10 December 2021


How you get to the fight kind of defines your title.

Infantry walk.

Dragoons (aka mounted infantry, aka mechanized infantry) ride, then dismount to fight.

Cavalry fight mounted.

For most of the "Old West" era, the cavalry was really dragoons.  They rode to contact with the enemy then dismounted.

Some people get confused here because the infantry often traveled on mules for several of the big campaigns.  This doesn't make them dragoons because they dismount well before contact.  The same idea applies to motorized infantry, the trucks don't go far enough forward to take fire.  Trucks (and mules) cost money, they're not to be squandered!

Believe it or not, it has nothing to do with them using mules as mounts.

You can cavalry from a mule, you're just going to be slow and the mule will likely file a grievance and go on strike.  Army mules have an EXCELLENT union!


  1. Problem with mules is they aren't stupid enough to allow themselves, usually, to charge other things that can hurt them.

    Horses, on the other hand, are just stupid enough to allow themselves to be trained to charge other things that can hurt them. Especially if one uses blinders and chamfrons that obstruct vision.

    The 'find a wild horse and turn it into a cavalry mount just by jumping on it' trope in books and movies just tickles me. Training a war horse is a long and complicated process. Training a dragoon mount or a mounted infantry mount is much easier, but still takes some serious training to keep them (the horses) from killing themselves once large amounts of noise magically appears and lots of blood smell wafts through the air. Especially when bloody dragoons and infantry try to get back up on the horses.

    1. GURPS even has rules for trained vs untrained horses and charges more for a trained oat-burner.


You are a guest here when you comment. Be polite. Inappropriate comments will be deleted without mention. Amnesty period is expired.

Do not go off on a tangent, stay with the topic of the post. If I can't tell what your point is in the first couple of sentences I'm flushing it.

If you're trying to comment anonymously: Sign your work.

Anonymous comments must pass a higher bar than others. Repeat offenders must pass an even higher bar.

If you can't comprehend this, don't comment; because I'm going to moderate and mock you for wasting your time.