The Change of the Horse's Role in Battle during World War I

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For hundreds of years, the horse was an extremely important aspect in battle. Organized cavalries, soldiers who fought on horseback, allowed armies to travel faster and for longer distances. Of course, there were some major fallbacks to having horses on the battlefield. Keeping a whole army of horses was expensive, and as result many died of starvation. During World War I, times were beginning to change and the whole outlook on horses in battle was transformed. Their value was significantly less. However, horses still played a significant role in World War I: they served as a boost of morale, pulled heavy loads, and fought on the front line. War animals often boosted morale among troops due to soldier’s affection for them. Recruitment posters often would emphasize the partnership between man and horse as a tactic to bring in new soldiers. This bond between human and equine was shown in the popular war-time illustration painted by Fortunino Mantania of Italy. This piece, called “Good-bye, Old Man”, features a soldier bidding farewell to his fatally injured horse. The painting struck the emotions of many people living in these times and allowed them to catch a glimpse of how life on the battlefield truly was. Two poets were inspired by this illustration. One of these poets was Henry Chappell. “Lifts the limp head and hears the shivering sigh kisses his friend, while down his cheek there steals sweet pity’s tear, ‘Goodbye old man, Goodbye’. “ This was written in

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