Sea Horse

I found this story on Futility Closet's blog here.

"Commandant Louis Joseph Lahure [a general from the Netherlands in the service of the First French Republic] has a singular distinction in military history — he defeated a navy on horseback."


Look how smug he looks. "Yeah. I did that."

"Occupying Holland in January 1795, the French continental army learned that the mighty Dutch navy had been frozen into the ice around Texel Island. So Lahure and 128 men simply rode up to it and demanded surrender. No shots were fired."

Of course, this may not be as impressive as it first sounds–the Dutch has very probably already been approached by surrender by this point and were instructed not to resist Napoleon's forces. So it's less of a 'defeat' and more of an 'interesting confrontation between two types of forces that don't usually come into contact.'


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3 Responses to Sea Horse

  1. hairyears says:

    England Expects…

    No, there’s a better one than that: in Devon, in 1643, Captain Popham led his Parliamentarian cavalry though the sea to a grounded Royalist troopship, their horses at one point *swimming* rather than fording the shallows, and took the ship under fire.

    The full details are in display in the local museum at Watchet – the smallest and most interesting museum (per square foot) that I have ever visited – but Wikipedia mentions this incident here:

    I am not aware of any other instance of cavalry taking a ship at sea; and I have to say that crossing a frozen river doesn’t really count.


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