British Cavalry Regiments and the Men Who Led Them 1793-1815
By Steve Brown
This series aims to shine a light on those colonels, lieutenant-colonels, majors (and occasionally even captains) who commanded the British Army’s most mercurial arm in the period 1793 to 1815 – the cavalry regiments. Often outstanding, frequently misguided, it was Napier who said "... testimony of impartial writers of different nations have given the first place amongst the European infantry to the British; but in a comparison between the troops of France and England, it would be unjust not to admit that the cavalry of the former stands higher in the estimation of the world."
I have chosen to cover the entire period from 1793 until 1815 (and
beyond, until 1818 in some cases) as this is the generally accepted
range of the ‘Napoleonic Wars’. This name is, of course,
a misnomer, since Napoleon was a mere junior officer at the start of
it all. The combats and stations of the British regiments chronicled
will demonstrate that the period was, in reality, the true First World
War; European troops fought and died in North America, South America,
Egypt, India, Java, Mauritius, the West Indies. The insular pre-radio
society of the time was unable to envisage, let alone understand, the
These biographies will show the regimental system in action, officers routinely transferring between regiments for advancement or opportunity, captains who were also (brevet) colonels, many who retired early, some who stayed the distance to become Major-Generals and beyond.
Placed on the Napoleon Series: November 2009 - March 2010
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