From the Vault: General Patton on Mechanization and Cavalry circa 1930

People generally think of General George Patton as an early advocate of the tank in the period between the world wars.  While he was involved in some of the earliest uses of tanks during WW1, he realized after the war that for the sake of his career he was better off transferring to the Cavalry.  While he would advocate for the use of armor in the US army, he also continued to speak out on behalf of the traditional horse mounted cavalry in the interwar period.  A good example of this are the two articles presented below from the April 1930 and July 1930 issues of The Cavalry Journal.  Titled “Mechanization and the Cavalry” and “Motorization and Mechanization in the Cavalry”, these articles illustrate Patton’s thoughts on the appropriate role of armored vehicles compared to those of the horse cavalry, arguing that the two could be used to compliment each other.  Unfortunately, the print quality of these articles is not great, but they are legible.

Mechanization and the Cavalry April 1930

Motorization and Mechanization in the Cavalry July 1930

Reprints of “Patton” and “Half-Track” by Hunnicutt released

PattonEcho Point Books has released reprints of R. P. Hunnicutt’s books “Patton” and “Half-Track.”  Earlier this year they also released reprint editions of “Stuart” and “Sherman” by Hunnicutt.  Unlike the Stuart and Sherman books which are priced at $69.95 softcover and 499.95 hardcover, the Patton book is $59.95/$79.95 while the Half-Track book is $39.95/$49.95.  Reviews of these reprints have generally been mixed, with purchasers commenting that the paper quality is not the high quality glossy paper found in the original editions.  It has also been noted that these reprints appear to be based on scans of the original works.  According to ‘The Chieftain” Nicholas Moran, the publisher will be changing their printing mechanism for future print runs.

From the Vault: Patton defends the M4 Sherman

patton tank cartoonDuring the drive into Germany in early 1945, the American press broke the story that American tanks, in particular the M4 Sherman, were inferior to those of their German adversary, in particular the Panther and the Tiger.  News of the articles travelled to Europe where troops heard them.  At a press conference in March of 1945, General Patton was questioned about the quality of US tanks and publicly defended them.  Patton also wrote a letter to Lt. Gen, Thomas T. Handy, Deputy Chief of Staff, which was released by the War Department to the American press.  In the letter Patton points out that while the Sherman “would not last” in a straight forward slugging match with a German Tiger, “the great mobility of the M-4 usually enables it to circumvent the slow and unwieldy Tigers and not to engage in a slugging match but to attack them from the rear.[Read more…]