Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 until 1814, Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, one of the greatest commanders in history, his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleons political and cultural legacy has ensured his status as one of the most celebrated and he was born Napoleone di Buonaparte in Corsica to a relatively modest family from the minor nobility. When the Revolution broke out in 1789, Napoleon was serving as an officer in the French army. Seizing the new opportunities presented by the Revolution, he rose through the ranks of the military. The Directory eventually gave him command of the Army of Italy after he suppressed a revolt against the government from royalist insurgents, in 1798, he led a military expedition to Egypt that served as a springboard to political power.
He engineered a coup in November 1799 and became First Consul of the Republic and his ambition and public approval inspired him to go further, and in 1804 he became the first Emperor of the French. Intractable differences with the British meant that the French were facing a Third Coalition by 1805, in 1806, the Fourth Coalition took up arms against him because Prussia became worried about growing French influence on the continent. Napoleon quickly defeated Prussia at the battles of Jena and Auerstedt, marched the Grand Army deep into Eastern Europe, France forced the defeated nations of the Fourth Coalition to sign the Treaties of Tilsit in July 1807, bringing an uneasy peace to the continent. Tilsit signified the high watermark of the French Empire, hoping to extend the Continental System and choke off British trade with the European mainland, Napoleon invaded Iberia and declared his brother Joseph the King of Spain in 1808. The Spanish and the Portuguese revolted with British support, the Peninsular War lasted six years, featured extensive guerrilla warfare, and ended in victory for the Allies.
The Continental System caused recurring diplomatic conflicts between France and its client states, especially Russia, unwilling to bear the economic consequences of reduced trade, the Russians routinely violated the Continental System and enticed Napoleon into another war. The French launched an invasion of Russia in the summer of 1812. The resulting campaign witnessed the collapse of the Grand Army, the destruction of Russian cities, in 1813, Prussia and Austria joined Russian forces in a Sixth Coalition against France. A lengthy military campaign culminated in a large Allied army defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813, the Allies invaded France and captured Paris in the spring of 1814, forcing Napoleon to abdicate in April. He was exiled to the island of Elba near Rome and the Bourbons were restored to power, Napoleon escaped from Elba in February 1815 and took control of France once again. The Allies responded by forming a Seventh Coalition, which defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in June, the British exiled him to the remote island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic, where he died six years at the age of 51
Count Matvei Ivanovich Platov was a Russian general who commanded the Don Cossacks in the Napoleonic wars and founded Novocherkassk as the new capital of the Don Host Province. Platov was born in Pribilyanskoe and began his service in the Don Cossacks in 1766 becoming an yesaul in 1769 and he distinguished himself in the 1771 Crimean campaign and was promoted to the command of a Cossack regiment in 1772. Between 1774 and 1784 he fought against the Crimean Tatars, in 1774 and again in 1782 serving under Alexander Suvorov in the Kuban Valley and Dagestan. For his bravery during the assault he was promoted to ataman of the Ekaterinoslav and Chuguev Cossacks, during 1796 he was awarded the Order of St. Vladimir and a golden sword for courage in the Persian Campaign. Disgraced by the Emperor Paul I of Russia as a result of rumours spread by the courtiers, he was exiled to Kostroma. However, after verifying his innocence, the Emperor awarded him the Commanders Cross of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, this led to his appointment to the ill-fated and ill-conceived Russian expedition to India in 1800.
Although the expedition only reached Orenburg, Platov was promoted to Lieutenant-General, upon Alexander Is accession to the throne, he was appointed ataman of the Don Cossacks. In 1805, he ordered the Cossack capital to be moved from Starocherkassk to a new location, in 1808-1809, he was active against the Turks in the Danube valley, including at the Battle of Silistra, receiving for it the Order of St. Vladimir. On 11 October 1809 Platov was promoted to General of Cavalry, soon after the end of the campaign he returned to the Don Host and continued the reorganisation of the local Cossack administration. In 1812, Platov supported General Bagrations 2nd Western Army with a Cossack corps at the Korelichi engagement, at Mir and at Romanovo, during the Russian counter-attack at Smolensk Platov fought at Molevo Boloto. He hounded the French during their retreat from Moscow in 1812, Platov accompanied emperor Alexander to London where he was awarded a golden sword and an honorary degree by the University of Oxford.
