Matthew Mallia receiving the award from the Chairman of SAHR, Major-General Ashley Truluck CB, CBE at the RHQ Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, Tower of London
Mr Matthew Mallia, a student of the Department of History (Faculty of Arts) has won the 2016 Annual Student Essay Competition organised by the The Society for Army Historical Research. Matthew is a second-year History (Hons.) student and is at present on an Erasmus student exchange at The University of South Wales. He is also a very active Committee member of the Malta University Historical Society (MUHS). The title of his essay was ‘Galloping at everything’: Wellington and the British Heavy Cavalry charge at Waterloo.
Here-below one can find a synopsis of Matthew's essay, as well as a link to the essay itself.
During the Napoleonic Wars, the effectiveness of cavalry was still felt heavily on the battlefield, and could often turn the tide of battle. Nonetheless, Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington - arguably the ultimate victor of the war - often indicted the cavalry with the phrase ‘galloping at everything’ as proof of his lack of trust in their effectiveness. This was made clear in particular battles or skirmishes in the Peninsula, and also by Wellington’s dispatches. He was often disappointed by the cavalry’s conduct and habit of, for example, pursuing a broken enemy, only to find themselves outflanked and surrounded. It was at the Battle of Waterloo, however, that Wellington was proven right for the final time. He would later say that ‘The cavalry of other European armies have won victories for their generals, but mine have invariably got me into scrapes.’ This essay gives a more detailed overview of Wellington’s relationship with his cavalry, in the Peninsula, but more specifically at Waterloo.
Link to the essay.