Patton's Iron Cavalry - The Impact of the Mechanized Cavalry on the U.S. Third Army Page: 29
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that cavalry is the dedicated force for the army to accomplish security functions. Other elements
may be able to do cavalry-type missions, but at the expense of their own important roles.
Unfortunately Army Ground Forces did not see things as clearly.
Additionally, the United States Army as a whole had not created an organization capable
of replacing the niche which Cavalry Branch had occupied from the Civil War to 1942 because,
in the imaginations of many, the Armor Force was supposed to supplant the cavalry in their
traditional roles. The 1944 FM 100-5 Operations, made greater progress in assigning the
armored divisions cavalry type missions. While still insisting that the division's primary role
was to attack enemy rear areas, the manual additionally listed such missions as: "Break through
an enemy protective screen and establish early contact with hostile forces... Seize ground
essential to the development of the higher commander's plan... exploit a success... and pursue a
defeated enemy."'55 However, in practice, armored divisions in the American Army were
generally used to spearhead offensives but otherwise occupied a portion on the broad front, like
every other division in the army. In short, the armored division was a highly mobile main body
division with a lot of firepower, not a cavalry formation performing roles for the corps at an
The 1944 FM 100-5 Operations does demonstrate the Army realized it had a doctrinal
gap, and the manual attempts to make a 1944 armor division sound like a 1941 cavalry division.
Unfortunately, the 1944 armored division in the context of the standard American corps of 1944-
45 was intended more for high intensity combat than the specialized security, reconnaissance,
and economy of force missions traditional to cavalry. A corps commander would never place his
primary armored element in an economy of force role, or even in a security screen. Rather he
needed the armored division as his counterattack or exploitation force. The corps cavalry
War Department, FM 100-5, Operations, 1944, paragraph 1040.
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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/m1/35/: accessed March 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .