Saturday, August 14, 2010

History's Last Cavalry Charge

The cavalry charge isn't used anymore in wars. It's been a crucial part of many of them, but, well, weapons of war don't get retired because they win too much.

Quite the opposite. On November 17, 1941, Mongolia became the last country to send a cavalry into battle, deploying the 44th Mongolian Cavalry Division, near Musino.

Musino is in Russia, near Moscow, and in November 1941, Moscow was being contested by the Germans and Soviets. Mongolia, having just arrived from Tashkent, fought on the Russian side, going up against the German 106th Infantry Division in an open field. An open, snowy field.

The Germans couldn't believe it. One German soldier noted, "We could not believe that the enemy intended to attack us across this broad field, which lay open like a parade ground before us."

Well, they did. Fine then, if that's the way you want it, Mongolia. The Germans readied their machine guns and artillery, quickly got their shooting eyes in, and within ten minutes 2,000 horses- and their riders- were absolutely shredded. The horses were thrown into absolute chaos, the riders that weren't shot straight away were dumped unceremoniously onto the ground, where they were picked off just like everyone else.

Then the cavalry- what was left of it- regrouped and did it again. Same result. Horsies go blooey.

No Germans were harmed in the making of this glue.

No comments: