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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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U.S. Army Cavalry: c. 1940

U.S. Army Cavalry: c. 1940

U.S. Army 7th Cavalry Company in Papago Park (near Phoenix) Arizona, circa 1940. My dad was a member of this group, originally stationed at Ft. Riley, KS, and transferred to Arizona prior to America's entry into WWII. After Pearl Harbor the 7th became a ceremonial unit and their soldiers fought the war in tanks. Note the WWI-style "Smokey" hats that were still used early in WWII. View full size.

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Charge the Tank

It is a popular myth that Poles or Russians charged German tanks with cavalry. The Polish Cavalry did charge German troops, and were routed by German armor, but they did not attack tanks with cavalry. Few may be aware but the US Cavalry did charge troops--and tanks--Japanese tanks--in the Philippines in January 1942. It was just about all we had. The object was to shoot the man in the turret as well as accompanying soldiers.

7th Cavalry Regiment

This would probably be the 7th Cavaly Regiment which was part of the 1st Cavalry Division. In 1940 they may have been garrisoned in Douglas, Arizona. They went on to see action in the Pacific Theater under General Douglas MacArthur.


America had little more than the cavalry as an organized mobile military land force in 1940. Fortunately this cavalry never had to charge a German Tiger tank, used during the invasion of France in 1940, as the Russians would a year or so later on the Eastern Front.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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