Patton's Iron Cavalry - The Impact of the Mechanized Cavalry on the U.S. Third Army Page: 9
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Normandy and Southern France campaigns, thereby providing a dramatic range of different
environments in which to assess the mechanized cavalry.
Each group has its entire combat history assessed critically from its entry into combat
with the Third Army to either its transfer away from the army or the end of the war.
Additionally, as cavalry is, at its heart, a supporting branch designed to enable the success of
larger formations, the achievements of the group were analyzed for their impact upon the success
or failure of the supported unit. Thus, a group was only assessed as a success if their parent
formation achieved success, or their contributions could be physically measured.
The six cavalry groups (2nd, 3d, 6th, 15th, 16th, 106th) discussed in this study provide a
good cross section of the army as a whole during the early 1940s, including storied regular army
formations, national guard units, and recently activated regiments with relatively short histories.
However, they shared much in common. Most of the commanding officers were West Pointers
and professional cavalrymen, while their junior officers were a mix ofROTC, OCS, and West
Point. In contrast to their senior officers, many of the troopers were recruits or draftees, new to
the profession of arms. Furthermore, many of the old regular cavalry regiments had had their
personnel transferred to form the armored force, and thus even most of these 'old' formations
were in essence new. Therefore, the average quality of the soldiers in the cavalry groups was no
greater or worse than found in any other formation in the U.S. Army of the period.
The 2nd Cavalry Group possessed the distinction of being the oldest cavalry regiment
currently in service with the transition in 1940 of the 1st Cavalry Regiment into the 1st Armored
Regiment.4 The 2nd had been formed in 1836 and seen continuous service since, serving in all
the nation's wars until 1941, with the exception of the Philippine Insurrection and the China
4 Although the cavalry were designated from 1943 to 1946 as groups, the term is interchangeable with
regiment in this particular context.
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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/m1/15/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .