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By Mr Mordon
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Now, I know what some of you are thinking. The very idea that a group of 12-year-old schoolchildren would be dragooned into ‘creating banners and other materials’ to promote LGBT week is preposterous
the classic 'if you don't think this is stupid, then your clearly a member of the loony left'

Also, is 'dragooned' really a verb?

In fact, is it a word at all?
By Malcolm Armsteen
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Dragooned is, indeed, a valid English word, and a verb. Perhaps surprisingly it is used with its proper meaning - to force someone, probably a group of people, to do something against their will. Similar to press-ganging, military in origin.
By Malcolm Armsteen
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To start with, but they were later amalgamated into the cavalry - all mounted regiments became dragoons (18C) and all fought mostly on horseback. Not the same as on the continent where there were caribiniers, cuiraisseurs etc. By the 19C there were heavy and light dragoons, hussars and lancers (brought in to fight in India, IIRC).

This from memory, so E&OE.
By Bones McCoy
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Tubby Isaacs wrote:Ah right. I was thinking of the Civil War. My memory is to be trusted less than yours though.
This again dates back to school days when proper history was taught (but seldom absorbed).

With the advent of firearms on the battlefield, some bright spark decided it would be handy to put some of the shooters on horseback.
This helped in a couple of situations.

1. The tendency of people who didn't want to end up on the end of a horseman's sword to bugger off indoors (or out out reach like a wily Pathan)
and then start shooting the kink's household out of their saddles. The thinking was that the mounted infantry could keep up with their
horsemen, and win fire fights like this.
2. Times when getting there first was important. 2 forces are marching towards a fort, and the first ones to get there can occupy it.
The mounted shooters are ideal for this as they combine mobility and fire power (Though in an either/or fashion).
Traditional cavalry are not very good at defending forts, and traditional infantry don't get there quick enough.

The soldiers carried a lightened form of the infantry musket (and I'm pretty sure they adopted the flintlock method of firing while most infantry
were still wielding matchlocks).
This gun was nicknamed the dragon, or dragoon (Probably on account of the big flash of fire it generated on shooting), and
it lent its name for the soldiers.

Aside form the 2 tactical deployments of dragoons, they found themselves at a bit of a loose end in pitched battles.
They lacked the numbers and training to fight toe to toe against trained infantry, and lacked the quality horses and trainign to go against regular cavalry.
They were found most useful on campaign for scouting, "foraging", and on military police duties.
They often gained a reputation for rape, looting and general lawlessness.

In time, you'd have thought the improving firearms would see more cavalry opting to fight dismounted.
In fact the opposite was true, and by 1800 almost all Dragoons fought as regular cavalry.
The scouting role devolved to specialist "Light cavalty" known as Hussars, Light Dragoons or Chevauxleger (Various other names).
Napoleon was forced on 2 occasions to dismount a small proportion of his dragoons due to shortage of horses.
By all accounts the hated it, grumbled a lot and performed poorly.

Dragoons carried on acting as battle cavalry until the Crimean war. (And later in other European armies).
The Americans with big territory and a rifleman tradition revived the idea of moving mounted and fighting dismounted.
By the end of their civil war, most of their cavalry regiments preferred firepower over cold steel.

By contrast the British army issued a new pattern cavalry sword in 1908.
I've heard an account (but been able to confirm it) that the great debate for the Sandhurst class of 1913 was whether sword or lance would dominate the next war.
I must admit that last bit sounds like a bit of lions and donkeys embellishment.
By Bones McCoy
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Tubby Isaacs wrote:Look, can't I just write the word on my battle diagram?

Great stuff, thanks! Will take me some time to absorb.
I think Wikipedia has some stuff about them too.
It's all a bit confusing because they represented different things to different people at different times.
For example ... .aspxshows" onclick=";return false; that they've graduated to light tanks.
If you are a fit, bright and well-motivated young man, capable of using your initiative and want to broaden your horizons and seek adventure, you may be just what we are looking for
Reads just like a cut and paste from a bygone age. ... -1799.html" onclick=";return false;
By Tubby Isaacs
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Sorry, didn't see this at the time.

Just found Toby's effort on Ben Brown's interview of Jody McIntyre: ... s-the-bbc/" onclick=";return false;

Idiot. And another sighting of the "people don't really understand the tuition fees proposals" argument.
By mattomac
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The thing is the only benefit to Graduates is that they won't start paying til they earn 21k the rest of the arguements such as you don't pay upfront was the exactly the same at the last two reviews. The fees aren't the only debt, the loans that the poorer students will have to take out in full can be up to 5.5k, it could be up to 7.6k in London. So you do a course with a sandwich year because that will benefit your employment and you come out with a debt of 58k (Heaven forbib if you repeat a year) If you live in London and don't go to London Met (Who have said they won't charge 9k) you end up paying 66k. If you only do 3 years it's still going lump you with over 30k worth of debt with decreased graduate employment oppurtunities depending on the university.

Of course this debt will incur interest at higher rates than it used to due to the changing of rates. After 25 years this debt is then wiped out by the government (Can you see how empty the rhetoric about deficit reduction looks now).

Interesting thing I didn't know the Grants that Brown introduced when he became leader...

"Grants to help with your living costs

For 2010/11 and 2011/12 full-time students can get a Maintenance Grant to help with living costs if their household income is £50,020 or less. For 2012/13 you can get a Maintenance Grant if your household income is £42,600 or less. You don’t have to pay back Maintenance Grants."

So yet more reductions.

The new fee proposal leaves student's carrying mortgage style debts, a tution fee timebomb that will leave grave debt on the country and only benefits one type of student the well off, they can pay their debts off.
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