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Publisher's Summary

At the end of World War I, the United States Army - despite its recent experience with trenches, machine guns, barbed wire, airplanes, and even tanks - maintained a horse-mounted cavalry from a bygone era. From the end of World War I until well into World War II, senior leaders remained convinced that traditional cavalry units were useful in reconnaissance, and horses retained a leading role. Months into World War II, the true believers in the utility of the horses had their hopes shattered as the last horse cavalry units either dismounted to fight as infantry or traded their oat-eating horses for gasoline-guzzling “iron ponies”.

Morton has examined myriad official records, personal papers, doctrine, and professional discourse from an era of intense debate about the future of the U.S. Cavalry. He has captured the emotion of the conflict that ultimately tore the branch apart by examining the views of famous men such as George S. Patton, Jr., Lesley J. McNair, George C. Marshall, and Adna R. Chaf-fee, Jr. More importantly, Morton brings new light to lesser-known figures - John K. Herr, I. D. White, Lucian K. Truscott, Willis D. Crittenberger, Charles L. Scott, and William S. Biddle - who played equally important roles in shaping the future of the U.S. Cavalry and in determining what function it would play during World War II. 

The book is published by Northern Illinois University Press. The audiobook is published by University Press Audiobooks.

©2009 Northern Illinois University Press (P)2020 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"A comprehensive and readable analysis of American cavalry development from the 1930s through the end of World War II." (Robert S. Cameron, author of To Fight or Not to Fight?

“Will make a major contribution to the literature on innovation during this period.” (Dr. Williamson Murray, Ohio State University

“The definitive history of mechanized cavalry in WWII...a model work of its kind.” (Dennis Showalter, author of Patton and Rommel: Men of War in the Twentieth Century)

What listeners say about Men on Iron Ponies: The Death and Rebirth of the Modern U.S. Cavalry

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