Mobilizing in 1914. Horses

A forum for general topics and questions.
Post Reply
User avatar
Pat Holscher
Website Admin
Posts: 26689
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2000 6:51 pm
Medals: 2
Last Name: Holscher
Location: USA
:
Society Member Donation - Origin
Contact:

Mobilizing in 1914. Horses

Post by Pat Holscher » Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:38 pm

This question was posted on the WWI list:
Roughly four million horses marched with the armies in August 1914. A month earlier they had mustered scarcely ten percent of this number. One of the very first things on the "to-do" list of each of the armies, even before formal mobilization, was the purchase of hundreds of thousands of equines. (It says something about the horse population of the time that it was possible to do this.)

Most of the horses were to draw supply wagons, but a significant minority were for field artillery traction, mounts, or other specialized service requiring special training. It's clear from what I've read that the Germans in peacetime had not enough teams for all of their artillery, nor mounts for all of their officers. I presume that the other armies were in similar state.

Does anyone know how the armies of 1914 handled this?
We have threads on the remount efforts of various nations here, but I can't find one just on mobilization in 1914. It's an interesting question as the swelling size of the armies would have required a rapid effort. What about the period of July to November 1914? What was done.
Pat

Animadvertistine, ubicumque stes, fumum recta in faciem ferri?

User avatar
Pat Holscher
Website Admin
Posts: 26689
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2000 6:51 pm
Medals: 2
Last Name: Holscher
Location: USA
:
Society Member Donation - Origin
Contact:

Post by Pat Holscher » Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:29 am

This topic is receiving some interesting replies on the WWI List. I may link in some of the replies there, but I"m really interested to see what will develop here. Interesting topic.
Pat

Animadvertistine, ubicumque stes, fumum recta in faciem ferri?

User avatar
Pat Holscher
Website Admin
Posts: 26689
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2000 6:51 pm
Medals: 2
Last Name: Holscher
Location: USA
:
Society Member Donation - Origin
Contact:

Post by Pat Holscher » Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:21 am

One of the list replies:
In the case of Britain, the army possessed the power, renewed every year in the Army Act, to seize horses and vehicles from civilians in time of war. This had not been used in generations but, as part of the planning for a possible war (Hans take note):

The 1909 Army Act empowered the police to carry out a Census of Vehicles and Horses for requisition in wartime. There were problems – the police weren’t horse experts, complained about the cost (in London it equalled the annual salaries for seven sergeants) and one Chief Constable complained it broke the bond of trust between public and police. The 1911 Army Act made the Census the responsibility of the Territorial Force (predecessors of the Territorial Army). Their 1913 census earmarked thousands of horses for requisition if necessary, noting 589,401 were available for army duties.
In August 1914 the Army and Territorial Force required 135,695 extra horses immediately, which were requisitioned (and paid for) within days. By June 1915 they’d requisitioned 70,000 heavy horses (8% of the total used in agriculture) and 25% of the entire saddle horse stock. Importation of horses, first from Canada then as far afield as Argentina, began in September 1914.
Liverpool and Avonmouth were ports of entry for horses, with special reception camps at Ormskirk and Shirehampton. Romsey was a training and conditioning depot and Swaythling Depot sent horses direct to France.


The Horse Census was, apparently, based on systems already in use in France and Germany so presumably they had a similar requisitioning system.
Pat

Animadvertistine, ubicumque stes, fumum recta in faciem ferri?

Post Reply

Return to “Public Forum - General Topics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest