Dragoon

Dragoons originally were a class of mounted infantry, who used horses for mobility, but dismounted to fight on foot. From the early 18th century onward, dragoons were increasingly also employed as conventional cavalry, trained for combat with swords from horseback.[1]

Dragoon regiments were established in most European armies during the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

The name is derived from a type of firearm, called a "dragon", which was a handgun version of a blunderbuss, carried by dragoons of the French Army.[2][3]

The title has been retained in modern times by a number of armoured or ceremonial mounted regiments.

Battle of Jena
French dragoons with captured Prussian flag at the Battle of Jena

Origins and name

Dragonnades430
Cartoon of a French dragoon intimidating a Huguenot in the dragonnades
Leonard Wintorowski Österreichisch-ungarische Dragoner 1915
Austro-Hungarian dragoons 1915, by Leonard Wintorowski

The establishment of dragoons evolved from the practice of sometimes transporting infantry by horse when speed of movement was needed. In 1552 Prince Alexander of Parma mounted several companies of infantry on pack horses to achieve surprise.[4] Another early instance was ordered by Louis of Nassau in 1572 during operations near Mons in Hainaut, when 500 infantry were transported this way.[4] It is also suggested the first dragoons were raised by the Marshal de Brissac in 1600.[5] According to old German literature, dragoons were invented by Count Ernst von Mansfeld, one of the greatest German military commanders, in the early 1620s. There are other instances of mounted infantry predating this. However Mansfeld, who had learned his profession in Hungary and the Netherlands, often used horses to make his foot troops more mobile, creating what was called an "armée volante" (French for flying army).

The name possibly derives from an early weapon, a short wheellock called a dragon, because the first dragoons raised in France had their carbine's muzzle decorated with a dragon's head. The practice comes from a time when all gunpowder weapons had distinctive names, including the culverin, serpentine, falcon, falconet, etc.[6] It is also sometimes claimed a galloping infantryman with his loose coat and the burning match resembled a dragon.[7]

It has also been suggested that the name derives from the German "tragen" or the Dutch "dragen", both being the verb "to carry" in their respective languages. Howard Reid (filmmaker) claims that the name and role descend from the Latin Draconarius.[8]

Use as a verb

Dragoon is occasionally used as a verb to mean to subjugate or persecute by the imposition of troops; and by extension to compel by any violent measures or threats. The term dates from 1689, at a time when dragoons were being used by the French monarchy to persecute Protestants, particularly by forcing Protestants to lodge a dragoon in their house to watch over them, at the householder's expense.[9]

Early history and role

Early dragoons were not organized in squadrons or troops as were cavalry, but in companies like the infantry: their officers and non-commissioned officers bore infantry ranks. Dragoon regiments used drummers, not buglers, to communicate orders on the battlefield. The flexibility of mounted infantry made dragoons a useful arm, especially when employed for what would now be termed "internal security" against smugglers or civil unrest, and on line of communication security duties. During the English Civil War dragoons were used for a variety of tasks: providing outposts, holding defiles or bridges in the front or rear of the main army, lining hedges or holding enclosures, and providing dismounted musketeers to support regular cavalry.[10]. In the closing stages of the Battle of Naseby Okey's Dragoons, who had started the action as dismounted musketeers, got on their horses and charged, possibly the first time this was done. Supplied with inferior horses and more basic equipment, the dragoon regiments were cheaper to recruit and maintain than the expensive regiments of cavalry. When in the 17th century Gustav II Adolf introduced dragoons into the Swedish Army, he provided them with a sabre, an axe and a matchlock musket, utilizing them as "labourers on horseback".[11] Many of the European armies henceforth imitated this all-purpose set of weaponry.

A non-military use of dragoons was the 1681 Dragonnades, a policy instituted by Louis XIV to intimidate Huguenot families into either leaving France or re-converting to Catholicism by billeting ill-disciplined dragoons in Protestant households. While other categories of infantry and cavalry were also used, the mobility, flexibility and available numbers of the dragoon regiments made them particularly suitable for repressive work of this nature over a wide area.

In the Spanish Army, Pedro de la Puente organized a body of dragoons in Innsbruck in 1635. In 1640, a tercio of a thousand dragoons armed with the arquebus was created in Spain. By the end of the 17th century, the Spanish Army had three tercios of dragoons in Spain, plus three in the Netherlands and three more in Milan. In 1704, the Spanish dragoons were reorganised into regiments by Philip V, as were the rest of the tercios.

Towards the end of 1776, George Washington realized the need for a mounted branch of the American military. In January 1777 four regiments of light dragoons were raised. Short term enlistments were abandoned and the dragoons joined for three years, or "the war". They participated in most of the major engagements of the American War of Independence, including the Battles of White Plains, Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine, Germantown, Saratoga, Cowpens, and Monmouth, as well as the Yorktown campaign.

Dragoons were at a disadvantage when engaged against true cavalry, and constantly sought to improve their horsemanship, armament and social status. By the Seven Years' War the primary role of dragoons in most European armies had progressed from that of mounted infantry to that of heavy cavalry.[12] Earlier dragoon responsibilities for scouting and picket duty had passed to hussars and similar light cavalry corps in the French, Austrian, Prussian, and other armies. In the Imperial Russian Army, due to the availability of the Cossack troops, the dragoons were retained in their original role for much longer.

An exception to the rule was the British Army. To reduce military budgets, all horse (cavalry) regiments were gradually demoted to dragoons from 1746 onward — which meant they were paid on a lower scale. When this was completed in 1788, the heavy cavalry regiments had become either Dragoon Guards or Heavy Dragoons (depending on their precedence). The designation of Dragoon Guards did not mean that these regiments (the former 2nd to 8th Horse) had become Household Troops, but simply that they had been given a more dignified title to compensate for the loss of pay and prestige.[13] Starting in 1756, seven regiments of Light Dragoons were raised. These Light Dragoons were trained in reconnaissance, skirmishing and other work requiring endurance in accordance with contemporary standards of light cavalry performance. The success of this new class of cavalry was such that eight regular Dragoon regiments were converted to Light Dragoons between 1768 and 1783.[14]

Helm eines k.u.k. Dragoneroffiziers
Austro-Hungarian dragoon officer's helmet

19th century

During the Napoleonic Wars, dragoons generally assumed a cavalry role, though remaining a lighter class of mounted troops than the armored cuirassiers. Dragoons rode larger horses than the light cavalry and wielded straight, rather than curved swords. Emperor Napoleon often formed complete divisions out of his 30 dragoon regiments[15] and used them as battle cavalry to break the enemy's main resistance.[16][17] In 1809, French dragoons scored notable successes against Spanish armies at the Battle of Ocana and the Battle of Alba de Tormes.

British heavy dragoons made devastating charges against French infantry at the Battle of Salamanca in 1812 and at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. 31 regiments were in existence at the height of the Napoleonic Wars: seven Dragoon Guards regiments[18] and 24 cavalry of the line regiments.[19] The Dragoon Guards and Dragoon regiments were the heavy cavalry regiments of the British Army, although by continental standards they were not the heaviest type of cavalry since they carried no armour (unlike cuirassiers).[20] While some of the cavalry regiments of the line were simply designated as regiments of dragoons, the lighter cavalry regiments, which were particularly mobile, became regiments of Light Dragoons, employing the 1796-pattern light cavalry sabres.[21] From 1805 four regiments of Light Dragoons were designated Hussars (7th, 10th, 15th and 18th Regiments), differentiated by uniform, and the wearing of mustaches. After the end of the Napoleonic Wars (starting in 1816) some regiments became lancers, identified by the lances that they carried.[22]

The creation of a unified German state in 1871 brought together the dragoon regiments of Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony, Mecklenburg, Oldenburg, Baden, Hesse and Württemberg in a single numbered sequence, although historic distinctions of insignia and uniform were largely preserved. Two regiments of the Imperial Guard were designated as dragoons.[23]

The Austrian (later Austro-Hungarian) Army of the 19th century included six regiments of dragoons in 1836, classed as heavy cavalry for shock action, but in practice used as medium troops[24] with a variety of roles. After 1859 all but two Austrian dragoon regiments were converted to cuirassiers or disbanded.[25] From 1868 to 1918 the Austro-Hungarian dragoons numbered 15 regiments.[26]

During the 18th century several regiments of dragoons were created in Spain's American viceroyalties to protect the northern provinces and borders of New Spain in the present-day states of California, Nevada, Colorado, Texas, Kansas, Arizona, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.[27] Some of these functioned as a police force. In 1803, the regiments of dragoons began to be called light cavalry (Cazadores) and dragoons disappeared from the Spanish Army shortly after 1815.

In New Spain, soon to be México, dragoons were important and elite units of the Royal Army. A number of dragoons became important military and political figures, among them Ignacio Allende and Juan Aldama, members of the Queen's Regiment of Dragoons who defected and then initiated the independence movement in México in 1810. Another important dragoon was Agustin de Iturbide, who would ultimately achieve Mexican independence in 1821. He was known as the greatest horseman in México and became so renowned in battle during his youth that he acquired the nickname El Dragón de Hierro or "The Iron Dragon" (in Spanish, "dragon" and "dragoon" both sound and are written exactly the same). He would go on to become Agustín I, after being elected Emperor of México. The political importance of dragoons during this time in the nascent country cannot be overstated.

Battle of Resaca de la Palma
United States dragoons charged Mexican infantry at the Battle of Resaca de la Palma in May 1846.

Prior to the War of 1812 the U.S. organized the Regiment of Light Dragoons. For the war a second regiment was activated; that regiment was consolidated with the original regiment in 1814. The original regiment was consolidated with the Corps of Artillery in June 1815.[28]

The 1st United States Dragoons explored Iowa after the Black Hawk Purchase put the area under U.S. control. In the summer of 1835, the regiment blazed a trail along the Des Moines river and established outposts from present-day Des Moines to Fort Dodge. In 1933, the State of Iowa opened the Dragoon Trail, a scenic and historic drive that follows the path of the 1st United States Dragoons on their historic march.

In 1861 the two existing U.S. Dragoon regiments were re-designated as the 1st and 2nd Cavalry. This reorganization did not affect their role or equipment, although the traditional orange uniform braiding of the dragoons was replaced by the standard yellow of the Cavalry branch. This marked the official end of dragoons in the U.S. Army, although certain modern units trace their origins back to the historic dragoon regiments.

In several stages between 1816 and 1861, the 21 existing Light Dragoon regiments in the British Army were disbanded or converted to lancers or hussars.[29]

Between 1881 and 1907 all Russian cavalry (other than Cossacks and Imperial Guard regiments) were designated as dragoons, reflecting an emphasis on the double ability of dismounted action as well as the new cavalry tactics in their training and a growing acceptance of the impracticality of employing historical cavalry tactics against modern firepower. Upon the reinstatement of Uhlan and Hussar Regiments in 1907 their training pattern, as well as that of the Cuirassiers of the Guard, remained unchanged until the collapse of the Russian Imperial Army.[30]

Karlsruhe Leibdragonerdenkmal
Baden dragoon in a World War I monument at Karlsruhe. While almost an anachronism after the early stages of that war, German dragoons did see continuing service on the Eastern Front until 1917. Note the functional Stahlhelm helmet.

