Patton's Iron Cavalry - The Impact of the Mechanized Cavalry on the U.S. Third Army Page: 7
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works combined have come to one solid conclusion: the American mechanized cavalry of the
Second World War was more effective than anyone believed it could be, and it achieved this
record despite serious flaws in organization and equipment. Furthermore, it was the trauma of
having to fight cavalry operations at a disadvantage that led to the evolutionary process that
created the armored cavalry regiments and divisional cavalry squadrons of the 1980s era Army
of Excellence that would sweep to crushing victory in Operation DESERT STORM.3
Most of these works have been general in nature, without following the entire battle
history of a cavalry group's impact upon its supported formation. The battle analyses presented
by these authors have been excellent, but also episodic, jumping from one group to the next,
without a great deal of continuity for any unit. Moreover, these works make no distinction
between the different kinds of cavalry available to the U.S. Army. This trend is acceptable in
these works as they are making generalized statements about the mechanized cavalry and
doctrine, and are not focused on the achievements of a specific formation. Tully stands alone in
presenting in great detail the achievements of the 4th Group, but does not assess its sister groups
in the First Army and their cumulative effect on that formation.
This gap between generality and specificity is where this study fits. For the first time,
cavalry's entire operational impact upon a senior headquarters is examined from entry into
combat to the end of the war. This study has no desire to challenge the growing consensus of its
predecessors as their conclusions are considered to be correct and non-controversial. However, a
SGeorge Hofman. Through Mobility We Conquer- The Mechanization of U.S. Cavalry (Lexington:
University Press of Kansas, 1999); Harry Yeide, Steeds of Steel- A History of American Mechanized Cavalry
(Minneapolis: Zenith Press, 2008); Matthew Morton, Men on Iron Ponies (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University
Press, 2009); Robert S. Cameron, To Fight or Not to Fight? Organizational and Doctrinal Trends in Mounted
Maneuver Reconnaissance from the Interwar Years to Operation IRAQI FREEDOM (Fort Leavenworth: Combat
Studies Institute Press, 2010).
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Nance, William Stuart. Patton's Iron Cavalry - The Impact of the Mechanized Cavalry on the U.S. Third Army, thesis, May 2011; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc68023/m1/13/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .