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Original Essays | April 11, 2014

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Steeds of Steel: A History of American Mechanized Cavalry in World War II

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Steeds of Steel: A History of American Mechanized Cavalry in World War II Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

When World War II broke out in September 1939, the U.S. Cavalry was still mainly a proud, horse-mounted force as it had been since the nation’s founding; within a year, the branch had lost its horses and very nearly its mission. The cavalrymen took to new steeds of steel, carved out a place on the modern battlefield, and restored their role and pride.

In doing so, they served in more ways in one three-year period than any other cavalry force in human history. Mechanized cavalrymen scouted and fought in tanks, armored cars, and jeeps; battled on and from the sea in tracked amphibians; stormed beaches from landing craft; slipped ashore in rubber rafts from submarines; climbed mountains; battled hand-to-hand on foot like any GI; and even occasionally rode horses.

Steeds of Steel follows the mechanized cavalry from its earliest days—in 1942 U.S. Army cavalrymen landed in North Africa during Operation Torch and fought on the jungle-clad slopes of Guadalcanal—through the campaigns in the Mediterranean, Europe, and the Pacific. Although battalion-sized cavalry squadrons and armored reconnaissance units fought only against Hitler’s legions, wherever an American infantry division served, its mechanized cavalry troop joined the battle. The mechanized cavalry’s brilliant legacy has lived on in the armored cavalry ever since. Oddly, the U.S. Army today is revisiting a debate of the pre–World War II period: Should the cavalry be restricted to stealthy acquisition of information, or should it be ready and able to fight pitched battles?

Steeds of Steel draws heavily on official after-action reports, other contemporary combat records, and interviews conducted by the U.S. Army with soldiers shortly after the actions occurred. Personal recollections written by mechanized cavalrymen round out the information, putting the reader in the action, riding along with the U.S. Cavalry in World War II.

 

 

Harry Yeide is an international affairs analyst with the federal government. He has worked primarily with political and security/military issues, writing assessments for the President of the United States and other senior policymakers. He is the author of The Longest Battle, The Tank Killers, Steel Victory, and Weapons of the Tankers and the coauthor, with Mark Stout, of First to the Rhine. Yeide lives with his wife Nancy and three cats in Hyattsville, Maryland.

Synopsis:

Harry Yeide is an international affairs analyst with the federal government. He has worked primarily with political and security/military issues, writing assessments for the President of the United States and other senior policymakers. He is the author of The Longest Battle, The Tank Killers, Steel Victory, and Weapons of the Tankers and the coauthor, with Mark Stout, of First to the Rhine. Yeide lives with his wife Nancy and three cats in Hyattsville, Maryland.

Synopsis:

A history of the mechanized cavalry as it carved out a new role for itself on the battlefields of World War II.

Synopsis:

From the book:

“Two men in a jeep . spotted the [German] gun crew hightailing it into an olive grove about 175 yards away. The jeep stopped with its hood under the muzzle of the disabled gun, and one man jumped out with his carbine to fire on the gun crew. At that moment, a camouflaged 88mm in the olive grove opened up and destroyed the jeep. The recon troops replied with everything they had. A direct hit from an 81mm mortar round knocked out the second gun.

“Under covering fire from some Sherman tanks, Troop B rolled into Ferryville with the loss of two soldiers killed. The overjoyed French citizenry mobbed the troops, shoving flowers and wine into the men’s hands.”

 

The U.S. Army’s mechanized cavalry force served in an astounding variety of ways in World War II—certainly a greater variety in one three-year period than any other cavalry force in human history. Mechanized cavalrymen drove tanks, armored cars, jeeps, and landing craft. This new cavalry even occasionally rode horses. The troopers learned to outwit the enemy in African desert, Italian peaks, European hedgerows, and Pacific jungles. They battled hand-to-hand like any GI, often working alone, miles ahead of the nearest friendly units. Steeds of Steel is their story.

 

 


Synopsis:

From the book:

“Two men in a jeep . . . spotted the [German] gun crew hightailing it into an olive grove about 175 yards away. The jeep stopped with its hood under the muzzle of the disabled gun, and one man jumped out with his carbine to fire on the gun crew. At that moment, a camouflaged 88mm in the olive grove opened up and destroyed the jeep. The recon troops replied with everything they had. A direct hit from an 81mm mortar round knocked out the second gun.

“Under covering fire from some Sherman tanks, Troop B rolled into Ferryville with the loss of two soldiers killed. The overjoyed French citizenry mobbed the troops, shoving flowers and wine into the men’s hands.”

 

The U.S. Army’s mechanized cavalry force served in an astounding variety of ways in World War II—certainly a greater variety in one three-year period than any other cavalry force in human history. Mechanized cavalrymen drove tanks, armored cars, jeeps, and landing craft. This new cavalry even occasionally rode horses. The troopers learned to outwit the enemy in African desert, Italian peaks, European hedgerows, and Pacific jungles. They battled hand-to-hand like any GI, often working alone, miles ahead of the nearest friendly units. Steeds of Steel is their story.

 

 

Table of Contents

Contents

 

Preface

Acknowledgments

Chapter 1: From Horse to Horsepower

Chapter 2: North Africa: A Concept Tested Chapter 3: Sicily and Italy: Mechanization Meets the Mountains

Chapter 4: The Pacific, Part I: War of the Cavalry Reconnaissance Troops

Chapter 5: The Pacific, Part II: The Mechanized Cavalry Finds Roads

Chapter 6: Normandy: Cavalry in the Hedgerows

Chapter 7: The Breakout from Normandy Chapter 8: Southern France: The Strategic Cavalry Charge

Chapter 9: The Reich’s Tough Hide Chapter 10: The Battle of the Bulge

Chapter 11: On to Victory

Chapter 12: A Brilliant Legacy

Appendix A: Mechanized Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron and

            Armored Reconnaissance Battalion Profiles

Appendix B: U.S. Cavalry in the ETO

Product Details

ISBN:
9780760333600
Author:
Yeide, Harry
Publisher:
Zenith Press
Subject:
Military - World War II
Subject:
World war, 1939-1945
Subject:
History
Subject:
Military - United States
Subject:
World War, 1939-1945 -- Tank warfare.
Subject:
World War, 1939-1945 -- Cavalry operations.
Subject:
Military-World War II General
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20080431
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
32 b/w photos, 19 diagrams
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1.44 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » General History
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Steeds of Steel: A History of American Mechanized Cavalry in World War II New Hardcover
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$25.75 Backorder
Product details 320 pages Zenith Press - English 9780760333600 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,

Harry Yeide is an international affairs analyst with the federal government. He has worked primarily with political and security/military issues, writing assessments for the President of the United States and other senior policymakers. He is the author of The Longest Battle, The Tank Killers, Steel Victory, and Weapons of the Tankers and the coauthor, with Mark Stout, of First to the Rhine. Yeide lives with his wife Nancy and three cats in Hyattsville, Maryland.

"Synopsis" by ,

A history of the mechanized cavalry as it carved out a new role for itself on the battlefields of World War II.

"Synopsis" by ,

From the book:

“Two men in a jeep . spotted the [German] gun crew hightailing it into an olive grove about 175 yards away. The jeep stopped with its hood under the muzzle of the disabled gun, and one man jumped out with his carbine to fire on the gun crew. At that moment, a camouflaged 88mm in the olive grove opened up and destroyed the jeep. The recon troops replied with everything they had. A direct hit from an 81mm mortar round knocked out the second gun.

“Under covering fire from some Sherman tanks, Troop B rolled into Ferryville with the loss of two soldiers killed. The overjoyed French citizenry mobbed the troops, shoving flowers and wine into the men’s hands.”

 

The U.S. Army’s mechanized cavalry force served in an astounding variety of ways in World War II—certainly a greater variety in one three-year period than any other cavalry force in human history. Mechanized cavalrymen drove tanks, armored cars, jeeps, and landing craft. This new cavalry even occasionally rode horses. The troopers learned to outwit the enemy in African desert, Italian peaks, European hedgerows, and Pacific jungles. They battled hand-to-hand like any GI, often working alone, miles ahead of the nearest friendly units. Steeds of Steel is their story.

 

 


"Synopsis" by ,

From the book:

“Two men in a jeep . . . spotted the [German] gun crew hightailing it into an olive grove about 175 yards away. The jeep stopped with its hood under the muzzle of the disabled gun, and one man jumped out with his carbine to fire on the gun crew. At that moment, a camouflaged 88mm in the olive grove opened up and destroyed the jeep. The recon troops replied with everything they had. A direct hit from an 81mm mortar round knocked out the second gun.

“Under covering fire from some Sherman tanks, Troop B rolled into Ferryville with the loss of two soldiers killed. The overjoyed French citizenry mobbed the troops, shoving flowers and wine into the men’s hands.”

 

The U.S. Army’s mechanized cavalry force served in an astounding variety of ways in World War II—certainly a greater variety in one three-year period than any other cavalry force in human history. Mechanized cavalrymen drove tanks, armored cars, jeeps, and landing craft. This new cavalry even occasionally rode horses. The troopers learned to outwit the enemy in African desert, Italian peaks, European hedgerows, and Pacific jungles. They battled hand-to-hand like any GI, often working alone, miles ahead of the nearest friendly units. Steeds of Steel is their story.

 

 

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