Patton's Iron Cavalry - The Impact of the Mechanized Cavalry on the U.S. Third Army Page: 43
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of the corps' flank.82 This allowed the 35th Infantry Division, which had been covering the corps
extreme western flank, to concentrate in preparation for an assault across the Moselle south of
Nancy.83 The next day, the 42nd Squadron conducted an assault on Fort de Pont St. Vincent, a
fortification overlooking the confluence of the Madon and Moselle rivers, that also dominated
much of the ground that the 35th Infantry Division would have to cover in preparation for its
assault across the Moselle.84 The attack was fraught with difficulty, owing to the general lack of
foot soldiers in the cavalry troops, but skillful use of the squadron's assault guns, light tanks, and
attached artillery allowed the Dragoons to succeed in their attack, as well as defeat a concerted
dismounted counterattack the next day. On both occasions, the cavalry's heavy firepower
proved decisive, although on the second day, they were also aided by recently captured defensive
positions that also helped compensate for their lack of numbers and survivability. Once the 42nd
Squadron had secured the objective, it was then handed over to the 35th ID in preparation for
their planned offensive. The possession of this fortification would prove important to both the
35th Infantry Division and the German army, as evidenced by continued fighting for the position
for the next several days until additional American advances past the river made further German
attempts to regain the position fruitless.85
The actions of the 2nd Group, specifically that of the 42nd Squadron, greatly facilitated the
eventual assault crossing of the Moselle by the 35th Infantry Division. The group's
reconnaissance and constant skirmishing between the Madon and Moselle rivers had identified
the majority of enemy strong points, allowing the infantry to bypass them and quickly strike the
82 ",2nd Cavalry Group After Action Report, September 1944," 7 September.
83 "XII Corps Report of Operations 1 September 1944 - 30 September 1944," 9.
84 This fort was found to be held by members of the 3rd Fallschirmjager Division, considered an elite
German formation; 2nd Cavalry Association, The Ghosts of Patton's Third Army- A History of the Second U.S.
Cavalry, 137; "2nd Cavalry Group After Action Report, September 1944," 8 September.
85 "XII Corps Report of Operations 1 September 1944 - 30 September 1944," 12.
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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/m1/49/: accessed April 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .