Cavalary Actions of Axis

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Napoli
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Cavalary Actions of Axis

Post by Napoli » 26 Nov 2002 01:47

On 23 Agust 1942 600 men of the regiment Savoia Cavalleria face in steppes of Isbuschenski very superior soviet forces, about 2400 Russians with artillery and mortar support.
The regiment Savoia Cavalleria, led by Col. Alessandro Bettoni, attacked in the morning of its 250th anniversary (it had been founded by Gian Michele Piossasco de' Rossi on 24 August 1692) shouting "Avanti Savoia!". The losses of the enemy were: 150 dead, 300 wounded, 500 prisoners (among them also the command of a battalion), 4 guns, 10 mortars, 50 machine-guns and hundreds of rifles. Savoia Cavalleria lost: 32 deads (3 officers), 52 wounded and 100 horses.

Thanks given to "Drive" at Comando supreme website for this info that I'd lost.


From my own sources, this Italian action took place with the use of sabres only and was an eye opener when I first came across it a few months back.
I dont know if this subject has been covered much but have always been interested in any mounted actions that took place by any other Axis units, be it Romanian or Hungarian etc during the war and how successful they were including Waffen SS horsemen.
Last edited by Napoli on 26 Nov 2002 04:43, edited 1 time in total.

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Daniel L
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Post by Daniel L » 26 Nov 2002 02:10

Was this the last cavalry action in history, the one at the Don bend?

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Napoli
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Post by Napoli » 26 Nov 2002 04:54

Yes, thats what I thought but there was another action, again involving Italian cavalry against partisans in Yugoslavia a few weeks later but it was believed this was the last major action involving mounted cavalry ever as you say charlie :)
I thought I might try starting something here such as this involving any Axis, as even though not being the most effect type troops in this war, it has that sense of old world history to it that some may have an interest in finding out about.

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Post by johnny_bi » 26 Nov 2002 08:10

In Romanian army were a lot of cavalry units . Cavalry and mountain units were considered as the best Romania had .

BI

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Post by johnny_bi » 26 Nov 2002 08:12

In Romanian army were a lot of cavalry units . Cavalry and mountain units were considered as the best Romania had . Cavalry units saw "extensive use" on East Front , including Don RIver's Bend (Romanian 20th Cavalry Division was caught in the encirclement at Stalingrad together with an other Romanian inf division) .

BI

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Post by FB » 26 Nov 2002 09:46

Hi,

Napoli, IIRC, the Isbushenski charge is considered to be "the last one" beacuse it was contucted like a XVIII century cavalry charge. The orders (Trot! Galop! Charge!) were given in the same way they would have been given under, say, Napoleon.

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Toivo
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Post by Toivo » 26 Nov 2002 12:26

There were two cavalry divisions in waffen-ss, mostly to fight partisans.

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Post by Csaba Becze » 26 Nov 2002 12:52

The Hungarian cavalry (Hussars) also had some interesting actions and succesful attacks with sabres.
From 1944 they didn't use their swords.
The last Hungarian attack with horses - if I know correctly - was a desperately attack against a T 34 column(!) by a Hungarian Hussar squadron in autumn, 1944.

The two Waffen SS cavalry divisions (8th and 22nd) destroyed in kessel of Budapest, in winter 1944/45. Most of their soldiers were Germans from Hungary.

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Napoli
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Post by Napoli » 27 Nov 2002 00:46

FB, it would have been interesting to see that charge in flight but as they say thats history.
After looking at Victors site, I noticed many Romanian cavalry units in action so was wondering on any specific details to actions there.
As for Hussars, now theres tough horsemen which I didnt think were involved in WW2

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Daniel L
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Post by Daniel L » 27 Nov 2002 00:59

This discussion is very interesting to read, I think I'll just lean back and watch... :)

regards

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Napoli
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Post by Napoli » 27 Nov 2002 05:23

Charlie, the only problem is that not much is written on specific details on cavlary issues during the war compared to other units.
But with whats written here I'll try and follow up on it and post anything I come across :D

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Toivo
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Post by Toivo » 27 Nov 2002 08:00

Greetings,
Some leads for cavalry-enthusiasts (I like cavalry too but in small numbers or for scouting :D )
8th SS-Kavallerie Division "Florian Geyer" - anti-partisan operations in Soviet Union and Hungary. Seige of Budapest.
22nd SS-Freiwilligen-Kavallerie-Division "Maria Theresa".
33rd* SS Kavallerie Division (Hungarian) (* - one other ss-div had same No.).
37th SS Kavallerie Division "Lützow".

