Patton's Iron Cavalry - The Impact of the Mechanized Cavalry on the U.S. Third Army Page: 44
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weak points in the German defenses.86 Additionally, the group protected the south flank of the
division as it assaulted forward, allowing more force to be projected into the main effort.
Finally, by direct actions such as holding bridges over the Madon river, and the seizure of Fort
de Pont St. Vincent, the group allowed the 35th ID to penetrate the German security zone with
relative ease and attack into the main enemy defensive positions.
On 11 September, the reconnaissance battalion of the 4th Armored Division, reinforced
by the 602nd TD Battalion, assumed the mission of corps flank guard, allowing the 2nd Group
(minus the 2nd Squadron still conducting security around Corps HQ) to cross the Moselle and
protect the southern and eastern flanks of Combat Command B (CCB) of the 4th AD as it fought
to envelop the city of Nancy.87 The group continued in this mission, often engaged in heavy
contact, as later information would disclose that they were moving across the front of a buildup
of German counterattack forces including elements of the 15th Panzer Grenadier Division, the
111th and 113th Panzer Brigades, and the 21st Panzer Division.88 Due to the difficulties
encountered by the cavalry, XII Corps released the 2nd Squadron back to the group on the 15
September in order to allow them to continue to protect the rear of CCB, 4th AD.89 This infusion
of combat power allowed the Dragoons to commit to a squadron-sized assault on Lun6ville on 16
September. This town was a major road junction as well as a crossing point of the Meurthe river.
Possession of this town would greatly assist in isolating Nancy as well as preventing German
interference with the 4th AD' s envelopment of the city. The Wehrmacht fought hard for the city,
86 Cole, United States Army in World War II. European Theater of Operations. The Lorraine Campaign,
8" ,,2nd Cavalry Group After Action Report, September 1944," 11 September.
88 Cole, United States Army in World War II. European Theater of Operations. The Lorraine Campaign,
89 ",2nd Cavalry Group After Action Report, September 1944," 15 September.
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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/m1/50/: accessed March 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .