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 Post subject: Re: more dismounted dragoons questions
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:52 am 
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Ray.


Last edited by Churchill on Sat Mar 01, 2014 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: more dismounted dragoons questions
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:03 am 
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Location: Dumfries, Scotland
good morning gents.
I found a quotation in an old book on the British army which i though I would share.
Regarding dragoons.
A soldier who combines dash and steadiness in so equal measure that he makes his advances on foot and his retreats on horseback.

I think that quality depends very much on the period. ECW and 1670's -80's it would appear that dragoons were mounted on pretty much anything that could be got hold of as the horses were really there to transport them to battle and the dragoons were not really expected to engage in combat mounted.
As time wore on though they became a cheap alternative to "real" cavalry and by the mid 18th century were indistinguishable.

I personally feel that they should be represented as slightly inferior both to other horse and to foot.
I do subscribe to corporal John as a superior commander. However I dont believe that allied horse, especially English/ British were much superior to their French counterparts!


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 Post subject: Re: more dismounted dragoons questions
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:45 pm 
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Ray.


Last edited by Churchill on Sat Mar 01, 2014 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: more dismounted dragoons questions
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:25 pm 
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When it comes to Blenheim it should also be remembered that up to one third of Tallard's horse had been infected with glanders.

As to French cavalry tactics Nosworthy's Anatomy of Victory states that not all of them stopped to fire a pistol volley and that there was a significant split in the French army regarding this doctrine.

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 Post subject: Re: more dismounted dragoons questions
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:56 pm 
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No problem Ray. It's the same tactic that the French had been using for 50 years ! They too were highly successful at using it.
I realise that a part of the French cavalry had changed tactics but I am not convinced that EVERY French cavalry unit was inferior to EVERY British or Dutch one.
Not every French cavalry unit resorted to pistols. There was no hard and fast doctrine. It was entirely up to the colonel.
After all he paid for them...


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 Post subject: Re: more dismounted dragoons questions
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:10 pm 
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Gidday from "Downunder"!

I would tend towards the view of a slightly reduced/inferior quality of the Dragoons also. They were generally on inferior horseflesh - there are several accounts of the different prices paid for dragoon mounts vs Horse mounts, as well as the lesser height of these horses. Perhaps British Cavalry were on better horseflesh generally, but the dragoons were still on lesser mounts generally than the Horse (after all, Europe had had many years of war to cut into the stocks of good horseflesh in the late 17th & early 18th century, especially in Western Europe). There is an interesting picture at the beginning of the Plates in Robert Hall's illustrations on the French Dragoons illustrating the height differential between Dragoon & Horse mounts.

Perhaps their place in the OOB also explains some of their success against heir "social betters". The dragoons were generally placed in the 2nd line, supporting the Horse Squadrons. Thus when called fresh into action they would perhaps be more likely to be contacting Horse that were already tired, blooded & a perhaps disorganised, or contacting dragoons of the opponent's 2nd line, or operating on a flank.

Cheers, Rohan.


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 Post subject: Re: more dismounted dragoons questions
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:25 pm 
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Hello, Barry - thanks for your comments on this thread.

I would very much value your thoughts when you are able on these ideas I posted in the "Question about rules for dismounting dragoons" thread earlier, and copied below (that was around the time of the website problems).

I proposed the following rule idea:

DISMOUNTING DRAGOONS.

Squadrons of mounted dragoons in a brigade, no matter what their "regimental" organisation, can, with FORM orders for each Sqn, move into base contact with each other to then dismount into a "Battalion" of foot dragoons of 2-4 stands. Such sqn's must be within 4" of whichever sqn will be the centre point of dismounting, taking a full move to perform this operation.

They must also be within the command radius of their Brigadier, or the Commander (also allowing dragoon sqn's from different brigades to be deployed), reflecting the need for such a worthy to initiate this order. This occurs during step 8 "Other Manouevres" and the unit is disordered until the beginning of the next turn. The dismounted unit then performs as a single unit entity - any casualties on the previously mounted sqn's are transferred to this unit.

A "Horse Holder" stand can be used to mark the dismounting point. The Holder stand may move 6" with a MOVE order, reflecting the difficulty of herding mounts. The stand counts as RAW morale, cannot fire or melee & disperses completely if it sustains any casualties, or get in the way of a charge. This marker has the lowest shooting priority.

Should the dismounted dragoon unit wish to return to mount up again, it must MOVE to the holder stand then take a full move to remount using a FORM order, being disordered until the beginning of the next turn. Any casualties on the foot unit (including removed stands) are equally distributed among the reforming mounted sqn's. The remounted sqn's may form up in line or Column of Manouevre with at least 1 stand of each sqn within 4" of the remounting point, being in normal order after the disorder mentioned above expires.

Single sqn's can dismount as a single stand unit if desired, as per the rules, taking 1/2 a move to do so. Likewise, dismounted dragoon battalions can be deployed at the beginning of a game, but without the option of remounting.

To my mind, this best represents the actions of dragoons in our era - NYW, WSS & GNW. It takes time & organisation to initiate a dismount, and the 5-casualty stands (as opposed to 6 of infantry) make the unit fragile enough, without insisting that they be single stand units, which is far too fragile in rule terms to reflect the historical performance of such troops. The Horse Holder stand is an optional extra, though does add an interesting dimension to games, especially Teaser-type scenarios.


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 Post subject: Re: more dismounted dragoons questions
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:24 pm 
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Rohan, interesting stuff. I would suggest play testing the mechanisms or inviting other gorups to do so and give feedback.

My way of handling dragoons in BLB battles seldom goes beyond the very basic.
I often start a brigade 'dismounted' and never mount it up for the entire battle OR start a brigade mounted and never dismount it! This solves many problems.

The issues which have appeared on this thread and others about ALL OR NOTHING CHARGE, seperating the squadrons and dismounting them all seperately etc have distorted the simple dragoon a little.

Follow Barry's simple rule above - the problem never occurs!

If you seperate squadrons to act individually in manoeuvres or combat I would suggest that dismounting them as a single stand is a wholly ineffective usage unless you are gaining the advantgae of capturing an uncontested objective.

Keeping a multi squadron regiment together ie B2B contact and dismounting them as one should not necessitate the use of an order per squadron. If I have not made that clear in the book please treat this as a 'author's clarification' - dismount the entire regiment together with 1 order.

The Horse holder issue s going to be addressed in the Irish War supplement together with some theatre specific stuff relating to pikes, rapparees, recruits, jacobite cavalry and other goodies.

This however has been a very interesting and useful thread and not finished yet I think!

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