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The development of cavalry firearms and the widespread disappearance of armour from the European battlefield saw a decline in the use of the cavalry lance in early modern warfare. However, by 1800 the lance, much changed from its medieval predecessors in both form and function, was back.
During the next century the use of the lance spread to the armed forces of almost every Western country, seeing action in every major conflict from the Napoleonic Wars to World War I including the Crimean and Franco-Prussian wars and across the Atlantic in the American Civil War. The lance even reached the colonial conflicts of the Anglo-Sikh and Boer wars. It was not until the disappearance of the mounted warrior from the battlefield that the lance was consigned to history.
Featuring specially commissioned artwork and drawing upon a variety of sources, this is the engaging story of the cavalry lance at war during the 19th and 20th centuries, from Waterloo to the Somme.