Patton's Iron Cavalry - The Impact of the Mechanized Cavalry on the U.S. Third Army Page: 38
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the south-southeast of Paris.66 XII Corps assigned the 2nd MCG to relieve a squadron of the 3rd
MCG (the 3rd Squadron) that was then protecting the corps' southern flank as it continued
moving to the east.67 On the 26 August, the 42nd Squadron attacked a regimental sized grouping
of German army and forced it to withdraw from the town of Carisey, less than thirty miles from
the 4th Armored Division's main effort assaulting the city of Troyes.68 This action prevented
possible enemy interference in the decisive point of the corps' operations, and also stands as a
perfect example of a defensive guard operation. It is also somewhat surprising given the
relatively weak combat power of a mechanized cavalry squadron. However, the 42nd Squadron
used heavy air support and the disorganization of the German forces to their advantage, and were
able to hit the superior enemy force hard enough to force them to withdraw. Despite this
success, it is hard to envision the squadron achieving a similar success without Allied command
of the air or if it had faced a more coherent foe.
By the 28 August, the group's protective screen stretched an incredible 70 miles,
considering that doctrine indicated that a squadron could cover no more than 25 miles in
reconnaissance, a task involving a less dense concentration of power.69 The 2nd Squadron
manned this line, while the 42nd Squadron conducted reconnaissance of additional crossing
points along the Seine River. On that same day, XII Corps relieved the group of its screen
mission, ordering it to prepare to conduct an offensive guard preceding the corps as it attacked to
and past the Marne River.70
66 Ibid., 23 August.
67 "XII Corps Report of Operations 12 August 1944 - 31 August 1944," 212, entry 427, RG 407, National
Archives II, 24 August.
68 2nd Cavalry Group After Action Report, August 1944," 26 August.
69 War Department, FM 100-5 Operations 1944 (Washington D.C.: GPO, 1944), paragraph 39; "2nd
Cavalry Group After Action Report, August 1944," 28 August.
70 2nd Cavalry Group After Action Report, August 1944," 28 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/m1/44/: accessed December 15, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .