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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > World War II > Armor in World War II > W. Allied Armor

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W. Allied Armor Discuss all non-Axis and non-Russian armor here. [seeking companion website on Allied Armor for this forum]

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  #16  
Old 27 Dec 17, 15:38
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So we have talked about the Cavalry Reconnaissance Troops that were assigned to the infantry divisions in 1942. but those same tables were used for two other formations as well. They were the three recon companies of the new Armored Reconnaissance Battalion in the "heavy" armored division.

The Armored Recon Battalion was made of a HQ and HQ Company, three recon companies and a light tank company.

The other formation was the Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized), that would become the main cavalry force for the US Army in World War II. these squadrons either assigned to a "light" armor division or as a separate squadron would become a combined arms teams consisting of artillery, infantry and armor. The structure of the squadrons were a HQ& HQ Troop, three to four recon troops (Trp. A to D, the separate squadrons had only three, A-C), a light tank company (Co. E), and an assault gun troop (Trp. F). This force was capable of being used for recon, economy of force, security and maintaining the lines of communications (keeping contact with other corps and division assets.).

The biggest problem the above forces had was related to the fact that they lacked enough foot soldiers, but they were heavily armed with automatic weapons, mortars and cannon.

-------------
add these to the reference list:

Crow, D. (1973). U.S. Armor-Cavalry (1917-1967). Windsor, Berkshire, England: Profile Publications.

Ellis, C., & Chamberlain, P. (1972, June). Light Tanks M1-M5. AFV Weapons Profile(4). (D. Crow, Ed.) Windsor, Berkshire, England: Profile Publications.

Hunnicutt, R. P. (1992). Stuart: A History of the American Light Tank; Volume 1. Novato, CA: Presidio Press.

Zaloga, S. J. (1999). M3 & M5 Stuart Light Tanks 1940-45 (Vol. New Vanguard #33). Oxford: Osprey Publishing.
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  #17  
Old 27 Dec 17, 15:50
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The 1942 tables called for the light tank company in these units to have 17 tanks. They were calling for the just entering production and service for the M5 light tank, but these were still in very short supply, so when the units started to train and equip, they were issued M3 light tanks for training.


The M5 Stuart was the tank authorized under the 1942 tables, but a lack of them lead to other expedients being used.


a late production M3 Stuart light tank


An alternative to the M5 was the M3A3 Stuart, which was a redesign of the M3 to incorporate improvements found on the M5.
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Old 27 Dec 17, 16:55
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Great thread. For some reason I've always had a soft spot in my heart (and head??) for the White Scout Car.
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Old 27 Dec 17, 17:29
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The US Army found the M3 White scout car to have execrable cross-country performance and that's why they stopped using them and gave the lot away on Lend Lease. A few remained around in excess of TO&E in some units for use as command cars and such, but their days as a reconnaissance vehicle were numbered with the US.
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Old 27 Dec 17, 19:50
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Oh I didn't say it was good, but that I just had a soft spot for it. Perhaps because Patton had one for his vehicle at times.
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  #21  
Old 27 Dec 17, 20:11
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These make for good reading and a good idea of what was on the Army;s mind during the war....great resource suggest you get them if you don't have them....Field Manuals are great for the time period....

War Department. (1941, April 8). Mechanized Elements. Cavalry Field Manual FM 2-10. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office.

War Department. (1942, August 18). Rccoonaissance Battalion. Armored Force Field Manual FM 17-22. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office.

War Department. (1943, March 29). Cavalry Mechanized Reconnaissance Sqaudron. Cavalry Field Manual FM 2-30. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office.

War Department. (1944, August 28). Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron Mechanized. Field Manual FM 2-30. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office.

War Department. (1944, Fabruary 24). Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop Mechanized. Field Manual FM 2-20. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office.
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  #22  
Old 27 Dec 17, 20:14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
Oh I didn't say it was good, but that I just had a soft spot for it. Perhaps because Patton had one for his vehicle at times.
They were a good expedient, while the Cavalry, Armored Force and the Tank Destroyer Force were waiting for the Ford M8 to come into service in any numbers. And many units actually held on to them once the TO&E tables were filled, You still found them in unofficial US Army service right up to the end of the war.
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Old 28 Dec 17, 00:37
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I know some of our newer members and students may not have access to some of the books i have listed in the references, so I thought i would list a couple of nice websites that can be referenced as well....

Anderson, R. (2000). US Army in World War II. Retrieved December 27, 2017, from MilitaryHistoryOnline.com: http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com...roduction.aspx

Dimarco, L. (1995). Mechanized Cavalry Doctrine in World War II. Retrieved December 27, 2017, from www.louisdimarco.com: http://www.louisdimarco.com/mecz_cavalry_doctrine.htm
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  #24  
Old 28 Dec 17, 13:31
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The Cavalry Squadron's Troop F, the assault gun troop, was suppose to be armed with six weapons, plus the support vehicles needed for them. The 1942 tables called for this Troop to be armed with the newly developed T30 75mm Howitzer Motor Carriage. This vehicle was just entering production, and it would be built in small numbers, because the US Army was moving toward full-tracked SP artillery. These factors led to a shortage of availability of the new system.


The T30 75mm HMC was in very short supply, so the cavalry sought an expedient.

The expedient chosen was the M3 75mm Gun Motor Carriage, that was developed for the Tank Destroyer Force. This was the old M1897A4 75mm gun mounted on the M3 Half-Track Personal Carrier. These guns would be brought over to the Cavalry as the M10 3in GMC would become the primary SP weapon of the TD Force.


The squadrons' Troop F would be armed with six of these M3 GMC; the number of weapons would be increased to eight in the squadrons assigned to the new "light" armored divisions in 1943
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Old 28 Dec 17, 13:44
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More sources i have been consulting as i have been developing this thread...

Perrett, B. (1980). The Stuart Light Tank Series (Vol. Vanguard #17). London: Osprey Publishing.

Rottman, G. L. (2007). World War II Combat Reconnaissance Tactics (Vol. Elite #156). Botley, Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing.

Stanton, S. L. (1984). Order of Battle U.S. Army, World War II. Novato, CA: Presidio Press.

Zaloga, S. J. (1983). US Half-Tracks of World War II (Vol. Vanguard #31). London: Osprey Publishing.

Zaloga, S. J. (1994). M3 Infantry Half-Track 1940-73 (Vol. New Vanguard #11). Botley, Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing.
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Old 28 Dec 17, 14:06
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As the squadrons moved into 1943, there was starting to be enough production vehicles coming through the pipeline. This meant as the M8 light armored cars became available the M3A1 scout cars and the combinations of the M2 Half-Track cars + M3 AT gun, could finally be replaced.

With the dropping of the M2, the cavalry also took the advantage of the more capable M3 Half-Track personal carrier. The M3 would be used at HQ level of both squadron and troop.


M3 Half-Track with the canvas removed


M3 Half-Track with canvas

1943 would also see the introduction of the M5A1 light tank into Comp. E.


M5A1 light tank
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Old 28 Dec 17, 19:26
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Quote:
Stanton, S. L. (1984). Order of Battle U.S. Army, World War II. Novato, CA: Presidio Press.
This is a great, great reference. I wish I knew where my copy went.
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Old 28 Dec 17, 20:29
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It could be worse. I know where my copy is and it is packed up in a storage locker two hours away! The locker is FULL!

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Old 28 Dec 17, 20:45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
This is a great, great reference. I wish I knew where my copy went.
I tend to go to my copy a lot...very good to have in any reference library
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Old 28 Dec 17, 20:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowboy31a View Post
...
Ford M8 "Greyhound" light armored car was the T22 when it was standardized in 1943, when it became the standard armored car for recon in both the Cavalry and the Tank Destroyer Force. It was never really liked by the cavalry because of the truck like chassis limited cross country mobility, even though it was an all wheel drive vehicle.
The Greyhound had many faults, one of which was a purchase cost that was triple what a Halftrack went for (they used pre-existing automotive components for the Halftrack, surprisingly enough) however, there was one really great thing about it.
Legend has it, the Germans nicknamed it the "Ghost Car".

Just like the Stryker today, it was a wheeled vehicle that fulfilled a Cav. trooper's fondest which; a stealthy and quiet vehicle. The Greyhound even has a very low profile... but the open-topped turret makes that a risky feature.

And speaking as an old Cav troop myself, great thread!
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