Patton's Iron Cavalry - The Impact of the Mechanized Cavalry on the U.S. Third Army Page: 47
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ofthe group's positions, involving large elements of the 4th AD. This fighting also pulled away
the armored reserve left with the 2nd Group after the Lun6ville fighting, leaving the cavalry on
their own once more.95 However, except for some artillery barrages and light probing, the
Germans did not test the Group for the rest of September, as their attention was on the large tank
battles occurring around Arracourt.
The Group spent the majority of October conducting minor reconnaissance patrols and
probes as it held the extreme south of the XII Corps line in an economy of force role. Towards
the end of the month, XII Corps planned a limited attack involving the newly arrived 26th ID in
order to "blood" the unit as well as establish better positions for future offensive operations.96
This attack would seize the Moncourt Ridge. However, the southern end of the ridge in the 2nd
Group's sector dominated the approaches to the 26th ID's planned point of attack. Thus, XII
Corps ordered the Dragoons to seize this portion of the ridge to facilitate the success of the 26th
ID. The 42nd Squadron dismounted and attacked on 20 October in column of troops on an
extremely narrow (less than two miles) front. Despite some fierce resistance from the German
defenders, the squadron achieved its limited objectives, thereby aiding in the success of the 26th
ID's assault five days later.97
What is remarkable about this assault is that it was conducted entirely dismounted, with
the cavalrymen acting as infantry (one might even say as "dragoons"...) demonstrating their
remarkable flexibility. Moreover, this attack was against dug-in German infantry committed to
holding their positions, as opposed to attacks made by the group in August where the Germans
were in full retreat. However, the point of attack was extremely limited, with a front of less than
95 Cole, United States Army in World War II. European Theater of Operations. The Lorraine Campaign,
96 Ibid., 290.
97 2nd Cavalry Association, The Ghosts of Patton's Third Army- A History of the Second U.S. Cavalry,
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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/m1/53/: accessed December 11, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .