Wellington's Cavalry at Waterloo





Wellington's cavalry numbered 14,000 men, a close match to Napoleon's 15,000. The British cavalry were reputed for their dash and the quality of their horses. Their tendancy to charge home and overpursue was a major problem, which is why Wellington didn't think too highly of them. True to their reputation, at Waterloo, the two British heavy brigades destroyed d'Erlon's Corps, failed to stop, blew their horses and were slaughtered by French countercharges.

Breakdown by type

  • Heavy cavalry (28%)
  • Light cavalry (72%)

    Breakdown by nationality

  • 7,000 British
  • 2,700 German (KGL)
  • 3,200 Dutch/Belgian
  •     900 Brunswickers
  •     500 Hanoverians

    Detailed Order of Battle


    All cavalry except the Brunswickers were grouped into the Cavalry Corps under Lord Uxbridge. The Brunswickers were part of the Brunswick contingent but have been included here for clarity.

    Unit (Commander) Strength

    Cavalry Corps (Maj Gen Lord Uxbridge)

    14,118

    1st Cavalry Brigade (Maj Gen Lord Edward Somerset)

    1,416

  • 1st Life Guards (Lt Col Ferrior) [Household Cavalry]
  • 265
  • 2nd Life Guards (Lt Col Lygon) [Household Cavalry]
  • 267
  • Royal Horse Guards (Lt Col Hill) [The Blues]
  • 296
  • 1st Dragoon Guards (Lt Col Fuller) [King's Dragoon Guards]
  • 588

    2nd Cavalry Brigade (Maj Gen Sir William Ponsonby)

    1,369

  • 1st Dragoons (Lt Col Clifton) [Royal Dragoons]
  • 457
  • 2nd Dragoons (Lt Col Hamilton) [Scots Greys]
  • 454
  • 6th Dragoons (Lt Col Muter) [Inniskilling Dragoons
  • 458

    3rd Cavalry Brigade (Maj Gen Sir William Dörnberg)

    1,485

  • 23rd Light Dragoons (Lt Col Portarlington) [Manners' Dragoons]
  • 360
  • 1st Light Dragoons, KGL (Lt Col Bülow)
  • 572
  • 2nd Light Dragoons, KGL (Lt Col de Jonquieres)
  • 553

    4th Cavalry Brigade (Maj Gen Sir John Vandeleur)

    1,373

  • 11th Light Dragoons (Lt Col Sleigh)
  • 456
  • 12th Light Dragoons (Lt Col Ponsonby) [Prince of Wales' Dragoons]
  • 452
  • 16th Light Dragoons (Lt Col Hay) [Queen's Own Dragoons]
  • 465

    5th Cavalry Brigade (Maj Gen Sir Colquhoun Grant)

    1,315

  • 7th Hussars (Lt Col Knight) [Queen's Own Hussars]
  • 403
  • 15th Hussars (Lt Col Dalrymple) [King's Hussars]
  • 456
  • 13th Light Dragoons (Lt Col Doherty)
  • 456

    6th Cavalry Brigade (Maj Gen Sir Hussey Vivian)

    1,615

  • 10th Hussars (Lt Col Quentin) [Prince of Wales' Hussars]
  • 454
  • 18th Hussars (Lt Col Murray) [Drogheda Light Horse]
  • 455
  • 1st Hussars, KGL (Lt Col Wissell)
  • 706

    7th Cavalry Brigade (Col Sir F.Arenschildt)

    875

  • 3rd Hussars, KGL (Lt Col Meyer)
  • 875

    Hanoverian Cavalry Brigade (Col Baron Estorff)

    516

  • Duke of Cumberland's Hussars (Lt Col Hake)
  • 516

    Dutch-Belgian Cavalry Division (Lt Gen Baron J.de Collaert)

    3,235

    Dutch-Belgian Heavy Cavalry Brigade (Maj Gen A.Trip)

    1,237

  • 1st Carabiniers (Lt Col Coenegracht)
  • 446
  • 2nd Carabiniers (Col de Bruijn)
  • 399
  • 3rd Carabiniers (Lt Col Lechleitner)
  • 392

    1st Dutch-Belgian Light Cavalry Brigade (Maj Gen Baron de Ghigny)

    1,086

  • 4th Light Dragoons (Lt Col Renno)
  • 647
  • 8th Hussars, (Lt Col Davivier)
  • 439

    2nd Dutch-Belgian Light Cavalry Brigade (Maj Gen J.van Merlen)

    912

  • 5th Light Dragoons (Lt Col de Merex)
  • 376
  • 6th Hussars (Lt Col Bereel)
  • 536

    Brunswick Division (not part of Cavalry Corps)

    919

  • Hussar Regiment (Maj von Cramm) [Death's Head Hussars]
  • 684
  • Uhlan Regiment (Maj Pott) [Death's Head Uhlans]
  • 235