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WWII Mounted Impressions


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Its a Waler mate, as also pointed out by MPage. The bloodlines include Thoroughbred, Arab Pony, Cape Horse, Timor Pony and Clydesdale/Percheron. These animals are considered some of the best Military horses in the world...hard as nails. Our Light Horse used them during WW1 in the Middle East and the Australian Govt. exported them to the British Army and Indian Cavalry for years.

 

My Great Grandfather rode them with the 9th Light Horse during the First War and told my uncles that the Waler was the hardiest mount he ever had the pleasure of riding.

 

Cheers

 

Sean

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The 99th had a load of US animals turned back by Australian Quarantine (it seems they have always been the worlds toughest quarantine)

 

The 1st load was diverted to New Caledonia

 

As replacments they recieved lend lease horses from the Australian government.

 

I have a fair amount of stuff relating to US horse/mule units during the war and any (so far in all my research) units in Australia seem to all have Walers.

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Here are some pics of Australian Walers landing on New Caledonia

 

These come from the Fort Ord website

 

97thFApackb_zpsd9868468.jpg

 

The animals landing here are the ones used by the 112th Cavalry (on New Caledonia) and the 97th FA (pack) (on Guadalcanal)

 

The animals had a pretty rugged boat trip and none were saddle broke.

 

Retraining of these animals was "on the job"

 

There was a small remount depot on the island (Troop strength and a half Company of Veterinary corps dispersed between the mounted/pack units on the island)

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Its a Waler mate, as also pointed out by MPage. The bloodlines include Thoroughbred, Arab Pony, Cape Horse, Timor Pony and Clydesdale/Percheron. These animals are considered some of the best Military horses in the world...hard as nails. Our Light Horse used them during WW1 in the Middle East and the Australian Govt. exported them to the British Army and Indian Cavalry for years.

 

My Great Grandfather rode them with the 9th Light Horse during the First War and told my uncles that the Waler was the hardiest mount he ever had the pleasure of riding.

 

Cheers

 

Sean

 

Sorry! I hope I didn't insult any Waler-philes! I've always wanted one, as I'm aware of how great a horse they are. The one in that pic is a pretty rough looking specimen, though. Maybe it's the angle of the photo, but his conformation is lacking. I like the Walers in the other pictures a lot better.

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The 112th only had problems with the Aussie horses on New Caledonia

 

Interestingly in the 1930s the US Quartermaster rejected Walers for use in the Phillipines.

 

The excess horses of the 112th all ended up in India and then Burma where the horses caused all sorts of problems.The mules (Indian and US sourced)all faired a lot better in the Burma campaign.

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Re CBI mules: I once read, in OSS records, that when the Marauders needed many, mules on short notice, it fell to OSS to FIND tem, BUY them, and under false papers arrange for their transport to India. This was because the Usual Mule-Providing Areas were EMPTY. The US born ones had been used up for pre-Pearl harbor and 1942 mobilization purposes. Many if not most of those used in Tunisia and then Italy came from Mexico, French possessions throughout Africa and from South Africa.

 

OSS, with its guys who knew guys who knew guys, in odd places, got many mules from Argentina (pro-Axis), Spain (quasi-Axis), Turkey (?) and Portugal and its African colonies. BUT the records pointed out that mule dealers of the day were not stupid, knew it was American money pouring in, and were in touch with one another, so they figured the mules were going to fight the Japanese -- no problem, not our friends.

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The 112th only had problems with the Aussie horses on New Caledonia

 

Interestingly in the 1930s the US Quartermaster rejected Walers for use in the Phillipines.

 

The excess horses of the 112th all ended up in India and then Burma where the horses caused all sorts of problems.The mules (Indian and US sourced)all faired a lot better in the Burma campaign.

 

What kind of problems - health or performance? Certainly, for packing (and maybe riding) in rough terrain, the mule is the way to go.

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What kind of problems - health or performance? Certainly, for packing (and maybe riding) in rough terrain, the mule is the way to go.

 

 

The horses would ony eat packed grain,they refused local chaff and lost bulk very quickly,as a direct result of this the pack saddles neede constant rechambering (this was beyond the area of expertise of most of the Infantry soldiers turned "skinner") and the horses developed open wounds very quickly.

 

The mules either by choice or design ate anything and everything put in front, of them and maintained size.The mules could also march unshod,something not attempted with the horses.

 

The few horses remaining with the 5307th became evacuation or emergency riding animals only.

 

Lt Col Charles Hunter had one of these last horses shot out from under him at Mytkina

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