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  • Cavalry Corps - Outdated Today?

    "With the phasing out of the specialist roles within conventional ops, the Cav were left with the option to adapt to the CTR role or die."

    i've been following the Mobile Gun System thread and a few posts have got me thinking....is the cavalry corps as we know it today an old fashioned organisation being kept for traditional purposes?

    as most know its traditional "cavalry" roles have long been replaced and it has been given responsibilities that raised eyebrows initially with infantry types, namely dismounted recce.

    the AML 90's are now accepted as insufficient for the new cavalry roles and outdated.
    the Scorpions are a novelty item in the DF....the idea of tracked vehicles appeals but they are unlikely to ever be used in any meaningful role other than easter parades and certainly never overseas!

    with the cavalry now using the same vehicles as the infantry and sharing common roles (albeit longer distance recce) the separation of the corps has never seemed slimmer.

    so might it not be a better idea for the DF to merge cavalry with infantry? replace scorpions and AML's with further mowags with appropriate weapons suites to cover different roles. and then have stronger strength infantry formations that have access to a common group of vehicles with a wider range of equipment and weapons suites, and that can carry out recce and associated roles at any and all distances (excluding SF long range recce role)?

    a hypothetical question for the future planners to think over.
    Fate whispers to the warrior, "There is a storm coming"

    And the warrior whispers back "I am the storm".

  • #2
    Was the Cavalry not given the CTR role as they were to provide the CTR element for overseas?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by DeV View Post
      Was the Cavalry not given the CTR role as they were to provide the CTR element for overseas?
      A cynic would say that the cav were given the role (and the artillery given 81s) in order to justify their existence as far as overseas service is concerned.

      Long ago in my FCA days in 3rd Cav Squadron, I remember seeing a training film where the cavalry men left their APCs and conducted foot patrols. So it could be said that the infantry Recce platoons have hijacked a cav role. That said, all infantrymen know that you cannot rely on the lesser arms of the service for anything.

      The Cav should revert/convert to an armoured corps or convert to amechanised infantry battalion and do some real soldiering.
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      Originally posted by hedgehog
      My favourite moment was when the
      Originally posted by hedgehog
      red headed old dear got a smack on her ginger head

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      • #4
        Have to agree with X Ray and Groundhog on on this one.Pooling of resources would be far more functional give that the armoured role is albeit defunct.

        Can feel all the knives in my back after that statement but unfortuneatley its fact.The Cav are carrying out more roles which were traditionally not their own and no longer corner the market on armoured vehicles.

        They can touch on the specialist roles but no longer are the specialist in the field.
        Last edited by hptmurphy; 9 August 2007, 19:38.
        Covid 19 is not over ....it's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe

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        • #5
          Surely, our offer of Äa light infantry battalionÄ today equates to a Ämechanised battalionÄ

          IAS

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ias View Post
            Surely, our offer of Äa light infantry battalionÄ today equates to a Ämechanised battalionÄ

            IAS
            A mechanised Battalion is a Battalion of infantry whose primary means of moving themselves and their crap around is in the back of a Mowag/equivalent vehicle. Nothing to do with the cav whatsoever

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Barry View Post
              A mechanised Battalion is a Battalion of infantry whose primary means of moving themselves and their crap around is in the back of a Mowag/equivalent vehicle
              That solves the problem of the day sack/ webbing/ armour debate.
              The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity.
              (George Bernard Shaw, Playwright, 1856 - 1950)

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              • #8
                If we are assessing the need for the various corps surely the first for the chop should be field artillery? Given the likely roles of the DF - ATCP and UN - are we ever realistically going to need the capibility to rain steel down on an area? Even if we do, have we the logistics support to allow that to happen?
                "Why, it appears that we appointed all of our worst generals to command the armies and we appointed all of our best generals to edit the newspapers. I mean, I found by reading a newspaper that these editor generals saw all of the defects plainly from the start but didn't tell me until it was too late. I'm willing to yield my place to these best generals and I'll do my best for the cause by editing a newspaper"
                Gen. Robert E. Lee

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Viking View Post
                  If we are assessing the need for the various corps surely the first for the chop should be field artillery? Given the likely roles of the DF - ATCP and UN - are we ever realistically going to need the capibility to rain steel down on an area? Even if we do, have we the logistics support to allow that to happen?
                  Reality has very little to do with these things.

                  For instance if you were to disband the Artillery Corps you would be doing away with the Director of Artillery which is a Colonel's appointment. This in turn would deny promotion to a stream of officers behind the appointee. But this reality works in favour of the grunts too because if the Arty was disbanded you can be sure that the scheming bastard civilians who run the DF would not convert those troops to infantry but just reduce the size of the DF.

                  The need to provide senior officer appointments is also why the various units that were amalgamated to form the Logs battalions still retain their corps identities.

                  Originally posted by Viking View Post
                  are we ever realistically going to need the capibility to rain steel down on an area?
                  We might. And if we disbanded the Arty Corps (God and St. Barbara forbid) it'll be to late trying to reform them when we do need the capibility to rain steel down on an area.

