World War II US Cavalry Units: European Theater

Overview

The cavalry regiments of the US Army were in the process of being transformed into a mechanized force when the USA entered World War II. While those cavalry regiments deployed to the Pacific to fight the Japanese were turned into infantry units, those sent to Europe were employed as light armor in the cavalry's traditional spearhead roles - reconnaissance, the screening of advances and flanks, and the pursuit of beaten enemy forces.

Equipped with M8 Greyhound armored cars, M5 ...

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World War II US Cavalry Groups: European Theater

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Overview

The cavalry regiments of the US Army were in the process of being transformed into a mechanized force when the USA entered World War II. While those cavalry regiments deployed to the Pacific to fight the Japanese were turned into infantry units, those sent to Europe were employed as light armor in the cavalry's traditional spearhead roles - reconnaissance, the screening of advances and flanks, and the pursuit of beaten enemy forces.

Equipped with M8 Greyhound armored cars, M5 Stuart and M24 Chaffee light tanks, and halftracks, these units were designated cavalry groups (mechanized), each c. 1,700 strong and divided into two heavily armed squadrons. They were seldom attached to divisions, but to higher-level corps commands, meaning they could be shifted around quickly and independently and be formed at need into flexible battle groups with armored, infantry, and other units, depending on the mission. Thirteen CG(M)s fought in Europe, seeing a great deal of action - they were usually the first units in contact with the enemy, and, because of their mobility and freelance role, the ones sent as "fire brigades" to block dangerous gaps.

Featuring specially drawn full-color illustrations depicting uniforms, insignia, armored vehicles, and tactical scenarios, this is the story of the US cavalry units that led the advance to victory in Europe during World War II.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In this book, author Gordon Rottman takes a look at the changes and organization of US cavalry units in the early 1940s. He has a look at their training and the equipment they used before and during the war. There is a complete section that offers some of the more memorable exploits of various units as they fought after D-day. We also have a look at what was learned from the experiences of combat in Europe. All of this is superbly illustrated by period photo and by the excellent artwork of Peter Dennis, one of Osprey's best illustrators. This includes not only battle scenes but also well illustrated organizational charts."
- Scott Van Aken, Modeling Madness (November 2012)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781849087971
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 7/24/2012
  • Series: Elite Series
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 482,278
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Gordon L Rottman entered the US Army in 1967, volunteered for Special Forces and completed training as a weapons specialist. He served in the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam in 1969-70 and subsequently in airborne infantry, long-range patrol and intelligence assignments until retiring after 26 years. He was a Special Operations Forces scenario writer at the Joint Readiness Training Center for 12 years and is now a freelance writer, living in Texas.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 4

The Pre-war Cavalry Regiments 5

Regiments, Squadrons, and troops

The Cavalry Group (Mechanized) 7

Organization: Headquarters and Headquarters Troop ? Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadrons (Mechanized) - Troops

Cavalry Group armament and vehicles

Cavalry Group Missions 16

Doctrine and practice

Group and squadron tactics

Task-organization for combat

Cavalry Group Deployments 32

The Test of Battle 42

Representative examples of cavalry groups in action: 113th Cavalry Group reconnaissance mission

4th Cavalry Group screening mission

113t Cavalry Group in the defense

6th Cavalry Group in the offensive

2nd Cavalry Group in defense of a river

2rd Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron in a river assault

316th Cavalry Brigade in the offensive

101st Cavalry Group, miscellaneous missions

3rd Cavalry Group in the pursuit

Conclusions 58

Assessments

The post-World War II mechanized cavalry

Select Bibliography 63

Index 64

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