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Jürg Gassmann

Abstract

The cavalry horse, tactics and training in Western Europe – the Euro-pean provinces of the Roman Empire of the West and the Frankish Empire – du-ring the Early Middle Ages (c. 500-1000) are still subject to many myths in both popular media and academic literature. Source material is admittedly thin, yet it is specific enough to allow us to correct many of these misconceptions and outright errors.

The article initially summarises the current state of knowledge on the war horse of the period, by reference to the archaeological record. It then reviews the cavalry’s battlefield tactics, derives the skill level required to execute the manoeuvres described in the sources, and analyses where and how this training could have been provided.

The information gleaned provides an insight into the skills and expertise neces-sary to achieve the requisite sophisticated level of horsemanship. We shall argue that these imply a considerable investment in organisational infrastructure, per-sonnel and institutional memory, which has so far not received much academic attention, and has wider implications for our view of the era.

Open access

Jürg Gassmann

-492 Eisenberg, Robert ‘The Battle of Adrianople: A Reappraisal’, in: Hirundo - The McGill Journal of Historical Studies, 8 (2009-2010), 108-120 Farrokh, Kaveh and Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani, ‘Arms, Armor and Tactics of Sassanian Savârân’, in: Journal of the Iranian Studies, 8/15 (2009), 289-305 France, John, Western Warfare in the Age of the Crusades: 1000-1300 (London: UCL, 1999) Gallegos Vázquez, Federico, ‘El ejército visigodo: el primer ejército español’, in: Leandro Martínez Peñas, Manuela Fernández Rodríguez (Eds

Open access

Bert Gevaert

Sword Military, 2010). Massoni, Gérard-Antoine, Histoire d’un régiment de cavalerie légère : le 5e hussards 1783-1815 (Paris: Archives & Culture, 2008). Napoleon, his army and enemies: armies - battles- tactics- commanders, Napoleon’s guard cavalry, available from Napoleonistyka <http://napoleonistyka.atspace.com/IMPERIAL_GUARD_cavalry_1.html> (accessed 15 April 2015). Napoleon, his army and enemies: armies - battles- tactics- commanders, Infantry tactics and combat during the Napoleonic wars, part 1, available from

Open access

Jack Gassmann, Jürg Gassmann and Dominique Le Coultre

VI. BIBLIOGRAPHY VI.1. Primary sources v. Bismark, Friedrich Wilhelm Graf, Lectures upon the Tactics of Cavalry (translated by Major Frederick Johnston) (London: Ridgway, 1827). v. Clausewitz, Carl, Vom Kriege (Berlin: Dümmler, 1832-1837). Duarte I of Portugal, The Book of Horsemanship , edition and translation Jeffrey Forgeng (Woodbridge: Boydell, 2016). Georg von Ehingen, Des schwäbischen Ritters Georg von Ehingen Reisen nach der Ritterschaft , Ed. and transcription Franz Pfeiffer (Stuttgart: Literarischer Verein, 1843