Patton's Iron Cavalry - The Impact of the Mechanized Cavalry on the U.S. Third Army Page: 53
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new custom of XII Corps of placing engineer units with the cavalry for training as infantry while
aiding in protecting the corps flank. This practice worked well for the Dragoons also, as it gave
them large numbers of dismounted soldiers, a feature missing in their own table of organization
and equipment. Finally, XII Corps attached the headquarters of the 9th TD group (with no
organic units of its own) to TF Reed in order to assist in command and control of the various
elements of the task force.110 This headquarters would serve as a third combat command
headquarters for the cavalry, who had been limited to two battalion-level maneuver command
posts, thereby increasing by half the flexibility of the organization.
At the beginning of February, XII Corps began planning its next offensive across the
Moselle and Sauer Rivers. As the attack would be fighting through portions of the Siegfried
Line, the attacking divisions would need to mass their efforts in order to fight through the
heavily fortified and rugged terrain. Thus, the corps ordered TF Reed to assume over seven
additional miles of front that had belonged to the 76th ID, while relieving it of a small sector to
the southwest that was now safely behind friendly lines." The revised line still stretched over
nineteen miles. However, this extension of frontage for the cavalry allowed the infantry
divisions to attack along fronts less than four miles wide.112 Additionally, two of the four
combat engineer battalions (284th and 1252nd) of the task force were relieved from cavalry
control and attached to Combat Command A (CCA) of the 6th AD in preparation for that
division's mission to exploit success in the upcoming offensive.113
110 "Ibid., 22 January.
111 "2nd Cavalry Group After Action Report, February 1945" record CAVG2, entry 427, RG 407, National
Archives II, 3 February.
112 "XII Corps Report of Operations 1 February 1945 - 28 February 1945," record 212, entry 427, RG 407,
National Archives II, Ops map #3.
113 ,,2nd Cavalry Group After Action Report, February 1945," 8 February.
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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/m1/59/: accessed March 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .