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Thread: What's the difference between Mechanized Infantry and Armored Cavalry?

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    Sanctioned OT Hall Monitor Thistletooth's Avatar
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    What's the difference between Mechanized Infantry and Armored Cavalry?

    I guess this is as much a history question as a gameplay thing, but whatever.

    Did they have markedly different compositions? Were they used differently in battle? Is Armored Cavalry considered a hard target for Comb Arms purposes? Overall, it seems like Mech costs a little less and has much better stats, except that AC has +3 HA and +2 Suppression.

    Is there anything else significant about them? Does anyone prefer one over the other, or do you find a use for both?

  2. #2
    Banned sting01's Avatar

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    To make short a long story, that is different in every country :

    Air cav = troops with light armement/equipment who are using aerotranportability (namely choppers) to 'jump' from point A to point B. Similar are Apocalypse now. Hystorically, the US were the first to have a grand unit of Air cav, unsure their is another country able to have that kind of grand unit in more of them.

    OT: in france we have a Div of chopper, but the doctrine of use does not made them Air Cav, let say the doctrine is similar to the 'dragons a pieds' of Napoleon, of the demounted cavalry during the cessesion war.


    Mech = ARM divsion with less tanks than a vanilla divisons, but with more MOT and AP ART inside . To keep the speed andsame fire power in TNT/KM. Doctrine : a Mech will tend to be best used in counter attack, or in exploitation just after the ARM have made the hole in the ennemy defense.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by sting01
    To make short a long story, that is different in every country :

    Air cav = troops with light armement/equipment who are using aerotranportability (namely choppers) to 'jump' from point A to point B. Similar are Apocalypse now. Hystorically, the US were the first to have a grand unit of Air cav, unsure their is another country able to have that kind of grand unit in more of them.

    OT: in france we have a Div of chopper, but the doctrine of use does not made them Air Cav, let say the doctrine is similar to the 'dragons a pieds' of Napoleon, of the demounted cavalry during the cessesion war.


    Mech = ARM divsion with less tanks than a vanilla divisons, but with more MOT and AP ART inside . To keep the speed andsame fire power in TNT/KM. Doctrine : a Mech will tend to be best used in counter attack, or in exploitation just after the ARM have made the hole in the ennemy defense.
    I think he was asking about ARMORED Calvary, not Air Cav. I personally can't answer the question, though, ha.

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    I think mechanized infantry is infantry in APCs and medium tanks while armored cavalry is far less infantry and loads of fast light tanks. That is just my guess though.
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    I think the US army uses armor calvary as heavy recon units. They always stay ahead of the main army, scouting things out like seperation of divisions and such. As far as HOI is concerned, the only real use I have found for late game CAV units is a rapid advance units in rough terrain (mountains/swamps, ect..). I find them really usefull in China with the Jap's, also very nice for the marshes in Russia. But all in all I like 6 MTN units over 9 CAV units for this job.

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    First Lieutenant boy_recon's Avatar

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    I'm guessing that armoured cav would be a mix of men on horses, trucked (or perhaps horse-drawn) arty and some light armour/td/spa. I'm pretty sure the Soviets fielded this type of unit duting ww2. The idea i guess being to keep the enhanced mobility of the cav, with some organic armour and motorised support for extra oomph. Mechanised would be a similar mix but replacing the cav with men in h-t's.
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    1/69 INF ( L ) Myrmidon's Avatar
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    The in game armored cav should have no horse drawn assets in it. I'd say it's also not a major frontline force but prehaps used with armor to make a gap then quickly move in. I want to have a few corps of armored cav in europe and air cav in asia for my next us game once ww2 is over.

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    Quote Originally Posted by boy_recon
    I'm guessing that armoured cav would be a mix of men on horses, trucked (or perhaps horse-drawn) arty and some light armour/td/spa. I'm pretty sure the Soviets fielded this type of unit duting ww2. The idea i guess being to keep the enhanced mobility of the cav, with some organic armour and motorised support for extra oomph. Mechanised would be a similar mix but replacing the cav with men in h-t's.
    You're pretty much describing Semi-Motorized Cavalry, I think... not so much Armored Cavalry. Armored Cavalry doesn't actually have any horses, I don't believe - just lots of fast, lightly armored vehicles with medium to heavy weaponry, called Cavalry to indicate its uses for speedy movement. Take a look at the tech picture next time you research Armored Cavalry for a good example of early Armored Cavalry.

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    seeing as its off of the mechanized infantry tech tree, I figure that it is merely mechanized infantry but with an emphasis on speed rather than hitting and staying power, and so fits the role of a very mobile cavalry unit better than the role of hard-hitting and damage-soaking infantry unit, so it is a late game upgrade for cavalry.
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    It's not really cavalry, just named that.

    Mechanized infantry (at least the WW2-era type) is infantry in half-tracks. I'd say Armoured Cavalry is more like a modern APC.

    I think I'm roughly right, but don't quote me on it.

  11. #11
    The US army used Armored Cav as their name for recon bdes/rgt for decades after WW2. Generically within the game, this could be looked at as a cavalry division upgraded to armored status, but still performing the cav's traditional role of a large reconnaissance force that is highly mobile, comparatively lightly armed, but is now armored instead of being based upon horses.

    The US army used Air Cav as the name for helicopter based divisions such as 1st Air Cav div that fought in Vietnam. Realistically this should not be within the DD or HOI2 game years parameters (game only covers thru 1954) as helicopters were not sufficiently developed for this kind of division until a decade or so later, but it could be a potential development.

    The game treats air cav and armored cav as types of Cavalry divisions which means that they have high suppression values and are soft targets. Armored cav has 60 softness which is about the same as any mechanized div. Air cav has 80 softness which is similar to a motor inf div, but air cav has the highest speed of any 'land' division in the game (speed 14 instead of 10).

    Mechanized div within the game are hard targets just like armor div. The practical effect of the hard/soft distinction is whether or not you get the combined arms bonus for the mix of divisions within one formation under one commander. Even though the game has about the same stats for armored cav and mech inf, one is soft and the other hard for this specific purpose.

    The anomaly in this situation is the armored cav division. You have quite a jump in both years and the parameters for the leap from semi motor cav div to armored cav div, moving from a unit that has less hardness than a motor inf div but years later emerges with more hardness than a motor inf div. Then the armored cav div reverts back to something similar to a motor inf div for hardness, but with much higher speed due to it's helicopters.

    This has more to do with the rigid categories used in the game for different kinds of div than it does with any historical or theoretical model. Also note that the air cav div is researched within secret weapons rather than within inf, while the armored cav div while linked to mech inf is actually a upgrade of a decade earlier cav div.

    Year - name and softness

    1937 Semi motor cav (95%) { precursor to Motor Infantry div }
    1946 Armored cav (60%) { almost the same as a Mechanized Infantry Div)
    1951 Air cav (80%) { helicopter based and faster version of a motor inf div }
    101010

  12. #12
    Strategy Cognoscenti Demi Moderator Myth's Avatar
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    It's not really cavalry, just named that.
    no, of course not, but it fills the role of light cavalry--a very fast reaction force to act as a speed bump and slow the enemy down until heavier weapons and units can be brought to bear.

    Mechanized infantry (at least the WW2-era type) is infantry in half-tracks. I'd say Armoured Cavalry is more like a modern APC.
    well if you look at the tech pictures, all the mech infantries are half-tracks/armored trucks. the armored cavalry, however, looks like a somewhat souped up armored car that is still something less than a light tank.

    I think I'm roughly right, but don't quote me on it.
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    the Quiet One Red Boxer's Avatar
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    One thing to consider is how the soldier fights.

    You have two extremes. Man on foot, and man in a vehicle which he uses for transport and combat. The Infantry Division represents the man on foot, and the Armored Division is almost exclusively represented by the man in a combat-ready vehicle being used for combat and transport.

    The cav (and semi-moto cav) and the Moto Divisions exhibit the use of vehicles and horse for transport, but only combat in a limited sense. Further along that scale we have the Air Cav, which again replaces the trucks with choppers to move troops.

    Then we have the Mechanized infantry division, which is a combination of the moto-inf division, and the armored division, with an expansion of lighter vehicles which can be used as a platform for combat.

    Finally we have the the Armored Cavalry Division, which from the descriptions I have read, appears to be, for all intents and purposes, a Light Armor Division.
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Thistletooth
    I guess this is as much a history question as a gameplay thing, but whatever.

    Did they have markedly different compositions? Were they used differently in battle? Is Armored Cavalry considered a hard target for Comb Arms purposes? Overall, it seems like Mech costs a little less and has much better stats, except that AC has +3 HA and +2 Suppression.

    Is there anything else significant about them? Does anyone prefer one over the other, or do you find a use for both?
    Armor Cav is infantry supported armor, and mech infantry is infantry with apc support.

  15. #15
    I thing, we can have successor of armored cav in later arm. cav (who still in use for today) and air cav are completly new type od div., available after researging it.
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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Czert
    I thing, we can have successor of armored cav in later arm. cav (who still in use for today) and air cav are completly new type od div., available after researging it.
    Not a Cav expert by any means, especially WWII era. Modern Armored Cav is made up of Light Tanks. Does exceptionally well against Inf, Mot Inf, and Mech Inf. If they run into Medium Armor, Heavy Armor, or MBT, they're in trouble.

    Mech is tracked Armored Personnel Carriers, typically mounted with heavy machine guns, but also with grenade launchers and light rocket launchers (again describing modern make-up).

  17. #17
    Armored cavalry was used only by USA in the WW2. Its main using was to advance before main army and scout, seize bridges, crossroads, screening wings of advance or filling holes between two armies(as used in winter 1944 - us could not field as many man as needed).

    US armored cavalry group consisted of two squadrons each with:
    Light tank company (M5A Stuart and later M24 Chaffee)
    SPArt battery (M8 Scott)
    three infantry companies (with jeeps)

    So it is not a real power comparable with any division type units (infantry, armor). Somewhere i founded an original guide about tactics of using armored cavalry in WW2.

  18. #18
    Mechanized Infantry: tend to be grouped in Division-sized units capable of large scale attack and defense. Naturally, the infantry dismount when engaged. The mechanized part is simply the means of arriving to the front line. In WW2 and just after it was the half-track that did the job. Behind the front lines it is usually trucks that do most of the transporting of infantry. Tracked vehicles consume an enormous amount of fuel which is why these days tracked vehicles are loaded onto truck transports and carried as far forward as possible to save on fuel.

    Amored Cavalry: First off, except for traditional parades and ceremonies there are no horses. Armored Cav units are semi-elite: higher in quality than regular line troops but less than Paratroopers, Rangers, and Special Forces. Armored Cav units tend to be of regiment-size whose primary mission is to act as a picket/screening force for larger forces. The vast bulk of the combat units are tanks supported by scouting vehicles carrying a squad of recon troops. Infantry support consists mainly of mortar crewman to provide smoke and illumination as well as limited artillery support. Although small in size, the regiment acts as a small independent army having its own helicopter air-wing, intelligence outfit, engineers, heavy artillery (155mm), MPs, vehicle mechanics and recovery teams. It has its own chemical warfare unit and supply & equipment depot as well as an HQ staff. Their mission is to attack the enemy immediately when found to buy time for the big boys to come up and land the hammer blow. In the meantime its mission is to atack! attack! attack! Static defense is unacceptable doctrine.

    The armored cavalry is designed to exist out in the field indefinitely, always mobile, always on the move looking for the enemy, hard-hitting and hard-to-hit. This aggressive "kick boo-tay, thorn-in-the-side SOB" attitude is continuously drilled into the troops giving an Armored Cav unit an advantage against poorly trained or conscripted soldiers. Even the cooks and postal staff are armed, mobile, and dangerous. Often an inexperienced commander will misjudge the size of an Armored Cavarly unit because its ferocity is not in proportion to its numbers.

  19. #19
    IMHO one significant difference could be that Armored cavalry operates indenpently almost all the time. Mechanized infantry is created primarilly to provide support for armored forces, but often forced to operate as standalone units when situation requested.

    Mechanized infantry is supposed to hold it's own defensivelly, but armored cavalry is not equiped for defense.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by qobalt
    Amored Cavalry: First off, except for traditional parades and ceremonies there are no horses. Armored Cav units are semi-elite: higher in quality than regular line troops but less than Paratroopers, Rangers, and Special Forces. Armored Cav units tend to be of regiment-size whose primary mission is to act as a picket/screening force for larger forces. The vast bulk of the combat units are tanks supported by scouting vehicles carrying a squad of recon troops. Infantry support consists mainly of mortar crewman to provide smoke and illumination as well as limited artillery support. Although small in size, the regiment acts as a small independent army having its own helicopter air-wing, intelligence outfit, engineers, heavy artillery (155mm), MPs, vehicle mechanics and recovery teams. It has its own chemical warfare unit and supply & equipment depot as well as an HQ staff. Their mission is to attack the enemy immediately when found to buy time for the big boys to come up and land the hammer blow. In the meantime its mission is to atack! attack! attack! Static defense is unacceptable doctrine.

    The armored cavalry is designed to exist out in the field indefinitely, always mobile, always on the move looking for the enemy, hard-hitting and hard-to-hit. This aggressive "kick boo-tay, thorn-in-the-side SOB" attitude is continuously drilled into the troops giving an Armored Cav unit an advantage against poorly trained or conscripted soldiers.
    Thank you. Very well put and enlightening definition. Had friends in the Armored Cav at Ft. Bliss, TX before the cav unit was moved to Ft. Carson, CO But never really asked about their history or capabilities.

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