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622

CAVALRY

that of no contemporary save Crispi. Services rendered in the cholera epidemic of 1885, his numerous lawsuits and thirty-three duels, his bitter campaign against Crispi, and his championship of French interests, combined to enhance his notoriety and to increase his political inliuence. By skilful alliances with the marquis di Kudini he more than once obtained practical control of the Italian Government, and exacted notable concessions to Radical demands. He died on 6th March 1898, the House of Savoy losing a relentless foe and the revolutionary elements in Italy a gifted, if not entirely trustworthy leader. (h. w. s.) Cavalry.—The derivation of the word cavalry is quaintly given in the oldest English work which deals exclusively with the subject: “ Cavalrie, so called of Cavallo, which in the Italian and Spanish signifieth a horse, derived from the Latin word Caballus, and this from the Greek, K-a/IdAA^s.” Ideal cavalry consists of a body of trained and disciplined horsemen, mounted on sound and well-broken horses, under the command of efficient officers. The weapons of cavalry are now, almost universally, a magazine carbine, sighted to about 2000 yards, and Varme blanche, that is, the sword and the lance, although the use of the latter weapon is not general in all cavalry in all European armies. The role of cavalry is in the offensive : it supplies the eyes and ears of the army; it acts as a veil to screen the disposition of its comrades of other arms, as was well illustrated by the Germans in the campaign of 1870 ; and it serves as a hammer to clinch a victory and turn the retreat of a shaken foe into a disastrous rout. Murat’s pursuit of the Germans after Jena is a brilliant example of this form of cavalry action. It forms a shield and sometimes a scapegoat to sacrifice itself, so that time may be gained to enable other arms to rally or retreat, as was shown by the Austrian cavalry at Koniggriitz, and by the French at Worth and at Sedan. Napoleon lays down as a maxim that “it is the business of cavalry to follow up the victory and to prevent the beaten enemy from rallying,” and this is the keynote of the action of victorious cavalry on a stricken field. Another golden rule which has to be impressed on every trooper is that with “ the enemy once found touch must never be lost.” Denison, in his History of Cavalry, quotes Murat’s pursuit of the retreating Russians beyond Moscow, when he resolutely set his face towards Asia in spite of every discouragement, as one of the grandest examples that history records. Improvements in the firearms of the present day have rendered a successful cavalry charge upon unshaken infantry only possible under abnormal conditions, and it is in taking advantage of cover, and in seizing the fleeting opportunities of surprise, that the cavalry charge will depend for great results. It was the sudden and unexpected charge of Kellerman’s cuirassiers at Marengo that turned the triumphant advance of the Austrians into a rout of farreaching and disastrous consequences, and there may yet occur chances of successful enterprise of this description for well-trained cavalry under a bold and vigilant commander, though such golden opportunities seem likely to be few and far between. At the same time, the very improvements in firearms that make the charge difficult have conferred on cavalry an independence and selfreliance hitherto unknown. Associated with mobile horse artillery, galloping quick-firing guns, machine guns, and perhaps mounted infantry and cyclists, cavalry should now be able to travel far and fast, and, so long as supplies are forthcoming, to render itself to some degree independent of the slow-moving infantry; thus rapid raids may be carried out, as was so well done in the American war

by both Federals and Confederates, and positions may be seized and turning movements effected that were formerly impossible. The German uhlans in 1870, whose only firearm was a pistol, were constantly checked by French franc-tireurs, and were obliged to await the arrival of supporting infantry before they could advance. This could hardly occur nowadays. The individual cavalryman should be able to ride and shoot, to find his way across country, to scout in such a way as to see without being seen, and to report intelligently what he has seen, to shift for himself and for his horse under all conditions, and last, but not least, to be master of his weapons. Intelligent, active, healthy men who can do all this are the right material for cavalry. The recruit having been medically passed, is put through a course of gymnastics, at the same time being taught to groom his horse and to clean his kit. Riding and foot-drill follow; he is taught the sword, lance, and carbine exercises, and how to perform the various and complicated evolutions of increasing and diminishing the front, &c., which still obtain in Great Britain, though much simplified in other countries. In about six months he should be thoroughly trained on foot. He also goes through a recruit’s musketry training during his first year, consisting of preliminary drills, practices, and lectures, followed by the firing of 200 rounds at a target. After this he becomes a trained soldier, and as such undergoes an annual course of squadron training, riding, and musketry. There are, besides, special courses open to such men as are selected as suitable in pioneering, horseshoeing, cooking, saddling, sketching, signalling, first aid to wounded, and working the machine gun, as well as a voluntary school of elementary education. Squadron training is a course of instruction under the squadron commander which lasts about two months every year, in which the soldier should be thoroughly taught his duties in the field and camp; in fact, made efficient for war. The whole secret of teaching a man to ride is to give him confidence, without which he will never develop into a dashing horseman. Every endeavour should be made to raise the pupil’s courage, and care taken never to damp it; experience shows that the recruit who has been allowed to use his stirrups and to cling to his Avallets or saddle with all his might, until he has gained the art of balance and acquired confidence, will very soon be proud to ride with crossed stirrups, loose reins, and folded arms. Lessons should not exceed an hour, and half an hour with crossed stirrups is ample. All work should be gradual : first the walk, then the trot, then the canter. The details of the ride will be found in Cavalry Drill, 1898, page 36. Briefly, the recruit will learn the turns, circles, inclines, bending lesson, passaging, &c., finally jumping and post practice. In four months he should begin to learn to wield his weapons—to cut, thrust, and guard sword exercise, pursuing practice, lance exercise, &c. In six months he should be fit to take his place in the ranks. The young horse on arrival in barracks is examined by the veterinary surgeon, and if free from contagious disease is sent to the stable set apart for the young Horses horses, where he is put on soft food and given gentle exercise, being quietly led about for the first six weeks until he has sufficiently improved in condition to commence his training. This consists of steady lunging on a cavesson for about a fortnight for ten minutes to half an hour a day until he gets his paces. In addition he must be regularly exercised for an hour a day. He will then be quietly saddled, and next mounted and dismounted, then led round on a cavesson with a man on his back, and then ridden without cavesson at a walk, then a trot. He is gradually taught to bend, to rein back.