The author of this study of cavalry operations in the 1904-05 Russo-Japanese War Count Gustav Wrangel an Austrian cavalry officer admits that the performance of the cavalry on both sides was ‘poor’ being confined to a few raids. His book is really a plea for a greater role for the cavalry and a lament for what he calls ‘sins of omission’ ie cavalry operations which could have been undertaken but which were not owing to insufficient numbers being available. ( He points out that the Japanese were about to double the size of their cavalry to eight divisions). He was not to know of course that within a decade of his book’s publication the Great War with its mechanisation would make the age-old arm of the cavalry utterly obsolete. Even so this book is a fascinating period piece.
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