Patton's Iron Cavalry - The Impact of the Mechanized Cavalry on the U.S. Third Army Page: 20
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and [seeking] concealed positions."30 This doctrine proved successful in tests. However,
formations built for stealth-only reconnaissance require a close-by combat formation for
battlefield survival. In the case of the 7th Cavalry Brigade, this combat formation was near at
hand in the form of combat cars (tanks) organic to the formation.
In August of 1939, the Brigade performed so well in the First Army maneuvers in New
York that they had to be stopped by the exercise controllers before they prematurely ended the
exercise by crushing the opposing forces (OPFOR) rear areas and supply lines.31 The 7th Cavalry
Brigade operated as a concentrated mechanized force, utilizing its speed and mobility to pierce
the OPFOR line and then completely disrupted their rear areas, in a textbook example of U.S.
horse cavalry doctrine. What made the 7th Cavalry Brigade's performance so special was the
speed and firepower that they brought to the fight that was unlike anything previously created by
the U.S. Army.
However, the American mechanized cavalry had a relative lack of infantry or dismounted
personnel in the organization. This can be attributed to the Army assigning the 7th Cavalry
Brigade to perform traditional cavalry functions. The 1941 FM 100-5 lists these as:
Cavalry is capable of offensive combat; exploitation and pursuit; seizing and holding
important terrain...; ground reconnaissance; screening; security for the front, flanks,
and rear of other forces on the march, at the halt, and in battle; delaying action;
covering the retrograde action of other forces; combat liaison between large units;
acting as a mobile reserve for other forces; harassing action; and surprise action
against designated objectives deep in hostile rear areas.32
Since the mechanized cavalry could be assumed to be merely a cavalry regiment on a
different platform, the lack of dismounted troopers was not something that was studied in great
detail until the outbreak of World War II. Unfortunately for later mechanized cavalrymen, there
30 Ibid., 288
31 Cameron, 230.
32 War Department, FM 100-5. Field Service Regulations. Operations, 1941 (Washington, D.C.: GPO,
1941), paragraph 38.
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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/m1/26/: accessed February 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .