Cyclist Battalion

Briefly About The Cyclist Battalion, Bicycle Infantry

The Army Cyclist Corps was a corps of the British Army active during the First World War and controlling the Army’s bicycle infantry.

At the outbreak of the First World War, the cyclist battalions were employed on Coastal Defences in the United Kingdom. Their role was considered to be so important that, initially, none of them was sent overseas.

Whilst they were not also deployed as organised combat formations, the bicycle was found to be invaluable for reconnaissance and communications work, being lighter, quieter, and logistically much easier to support than horses.

When and why some of these cyclist battalions were sent to India is not quite clear from official historical records. However, the 25th London Regiment’s website indicates that the bicycle-borne troops were not found to be terribly effective in trench warfare in Europe during WWI.

Yet it was deemed fit for Indian troops in Flanders to use the bicycles left behind, while the British troops were repositioned to places like Dagshai as conventional infantry.

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