Last cavalry charge in History

Last cavalry charge in History

Italian cavalry charge in Izbushensky

Cavalry charges were very usual from Ancient history until 19th century, but with the appearance of some modern weapons like the machine gun and the motorization and mechanization of the armies, their power went down very fast until they disappeared during 20th century. Even so, some cavalry charges took place after The Great War, some of them even after the start of World War 2, the war that changed the War Theory drastically.

On August 24, 1942 (some sources place the action on August 23), about 600 Italian cavalrymen from the Savoia Cavalleria Italian cavalry regiment charge, with sabres drawn, charge towards 2.000 infantrymen from the 812th Siberian Rifle Regiment (part of the 304th Rifle Division). It is known as the Izbushensky charge due to the location where it took place, and it is known as the last cavalry charge in History even though some charges may have taken place after this one during World War 2 (including a charge conducted by the 1st Italian Cavalry Division Eugenio di Savoia) and even after.

That day, the Italians charge towards the Soviets and using hand grenades and sabres bring about many casualties on the defenders.  Italians suffered casualties too, including 32 dead (the commanders of the 3rd and 4th squadrons among them), 52 wounded and 100 horses dead. Even though the action was a quite small skirmish, Italian propaganda used this action widely. That is the story of the ‘last cavalry charge in History’.

Sources

Jesse Greenspan. “Remembering History’s Last Major Cavalry Charges.” History. 23 Aug. 2012
<https://www.history.com/news/the-last-major-cavalry-charge-70-years-ago>.

“Charge of the Savoia Cavalleria at Izbyshensky”. Wikipedia. 19 Jul. 2018 <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charge_of_the_Savoia_Cavalleria_at_Izbushensky>.

#ADayLikeToday in 1943, Kharkov was definitely liberated

Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev

Map of the Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev

A day like today in 1943, Kharkov was definitely liberated by the Red Army after two years been captured by both sides. The city and its nearest region was a very active war zone during those first two years of the Soviet-German War. If we look at the German terminology, there were four battles for the city, named First Battle of Kharkov, Second, etc.

The last one (named Fourth Battle of Kharkov by the Germans and Belgorod-Kharkov Strategic Offensive Operation by the Soviets) finished on August 23rd, 1943. The city was captured the last day of Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev, one of the Soviets’ operations carried out after Operation Citadelle. The Operation was performed by the Voronezh and Steppe Fronts and was commanded by Ivan Konev. In addition to the capture of the city, the German 4th Panzer Army and Army Detachment Kempf were seriously damaged.

Besides the capture of Kharkov, on August 23rd the Battle for Kursk came to its end. It started on July 5th and after one month and a half, the Soviet Union regained control of several cities along with several thousand square kilometres. The Red Army suffered incredible casualties but the German Armed Forced would never recover from this defeat.