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u.s. Armor-Cavalry (1917-1967) AShort History byDuncanCrow Editor AFV/Weapons series ~ProfilePublicationsLimited ~Windsor,Berkshire,England - L OtherProfileBooks AFV /WeaponsSeries ModernUSArmoredSupport Vehicles 2BritishandCommonwealthArmouredFormations(1919-46) 379thArmouredDivision:Hobo'sFunnies 4InTrust for theNation:HMS Belfast1939-1971 Other FamousProfileBound VolumeSeries AFVsof the World : Volume1 WorldWar I1914-1919 Volume2BritishAFVs1919-1940 Volume3BritishandCommonwealthAFVs1940-1946 Volume4 AmericanAFVsof World WarII AircraftinProfile:Volumes1-11 LocomotivesinProfile:Volumes1-2 WarshipsinProfile:Volumes1 -2 DuncanCrowandProfilePublicationsLimited 1973 1 SBN0853830843 Firstpublishedin1973,by PROFILEPUBLICATIONSLIMITED Windsor,Berkshire,England Printed inEngland by EdwinSnell printers,Yeovil,Somerset Contents To1918 TheUnitedStatesTankCorps II191 9-1 940 TheMechanizedForce III1940-1 945 TheArmoredDivisions TheArmoredCorps Separate(Non-Divisional)TankBattalions Cavalry TankDestroyers U.S.MarineCorpsArmor IV1945-1950 TheU.S.Constabulary Armor,Cavalry, andArmoredCavalry VSince1950 TheArmoredDivisions ArmyReserveandNationalGuard TheCombat ArmsRegimentalSystem Appendix Index Colourillustrations: Page 5 8 10 1 6 16 22 22 27 35 38 42 42 45 48 48 54 55 59 62 29, 32,33, 36 ,J ;[In'' of IhelSI(laler3041h)u.s.TankBrigadedW';l1ganallack 0"October7.1918;17theMeuse,Argo"ne offensive. (U.S.Signal Corps Photo No.111 - SC- 27424inthe NationalArchives) ArmoredOrganization canCrow

:-:J:oattheiconoclastsbrokethrough, from" theoldandbold". ---.. _.- armoredenthusiastsresultedinthe -=- n Experimental Mechanized Force __-cars, tankettes,tanks, a motorized fieldartillerywhichwastractor'-;- ;-elled,andmotorizedengineers.A - ....::: :::-. battalion wasattachedformost of andairsupport(reconnaissance, _-Iwasalsoprovided.Thefollowing _---:"Force was changed to Experimental "-=...:its maneuvers were devotedmore to _ mantoorganizationalexperiment _ _;:>revious year. Present as an observer - :: _''-cf5wasDwight F.Davis,theUnited -.;;:.:- War.He was so impressed bywhat he imaneuvers soclearlypresagedthat 75-l11mHowilzerMotorCarriag eTIoj Ihe1930periodwilhweaponal maximumelevation.(U.S.OrdnanceDepartment) onhisreturntothe States he directedthat a similar force bedevelopedintheU.S.Army. Theexperimentalmechanizedforceresultingfrom this directive was assembled at Camp Meade, Maryland, fromJulyItoSeptember20,1928.Itconsistedof elementsfromtheInfantry,includingInfantry(Tanks), theCavalry,FieldArtillery,AirCorps,Engineers, Ordnance,ChemicalWarfareService,andtheMedical Corps.Althoughinsufficientfundsandobsoleteequipment prevented the re-assembly of the force the following year,its fewweeksof activity werenot nugatorybecause theWarDepartmentMechanizationBoard,whichhad beenappointedtostudytheexperiment,recommended thatamechanizedforcebepermanentlyestablished. ThisrecommendationwasacteduponbytheArmy Chief of Staff,GeneralCharlesP.Summerall,who,on theeveof leaving officeinOctober1930,directedthat a II TheCavalry'sT5A rmoredCar( alsoknownastheCombatCarT2 Modified)of J931wasbOlha hal/-trackand awheeledvehicle. (U.S.OrdnanceDepartment) pelmanentmechanizedforcebeassembledimmediately andstationedat Fort Eustis,Virginia. TheMechanizedForcewasorganizedunderthe commandofColonelDanielVanVoorhis,whothus earned for himselfin later years the title of "Grandfather oftheArmoredForce".Butthe"permanency"was short-lived. In1931the new Army Chief of Staff, General Douglas MacArthur, decidedthat insteadof mechanizationbeingtheprerogativeofaseparateforce-apart, thatis,fromthe1stand2ndTankRegimentsandthe divisionaltankcompanieswhichwerepartofthe infantry-all arms and services were to adopt mechanizationandmotorization"asfarasispracticableand desirable." To this end all arms and services were allowed toexperimentwitharmorandmechanization,andthe separate Mechanized Force at Fort Eustis was dissolved. Butlestanyonemightseeinthisnewdirectivethe openingof thedooronthepossibilityof re-forminga separate Tank Corpsinthefuture,GeneralMacArthur statedunequivocallythatnoseparatecorpswouldbe established"inthevainhopethatthroughautilization of machinesitcanabsorbthemissions,andduplicate thecapabilitiesof allothers."Althoughtankswereno longertobethepreserveoftheinfantrytherewasno question of them regaining their WorldWar I autonomy. 12 CommunicaJiolls car model ofthe1Y Scout Car inuse by the Communica lionsOfficerof the151Cavalry,Mechanized. (Post Studio,Fort Knox) Thearmthatbenefitedmostfromthe1931directive wasthecavalry.Thiswasnotaviewthatallcavalry officerswouldhaveagreedwith.AsinBritainandGermanythe developmentof thetank mechanicallyandits growingimportancebothstrategicallyandtacticallyalbeitthiswasconfinedtodiscussionsandexercisesreinforcedtheantagonismoftheoldercombatarms which equated the rise of the tank with their owndecline inimportance, and therefore infinancialappropriations. With only a meagre amount allotted fornational defense asa whole,newcomers were not welcome.On top of this as far as the "old and bold" in the cavalry were concerned wastheJoveforthehorseandthedisgustforthings mechanical.Readthecommentsofseniorcavalry officersinany countryandtheymightbecarboncopies of thesame speech. It wasnotunnatural. Butthe more far-seeing realised that without mechanizationthe cavalrywas likelyto' beout of business.They didnot agree with those whomaintainedthat the lack of opportunityforthecavalryontheWesternFrontin 1914-1918wasthe exceptionratherthantherule.They arguedthatalthoughthetraditionalcavalrymissions hadnot altered,thehorse wasno longer the light mount onwhichtocarrythemout.Thattheairplanewould takeovertheverylongrangereconnaissancemission - C?T2 I!:'I:ent) m7. ica-T""

the cavalry was common ground betweenthem and unyieldinghorse-lovers.Whatwasatissuewas t oTherthe machine shouldreplacethehorseforother =-.\-:l1rymissions--protectingflanks,coveringadvance - retreat , mediumrange reconnaissance,pursuit. Those ;:;.)favored the reten tion of the horse could point tothe of thetanksavailable;but asspeedsandreliincreasedthisargument faltered.Even bythe late -':: :Isafewlight armored vehicles were inuseincavalry _-:!is. andthe1931directive encouraged this acceptance. interestof thecavalry,wroteGeneralMacArthur, .=.;now"centeredonarmoredcarsandcross-country =X 'iespossessingahighdegreeof strategicmobility, -:- fjfightingandtacticalmobility animportant though -:-:'li ndary consideration." Cavalry was therefore instruc :0developcombatvehicleswhichwould"enhance --"inr61esof reconnaissance, counter-reconnais-- e,flankaction,pursuit,andsimilaroperations." s ":cavalryregimentwastoloseitshorsesandbe exclusivelywiththesenewvehicles.The meanwhile,wastoconcentrateondeveloping :..::::.:-" whichcouldmore effectivelysupportthe rifleman -=._islodging the enemy fromstronglyheldpositions. The" horsesonly"schoolhadafurtherset-backin -: :whenGeneralMacArthurpointedoutthat"the hasnohigherdegreeofmobilitytodaythanhe ::.. :'athousandyearsago.Thetimehastherefore _-:-.-:edwhentheCavalryarmmusteitherreplaceor "i thehorseasameansoftransportation,orelse - --0":;intothelimboof discardedmilitaryformations." --::.:.,didnotmean,however,thatthetasksofthe iliywereoutmoded.Therewouldalwaysbe"the _. for certain units capable of performing more distant - -;:ons than can be efficiently carried out by the mass of --;:..lJmy.Theelementsassignedtothesetaskswillbe - ;::avalryof the future,butmanifestlythehorsealone =:lot meetitsrequirements intransportation." A::-iersucha dictum, thepercipient realized, complete ::,,-:-,-: anization of the cavalry was now a cloud somewhat than aman's hand. ecavalryatthisperiodconsistedoffourteen -=-;:nents-the1stthroughthe14thCavalry-anda -:: ;:mentof PhilippineScouts,the26thCavalry,which in1922.Inaddition there were18cavalry in the National Guard anl'l24 in the Organized -:::5e"'es.Attheendof WorldWarItherehadbeen _ 7nieencavalryregimentsintheRegularArmy. -' ertomeettherequirements of the1920National Actthree regiments-the 15th,16th, and17th inactivatedandtheremainderwerere-organized ,:-x15istofHQ,HQtroop,servicetroop,andsix ':- --:-00troops(i.e.TroopAthroughTroopFintwo ...:j:onsof threetroopseach),insteadof12lettered _:- - andamachine-gun troop inadditionto the HQ, - _ andsupplytroop(astheservicetroopwas _ sJycalled).Someseparatemachine-guntroops ...-:.;::la ' hIDe-gunsquadronswereorganizedinplace of -- .:-:-g:i mentalmachine-guntroops.Thelosstothe __=- --:- armbythispost-warreductionwasthree ;-:=:;;regiments and98troops, "some of the troops," officialhistorypointsout," havingbeenincon- ...='exi stenceforalmost ahundredyears."" geSeries,op.cit.p.53.Itisinterestingtonote :':.2 British Cavalry lost eight or its thirty regiments

Furthermajorchangesinthecavalryweremadein 1928whenthe number of letteredtroops wasreducedto four(dividedbetweentwosquadrons)andtheseparate machine-gunsquadronsandtroopswereeliminated, eachregimentnowhavingitsownmachine-guntroop again. Having receiveditsorderstodevelop combat vehicles thecavaltyselectedFortKnox,Kentucky,asthe locationforitstask.Thenucleusof thecommandwas formedbypersonnelandequipmentfromtheMechanizedForceatFortEustis,sothatineffectitcanbe saidthatthatForceneverceasedtoexistandthereisa continuity,admittedlyalittlewobblyin1929,thatran fromtheexperimentalmechanizedforceof 1928tothe formationof the firstarmoreddivisions in1940--just as inBritainthereisacontinuity,alsosomewhatlimping inits early stages,betweenthe Experimental Mechanized Forceof1927andtheformationof thefirstarmored division,knownoriginallyastheMobileDivision,in 1938. The regiment selected to lead the van of mechanization was theI st Cavalry. It arrived at Fort Knox from Marfa , Texas,earlyin1933,andbegantoreplaceitshorsesby AFVs. The organization of the mechanized regiment was similartothatof ahorseregiment.Ithadfourlettered troops,twoof theminacoveringsquadron,onebeing an armored car troop, the other a scout troop, and two in acombat

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