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A Study of Napoleon’s Cavalry Tactics

Joo, Jung Youl 1

1국방대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The advent of Napoleon was a turning point in the war history. Tactics and war principle he established became the basis of the current military theory. However, one military achievement that has not been noticed for a long time is the return of the cavalry as a leading force in the battlefield, which had been in decline after the development of gunpower weapons. The main object of this paper is to see the application and the effect of the cavalry used by Napoleon, focusing on the art of his cavalry operations. Before the French Revolution, the French cavalry relatively lacked both quality and quantity compared to the other cavalries in Europe. Nevertheless, thanks to Napoleon, the French cavalry was able to hold its leading position in Europe. Napoleon especially focused on the intrinsic advantages that cavalry holds, and by reflecting from his concerns and experiences, he developed his own cavalry operation methods. Based on these new methods he was able to win the battle of Eylau, the battle of Somosierra and battle of Borodino. However in the battle of Waterloo, his decision not to follow the principle rules in his cavalry management methods had lead to defeat. Through this article, I hope that more attention could be paid on cavalry operation, and wish that more studies will be conducted on modern cavalry operation.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.