The opening of the battle sequences in "War Horse" features a cavalry charge against a German camp. Is it based in reality?
Thus far I have not been able to turn up a British cavalry charge that closely resembled Steven Spielberg's spectacular creation. And spectacular it was, from the moment the troopers rise out of the ground cover, and gallop forward, swords aiming for men on foot and caught unaware. Unfortunately there are many precedents for Great War cavalry charging machine guns, as the movie scene played out. As historian Keith Mitchell put it in an address, "Once again the British cavalry proved that brave men on horseback were no match for machine guns".
Perhaps the filmmaker had in mind the charge of Flowerdew's Squadron at Moreuil Wood on March 30th, 1918. There were major differences between the reality and the movie scene, however. Flowerdew was not captured, but was killed. And the enemy was not helpless, but waiting with rifle, machine gun, and artillery.