Horses at War (gallery)

  • Captain Henry Benson’s horse drawn artillery unit
  • Sidney E. King, “Capture of Ricketts’ Battery.” 1964.
  • “Stables for six thousand horses.” Civil War, undated.
  • German soldiers with a horse-mounted machine gun, captured from Russian troops.
  • "Help the Horse" poster. 1918.
  • Horse and Human in World War I Gas Masks,
  • Soldiers and Horses in a jungle unit nicknamed "Merrill's Marauders." Burma, 1943.
Horses participated in large numbers in the American Civil War, as well as World Wars I and II, but their role changed as they were increasingly integrated into mechanized warfare. This photo gallery suggests the massive number of horses that were part of the Civil War, and shows horses in increasingly specialized roles in later conflicts.
 
Despite their changing functional roles and revolutions in battlefield technologies, demand for horses remained high into the twentieth century, with supply chains and specialized organizations dedicated to supplying the war effort with these animals. 
 
What kinds of supply chains supported the military use of horses? How did new military technologies displace horses? What jobs did horses continue to do, and why?