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Old 3rd November 2017, 05:10 PM   #61
Dmitry
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
No. Its a known fact that cavalry were despised for their lance tactics..How many references repeat this..Flopping off ones horse was very bad..in a melee...it was the end!! Not a myth for what its worth..but fair comment...

Im giving you the benefit of the doubt; which contemporary eyewitness sources are you relying upon?
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Old 3rd November 2017, 06:35 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
May i admit that i tend to fully agree with the essence of Dmitry's last posts.

In a another perspecive, i find it amazing to see how wide the amplex of discussions on any determined weapon may reach; as close to discuss Gunga Din (that his name ?) underwear colour ... if you guys know what i mean .

BTW ... does it pass through your minds, english speaking guys, how many meanings there are for the PC initials ? .



Actually I mentioned the movie "Last of the Bengal Lancers" as it was a theme obviously referring to the use of the lance in British cavalry in India, which seemed to have some bearing on the discussion at hand. Wayne mentioned the movie "Gunga Din" not only because of the period objective, but because there were scenes in the movie that showed lances in use in the same theme. I don't recall any discussion of 'underwear' but as you have shown interest, Sam Jaffee was wearing a loincloth (as Gunga Din) in the movie.
The PC comment was I think simply to note the differences in the movie making etc. of today vs. the often licentious portrayals in movies of those times. I am always surprised at the awareness of all the people I communicate with in many countries who are sometimes more aware of such popularly used acronyms and buzz words than many people here in the U.S.

With the notes on lancers being quite despised, it was that it was thought less than honorable in combat to contact your opponent at a safe distance, as well as the horrifying prospect of being skewered on a pole. Also there were the realities of the often not immediately fatal wounds which carried debris from clothing (or even pennons) deep into the wounds bringing about fatal and lingering sepsis.
I will try to find my notes which were actually discussing 'the use of the lance' as well as circumstances surrounding those who used them.

One of the true reasons there were as many fatalities in the famed charge of the Royal Scots Greys at Waterloo in 1815 was that in the chaos which rather inherently results as the horsemen broke through the French redoubts, the Greys became scattered and unable to regroup. As the survivors scattered through the smoke and din, and officers lost among this, the French lancers were moving through these areas and with stunned riders or injured on the ground did dispatch many more of the Greys.

While not necessarily uncommon in battle, dispatching the wounded enemy, it is the thought of the lance having such dastardly connotation, which led to more disdain. The use of sword, knife or pistol in carrying out this common practice does not absolve the act regardless of weapon used.

It is most interesting to look at the historical perspectives concerning a certain weapon as often the manner of their use or the persons using them offer us clues in identifying them as well as often the period in use.
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Old 3rd November 2017, 10:46 PM   #63
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I found the following on the perceived ruthlessness of lancers:

In the memoirs of Waterloo, the French lancers, galloping at will over the battlefield, sending saber-armed cavalry fleeing before them, and calmly stopping to finish off the wounded without even having to dismount, appear as an image of horror. Wyndham of the Scots Grays saw the lancers pursuing British dragoons who had lost their mounts and were trying to save themselves on foot. He noted the ruthlessness of the lancers' pursuit and watched them cut their victims down. Some British cavalrymen on foot slipped in the mud and tried to ward off the lance blows with their hands but without much success.
At Waterloo Sir Ponsonby together with his adjutant, Major Reignolds made a dash to own line, and a French lancer quickly began pursuing them. While they were crossing a plowed field, Ponsonby's horse got stuck in the mud in an instant, the lancer was upon him. Ponsonby threw his saber away and surrendered. Reignolds came to his aid, but the lancer compelled both of them to dismount under the threat of his lance. At that moment, a small group of Scots Grays happened to pass a short distance away, saw the three, and galloped shouting in their direction with the idea of liberating Sir Ponsonby. "In a flash, the Frenchman killed the general and his brigade major with 2 blows of his lance, then boldly charged the oncoming dragoons striking down 3 in less than a minute. The others abandoned the combat, completely incapable of holding their own against the enemy's deadly weapon." (Barbero - "The Battle" p 163)

http://www.napolun.com/mirror/web2....y_Napoleon.html
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Old 3rd November 2017, 11:29 PM   #64
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Victrix, I thank you so much for that most telling account. That is exactly the scenario I was thinking of in my description, but could not find the source in which I had it.
There are of course many myths in the lore of battle, but many of the described notions held by historians are well founded such as this case.

Artillery levied a heavy toll on other ranks in battle, but I have never heard of any specific animosity toward them by troops as they were overrun or in many cases captured. Usually when defeat was imminent, guns would be abandoned but not without being 'spiked' or rendered otherwise useless if possible.

There are many sides of the perspectives of combat, and no particular account can say exactly how matters were between combatants. In this case, a contemporary account is shown regarding the lancers which illustrates the disdain for them as described.
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Old 4th November 2017, 12:13 AM   #65
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Yes thank you Jim, the account does seem to support your notion. Callous but brave seems a good description of the lancers. Sticking down the poor unarmed General Ponsonby does not seem like good sport, although charging the numerically superior dragoons was undeniably brave.
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Old 4th November 2017, 01:13 PM   #66
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Being a Lancer was fraught with danger and at the second battle of El Teb a particular danger was outlined here~

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First...ttles_of_El_Teb

Quote" After a brief artillery duel, the Mahdist guns were silenced, and the British advanced. The Mahdists hid in trenches to avoid incoming British rifle and artillery rounds, then rushed out in small groups of twenty to thirty warriors instead of the massive attack that was expected. Another tactic was to pretend to lie dead on the battlefield as British cavalry charged through, then, as the cavalry returned at a slower pace back through the ranks of the 'dead', the Mahdists would rise up and slit the hamstrings of the horses then proceed to kill the riders. At the top of the hill, a village had been fortified by the Mahdists, and here they resisted the most stubbornly. The British infantry had to clear the trenches with bayonets after which the fighting died down."Unquote.
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Old 4th November 2017, 06:04 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
...Actually I mentioned the movie "Last of the Bengal Lancers" as it was a theme obviously referring to the use of the lance in British cavalry in India, which seemed to have some bearing on the discussion at hand... Wayne mentioned the movie "Gunga Din" not only because of the period objective, but because there were scenes in the movie that showed lances in use in the same theme...

I don't recall such movie being exhibited over here, but i remember well one called "The Lives of a Bengal Lancer" here ran as "Lanceiros da India", with Gary Cooper (1935). I fail to remember if i managed to see it, potentialy by not being able to afford it or for being under age. So i ignore whether the name lancer was just their 'title' or if in fact they used lances on the field .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
I don't recall any discussion of 'underwear' but as you have shown interest, Sam Jaffee was wearing a loincloth (as Gunga Din) in the movie...

What an entry Jim; one you would label as 'absolutely superb' . I take a note on such well documented Gunga's outer wear. I know that you mentioned it to be of my interest, but i believe you knew my reach was instead a screamingly distinct one; like hoping that this thread, resurrected from 2012, would not now conduct its colateral fait divers to something like 'The art of killing with a lance" .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
... The PC comment was I think simply to note the differences in the movie making etc. of today vs. the often licentious portrayals in movies of those times...

I knew what Wayne mean, as one. I was trying to mark a thinking out score in that, such acronym out there has several meanings, personal computer for one. But all in all my reach was to distract us from derailing from the lance subject per se to a (more) gory periphery. Any battle weapon and its user are intendedly meant to damage the enemy; but i take it that we are not here to compete on whether one is more critisizable or damnable than the other

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
... I am always surprised at the awareness of all the people I communicate with in many countries who are sometimes more aware of such popularly used acronyms and buzz words than many people here in the U.S. ...

Is that a true inferrement ?. To make it right about such assumption, one would have to make a comparison between peoples of similar cultural levels and not (like often) comprehending an illiterate from one side with a well informed from the other, a rather common comparison driving to fake conclusion. Certainly many of us are not aware that the "politically correct" term was a movement that gained populariry in America by the nineties. Notably these depictions were perhaps expanded in the times of Gunga Din (for one) to reafirm prejudice, but eventually nowadays, we keep seeing in the movies, scenes of similar impact but, on the contrary, as a manner to condemn them.
But i couldn't go without quoting a member who prefered to do it by PM, on grounds that he wouldn't wish to stir further the off topic pot, in that a good example of PC is "Johnny Depp playing tonto in the lone ranger, no matter how good he is in the role" .

Apparently there is not much (easily affordable) info on the web about Portuguese lances. In any case a rather resumed story, as the origin of lancers forces is more than well identified.
Avoiding to risk repeating how much has being said about this subject, i will here just upload the pennants timely used by Portuguese forces, minding that our Lancers units became the current Military Police.
Noteworthy that, the purpose of pennants in the midle ages was aledgedly that of both identifying the heraldic sign of their knights and impressing the adversary with their 'flaming' waves. This could be true or not, but surely less gory than its purpose being to soak them with the enemy's blood, a not so romantic approach .

1 - 1833-1890
2 - 1890-1891
3 - 1891- actuality
4 - Military (army) Police since 1980.
5 - A lancer of the 'old' British 17th regiment, the emblem and motto adopted by the Portuguese 2nd. Lancers.

.
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Last edited by fernando : 4th November 2017 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 4th November 2017, 06:39 PM   #68
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i note the skull & crossed bones of no. 4 were used long before pirates (and johnny depp ) as a sign of death, and is frequently found on grave stones and markers in catacombs. i will assume there is nothing piratical about your police force's use of the decoration since 1980. it is used by an assortment of modern military units to signify ferocity.

i note from wiki' skull and crossbones entry that:

The 2nd Lancers Regiment of the Portuguese Army also use the skull and crossbones as symbol and "Death or Glory" as motto, as the regiment was raised by a former colonel of the British 17th Lancers.
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Old 4th November 2017, 07:39 PM   #69
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Charge of the 16th Lancers at the Battle of Aliwal by Mark Churms.

The 16th Lancers were part of General Sir Harry Smith's army consisitng of the British and Bengali army of 12,000 men and 30 guns against the Sikh army of 30,000 men and 67 guns of Ranjodh Singh during the First Sikh War which was fought on the 28th January 1848 in the Punjab in the North West of India. This painting depicts the 16th Lancers which were part of Brigadier Macdowell's brigade consisitng of the 16th Queen's Lancers, 3rd Bengal Light Cavalry and 4th Bengal Irregular Cavalry. The 16th Lancers charged several times during the action, breaking a number of Sikh infantry squares and overrunning a battery of Sikh artillery. The Lancers are shown wearing over their chapkas the white cotton cover which had been adopted for service in the tropics.
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Old 4th November 2017, 07:57 PM   #70
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Good response Fernando!!
My bad on that movie title, "Last of the Bengal Lancers" was actually the book title of my late friend, Brig. Francis Ingall, who wrote that book as his biography about his service in these units in the Khyber Agency in the 30s.

The Gary Cooper movies was indeed "Lives of a Bengal Lancer" which was if I recall another autobiography by a British officer in the same period and regions.

On the underwear, of course I knew what you meant using analogy and was just responding in that same vein. I also realize that the discussion had taken an unfortunate but often unavoidable course in recognizing certain aspects of the use of a weapon. While understandable that we should not dwell on these matters, for those of us who are more historians than collectors, we often must include perspectives that are not always pleasant.
Actually warfare itself is not pleasant, but we are studying weapons, so it is sometimes a necessary evil to put the good with the bad I guess.
You are right though, to try to minimize such details as possible.

The PC served well as a deviation, as I admit the topic was one encountered quite often in our pages, and always seems to get the editorial wheels grinding. Unfortunately, those kinds of topics usually end up with heated and conflicting results, even threads being closed.

