Horse Artillery

  • General History
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

The term Horse Artillery is sometimes a misnomer. In the Age of “Horse Drawn” Artillery, two-wheeled Caissons, supported a wide range of Artillery. Limbers (two-wheeled Ammunition Carriages) were moved by teams of two harnessed Horses. Once placed, these Teams would be moved to a safe location  (rearward). With the tactic of Horse Artillery  (sometimes known as “Flying Sections”, because of their speed), Teams of four Horses would quickly move and place Artillery Batteries (often under heavy Enemy fire), and stand by near. This allowed for not only quick placement, but quick withdrawal if need be. Traditionally, Horse Cavalry used heavier or larger Cannon. These could support smaller Field Guns already deployed


A drawback with Horse Artillery was many times Horses were killed, thus enabling an Enemy the chance to capture a Gun. Despite this, Horse Artillery became an effective tactic in the 19th Century. Horse Artillerymen, in addition to Gunners – were often heavily armed with Musket, Pistol and Sword (very much as Medium to Heavy Cavalry would be). Uniforms varied by Nation, but most adopted a Hussar-type appearance (based on it’s  ease in mobility). However, with advances in Artillery and related technology – coupled with the demise of The Horse Cavalry, most Horse Artillery ceased by World War I.