The last hurrah of the elegant French cavalry was World War I. Under the khaki covers of these cuirassiers are the same polished brass and steel helmets and breastplates that their forebears wore at Waterloo almost one hundred years before. Up through the first months of World War I the French high command believed a spirited charge of colorful French cavalry and infantry could carry the day. The machine gun rendered those beliefs obsolete very quickly. Nevertheless, those first opening weeks of the war saw some of the last great cavalry charges ever carried out in Western Europe.
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