Patton's Iron Cavalry - The Impact of the Mechanized Cavalry on the U.S. Third Army Page: 23
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conclusions, endorsed by General Marshall, recommended the establishment of an independent
Armor Force with responsibility for all mechanized forces in the Army. With support from
General Marshall, the Armor Force was established on 10 July 1940. Both Major General
George Lynch and Major General John Herr, the current chiefs of Infantry and Cavalry
respectively, opposed this move. Lynch argued that the German panzer divisions were simply
"armored cavalry."39 Herr opposed the new branch as he also saw it duplicating many of the
same roles as cavalry.
The creation of the Armor Force, and the resulting loss of all cavalry combat cars (as well
as the 7th Cavalry Brigade) would prove disastrous for cavalry mechanized doctrine. The slowly
emerging doctrine of reconnaissance units closely linked to combat formations immediately
began to unravel with the departure of the cavalry tanks. This close relationship (and distance)
between hunters and killers was what had allowed the light combat cars to survive and succeed
in tests. Thus stealth reconnaissance worked, but generally only when immediately (in the same
formation) backed by combat forces strong enough to fight and win against most security zone
adversaries. Although the horse cavalry regiments still maintained their armored cars, cavalry
mechanized doctrine was frozen into stealth reconnaissance only. Cavalry branch, relieved from
the pressure of needing to advance mechanized doctrine beyond this point, simply chose not to
continue experimentation along this line. It retained its horse regiments, and under the prevailing
orthodoxy of the branch, continued to believe that they would be sufficient to meet the doctrinal
requirements as laid out in FSR 1923 and the latest revision FSR 1939 (almost a complete reprint
of the earlier manual).40
39 Hofman, Through Mobility We Conquer, 266.
40 Odom, 8.
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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/m1/29/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .