Employment of Mechanized Cavalry - 1944

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WW2 US army field manual

Transcript of Employment of Mechanized Cavalry - 1944

  • E PYMENT OFMECHANIZED CAVALRY

    jEnpluynent of neT z_7'.cj cavalry. CavaL~'yfchcI Kl. 11'//

    This LinIS A HOLDING OF THE

    ARCHIVES SECTIO~LIBRARY Si RVICESI

    FORT LEAVENWORTH, KANSASDOCUMENT NO0. T-7~ COPY NO.

    Prepared for use in resident instruction at The Cavalry School anddistributed to cavalry units with the approval of the Command-

    ing General, Army Ground Forces.

  • EMPLOYMENT OFMECHANIZED CAVALRY

    Prepared for use in resident instruction at The Cavalry School anddistributed to cavalry units with the approval of the Command-

    ing Generdl, Army Ground Forces.

    V1

  • CONTENTSParagraph Page

    CHAPTER 1. General.SECTION I. Role and charac-

    teristics----------1- 2 1II. Organization -------- 3- 6 4

    III. Missions ------------ 7-10 8IV. Command and staff __11-13 10V. Plans and orders ----14-15 11

    CHAPTER 2. Tactical functions.

    SECTION I. Reconnaissance dur-ing offensive oper-ations------------16-24 15

    II. Intelligence-----------25 34III. Liaison-------------26-27 34IV. Signal communi-

    cation------------28-34 36V. Security ------------ 35 41

    VI. Patrolling-----------36-39 41VII. Observation-----------40 49

    VIII. Night reconnaissance- 41 51IX. Reconnaissance dur-

    ing defensive oper-ations------------42-44 51

    X. Reconnaissance dur-ing retrogrademovements-------45-48 52

    XI. Reconnaissance ele-ment in a seizeand hold mission -49-50 53

    XII. Reconnaissance ele-ment in a protec-tive role----------51-52 55

    INDEX----------------------------------57

  • CHAPTER 1GENERAL

    SECTION IROLE AND CHARACTERISTICS

    1. ROLE OF MECHANIZED CAVALRY.-a.Mechanized cavalry units are organized, equipped,and trained to perform reconnaissance missionsemploying infiltration tactics, fire, and maneuver.They engage in combat only to the extent neces-sary to accomplish the assigned mission.

    b. Reconnaissance units on reconnaissance mis-sions contribute to the security of the main forceby reporting the locations of enemy forces and bygiving timely warning of ground and air attacks.Information and warnings are transmitted direct-ly to units whose security is threatened and tohigher headquarters. Direct communication be-tween cavalry and tank destroyer units is es-sential so that tank destroyer commanders willhave early information of tank concentrations andmovement. Any echelon may monitor a radionet of a lower unit to intercept information.

    For military terms not defined in this manualsee TM 20-205.

  • 2. CHARACTERISTICS OF MECHANIZEDCAVALRY.-a. Mechanized cavalry units haveexcellent mobility and communications and con-siderable fire power. They perform distant, close,and battle reconnaissance within zones or areas,or along designated routes or axes. Units maybe employed dismounted on reconnaissance mis-sions when the use of vehicles, is impracticable.The zone assigned will vary with the size of thereconnaissance unit, the routes available to theenemy, the effect of terrain and weather on vis-ibility and movement, the information desired bythe higher commander, and the facility withwhich reserves can be moved within the zone.

    b. The frontage for a platoon reconnoitering azone should not exceed 4 miles. A troop with oneplatoon in reserve initially can reconnoiter a zone10 miles, in width, while a squadron with one re-connaissance troop and the light tank company inreserve can reconnoiter a zone 25 miles wide. Forthe 2-squadron group, normal frontage is approxi-mately 40 miles.

    c. When performing detailed reconnaissance ofa zone, reconnaissance elements can advance atthe rate of 10 miles per hour over open terrainunder favorable conditions. In unfavorable cir-cumstances, or when enemy resistance is en-countered which cannot be by-passed and mustbe removed, the reconnaissance element's rate ofadvance may be reduced to that of dismountedreconnaissance. When the latter situation can

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    FIIR:1. FrontageCs 8 li . ti plan of mecha n izedcavalry units.

  • be foreseen, the higher commander must reinforcehis reconnaissance elements appropriately for anoperation which closely approximates that of anadvance guard.

    d. When speed is essential, enemy oppositionnegligible, roads available, and details unimpor-tant, the rate of advance may be limited only bythe speed of the vehicles.

    e. The time interval by which reconnaissanceelements precede the main force in an advancemust be determined initially for each mission. Allfactors which may affect the rate of advance ofreconnaissance must be considered before mis-sions are assigned.

    f. Night reconnaissance is less effective thandaylight reconnaissance and is limited ordinarilyto dismounted patrolling, observation of routes,and the use of listening posts.

    g. Operations of mechanized cavalry and re-connaissance aviation are complementary. Avia-tion provides information which facilitates theexecution of ground reconnaissance missions andconserves ground reconnaissance elements.

