Australian Light Horse Association
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Author Topic: Light Horse  (Read 2224 times)
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« on: 15 September 2011, 01:38:21 pm »

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1 Posts   Posted - 13/11/2002 :  1:16:43 PM 
Why were units of Mounted Troopers in the Australian Army called "Light Horse"
Rob THomas
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464 Posts    Posted - 13/11/2002 :  5:45:13 PM 
The decision to call them Light Horse was made by Major General Hutton in 1912 and the order took effect on 1st July 1903 when all mounted units in Australia changed their name to "Australian Light Horse".
THe term means a lightly equiped horse mounted soldier. Cavalry were traditionally "Heavy Horse" and were equipped with swords and or lances as well as a carbine. Light horse in the Australian context were Mounted Infantry, equipped as infantry and expected to fight on foot. The fact that the Australian Forces were flexible in their outlook and tactical expertise saw them attack a number of times mounted as cavalry (notably Beersheba). In mid 1918 the 3rd, 4th & 5th Brigades (THe Australian Mounted Division) were equipped with the 1908 pattern Sword and MkI Rifle bucket for the SMLE rifle and effectively became Cavalry.
Prior to Federation some colonial forces were Cavalry (NSW Lancers and the Prince of Wales Lancers for example)but Queensland mounted troops were all trained as mounted infantry.
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