                  To quote that great Irishman Sir Gartnet Wolsey- "Hands off the regiments you iconoclastic civilians who meddle and muddle in army affairs."
                  Last edited by Groundhog; 10 August 2007, 00:23.
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                  Say NO to violence against Women

                  Originally posted by hedgehog
                  My favourite moment was when the
                  Originally posted by hedgehog
                  red headed old dear got a smack on her ginger head

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                  • #10
                    "Hands off the regiments you iconoclastic civilians who meddle and muddle in army affairs."
                    If the DF's best defence for keeping them is what you have above, then maybe its time we had more "iconoclastic civilians meddling and muddling".
                    "Why, it appears that we appointed all of our worst generals to command the armies and we appointed all of our best generals to edit the newspapers. I mean, I found by reading a newspaper that these editor generals saw all of the defects plainly from the start but didn't tell me until it was too late. I'm willing to yield my place to these best generals and I'll do my best for the cause by editing a newspaper"
                    Gen. Robert E. Lee

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Viking View Post
                      If the DF's best defence for keeping them is what you have above, then maybe its time we had more "iconoclastic civilians meddling and muddling".
                      What I outlined above is realpolitik. The best defence for keeping the Arty etc is that we might need them in future. Iconoclastic civilians care solely about pennypinching, not about improving the DF or any other public service for that matter.
                      sigpic
                      Say NO to violence against Women

                      Originally posted by hedgehog
                      My favourite moment was when the
                      Originally posted by hedgehog
                      red headed old dear got a smack on her ginger head

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Groundhog View Post
                        What I outlined above is realpolitik. The best defence for keeping the Arty etc is that we might need them in future. Iconoclastic civilians care solely about pennypinching, not about improving the DF or any other public service for that matter.
                        GH Why do you say this?

                        The thread "Why have a DF at all" asks all the same questions, although originally slanted towards the RDF.

                        The army has to manage on a budget. Is the best way to do this not to get value for money.

                        As you saiid
                        Originally posted by Groundhog View Post
                        The Cav should revert/convert to an armoured corps or convert to amechanised infantry battalion and do some real soldiering.
                        Would this not be better use of scarce resources?
                        Could the same be applied to AD and Artillery?
                        Last edited by luchi; 10 August 2007, 11:08.
                        Without supplies no army is brave.

                        —Frederick the Great,

                        Instructions to his Generals, 1747

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Groundhog View Post
                          What I outlined above is realpolitik. The best defence for keeping the Arty etc is that we might need them in future. Iconoclastic civilians care solely about pennypinching, not about improving the DF or any other public service for that matter.
                          I think it's an exaggeration to say that civilians (99%+ of the population, don't forget) don't care about the Defence Forces. My guess would be that if you did an opinion survey, a large majority would say that Ireland should have a Defence Force, and they would also say they are proud of the DF's operations abroad. However it would probably also show that most people know little or nothing about the Defence Forces, how they're organised, equipped, their roles....

                          But that passive public support shouldn't mean that the Defence Forces have a blank cheque, nor does it remove a duty of maximising effectiveness and efficiency. Over €1 billion of taxpayers' money is spent on the Defence Forces every year, so there ought to be accountability. If as you suggest - and my guess is there is some truth in what you say - that the DF are reluctant to make changes primarily for institutional reasons (reducing the number of promotion posts for officers, for example), then this is wrong and must be addressed.

                          On the other hand, according to the current White Paper setting out defence policy - due to be renewed in the next couple of years - Ireland is committed to maintaining a small light conventional military force, so as to be able to respond to "contingencies", or whatever might happen, in other words. A conventional military force should be balanced and composed of all arms - infantry, artillery, armour/cavalry/recce, and aviation - together with the various command, staff and support services. The question for the next White Paper is whether a traditional military structure such as this is the most appropriate force for a small secure European country such as Ireland, for the next decade.
                          Last edited by thebig C; 21 August 2007, 21:13.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by X-RayOne View Post
                            "With the phasing out of the specialist roles within conventional ops, the Cav were left with the option to adapt to the CTR role or die."

                            i've been following the Mobile Gun System thread and a few posts have got me thinking....is the cavalry corps as we know it today an old fashioned organisation being kept for traditional purposes?
                            I think people are missing the point of Cavalry. A Battalion Recce Platoon recces objectives as set out by the Bn Cmdr - ie Bn Objectives. An example could be a major bridge over a large water obstacle. Each Coy and Pl will also normally conduct reconnaissance for its own objective - routes to obj etc. Cavalry is a Bde asset and will conduct reconnaissance of brigade objectives. Amalgamating Infantry & Cavalry will just blind the Bde commander.

                            For the Irish perspective, you either have a bde or you do not. Bdes exist therefore they need recce units. They also provide fast mobile creening units that most Battalions cannot provide for themselves.

                            With so much emphasis being placed on ISTARs nowadays and the obvious need for it, I'm surprised people are questioning the need for Cavalry.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Viking View Post
                              If we are assessing the need for the various corps surely the first for the chop should be field artillery? Given the likely roles of the DF - ATCP and UN - are we ever realistically going to need the capibility to rain steel down on an area? Even if we do, have we the logistics support to allow that to happen?
                              the army took 120mm mortars to the congo and DID rain steel down on various are's also took same piece of kit to the leb (not exactly sure how they used them, but they deffo had them)
                              But there's no danger
                              It's a professional career
                              Though it could be arranged
                              With just a word in Mr. Churchill's ear
                              If you're out of luck you're out of work
                              We could send you to johannesburg.

                              (Elvis Costello, Olivers Army)

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