Dragoons in Nine Years War

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Dragoons in Nine Years War

Post by Sandinista » Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:05 am

What was the proportion of Dragoons to Cavalry in this period, and was this proportion standard across all countries?

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Re: Dragoons in Nine Years War

Post by Captain of Dragoons » Tue Jan 12, 2016 1:12 am

Hello Ian,

It depends on the army in question.

Usually the bigger the army the bigger the ratio between Horse and Dragoon regiments.

General example:

France 5:1
The Dutch 3:1 / 4:1
England/Scotland/Ireland, much smaller ratio 2:1, maybe 1.5:1

These are rough estimates, the ratio may be bigger taking into consideration some Horse regiments were larger then others with more troops/sqns.

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Re: Dragoons in Nine Years War

Post by lee sherman » Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:56 am

Was the English smaller because at the time was the scots a separate force that combined with the English army in times of war? Or was it as 1 army in 1690s?

Also was the English and Scots professional career soldiers/troopers and maybe better drilled and payed so regiments would be smaller as no conscription or very little conscription so not as many troops per regiment/ sqd?
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Re: Dragoons in Nine Years War

Post by Captain of Dragoons » Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:37 pm

During the Restoration period through the Nine Years War and even into the WSS there were separate Establishments in England, Scotland and Ireland.

The "British Army" from becoming a standing force under Charles II to William III went through periods of increases and decreases in strength depending on the situation in Europe and the wishes of Parliament. Parliament was resistant to maintaining a large standing army from the experience of Cromwell and the military dictatorship after the Civil Wars, strangely the period was called the Commonwealth.

Due to the periods of rapid growth and decreases it is hard to judge as per BLB2 (Raw, Drilled, Elite, Guard) how good/professional/competent regiments were.

Older regiments such as Douglas' (i.e The Royal Scots) that saw service in Europe and were established would probably be on the high end. Then again during the Glorious Revolution the Catholic officers and men would have been purged by William III, thus losing experience.

In regard to the size of Establishment I would say the the English Establishment (because of the standing Household Regiments) was usually bigger then the Scottish Establishment but the Irish Establishment (due to the "troubles" in that country) was bigger then the English Establishment, especially just before the Glorious Revolution when it was increased and catholicised by James II. To add to the problem when William III became King there was a fourth Establishment known as the Dutch Establishment, with Scottish regiments moving back and fourth between that Establishment and the original three.

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Re: Dragoons in Nine Years War

Post by lee sherman » Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:32 am

Sounded like a very complex time for the military, the every day soldier must have felt like a yo yo who to swear allegiance to!
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Re: Dragoons in Nine Years War

Post by Captain of Dragoons » Thu Jan 14, 2016 1:05 pm

I would say this period was slightly before the nation state. The officers would swear allegiance to the King or dynasty rather then a country. Marshal Schomberg of the Boyne fame had served in the Dutch, Swedish and French armies.

This period is full of flavor.

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Re: Dragoons in Nine Years War

Post by lee sherman » Thu Jan 14, 2016 1:22 pm

Wow imagine that happening in more recent times like Rommel commanding the US Army!! sounds very strange in today's terms of warfare how you can just swap commands and allegiances

did the duke do it for higher pay? better social standing? Or a personal grudge against another commander or King? Or just because he felt like it?

Very interesting times indeed
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Re: Dragoons in Nine Years War

Post by Captain of Dragoons » Thu Jan 14, 2016 5:49 pm

Schomberg left the French service due to Louis XIV revoke of the Edict of Nantes and the exile of Huguenots.

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Re: Dragoons in Nine Years War

Post by maciek » Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:46 am

It's not do easy to determine, even in one coutry. Jest recently I realized that small french armies in italy have more dragoons that huge armies in Flanders, and thus dragoons can form up to 40% of cavalry (at Staffarda) compared with 10% in Flanders.
Try to examine some OOBs.
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Re: Dragoons in Nine Years War

Post by lee sherman » Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:02 am

Maybe it was terrain factors? Heavy Horse cuirassiers maybe to cumbersome or maybe Flanders was a more important front to fight so the heaviest horse and higher quality troops would be posted there? Dragoons were used for foraging scouting and policing as well and not as good quality as heavier horse maybe that's an reason
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Re: Dragoons in Nine Years War

Post by Friedrich August I. » Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:52 pm

lee sherman wrote:Maybe it was terrain factors? Heavy Horse cuirassiers maybe to cumbersome or maybe Flanders was a more important front to fight so the heaviest horse and higher quality troops would be posted there? Dragoons were used for foraging scouting and policing as well and not as good quality as heavier horse maybe that's an reason
You are actually on the right way. The reason for the different use of Dragoons in various countries was the actual need those countries saw in the use of mobile Infantry. Russia as an example started with 2 Regiments in the early 1700 and raised it to 30 within a few Years. Mostly because they didn't have the good quality horses as other nations and because they needed a fast and mobile Infantry. Dragoons did allways get, in terms of horse material, that what was left of the horses AFTER the Regular Cavalry got their mounts. It was a cheap way to get a fast troop type. That there have been none or only a few units in some armies depended mostly on the kind of warfare and the genius who fought their battles (if he did notice what could be achieved with having Dragoons at hand :wink: ).

My 10cts :D

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Günter

Btw., take ACW as an example how to use mounted Infantry-> Forrests Cavalry "Be there First with the most"
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"Sort your filth out by yourself!" The King of Saxony Friedrich August III., at his abdication 1918, referred to the quarrels in the parliament and the squabbling within the provisional government.
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Re: Dragoons in Nine Years War

Post by Captain of Dragoons » Sun Jan 17, 2016 7:21 pm

"No Cavalry can stand your fire, no Infantry can stand against your charge."

:? :shock:
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Re: Dragoons in Nine Years War

Post by Sandinista » Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:08 am

Captain of Dragoons wrote:"No Cavalry can stand your fire, no Infantry can stand against your charge."

:? :shock:
How accurate is that statement? If it was then surely the dragoons would not have become regular cavalry

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Re: Dragoons in Nine Years War

Post by Captain of Dragoons » Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:50 pm

Tongue in cheek, :lol:

The period dragoons by the time of the Napoleonic Wars have evolve into cavalry proper. The British Army considered them heavy cavalry while other countries considered them a medium cavalry, their horses in size between light and heavy regiments. However even Napoleon employed a division of dragoons as dismounted infantry for the Ulm & Austerlitz Campaign.

The American Civil War is a good example of cavalry being used in a traditional dragoon role.

The British Army after the Boer War experimented with standing mounted infantry units, however in the great debate about the role of cavalry just before the Great War the cavalry generals won the debate and the mounted infantry units were dissolved.

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Re: Dragoons in Nine Years War

Post by maciek » Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:01 pm

There was a thread about Neerwinden OOB on this forum. Try to find it andcompare with French Rhine army here
http://rusmilhist.blogspot.com/2014/09/ ... .html#more

Rhine Army has much more dragoons.
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