Object Title

Modèle 1913 Lance

Modèle 1913 Lance


The French army had fielded lancers since 1809, and Napoleon expanded this section of his cavalry before the invasion of Russia with the conversion of four regiments of dragoons to lancers. By 1914 all 26 regiments of Dragoons carried the lance, along with six of the 14 regiments of hussars and five of the 21 Chasseurs à Cheval regiments.

From the mid-19th century the preferred material for lance hafts had been male bamboo, as it combined strength with flexibility. However, due to difficulties in acquiring it in sufficient numbers, France chose to manufacture lances entirely of burnished steel as the Germans did.

By 1914 this new lance was issued to all but six Dragoon regiments, who retained their Modèle 1890 bamboo hafted lances.

Use and effect

The M1913 retained the M1890 blade type. Both had a hollow-ground triangular blade with rondel stop below it to prevent over penetration of the target. This stop also provided an attachment point for a pennant. A metal ring was added to enabled a leather sling to be attached so the weapon couldn't be accidentally dropped, which in earlier models was wrapped around the bamboo, serving as a grip. The grip on the M1913 was instead provided by a leather sleeve that fitted over the central section.

Shorter and more manoeuvrable than the German lance, the M1913 with its acutely pointed blade was better suited to thrusting with, although it lacked the blade strength for the couched use of the Stahlrohrlanze. Von Poseck records the majority of German casualties suffered in cavalry to cavalry combat with the French being caused by lance thrusts. Among them was Prince Henry of Bavaria, who was wounded by the lance of a French Dragoon at Gondrexon on 13 August 1914.


Blade length 12.4 cm (4.8 in)
Country of manufacture France
Date entered service 1913
Manufacturer Manufacture d'armes de Châtellerault
Overall length 2.98 m (9 ft 9.25 in)
Primary operator France
Weight 2.17 kg (4 lb 12.5 oz)


Henry Yallop