Military instructions for the cavallrie, or, Rules and directions for the service of horse collected out of divers forrein authours, ancient and modern, and rectified and supplied according to the present practice of the Low-Countrey warres.
Cruso, John, d. 1681.

CHAP. VI. Of ordering the troops for combat, by single companies.

BEfore we come to shew the severall forms of battel which may be used among the Cavallrie, it will be fit to speak of their severall kinds of fighting, which they are to be practised in apart by themselves, before they be joyned with the grosse.

If a companie of Lances were to fight against foot, they were not to give their charge in an united bodie (neither upon this; nor any occasion whatsoever) because even the second rank of them hardly doth any certain execution; but they were to charge them rank after rank, wheeling off to the rear; to that end keeping large distances between rank and rank. The same order they were to observe, if they fought against horse upon the offensive. For the defensive, the companie (consisting of 64, as before, Part. 1. Chap. 19.) might order themselves in this manner. Two ranks (of eight in rank) should face to the front: two to either flank, and two to the rear; leaving an open square space in the middle, they all standing back towards back, faced every way, to receive the charge wheresoever the enemie shall give on.

The same manner might be used in greater bodies, as should seem good to the skilfull Com∣mander. If the Lances were to fight against Cuirassiers,a they were (by two ranks together) to setch their careers, and so to charge them, especially on the flanks and rear: every second rank forbearing the shock, till the first had done it, and was wheeled off.

If one companie of Cuirassiers be to fight against another, your enemie charging you in full career, you are to make ab Carracoll, that is, you divide your bodie by the half ranks, and so sud∣denly open to the right and left; so as the enemie passeth through you, and you (facing inward) charge him on the flanks, as is shewed in Figure 6. Part. 4. Or if two companies fight against two other, then they observe the same manner, but keeping each companie entire, as may be seen in the same figure.

It is also to be done by the Carracoll first, and then (the enemie being within you) to wheel to the right and left inward, and so to charge him on the rear, in full career. These forms (in Wal∣hausens opinion) are ofc speciall advantage, for the enemie (having charged you in full career while you went on upon the trot, onely on the sudden opening to the right and left) either (saith he) must run through and effect little or nothing, or (staying himself in the career)d disorder his troop, and loose the force of his charge: as by Figure 7. Part. 4. appeareth. The Harquebusiers must be exercised to give fire by ranks. The first rank, having given fire, is to wheel off to the left (unlesse the ground will not permit it, but that it must be to the right) making readie and falling into the rear; the second rank immediately gives fire upon the wheeling away of the first, and so the rest successively. Walhausen would have them also give fire by files, the outward file towards the enemie (whether right or left) advancing before the bodie, in full career, and so firing; the rest successively to do the same, and in this manner to fight against Infanterie that might charge them on the flanks. But others do utterly reject it, as too much exposed to inevitable danger. In their firing by ranks, the first rank advanceth some thirtie paces before the bodie, first on the gallop, then in career (as some direct) and so to give fire: the second doth the same, and so the rest. The Dragoniers being a kind of Infanterie, and doing their chief services on foot, (as hath been shew∣ed Part. 1. Chap. 31.) it will be needlesse here to shew how they are to be exercised for skirmish; partly in regard there is no want of books for thee practising of the foot (though I dare say they exceed rather in number then in weight) and principally, because I desire to confine my self to that which properly belongeth to the Cavallrie. How they are to dispose of their horses in fight, hath been shewed ibid. cap. 31.

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[illustration]
[illustration]
Fig:
6. Cap: 6.
Par: 4. [woodcut depicting cavalry movements]
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[illustration]
Fig: 7.
Par: 4.
Cap: 6. [woodcut depicting cavalry movements]
[set of two woodcuts depicting cavalry movements]