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Remembered Today:

Cameroon Mounted Infantry: Horses or Mules?


zaalf

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In the Cameroon campaign the Germans, British and French all had units of what are referred to as "mounted infantry".  Does anyone know whether these units were mounted on horses, or on mules?

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Thanks for your reply Butterfield.  It is helpful to hear that you are mainly seeing reference to horses which is what I suspected. By 1918 the Cameroons campaign is over,  so is Pamforce and your reference for mainly horses from Cameroons or East Africa?

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1 hour ago, zaalf said:

It is helpful to hear that you are mainly seeing reference to horses which is what I suspected. By 1918 the Cameroons campaign is over,  so is Pamforce and your reference for mainly horses from Cameroons or East Africa?

Pamforce (Port Amelia & Mozambique Force) and the 1918 date would indicate the East African theatre of operations rather than Cameroon.  
It doesn’t help answer your question but in 1915/1916 the Mounted Infantry Company (2/Loyal North Lancs & 25/Royal Fusiliers) were using mules rather than horses in East Africa.

Steve

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Mate,

Didn't I read somewhere that because of the sickness in Southern Africa (tetzee and such) that horses were dieing, so they had to find other animals to ride and carry like the mules.

Was not that the reason for also looking at Zebras?
S.B

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Yes certainly in East Africa many mounted units were forced to switch to mules because of the tsetse problem.  But I see no mention of this in my (admittedly still limited) reading on Cameroon so far.  I have a feeling from that that horses were more the norm for mounted infantry in Cameroon.  But hopefully there is someone with more knowledge who can say whether this is true?

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Apologies for the poor quality of the photo but it does show the Mounted Infantry from the Nigeria Regiment.  It comes from the Official History Military Operations Togoland and Cameroons.  There are references to 'A', 'B' and 'C' Mounted Infantry companies all from the Nigeria Regiment.

James W

 

image.png.952dfcef60252b672c47c3348588215c.png

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Athelstan thanks for that very interesting photo.  I see they are all mounted on horses. 'Rifles slung on their backs, so no rifle bucket.  They don't have the small green cap of the Nigerian infantry.  Looks like a khaki turban with a green? frill at the top.

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Hello Zaalf

Another rather poor quality photo for you.  This time from 'The History of the West African Frontier Force; by Colonel A. Haywood and Brigadier F.A.S. Clarke.  The Mounted Infantryman appears to wearing a fez type hat with his rifle over his back and carrying a short lance.  I'm no equestrian expert but it looks very much like a horse to me!  I will look for more photos/references.

regards

James Wimage.jpeg.12a048fced6e549e13b7e61cdb63c0d5.jpeg

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15 hours ago, athelstan said:

I'm no equestrian expert but it looks very much like a horse to me

Yep, that’s a horse. 64 Chromosomes.

58 DM ;)

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Athelstan, many thanks for posting that second rare photo with book reference.   I would guess that the turbans in the first photo are "review order" parade dress.  The second photo I would interpret as campaign dress with the small green hat.  Certainly a horse, and I note that the rider has knee-length trousers rather than the shorts worn by the unmounted Nigerian infantry.

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Zaalf -   There appears to be no reference to the Cameroons campaign in the offical Veterinary history.  Photo shows "ponies" for the mounted - from the O/History Togoland & Cameroons.

Andrewimage.jpeg.c3378f1b61c0b8cbe4840894892f96f7.jpeg

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Thanks for those fascinating photos A Connolly! I didn't know there is a veterinary history. So, ponies, and once again no mention of mules. The second photo also confirms that the Nigerian mounted infantry wore the small green cap and knee-length trousers on campaign.  The helpfulness of this group and its ability illuminate even small obscure details are most impressive.

I would hazard a guess that if the British were able to use ponies rather than mules this is probably true for the French and German mounted infantry companies as well.

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The Side hat reminds me of the one issued to British units in the 1800's

Worn off to the side and had a pompom on top.

A number of British Cavalry Regts wore them as many other did.

But I think mostly worn by the Gurkhas

S.B

Edited by stevenbecker
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