In World War II the U.S. Armys mechanized cavalry force served in an astounding variety of ways. 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; and even occasionally rode horses.
This work follows the mechanized cavalry from its earliest days--landing in North Africa during Operation Torch and fighting on the jungle-clad slopes of Guadalcanal--through the campaigns in the Mediterranean, Europe, and the Pacific. Drawing on official after-action reports, contemporary combat records, personal recollections, and interviews conducted by the Army with soldiers shortly after battle, Steeds of Steel provides a vivid picture of what the war was like for the men of the mechanized cavalry.
When World War II broke out in 1939, the U.S. Cavalry was still mainly the proud, horse-mounted force it had been since the nations founding; within a year, the cavalry branch had lost its horses and very nearly its mission. Steeds of Steel tells how the cavalrymen carved out a new and critical role on the modern battlefield. Harry Yeides narrative shows us troopers learning to outwit the enemy in the African desert, on Italian peaks, along European hedgerows, and through Pacific jungles.
We see cavalrymen working alone, miles ahead of the nearest friendly units. And we witness the heroic efforts of the mechanized cavalry troop, joining the battle wherever an American infantry division serves. The mechanized cavalrys brilliant legacy has lived on in the armored cavalry for more than half a century. As the U.S. Army debates its role on the battlefield, this volume (illustrated with over two dozen photos and diagrams) reminds us of our enduring debt to this incomparable fighting force.