The action was of interest

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This was the first time that our troops had 'got home' properly with the modern, cavalry thrusting sword, and an examination of the enemy dead afterwards proved what a fine weapon it is. Our losses were heavy. Of the 170 odd who took part in the charge, seventy-five were killed and wounded, and all within a space of ten minutes. In this charge, as in all others during the campaign, it was noticeable how many more horses were killed than men. Apart from the fact that a horse presents a much bigger target than a man, it is probably that infantry, and especially machine gunners, when suddenly charged by cavalry, have a tendency to fire 'into the brown,' where the target looks thickest, which is about the middle of the horses' bodies, thus dropping many horses but failing to kill their riders. A man whose horse is brought down is, however, by no means done with, as the Turks learnt to their cost. In this, as in subsequent charges, many a man whose horse had been shot under him, extricated himself from his fallen mount, and, seizing rifle and bayonet, rushed on into the fight.

It is sad to have to relate that the gallant officer who led this great charge, met his death subsequently,[Pg 55] not on the field of battle as he would have wished, but in the Mediterranean, when the transport that was taking him and his regiment to France for the final act of the war, was torpedoed and sunk by an enemy submarine.[11]

as an indication of what may be accomplished, under suitable conditions, by even a very small force of cavalry when resolutely led. The charge was made on the spur of the moment, with little preliminary reconnaissance of the ground, without fire support, and with the equivalent of little more than one squadron of cavalry. It resulted in the capture of eleven guns and four machine guns, and the complete destruction of a strong point of enemy resistance, at a cost of seventy-five casualties.

There was considerable divergence of opinion in the cavalry as to the best method to be employed in a mounted attack. As there were no reliable precedents in modern warfare, with its machine guns and quick-firing artillery, brigadiers had been given a free hand to develop the tactics they favoured, subject to the principle that fire support should always be provided if available, and that the line of fire and the direction of the mounted attack should be as nearly as possible at right angles to one another.


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