In Japan, in the late 19th century/early 20th century, dragoons were deployed in the same way as in other armies, but were dressed as hussars.

20th century

In 1914 there were still dragoon regiments in the British, French, German, Russian, Austro-Hungarian, Peruvian, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish and Spanish armies. Their uniforms varied greatly, lacking the characteristic features of hussar or lancer regiments. There were occasional reminders of the mounted infantry origins of this class of soldier. Thus the 28 dragoon regiments of the Imperial German Army wore the Pickelhaube (spiked helmet) of the same design as those of the infantry[31] and the British dragoons wore scarlet tunics for full dress while hussars and all but one of the lancer regiments wore dark blue.[32] In other respects however dragoons had adopted the same tactics, roles and equipment as other branches of the cavalry and the distinction had become simply one of traditional titles. Weaponry had ceased to have a historic connection, with both the French and German dragoon regiments carrying lances during the early stages of World War I.

The historic German, Russian and Austro-Hungarian dragoon regiments ceased to exist as distinct branches following the overthrow of the respective imperial regimes of these countries during 1917–18. The Spanish dragoons, which dated back to 1640, were reclassified as numbered cavalry regiments in 1931 as part of the army modernization policies of the new republic.

The Australian Light Horse were similar to 18th-century dragoon regiments in some respects, being mounted infantry which normally fought on foot, their horses' purpose being transportation. They served during the Second Boer War and World War I. The Australian 4th Light Horse Brigade became famous for the Battle of Beersheba in 1917 where they charged on horseback using rifle bayonets, since neither sabres or lances were part of their equipment.

Probably the last use of real dragoons (infantry on horseback) in combat was made by the Portuguese Army in the war in Angola during the 1960s and early 1970s. In 1966, the Portuguese created an experimental horse platoon, to operate against the guerrillas in the high grass region of Eastern Angola, in which each soldier was armed with a G3 assault rifle for combat on foot and with an automatic pistol to fire from horseback. The troops on horseback were able to operate in difficult terrain unsuited to motor vehicles and had the advantage of being able to control the area around them, with a clear view over the grass that foot troops did not have. Moreover, these unconventional troops created a psychological impact on an enemy that was not used to facing horse troops, and thus had no training or strategy to deal with them. The experimental horse platoon was so successful that its entire parent battalion was transformed from an armored reconnaissance unit to a three-squadron horse battalion known as the "Dragoons of Angola". One of the typical operations carried out by the Dragoons of Angola, in cooperation with airmobile forces, consisted of the dragoons chasing the guerrillas and pushing them in one direction, with the airmobile troops being launched from helicopter in the enemy rear, trapping the enemy between the two forces.[33]

Dragoner rank

Dragoner des Oldenburgischen Dragoner-Regiments Nr. 19, 1870.
Dragoon of the Oldenburgian Dragoon Regiment Nr. 19 (in 1870)

Until 1918 Dragoner (en: dragoon) was the designation given to the lowest ranks in the dragoon regiments of the Austro-Hungarian and Imperial German Armies. The Dragoner rank, together with all other private ranks of the different branch of service, did belong to the so-called gemeine rank group.

Modern dragoons

Brazil

The Brazilian president's honor guard is provided (amongst other units) by a regiment of dragoons: the 1st Guards Cavalry Regiment of the Brazilian Army.

This regiment is known as the "Dragões da Independência" (Independence Dragoons). The name was given in 1927 and refers to the fact that a detachment of dragoons escorted the Prince Royal of Portugal, Pedro I, at the time when he declared Brazilian independence from Portugal, on September 7, 1822.

The Independence Dragoons wear 19th-century dress uniforms similar to those of the earlier Imperial Honor Guard, which are used as the regimental full dress uniform since 1927. The uniform was designed by Debret, in white and red, with plumed bronze helmets. The colors and pattern were influenced by the Austrian dragoons of the period, as the Brazilian Empress Consort was also an Austrian Archduchess.[34] The color of the plumes varies according to rank. The Independence Dragoons are armed with lances and sabres, the latter only for the officers and the colour guard.[35]

The regiment was established in 1808 by the Prince Regent and future king of Portugal, John VI, with the duty of protecting the Portuguese royal family, which had sought refuge in Brazil during the Napoleonic wars. However dragoons had existed in Portugal since at least the early 18th century and, in 1719, units of this type of cavalry were sent to Brazil, initially to escort shipments of gold and diamonds and to guard the Viceroy who resided in Rio de Janeiro (1st Cavalry Regiment – Vice-Roy Guard Squadron). Later, they were also sent to the south to serve against the Spanish during frontier clashes. After the proclamation of Brazilian independence, the title of the regiment was changed to that of the Imperial Honor Guard, with the role of protecting the Imperial Family. The Guard was later disbanded by Emperor Peter II and would be recreated only later in the republican era.[36]

At the time of the Republic proclamation in 1889, horse #6 of the Imperial Honor Guard was ridden by the officer making the declaration of the end of Imperial rule, Second Lieutenant Eduardo José Barbosa. This is commemorated by the custom under which the horse having this number is used only by the commander of the modern regiment.

Canada

Memorial Stained Glass window, 2770 LCol KL Jefferson, Royal Military College of Canada
Memorial stained glass window at Royal Military College of Canada of 2770 LCol KL Jefferson, a member of the 12th Manitoba Dragoons, an armoured regiment of the Canadian Army and Canadian Forces

There are three dragoon regiments in the Canadian Forces: the Royal Canadian Dragoons and two reserve regiments, the British Columbia Dragoons and the Saskatchewan Dragoons. The Royal Canadian Dragoons is the senior Armoured regiment in the Canadian Forces. The current role of The Royal Canadian Dragoons is to provide Armour Reconnaissance support to 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (2 CMBG) operations.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police were accorded the formal status of a regiment of dragoons in 1921.[37][38] The modern RCMP does not retain any military status however.

Chile

Founded as the Dragones de la Reina (Queen's Dragoons) in 1758 and later renamed the Dragoons of Chile in 1812, and then becoming the Carabineros de Chile in 1903. The Carabineros are the national police of Chile. The military counterpart, that of the 15th Reinforced Regiment "Dragoons" is now as of 2010 the 4th Armored Brigade "Chorrillos" based in Punta Arenas as the 6th Armored Cavalry Squadron "Dragoons", and form part of the 5th Army Division.

Denmark

The Royal Danish Army includes amongst its historic regiments the Jutish Dragoon Regiment, which was raised in 1670.

Finland

Ratsumieskilta riders
Finnish dragoons in 1922 uniform

The Finnish Dragoon squadron exists in conjunction with the Army Academy in Lappeenranta and continues the traditions of the former 1. Squadron of the Uusimaa Dragoon battalion.

France

The modern French Army retains three dragoon regiments from the thirty-two in existence at the beginning of World War I: the 2nd, which is a nuclear, biological and chemical protection regiment, the 4th, an armour regiment equipped with Leclerc tanks, and the 13th (Special Reconnaissance).

Lithuania

In modern Lithuania there is a dragoon battalion of the Grand Duke Butigeidis (Lithuanian: didžiojo kunigaikščio Butigeidžio dragūnų batalionas)[39]

Norway

In the Norwegian Army during the early part of the 20th century, dragoons served in part as mounted troops, and in part on skis or bicycles (hjulryttere, meaning "wheel-riders"). Dragoons fought on horses, bicycles and skis against the German invasion in 1940. After World War II the dragoon regiments were reorganized as armoured reconnaissance units. "Dragon" is the rank of a compulsory service private cavalryman while enlisted (regular) cavalrymen have the same rank as infantrymen: "Grenader".

Peru

Dragones del Perú
Changing of the dragoon guard by the Field Marshal Nieto Regiment of Cavalry, Life-Guard of the President of the Republic of Peru

The Presidential Escort Life Guard Dragoons Regiment "Field Marshal Domingo Nieto", named after Field Marshal Domingo Nieto, of the President of the Republic of Perú were the traditional Guard of the Government Palace of Perú until March 5, 1987 and its disbandment in that year. However, by Ministerial Resolution No 139-2012/DE/EP of February 2, 2012 the restoration of the Cavalry Regiment "Marshal Domingo Nieto" as the official escort of the President of the Republic of Peru was announced. The main mission of the reestablished regiment was to guarantee the security of the President of the Republic and of the Government Palace.

This regiment of dragoons was created in 1904 following the suggestion of a French military mission which undertook the reorganization of the Peruvian Army in 1896. The initial title of the unit was Cavalry Squadron "President's Escort". It was modelled on the French dragoons of the period. The unit was later renamed as the Cavalry Regiment "President's Escort" before receiving its current title in 1949.

The Peruvian Dragoon Guard has throughout its existence worn French-style uniforms of black tunic and red breeches in winter and white coat and red breeches in summer, with red and white plumed bronze helmets with the coat of arms of Peru and golden or red epaulettes depending on rank. They retain their original armament of lances and sabres, until the 1980s rifles were used for dismounted drill.

At 13:00 hours every day, the main esplanade in front of the Government Palace of Perú fronting Lima's Main Square serves as the stage for the changing of the guard, undertaken by members of the Presidential Life Guard Escort Dragoons, mounted or dismounted. While the dismounted changing is held on Mondays and Fridays, the mounted ceremony is held twice a month on a Sunday.

Portugal

The Portuguese Army still maintains two units which are descended from former regiments of dragoons. These are the 3rd Regiment of Cavalry (the former "Olivença Dragoons") and the 6th Regiment of Cavalry (the former "Chaves Dragoons"). Both regiments are, presently, armoured units. The Portuguese Rapid Reaction Brigade' Armoured Reconnaissance Squadron – a unit from the 3rd Regiment of Cavalry – is known as the "Paratroopers Dragoons".

During the Portuguese Colonial War in the 1960s and the 1970s, the Portuguese Army created an experimental horse platoon, to combat the guerrillas in eastern Angola. This unit was soon augmented, becoming a group of three squadrons, known as the "Angola Dragoons". The Angola Dragoons operated as mounted infantry – like the original dragoons – each soldier being armed with a pistol to fire when on horseback and with an automatic rifle, to use when dismounted. A unit of the same type was being created in Mozambique when the war ended in 1974.

Dragon de cuera
Spanish Dragón de Cuera in 1772 as illustrated by Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau.

Spain

The Spanish Army began the training of a dragoon corps in 1635 under the direction of Pedro de la Puente at Innsbruck. In 1640 the first dragoon "tercio" was created, equipped with arquebuses and maces. The number of dragoon tercios was increased to nine by the end of the XVII century: three garrisoned in Spain, another three in the Netherlands and the remainder in Milan.[40]

The tercios were converted into a regimental system, beginning in 1704. Philip V created several additional dragoon regiments to perform the functions of a police corps in the New World[41]. Notable amongst those units were the leather-clad dragones de cuera.

In 1803 the dragoon regiments were renamed as "caballería ligera" (light cavalry). By 1815 these units had been disbanded.[42]

Spain recreated its dragoons in the late nineteenth century. In 1930, three Spanish dragoon regiments were still in existence.[43]

Sweden

In the Swedish Army, dragoons comprise the Military Police and Military Police Rangers. They also form the Dragoons Battalion of the Life Guards. The Dragoons Battalion have roots that go back as far as 1523, making it one of the world's oldest military units still in service and the only mounted unit still retained by the Swedish Army. Horses are used for ceremonial purposes only, most often when the dragoons take part in the changing of the guards at The Royal Palace in Stockholm. "Livdragon" is the rank of a private cavalryman.

Switzerland

Dragon IMG 3508
Carbine of a Swiss dragoon, with the strap system allowing a quick draw while mounted. On display at Morges military museum.

In the Swiss Army, mounted dragoons existed until the early 1970s, when they were converted into Armoured Grenadiers units. The "Dragoner" had to prove he was able to keep a horse at home before entering the army. At the end of basic training they had to buy a horse at a reduced price from the army and to take it home together with equipment, uniform and weapon. In the "yearly repetition course" the dragoons served with their horses, often riding from home to the meeting point.

The abolition of the dragoon units, believed to be the last non-ceremonial horse cavalry in Europe, was a contentious issue in Switzerland. On 5 December 1972 the Swiss National Council approved the measure by 91 votes, against 71 for retention.[44]

United Kingdom

In the present-day British Army regular army, four regiments are designated as dragoons: the 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards, the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, the Royal Dragoon Guards, and the Light Dragoons. In the Territorial Army, one of the five squadrons of the Royal Yeomanry—the Westminster Dragoons— also has the title of dragoons.

United States

The 1st and 2nd Battalion, 48th Infantry were mechanized infantry units assigned to the 3rd Armored Division (3AD) in West Germany during the Cold War. The unit crest of the 48th Infantry designated the unit as Dragoons.

The 1st Dragoons was reformed in the Vietnam War era as the 1st Squadron, 1st U.S. Cavalry. It served in the Iraq War and remains as the oldest cavalry unit, as well as the most decorated one, in the U.S. Army. Today's modern 1–1 Cavalry is a scout/attack unit, equipped with MRAPs, M3A3 Bradley CFVs, and Strykers.

Another modern United States Army unit, informally known as the 2nd Dragoons, is the 2nd Cavalry Regiment. This unit was originally organized as the Second Regiment of Dragoons in 1836 and was renamed the Second Cavalry Regiment in 1861, being redesignated as the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment in 1948. The regiment is currently equipped with the Stryker family of wheeled fighting vehicles and was redesignated as the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment in 2006. In 2011 the 2nd Dragoon regiment was redesignated as the 2nd Cavalry Regiment. The 2nd Cavalry Regiment has the distinction of being the longest continuously serving regiment in the United States Army.[45]

The 113th Army Band at Fort Knox is also officially nicknamed as "The Dragoons." This derives from its formation as the Band, First Regiment of Dragoons on July 8, 1840.

Company D, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion of the United States Marine Corps, is nicknamed the "Dragoons". Their combat history includes Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom from 2002 to 2013.[46]

See also

Citations and notes

  1. ^ Carman, W.Y. A Dictionary of Military Uniform. p. 48. ISBN 0-684-15130-8.
  2. ^ "Dragoon". Oxford English Dictionary. A kind of carbine or musket.
  3. ^ "Dragoon". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1911. ... took his name from his weapon, a species of carbine or short musket called the dragon.
  4. ^ a b p. 330, Bismark
  5. ^ p. 331, Bismark
  6. ^ p. 333, Bismark
  7. ^ p. 48, A Dictionary of Military Uniform W. Y. Carman ISBN 0-684-15130-8
  8. ^ p96, Arthur the Dragon King – The Barbaric Roots of Britain's Greatest Legend, Howard Reid, ISBN 0-7472-7558-0
  9. ^ "the definition of dragoon". Dictionary.com.
  10. ^ Peter Young & Richard Holmes, page 42 "The English Civil War", ISBN 1-84022-222-0
  11. ^ Richard Brzezinski, page 16 "The Army of Gustavus Adolphus 2 - ", ISBN 1-85532-350-8
  12. ^ Dragoons are sometimes described as 'medium' cavalry, midway between heavy/armoured and light regiments, though this was a classification that was rarely given at the time. page 19 "Napoleonic Cavalry", Philip Haythornthwaite, ISBN 0-304-35508-9
  13. ^ Michael Barthorp, page 22 "British Cavalry Uniforms Since 1660", ISBN 0-7137-1043-8
  14. ^ page 24 "British Cavalry Uniforms Since 1660", Michael Barthorp, ISBN 0-7137-1043-8
  15. ^ In 1811 six regiments were converted to Chevau-Legers Lanciers
  16. ^ Rothenberg, p. 141
  17. ^ In northern and eastern Europe they were employed as heavy cavalry, while in the Iberian peninsula they fulfilled, in addition, the role of lighter cavalry, for example in anti-guerrilla operations. page 19 "Napoleonic Cavalry", Philip Haythornthwaite, ISBN 0-304-35508-9
  18. ^ The seven Dragoon Guards regiments were the 1st (King's) Dragoon Guards, 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays), 3rd (Prince of Wales's) Dragoon Guards, 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards, 5th (Princess Charlotte of Wales's) Dragoon Guards, 6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers) and the 7th (Princess Royal's) Dragoon Guards.
  19. ^ The 24 cavalry of the line regiments were the 1st (Royal) Dragoons, the 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys), the 3rd (King's Own) Hussars, the 4th (Queen's Own) Hussars, the 5th (Royal Irish) Lancers (disbanded in 1799 and reformed in 1858), the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons, the 7th (Queen's Own) Hussars, the 8th (King's Royal Irish) Hussars, the 9th (Queen's Royal) Lancers, the 10th (Prince of Wales's Own Royal) Hussars, the 11th (Prince Albert's Own) Hussars, the 12th (Prince of Wales's Royal) Lancers, the 13th Hussars, the 14th (King's) Hussars, the 15th (The King's) Hussars, the 16th (The Queen's) Lancers, the 17th (Duke of Cambridge's Own) Lancers, the 18th (Queen Mary's Own) Royal Hussars, the 19th (Queen Alexandra's Own Royal) Hussars, the 20th Hussars, the 21st (Empress of India's) Lancers, the 22nd (Light) Dragoons, the 23rd Light Dragoons, the 24th Regiment of (Light) Dragoons and the 25th Dragoons (renumbered as the 22nd Dragoons in 1802).
  20. ^ Rowe, David (2004). Head dress of the British heavy cavalry: Dragoon Guards, Household and Yeomanry Cavalry. Schiffer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7643-0957-1.
  21. ^ Kannik, Prebben (1968), Military Uniforms in Colour, Blandford Press, ISBN 0-7137-0482-9 (p. 200)
  22. ^ "Saddle, lance and stirrup". Classical fencing. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  23. ^ Marrion, R.J. Lancers and Dragoons. pp. 7–11. ISBN 0-85524-201-9.
  24. ^ Pavlovic, Darko. The Austrian Army 1836–66 (2) Cavalry. p. 3. ISBN 1-85532-800-3.
  25. ^ Pavlovic, Darko. The Austrian Army 1836–66 (2) Cavalry. p. 4. ISBN 1-85532-800-3.
  26. ^ Knotel, Richard. Uniforms of the World. p. 26. ISBN 0-684-16304-7.
  27. ^ Torres, Fernando Martínez Láinez, Carlos Canales (2008). Banderas lejanas: la exploración, conquista y defensa por España del territorio de los actuales Estados Unidos (1st ed.). Madrid: Edaf. ISBN 9788441421196.
  28. ^ Heitman pp. 79—80
  29. ^ British Cavalry Uniforms Since 1660, Michael Barthorp ISBN 0-7137-1043-8
  30. ^ Cavalry/Encyclopaedia Militera. Editor-in-Chief Gen. Stuff Colonel N. F. Novitsky. V.11. Moscow – SPb, Sytin Publishing, 1911–1915
  31. ^ Herr, Ulrich. The German Cavalry from 1871 to 1914. pp. 324–343. ISBN 3-902526-07-6.
  32. ^ Barthorp, Michael. British Cavalry Uniforms Since 1660. pp. 183–184. ISBN 0-7137-1043-8.
  33. ^ CANN, Jonh P., "Counterinsurgency in Africa: The Portuguese Way of War, 1961-1974", Hailer Publishing, 2005
  34. ^ "Exército Brasileiro – Braço Forte, Mão Amiga" (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 2009-03-12.
  35. ^ "Presidência da República – GSI" (in Portuguese). office of the president of Brazil. Archived from the original on 2008-06-21. Retrieved 2014-02-01.
  36. ^ CARVALHO, José Murilo de. D. Pedro II: Ser ou não ser. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2007, p. 98
  37. ^ "Royal Canadian Mounted Police". Archived from the original on 2008-01-18. Retrieved 2014-02-01.
  38. ^ heraldist1
  39. ^ Media, Fresh. "Lietuvos kariuomenė :: Kariuomenės struktūra » Kontaktai » Lietuvos didžiojo kunigaikščio Butigeidžio dragūnų batalionas". kariuomene.kam.lt.
  40. ^ "Los dragones: ¿infantería a caballo, o caballería desmontada?". Camino a Rocroi (in Spanish). 2012-07-10. Retrieved 2018-12-02.
  41. ^ "Dragones de Cuera: Oeste Español | GUERREROS". guerrerosdelahistoria.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-12-02.
  42. ^ Gómez, José Manuel Rodríguez. "Uniformidad de los dragones españoles en 1808". www.eborense.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-12-02.
  43. ^ Richard Knotel, pages 408-409 "Uniforms of the World", ISBN 0-684-16304-7
  44. ^ "11214 BRG". National Council of Switzerland. 1972. Retrieved 2014-02-01.
  45. ^ "Regimental Designations and Deployments | 2d Dragoons". History.dragoons.org. Retrieved 2015-04-09.
  46. ^ "1st Marine Division > Units > 3D LAR BN". 1stmardiv.marines.mil. Retrieved 2015-04-09.

References

Further reading

External links

1st King's Dragoon Guards

The 1st King's Dragoon Guards was a cavalry regiment in the British Army. The regiment was raised by Sir John Lanier in 1685 as the 2nd Queen's Regiment of Horse, named in honour of Queen Mary, consort of King James II. It was renamed the 2nd King's Own Regiment of Horse in 1714 in honour of George I. The regiment attained the title 1st King's Dragoon Guards in 1751. The regiment served as horse cavalry until 1937 when it was mechanised with light tanks. The regiment became part of the Royal Armoured Corps in 1939. After service in the First World War and the Second World War, the regiment amalgamated with the 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays) in 1959 to form the 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards.

1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards

The 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards (QDG) is a cavalry regiment of the British Army. Nicknamed The Welsh Cavalry, the regiment recruits from Wales and the bordering English counties of Cheshire, Herefordshire, and Shropshire, and is the senior cavalry regiment, and therefore senior regiment of the line of the British Army. The regiment is part of the Royal Armoured Corps and is paired with the Royal Yeomanry.

2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays)

The 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays) was a cavalry regiment of the British Army. It was first raised in 1685 by the Earl of Peterborough as the Earl of Peterborough's Regiment of Horse by merging four existing troops of horse.

Renamed several times, it was designated the Queen's Regiment of Dragoon Guards in 1746 as it evolved into a dragoon unit. (Dragoons described a force of highly mobile mounted infantry equipped with lighter,faster horses and carrying firearms) and later named the 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays) in 1767 to reflect the custom of its soldiers riding only bay horses.

The regiment served as horse cavalry until 1937, when it was mechanised with light tanks. The regiment became part of the Royal Armoured Corps in 1939. After service in the First and Second World Wars, the regiment amalgamated with the 1st King's Dragoon Guards in 1959 to form the 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards.

3rd Dragoon Guards

The 3rd (Prince of Wales's) Dragoon Guards was a cavalry regiment in the British Army, first raised in 1685 as the Earl of Plymouth's Regiment of Horse. It was renamed as the 3rd Regiment of Dragoon Guards in 1751 and the 3rd (Prince of Wales's) Dragoon Guards in 1765. It saw service for two centuries, including the First World War, before being amalgamated into the 3rd/6th Dragoon Guards in 1922.

4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards

The 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards was a cavalry regiment in the British Army, first raised in 1685 as the Earl of Arran's Regiment of Cuirassiers. It was renamed as the 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards in 1788 and service for two centuries, including the First World War, before being amalgamated with 7th Dragoon Guards (Princess Royal's), to form the 4th/7th Dragoon Guards in 1922.

5th Dragoon Guards

The 5th (Princess Charlotte of Wales's) Dragoon Guards was a cavalry regiment in the British Army, first raised in 1685 as the Duke of Shrewsbury's Regiment of Horse. It was renamed as the 5th Regiment of Dragoon Guards in 1788 and as the 5th (Princess Charlotte of Wales's) Regiment of Dragoon Guards in 1804. It saw service for two centuries, including the First World War, before being amalgamated with The Inniskillings (6th Dragoons), to form the 5th/6th Dragoons in 1922.

7th Dragoon Guards

The 7th (The Princess Royal's) Dragoon Guards was a cavalry regiment in the British Army, first raised in 1688 as Lord Cavendish's Regiment of Horse. It was renamed as the 7th (The Princess Royal's) Dragoon Guards for Princess Charlotte in 1788. It saw service for two centuries, including the First World War, before being amalgamated with the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards, to form the 4th/7th Dragoon Guards in 1922.

Alisia Dragoon

Alisia Dragoon (Japanese: アリシアドラグーン, Hepburn: Arishia Doragūn) is a 1992 platform game developed by Game Arts for the Sega Genesis. The player controls Alisia, a young woman who is on a quest to avenge her father and save the world. She can fire lightning from her hands and summon four faithful beasts to aid her.

The game was released outside Japan by Sega, who packaged the heroine as a rugged gladiator instead of the dainty-looking sorceress she originally was. Due to the lack of publicity for the game internationally, Alisia Dragoon did not make a big impact on the video game market, despite the critical acclaim it received.

Carabiniers (6th Dragoon Guards)

The Carabiniers (6th Dragoon Guards) was a cavalry regiment of the British Army. It was formed in 1685 as the Lord Lumley's Regiment of Horse. It was renamed as His Majesty's 1st Regiment of Carabiniers in 1740, the 3rd Regiment of Horse (Carabiniers) in 1756 and the 6th Regiment of Dragoon Guards in 1788. After two centuries of service, including the First World War, the regiment was amalgamated with the 3rd Dragoon Guards (Prince of Wales's) to form the 3rd/6th Dragoon Guards in 1922.

Colt Dragoon Revolver

The Colt Model 1848 Percussion Army Revolver is a .44 caliber revolver designed by Samuel Colt for the U.S. Army's Regiment of Mounted Rifles. The revolver was also issued to the Army's "Dragoon" Regiments. This revolver was designed as a solution to numerous problems encountered with the Colt Walker. Although it was introduced after the Mexican–American War, it became popular among civilians during the 1850s and 1860s, and was also used during the American Civil War.

Dragoon 300

The Dragoon 300 AFV (armoured fighting vehicle) was produced by Arrowpointe Corporation (now General Dynamics Land Division) during the 1980s. It was based on the automotive components of the US Army's M113 APCs and 5 ton trucks. It resembled a larger V-150 Commando.

Dragoon Mountains

The Dragoon Mountains are a range of mountains located in Cochise County, Arizona. The range is about 25 mi (40 km) long, running on an axis extending south-south east through Willcox.

