WSS Dragoons

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WSS Dragoons

Post by Bernhard » Sun Jun 15, 2014 5:37 pm

How common was it for Dragoons to dismount in a battle during the War of the Spanish Succession. I know that at the Schellenberg The Scott's Greys dismounted and at Blenheim French Dragoons dismounted. However, was this done prior to the battle with the horses left behind or were these units capable of remounting during the battle? Also, it seems to me that Cavalry regiments were very small during this era, usually two squadrons per regiment. Considering that about 20% of the personnel would be required as horse holders that would leave very few individuals left for the line in a dismounted role to engage an infantry regiment of perhaps 500 men. Did dismounted Dragoon regiments fight together with perhaps a dismounted brigade of Dragoons fighting as one unit?
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Re: WSS Dragoons

Post by maciek » Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:57 pm

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Re: WSS Dragoons

Post by Churchill » Sun Sep 14, 2014 12:11 pm

Hi Bernhard,

I know this is a old post, but I don't visit the forum as often as I once did.
At Blenheim in 1704 all 12 squadron's of French dragoon's fought dismounted defending a palisade next to Blenheim village.
Another reason why they may have fought dismounted was because of the horse disease called glanders which was killing French horse's by the thousand's.
The Allied dragoon's of which there were 8 squadron's brigaded together under the command of Maj.Gen.Ross formed the 2nd line of cavalry behind the Horse brigades of Maj.Gen.Wood & Brigadier Gen.Palmes (10 squadrons).
These squadrons were held in reserve to support the 20 Foot battalion's under the command of Lord Cutts.
Cutt's ordered two assaults on Blenheim village, first by Rowe's brigade and then by Fergusson's brigade, both of which were repulsed.
It was during a planned third assault that Marlborough ordered Cutt's to surround the village with the aid of the now dismounted dragoon brigade.
Ross's dragoon brigade consisted of Ross's own regiment (2 sqns), Hay's dragoon regiment (2 sqns) and the Hessian Erbprinz dragoon regiment (4 sqns).
Cutt's thus surrounded and captured 27 French battalions...
At Ramillies, Hay's dragoon's (the future Scots Grey's) fought mounted charged the French infantry regiment du Roi capturing their colours.
I hope this gives you the information you were looking for and that during this period dragoon squadrons operated both mounted and dismounted.

Kind Regards,

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Re: WSS Dragoons

Post by Graf Bretlach » Sun Sep 14, 2014 6:46 pm

Yes the standard for Regiments of horse tended to be 2 squadrons or 6 troops/companies Dragoon regiments tended to be larger 3, 4 or 5 squadrons (ignoring the Austrians who all mounted units were 6 squadrons or 12 companies)

The French dragoon was at home mounted or not, but at this period they were not treated as line of battle troops, more for flank guards etc.

The allies treated their dragoons like large horse regiments only occasionally dismounting in action, but mostly during outpost duties etc

by the end of the war I think it was quite rare for any to dismount in action.

The last half of the 17th century was the period of the true dragoon.
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Re: WSS Dragoons

Post by janner » Mon Sep 15, 2014 6:23 am

This is the first I'd heard of the glanders outbreak.

It's as really nasty thing and presumably it must have also spread to the cavalrymen to some degree or other.
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