From the Mounted Infantry’s perspective, three main factors potentially jeopardised their successful deployment. The arm’s impermanent and extemporised organisation, its uncertain and ill-understood doctrine and its logistical requirements on campaign were all possible reasons for manifest failure on campaign. The first two issues have been dealt with in previous chapters, but to recap, the impermanent basis of the Mounted Infantry’s formation based on abstraction risked unit cohesion, ineffectual command and a lack of military effectiveness. Confusion over role, or at least one universally agreed within the army, and the shifting nature of the work which the Mounted Infantry was called upon

wise ‘Ikona’. Moreover, celebrating the versatility conferred by the widespread deployment of the arm, Roberts recalled approvingly, ‘I can scarcely call to mind an occasion while I was in command in South Africa when cavalry were ordered out when the Commanding Officer did not beg to have some Mounted Infantry sent with him’. 5 Differing according to viewpoint and allegiance, was this a useful symbiosis between cavalry and Mounted Infantry or evidence of tactical dependency?