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13th Light Horse Regiment (Australia)
300px
13th Light Horse Regiment hat badge
Country Flag of Australia.svg Australia
Branch Australian Army
Service history
Active 1915–1919
Size Regiment
Part of Australian Corps
Nickname "Devils Own"
Battles First World War
Gallipoli campaign
Sinai and Palestine Campaign
Western Front
Commanders
Insignia
Insignia 13th Light Horse Regiment colour patch

The 13th Light Horse Regiment was a mounted infantry regiment of the Australian Army during the First World War. The regiment was raised in March 1915, and eventually assigned as the mounted regiment for the Australian Corps.

During the war the regiment fought against the forces of the Ottoman Empire, at Gallipoli, and against the German Empire on the Western Front. For its role in the war the regiment was awarded twelve battle honours.

FormationEdit

The 13th Light Horse Regiment was raised in Victoria in March 1915. Being the thirteenth regiment they were soon given the nickname the “Devil’s Own” regiment.[1] and comprised twenty-five officers and 497 other ranks serving in three squadrons, each of six troops.[2] Each troop was divided into eight Sections, of four men each. In action one man of each section, was nominated as a horse holder reducing the regiment's rifle strength by a quarter.[3]

All Australian Light Horse regiments used cavalry unit designations, but were mounted infantry armed with rifles, not swords or lances,[4] and mounted exclusively on the Australian Waler horse. [1]

Operational historyEdit

Gallipoli CampaignEdit

13th Light Horse Regiment in France 1918

13th Light Horse Regiment, moving up past Gressaire Wood to participate in the attack that morning near Bray by the 9th Infantry Brigade.

In May 1915, the 13th Light Horse Regiment left Australia for the Middle East, arriving in Egypt in June.[1] When the Australian infantry units were dispatched to Gallipoli, it was thought the terrain was unsuitable for mounted troops, and the light horse regiments remained in Egypt. However casualties resulted in the deployment of the 13th Light Horse Regiment in September 1915.[1] The regiment was deployed defending the trenches at Lone Pine, a strongly contested stretch of the ANZAC front line. Two months later in December, the regiment was withdrawn back to Egypt.[1]

Western FrontEdit

Two squadrons; "B" and "D" which had originally been part of the 4th Light Horse Regiment took part in the Battle of Messines, the third battle of Ypres, the Battle of Broodseinde, the Battle of Passchendaele, the Battle of the Lys, the Battle of Kemmel, the Second Battle of the Marne and the Battle of Tardenois. The two squadrons together with a squadron from New Zealand were eventually amalgamated and renamed the I Anzac Corps Mounted Regiment.[nb 1] and together earned nine battle honours on the Western Front.[6]

The Australian infantry formation was expanded to five divisions. The 13th Light Horse Regiment was broken up to provide a reconnaissance squadron for the 2nd, 4th 5th Divisions. The squadrons then moved to the Western Front in France between March and June 1916. They were soon reunited however as the I ANZAC Mounted Regiment.[1]

The static nature of the fighting along the Western Front, limited the use of mounted troops and they were mostly in a secondary role; doing traffic control, rear area security, escorting prisoners and during an attack reconnaissance and probing the German rear areas.[1] The pinnacle of the regiment's service on the Western Front was following the Hundred Days Offensive when they led the advance of the Australian Corps. When the war ended the regiment was resting, and gradually its manpower were returned to Australia. There total casualties during the war were 57 killed, and 328 wounded.[1]

Battle honoursEdit

13th Light Horse Guidon

Regiments Guidon bearing their battle honours

Gallipoli 1915–1916 · Egypt 1915–1917 · Somme 1916 · Somme 1918 · Pozières · Bapaume 1917 · Arras 1917 · Ypres 1917 · Albert 1918 · France and Flanders 1916-1918 · Gallipoli 1915-1916 · Egypt 1915-1917[1]

Commanding officersEdit

  • Lieutenant Colonel George Henry Dean VD[7]
  • Lieutenant Colonel John McLean Arnott CGM [8]
  • Lieutenant Colonel Ernest Morgan Williams DSO [9]
  • Lieutenant Colonel Dudley Persee White [10]
  • Major Alexander Mitchell DSO [11]
  • Lieutenant Colonel Stanley George Hindhaugh DSO [12]

NotesEdit

  1. The I ANZAC Mounted Regiment was formed in July 1916 from 'B' and 'D' Squadrons, 4th Light Horse Regiment and a squadron of the New Zealand Otago Mounted Rifles Regiment and assigned to II Anzac Corps. It was disbanded in December 1918 and its personnel transferred to the 13th Light Horse Regiment and the II Anzac Corps Mounted Regiment.[5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 "13th Light Horse Regiment". Australian War Memorial. http://www.awm.gov.au/units/unit_10573.asp. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  2. "Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918 – Volume Vol7". Australian War Memorial. p. 54. http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/records/awmohww1/aif/vol7/awmohww1-aif-vol7-ch5.pdf. Retrieved 29 November 2011. 
  3. Horner and Williams, Chapter Setting up the Light Horse
  4. "Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918 – Volume Vol7". Australian War Memorial. p. 29. http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/records/awmohww1/aif/vol7/awmohww1-aif-vol7-ch3.pdf. Retrieved 29 November 2011. 
  5. Mallet, Ross. "Mounted Troops". First AIF. http://www.aif.adfa.edu.au:8888/Light_Horse.html#1st%20Light%20Horse%20Regiment. Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  6. "4th Light Horse Regiment". Australian War Memorial. http://www.awm.gov.au/units/unit_10555.asp. Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  7. "Colonel George Henry Dean, VD". Australian War Memorial. http://www.awm.gov.au/units/people_1076268.asp. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  8. "Lieutenant Colonel John McLean Arnott, CMG". Australian War Memorial. http://www.awm.gov.au/units/people_1076196.asp. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  9. "Lieutenant Colonel Ernest Morgan Williams, DSO". Australian War Memorial. http://www.awm.gov.au/units/people_7611.asp. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  10. "Colonel Dudley Persee White, Crois de Guerre". Australian War Memorial. http://www.awm.gov.au/units/people_1076269.asp. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  11. "Major Alexander Mitchell, DSO". Australian War Memorial. http://www.awm.gov.au/units/people_1076270.asp. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  12. "Lieutenant Colonel Stanley George Hindhaugh". Australian War Memorial. http://www.awm.gov.au/units/people_1076271.asp. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  • Horner, David; Williams, Dr Peter (2010). Australia's Military History For Dummies. John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 978-1-74246-894-5. 

Further readingEdit

  • D. Hunter, My corps cavalry: a history of the 13th Australian Light Horse Regiment 1915-1918, (McCrae: Slouch Hat Publications, 1999).

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