I know Skorzney's Jagdkommando's had cavalry units at Czechoslovakia during anti-partisan operations but source might be speculating. Skorzney was refered there as SS-general hehe....

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Csaba Becze
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Post by Csaba Becze » 27 Nov 2002 10:19

Erik,

the 8th SS Kav. Div. didn't fight against partisans in Hungary, because in Hungary wasn't partisans. They fought in North Yugoslavia agains the partisans(if I know correctly), and is Transsylvania.

Csaba

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 27 Nov 2002 12:19

johnny bi wrote: Romanian 20th Cavalry Division was caught in the encirclement at Stalingrad together with an other Romanian inf division) .
There was no 20th Cavalry Division in the Romanian army. At Stalingrad were caught in the encirclement the 20th Infantry Division and the 1st Cavalry.

As for Romanian cavalry actions, these were generally dragoon style. I do not know of any charges with sabers. These were pretty uncommon even during the Independence War in 1877-78.

One notable action would be the one of the 58th Recon Group (a MG squadron and two cavalry platoons) which was assigned to the 1st Mountain Brigade, during the breakthrough into Crimea in November 1941. The Group was the vanguard of the Mociulschi Detachment. In the morning of 5 November, the group reached the B. Yantura forest and was received with powerful MG fire. They maneuvered to the north and captured 2 officers and 41 soldiers. They continued the advance towards Tuak and managed to surprise about 150 Soviets at the western exit of the town. These were captured without a fight, after one cavalry platoon infiltrated behind them and made them surrender.

But the big pot came the next day. Their mission was to clear the road to Kuruusen of any enemy groups. They found, however, an entire Soviet cavalry regiment. It was lined up in a column without any precautions. The two cavalry platoons quickly rode on each side of the road, firing at the Soviet and managing to surprise them. They threw down their weapons and surrendered. 1,210 POWs were taken and an enormous quantity of weapons. The Group also profited from this occasion to replenish their number of horses.

But, by far the most important Romanian cavalry units were the motorized ones. :wink:
Csaba Becze wrote: The two Waffen SS cavalry divisions (8th and 22nd) destroyed in kessel of Budapest, in winter 1944/45. Most of their soldiers were Germans from Hungary.
I knew that the 8th SS Cavalry Division was recruited mainly from German ethnics in the Romanian and Serbian Banat.
The 8th SS did see action in Transylvania in 1944 (but not against partisans, because there weren't any).

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Csaba Becze
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Post by Csaba Becze » 27 Nov 2002 18:59

Victor,

The8th SS Cav. Div. was recruited from Yugoslavian, Romanian and Hungarian Germans (but the Banat and the other recruited areas were former Hungarian territories)
The 22nd SS Cavalry Division was a full "Hungarian" German division.

I am a half German on my mother's side, a lot of my relatives were Waffen SS soldiers (in Prinz Eugen, in Götz von Berlichingen and in Maria Theresia Divisions).

The most well known Hussar attack with sabres was in August, 1941, during the battle of Uman. Interesting, that the Hungarian sources didn't mentioned this(in details), just the Germans. A Soviet regiment in a deep trenches, with a lot of automatic weapons made serious losses for the attacker Germans. A Hungarian Hussar unit attacked them, and demolished the enemy with sabres (the Soviets had a panic from the shiny swords)
The Germans said, that it was, like a wonderful Cavalry movie...

In 1944, the OKW (Guderian) said, that the 1st Hungarian Cavalry (Hussar) Division equal, with the best German Divisions (similar, with the best 20, he wrote).

Csaba

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