Patton's Iron Cavalry - The Impact of the Mechanized Cavalry on the U.S. Third Army Page: 36
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equipment. However, the reconnaissance conducted by the Dragoons aided in the success of the
4th AD's assault on the city.
After the fall of Nantes, VIII Corps assigned the 2nd MCG responsibility of the entire
region from Nantes to Angers, a tremendous frontage of over 45 miles oriented to the South
along the Loire River. Moreover, the Dragoons were also responsible for the frontage to the
west of Nantes, with the mission of preventing loose German formations in the Brittany
Peninsula from interfering in the friendly movements through the Rennes - Nantes Corridor. 64
This sector had been the province of the entire 4th AD before its relief from the VIII Corps for
missions to the east. Although the focus of battle had moved from this particular region of
France as the VIII Corps invested Brest while the rest of the Third Army moved to the East,
maintaining a presence in this vital hinge of the Army prevented the disorganized German
resistance in the area from coalescing into a threat which would draw combat power away from
the spearheads. In fact, the remaining Wehrmacht along the French coast which were strong
enough to defeat small patrols of the 2nd MCG comprised of armored cars and jeeps, most
certainly would have caused grievous harm to the lightly defended supply columns keeping the
XII Corps moving east.65 Of course, given the extremely large area of responsibility, the cavalry
patrols were rarely more than platoon strength, and often much smaller, so the threat should not
be overestimated. However, the mission was essential to the success of the corps, and despite
some small setbacks, the group succeeded in their mission of protecting the Third Army's hinge
(see Map 1).
64 2nd Cavalry Group After Action Report, August 1944," 13 August.
65 bid., 17 August.
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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/m1/42/: accessed August 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .