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The arme blanche or the rifle The eternal question that has confronted cavalry experts ever since long-range firearms became effective, is whether the modern cavalryman should use the saber — the arme blanche--or the rifle, or both the arms together. The failure of cavalry to achieve success in recent European wars has been used by one class of critics to prove that “the cavalry has had its day” and that “the improved rifle had made cavalry charges impracticable.” On the other hand, many of the experienced cavalry leaders of the present day hold that it is quite possible to turn out a modern horse-soldier, armed with saber and rifle, who will be equally efficient, mounted or dismounted. In 1911 an American board of officers recommended, however, that the United States troopers should give up their revolvers on the principle that two arms suffice — the carbine for long distance, the saber for hand-to-hand fighting.

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