By 1941, the U.S. military was painfully aware of its unpreparedness to combat the modern mechanized armies in Europe. To increase its combat effectiveness, the U.S. Army conducted the Louisiana maneuvers, which included 3,400 square miles of Texas. The maneuvers involved nearly half a million men and 19 divisions. Many Newton County citizens allowed the U.S. Army access to their lands for training. Troops, horses, tanks, mechanized vehicles and airplanes (utilized for spotting and 'flour' bombing raids) came from various Texas posts. Newton County residents supported these critical military maneuvers (1941 - 1944), that effectively phased out the horse cavalry and provided valuable lessons as the U.S. Army learned how to fight and win a mechanized war.