Patton's Iron Cavalry - The Impact of the Mechanized Cavalry on the U.S. Third Army Page: 19
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at this particular stage in their development, Cavalry combat cars differed little from Infantry
branch's experimental light and medium tanks.25
By 1934, Cavalry Branch had decided scout cars were of enough utility to provide a
armored car platoon to each horse cavalry regiment.26 These cars would serve as highly mobile
forward scouts for the horsed elements of the regiment that would still provide the main combat
power of the formation. Additionally, as noted above, the branch decided to motorized the
logistics elements of the horse cavalry regiments. Thus the mechanized (more appropriately
motorized) elements within the horse regiments were seen as force-multipliers but not vital to the
overall success of the mission.27
The 7th Cavalry Brigade faced significant hurdles to its development, including lackluster
support from its own branch as well as a lack of vehicles with which to train. However, it did
accomplish a significant amount of doctrinal progress, drawing upon lessons learned from
primarily from German sources. In 1935 American officers were allowed to attend the German
Kriegsakademie.28 This helped to greatly increase American understanding of new German
doctrinal trends and development. Moreover, one only has to look at the performance and
organization of the 7th Cavalry Brigade in maneuvers to note the German influence upon its
tactics. The brigade's tactics essentially involved the armored car elements conducting
reconnaissance that would then pull the heavier combat cars to the decisive point.29 The armored
cars were very firmly fixed to the principle of stealth reconnaissance, "[attacking] by fire only
25 Matthew Darlington Morton, Men on Iron Ponies - The Death and Rebirth of the Modern US Cavalry
(DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2009), 9.
26 Cameron, 60.
27 Motorized refers to vehicles with wheels, while mechanized relates to those with tracks. However, in the
confused early stages of the introduction of vehicles to the military, the entire process became known as
mechanization, regardless of propulsion type.
28 Cameron, 168.
29 CPT Hayden A. Sears, "Mobility- Fire Power and Shock," The Cavalry Journal Vol. XLVIII, No. 4
(July-August, 1939): 288.
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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/m1/25/: accessed July 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .