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U.S. Special Forces Joined Charge On Horseback Against Taliban
Bloomberg.com | November 15, 2001 | Tony Capaccio

Posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:12 PM PST by Stand Watch Listen

Washington -- U.S. special forces working with the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan have ridden in cavalry charges against Taliban militia positions, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said.

``In Afghanistan, a country we think of in somewhat medieval terms, our special forces have taken a page from the past, from the history of the horse cavalry with our soldiers armed with swords and rifles, maneuvering on horseback,'' Wolfowitz said in a speech last night.

The Pentagon has said in general terms that U.S. special forces are working with Northern Alliance units to improve their military tactics, coordinate among their factions and direct strikes by U.S. aircraft against Taliban targets.

Wolfowitz read excerpts from declassified field reports that describe some of the experiences of those special forces in battle.

``I am advising a man on how best to employ light infantry and horse cavalry in the attack against Taliban T-55 (tanks), mortars, artillery, personnel carriers and machine guns -- a tactic which I think became outdated with the invention of the Gatling gun,'' wrote one commando in an October 25 report, Wolfowitz said. ``They have done this every day we have been on the ground.''

``I have observed a gunner who walked 10 plus miles to get to the fight, who was proud to show me his artificial right leg from the knee down,'' said the report.

The dispatch relayed how Northern Alliance horsemen ``bounded from spur to spur to attack Taliban strong points -- the last several kilometers under mortar, artillery fire. They have killed over 125 Taliban while losing only eight,'' the commando wrote.

``And with that,'' said Wolfowitz, ``one of our amazing special forces members went off on a cavalry charge with a Northern Alliance commander.''

Modern Communications

Wolfowitz noted that in addition to attacking with cavalry, U.S. special forces have used 21st century communications equipment to ``direct close air support and bomber strikes, sometimes from halfway around the world.''

In one instance, a U.S. soldier described calling in air strikes to stop an attack by Taliban troops and avoid being overrun, according to a declassified report Wolfowitz read.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has hinted that the role of special forces will increase in hunting down Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders as they retreat from strongholds such as Mazar-e-Sharif and Jalalabad.

Special forces teams are operating on their own in southern Afghanistan calling in air strikes on retreating Taliban and al- Qaeda forces, ``interdicting'' their retreat, Rumsfeld said yesterday.

No Ramadan Pause

Wolfowitz said the U.S. will continue bombing Taliban and al- Qaeda forces during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which starts this weekend. There has been speculation that the bombing strikes would slow out of deference to Muslims and because the Taliban and al-Qaeda forces are in retreat.

``We have made it clear from the beginning that there are objectives that have got to be pursued regardless of Ramadan,'' Wolfowitz told Bloomberg News.

``Most Muslims understand that,'' Wolfowitz said. ``Obviously, we're sensitive to the fact that it's the holiest part of the Muslim year and that may have some tactical impact but we have to continue prosecuting this war. Hopefully, we'll have a lot less than we have to do by the time Ramadan comes to an end.''


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
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1 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:12 PM PST by Stand Watch Listen
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To: Stand Watch Listen
``And with that,'' said Wolfowitz, ``one of our amazing special forces members went off on a cavalry charge with a Northern Alliance commander.''

Man what a rush that must have been.

2 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:13 PM PST by freedomlover
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To: Stand Watch Listen

3 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:13 PM PST by Diogenesis
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To: Stand Watch Listen
WOW

This might be their only chance to do something like this.

4 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:13 PM PST by Tai_Chung
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To: Stand Watch Listen
We can defeat them on any terms, using any methods.
5 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:13 PM PST by UncleWes
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To: Stand Watch Listen
Anyone know the last time our forces were engaged in a cavalry charge? These guys are going down in the history books.
6 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:14 PM PST by LarryLied
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To: Stand Watch Listen
Not too long ago on FR, somebody posted something that mentioned how the Special Forces receive training in how to use and care for horses and mules.

This is why they do it.

7 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:14 PM PST by r9etb
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To: Diogenesis
Thanks for the Pics :)
8 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:14 PM PST by Fiddlstix
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To: Stand Watch Listen
I bet these guys are loving every minute of this.
9 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:14 PM PST by Brett66
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To: Diogenesis
Dio...

These pics do not look too far removed from Ghengis Kahn....

10 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:15 PM PST by cynicom
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To: Stand Watch Listen
I love the smell of Horse manure in the morning.
11 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:15 PM PST by marty60
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To: LarryLied
I think that the last "official" cavalry charge was by a cav unit (5th? 6th?) in the operation against Pancho Villa in Mexico.
12 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:15 PM PST by BlueLancer
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To: cynicom
These pics do not look too far removed from Ghengis Kahn....

Not too surprising, considering that Afghan society's not too removed from him either.

13 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:15 PM PST by r9etb
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To: BlueLancer
Found this:



26th Cavalry (Philippine Scouts)
The 26th Cavalry (P.S.) was organized in 1922 at Ft. Stotsenburg, Philippine Islands from personnel transferred from the 25th Field Artillery (P.S.) and the 43rd Infantry (P.S.). The regiment was a non-divisional element of the U.S. Army's garrison in the Philippines. Prior to the beginning of World War II the regiment was permanently garrisoned at Ft. Stotsenburg, adjacent to Clark Field.

At the beginning of World War II the 26th participated in the withdrawal of the Filipino and American forces on Luzon to the Bataan Peninsula. In a series of actions in December 1941 and early January of 1942, the regiment was essentially destroyed as an effective fighting force.

It participated in the last horse-mounted combat by any American cavalry regiment. All other cavalry units in the U.S. Army were dismounted and converted to infantry, armor or service units prior to entering combat.

With the surrender of American forces on Bataan in April 1942 the regiment ceased to exist with most of the survivors becoming prisoners of war. Individual American officers and Filipino enlisted personnel continued to fight against the Japanese forces throughout the the war.

The regiment earned the Philippines Islands campaign streamer for World War II.


14 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:26 PM PST by LarryLied
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To: LarryLied
Anyone know the last time our forces were engaged in a cavalry charge? These guys are going down in the history books.

From here: In addition to being a forerunner of modern Special Forces, Ramsey has the distinction of leading the U.S. Army’s last horse cavalry charge on Jan. 16, 1942, in the village of Morogn on the west coast of Bataan.

15 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:26 PM PST by r9etb
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To: LarryLied
OK -- same battle, posted at the same time. Pretty good, eh?
16 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:27 PM PST by r9etb
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To: Stand Watch Listen
our special forces have taken a page from the past, from the history of the horse cavalry with our soldiers armed with swords and rifles, maneuvering on horseback,''

Whoa! Garry Owen!!

17 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:27 PM PST by SuziQ
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To: Stand Watch Listen
This is a great post. Thank you.
18 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:27 PM PST by snippy_about_it
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To: Stand Watch Listen
Here comes the US Cavalry!

From US Cavalry School

19 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:27 PM PST by RippleFire
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Comment #20 Removed by Moderator

To: r9etb
Excellent link - thanks.
21 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:28 PM PST by lodwick
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Wolfowitz speech in streaming video available here [Item #5] .
22 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:28 PM PST by Hipixs
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To: r9etb
The last mounted cavalry charge was during the 11th Cavalry's chase of Pancho Villa into Mexico. No sabers though, at that time the cavalry was armed with the .45 autos. I was with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Germany and this story was recounted at almost every dining-in and formal ceremony.
23 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:29 PM PST by ladtx
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To: RippleFire
Lordy, I hope those guys have been in the saddle PRIOR to hopping on and riding and fighting. Ouchies, if NOT. They'll discover they have muscle aches where they didn't KNOW they had muscles.
24 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:29 PM PST by mommadooo3
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To: Stand Watch Listen
U.S. Special Forces Joined Charge On Horseback Against Taliban

Wait long enough and everything eventually comes back into style!

There are some American soldiers who'll have some stories to tell the grandkids some day.
These lucky few should get some sort of recognition from the 7th Cavalry when hostilities are over!
25 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:29 PM PST by VOA
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To: LarryLied
Here you go:

Ramsey, as a young cavalry lieutenant, led the last horse cavalry charge in American history when his platoon of the 26th Cavalry Regiment (Philippine Scouts) fought the Japanese on Bataan, 1941-42. The story becomes even more remarkable as Ramsey eludes capture and becomes an important leader of the resistance movement until liberation of the Philippines in 1945.

26 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:29 PM PST by JohnGalt
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To: Diogenesis
Thanks for the images...appreciate it.
27 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:29 PM PST by Stand Watch Listen
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To: FFIGHTER
pingaroo, mon frere. Grab one of your quarterhorses and head on over. :D Totally cool beans.
28 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:30 PM PST by austinTparty
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To: JohnGalt
Talk about asymmetrical warfare. Unmanned drones firing Hellfire missiles, B-2 bombers, cavalry charges and a $25 million dollar bounty on Bin Laden. A nice mix.
29 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:30 PM PST by LarryLied
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To: Stand Watch Listen
Give 'em hell bumb!
30 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:30 PM PST by Liberal Classic
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To: Stand Watch Listen
They make a huge deal about using horses, but in reality
the country isn't made for jeeps even if they had them.
(And a jeep isn't exactly made for sneak and creep work.)
We are used to the idea of driving down roads or being flown around
by helicopter, but that isn't the way it works in most of the world.
Riding horses sure beats walking.
31 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:31 PM PST by freefly
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To: freedomlover
My Grandfather was a blacksmith with the U.S. Army in France,1917.He worked horses for the next 50 years,said he would never touch another mule.
32 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:31 PM PST by RIFLES
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To: r9etb
I even spelled Mr. Khans name wrong but, no matter, only the century and the years have changed. Everything else remains the same.
33 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:32 PM PST by cynicom
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To: LarryLied
Talk about asymmetrical warfare. Unmanned drones firing Hellfire missiles, B-2 bombers, cavalry charges and a $25 million dollar bounty on Bin Laden. A nice mix.

Absolutely astounding! But it is the cavalry charges, the fact that some of our special forces, upon seeing the success of these NA tactics, actually mounted steeds and joined in an attack together with the NA, that really knocks me out. I am SO PROUD of the courage of our military folk-GOD BLESS THEM ALL!

34 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:32 PM PST by Republic
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To: Stand Watch Listen
bump
35 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:34 PM PST by Red Jones
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To: JohnGalt
My gradnfather used to tell me that you learn something new every day. He was right.

The caption reads:

`` Edwin P. Ramsey holds the book he wrote describing his exploits as a secret guerrilla fighting Japan in the Philippines in World War II. ''

36 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:38 PM PST by Liberal Classic
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To: JohnGalt
The last ever mounted charge by a Western power was by the Italians in, of all places, the Eastern Front in 1942. It was successful.
37 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:38 PM PST by lavrenti
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To: Liberal Classic
Indeed.
38 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:39 PM PST by JohnGalt
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To: Stand Watch Listen
It was a new T-1 attack horse.

Just wait until we make a "stealth" horse. Or maybe that's been tried before.

39 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:40 PM PST by Aquinasfan
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To: Stand Watch Listen
``In Afghanistan, a country we think of in somewhat medieval terms, our special forces have taken a page from the past, from the history of the horse cavalry with our soldiers armed with swords and rifles, maneuvering on horseback,'' Wolfowitz said in a speech last night.

I want the President to bring these guys forward and give them all special recognition for this. I am serious, this to me is the sign of a true and valiant warrior.

I am impressed!

40 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:41 PM PST by dstog
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To: r9etb
Not too long ago on FR, somebody posted something that mentioned how the Special Forces receive training in how to use and care for horses and mules.

That is entirely correct. An 18D (SF Medic) is trained in veterinary science as well as human medicine. The goal of SF is to train and encourage indigenous people to oppose oppressive armies. One aspect of this training is the recognition that animals as a source of labor (water buffalo, horses, camels, donkeys etc) are very important to a people's survival. In fact, in the last phase of a SF Medic's training, the cadre shoot a goat with a .22 rifle and the candidate must keep the animal alive. If it dies, he fails.

41 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:41 PM PST by Prodigal Son
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To: LarryLied
I bet if someone got in contact with Major Mike Williams a Texan that was in command of the Rhodesian "Grey Scouts", he could probably tell about a couple of attacks on CT's that turned into full cavalry charges. The Grey's were mounted infantry, but I know there had to be a couple of times they forgot to dismount.
42 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:42 PM PST by TEXASPROUD
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To: freefly
Riding horses sure beats walking.

Exactly. I've heard a lot of criticism of the NA for their use of horses against armor. But even the US Army uses dismounted Infantry against tanks. Why would putting an Infantryman on a horse be that much of a shock if it increases his mobility?

43 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:43 PM PST by Prodigal Son
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To: lavrenti
The last ever mounted charge by a Western power was by the Italians in, of all places, the Eastern Front in 1942. It was successful.

Mobility has its advantages...especially against mortar and artillery fire. You either hunker or move it.

44 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:49 PM PST by lepton
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To: lepton
CHARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!

general george custer bump!

45 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:50 PM PST by MetalHeadConservative35
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To: Stand Watch Listen

And I thought the Movie was farfetched!

46 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:51 PM PST by Rebelbase
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To: freefly
Riding horses sure beats walking.

Oh, yeah. My late father joined up in 1937 as a buck private in the 106th Illinois Cavalry. And yes, they rode horses, McClellan saddles and the whole bit - he cried (and he wasn't alone) when, in 1941, they took them away. But the Army had mules all throughout WWII, and in the very rough country in Italy, in particular, that was a primary means of supply.

I still have his original sidearm, a .45 ACP revolver. And the 106th still has an association. About 10 years ago Dad went to a reunion and came back shocked - "Damn, boy, those guys are old!" Uh, yeah. But they'll smile when they read this story.

47 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:51 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: Prodigal Son
What we really ought to do is revive the horse soldiers on a limited basis and use them to close off our borders in the remote areas of the country.
48 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:52 PM PST by Himyar
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To: freedomlover
A rush indeed, breaths new life into the "saddle up" order...
49 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:52 PM PST by in the Arena
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To: in the Arena
The Duke would be proud!


50 posted on 11/16/2001 1:16:54 PM PST by Azzurri
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