Patton's Iron Cavalry - The Impact of the Mechanized Cavalry on the U.S. Third Army Page: 54
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The corps offensive began on 7 February 1945. A fierce three day battle to gain
bridgeheads across the Sauer River ensued, with victory coming slowly and with great difficulty.
In fact, over a week into the attack, the corps had barely moved more than a couple miles over
the river.114 Without question, if the three infantry divisions of the corps (76th, 5th, 80th) had had
to cover more frontage, they would not have had the combat power to force their way across the
river at all without accepting substantial risk all along their lines.
On 19 February, XII Corps ordered TF Reed to conduct an assault across the Moselle to
seize the town of Wincheringen in order to support the attack of the 10th AD of XX Corps to the
southeast. This assault was part of the clearing of the Saar-Moselle Triangle that had bedeviled
the Third Army since November. "5 Wincheringen was believed to be held by garrison troops or
members of a Volksgrenadier division.116 The 2nd Cavalry Squadron, reinforced by engineers,
led the dismounted attack. The attack proved a great success, with the cavalry seizing their
objectives prior to the arrival of the elements of the 10th AD that were supposed to assist in the
attack. The squadron lost five killed, and twenty two wounded while capturing thirty four
Germans and killing an unknown number."7 The casualty ratio is indicative of not only the
superior firepower of the cavalry but also the growing combat skill of the Dragoons. Even
though they were facing essentially rear echelon troops, a night assault across a defended water
obstacle is difficult even in the best of circumstances.
However, despite the overall success of the attack, and the fact that the majority of the
Dragoon's wounded were quickly returned to duty, twenty-seven casualties is a rather significant
114 "XII Corps Report of Operations 1 February 1945 - 28 February 1945," 11-19.
115 For more on this particular region, read about the 3rd MCG's actions from November to February in this
116 ,,2nd Cavalry Group After Action Report, February 1945" 19 February.
117 2nd Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron After Action Report, February 1945" record CAVS2, entry 427,
RG 407, National Archives II, 14-15.
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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/m1/60/: accessed December 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .