Chain of Command Abyssinia: French Colonial Cavalry
The mounted counterpart of the Zouaves and Colonial Infantry formations, the Chasseurs were formed from settler conscripts and career French volunteers and officers. While the intention was that at some future point the units would be mechanised cavalry, complete with light armour and trucks for their infantry element, by 1935 the formations were hybrid formations, typically composed of two horse-mounted squadrons, two of motorised cavalry and two armoured car squadrons.
The horse-mounted squadrons were organised in exactly the same way as those of the Spahis, with a small HQ and four platoons and equipped in the same manner. The truck-borne squadrons also shared the same organisation, but swapped horses for a range of trucks in the 15cwt and 30cwt range. The armoured cars were typically of one type, usually the White-Laffly AMD 50, but Schneider AMC P.16 halftracks, Laffly AMD 80 and Panhard 165/175 vehicles are also to be found and in least one regiment their where two vehicle types in use.
The two Foreign Legion Cavalry Regiments were re-equipped in a similar fashion to the Chasseurs d’Afrique and unlike their infantry counterparts had a more active combat role in the Thirties. Unlike the Chasseurs however the move to wholly motorised formations was more complete. By 1934 at least one squadron had an establishment of a single platoon of three White-Laffly AMD 50 armoured cars and three platoons, each of five Berliet VUDB carriers (one for the HQ and two each for the sections). Other squadrons were mobilised in a variety of trucks.