United Squadron

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United Squadron

Post  Marc on Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:24 pm

Evening all,

For 2010, I wish to try a "united squadron" cavalry formation and with the prospective numbers listing to attend, this might make a wonderful sight to behold. Here is a list of potential units and numbers:

1st (Royal) Dragoons - 8 horses;
15th Hussars & 16th Light Dragoons - 10 hoses;
18th Hussars - 3 horses confirmed and 3 more "to be confirmed";
Dutch Hussars - 2 horses (and 2 more riders with their own horses).
Brunswick Hussars - Perhaps 2 to 4 riders (bringing their own horses).

Let's assume that the numbers above are the "best case scenario" numbers. How would this be organised? Taking into account possible (read: theortical) numbers, this is what I see:

Cavalry Commander

1st (Heavy) Company - Composed 8 riders from the 1st Royal Dragoons with one being appointed as company NCO.
2nd (1st Light) Company - Composed of 8 riders from the 15th and 18th Hussars + 16th Light Dragoons with one being appointed as company NCO.
3rd (2nd Light) Company - Composed of 8 riders from the 15th and 18th Hussars + 16th Light Dragoons with one being appointed as company NCO.
4th (Allied) Company - Composed of 8 riders from the Dutch and Brunswick Hussars (Albert being a French-speaker makes this match workable) with one being appointed as company NCO.

These numbers will almost certainly change but the idea is there.

These companies would act together as if they were compagnies of a squadron and not as individual units for the purposes of marching, fighting and bivouacing.

The initial plan for the campaign is to start in two different bivouacs on the Friday night and then concentrate the force on Saturday and bivouac together. Upon concentration, the cavalry will now be a formidable striking and scouting force.

The idea I have would be, whilst one infantry company surrounds the marching column in skirmish order, one company of horse will be acting as a advanced-guard whilst a second would be acting as a rear-guard. The other two companies would be marching as part of the column. These duties will naturally be rotated between the companies in order to have everyone do abit of everything and when the column halts, the advanced/rear-guards would need to set-up a temporary out-post, place vedettes and provide an estafette service.

The "United Squadron" would be under the command of a designated cavalry commander who will be the sole interface with the HQ during the weekend. Why such a formation? Well, because it is probably more accurate to recreate a battalion for the purposes of this event than having association-units, further immersing ourselves and also, enable greater co-operation between participants...And give a command structure that I can easily work with.

However, what do you guys make of this?
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Re: United Squadron

Post  Andrew Robertson on Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:19 am

Hi Marc,

sounds good in principle - but to add a little to it from a British perspective...

The smallest unit is the sub division. With the heavies this is 8 dragoons told off in two ranks, and with the lights it is 6 men told of in 2 ranks. Normally the sub would be under the watch of a junior NCO, with a senior NCO taking a "helicoptor" view of things riding as a super numoury.

Then...
2 sub divisions make a division, 2 divisions make a half squadron, 2 half squadrons make a squadron, and 2 squadrons make a troop.

But the light cavalry could also work as files and "3's" for vedette work. Both works according to the scenario. Advance guard by files, "hide and go sneaky" vadettes (causing distractions and the like) by threes so one person can be dispatched back as required. We learned how important lines of communication are last year.

With the number of light cavalry we have, we have the opportunity to recreate some of the light cavalry moments as described by the likes of Tomkinson.

What I would like to see command wise is an NCO in command of each sub, a more junior NCO in charge of each half sub (coming under the senior NCO when formed up as a full sub) and as well as an overall cavalry commander. And potentially (numbers/requirement permitting) a subaltern to act as go between/runner for the light and heavy brigades.

One other thing to take note of is the number of mounted shooters you can expect to see. They proved their worth last year when we diverted the French cavalry collumn on the Sunday morning. I think the combined light cavalry can muster 7 or 8.

Cheers,
Andy
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Re: United Squadron

Post  Marc on Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:04 am

As far as command structure goes, I have decided that Johnny Hathaway White (1st Royal Dragoons) be regarded as Commander of the Cavalry for the event. In terms of organisation, the cavalry will act as a single squadron with 3 sub-divisions (1 with the 1st RD and the other two created by combining the 15th/16th, 18th and 6de together). Each sub-division to have a "commander" and an "senior NCO" in the supernumery rank...but this will naturally very much depend on who's there on the day but I'm basing myself on the above requested numbers.

This squadron should be able to fight as a unit or else operate in sub-divisions (depending on what I have attacking me and what I wish to carry out as an action) and the general set-up for me being that whilst on the march, 1 SD should be acting as the advanced-guard, 1 SD as the rear-guard and 1 SD marching with the column (rotating the SDs to allow everyone to has a go). On the halt and in the bivouac, I shall be using the infantry as sentries but I'd like to occassionnally use a SD to either undertake a recon/patrol or many act as vedettes if the enemy is spotted.

In a pitched battle, my standard tactic (again, depends what's in front and what I'd like to carry out as a mission) would be to have 1 SD of lights on each flank of my infantry battalion and the heavy SD directly behind then as a reserve or a "force de frappe" whilst the lights' job would be primarily to make sure that no cavalry makes it to our infantry (remember the rules of engagement that state that infantry must route if engaged by cavalry so it is imperative that if in the open that the cavalry be used to protect the infantry)....But again, all this is just theory for the moment and alot of it will be "played by ear" on the day but at least it gives you a context and base mission.
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Re: United Squadron

Post  jeroen Dumortier on Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:50 am

Hi Marc,

Are you planning to try an engagement with the French mainforce in open field this year? Sounds daring, so count me in for that!
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Re: United Squadron

Post  Marc on Sun Mar 28, 2010 6:00 pm

Hi Jeroen,

I expect to have a large force and if I do end up against a small French force where I can get a victory, then I'll take them on and we'll beat them! Very Happy

Marc
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