Patton's Iron Cavalry - The Impact of the Mechanized Cavalry on the U.S. Third Army Page: 46
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engagement.92 Moreover, the losses to the assault gun troop of the 42nd Squadron, the heaviest
anti-tank firepower organic to the cavalrymen, would take at least three months to recover.93
The action at Lun6ville stands as a perfect example of the need for dedicated and robust
security forces. The 2nd Group absorbed the blow that otherwise would have fallen upon the
main body of the 4th AD while its attention was focused to the north and west. Moreover, the
cavalry held long enough to allow the corps commander to react and develop the situation under
his own terms. The resulting battle, though hard fought, could have been much bloodier for the
American army had the cavalry not been in position. Unfortunately for the cavalry, their
organization and equipment were not well suited for such a role. The assault guns assigned to
the squadrons were the only vehicles capable of defeating even some German armor. Although
the American army struggled with German tanks as a whole in World War II, the cavalry were
particularly challenged. Each group possessed a mere twelve weakly armored vehicles with any
chance against heavy armor. However, the cavalry were constantly placed in situations wherein
it encountered enemy tanks, forcing them to take often inordinate risks. In the case of Lun6ville,
the Dragoons accomplished their mission, but at excessively high cost. Moreover, the threat of
continued German armored offensives against that sector required the stationing of significant
elements of CCA, 4th AD to assist the Dragoons in their mission.94
The remainder of September saw the 2nd Group maintaining a screen along the southern
flank and wing of XII Corps, maintaining contact with the XV corps to the south. A
continuation of the German counterattack begun against the Dragoons flared to the north and east
92 Cole, United States Army in World War II. European Theater of Operations. The Lorraine Campaign,
93 2nd Cavalry Association, The Ghosts of Patton's Third Army- A History of the Second U.S. Cavalry,
94 Cole, United States Army in World War II. European Theater of Operations. The Lorraine Campaign,
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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/m1/52/: accessed January 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .