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Cavalry in Future Wars   By: (1849-1930)

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CAVALRY IN FUTURE WARS

By HIS EXCELLENCY LIEUT. GENERAL FREDERICK VON BERNHARDI

Commander of the Seventh Division of the German Army

Translated by CHARLES SYDNEY GOLDMAN

Author of 'With General French and the Cavalry in South Africa' Editor of 'The Empire and the Century'

With an Introduction by

LIEUT. GENERAL SIR JOHN FRENCH K.C.M.G., K.C.B., G.C.V.O.

LONDON JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET, W. 1909

First Edition, October, 1906 Second Edition, April, 1909

PREFACE

I ventured to express the opinion in my book, 'With General French and the Cavalry in South Africa,' that if a high ideal of the duties and possibilities of Cavalry is set before our officers, and the means of instruction and training are placed within their reach, we shall possess in our next great War a force which, if led by men of the stamp of General Sir John French, will prove to the world that the day of Cavalry is far indeed from being past.

In other words, I am convinced that, with good leadership and the right material in men, which the South African War has shown we possess, all that we need to perfect our system is a proper recognition of the changed conditions of modern Warfare, and a resolve to break with the old and adapt ourselves to the new situation.

Reforms such as this would necessitate must affect all arms of the Service, but no branch more than the Cavalry, whose task in future will be more difficult, yet whose compensation lies in the possibilities of successes possessing greater significance than any hitherto attained.

The South African War has roused the Cavalry into a renewal of activity, and has caused their leaders to encourage the study of Cavalry literature likely to develop the capacity of the officer for writing on these special subjects.

As a step in that direction, I gave whatever little co operation I could to the formation of the Cavalry Journal , in the hope that it may be conducive to the creation of a class of literature in which our Service is peculiarly deficient.

It is of the first importance to realize the conditions that are revolutionizing the conduct of Modern Warfare.

Such knowledge can alone enable us to appreciate the task which is given to the Cavalry, and to estimate the increased difficulties of their function. As their range of activity has become restricted in certain directions, their sphere of usefulness in others has largely increased.

The want of an up to date work dealing with these facts has, I believe, been supplied by the recent publication of General von Bernhardi's book, 'Our Cavalry in Future Wars,' translated in the following pages with the object of making it more generally known in this country.

Not only is the contribution valuable as having been written by a soldier of experience in the field, who has imbued his work with the dash and fire of the spirit of Cavalry, but it also reveals a profound insight into the modern conditions of War and the heightened demands exacted from Cavalry training. The author lays continual emphasis on the fact that Cavalry trained and organized on his lines should produce in the early stages of a War effects so decisive as to influence and even determine the succeeding phases of the campaign.

General von Bernhardi has the gift of close and searching reasoning, and the ability to present his views in a vivid and trenchant form, as convincing as the writings of the late Colonel Henderson.

His opening chapter deals with the conception of the conduct of War in the sense of to day, and he proceeds to analyze the functions of the Cavalry as modified by the changes which have occurred.

In lively detail he explains the difficulties which in future will confront all Cavalry operations, and the sacrifices that will be exacted from this Arm.

Serious study and untiring perseverance must be claimed from the individual in order to equip himself mentally and physically for the task of overcoming these obstacles, while Bernhardi shows in convincing argument the brilliant opportunities of success... Continue reading book >>




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