Patton's Iron Cavalry - The Impact of the Mechanized Cavalry on the U.S. Third Army Page: 94
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3rd MCG.209 The direct intervention of an Army commander on a regimental level assignment
may seem somewhat odd, however, it must be remembered that Patton was at heart a
cavalryman. He surely understood the need for the best people to be in command of the cavalry
groups, and at the time, the 3rd MCG was at the front of one of Patton's main efforts in the drive
to the east. Polk had been in close proximity to Patton now for a month in his role as
commander of the AIS and security for Third Army HQ, and thus the Army commander had
ample opportunity to gain an appreciation for his skills. Additionally, as Patton had been the 28th
Colonel of the 3d Cavalry, some personal feelings in making sure his prior command was in the
best hands possible were surely present as well.
On 18 September, Third Army ordered a task force comprised of the assault gun
troops (E/6th Squadron, E/28th Squadron) and the tank company of the 6th Squadron (F/6th
Squadron) with minor support elements to support the 3rd MCG (TF Polk) in its operations along
the Moselle River. This task force would serve yeoman work with TF Polk, providing fire
support for numerous operations until 30 September, when the tanker and gunners returned to the
control of the 6th MCG. This action also allowed these portions of the 6th MCG to gain valuable
combat experience rather than wasting away guarding army headquarters.210
As the Third Army's operations began to solidify during the month of September, AIS
operations became less crucial due to the ability of headquarters being able to establish more
209 Unicorn Rampant- History of the Sixth Cavalry Regiment / Group at Home and Abroad, 67. An
interesting aside is that COL Polk had been the executive officer for the 106th Cavalry at Fort Hood as it mobilized,
then deployed with them to England, and then onto Normandy, where he had been given temporary command of the
6th Cavalry. Thus COL Polk would have been a key participant in four of the six cavalry groups assigned to the
Third Army- in order: 106th, 6th, 15th, 3rd. A confusing note is that COL Polk in both his wartime letters and oral
history in 1988 describes taking command of the 14th MCG around Brest, and not the 15th MCG. Referral to the
original letters also states that COL Polk went to the 14th MCG There does not seem to be an explanation for this
discrepancy. The history of the 6th Cavalry group states that COL Polk went to the 15th MCG, so that is what is used
in this chapter.
210 "Patton's Ghost Troops" - After Action Report 9 August 1944- 9 May 1945 (Phoenix: 3rd Cavalry
Veteran's Association, 1974), 53-56.
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Nance, William Stuart. Patton's Iron Cavalry - The Impact of the Mechanized Cavalry on the U.S. Third Army, thesis, May 2011; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc68023/m1/100/: accessed June 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .