Horsemen in No Man's Land

British Cavalry and Trench Warfare 1914-1918

David Kenyon

Date Published :
December 2011
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Contributor(s) :
Richard Holmes
Illustration :
30 illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781526761231
Pages : 240
Dimensions : 9.25 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
Also available digitally:
Buy From Amazon Amazon
Buy From Apple Apple
Buy From Barnes and Noble Barnes & Noble
Buy From Google Google
Buy From Kobo Kobo

Casemate will earn a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking a link here


Of what use was the British cavalry during the years of trench warfare on the Western Front? On a static battlefield dominated by the weapons of the industrial age, by the machine gun and massed artillery, the cavalry was seen as an anachronism. It was vulnerable to modern armaments, of little value in combat and a waste of scarce resources.

At least, that is the common viewpoint. Indeed, the cavalry have been consistently underestimated since the first histories of the Great War were written. But, in light of modern research, is this the right verdict?

David Kenyon seeks to answer this question in his thought-provoking new study. His conclusions challenge conventional wisdom on the subject – they should prompt a radical reevaluation of the role of the horseman on the battlefields of France and Flanders a century ago.

Using evidence gained from research into wartime records and the eyewitness accounts of the men who were there – who saw the cavalry in action – he reassesses the cavalry's contribution and performance. His writing gives a vivid insight into cavalry tactics and the ethos of the cavalrymen of the time. He also examines how the cavalry combined with the other arms of the British army, in particular the tanks.

His well-balanced and original study will be essential reading for students of the Western Front and for anyone who is interested in the long history of cavalry combat.

About The Author

David Kenyon is an archaeologist who has worked all over the UK as well as in Europe and the Near East. He has a lifelong interest in military history and in the Great War in particular, and he is one of the most experienced Great War archaeologists in the UK. He was the lead archaeologist on the TV project Finding the Fallen, and he has contributed to many other Great War programs.


“…provides the reader, long accustomed to tale of horses charging vainly into certain death ala-Charge of the Light Brigade style, with the truth of the matter. It has long been presented that horse cavalry in the 1914-era had lost their traditional purpose of being an arme blanche 'shock weapon'. The argument’s second part was that the infantry, who could simply be mounted on horses, mules, or even Lorries and Paris taxis, and rushed into battle, replacing horse cavalry. It is this argument that the author attacks and examines in great and minute detail. In action after action detailed by delving into legitimate first person accounts and source materials, the exaggerated fear that a few mounted men could inspire when they were actually allowed to attack, is explained”


More from this publisher