Camels and Camel Racing - Arab Camels and Arab Camel Cavalry
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Camel Cavalry / Camelry
Camel cavalry, or camelry, is a generic designation for armed forces using camels as a means of transportation. Sometimes warriors or soldiers of this type also fought from camel-back with spears, bows or rifles.
Camel cavalry were a common element in desert warfare throughout history due in part due to the animal's high level of adaptability. They provided a mobile element better suited to work and survive in an arid and waterless environment than the horses of conventional cavalry. The smell of the camel according to folklore alarms and disorients horses, making camels an effective anti-cavalry weapon. For this purpose Emperor Claudius is said to have brought a detachment of camel cavalry as part of his invasion force for conquering Britain.
The camel was used in this way by many civilizations, especially in Arabia and North Africa. Both camel and rider were sometimes armored like the contemporary cataphracts. The Arabs used camels to great effect against their horse-mounted European enemies during the Muslim conquests. During the late nineteenth and much of the twentieth centuries camel troops were used for desert policing and patrol work in the British, French, German, Spanish and Italian colonial armies. Descendents of such units still form part of the modern Indian, Moroccan and Egyptian armies.
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