War Horses(15 Pics)

Over 100 years ago horses and mules began their one-way journey to the battlefields of World War One

Pack horses carrying ammunition. Because railway lines could not withstand artillery bombardments, horses carried ammunition and supplies between the railheads and the rear trenches, though the horses generally were not used in the actual trench zone.

A British war horse stuck in the mud while ferrying supplies during WW1. Because military vehicles were relatively new inventions and prone to problems, horses, and mules were more reliable and cheaper forms of transport.
Thousands of horses pulled field guns; six to 12 horses were required to pull each gun.
A lone horse stands faithfully over the corpse of its rider who lies face down, hands still clasped to the animal’s reins.

This grey is equipped to carry a Vickers machine-gun. Many horses were initially used as traditional cavalry horses but their vulnerability to modern machine gun and artillery fire meant their role changed to transporting troops, weapons and ammunition.

A British horse being fitted with an experimental gas mask

As men bonded with horses, army generals believed that their soldiers’ morale would be boosted by the presence of horses

Many different types and sizes of horse were used in war, depending on the form of warfare. The type used varied with whether the horse was being ridden or driven, and whether they were being used for reconnaissance, cavalry charges, raiding, communication, or supply.

Polish Cavalry - Horses were a cheap alternative to motor vehicles, which were expensive to produce and maintain. Like his counterparts in other armies, the Polish cavalryman was trained to use his horse for mobility and maneuverability, and fight dismounted whenever possible.

German cavalry firing from the backs of horses, 1935. The cavalry was trained to “fire from the saddle” in this way at that time. It is very doubtful whether this method featured much, once the action started. It did nothing to reduce the vulnerability of the horsemen to counter-fire from opposing infantry and machine-gunners; indeed, it increased such vulnerability.

One-quarter of all deaths were due to gunfire and gas; exhaustion and disease claimed the rest.

Fearing their horses would face terrible and terrifying conditions at war, some owners took the drastic measure of humanely putting their animals down before the army could seize them.

The image shows about 650 soldiers in 1915 standing in a formation that, from above, resembles a cavalry horse's head, neck, and bridle -- a true tribute from the soldiers to the many horses who fought, and often died, by their side in the Great War.

While ten million men would be killed in the carnage of World War I, the casualty rate was proportionately considerably higher among the warhorses — of which some eight million perished on all sides.

Of the one million horses which left Britain for the Western Front,  just 60,000 returned.

War Horses(15 Pics) War Horses(15 Pics) Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 08:31 Rating: 5

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