guns as well, so there's no reason a T2K WTO cav unit couldn't have a few 120mm mortars as well.

On the old forums, I posted a TOE for a T2K Soviet/WTO Cavalry division based on the structure of a WWII Soviet cavalry division (c.1943). I will post it again if anyone's interested.
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Last edited by Raellus; 02-26-2009 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 02-26-2009, 01:39 PM
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The US Cavalry has mostly been used as dragoons throughout our history. Although, they would do Cavalry charges, mostly their role was scouting, screening and patroling and such.


As far as Cavalry in the T2K role, in the US the South, West and SouthWest could probably field able mounted forces as a result of their large horse populations and people who know how to ride. Strangly enough, these same people usualy know how to shoot and own firearms too.

Also, an example in my country and the adjacent county they have a working Sheriffs Posse, and they also have some mounted units as well. Hell, even the college police has or had a mounted officer. <Then again that's Norco, horsetown USA, they do not have sidewalks, they have horse trails, and most stores, shops and saloons have corals and hitcing posts> And yes, when the wind blows I can hear the beasties and smell them, and there is a horse trail a long football pass out my backyard.

I would say in the US you could raise a decent sized force of armed riders who would not act as traditonal cavalry but they would not be a mob either. I would also say some units from the US in Europe and Asia could probably put together a Company of Cavalry per Division, these could be used as scouts and reconasanse forces. So, check out the order of battle of the vehicle guide and units from say Texas or Kentucky or New Mexico for example could probably field more riders than you could find mounts.

As for the downside.

Easy targets, and you take out the horse behind enemy lines that rider is essentialy lost. The reality of a raiding force or long range reconasance force is you will end up leaving people behind. Double up riders and the horse will tire and now you'll loose two men.

Tracking, a force of horsemen go by you can tell. And you can follow them quite easily. You can also tell the speed of the rider as well as the load and fatigue level of the animal. You trade them and you can even tell how well fed they are too which if you push them hard enough well the animals can't feed and will become exhausted and give out.

Load, most cavalry riders were not large men. Myself, at 6-2 I would have never made it into the cavalry. So, most of your riders need to be about 150 pounds or less.

WATER; you can control the water for an area and cavalry is in trouble. Horses need water and lots of it.

Maintenance: Horse need maintenance and they need it daily, they need water, they need to be cleaned, brushed, their hooves cleaned and checked and given large amounts of water as well as salt and grain.

Support: horses need large animal vets to take care of them. And blacksmiths to make and shoe them. Those I beleive would be in short supply.

They need maintenance 24 hours a day 7 days a week. A vehicle, turn it off and don't worry about it for a few days and no problem. Do that with a horse, ignore it for a week. Bad idea.

Guarded: in the T2K world you would need to guard your horses from hungry people and from enemy raids.

Machineguns: what killed the cavalry in WWI, now machineguns are smaller and more portable and much more common.

Conditioning 1: Horses are pretty skitish and spook easily. Thus they will need some training. But still a rock crashing can scare them, gunfire, explosions and vehicle engines or a tank could send them into a stampede.

Conditioning 2: The type of work they do. Most horses today are riden for recreational purposes and well tended living in stalls and barns. They would need to be conditioned to ride and live in the outdoors for weeks at a time carrying a rider daily and living on grass rather than grain.

Conditioning 3: What physical condition would the animals be in the T2K world? They would need in my view to be rehabilitated since they would most likely have been neglected for sometime.

Sound: Horses walking make a distinctive sound, and they also ney or whinney and snort.

Those are some of the things I can see happening with returning to horses. Although I do use them in my campaigns, there is usualy some Polish Cavalry in my European games and in games in the US they are not uncommon.
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Old 02-26-2009, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus
WWII era Soviet cavalry had horse-drawn 120mm mortar batteries and 76mm DP guns as well, so there's no reason a T2K WTO cav unit couldn't have a few 120mm mortars as well.
There were still some of those 76mm guns floating around in the Soviet war reserves, so they might be used again too!

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On the old forums, I posted a TOE for a T2K Soviet/WTO Cavalry division based on the structure of a WWII Soviet cavalry division (c.1943). I will post it again if anyone's interested.
Please do!
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Old 02-26-2009, 03:51 PM
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This is the WWII TOE that I used as a starting point. It's from David Glantz's Slaughterhouse: The Handbook of the Eastern Front.

Soviet Cavalry Division c. 1943 (overall strength, 6000 personel)

Three cavalry regiments consisting of four troops each.

One artillery regiment consisting of 2 battalions of horse-drawn 120mm motrars and 1 battalion of 76mm guns.

One regiment of tanks consisting of 2 battalions of T-34s and 1 battalion of T-70s

One HQ company, one detatched cavalry battalion, one AAA battalion, one sapper company, one signals company and one services company.
_______ _______ ________

For T2K, I would scratch all of the armor, thereby eliminating a couple of hundred men. I would replace the 76mm gun battery with 82mm Vasileks (although, as Chico pointed out, some units could still be equipped with the venerable 76mm guns).

The AAA battalion would be equiped with truck or horse-towed, quad 14.5mm guns or possibly ZU-23-2s. In the absence of an enemy air threat, they would mostly be used in the anti-personel/anti-material role. I could also see one of the AAA gun batteries being supplanted by a few SA-7 Grail SAMs which could easily be carried on horseback.

