UPDATED 12 September 2009

1st Tactical Studies Group (Airborne) OBSERVATIONS to General Gavin's article are in BLUE.

Harper's magazine April 1954, pages 54-60

The warfare of the future, as it appears to one of the Army's most thoughtful combat leaders--veteran officer of parachute troops in action, until recently commander of a corps in Germany.


and I Don't Mean Horses

Major General James M. Gavin

ome measure of undying fame was achieved by "Fighting Joe" Hooker in the War Between the States, when he asked, "Whoever saw a dead cavalryman?" From a war in which catch phrases were common, this one has been well remembered among the military: but it is a trifle lengthy for the Soldiers of today. They are more likely to ask, "Whoever saw cavalry?"

Today it is the pastime of Soldier-historians to speculate about the use of cavalry in that most bloody of all our national conflicts. What would have happened if Jeb Stuart, instead of wagon hunting, had been roving ahead of Lee when he debouched from the Cashtown pass on Gettysburg? If Buford on Willoughby Run had been driven in by the full impact of Stuart's incomparable cavalry, and the heights east and south of Gettysburg had been seized by the Southerners that first day, what effect would it have had on the hesitant Meade? Perhaps the whole course of our own history would have changed. Perhaps.

In the meantime, we have fought a few more wars. Recently, we reached a stalemate in one of them that historians may judge the most costly and least successful of all. In it, time after time, we committed our forces blindly to battle. While some historians are still lamenting the absence of Stuart at Gettysburg, no one has asked, "Where was Walker's cavalry in Korea?"--and it is high time that someone did. Where was Walker's cavalry on November 26, 1950, when his handful of divisions was struck with complete and overwhelming surprise by thirty Chinese divisions? Unit after unit stumbled into ambush and suffered the worst defeat in the history of American arms.

Where was the cavalry? It was and still is in the minds of military planners and historians. And I don't mean horses. I mean helicopters and light aircraft, to lift Soldiers armed with automatic weapons and hand carried antitank weapons, and also lightweight reconnaissance vehicles, mounting antitank weapons the equal or better of the Russian T-34s.

Technologically we could have had them. Because of our deification of heavy equipment--and the combat practices of late World War II, which deluded us into believing that heavy armor is cavalry--we didn't have them. We lost the cavalry when we mounted it in weighty tanks and trucks, all of which move (if the terrain will allow them to move at all) at exactly the same speed as motorized infantry, if not slower.


OBSERVATION: M50 Ontos light tracked armored fighting vehicle with tank-killing 106mm recoilless rifles that Gavin's Project Vista group called for the Army to obtain en masse to form a "Sky Cavalry" flown by USAF C-124s across oceans and C-123s transport aircraft for short-range tactical assaults. Someone should do a war game simulation with Task Force Smith equipped with Ontos 106mm tank killers and infantry carriers and see the amazing difference they would have made...You can read more about Project Vista in General Gavin's 1958 book, War and Peace in the Space Age (WAPITSA):



Cavalry is supposed to be the arm of mobility. It exists and serves a useful purpose because of its mobility differential---the contrast between its mobility and that of other land forces. Without the differential, it is not cavalry. Cavalry is the arm of shock and firepower: it is the screen of time and information. It denies the enemy that talisman of

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success--surprise--while it provides our own forces with the means to achieve that very thing, surprise, and with it destruction of the enemy.

Cavalry is not a horse, nor the crossed sabers and yellow scarves. These are vestigal trappings of a gallant great arm of the U.S. Army, whose soul has been traded for a body.


OBSERVATION: relay this truth to the chest-thumping enlisted man mentality egotistical morons at www.cavhooah.com who wouldn't know real functional cavalry if it hit them in the face. With narcissists like this, its easy to see why the Army rejects having a cavalry.


It is the arm of Jeb Stuart, and Custer, and Sheridan, and Forrest. It is the arm that as late as World War II got there (in Forrest's phrase) "fustest with the mostest" but is now rapidly becoming in terms of firepower and mobility, lastest with the leastest. Certainly gallantry, venturesomeness, and willingness to die are abundant in our armored and cavalry units, as they have amply demonstrated at every combat opportunity. But with the motorization of the land forces, and the consequent removal of the mobility differential, the cavalry has ceased to exist in our Army except in name.

In June 1950, when the victory intoxicated North Korean forces were surging southward from the 38th Parallel, General MacArthur asked and was given authority to get in the ground battle. Obviously, the tactical situation called for a cavalry force to be committed at once, to screen and delay, while the heavier infantry and armored forces built up a more substantial defense.

What did we have that was equal to the occasion? One small infantry command of two-plus rifle companies and a battery of artillery lifted to Korea by Air Force transport. Once under fire, they were slowed down to the speed of the foot Soldier--actually slower than many of the tank-mounted North Koreans. They never had the proper means or mobility to perform their Cavalry mission.

As Walker fell back, trading his infantry and artillery for time, his flanks were wide open. On his left, particularly, a gap of a hundred miles extending to the sea could be readily penetrated. The situation begged for cavalry, but we lacked the contemporary kind of cavalry to do the job. As General Walker's forces fell back to the constricted perimeter about Pusan, only the valiant efforts of his fire brigade infantrymen and their comrades of the Tactical Air Force made it possible to hold on.


OBSERVATION: Korean War jets failure to do Close Air Support (CAS):



Finally, when the landings at Inchon took place on September 15 there was again every promise of fluid action. I was present at Inchon, and after the first crust of resistance was broken, it seemed to me there was nothing worthy of the name in front of X Corps. The situation screamed for highly-mobile Cavalry forces to exploit this unprecedented opening. We should have pressed south to the rear of the Naktong River line in hours. Instead, we took almost two weeks to establish a link between these two forces. When the first break-out of our forces from the southern perimeter moved northward it was a combined tank-truck column, essentially an infantry column limited in its performance by its road-bound equipment. We were fighting an Asiatic army on Asiatic terms.


OBSERVATION: this is the exact same fucked-up situation we are in today with light narcissist egomaniacs in Humvee/Stryker/MRAP wheeled trucks restricted to roads/trails/streets and getting blown up by land mines, and heavy "mech pussies" in uber-heavy 70-ton M1 Abrams tanks and medium-heavy M2/M3 Bradleys calling themselves "Cavalry" when they are no more mobile than the main body of the heavy brigades in the same open-terrain only vehicles. If they called themselves a HEAVY CAVALRY as an advance guarding force a short distance ahead then that'd be at least some technotactical honesty, but they still need a LIGHT CAVALRY screening far ahead in M113 Gavin light armored tracks that can determine the best routes---without themselves getting stuck and/or blown up if they were in wheeled trucks or heavier tracks.


Walker's divisions shortly thereafter swept forward and the entire peninsula was wide open.

Cavalry patrols should then have been on their way to the Yalu; likely concentration areas for enemy forces in North Korea should have been scouted out and the Yalu crossings kept under surveillance. With a properly composed and balanced cavalry force this would have been entirely practicable if we only had foreseen the need. Instead, the divisions of General Walker moved blindly forward, not knowing from road bend to road bend, and hill to hill, what the future held in store for them. If ever in the history of our Armed forces there was a need for the Cavalry arm - airlifted in light planes, helicopters, and assault type aircraft - this was it. The debacle that followed out acceptance of combat under these terms is now a tragic chapter in our history.


OBSERVATION: the mainstream Army cannot tolerate someone being different from the main body masses they want to conform like lemmings. It also does not help that when a Sun Tzu-like "extraordinary force" is created to support the "ordinary force" main body they become insufferable elitist snob egomaniacs, for a taste of insufferable Cavalry hubris go peek at the dumbass, enlistedman's chest-beating-victim's ignoramas web site www.cavhooah.com and you can see why there's little support to give such pig-heads actual Cavalry means. This is why we didn't use the "C" word when we created our Air-Mech-Strike concept www.geocities.com/air_mech_strike ---and its probably still necessary to get Cavalry capabilities without filling the unit's ranks with phony egomaniacs so eager to sit on their asses with the bullshit status quo in place, since they are getting their narcissistic supply while our nation's cavalry withers.


T oday in Europe, Cavalry regiments are in battle position, assigned the job of covering, screening, and delaying. One of the most frustrating experiences that a professional Soldier now knows is to sit in at critiques of war games and maneuvers, and listen to staff officers endeavoring to rationalize the present-day cavalry's inability to fulfill its role. The most common analysis of the problem usually ends with some such conclusion as this: "They're Cavalry regiments aren't they? Their mission is a Cavalry mission. The failure must be in the way their handled." If Cavalry units failed to provide timely information, or effective screening, their commanders are suspected of - and sometimes charged with--

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not having performed with sufficient celerity. Or an umpire is charged with allowing the enemy with too much mobility.


OBSERVATION: the rationalizing, excuse-mongering Gavin is describing is the typical bullshit f-it, drive on (FIDO) victim-think that someone's lacking a penis instead of acting like an adult with realism and objectivity seeing that what we got to work with is bullshit and immobile (except for our M113 light tracks Gavin designed) and we need to GET IT and DRIVE ON (GIDO) meaning get some moral courage balls and open our cowardly mouths and fight for better parameters and to hell with who it pisses off and how it might hurt our glorious individual career's self-validation ego journey. We need to stop being weaklings worshiping the organization and drooling over all it does as some kind of formulaic magic and realize its just a collection of humans and assumptions and wake-the-fuck-up and start demanding we actively do what's best and get what's best.


What I find alarming is the lack of awareness that Russian motorized armored forces are just as mobile as our own - if not more so. All the soul searching in the world, and the most brilliant staff cerebrations, will not conjure up tactical success in Cavalry action unless the means of achieving it are provided our Cavalry commanders. They do not have the means today. They are road-bound. Even assuming they will be fortunate enough to fight in countries where roads are numerous, they are no more mobile then the mechanized infantry division they are expected to screen from the enemy.

Hoplites and Pelasts

I t is a simple matter to be critical after the event. It is another to provide or attempt to provide, answers to the questions raised. Fortunately, most of the answers to the problems in the Soldiers trade are not as difficult to come by as may first appear. Several thousand years of experience lie behind us, awaiting understanding.

One of the most striking aspects of man's military past is his persistent search for the technical means to get an edge on his opponent in his mobility. When he was successful, and especially when he could organize elements of varying mobility into a cohesive combat team, he was successful in combat. When he failed to solve the technical problem created by his needs, he failed in combat.

The Greeks were the first to refine their combat techniques to the point where mobility differs, and there was close team work, between the varying combat elements. The Greek Pelast was a light armed, mobile foot-Soldier who provided the security screen for the move heavily armed Hoplites. The Hoplites was a heavily armed soldier who was fitted into the Phalanx, the first thoroughly disciplined firepower team of which we have accurate record. Polybius tells of the impression it made on a Roman Consul,

The Consul...had never seen a Phalanx in his life until he encountered one - for the first time - in the Roman war with Perseus; and when it was all over, he used freely to confess to his friends at home that the Mecedonian Phalanx was the most formidable and terrifiying sight that had ever met his eyes.

T he Persians who opposed the Greeks were fine horseman. If they had acquired the teamwork and disciple of the Greeks, they should by all odds have won. The Greeks were not only good fighters, however, but smart enough to learn the handling of horses from the Persians. Phillip of Macedon was the first Greek Soldier with the vision and organizational ability to match horseman effectively with the superb Greek foot-Soldier. He organized heavy and light Cavalry and trained them to fight in close cooperation with his infantry.

His skill was inherited by his son, Alexander, the world's first Calvary leader, who fulfilled his father's vision. "Calvary was his dominant arm" writes General J.F.C. Fuller, "and in battle he invariably lead (Cavalry) in person". Alexander developed and exploited the mobility differential between his infantry and his Cavalry to the fullest extent possible in his time. There were subdivisions of each, based upon mobility, and the Pelast was obtained for close-in screening tasks.


OBSERVATION: this is EXACTLY what we need to do today with our M113 Gavins to perfect a Cavalry capability; improve them by band tracks for stealth and 60 mph speeds, replace noisy piston diesel engines with hybrid electric drives, have all Soldiers highly skilled in driving Gavins by an annual cross-country vehicle obstacle and mobility course to insure we do not get road-bound, this would include taking advantage of the M113's amphibious river and lake swimming capabilities as well as airland and parachute airdrop aircraft delivery options to effect the 3D maneuver differential Gavin is calling for over the main body. Ralph Zumbro did it many times in Vietnam:



Even as the Phalanx reached its highest performance, an opponent worthy of its challenge appeared in the Roman Legion. The Legion had been coming up the hard way, fighting the superb Cavalry of Hannibal; it finally defeated him and turned to the east. The Legion, like the Phalanx, was a traveling fort: yet it had one great advantage over the Phalanx: every man was equipped and trained to fight as an individual. As a consequence, the Legion was so flexible that it could fight in almost every direction: while the Phalanx, in some respects like a modern triangular division, was designed and trained to fight where it was pointed.

The reign of the Legion was long, and during it the field of combat experience Pax Romana. But, as with all victorious way in war, it could not last forever; and when the end came, the legion's adversary was tough, combat-ready Calvary. Signs of the coming of the horseman had been seen but little appreciated until the great disaster at Adrianople in AD 378, when emperor Valus lost his legions and his life under the onslaught of the gothic Cavalry.

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The Cavalrymen appeared invincible, after Adrianople, and with each passing century they improved their armor until they knew no opponent worthy of their mettle. True, they became heavier and more immobile, but in their eyes they became only more invincible. Finally, in the thirteenth century, there appeared on the eastern horizon, a horseman laying waste to all before him. On the 8th of January 1258, he came to the gates of Baghdad and challenged the pride of the western cavalry to come forth. The story of this meeting is told by an eye-witness:

We met at Nabi Bashir, one of the dependencies of Dujavl: and there would ride forth from amongst us to offer single combat a knight fully accounted and mounted on an arab horse, so it was as though he and his steed together were [solid as] some great mountain. Then there would come forth to meet him from the Mongols a horseman mounted on a horse like a donkey, and having in his hand a spear like a spindle, wearing neither robe nor armor, so that all who saw him were moved to laughter. Yet, 'ere the day was done the victory was theirs, and they inflicted on us a great defeat, which was the Key of Evil, and thereafter there befell what befell us

T he impact of the Mongol Cavalry on the west was impressive but on military men it was particularly of limited duration. Barely a century had passed before both men and horses had again been armored to the point of immobility. The advent of gunpowder clearly spelled the end of the armored knight, but this was little realized at the time; those who used gunpowder were often considered criminals and occasionally hanged on the spot. Finally, at Agincourt in 1415, the flower of French knighthood met its doom at the hands of a lightly armored, much more agile force, armed with a long bow.

Despite the crushing demonstration, the role of the armored knight in the warfare of the middle ages continued to be an important one. Often the presence of a mounted man in battle reflected his prosperous station in life, and thus an ability to afford a horse and all its trappings, rather than any awareness of a tactical need. Jousting was a popular military sport, and the charging of armored knights was an approved tactic through all the years while firearms continued to improve. Even after the efficiency of gunpowder had made the armored horse ineffective, many Soldiers persisted in arguing that the most decisive and effective tactic in combat was still the Cavalry charge.

I n our Civil War, the Cavalrymen shed his armor and adopted the pistol and saber as proper weapons for the charge, but it was in this war, the era of our great Cavalry leaders, that such men as Sheridan last enunciated the heretical view that the purpose of Cavalry was not merely to ride hell for leather. By the wars end, it was established beyond question that the real purpose of the horse was to deliver firepower where it was needed most. Frequently, the Cavalrymen dismounted, sheltered their horses, and dug in to the let the opposing side destroy itself against the high volume of fire they were to develop - a shred adaptation of an existing weapons system to the existing combat environment.

Clearly firepower was building up to such intensity on the battlefield that flesh and bone could no longer prevail against it. The efficiency of firearms and the number of automatic weapons continued to increase, until in World War 1 and impasse was reached. The mobility differential between the components of the land forces had disappeared. The defense completely dominated combat: and Verdun, the Somme, and Passchendaele were the result. The British casulaities at Passchendaele were 8,222 for each square mile captured - an all time high in human sacrifice for the real estate game.

While men were piling up their bodies in battle of attrition in World War 1, the commanders and their staffs were desperately trying to solve their dilemma - only to fall back on a still greater massing of artillery, and assaulting infantry, in the hope of saturating the defenses.


OBSERVATION: exactly what our WW1-style light infantry narcissists like Generals Jack Keane, David Petraeus and James Mattis misthink is the solution to every problem; FLOOD THE AREA WITH TROOPS. More troops builds their ego empires in budget fights against the big-ship navy and fighter-bomber jock air force. However, it also infuriates the locals at all the redcoats with sunglasses running around in wheeled trucks so they rebel against us some more so we can lose another sub-national conflict (SNC) like we did in Vietnam which disintegrated into nation-state war. Oh yeah, in that clusterfuck, General Abrams "surged" forces with his BS "Maximum pressure" gimmick to save face. South Vietnam's weak central government lacking popular support thanks to our brutality was "improving in security" until the day North Vietnamese Army (NVA) tanks and armored personnel carriers stormed across the border and blasted with long-range 130mm M46 artillery the short-range artillery firebases and helicopters too complicated and costly for the ARVN to maintain. Had we embraced Gavin's enclaves and cut down American casualties prior to this, by not doing the firebase/helicopter troop area flooding to ticket-punch and self-validate careers, we might have been in position to repel the NVA invasion instead of being AWOL having been forced to withdrawal by Nixon's "Vietnamization" response to public outcry over military incompetence. America still is a free country of free men and not a fascist dictatorship where its expected to feed young men as "hero" cannon fodder to incompetent generals without pause. ______________________________________________________________________

Yet already a new form of mobility had appeared: the gasoline-driven land vehicle. Its arrival was too late by a small margin for full exploitation in World War 1, but to those who read its meaning correctly it showed certain promise of breaking the stalemate. Tank Warfare was sufficiently tested to convince a few visionaries of its great possibilities.

Between the wars they preached, J.F.C. Fuller, Liddell-Hart, de Gaulle and Chaffee

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argued wherever they could obtain a hearing for the new form of war - or new form of Cavalry, which is unquestionably was - offering a mobility differential never before seen or even thought of. Unluckily, a number of the German senior officers foresaw its possibilities with equal clarity and instituted an appropriate development in the Wehrmacht. The German campaign in Poland 1934, and France 1940 proved men like Guderian and Rommel to be apt students of their allied teachers. Now we are at a point in history where Soldiers in the past have often found themselves. In out time, we have seen the great defensive battles of World Ware 1 and the great offensive battles of the 1940's. Understandably, many veterans understand vividly and well how the lessons of ten years ago were applied in battle. But memory can become idolatry of things past and close our minds to the meaning of events. We quote the preaching of Liddell-Hart and Fuller in the 20's, as though mere repetition would extend their validity into the present. We run the risk of forgetting that it is not what was said and done, but why it was said and why it was done, that is most important.


OBSERVATION: such idolatry based on fascist nation-state worship victim-hood is rampant in America today. There are many who think just because they were the victims of recent incompetent military actions we should do what they say because they were the victims. That's circular illogic.


Every issue needs to stand or fall on ITS OWN INTRINSIC MERITS not whether the messenger has a medal of honor around his neck or is missing an arm or a leg. Thinker Liddell-Hart a WW1 combat veteran/victim---so you can't play the he was never a doer game, points out in his masterpiece Strategy that learning from the past requires looking at ALL POSSIBILITIES and not just the experiences of of a few but of as many people as possible and to NEW possibilities that have yet to be lived by anyone--an anticipation of events those bent on self-validation by following someone else's past "sure-fire" formula cannot grasp. Hart writes on pages 22-25:

"Fools say that they learn by experience. I prefer to profit by others' experience." This saying, quoted of Bismarck, but by no means original to him, has a special bearing on military questions. Unlike those who follow other professions, the 'regular' Soldier cannot regularly practice his profession. Indeed, it might even be argued that in a literal sense the profession of arms is not a profession at all, but merely 'casual employment'-and, paradoxically, that it ceased to be a profession when mercenary troops who were employed and paid for the purpose of a war were replaced by standing armies which continued to be paid when there was no war.

If the argument-that strictly there is no 'profession of arms' will not hold good in most armies today on the score of work, it is inevitably strengthened on the score of practice because wars have become fewer, though bigger, compared with earlier times. For even the best of peace training is more 'theoretical' than 'practical' experience.

But Bismarck's aphorism throws a different and more encouraging light on the problem. It helps us to realize that there are two forms of practical experience, direct and indirect-and that, of the two, indirect practical experience may be the more valuable because [its] infinitely wider. Even in the most active career, especially a Soldier's career, the scope and possibilities of direct experience are extremely limited. In contrast to the military, the medical profession has incessant practice. Yet the great advances in medicine and surgery have been due more to the scientific thinker and research worker than to the practitioner. Direct experience is inherently too limited to form an adequate foundation either for theory or for application. At the best it produces an atmosphere that is of value in drying and hardening the structure of thought. The greater value of indirect experience lies in its greater variety and extent. 'History is universal experience' -the experience not of another, but of many others under manifold conditions.

Here is the rational justification for military history as the basis of military education-its preponderant practical value in the training and mental development of a Soldier. But the benefit depends, as with all experience, on its breadth: on how closely it approaches the definition quoted above; and on the method of studying it.

Soldiers universally concede the general truth of Napoleon's much-quoted dictum that in war 'the moral is to the physical as three to one'. The actual arithmetical proportion may be worthless, for morale is apt to decline if weapons are inadequate, and the strongest will is of little use if it is inside a dead body. But although the moral and physical factors are inseparable and indivisible, the saying gains its enduring value because it expresses the idea of the predominance of moral factors in all military decisions.

On them constantly turns the issue of war and battle. In the history of war they form the more constant factors, changing only in degree, whereas the physical factors are different in almost every war and every military situation.

This realization affects the whole question of the study of military history for practical use. The method in recent generations has been to select one or two campaigns, and to study them exhaustively as a means of professional training and as the foundation of military theory. But with such a limited basis the continual changes in military means from war to war carry the danger that our outlook will be narrow and the lessons fallacious. In the physical sphere, the one constant factor is that means and conditions are invariably inconstant.

In contrast, human nature varies but slightly in its reaction to danger. Some men by heredity, by environment, or by training may be less sensitive than others, but the difference is one of degree, not fundamental. The more localized the situation, and our study, the more disconcerting and less calculable is such a difference of degree. It may prevent any exact calculation of the resistance which men will offer in any situation, but it does not impair the judgement that they will offer less if taken by surprise than if they are on the alert; less if they are weary and hungry than if they are fresh and well fed. The broader the psychological survey the better foundation it affords for deductions.

The predominance of the psychological over the physical, and its greater constancy, point to the conclusion that the foundation of any theory of war should be as broad as possible. An intensive study of one campaign unless based on an extensive knowledge of the whole history of war is likely to lead us into pitfalls. But if a specific effect is seen to follow a specific cause in a score or more cases, in different epochs and diverse conditions, there is ground for regarding this cause as an integral part of any theory of war.

The thesis set forth in this book was the product of such an 'extensive' examination. It might, indeed, be termed the compound effect of certain causes-these being connected with my task as military editor of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. For while I had previously delved into various periods of military history according to my inclination, this task compelled a general survey of all periods. A surveyor-even a tourist, if you will-has at least a wide perspective and can take in the general lie of the land, where the miner knows only his own seam.

To trace this relationship and to determine the character of the operations, it is unnecessary to tabulate the numerical strengths and the details of supply and transport. Our concern is simply with the historical effects in a comprehensive series of cases, and with the logistical or psychological moves which led up to them.

If similar effects follow fundamentally similar moves, in conditions which vary widely in nature, scale, and date, there is clearly an underlying connection from which we can logically deduce a common cause. And the more widely the conditions vary, the firmer is this deduction. The objective value of a broad survey of war is not limited to the research for new and true doctrine. If a broad survey is an essential foundation for any theory of war, it is equally necessary for the ordinary military student who seeks to develop his own outlook and judgement. Otherwise his knowledge of war will be like an inverted pyramid balanced precariously on a slender apex.

Consult Dr. Norman Dixon's On the Psychology of Military Incompetence www.geocities.com/militaryincompetence for details of why weak people flock to the safe formulas of the tax-payer subsidized military. Oh, yeah Dixon was a British Army combat engineer officer in WW2--so don't even think of questioning his victim credentials.


In the meantime, one of the most - if not the most-critically evolutionary periods in military history is upon us.

The Aerial Instrument

N ot many years elapsed between Kitty Hawk and the Great offensive of World War II, yet they were years full of intensive search for the proper exploitation of the new air vehicle in combat. There were those, like their predecessors in years past who saw the new aerial instrument as the absolute weapon - one such was Douhet. Others, like the visionary Mitchell and Hap Arnold, saw it for what it was: mobility to enable the means for victory to be brought to the area of decisive combat. General Mitchell's definition of airpower is still the best written: "anything that flies."




The common search for the means of survival brought the Airmen and the Soldiers together: and once joined, their imaginative use of the new form of mobility was rapid. I consider myself most fortunate to have been associated with one of our first unit in this new field. I was a member of the Army's 505th Parachute Regimental Combat Team in the invasion of Sicily July 9, 1943. Its mission was to land between the known enemy reserved and the beaches to be used by our assault division, and to screen the landings. There were a number of subordinate missions; to deny the use of an airfield seize dominate domain, secure several crossroads, and so-on- a typical Cavalry mission.

A fter the landings, the first ground forces we encountered were the reconnaissance elements of the Herman Goering panzer division; the Calvary of Fuller and Liddell-Hart's disciples.

We had a rough time.

Badly scattered, we found that our mobility was not as great as we thought it was.

Badly outgunned - the Tigers were impressive against our 2.36 inch bazookas - we nonetheless survived. The success of our mission can be best judge by an enemy evaluation of it:

It is my opinion that if it had not been for the allied airborne forces blocking the Herman Goering armor division from reaching the beachhead, that division would had driven the initial seaborne forces back into the sea. *

We came back with a burning convection on two points: we needed 1.) More accurate air delivery and 2.) better anti-tank weapons. Although first priority was immediately given these problems, when we jumped in Italy two months later we faired not much better. The mission was again a typical Calvary one. The 2nd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry, was to land at Avellino, a key to the road network leading to Salerno and block all enemy movement through that area. The remainder of the 82nd Airborne Division moved from Sicily to Salerno, as a highly mobile reserve, and overnight was in combat of the beachhead.

Between Salerno and Normandy every effort was concentrated on improving anti-tank weapons and accuracy of delivery.

For the first time we began the search for a lightweight land vehicle to exploit the unexpected opportunities which invariably characterized - so we were beginning to realize - a landing in the enemy rear.


OBSERVATION: this is the Air-Mech-Strike [Cavalry] capabilities we still lack today but could easily obtain by using some of the thousands of available air-transportable, amphibious, all-terrain 10-ton M113 light tracked armored fighting vehicles Gavin created as Chief of Army Research & Development after this article was written.

The British 6th Airborne had large Hamilcar gliders to deliver tracked armored Bren gun infantry carriers and Tetrarch turreted light tanks for fire support which is air-mech. For some strange reason the British 1st Airborne Division was still handicapped by just glider-delivered jeeps like Gavin's Airborne was which is air-motorized. The American CG-4A Waco glider could not even land a jeep and a towed 20mm Polsen anti-aircraft or 57mm or 76mm (17-pounder) antitank or 75mm pack howitzer infantry fire support gun like British Horsa and Hamilcar gliders could. Gavin describes a glider-landed air-motorized raid that was planned in Italy in his earlier 1947, book Airborne Warfare; www.combatreform.org/airbornewarfare.htm; page 33;

Probably the most promising of these was the plan known as SHINGLE. It called for dropping the 504th Parachute Regiment Combat Team astride the main north-south highway eighty miles inland from Anzio on the night of the Anzio invasion. The mission was to prevent the movement of enemy troops into the Anzio-Nettuno area. The combat team was to be accompanied by fifty CG-4A Waco gliders carrying reconnaissance vehicles and antitank guns. The commander was directed to conduct active reconnaissance at once upon landing. He planned to push strong motor patrols north beyond Field Marshal Kesselring's command post and into Rome. If the capabilities of the 504th in this situation can be gauged by its performance in combat throughout Italy, it would almost certainly have entered Rome.

Did Gavin know about the 6th Airborne Recce Squadron's glider-landed tank success in Normandy? Why didn't he request Tetrarches and Bren gun tracks and Hamilcars fore future operations? Or did he and he was denied since even the British 1st Airborne did not have these things? What about the M22 Locust light tank we Americans were developing?

