THE AINY-OF-EXCELLENCE DIVISIONAL CAVALRY the Army-of-Excellence divisional cavalry squadron as...
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AD-916? 71M THE AINY-OF-EXCELLENCE DIVISIONAL CAVALRY SGUADRON -- A I DOCTRINAL STEP BACICNARD(U) AMHY CONNAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LERVENNORTH KS SCHO.. P S KINOSYATTER
UNCLSSIFIED 62 DEC8 Fd'O 15/3 M
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The Army-of-Excel 1ence Divisional Cavalry Squadron -A Doctrinal Stop Dackward?
Major Peter S. ,Ktdsvtter.
~~DTIC : SELECTE
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School , ,,, ancod -'Military Stut Los S. Army t d and aeheral Staff College
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2 December 1985
Approved for public release; distribution unlimited. 86 2188
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The Army-of-Excellence Divisional Cavalry Squadron
--A Doctrinal Stop Backward?
b y ,-.,,- Major Peter S. Kindsvatter 0. e
bchool of Advanced Military Studies U.S. Army Command and General Staff College
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
2 December 1985
Approved for public release; distribution unlimited.
* ',t. . " .V
School of Advanced Military Studies Monograph Approval
Name of Student: MAJ Peter S. Kindavatter
Title of Monographs The Army-of-Excellence Divisional Cavalry Squadron--A Doctrinal Step Backward?
* Seminar Leader (LTCTIoiuas 6. F rg n, Ph.D.)
Director, School of Advanced
(COL Richard Hart Sinnroich, MA) Military Studies
. . ..__ _ _Director, Graduate Degree
(rookes, Ph.D.) Programs
Accepted this _______day of ~6W W1985.
THE ARMY-OF-EXCELLENCE DIVISIONAL CAVALRY SQUADRON--A DOCTRINAL STEP BACKNARD? by MAJ Peter S. Kindsvatter, USAr 64 pages.
This monograph examines the organization and missions of the Army-of-Excellence divisional cavalry squadron as outlined in the 1980 Operational and Organizational Concept for Division and Corps S6 Cavalry and in Field Circular 71-9, AGE Close Combat Heavy Brigade and Divisional Armored Cavalry Squadron (Preliminary Draft), 1984. The AOE squadron, without tanks and at greatly reduced strength, is to be used primarily as a reconnaissance-by-stealth force, with secondary emphasis on screening, line-of-communication security, and command-and-control enhancement.
The AOE squadron is a radical departure from itsPfighting 0
cavalry"epredecessor, which was a strong squadron equally capable of performing reconnaissance, security, and economy-of-force missions. The AOE squadron seems to be a return to the pre-World War I armored division reconnais- sance battalion--a lightly armed and armored force also __ designed primarily for reconnaissance by stealth.
This monograph, by examining the experiences of cavalry leaders, various research reports, review board findings, after-action reports, and official manuals, traces the evolution of the reconnaissance battalion from a reconnaissance-by-stealth unit into a strong, multipurpose cavalry squadron and then back to a reconnaissance-by- stealth unit under AOE. The arguments in favor of recon- naissance by stealth are examineds Fighting distracts reconnaissance units from their primary mission and causes unnecessary casualties, and cavalry units sufficiently armed and armored to permit combat lose the traditional cavalry advantage of mobility. Advocates of fighting ,cavalry refute these arguments-,nd also point out that the divisional cavalry squadron musu be able to combat the tanks that will be found in sovi t reconnaissance and "S' CTED security elements. 30
NTIS CRAM # DTIC TAB ] Unannounced
Justification. .......... "", .... . ,.'. 'i*
By ............. Dist. ibution I
Avail and /or Dist Special
Table of Contents
Section 1. Introduction .......... 0.......0.........a........ 1
Section II. Historical Development of the U.S. Army Divisional Cavalry Squadron.................. 3
Section II. Division 86 and the Doctrinal About-Faces Return to "Sneak-and-Peek" Reconnaissance ..... 23
Section IV. The Arguments For and Against Fighting Cavalry ..... ................. 0................ 27 '
Section V. Conclusions The Time and Mission Dilemmas .... 37
APPENDIX A Reconnaissance Battalion (Armored), 10 July 1940 ........ . . . ................... 41 -.
B Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1 March 1942 .......... ....................... 42
C Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, 15 September 1943 ............................ 43
D Reconnaissance Battalion, 14 May 1948 ......... 44
E Armored Cavalry Squadron, June 1964 ........... 46
F Armored Cavalry Squadron, 10 January 1984 ..... 48
Endnotes ............ . ................................a..... 49
Bib i ogr aphy ......... ....... ............................... 57
After World War 1, even the staunchest advocate of horse cavalry
had to admit that the advent of the machinegun and the rapid-firing
artillery piece had spelled the demise of the mounted charge. As
* the postwar American Expeditionary Force (AEF) Cavalry Board
admitted, "mounted combat of large bodies of cavalry is probably a
thing of the past. " " But few cavalrymen were ready to
admit that the horse had had its day, arguing that the trench
warfare of the stalemated Western Front had been an aberration.
Future wars would again be wars of movement, and the cavalry, while
it might now have to dismount to close with the enemy, would remain
a vital part of the Army's fighting force. The AEF Cavalry Board
concluded that "the role of cavalry, in general, had changed little
when considering war of movement."12
What was horse cavalry's role? As pointed out in the 1941
FM 100-5, Field Service Regulations: "The primary mission of Cavalry
is combat."3 As late as June 1944, FM 100-5, Field Service
Regulations, continued to view horse cavalry as a viable fighting
force, assigning to it a wide variety of combat missions:
Horse cavalry capabilities are offensive combat; exploitation and pursuit; seizing and holding impor- tant terrain until the arrival of the main forces; ground reconnaissance; ground counterreconnaissance (screening), both moving and stationary; security for the front, flanks, and rear of other forces on the march, at the halt, and in battle; delaying action; covering the retrograde movements 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.4
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The U.S. Army's horse cavalry, however, would perform none of
these cavalry missions during World War II because, except for the
26th Cavalry Regiment of the Philippine Scouts, no U.S. Army
horse-mounted units would fight in the war.0 Who then
performed these vital reconnaissance, security, and combat missions? I'
The task fell to the mechanized reconnaissance groups, squadrons and
troops--organizations not originally intended to perform most of
those missions. Unlike the all-purpose horse cavalry, the mechan-
ized reconnaissance elements were intended to be special-purpose
units "organized, equipped, and trained to perform reconnaissance.-
. missions employing infiltration tactics, fire, and maneuver. They
engage in combat only to the extent necessary to accomplish the
Not surprisingly, such specialized units were hard pressed to
perform the wide range of traditional horse-cavalry missions.
Changes in organization, equipment, and doctrine would be necessary
before the reconnaissance units were capable, on their own, of
adequately performing those missions. This paper will trace the
development of one of these specialized units--the reconnaissance
battalion of the 1940 U.S. armored division--into a worthy successor
to the horse cavalry, able to perform all of the missions ascribed
to the horse cavalry in the 1944 Field Service Regulations. This
transition began following World War 11 and carried through the
period of the Korean and Vietnam Wars, with changes in organization
and equipment making the reconnaissance battalion increasingly
capable of performing a wide range of combat missions. Even the
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battalion's name would change to "armored cavalry squadron" to
reflect this capability.
This paper then discusses the changes wrought in this cavalry
squadron by the 1980 Division 86 Study and by the follow-on Army-
of-Excellence (AOE) Study--changes which reduce the squadron's
strength and relegate it to its former specialized mission of
reconnaissance by stealth. This paper's primary purpose is to
present the arguments for and against this doctrinal reversal and
the implications of the squadron's new organization for its parent
formation, the AOE heavy division. The personal experiences and
opinions of cav