Light Cavalry

Light cavalry refers to lightly armed and lightly armored troops mounted on horses, as opposed to heavy cavalry, where the riders (and sometimes the horses) are heavily armored. The missions of the light cavalry were primarily reconnaissance, screening, skirmishing, raiding, and most importantly, communications, and were usually armed with spears, swords, bows and later carbines.

Light cavalry was used infrequently by the Greeks and Romans (though Roman auxiliaries were often mounted), but were popular among the armies and hordes of Central Asia and Southwest Asia. The Arabs, Hungarians, Huns, Mongols, Turks, Parthians, and Persians were all adept light cavalrymen and horse archers.

With the decline of feudalism and knighthood in Europe, light cavalry became more prominent in the armies of the continent. Many were equipped with firearms, as their predecessors had been with bows. European examples of light cavalry included stradiots, hobelars, hussars, chasseurs à cheval, cossacks, chevau-légers and some dragoons.

Read more about Light Cavalry:  Historical Use

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