The First World War is often seen as the death of cavalry, but in truth it had been in
decline for most of the previous 100 years. Ever more reliable and accurate infantry and artillery weapons were fast making the cavalry ineffective, and the appearance of both motorised vehicles and the airplane meant horsed soldiers were becoming irrelevant,
much to the distress of conservative elements in many European armies. Yet in 1914 cavalry was not yet entirely redundant, as particularly on both the Eastern and Mesopotamian fronts there was still scope for their activities. As with all the major combatants,
the Germans maintained a large cavalry force, including their lancers, or Uhlans, which are the subject of this set.
Unlike some countries Germany had been relatively quick to learn the lessons of modern warfare and by the outbreak of war in 1914 almost the whole army was in practical field-grey uniforms. The Uhlans in this set show their version of this uniform, with the distinctive czapka-style headgear in its cloth covering and the ulanka tunic with the plastron front and standing collar. The czapka shows little sign of the cockade that normally appeared, but the sculptor has gamely included the cords that were supposed to ensure it was not lost if it fell off.
The traditional lance was still carried at this time and the pennant was usually furled when on campaign, as has been done with all but one of the lances in this set and all the lances have been very well done, being slender and a good length. The rest of the men are armed with rifles and swords.
Scale 1/72 Strelets Figures