The input on the lance pennons and detail toward Portuguese use is great! and the illustrations much appreciated. As you have noted, and as I have found in several sources, the pennon apparently did serve as an identifying element, contrary to what I had said in an earlier post. In certain cases there were separate units who had varied color combinations to specify themselves for reforming on maneuvers.
However, most of these lancer units seem to have used a nationally specific combination, such as black & white, Germany; red & white Poland (later adopted by England in recognition of the Polish ).

The notion of blood soaking cloth falls into the myth and lore category so often rampant in weapons study, and along with 'blood gutters' in sword blades, has in my view been thoroughly debunked.

Wayne, well noted about the skull and crossbones, a topic we have often covered in the many threads on pirates and their lore. As you have shown, this symbol goes back a long way into history, and was indeed used around burial places signifying of course death.
Actually the piratical connotation is believed to derive from the fact that in ships logs and rosters, a sailor when deceased had this symbol drawn next to his name. As many sailors became pirates, they recalled the practice, and considered themselves effectively 'outlaw' or 'dead to the world', thus the symbol for these brethren of the sea. Alternatively, the foreboding symbol of course signified death, or more accurately the 'no quarter' implication often flown by these pirates, previously signified by the 'red flag'.

The color red in signifying 'no quarter' was well known among Spanish forces as well, termed 'deguello' and accompanied by a musical durge (as seen in "The Alamo" movie). Perhaps the red color and addition of the skull and crossbones lent to the pennon choice seen here.

Ibrahiim, excellent image of the charge of the 16th Lancers at Aliwal. If I may momentarily deviate to certain significance of a 'gory' circumstance lending itself to history and thereby, tradition.
After this battle, there were many of these lances so encrusted with dried blood they were actually crimped. It became a custom of this unit to 'crimp' their pennons in honor of that battle. Years later, the custom was adopted by troopers of the RCMP in Canada, however was abandoned when Queen Victoria objected to their use of a hallowed tradition held by the British 16th Lancers.

Last edited by Jim McDougall : 4th November 2017 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 4th November 2017, 08:24 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
... I will assume there is nothing piratical about your police force's use of the decoration since 1980. it is used by an assortment of modern military units to signify ferocity...

Currently an infantile taste, i must say

Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
... I note from wiki' skull and crossbones entry that:
The 2nd Lancers Regiment of the Portuguese Army also use the skull and crossbones as symbol and "Death or Glory" as motto, as the regiment was raised by a former colonel of the British 17th Lancers.

As mentioned above in pennant no. 5; and as i said, Portuguese (real) lancers units gave place to military police units, their barracks/units still being called of Lanceiros.

That guy in the right of your picture; was by then minister of Defence.
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Old 4th November 2017, 09:27 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
... You are right though, to try to minimize such details as possible ...

A difficult task for an arms historian, so i see ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
... The notion of blood soaking cloth falls into the myth and lore category so often rampant in weapons study, and along with 'blood gutters' in sword blades ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
...If I may momentarily deviate to certain significance of a 'gory' circumstance lending itself to history and thereby, tradition. After this battle, there were many of these lances so encrusted with dried blood they were actually crimped. It became a custom of this unit to 'crimp' their pennons in honor of that battle...

Haven't you already narrated this chapter in post #41 of this thread

Take care .
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Old 4th November 2017, 11:36 PM   #73
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Yup, sure did, but often the previous posts are overlooked, so reiterating is helpful, especially if a passage is necessary for a point.
You're right too, it is hard to be a historian in the world of collectors and dealers, and what I have come to understand as separate worlds.
Thanks again for the informative entries.
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Old 4th November 2017, 11:40 PM   #74
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Interesting thread.
Hope to add a lance to my collection some day.

Here is a picture I took at a demonstration last may 2017 at Huis Doorn (NL)

Best regards,
Willem
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Old 8th November 2017, 08:03 PM   #75
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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The 16th Lancers at Aliwal.
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