CARABINIERS, originally mounted troops of the French army, armed with the carabine (carbine). In 1690 one company of carabiniers was maintained in each regiment of cavalry. Their duties were analogous to those of grenadiers in infantry regiments - scouting, detached work, and, in general, all duties requiring special activity and address. They fought mounted and dismounted alike, and even took part in siege warfare in the trenches. At the battle of Neerwinden in 1693 all the carabinier companies present were united in one body, and after the action Louis XIV. consolidated them into a permanent regiment with the name Royal Carabiniers. This was one of the old regiments which survived the French Revolution, at which time the title was changed to "horse grenadiers"; it is represented in the French army of to-day by the 11th Cuirassiers. The carabiniers (6th Dragoon Guards) of the British army date from 1685, and received the title from being armed with the carabine in 1692. Regimentally therefore they were one year senior to the French regiment of Royal Carabiniers, and as a matter of fact they took part as a regiment in the battle of Neerwinden. Up to 1745 their title was "The King's Carabiniers"; from 1745 to 1788 they were called the 3rd Irish Horse, and from 1788 they have borne their present title. In the German army, one carabinier regiment alone (2nd Saxon Reiter regiment) remains of the cavalry corps which formerly in various states bore the title. In Italy the gendarmerie are called carabinieri.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)