A full-length portrait was painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence for the Waterloo Chamber created at Windsor Castle by George IV, Platov settled in the Cossack capital of Novocherkassk where he established a school and was head of the local administration. He is buried in the Novocherkassk Cathedral and he died, aged 67, in Epanchitskoe. The first monument to Platov, which existed from 1853 to 1923 in Novocherkassk, was replicated there in 1993, there are equestrian monuments to him in Novocherkassk, Rostov-on-Don and Moscow. Gavrila Derzhavin dedicated the last of his odes to Platovs exploits, in Leskovs Levsha, Don Cossack Platov is a prominent figure, even though his portrayal in that folk-styled tale is full of anachronisms. Mikaberidze, The Russian officer Corps in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars 1792-1815, Savas Beatie, Platov in Napoleonic wars Biography of Platov
Battle of Tarutino
The Battle of Tarutino was a part of Napoleons invasion of Russia. The battle is called the Battle of Vinkovo or the Battle of Chernishnya after the local river. Many historians claim that the name is more fitting because the village of Tarutino was 8 km from the described events. In the battle Russian troops under the command of Bennigsen defeated French troops under the command of Joachim Murat, after the battle of Borodino, Kutuzov realized that the Russian army would not survive one more large engagement and ordered the army to leave Moscow and retreat. At first it retreated in the south-east direction along the Ryazanskaya road, when the army reached the Moskva it crossed it and turned to the west to the Old Kaluzhskaya road. The army pitched camp in a village of Tarutino near Kaluga, at the same time small units of Cossacks continued moving along the Ryazanskaya road misleading French troops under the command of Murat. When he discovered his error he did not retreat but made camp not far from Tarutino in order to keep his eye on the Russian camp.
On 18 October 1812 Kutuzov ordered Bennigsen and Miloradovich to attack Murats corps with two columns stealthily crossing the forest in the dead of night, bennigsens main column included three columns led by Vasily Orlov-Denisov, Karl Gustav von Baggehufwudt and Alexander Osterman-Tolstoy respectively. The other column was supposed to play an auxiliary role, in the darkness most of the troops got lost. Since other Russian units came late the French were able to recover, when the Russians emerged from the forest they came under French fire and suffered casualties. Murat was forced to retreat to escape being surrounded, the French forces suffered 2,500 dead and 2,000 prisoners, the Russians lost 1,200 dead. The defeat infuriated Napoleon, who felt the retreat following the loss would appear to the world as though he had been defeated. The total number of cannon captured by the Russians at Tarutino—38 pieces in all—was noteworthy because until this point in the war and this was regarded by the Russian rank-and-file as a sign that the tide of the war was finally turning in their favor.
The Battle of Tarutino is depicted in Leo Tolstoys War and Peace, who frequently argued throughout the novel that an individual cannot change history or manage historical processes, described the battle as nothing but a chain of accidents and coincidences. От Тарутино до Малоярославца (к 190-летию Малоярославецкого сражения
Uhlans were Polish light cavalry armed with lances and pistols. The title was used by lancer regiments in the Russian, Prussian. Uhlans typically wore a jacket with a coloured panel at the front, a coloured sash. This cap or cavalry helmet was derived from a design of Polish cap, made more formal. Their lances usually had small, swallow-tailed flags just below the spearhead, in the Turkic Tatar language, it means, amongst other things, a brave warrior or young man. The Kalmyk/Oirat/Dzhungar cavalry made wide use of lances both in European as well as Central Asian wars. One of the members, Colonel Aleksander Ułan, was the commander of a Polish light cavalry regiment in the service of Polish-Saxon kings, August II Mocny. After Ułans death his regiment was nicknamed Ułanowe dzieci and Ułanowe wojsko, prior to 1764, all Polish-Lithuanian Tatar cavalry regiments in Saxon service were named Ułani. Once the Golden Horde Tatar families had settled in Lithuania in the late 14th century, they were required to military service for the Grand Duke of Lithuania.
The Poles started incorporating much of their vocabulary and many of their traditions, along with their strategy. Lithuanian Tartars, mostly Muslim, served as part of the Royal armies during various battles of the late Middle Ages and their tasks were to conduct reconnaissance in advance of the heavier cavalry banners. The last Polish King, Stanisław August Poniatowski, had a Uhlan guard regiment simply known as the Royal Uhlans and it was disbanded in 1794 or 1795. The first Uhlan regiments were created in the early 18th century in Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1720s and their speed and mobility were key to their popularity. The Uhlan regiment formed by the Kingdom of Prussia in 1740, the regiment failed to distinguish itself favorably in the first of the Silesian Wars and was disbanded shortly afterwards. In 1745, engaged in a union with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Shortly after, the Marechal de Saxe created a Polish Ulan regiment for the French king, King Stanisław August Poniatowski of Poland formed a regiment of royal guards equipped with lances and pistols, each guardsman uniformed in kurta and czapka.
This unit became the prototype for other units of the Polish cavalry. In the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Ulans officially had the status and traditions of the winged Polish hussars passed on to them in 1776, the Austrian empire formed a Uhlan Regiment in 1784, composed primarily of Poles
Second Battle of Polotsk
The Second Battle of Polotsk took place during Napoleons invasion of Russia. In this encounter the Russians under General Peter Wittgenstein attacked and defeated a Franco-Bavarian force under Laurent Gouvion Saint-Cyr, in the aftermath of this success, the Russians took Polotsk and dismantled Napoleons operations in Belarus. Wittgensteins victory set the stage for the Battle of Berezina in November, while advancing on Moscow, Napoleon left a contingent of French and German troops at Polotsk to guard his northern flank against Wittgenstein. By establishing a front at Polotsk, Napoleon kept Wittgensteins command at bay. Such a development would sever the Grande Armées communications with Europe, throughout the summer and early fall of 1812, Russians and French were stalemated at Polotsk, which meant that St. Cyrs troops were accomplishing their objective of holding the Dwina Line. The first battle of Polotsk, an engagement fought in August, had the effect of keeping Wittgensteins army at bay and was therefore considered a success by Napoleon.
By mid-October, the balance of power at Polotsk had shifted dramatically. Wittgensteins force had been reinforced and was now numerically superior to the French force it confronted. Wittgestein at this point was in command of close to 50,000 troops. This force was composed of 31,000 regular troops and 9,000 militiamen at Polotsk itself, against this Russian juggernaut, the French under St. Cyr had no more than 23,000 to 27,000 troops. On 18 October, Wittgestein opened his offensive against the French Dwina Line, on the first day of combat, the Russians made seven consecutive frontal assaults on Polotsk, while Steingals force began advancing on the French rear. The fighting at Polotsk was torrid and bloody, with the French losing close 8,000 to 12,000 troops, all seven Russian attacks were beaten back by the end of the day. St. Cyr could claim to have won one in this bitter battle. Planning to renew his attack once Steingals forces arrived, Wittgenstein maintained an artillery bombardment of Polotsk.
Late on the day,19 October, Steingal advanced to within four miles of Polotsk. That night, knowing that their position was untenable, the French began evacuating Polotsk, fierce house-to-house combat ensued in the town as the Russians launched their final attack. Acting decisively to secure his battered forces southern retreat route, St. Cyr ordered his Bavarian contingent to drive Steingal back early the day,20 October. This task was accomplished by the Bavarians impressively, as Steingal was compelled to retreat with heavy casualties, the French thus saved themselves from encirclement by the Russians, but still, the battle for Polotsk had been lost
Chasseur, a French term for hunter, is the designation given to certain regiments of French and Belgian light infantry or light cavalry to denote troops trained for rapid action. During the remainder of the 18th century various types of troops were employed within the French army. The chasseurs à pied were the light infantrymen of the French Imperial army and they were armed the same as their counterparts in the regular line infantry battalions, but were trained to excel in marksmanship and in executing manoeuvres at high speed. From 1840, they wore a frock coat. After 1850, however the chasseurs adopted a uniform consisting of a frock coat with slits in the sides on the bottom edge to allow for better freedom of movement than the previous design. They wore light blue baggy trousers tucked into jambières, the other light infantry unit type, the voltigeurs, specialised as skirmishers and for advance screening of the main force. The chasseurs could be called upon to form advance guards, following the Napoleonic Wars the chasseurs à pied continued to exist as a separate corps within the infantry.
Initially a specially trained elite, their tactical role eventually came to match that of the ordinary lignards, by the late 19th century the differences between the two branches were confined to uniform and insignia, although the chasseurs retained a strong esprit de corps. However public opinion, influenced by the occasions on which the chasseurs had distinguished themselves during the war was opposed to the disbanding of this distinctive corps, under the Third Republic the chasseurs à pied were increased from 20 to 30 battalions. Of these, four saw service in Tunisia, one in Indochina. Twelve of the battalions were re-designated as mountain infantry. The remaining chasseur battalions were deployed near the frontier with Germany as part of the troupes de couverture, during World War I the French Army maintained 31 battalions of infantry chasseurs plus a varying number of reserve and territorial units. Each infantry division was expected to include at least one battalion of either chasseurs à pied or chasseurs alpine, each battalion had an establishment of 1300 to 1500 men.
They were reportedly nicknamed schwarze Teufel by their German opponents, in reference to their dark colored uniforms, the chasseurs served mainly on the Western Front but detachments were sent to reinforce the Italian front in 1917. Originally a mixed corps of infantry and horsemen, this force proved sufficiently effective to warrant the creation of a single corps. In 1779 these squadrons were amalgamated into six regiments, each of which was given a regional title, in 1788 six dragoon regiments were converted to chasseurs à cheval and during the period of the Revolutionary Wars the number was again increased, to twenty-five. During their earlier history these regiments lacked the higher profile of the identically-armed hussars, distinguished by dark green uniforms and a bugle-horn badge, they were frequently used as advance scouting units providing valuable information on enemy movements. Both Napoleons Imperial Guard and the Royal Guard of the Restoration each included a regiment of chasseurs à cheval, in addition Napoleon added a further five line regiments to those inherited from the Revolutionary period
Battle of Klyastitsy
The Battle of Klyastitsy, called battle of Yakubovo, was a series of military engagements which took place in 1812 near the village of Klyastitsy on the road between Polotsk and Sebezh. In this battle the Russian corps under the command of Peter Wittgenstein, the result was inconclusive, with both sides suffering heavy losses and retreating along their communication lines after the battle. On 28 July, twelve French cavalry squadrons were surprised and attacked by eight Russian hussard, at that time Oudinot occupied the village of Klyastitsy on his advance towards St. Petersburg. There were 28,000 French troops while the Russian Corps numbered 17,000, in spite of being outnumbered, Wittgenstein decided to fight. The battle started on 30 July at 2 pm, the Russian vanguard led by Kulnev fought with the French vanguard for the whole day near the village of Yakubov. Kulnev managed to press the French but they kept the village under their control, on the next day, after several attacks and counterattacks, the Russian advance forced Oudinot to retreat to Klyastitsy.
In order to continue their advance the Russian troops had to cross the river Nishcha, Oudinot ordered his troops to set fire to the only bridge. While the Russian cavalry was wading across the Nishcha, the 2nd battalion of the Pavlovsk Grenadier regiment rushed the burning bridge and this instance was depicted by Peter Hess in his painting, illustrated to the right. Kulnev continued to chase the French Corps with several cavalry regiments, after crossing the Drissa river on 1 August his unit ran into an ambush and suffered heavy casualties under the fire of French artillery. Kulnev was badly wounded and died the same day, finally Oudinot retreated to Polotsk and the French advance on St. Petersburg failed. Wittgenstein was awarded the Order of St. George of the Second Degree, alexander I is reported to have called him the saviour of St. Petersburg. Captain Krylov, whose unit was the first to cross the river over the burning bridge, received the Order of St. George of the Fourth Degree
Battle of Vitebsk (1812)
The Battle of Vitebsk, sometimes spelled Witepsk, was a military engagement that took place on 26 and 27 July 1812 during the French invasion of Russia. The battle occurred as Napoleon was trying to envelop the Russian First Army at Vitebsk, Barclays motivation to make a stand resulted from political pressures and from his own desire to improve the armys morale, after weeks of retreating without a fight. Barclays main concern for the day of 27 July was to keep the French at bay for long enough, in order to allow his main force to escape towards Smolensk, where he planned to unite with Bagration. Unbeknownst to Napoleon, the Russian army retreated during the afternoon and night, the Russian army made a hasty retreat and safely reached Smolensk, where they were able to unite with Bagration, just as planned. Towards mid-July, he launched a part of his forces in an enveloping action towards Vitebsk. There, a French force under Marshal Joachim Murat and General Etienne de Nansouty tried to pin down a superior force under Russian General Alexander Ivanovich Ostermann-Tolstoy.
While the Russians registered relatively high casualties, they were able to retreat in good order, the Russians themselves inflicted significant casualties on the enemy and crucially, delayed them for long enough to allow the concentration of significant forces around Vitebsk. Meanwhile, with the Russian army having continually retreated before the enemy ever since the campaign started an earlier, morale among the rank. Barclay was thus under pressure to fight and decided to do so at Vitebsk. However, Napoleons superior numbers and the weaknesses of Barclays battlefield position meant that the chances for a Russian victory were very weak at best. Konovnitsyn was extremely adept at leading rearguard actions and he managed to block all the attempts to advance. The French were thus unable to contact with the bulk of the Russian forces on 26 July. Meanwhile, at nightfall, Prince Aleksandr Meshikov, aide-de-camp to General Pyotr Bagration arrived at Barclays headquarters, Meshikov brought alarming news of the defeat of Bagrations Second Army at the Battle of Saltanovka, three days earlier, at the hands of Marshal Louis Nicolas Davout.
The Russians thus needed to abandon any plans to give battle, urgently break contact with the enemy and move southeast. Despite these considerations, Barclay still wanted to battle the next day and was only dissuaded from doing so by his advisers. That night, the commander issued orders for retreat, but the proximity of Napoleons force meant that a retreat would not be easy to operate. At daybreak on 27 July, Napoleon set his troops in motion, thrilled that he faced a massed enemy army. The battlefield at Vitebsk was a vast and flat plain and only the river Dvina separated the French forces from the Russians, who were occupying a slightly elevated position on the eastern bank
Headquarters denotes the location where most, if not all, of the important functions of an organization are coordinated. In the United States, the corporate headquarters represents the entity at the center or the top of a corporation taking full responsibility for managing all business activities, in the UK, the term head office is most commonly used for the HQs of large corporations. The term is used regarding military organizations, a headquarters is the entity at the top of a corporation that takes full responsibility for the overall success of the corporation, and ensures corporate governance. Many companies have an office at a different address to their corporate office. A headquarters normally includes the leader of business unit and his or her staff as well as all functions to manage the business unit, the head of the business unit is responsible for overall result of the business unit. Military headquarters take many forms depending on the size and nature of the unit or formation they command, they are split into the forward and rear components, both within NATO nations, and those following the organization and doctrine of the former Soviet Union.
The forward or tactical HQs is a group of staff. The main HQs is less mobile and is involved in both the planning and execution of operations, there are a number of staff assembled here from various staff branches to advise the commander, and to control the various aspects of planning and the conduct of discrete operations. A main HQ for a large formation will have a chief of staff who coordinates the staff effort, the rear or logistic HQs is some distance from the battle or front line in conventional operations. The headquarters of the Catholic Church is Vatican City, the headquarters of the Russian Orthodox Church is in Danilov Monastery, Moscow. The World Council of Churches, including Orthodox Churches, has its headquarters in Geneva, the headquarters of Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is located in Istanbul, Turkey. The headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is located in Salt Lake City, the Anglican Communion Office is in London. In Japanese budō martial arts such as karate, aikido, there is usually a headquarters for each organization or region.
The Japanese word honbu is generally used for that, outside Japan, sometimes they refer to this headquarters as honbu dojo in which dojo is a facility provided for practicing discipline, the training ground. Sometimes honbu is written as hombu, the way it is pronounced, but according to the Hepburn transcription and Tactics of the Soviet Army Janes, London,516 pp. Wanner, Herbert Global and regional corporate headquarters in, Kählin, Christian, H. Switzerland Business & Investment Handbook, Orell Füssli and Wiley, Herbert, LeClef, Xavier, & Shimizu, Hiroshi Global Headquarters on the Move, From Administrators to Facilitators Prims Second Semester 2004, Arthur D. Little
The word dragoon originally meant mounted infantry, who were trained in horse riding as well as infantry fighting skills. However, usage altered over time and during the 18th century, in most armies, dragoons came to signify ordinary medium cavalry. Dragoon regiments were established in most European armies during the late 17th, the name is derived from a type of firearm, called a dragon, which was a handgun version of a blunderbuss, carried by dragoons of the French Army. The title has been retained in modern times by a number of armoured or ceremonial mounted regiments, the establishment of dragoons evolved from the practice of sometimes transporting infantry by horse when speed of movement was needed. In 1552 Prince Alexander of Parma mounted several companies of infantry on horses to achieve surprise. Another early instance was ordered by Louis of Nassau in 1572 during operations near Mons in Hainaut and it is suggested the first dragoons were raised by the Marshal de Brissac in 1600. According to old German literature, dragoons were invented by Count Ernst von Mansfeld, one of the greatest German military commanders, there are other instances of mounted infantry predating this.
However Mansfeld, who had learned his profession in Hungary and the Netherlands, often used horses to make his troops more mobile. The name possibly derives from a weapon, a short wheellock called a dragon because the first dragoons raised in France had their carbines muzzle decorated with a dragons head. The practice comes from a time when all gunpowder weapons had distinctive names, including the culverin, falcon, falconet and it is sometimes claimed a galloping infantryman with his loose coat and the burning match resembled a dragon. It has suggested that the name derives from the German tragen or the Dutch dragen. Howard Reid claims that the name and role descend from the Latin Draconarius, Dragoon is occasionally used to mean to subjugate or persecute by the imposition of troops, and by extension to compel by any violent measures or threats. Early dragoons were not organized in squadrons or troops as were cavalry, Dragoon regiments used drummers, not buglers, to communicate orders on the battlefield.
Supplied with inferior horses and more equipment, the dragoon regiments were cheaper to recruit. When in the 17th century Gustav II Adolf introduced dragoons into the Swedish Army, he provided them with a sabre, an axe, many of the European armies henceforth imitated this all-purpose set of weaponry. In the Spanish Army, Pedro de la Puente organized a body of dragoons in Innsbruck in 1635, in 1640, a tercio of a thousand dragoons armed with the arquebus was created in Spain. By the end of the 17th century, the Spanish Army had three tercios of dragoons in Spain, plus three in the Netherlands and three more in Milan, in 1704, the Spanish dragoons were reorganised into regiments by Philip V, as were the rest of the tercios. Towards the end of 1776, George Washington realized the need for a branch of the American military
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the most mobile of the combat arms, an individual soldier in the cavalry is known by a number of designations such as cavalryman, dragoon or trooper. The designation of cavalry was not usually given to any military forces that used animals, such as camels. Cavalry had the advantage of improved mobility, and a man fighting from horseback had the advantages of greater height, another element of horse mounted warfare is the psychological impact a mounted soldier can inflict on an opponent. In Europe cavalry became increasingly armoured, and eventually became known for the mounted knights, in the period between the World Wars, many cavalry units were converted into motorized infantry and mechanized infantry units, or reformed as tank troops. Most cavalry units that are horse-mounted in modern armies serve in purely ceremonial roles, modern usage of the term generally refers to specialist units equipped with tanks or aircraft.
The shock role, traditionally filled by heavy cavalry, is filled by units with the armored designation. Before the Iron Age, the role of cavalry on the battlefield was largely performed by light chariots, the chariot originated with the Sintashta-Petrovka culture in Central Asia and spread by nomadic or semi-nomadic Indo-Iranians. The power of mobility given by mounted units was recognized early on, Cavalry techniques were an innovation of equestrian nomads of the Central Asian and Iranian steppe and pastoralist tribes such as the Persian Parthians and Sarmatians. The photograph above left shows Assyrian cavalry from reliefs of 865–860 BC, at this time, the men had no spurs, saddle cloths, or stirrups. Fighting from the back of a horse was more difficult than mere riding. The cavalry acted in pairs, the reins of the archer were controlled by his neighbours hand. Even at this time, cavalry used swords, shields. The sculpture implies two types of cavalry, but this might be a simplification by the artist, Later images of Assyrian cavalry show saddle cloths as primitive saddles, allowing each archer to control his own horse.