Each sub-unit's strength should be reduced somewhat in order to get it down to T2K divisional strength levels.

I realize that most T2K GMs don't deal with division sized units; unfortunately, I can't break it down any smaller.

Not terribly useful, I'll admit, but perhaps it can give an enterprising GM a place to start.
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:07 PM
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Simple question.

Which would you rather eat, horse or rat?

Now somebody try to tell me horses populations aren't going to drop drastically...
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Old 02-26-2009, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
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Simple question.

Which would you rather eat, horse or rat?

Now somebody try to tell me horses populations aren't going to drop drastically...

I would venture to guess that only in some areas for the following reason.

Most horses are in rural areas away from the population centers where the starving masses who clamor for horse flesh will be. For the horses in the region of the megatropolises, yes, they will be casualties of the event as well, but also, they will be one of the first animals to be eaten too.

Now, for the ones in the country on farms and ranches, good luck! Those folks have more room to be self sustaining, they love their horses and they have guns and know how to use them. And I know many horse people who care more for thier horses than people.

As for the tens of thousands of horses in the Wild, well they are in remote and isolated areas where the starving masses won't go. And if they made it that far, well, they would be in some pretty rough shape.
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Old 02-26-2009, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legbreaker
Simple question.

Which would you rather eat, horse or rat?

Now somebody try to tell me horses populations aren't going to drop drastically...
Rat would be my answer. If I had a horse at hand I would keep it for other tasks. Eventually, I'll be willing to eat the guy who would have tried to carve a steak out of that horse. I only would think about eating horses in the case of outermost despair. However, I'm sure that many among the city dwellers would look at it with envy. It seems that this is going back to the subject on "State of the mind".

However, that horse wouldn't be available for cavalry as well. I might react in the same way toward cavalry than toward the horse eater.
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Old 02-27-2009, 03:03 PM
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I saw the Morning after and felt that was prety realistic.(farmer shot in his field) .Even though farmers etc are better armed or more capable- it isnt going to be a hundred villains coming with gang colours and Mac-10s , more like a couple of thousand people of all ages and walks of life-children,elderly,men,mothers with babies.I dont see that desperate starving people like that will be turned away without significant slaughter.I guess it is equally hard to kill wether or not you are an urbanite -as long as the person you kill is just someone starving to death .Teenage girl maybe ?

That aside ,a horse militia troop could fight a mob of hundreds or thousands over miles of terrain and wear them down.

I guess my vote on the avalry thing is that horses have been the military advantage for thousands of years except the last 75 or 100 years or so .Once the fuel run out and our efficient smokeless powder ammo is gone -the horse people will rule again -depending on terrain imho.

But as stated -you could feed alot of people on the grazing lands for 1 horse.And imagine the time and resources going into the animals you are going to use for war -it doesnt bring food on the table even .

With the resources to train, graze and keep horses for military use in place ,I predict a big comeback from the hore cav as modern weapons and gear become extinct .But I guess only the wealthy will have it .Maybe the land owners in the rural community defending themselves?
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Old 02-28-2009, 03:24 PM
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MOD:

I like the whole refugee vs rural community discussion, MOD can we get a new topic going to continue it?



As for Cavalry,

Lets not forget that some horses can survive on scrub. The Mongolian ponies and the U.S. Mustangs are two that come to mind. Also, toss in some of the biporducts of say grain production, or farming, a field left fallow durring regular crop rotation could be used as a field for horse or cattle grazzing.

Or areas that are to rocky or with to many hills could also be used.


As for numbers, in the Western US, there would be lots of mounted groups. With water being the more critical issue.

As for Europe, I would say a company or Troop or Squadron sized force per Division or some Brigades would be the norm and these would be used as scouting and patroling forces rather than regular combat forces. And of course the rest of the horses found would be put to work as draft animals for farming or hauling supplies which would in my view be of greater priority.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:00 AM
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So one of the big drawbacks to horse cavalry is the innate lack of heavy weapons...or the inability to utilize them while on horseback right?

What if you had saddles with like "arms" to sit a SAW on as you rode, helping stabilize the barrel?

Or maybe a mk19?

I also dabble in D&D and saw a painting of a saddle that had a brace for a heavy lance off to the side.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:25 AM
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My understanding of modern cavalry (up to WWII) was that weapons were primarily fired while dismounted. The only cavalry stories I can recall from the 20th century had the units using bladed weapons when they were forced to fight when mounted.

Somewhere in the wealth of T2k material there is a discussion of the 10th man in a cavalry squad staying with horses, while the remaining 9 progress into the battle on foot. I think this would be far more common that fighting on horseback.

The importance of cavalry is to provide a short term speed boost in movement. Infantry while slower can actually cover the same (or even more) distance long term.

Last edited by kato13; 02-07-2014 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:45 AM
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What about using a horse cart or wagon for heavy weapons, see examples below
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:21 AM
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When I think Cavalry from the Wild West...I see guys flying around on horseback firing their rifles as they ride. Might be mostly Hollywood there...not sure.

I will read through the board map and see about related discussions...
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:00 PM
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Regarding the 10th man,my squads will need to be pretty independent.

I was thinking of a farrier type person and 2-3 "hands" to support 20-25 horses or something.
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