The Long Riders Guild Academic Foundation
The world’s first global hippological study


The Italian Cavalry Charge Against

British Tanks!


Photo depicts Baron Alfredo Guillet, Italy’s most decorated WWII soldier, who led the cavalry charge.

Editorial Note - from CuChullaine O’Reilly

In 2010 I began work on the "Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration."

It was while I was doing research for that project that I began corresponding with Tootoo Imam.  A legendary rider and author of exemplary books, Tootoo’s knowledge of equestrian history was astonishing. Because of our mutual interest in equine history, he and I began exchanging lengthy emails on a regular basis. This correspondence continued for years.

In 2013 Tootoo wrote to ask the LRG Press to assist him in making the historical information in his books more widely attainable to an international audience by publishing extracts from his books on the Guild’s Academic Foundation website. Sadly he passed away in 2018 at the age of 97, before we could begin to honour that promise.

Tootoo was not only a knowledge keeper. It was thanks to his generosity of spirit that so much tremendously valuable equestrian wisdom was preserved for posterity.

In addition, his love of horses brought him into contact with many of the most noted equestrians of the 20th century.

One such extraordinary meeting occurred in 1990 when the Indian historian met Italy’s most famous mounted warrior, Baron Alfredo Guillet, in Ireland. Known as the Italian "Lawrence of Arabia", Guillet and his African cavalrymen charged British tanks armed with only swords, guns and hand grenades. During a remarkable meeting, the Baron recounted the battle to Tootoo Imam.

Baron Alfredo Guillet (left) had been decorated for bravery after fighting in Abyssinia and Spain. He was then tasked with leading a band of native cavalry to harass British troops in Eritrea. Though Mussolini’s army surrendered, Guillet waged a guerrilla war against the British by plundering convoys and attacking guard posts. When an intense manhunt was launched, Guillet disguised himself as a Muslim and escaped across the Red Sea to Yemen.
Lieutenant Renato Togni was second-in-command of the Gruppo Bande Amhara a Cavallo (the Amhara Cavalry Group).

The irregular cavalry included “Muslims, Copts, Eritreans, Tigreans, Amhara, Yemenis and some Arab smugglers from the Sheikh Rashid tribe.”

Below is an extract from Tootoo's book, 'Passion, or the Way of a Man with a Horse' with more information about this amazing cavalry charge.


Visit The Long Riders' Guild!