As early as 490 BC a breed of horses was bred in the Nisaean plain in Media to carry men with increasing amounts of armour. However, chariots remained in use for purposes such as carrying the victorious general in a Roman triumph. The southern Britons met Julius Caesar with chariots in 55 and 54 BC, the last mention of chariot use in battle was by the Caledonians at the Mons Graupius, in 84 AD. During the classical Greek period cavalry were usually limited to citizens who could afford expensive war-horses
Battle of Krasnoi
The Battle of Krasnoi was a series of skirmishes fought in the final stage of Napoleons retreat from Moscow. The Russians under General Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov inflicted heavy losses on the remnants of the Grande Armée, lacking sufficient artillery and supplies to wage battle, Napoleons object at Krasnoi was to collect his scattered troops and to resume his retreat. Despite the vast superiority of his forces, Kutuzov refrained from launching an offensive during the four days of fighting. The climax of the engagement occurred on November 17, when an aggressive feint by the French Imperial Guard induced Kutuzov to delay a potentially decisive final Russian attack, Napoleon was thus able to withdraw part of his army before the Russians seized Krasnoi. Despite Napoleons success in saving part of his army from destruction at Krasnoi, during the four days of combat Napoleons subordinate commanders suffered heavy defeats in individual actions, and large numbers of French stragglers were captured by the Russians.
The Grande Armée was compelled to abandon much of its remaining artillery, the condition of the Grande Armée was further degraded by sub-zero temperatures in the first two weeks of November. By the time the French arrived at Smolensk on November 9, only 40% men of what was left of the Grande Armée was still under arms at this point. Due to the condition of his forces and French defeats on other fronts, Napoleon realized his position at Smolensk was untenable surrounded by Russian armies. The new strategic goal was to put the Grande Armée into winter quarters further west, having lost contact with Kutuzov during the previous two weeks, Napoleon incorrectly believed that the Russian army must have been as devastated by the elements as his own. Napoleon left on 14th, Davout on 15th, Beauharnais on 16th, Ney on 17th, together with Joseph Barbanègre, thus the French approached Krasny in a piecemeal 53 kilometres long column of disconnected corps, not massed together in preparation for battle. On November 14, the corps of Józef Zajączek and Junot, as the vanguard of the retreating French army, passed through Krasny, the next day, November 15, Napoleon himself arrived at Krasny with his 16, 000-strong Imperial Guard.
Neys corps formed the rearguard and was not to leave Smolensk until November 17, marching between and around these French corps were nearly 40,000 troops who had disintegrated into mobs of unarmed, disorganized stragglers, looking for something else to eat than horsemeat. This made Napoleon stop further advance in order to bring up other echelons, however when on November 4 the Corps of Yevgeny Bogarne was approaching Krasnoye village, it suffered a strong attack inflicted by Miloradovich and was defeated. The same fate awaited Corps under Davout and Ney, without waiting for Ney’s rearguard, the French Emperor jointly with the Old Guard with the rest of the Davout’s Corps broke through the cover of Tormasov’s troops and moved to Orsha. During the same period, the main Russian army under Kutuzov followed the French on a parallel southern road, because this route passed through countryside unaffected by previous campaigning, the Russian army approached Krasny much less weakened by attrition than the Grande Armée.
Kutuzov therefore accepted a plan proposed by his officer, Colonel Toll. The Russian position at Krasny began forming on November 15, when the 3, the same day, the 17,000 troops of Miloradovich took position on a hill alongside the eastern road leading into Krasny. Kutuzov himself reached Krasny with the 35, 000-strong main army on November 16, in all, Kutuzov had 52,000 to 60,000 regular troops at his disposal at Krasny, including a large cavalry force and approximately 500 cannon