27 NOVEMBER 2004, Page 34

Last charge

From Brian Harvey Sir: Charles Moore (The Spectator's Notes, 20 November) wonders when was the positively last cavalry charge. A contender must surely be the charge of the Savoia regiment commanded by Count Alessandro Bettoni of the Italian army on 24 August 1942. In 1941 the Savoia were sent to Russia as part of the 61,000-strong Italian Expeditionary Corps in support of the German army, and in the following autumn the Savoia were south of the River Don north-west of Stalingrad and came across three battalions of Russian infantry. The three squadrons of the regiment charged across the steppe and put the Russians to flight, taking 500 Russians prisoner in the process and killing 150, with 30 dead of their own.

Brian Harvey

Dunston, Staffordshire