Travelogue, Northern France. History, Norman Conquest, Britains relationship with Medieval Normandy.

WW1 French army river crossing Verdun

The initial purpose of the stud farms was to produce war horses which went on to serve in civilian life in agriculture, industry and transport and, due to their success, horse breeding became an industry in its own right. The down sized Percheron draft horse was exported in the thousand to the Wild West frontiersmen in the early 19th Century, some of them returned to France to serve in WW1. Both Percherons and the Norman horse were cross bred with Arab and English Thoroughbred stallions and went onto to serve in the Napoleonic and both World Wars as artillery, cavalry, infantry and supply column horses where they suffered devastating losses. 47,000 horses served in the Waterloo Campaign alone and France mobilised over 500,000 horses in the Light Cavalry Division in WW2.