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Message  Bruno BARRIER le Lun 24 Mai - 11:41

Welcome to this forum,

Its goal is to make readers know the story of bicycle mounted riflemen (“chasseurs cyclistes”, in French) from their creation to their disappearance. Those units are little known, and the official data allowing researchers to find the trace of the men who composed them are far from numerous. It seemed to us it was high time their story came to the fore; this forum can help us do so, thanks to everyone’s contribution.

The idea of creating a bicycle mounted infantry unit originated in the Civil War (1861-1865), when cyclists were given such missions as raids and reconnaissance patrols by the U.S. cavalry. As different countries sent observers to watch this war, bicycle mounted units were soon to be tried in Germany, Austria, Russia, England, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Turkey, China, Japan, the Netherlands, etc.

Experts have been divided on the usefulness of bicycle mounted fighting units. Their success seems to be linked to their men’s preparedness and their training as a coherent unit, with a focused objective. Yet, two obstacles were to take into account: the rigidity of most bicycles, which was a burden while fighting, and the lack of a good road network. But one must also bear in mind the reluctance before any form of novelty… Italy and Belgium were the only countries that proved convinced by the necessity to own bicycle mounted fighting units.

If you happen to have any question on that matter, please feel free to ask us; on the other hand, if you can add anything , do not hesitate and give us a helping hand!

Thank you very much for reading us and participating.

Best regards,
Bruno BARRIER
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Bruno BARRIER
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Messages : 1478
Date d'inscription : 08/04/2010
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