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The Warhorse in the Modern Era:
From the Boer War to the Beginning of the Second Millennium
Ann Hyland
Foreword by Lord Soulsby of Swaffham Prior
To read a review of this book, click here

ISBN:  978-1-907212-06-2


Hardback 10" x 7"; 260 pages; b & w photographs, line drawings and maps

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Equus caballus, the horse, has been among man's closest sentient partners on the fields of war. From ancient times on the plains of Mesopotamia, the warhorse has served gallantly right to modern times. Yet although descriptions abound of military actions in which cavalry have played a major part, little is said about the horse, without whom very little would have been achieved in the military sphere, in any era. This may be because, with rare exceptions, military historians are not horsemen or women, and the latter are seldom military historians.

Ann Hyland is both of these things. In the last volume in her acclaimed Warhorse series, she draws on primary sources and first-hand accounts to give a comprehensive account of the horse in war from the Boer War to the beginning of the second millennium. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the horse was used in traction, in cavalry, and in pack, in ever increasing numbers. The veterinary profession entered into an era of major progression, much of its craft learnt on the battlefield and in the veterinary hospitals close to the scenes of action. Mules also continued to play their part in traction and pack, and in some areas the donkey too, as a water carrier in the Dardanelles, in the First World War. In the mud of the Western front in the First World War in 1914 to 1918, mechanical transport bogged down, so horse-drawn transport was often the only means of getting essential supplies to the front. Even in the Second World War (1939 to 1945) the horse was indispensable in Russia's frozen wastes, while in Afghanistan the use of horses and other equids among the military is ongoing.


Using many eyewitness accounts by those who took part in these and other campaigns, as well as official sources, Ann Hyland gives us a moving picture of the sacrifices demanded of - and made by, with so little complaint - this most noble of creatures. In the midst of dreadful carnage and in often appalling conditions, we catch glimpses of the bond which existed between these horses of war and the men who rode and cared for them. The Warhorse in the Modern Era: The Boer War to the Beginning of the Second Millennium is a fascinating and readable book which will appeal to both military history buffs and horse lovers alike.

Ann Hyland

Ann Hyland is a leading expert on the history of the horse, and has written a number of books on the subject.Formerly a professional horse breeder and trainer who has taken part in endurance rides all over the world, she founded the Endurance Horse and Pony Society of Great Britain. She is a consultant on equestrianism for several publications, among them the Oxford English Dictionary; she has also acted as a consultant for a number of TV series, such as Battlefield Walks (BBC) and The Warhorse (History Channel).