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British Cavalry

Although courageous and reputedly the best mounted cavalry in Europe, British cavalry of the Napoleonic wars was notorious for being extremely difficult to control after a successful charge. More than once, the British cavalry would charge, break the French, and go off in an uncontrolled pursuit - only to be routed when French cavalry counterattacked. The most famous incident of this being the Charge of the Scots Greys at Waterloo. This habit lead Wellington to comment (three years earlier), "Our cavalry officers have acquired the trick of galloping at everything and then galloping back as fast as they gallop at the enemy. One would think they cannot manoeuvre except on Wimbledon Common." This distrust of his cavalry led Wellington to rely on his "invincibles" - his highly respected Peninsular infantry - instead of his cavalry.

The British did not have all the variations of cavalry as the French had. British cavalry was limited only to the following types:

 

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