100px|Australian Imperial Force light horsemen, 1914
The use of horses in World War I reflected a transitional period in
the evolution of armed conflict. Cavalry units were initially
considered essential, but the vulnerability of the horse to modern
machine gun and artillery fire eventually fostered interest in
mechanized forces. All of the major combatants in World War I began the
conflict with cavalry forces. Germany and Austria–Hungary stopped using
them on the Western Front soon after the war began, but they continued
to be deployed in a limited fashion on the Eastern Front well into the
war. On the Allied side, the United Kingdom used mounted infantry and
cavalry charges throughout the war, but the United States used cavalry
for only a short time. Horses were mainly used for reconnaissance and
for carrying messengers, as well as to pull artillery, ambulances, and
supply wagons. The presence of horses often increased morale among the
soldiers at the front, but contributed to disease and poor sanitation
in camps. The value of horses was such that by 1917 it was made known
to some troops that the loss of a horse was of greater tactical concern
than the loss of a human soldier. Ultimately, the Allied blockade
prevented the Central Powers from importing horses to replace those
lost, which contributed to Germany's defeat. (more...)
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Al-Mansur, the Caliph of Islam, founded the city of Baghdad to be the
capital of the Islamic empire under the Abbasids.
Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla , an early leader of the Mexican War of
Independence, was executed by Spanish authorities.
Off the coast of Crescent City, California, the steamship Brother
Jonathan, carrying a large shipment of gold coins that would not be
retrieved until 1996, struck an uncharted rock and sank, killing 225
Uruguay defeated Argentina, 4–2, in front of their home crowd at
Estadio Centenario in Montevideo to win the first Football World Cup.
Lebanon War: The Israeli Air Force attacked a three-story building near
the South Lebanese village of Qana, killing at least 28 civilians,
including 16 children.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
Pregnant (now especially of animals)
Wikiquote quote of the day:
With wide-embracing love
Thy Spirit animates eternal years,
Pervades and broods above,
Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates, and rears.
Though earth and moon were gone,
And suns and universes ceased to
And Thou wert left alone,
Every existence would exist in Thee.
There is not room for Death,
Nor atom that his might could render void:
Thou — THOU art Being and
And what THOU art may never be destroyed.
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