Sunday, March 06, 2005
Mechanizing the Cavalry Regiments
The Cavalry regiments were not excited about giving up their horses for motor vehicles. The 9th Lancers, in 1936, were commanded by Charles Norman (later a Major-General and commander of the 8th Armoured Division). Their initial equipment were Carden-Lloyd carriers which were very unreliable when run for any distance. They carried out exercises around Tidworth with their carriers. At the end of every exercise, the countryside was strewn with broken down carriers with their cavalrymen occupants. A mobile meal service was created to feed them while they waited for the recovery services to retrieve them. By 12937, they had the earliest light tanks, along with a very few Lt.Mk.V's, which were a better vehicle. Their main drawback was that they had just been returned from Egypt, as they needed repairs to be operational again, after ingesting sand. Such was the life of a newly-mechanized cavalryman.