US Armor Cavalry

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<p>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 </p> <p>:-: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 _ _;:&gt;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"" </p> <p>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 </p> <p>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 carsquadron,bothof thembeing combat car troops.Theregimenthad35lighttankswhichwere about equallydividedbetweenthescouttroopandthe twocombatcartroops.Theterm"combatcar"was invented to overcome the restriction of the1920 National DefenseActwhichlaiddownthatonlytheinfantry were to have tanks andthat alltank units were to be part of theinfantry.Thusitwasacaseof "atankbyany othername"forthetrack-layingfightingvehiclesused bythe cavalry, and the other name chosenwas"combat car".Butitwasthename onlythat differed,apart from one other feature. Inorder toeconomize,thelighttank designthat wasevolvedin1933was adaptableforboth infantryandcavalry.It couldsupporttheinfantry,in theOlYatleast,indislodgingtheenemyfromstrong defensivepositions;anditcouldmeettheneedsof the cavalryinitspursuit ,protection,andreconnaissance r6les.Thisnewtank,the T2,couldachieveatop speed of35m.p.h.InitsT2EIandT2E2versionsithad fixedturrets- a singleturret inthe case of the T2E 1 and twinturrets side byside in the case of the TIE2- and was intendedfortheinfantrysupportr6le.InitsT2E3 version,whichwasidenticalinallotherrespectstothe T2E I,ithadasimplehand-traversedfullyrotating turret for the cavalry r6le.The T2E 1 wasstandardized as theLight TankM2A I,andthe T2E3wasstandardized as the Combat Car MI. Overthenextfewyearsseveralotherunitsincluding the13thCavalry,afieldartillelYbattalion,anda quartermaster company,weremovedto Fort Knoxand theremechanized.Andthecavalrydivisionitself receivedan armored car troop, atank company,andan airobservationsquadron.Earlyin1938amodification wasmadetothe1931directive:mechanizationwould infuture nolongerbedevelopedbyallarms but onlyby theinfantlyandthecavalry.The Fort Knoxunitswere formedintothe7thCavalryBrigade(Mechanized), withBrigadierGeneralVanVoorhisincommand. Later inthe yearhewas succeededbyColonel AdnaR. 13 TheIlilTellessLighlTallkT3of 1936IVasaproduciof Ihe fillancially leanyears.Thedriversor011theleftandtherewasamachine-gun sponsollOilIherighl glacis.(U.S.Ordnance Department) CombalCarMIA 1 used by The71hCavalryBrigade( Mechanized)lVas fasl and agile. BuilTill1937 it had iTSlurrel off-sel 10The lefl , IVasequipped \Vilhradio, alld weighed 975Ions.Thisparlicularvehicle belollged 10Ihe 1STCavalry,Mechallized.(PostStudio,Fort Knox) TheCombalCarT51of 1935wasbuill durillgIheperiod of in IereSTina barbelle TypeofsuperSlfuclllre.(U.S.Ordnance Department) 14 -"II}' -lUll :r:::; nt) was "l oed ;v'the ", ox) in a -=ont) astrongadvocateofarmor,whohadbeen: _--:--. -.....::..:: : r _.L --_- -.;::;:-in-commandoftheMechanizedForceatFort ='-_f peacewheneconomyhadbeenthekeynoteforU.S. 'u ilitaryforces,ithadbeeneasytoshuntthisproblem aside;but now, with danger to the freeworldincreasing andpartialmobilizationalreadyunderway,theArmy had to face up to how to organize and equip itscavalry."* According to the Armor-Cavalry history theNational Defense Act of 1920providedfortwocavalry divisions, the1standthe2nd,of whichthe1stwasactive andthe 2ndinactive"''''.Eachdivisionhadtwo cavalrybrigades, eachwithtworegiments,amachine-gunsquadron, and aheadquarterstroop.Therewasalsoahorseartillery battalionwith 75-mm.guns, amountedengineerbattalion,anambulancecompany,thedivisiontrains,and thespecialtroops(headquarters,signal,ordnance,and veterinary).Acloseanalysisofthecavalryregiments' lineages,however,revealsthat,onpaper at least,there was also a3rd Cavalry Division. The assignments of the cavalryregimentstothethree divisionswasasfollows: TheI st Cavalry Divisionstarted in1921with the 1st, 7th, 8th, and10th Cavalry. In1922the5thCavalry replacedthe10thwhich wasassignedtothe2nd CavalryDivision.In1933 the12thCavalryreplaced the1stCavalrywhich beganitsmechanization career.Thefinalstateof thedivision,therefore.as regards its horse regiments. wasthe5th,7th,8th,and 12th Cavalry. . * Op.cit.p.70.** p.53. . t.f5A1Ligh/tank 0117thCava!ryullder camouflage in Germany early i1l1945.Filled inlrol1l is a Culill hedgerolVdevice, a brilliant invention dnised inlhe inNormandy.(U.S.Army SC199360) 27 The 2ndCavalry Division startedin1923withthe 10th (ex-1st Cav.Div.) and the12thCavalry.In1927 the2ndCavalryreplaced the 10th which was assigned to the 3rd Cavalry Division. In1933the11thand13th Cavalry came into the divisionandthe12thwas assignedtothe1stCavalry Divisioninplace of the1st Cavalry.In1936the13th Cavalry left the divisionto beginitsmechanization careerwith1stCavalryin the7thCavalryBrigade (Mechanized),thepredecessorofthe 1st Armored Division.In1940the9th Cavalryreplacedthe11 th andthe10thjoinedthe divisionfromthe3rd CavalryDivision.In1941 the14thCavalryjoined thedivision.Itsfinalstate therefore,asregardsits horseregiments,wasthe 2nd,9th,10thand14th Cavalry. The 3rdCavalry Divisionstartedin1927withthe 6thand10thCavalry(ex2ndCav.Div.).In1933the 9thCavalrywasassigned tothe division.Tn1939the 6thCavalryceasedtobe assignedtothedivision, andin1940the9thand 10thCavalrywerereassigned to the 2nd Cavalry Division. Cavalrymen, aswehaveseenearlier,werenot of one mindaboutthemilitaryv...</p>