The Russian Airborne paid attention to what Gavin wrote and gave every paratrooper squad its own BMD light tracked infantry fighting vehicle 8 years after we fielded the M113 in 1960; like Sputnik we could have and should have been first but after Gavin retired in 1958, the Airborne Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle Family (AAM-PVF) was not given to a mobility battalion in our Airborne forces as it was designed for, it was instead given only to heavy unit "mech pussies" who for the most part refrain from using USAF aircraft mobility for 3D maneuver, but want to 2D maneuver stampede on the ground. However our greatest Cavalry force to date was fielded using AAM-PVF M113s---but not yet to its fullest potential using aircraft mobility. After 1980, the BS penny-pinching Humvee truck ruined our Cavalry from even this, as the hard-earned closed terrain, cross-country maneuver capabilities of the "armored personnel carrier" were forgotten resulting in today's current never-ending, road-bound, wheeled truck ambush blood baths in Afghanistan/Iraq.


For accuracy of delivery, we turned to Doctor Vannevar Bush's office in


* Post-war interrogation of General Kurt Student

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Washington and, through the personal efforts of Dr. Charles Waring (now head of the chemistry Department of the University of Connecticut) we were able to obtain colored lights that could be jumped with an individual, set up after landing, and triggered remotely by code (they were later replaced by infared lights). For antitank weapons, General Ridgway obtained a company of 57mms from a division newly arrived in North Africa. We also redistributed our individual jump loads so that we could jump seven hundred [700] antitank mines per regiment, and we adopted the British Gammon antitank hand grenade.

The 57mms were the best guns we had, though we rarely had them when we wanted them, since they had to be flown by glider. They had to do until we captured the first German panzerfausts in Holland: these made one man equal to the heaviest German tank and started us on an era of relative prosperity.



1. If General Ridgway had to take 57mms from someone else in the U.S. Army it doesn't appear the American Airborne had any clout to get larger capacity British Hamilcar gliders or their Tetrarch light tanks or Bren gun carriers. We do know that American versions of the Bren were built and there was no reason why American glider makers couldn't have received the blueprints to make Hamilcars.

2. You can see Gavin does not think gliders deliver jeep-towed guns in a timely manner to support paratrooper infantry which drops vertically onto terrain openings. He sees paratroops landing directly onto targets like bridges--which is good to get coup de main effects, but for large numbers of gliders carrying supplies and heavier weapons landing farther off. We know Gavin was aware of using a few gliders landing stealthfully into tight areas to get coup de main effects because he praises both the German Eban Emael fort seizure and the Pegasus bridge operation on D-Day in WAPITSA and Airborne Warfare. In this Cavalry-focused article he neglects to mention he parachute dropped in pieces linked together, 75mm pack howitzers to fire support for his infantry immediately after landing. Fixed-wing gliders crash land vertically and horizontally onto terrain openings that must be flat enough for them to slide to a stop; we know from Gavin's Airborne Warfare book that he had to use larger open areas for glider landing zones than paratrooper drop zones. The British, glider-centric chose open terrain landing and drop zones 6-8 miles west of Arnhem bridge but used their 1st Airborne Division which lacked the tracked armored mobility to punch through any enemy resistance to compensate for these offset drop/landing zones that the 6th Airborne Division's Recce Squadron had---the fatal error in the Arnhem operation.

3. OK, the disposable panzerfaust was great as a tank killer and building buster--its the forerunner of the re-usable Russian rocket propelled grenade (RPG) launcher.


Why did the Airborne hide this secret to their success? To inflate their superman ego mythology? Behind the scenes, Gavin should have pressed for a disposable Americanfaust--he certainly called for recoilless antitank weapons in 1947 in Airborne Warfare. We know in the post-WW2 demobilization described in WAPITSA, all monies went to BS USAF nuclear bomber massive retaliation such that by the time the North Koreans attacked, all we had were reusable but ineffective 2.36 inch bazookas. My point is that DISPOSIBLE WEAPONS DO NOT ACT AS PLACE HOLDERS IN THE ORGANIZATIONAL MINDS OF MILITARY UNITS. What we need is a re-usable Amerikanski RPG that shoots Russian-made RPG ammo with higher accuracy so we can use enemy RPG ammo against them and so its there in the arms rooms of units when its needed and trained on regularly---not buried in some ammunition resupply point and never trained on. In WAPITSA, Gavin concluded we should have "super-sized" the bazooka to make it effective as the Germans did when they captured it, making their "Panzerschreks". The Korean war was almost over by the time our 3.5 inch bazooka was fielded.


For the solution to the vehicle problem, we put extra armor plate on jeeps. When equipped with automatic weapons and panzerfausts, they compared to other forms of mobility in World War II--were the best Cavalry known to date. Capable of moving by glider several hundred miles in a few hours, and after they landed of coping with anything they met on favorable terms, they invariably gave a good account of themselves.


OBSERVATIONS: Here is a photo of an actual 82nd Airborne armored jeep from WW2.

Note that it has thin steel plate to deflect medium-caliber 7.62mm bullets in front of the radiator to prevent a mobility kill there and around the troop seating area for direct fire protection from killing the men outright. Unlike the British 1st Recce Squadron of Freddy Gough, at least we Americans had the humility to what-if the enemy's counteractions to come up with our own counter. Once taken under fire, the armored jeep cannot continue to move forward lest its air-filled rubber tires are punctured or its gasoline tank under the driver seat ignited by a kinetic energy projectile greater than 7.62mm busting through the thin steel armor.

The photos below show tragically what happened when German flak ignited jeep gasoline inside a fabric-covered Waco glider coming in to land in Holland.



The ultimate question is would this minimalist armor had it been on Gough's jeeps when they slammed into German armored cars and road blocks along "Tiger Route" to Arnhem bridge been enough to buy time for paras to jump out, fan-out and employ antitank weapons like the British Piat to destroy the armored cars and enable the main body of walking para infantry to reach LTC Frost's men and reinforce them? If the Piat was too slow to respond or in too few numbers, had Gough's men had in-hand captured panzerfausts would they have broken through the road block? This should be war gamed.

We know for a fact that Gough's men were towing Polsten anti-aircraft guns and possibly some "6-pounder" 57mm antitank guns. In a meeting engagement, if you have to stop and unhitch a gun and get it to fire, you will lose in the face of a enemy vehicles with weapons instantly ready-to-fire if they see you. Jeeps were available during the Korean war--General Walker was killed when the one he was riding in turned over. Yet you do not see General Gavin advocating armored jeeps for a better Cavalry in Korea or post-Korea in this article from 1954--or anywhere else. We know for a fact, he advocated light armored tracks with his Project Vista report's recommendation of the Ontos STUG-like assault gun with 6 x 106mm recoilless rifles in a ready-to-fire manner to prevail in a meeting engagement. Tracks have lower ground pressures for greater cross-country mobility even over the lightweight, 4-wheel drive floatation-over-terrain jeep and can be a completely all-around armored box not just in places as with the jeep desperation armoring. Gavin citing armored jeeps here is to show some PROGRESS was made during WW2 at his own instigation to a desired Cavalry capability.


T he mission assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division in Normandy was to block all enemy attempts to reinforce the beaches and to attack them from the rear--again a Cavalry mission. Two months after Normandy, the division was in the air once more and on its way to Nijmegan. Much had been learned in the interim. The accuracy of the Holland landings was almost perfect, and antitank weapons were soon obtained in abundance. The division's cavalry troop, the reconnaissance platoon, fully motorized with new armored jeeps, proved worthy of every confidence. Here was Cavalry in the historical sense.


OBSERVATIONS: if the American 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions could rejoin combat after 60 days, why not the 6th Recce Squadron so its Tetrarch light tanks and Bren gun carriers would be available to spearhead and punch their way through any German opposition the 6-8 miles to Arnhem bridge?

The British seemed lacking the respect of the enemy to even partially armor cover their gun-jeeps and they paid for this by MISSION FAILURE resulting in WW2 being prolonged by another year and thousands of casualties, a Soviet communist dominated East Berlin and an "Iron Curtain". Good thing the German nuclear bomb didn't get mass-produced during this breathing spell we gave them after Arnhem.

Gavin's Airborne Warfare on Page 97, states the 82nd Airborne allocated 6 x Waco gliders landing 29 men of the recon platoon on D-Day over Nijmegan. Assuming 6 x armored gun jeeps in each glider, that's 5 men in each except for 1 jeep with 4 men. Assuming hopefully a .50 caliber heavy machine gun on a pedestal mount with a gunner, a driver, an assistant driver and two men in the back, upon enemy contact, the driver and medium to heavy machine gunner would return fire as the other three men dismount with 7.62mm x 82mm Garand long range semi-automatic rifles, .45 caliber pistol bullet, fully automatic sub-machine guns and Panzerfaust disposible anti-tank rocket propelled grenades to engage the enemy infantry, tanks or dug-in positions. Gavin writes briefly about the recon platoon in Airborne Warfare on page 103;

At 7:30 pm, the division reconnaissance platoon which had landed on DZ "N" drove all the Germans out of Molenhook and approached the bridge from the east and made contact with the 1st Battalion, 504th. Thus the bridge that was vital to the interior communications was captured intact. Several days later the Germans made a very determined effort to recapture it by driving up from Mook.

As it turned out this was the only bridge over the canal captured undamaged. The next bridge to the north was destroyed on D-Day as the troopers approached it and the same fate befell the next bridge north.

The recon platon was able to surprise the enemy and get the bridge by FIGHTING because they moved faster (up to 40 mph) than 1 mph foot slogging by their 4x4 jeeps light being enough to float over cross-country terrain even with a small amount of armor plate added. Enemy resistance did not pin them down or turn them away, which probably had been a result of their jeep's being armored to prevent them from being mobility killed. This and other armored jeep recon actions needs to be researched in more detail since a CAVALRY THAT CAN FIGHT is what we need not a phony one that has to flee in the face of even the lightest enemy resistance which Lou Dimarco's History of Mechanized Cavalry details:



After Holland we began to talk about dropping fuselages, track-laying aircraft, assault transports, helicopters. We were not sure what form the air vehicle would take but we knew that we were on the right track.


Track-landing gear C-82 transport planer that could land on grassy fields: USAF wanting to not get dirty not interested in helping Army maneuver to win wars gave up on tracked landing gear or any extreme short take off and landing (ESTOL) technology to not have to divert resources from their Douhet win-wars-by-bombing obsession

OBSERVATIONS: view pictures of Gavin's "KIWI" pods:



What we needed next was a closer integration with the inheritors of the Cavalry role, the armored forces, without loss to the highly mobile and aggressive character of the airborne forces, the "lean and mean" philosophy. This at once suggested a future for armor in the air-transportable field, possibly the future. Certainly it was the area in which the frontier of military knowledge had to be pushed back.


OBSERVATIONS: THIS IS THE AIR-MECH OF TRACKED TANKS not wheeled jeeps or any other truck.

Notice the concerns that the "mech pussy" death-before-dismount laziness was a concern from the get-go and sought to be countered by the wise Gavin. As you can surmise the mounted warriors tend to be somewhat risk-averse cowards and are not willing to get into aircraft much less jump out of them to get 3D maneuver Cavalry aspects since we still do not have Gavin's Sky Cavalry today. "Armor" branch created to work around politically-connected idiot horseman-obsessed General Herr resulted in Cavalry as a branch being disbanded in 1944 with a mounted tank dueling mentality of "Armor" branch out of touch with its entire functional purpose becoming the parent of mounted warfare development. What an unmitigated disaster this has been for America. No Cavalry branch to fight for and get lighter Cavalry means, no Cavalry capabilities. Tanks would get heavier and heavier to duel other tanks in the misguided "Armor" branch full of cowards who don't want to jump with their tanks from airplanes nor fight from lighter tanks to be a 3D Cavalry. Tankers are not Cavalrymen, so as sub-culture was not fully enlightened or receptive to put it mildly. Gavin after this article shifted attention to slightly more receptive souls and made the Airborne fly from VTOL helicopters, but their over-sized egos refused to admit they needed any armored protection from M113 troop-carrying tanks to prevail on non-linear, possibly nuclear battlefields. Many just wanted to foot-slog and die gloriously WW1 and WW2 style; we have 4 divisions worth of these types today. Getting egomaniacs to do two things--use tank and aircraft together---when they want to worship only one thing is a real problem in the U.S. military.


It should be realized that at this time a complimentary development of the greatest significance was taking place in antitank weapons. In several fields of research the antitank weapon was showing itself far superior to the tank, clearly indicating that in the near future antitank weapons would reduce even further the mobility differential enjoyed by armor in the early 1940s. Hence, the clear and immediate requirement was for exploration of the airborne armor field in which a new mobility could be found.




I f we failed to do this, the least that could happen would be a war of stagnation in which our armored forces, our so-called Cavalry, would be as immobile as the enemy.


OBSERVATION: this is called the occupation of Iraq.


At the worst, an enemy would develop it and achieve overwhelming tactical surprise at the opening of hostilities--as the Germans did in 1939 and 1940. We should find it worth remembering that the first maneuver of airborne troops was conducted by the Russians in 1930 and that in 1935 they moved an entire division by air from Moscow to Vladivostok--3, 500 miles.


OBSERVATION: this is what the Russian Airborne did with air-delivered light tanks in Czechoslovakia in 1968 and Afghanistan in 1979. Its what the Red Chinese Airborne is preparing to do to Taiwan in the near future. Stay tuned, America will be shamed by its military incompetence once again unless we wake up.


As an enthusiastic supporter of our Cavalry arm, I am convinced that we will never win another war without it, and that without it we may very likely lose. Korea is eloquent testimony. My own convictions and experiences in World War II led me to write a brief piece on the subject called "The Future of Armor", which was published in both the Combat Forces Journal and Armored Cavalry Journal in November 1947.


OBSERVATION: Let's see where we had and did not have Cavalry since 1954.

Vietnam: where the 11th ACR and M113 Gavin-equipped forces were, we won. Everywhere else, we took heavy casualties M16 versus AK47 resulting in our departure; DEFEAT.

Grenada: Rangers and Airborne were weak Cavalry but enemy was weak, too: VICTORY.

Panama: we formed a defacto Cavalry with M551 Sheridans and M113 Gavins, captured the dictator, Noriega and hired back the Panamanian Defense Force Soldiers to restore order for new government; VICTORY.

Desert Storm 1: improvised M113 Gavin Light Cavalry of 197th Infantry Brigade spearheaded 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) through soft ground marshy areas, heavier Cavalry of 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment flushed Iraqi Army from Kuwait, we did not have a 3D air-mech Cavalry so enemy Republican Guard escaped to fight another day: DEFEAT

Somalia: egomaniac Delta Force and Rangers refuse to use tracked armor get surrounded; third world allies save their ungrateful asses using armored vehicles: DEFEAT

Afghanistan: refused to drop in "special" forces who insist on sexy foot slogging and rat patroling in unarmored trucks and not use tracked armored vehicles since they'd take excessive casualties, Islamic extremists make Afghanistan into terror training playground, later dropped in a few Rangers to take a southern air base, refused to drop in 82nd Airborne to close off escape routes of Osama Bin Laden and followers to Pakistan: DEFEAT

Desert Storm 2: shoestring push to Baghdad of simpleton marines in trucks clobbered by enemy rear guards; renamed 24th ID (M) now called 3rd ID (M) in tracked armor punches through and takes Capital city, but tardy marines and no 3D air-mech Cavalry enable Saddam and subordinates to start guerrilla war against us; we double-cross Iraqi Army Soldiers who did as we told and didn't fight us and refuse to hire them back to restore order; DEFEAT

Gavin was right all along.


It seemed to me at the time, that we would have to lighten all items of combat armored equipment, and develop and produce the aircraft to carry the new light armored forces into battle. But I accomplished little. The vehicles in our infantry and Cavalry units are no lighter now than they were five years ago--in fact, in most cases they are heavier. Currently, the mobility differential between our infantry and our Cavalry--in the form of

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armored divisions and Cavalry regiments--is nil.


OBSERVATION: still true today!

We are still not using the M113 light tanks Gavin later created as Army Chief of Research and Development to have a 3D maneuver air-transportable, all terrain Cavalry force that is permanently structured as such. We are still driving on roads in BS wheeled Humvee/Stryker trucks and bloated Bradley medium tanks at best over open terrains. None can swim. None can fly inside Army VTOL helicopters--even the Humvee is too wide. Bradleys/Strykers are not air-transportable in plentiful USAF C-130 turboprop STOL planes, though Humvees can if we don't mind being victims in them later on after first contact with the enemy.


The same is true of the differential between ourselves and the Russians--unless, of course, if we have to fight them, they will be accommodating enough to walk while we are rolling on wheels and tracks.


OBSERVATION: No, the Russians acted on Gavin's wisdom and air-mechanized with BMDs. They are not so stupid to foot slog. Details: www.combatreform.org/airbornetoc.htm


And the Big Bombs

T here is naturally much speculation now over the implications of atomic warfare. In spite of conflicting opinions, it seems clear at least that bombs, guided missiles, and artillery projectiles with destructive power measured in the kilotons and megatons are here to stay. If they are used at all, they will sooner or later be used directly against land forces: and the only counter-measure possible is to reduce drastically the numbers of Soldiers per square mile in the battle area, which will itself have to be regarded as a zone hundreds of miles deeper than it is at present. Since fewer Soldiers will have to cover much more ground, there will be a proportionately greater need for automatic weapons and for a more rapid and efficient supply system to provide them with ammunition. In the solution of these problems the air vehicle will inevitably play a major part.

Since dispersion--individual and unit--will characterize the defense, the greatest need of all will be for the means of concentrating rapidly in the area, and at the same time, of decision. Major reserves will have to move by air, and in the tactical zone smaller units will have to be mutually supporting by air as well as land.

Cavalry-type screening missions will have to be conducted at much greater distances, and with much greater rapidity, than have hitherto been considered acceptable. The mobility differential to make this possible must be achieved. It is within our grasp, fortunately in the air vehicles now being developed--assault transports, light utility planes, helicopters, and convertiplanes.


OBSERVATION: the lying helicopter apologists have long taken Gavin out of context to further their helicopter-only BS. Gavin wanted more capable VTOL fixed-wing aircraft and that we don't have them today is the fault of the incompetent Army rotorheads.


Forces so organized and equipped will have a predominant influence on future warfare. Their readiness at the very outset of combat is essential, yet unfortunately they cannot be produced, Aladdin-like, overnight. The lead time to their availability could be measured in years while the lead time to disaster could be zero, and this could happen while we relied almost exclusively on the concept of mass retaliation--a concept which finds no justification in human experience as an exclusive and self-sufficient means to victory.

The appeal of the weapon of mass retaliation is understandable: it is spectacular, it carries the war far away from our homeland, and most people believe it to be uniquely American. It does have a role to play--that of destroying the enemy's strategic forces before they can be brought to bear. Thereafter it must take its place among the resources, human as well as material that our people provide to make victory possible. The weapons systems that encompasses every decisive role which men can play, with the least drain on a nation's economy, will be in the long run the system to survive. For man is a land animal and he remains the common denominator in war, whatever form it takes.

Today, even the most casual awareness of the historical lesson should suggest that in ground combat the mobility differential we lack will be found in the air vehicle. Fully combined with the armored division, it would give us real mobility and momentum.


OBSERVATION: how much clearer can Gavin be? We must AIR-MECHANIZE.


Military tactics are not so recondite that there should be anything mysterious in such a conclusion. We have an apt Americanism that sums it up: "Hit 'em where they ain't!"

A ll of this may seem very remote from the Greeks, with their Hoplites and Pelasts, the roman Legion, the armored knight, and the combat philosophy of Nathan Bedford Forrest. It is in time but not substance: for to survive and win in battle, Soldiers have always had to think of these things, and to move along the curves of history, lest they giddily precipitate themselves and their people into oblivion.

When a modern nation embarks on an unwise military course; however, not only its Soldiers are at fault. "In our democracy" said General George C. Marshall fifteen years ago, "where the government is truly an agent of the popular will, military policy is dependant upon public opinion, and our organization for war will be good or bad as the public is well informed or poorly informed..."


OBSERVATION: 15 years before 1954 was 1939---when America hadn't been attacked at Pearl Harbor and the idea was to get the entire populace sold on a war before going to war. After WW2, the threat of a nuclear "Pearl Harbor" gave the small elites the excuse they needed to keep us in a perpetual war state and expand corporate profits. Our politicians bought and paid for by the corporations to run mass media election campaigns is the agent of THEY THE CORPORATIONS not WE THE PEOPLE. After the Vietnam public outcry caused a withdrawal, the corporations decided the military must be "all volunteer" (victims) bribed by pay and benefits so if the corporations send them to a no-win war for them they will not have a leg to stand on and complain since "they signed up for it". The first step back towards restoring our Constitutional government is to repeal the 17th Amendment so Senators are temporarily appointed and act as ambassadors of the State Legislature subject to daily monitoring to the folks back home and subject to immediate recall---not demi-gods who do whatever they damn well please for 6 years at a time, floated to Washington D.C. funded by the corporations to counter any good legislation that might pop up from the 2-year term local Congressmen and to generally go along with whatever the corporate-financed dictator--the President decides to do to further corporate interests.


What we now need, as a nation, is an understanding of the past that can be converted into tactics and battle hardware, and give its soul back to the Cavalry.

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Armor branch still doesn't get it after all these years of failure.

Probably will never get it as its squeezed out of existence in infantryland of tree-covered Fort Benning, Georgia where its being sent to die.

Armor branch has rejected light tanks again and again and refused to provide Cavalry. It refused to bend so now it will be broken.

Its now time for the Infantry to act like open-minded George Marshalls and have another "Benning Revolution" by cutting out their we-don't-need-tanks-crap and SAVE THE DAY, for the Army, for America. Be the Cavalry. Do what no other part of the Army wants to be or do. Operate M113 Gavin light tanks in every infantry battalion HHC and Delta Weapons company through closed terrain so we don't have to fight third world baby machines M16 versus AK47 or drive into their road land mines because we are in wheeled trucks that can't go cross-country. Drop Gavins from USAF aircraft and roll reduced version from off CH-47 helicopters. Swim them across lakes and rivers. Sure, you will not wear Stetson hats or colorful scarves or wear spurs on your boots at dining ins. But you won't be TALKING Cavalry, YOU WILL BE CAVALRY. The extraordinary force of decision that helps the main body win. That's what Gavin is calling for in this article and its long overdue we get this Cavalry by whatever name it takes to get it.

Sociological Reasons why we don't have Maneuver Air Support or Cavalry....

Study the works of the great military reformers, LTG James Gavin www.geocities.com/gavinpetition and Charles "Chuck" Myers www.geocities.com/aerocounsel its now apparent that the reason why we don't have their Sky Cavalry or Maneuver Air Support (MAS) is because they are advocating a sub-set of the homogenized main body that is different and threatens their sociological fabric.

The U.S. military is driven by INTERNAL narcissism and monetary greed by the weak people who populate it, first attracted by tax-payer job security and a myth of American WW2 military success through a canned formula. EXTERNAL cause--->effect reality of the objective task has no influence on such inbred human societies and as Gavin and Myers have both argued effectively for years based on objective, external reality with military practical application excellence as the goal, their audience is on another wave length entirely and is not interested.

The U.S. military is based on the narcissism of self-exaltation---which is the lie of Satan, the angel who wanted to be like God, the Creator---and was cast down. He wants to be someone who he is not and is not happy with who he is. Human organizations emulating this prideful outlook are pyramidal, where only one thing or person can be at the top. The only being who deserves to be at the top of any pyramid is God, himself---the Creator. And you will notice on the great pyramid of Giza---not made by Egyptians---its actually pre-flood, the top of the pyramid is missing---signifying that God is not here on the earth running things at this moment. Yet for all these so-called "Christians" populating the U.S. military, they are doing nothing to refute the pyramid-of-ego, self-validating narcissism that's ruining any teamwork and excellence that valuing a diversity of things requires, they are embracing PRIDE as some kind of competitive quasi-virtue as if American selfish individualism is somehow "Christianity" when its not. Narcissism + Jesus is a lie and an abomination. Now if the reader doesn't want to hear this religious pious puke talk, he needs to wake up to the fact that the generic idea of self-exaltation is the driving philosophy of the U.S. military whether he likes it or not, whether he believes in God or angels--or not.

In the U.S. military, everyone has to belong to a pyramid of competitive ego that is monolithic and defecates on things that are supportive to the one goal at the top; in the Air Force its the fighter-bomber jock because he flies the fastest and highest, the Navy the uberlarge aircraft carrier because its the biggest and it launches their flyboy fighter-bomber egomaniacs, the Army alternates between the heavy "mech pussy" tanker or the light infantry narcissist depending on who is chief of staff and the marines always drool over themselves as infantry riflemen. These are the sociological "main bodies" of these sub-societies of weaklings and they will not accept a sub-organization within their ranks reminding them that what's at the top of their pyramids-of-ego is not all that anyone could ever hope for---and needs HELP. Gulp. Help implies HUMILITY and this is the opposite of narcissism but the bedrock of Judaeo-Christianity and its outgrowth trial & error scientific objectivity. The whole concept of teamwork implies one cannot do everything---yet DoD TALKS a great game about "teamwork" while defecating on the Jessica Lynch underclass that actually provides it. Adults with sound moral values understand self-worth is INTRINSIC and God-given at birth and to get on with life's challenges without the vanities and pretenses of being better than others when we are all going to die, period---unless God, the capstone returns. None of us are perfect and rate heaven (marines will not be guarding shit there) but that's why God himself came to earth and died in our place to offer us a pardon if we ask for it.

Maneuver Air Support--observation/attack fixed-wing planes are indeed "Cavalry" from the air that is different and faster than the main body on the ground so there is resistance to it there even though its helping their ground maneuver. Money for o/a planes is money taken away from heavy tankers and light infantry narcissist's gadgets. MAS o/a planes bruise the weak egos of helicopter pilots because they fly faster than their mounts. Nevermind, that they would be the ones flying the o/a planes, this isn't about logic or reason. So scratch the Army from doing MAS. The USMC has ditched MAS long ago when it retired its SkyRaiders in 1958, its A-4 SkyHawks in 1980s and its OV-10s in 1994. It has its own fighter-bomber jet jock egomaniacs who dumped on the OV-10 community for years to get rid of it until their threat of military glory to their ego racket was removed. The USAF broke away from the Army because it doesn't want to support (the "S" word that is such a threat to the "I" in pride) their ground maneuver and doesn't want to spend a dime on slower, low altitude planes when they delusionally think they can do it all with thin wing fast/high altitude sexy fighter-bombers. Any COMPLIMENTARY capability that could take away from the ego of the thing at the top of the pyramid must not be allowed to exist. Grunts on the ground may want MAS, BUT THEY ARE NOT FLYING THE AIRPLANES---so they can STFU. Those that fly airplanes worship what's highest and fastest and they don't want to be second class citizens like the transport/tanker plane pilots are that are only tolerated because they are needed for the fighter-bomber ego racket. So unless we have the grunts flying the MAS airplanes like they used to in our grasshopper past, those who think of themselves as superior beings because they fly aircraft will dictate what they want to do and not do.

Now once we are aware of the sick sociology of the U.S. military we can stop beating our heads against a wall wondering why they are not responding to clear reason and logic to achieve a better common defense. They don't want us all winning in a teamwork of adults who realize we are all in this adventure called life together, they want winners (them) at the top and losers (you) at the bottom. This begins with the enemy and proceeds upward to our support underclass who need to bow down and worship them and kiss their ring.

Thus, to get a Cavalry to prevent the main bodies from destroying themselves in glorious self-validational fiascos (Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan) by improving our force structures to a sound balance in the current U.S. military, its got to be SEPARATE from the main body's pyramid of ego and have direct funding from Congress. Then, when there is an actual war, the pressures to not die will force teamwork upon the narcissists and they will grudgingly allow the Cavalry "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" to come and play "reindeer games" with them. This means the following options should be pursued:

1. A Non-Linear Maneuver Brigade or Non-Linear Battlefield Stability Corps

A new branch of service based on Judaeo-Christian humility and functionality with all kinds of air/land/sea tools to fight sub-national conflicts (SNCs) and be a Cavalry to the rest of the U.S. military during nation-state wars (NSWs)



2. Maneuver Air Support Corp (Inc.)

Create a private mercenary, contractor firm to do armed MAS missions on a cash & carry basis for non-adaptive egomaniac DoD when they find themselves in a jam and need a way out but do not want to change at all---so after the crisis is over they can go back to their inbred rackets

3. Army Air Forces and/or Air Commandos Separately funded by Congress

Create MAS type forces within a new Army Air Forces and/or the current Air Commandos in the USAF and have them get funding direct from Congress so they don't have to compete with assholes for what they need, downside is they will get the "black sheep" assigned to them by the pyramid of egosters but this could backfire as anyone who rejects BS homogenizing has at least some integrity