During the Napoleonic Wars, the Cossacks were Russia's plentiful supply of irregular cavalry. They were employed as skirmishers, raiders and scouts, and their tactics of harassment and harrying caused great problems for Napoleon's Grand Armee as it retreated through Russia in 1812. This work shows how they laid claim to being the finest light cavalry in Europe. It details the various tribes that made up the Cossack nation, the social structure of Cossack life, and how they were organized and employed in war.
Laurence Spring holds a degree in History from London University, and is the co-ordinator of the Russian Army Study Group, an organisation with a world-wide membership. He is currently translating A V Viskovatov's seminal Historical Description of the Clothing and Arms of the Russian Army, which will be published by the Group. He has also written books on the English Civil War, and numerous articles for magazines. Laurence currently works at the Surrey Research Centre, formerly the Surrey Record Office, UK.