    SECTION IIORGANIZATION

    3. RECONNAISSANCE PLATOON (T/O & E2-27).-The reconnaissance platoon is the basic

  • reconnaissance unit. It is organized to operateunder troop control in a zone or along a prescribedroute. The number and composition of recon-naissance teams formed within the platoon willvary. (FM 2-20.)

    4. RECONNAISSANCE TROOP (T/O & E2-2'7).--All mechanized cavalry reconnaissancetroops are identical in organization except thereconnaissance troop, infantry division, which hasa detachment for liaison with division headquar-ters and additional maintenance personnel. Thetroop is the smallest unit containing the personneland equipment necessary for command, ma-neuver, administration, communication, mainten-ance, and supply. It can deliver heavy fire withmortars, antitank guns, and automatic weapons,but its strength is inadequate for sustained of-fensive and defensive combat. This fact must beborne in mind constantly by officers charged withthe assignment of missions. (FM 2-20.)

    5. RECONNAISSANCE SQUADRON (T/O &E 2-25).-a. Mechanized cavalry reconnaissancesquadrons are of two types. The first type, theseparate squadron, consists of a headquarters,headquarters and service troop, three reconnais-sance troops, a light tank company, an assaultgun troop, and a medical detachment. Thissquadron may be made a part of the cavalrygroup, mechanized. (paragraph 6.) The secondtype, the squadron which is organic within anarmored division, differs from the first type in j

  • that it has four reconnaissance troops and an as-sault gun troop consisting of four rather thanthree assault gun platoons. Both types are self-contained units, having tactical and administra-tive functions. (FM 2-30.)

    b. The headquarters contains personnel, trans-portation, and equipment for command, staff,communication, and administration. Headquar-ters and service troop performs administrativeduties for the headquarters, and maintenance andsupply for the squadron. (T/O & E 2-26.)

    c. The light tank company is the support ele-ment of the squadron, containing a headquartersand three tank platoons. It provides the squad-ron additional combat power to overcome minoropposition. It is employed most advantageouslyas a unit when supported by the fire of assaultguns. In difficult terrain, it may be used for re-connaissance. (T/O & E 17-17.)

    d. The assault gun troop is composed of a head-quarters and three two-gun (75-mm howitzer)platoons. The assault gun troop in the recon-naissance squadron of the armored division hasan additional platoon. (T/O & E 2-28.)

    6. CAVALRY GROUP.-The cavalry group,mechanized, is organized, trained, and equippedto perform reconnaissance and protective mis-sions for a corps or larger unit. It is formed byattaching two or more reconnaissance squadronsto a group headquarters and headquarters troop.

  • SEE NOTE I

    ASST S-2a LN 0

    506 NT3

    SEE NOTE 3

    GP COMD NET SEE NOTE 2

    IEX O 510506 -1 506 -

    MSG CEN COM 08&rMS TR CO

    399 --- I

    NOTES LJ(I) RESERVED FOR CO FOR USE IN ANY NET T(2) TO BE USED IN MULTIPLE GP COMD NETS TO HIGHER HQ

    OR IN DIV RCN, CORPS RCN, OR AIR NET(3) TO BE USED BY LIAISON OFFICER AT

    HIGHER HEADQUARTERS.(4) RESERVED TO MONITOR NETS OR SEE

    NOTE 2 ABOVE.(5) FM NETS ARE SHOWN BY SOLID LINES,

    AM NETS BY DOTTED LINES.

    ;l FIGURE 2.-Radio net, headquarters and headquarters troop, cavalry group, mechanized.

  • (T/O & E's 2-22 and 2-25.) The role of the groupheadquarters is to supervise the training of at-tached squadrons and command them tactically.Administrative control of attached squadrons islimited to general supervision. The radio net,headquarters and headquarters troop, cavalrygroup, mechanized, is shown in Figure 2.

    SECTION IIIMISSIONS

    7. GENERAL,-a. (1) The primary missionof all mechanized reconnaissance units is the col-lection and transmission of information.

    (2) Contact with the enemy is gained at theearliest moment and must never be lost. Timelywarning regarding dispositions and movementsof the enemy is of the greatest value to the highercommander.

    b. When performing a reconnaissance mission,the mechanized reconnaissance unit contributes tothe security of the main force by providing time-ly warning of hostile air and mechanized threats.Exceptionally, a mechanized reconnaissance unitmay be ordered to provide protection to the mainforce. The roles of reconnaissance and protec-tion are entirely separate and are not interde-pendent. If it is required to perform a protec-tive task, the mechanized cavalry unit must be

  • appropriately reinforced and a