Patton's Iron Cavalry - The Impact of the Mechanized Cavalry on the U.S. Third Army Page: 58
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towards the city of Frankfurt. The corps ordered the Dragoons to reprise their screening mission,
this time conducting a mobile guard of the corps' southern flank as it moved ever deeper into
Germany. Additionally, the group was to maintain communications with elements of the XV
Corps of Seventh Army to the south as it attacked alongside the XII Corps.125
On 2 April, the Dragoons liberated 3,328 American POWs and 3,205 Allied POWs,
including a Russian major general near Bad Orb.126 They continued their advance to the south
east against lightening resistance. Due to the lack of threat along the corps flank, XII Corps
ordered the 2nd Squadron to be detached from the group and provide route security along the
corps main supply route (MSR).127 This mission was extremely vital to maintain the momentum
of the attack. Large numbers of German units had been bypassed in the rapid advance, and
although these cut off and often broken formations posed little danger to the main combat units
of the corps, they were deadly to the lightly guarded supply columns keeping the forward units
going. Though not as glamorous as duty on the front or flank, rear area security has long been a
vital cavalry mission in the American doctrinal lexicon.
On 10 April, German forces, determined to be about 300 SS supported by three tanks,
made a small stand against the 42nd Squadron around the town of Gleicherweisen, just to the
north of the Bavarian border.128 The squadron made a concerted attack with all three line troops
supported by the assault guns and light tanks of E Troop and F Company. Although the
Dragoons failed to fully clear the enemy from their positions, the cavalrymen seized enough key
terrain in order for them to mask the remaining Germans and bypass the position. Three days
125 ",42nd Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron After Action Report, March 1945," 16.
126 "XII Corps Report of Operations 1 April 1945 - 30 April 1945," record 212, entry 427, RG 407,
National Archives II, 10.
127 "XII Corps Report of Operations 1 April 1945 - 30 April 1945," 12.
128 bid., 16; "42nd Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron After Action Report, April 1945" record CAVS42,
entry 427, RG 407, National Archives II, 13.
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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/m1/64/: accessed May 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .