Cavalry Scouting

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Truscott Trotter
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Re: Cavalry Scouting

Post by Truscott Trotter » Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:31 am

Yup I agree and I am a BIG fan of mounted troops in WWII but realistically apart from chasing broken enemy or rear area trains the mounted troops dismounted within 250m of enemy or they died gloriously 😊

PS I am happy to buy at least one mounted section to die gloriously just so I can paint up the mounted figures. I am doing it for my Germans, Soviets and Japanese...
so far 🤗

Tomm
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Re: Cavalry Scouting

Post by Tomm » Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:22 pm

There's pretty reasonable descriptions of mounted as well as dismounted cavalry actions on the Eastern front.

On an unrelated note, Blitzkrieg 1940 says that mounted troops hitting dismounted make the infantry fight as if hit in the rear (ie, halved dice). What happens if they're hit in the rear as well? 1/4?

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Truscott Trotter
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Re: Cavalry Scouting

Post by Truscott Trotter » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:21 pm

You surrender!
Well at least if it is 1/4 you are likely to trigger the 4x rule.

I did have a book wtitten by Polish officer who had served in WW2 and it covered all the different nations cavalry and he had dug up lots of first hand accounts .
IiRC one was German vs Polish cav.
Can't find the book now ☹

I do have a pdf of a German report on 1st Cav did after 1940 campaign.

Munin
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Re: Cavalry Scouting

Post by Munin » Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:04 pm

I recently read something about mounted French Spahis launching a charge against Germans in Tunisia in an attempt to (re)capture the bridge over the Medjerda River at Medjez. Unfortunately, they started their charge just as a flight of Stukas arrived. :(

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Truscott Trotter
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Re: Cavalry Scouting

Post by Truscott Trotter » Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:37 pm

Yes along with artillery air was the biggest problem for cavalry.

The Soviets had learned by 1943 to only use their cavalry at night or in bad weather and to move through woods if they had to move during the day.

Rather than the halving of the dice it may have been more realistic to have a moral test on the infantry to see uf they panic and run at the sight of cold steel or stand and shoot down the advancing cavalry, but CoC doesn't have moral at section level like that.

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Truscott Trotter
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Re: Cavalry Scouting

Post by Truscott Trotter » Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:39 pm

This is the book I lost
https://www.amazon.com/Cavalry-World-Wa ... B000NPJ4BI
Its quite good

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7dot62mm
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Re: Cavalry Scouting

Post by 7dot62mm » Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:08 am

gebhk wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:23 am

The actual close-up scouting (the sort you can do on a wgames table) by cavalrymen would be done on foot. The horse was just a quicker way to get them to their jumping-off point.
However that may be, there are numerous documented occasions where Soviet scouts were spotted on horseback and engaged by Finns in firefights during (at least) the Winter War. It was undoubtedly difficult for the scouts to determine exactly when they should dismount to perform the on-foot scouting you describe. I haven't found any account where it would seem that the scouts were performing an actual cavalry assault.

In my Winter War campaign mounted scouts do make an appearance. They are deployed in an advance Turn before the actual Soviet platoon arrives and there is a special rule that Bad Things happening to the scouts do not affect the Force Morale of the Soviet infantry platoon. In our playtest they were on horseback and moved quickly and were soon able to threaten a Finnish JoP and thus forced a part of the enemy platoon to deploy. After a quick exchange of fire they retreated off-table. It felt realistic and true to the war-time accounts.

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Re: Cavalry Scouting

Post by gebhk » Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:46 am

It was undoubtedly difficult for the scouts to determine exactly when they should dismount to perform the on-foot scouting you describe.
It shouldn't be that difficult. What I remember from my Polish materials, it was no different to what every scout unit did, including motorised or armoured scouts. You move to a concealed vantage point. You then VERY carefully observe the countryside between your present position and the next potential vantage point, getting your butt off or out of your transport whatever it may be if necessary (to get to a good observation point without being seen yourself). Once you are satisfied that there are no enemy lurking out there waiting to nail you, you mount up and head for that next point as quickly as possible while drawing as little attention to yourself as possible. If you have sufficient men you leave a certain proportion (with SAWs or heavier weapons if you have them) on overwatch to cover your dash, in case there is a nasty surprise out there. You then move them up while you are spying out the next segment from your new OP.

Repeat.

Once the enemy is sighted you send a message back to HQ and then decide whether to stay, head for home or continue forward on foot for a closer look.

To be fair, the Soviets at times seemed to find stuff that most armies did as a matter of routine, quite difficult. A weak NCO corps has been blamed for this on occasion.
Last edited by gebhk on Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

gebhk
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Re: Cavalry Scouting

Post by gebhk » Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:00 am

I did have a book wtitten by Polish officer
Just being pedantic, but I am pretty sure Janusz Piekalkiewicz was not an officer (he was 19-20 years old when the war ended). I would be a little bit careful about the textural part of the book: it is easy to extrapolate from individual experiences and opinions to entire armies but misleading. Some of the organisational detail is also presented in such a way that it can be easily misread. Nevertheless, it is still one of the most fabulous collections of cavalry-related photographs and biographical 'snapshots', and more than worth it for that alone.

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Truscott Trotter
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Re: Cavalry Scouting

Post by Truscott Trotter » Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:27 am

True I have not been able to locate the book for several years but wiki gives this
Janusz joined the Armia Krajowa (the Home Army), later participated in the Warsaw Uprising, and spent the remainder of the war in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

and yes the photographs were wonderful

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