Drakengard

Drakengard, known as Drag-On Dragoon in Japan, is a series of action role-playing video games. The eponymous first game in the series was released in 2003 on the PlayStation 2, and has since been followed by a sequel, a prequel, and a spin-off. It was conceived by Takamasa Shiba and Takuya Iwasaki as a gameplay hybrid between Ace Combat and Dynasty Warriors 2. The story was created by Shiba, Iwasaki, Yoko Taro and Sawako Natori, who were influenced by European folklore and popular anime series and movies of the day. Shiba, Yoko, and Sawako have had involvement in every entry of the series since its debut.

The setting of the main series is a Northern European-style dark fantasy world where humans and creatures from myth and legends live side by side, while the spin-off game is set in an alternative reality leading from one of the first game's possible endings. The stories generally focus on the fortunes and personalities of a small group of protagonists either directly or indirectly connected to and affected by the events of the story. Dark or mature plot and character themes and multiple endings have become a staple of the series. Their popularity in Japan has resulted in multiple adaptations and additional media in the form of novelizations and manga.

The series is considered popular in Japan, having sold well and gained a cult following, though it appears to be a niche series in Western territories. The main games have become noted for their dark storylines and mixture of ground-based and aerial combat, while Nier stood out because of its mixture of gameplay styles. The series has received mixed to positive reception in both Japan and the West: the majority of praise has been given to its story, characters and music, while the gameplay has come in for criticisms for being repetitive or poorly designed.

Little Dragoon Mountains

Little Dragoon Mountains, are included in the Douglas Ranger District of Coronado National Forest, in Cochise County, Arizona.

The summit of the range is the center peak of the three Mae West Peaks,32°06′00″N 110°07′20″W, 6 miles northwest of Dragoon, Arizona, at 6588 feet(2008m).

Operation Dragoon

Operation Dragoon (15 August - 14 September 1944) was the code name for the Allied invasion of the French Riviera. Originally planned to coincide with D-Day (6 June), it had been postponed due to insufficient landing-craft. In August, it was revived, as the zone had become a low priority for the Germans, and conditions looked favourable for the liberation of Southern France with its key ports of Marseille and Toulon.

The US VI Corps landed at Hyères under the cover of a large naval task force, followed by several divisions of the French Army B. They were opposed by the scattered forces of the German Army Group G.

Hindered by Allied air superiority and an uprising by the French Resistance, the German forces were swiftly defeated and withdrew to the north through the Rhône valley, to establish a stable defense line at Dijon. Allied mobile units partially blocked their route at Montélimar. But neither side could achieve a decisive breakthrough, though the Germans were finally able to retreat from the town, while the French captured the seaports. Fighting ultimately came to a stop at the Vosges Mountains, where Army Group G established a stable defense line. The Allied forces needed reorganizing, and facing stiffened German resistance, they halted the offensive on 14 September.

Operation Dragoon was rated a success, though it remains controversial. The Allies were able to liberate most of southern France in only 4 weeks, while inflicting heavy casualties, and the captured ports eased Allied supply problems. But in the short term, it allowed German units to escape northward, into the face of Patton and Montgomery. Long-term, it diverted Churchill from his plan to invade the Balkans, and thus enabled the Soviets to take Vienna, altering the map of postwar Europe.

Panzer Dragoon

Panzer Dragoon is a series of video games by Sega, created first by its internal Team Andromeda and later, the Smilebit development team. Aside from the role-playing video game Panzer Dragoon Saga, the games are of the rail shooter genre. All games follow the story of a lone hero or heroine fighting an evil empire in a post apocalyptic world, while riding a Dragon.

The series' name originates from its original concept designers referring to it as "armoured dragon", then feeling that this was too bland and deciding to transliterate it to German. The series's cutscenes feature its own language "Panzerese", which is based on Ancient Greek, Latin and Russian. Words in these languages were a hobby of Yukio Futatsugi, one of the core designers of the first game. This pseudo-language is used during cutscenes.

Royal Dragoon Guards

The Royal Dragoon Guards (RDG) is a cavalry regiment of the British Army. It was formed in 1992 by the amalgamation of two other regiments: The 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards and the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards. The regiment currently serves as the Armoured Cavalry Reconnaissance unit of the 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade and is therefore equipped with the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) Scimitar and is based in Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire. Today the RDG is an operationally experienced regiment having recently served in Iraq (Operation Telic 5 and 11), and Afghanistan (Operation Herrick 12 and 17).

Royal Scots Dragoon Guards

The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys) (SCOTS DG) is a cavalry regiment of the British Army, and the senior Scottish regiment. The regiment, through the Royal Scots Greys, is the oldest surviving Cavalry Regiment of the Line in the British Army. The regiment is currently based at Leuchars Station, as part of the Scottish 51st Infantry Brigade.

The Legend of Dragoon

The Legend of Dragoon is a role-playing video game developed by SCE Japan Studio. It was published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation in 1999 in Japan, 2000 in North America, and 2001 in Europe. Set in the high fantasy land of Endiness, the game follows a group of warriors led by Dart Feld as they are caught in a war between Endiness' nations and the greater plot behind it. During the game, the player guides Dart's party as 3D character models through pre-rendered environments, fighting battles using a combination of turn-based mechanics and real-time commands.

The game took three years to develop, with development costs of $16 million and over one hundred staff members. Yasuyuki Hasebe was director, game designer and story writer. Shuhei Yoshida acted as producer, while the music was composed by Dennis Martin and Takeo Miratsu. The game was designed to promote player immersion, realism and cinematic style. Reception was generally positive, although several critics found it lacking compared to other PlayStation RPGs at the time. A commercial success, The Legend of Dragoon sold over one million copies worldwide, with most of those sales coming from North America.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.