Patton's Iron Cavalry - The Impact of the Mechanized Cavalry on the U.S. Third Army Page: 61
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THE THIRD CAVALRY GROUP "BRAVE RIFLES"
The 3rd Mechanized Cavalry Group (MCG), "Brave Rifles", arrived off the Normandy
Coast on 9 August 1944, with one squadron (the 3rd) disembarking at UTAH Beach, while the
other (the 43rd) landed on OMAHA Beach. One of the most respected regiments in the United
States Cavalry, and the former command of General George S. Patton, the Brave Rifles had
served in France during World War 1, but their service had consisted almost entirely of service
behind the lines operating remount stations, providing fresh horses for couriers and horse drawn
supply and artillery. This time, the members of this venerable formation looked forward to a
much more active role as the reconnaissance group for XX Corps, which by 10 August was fully
involved in exploiting the success of Operation COBRA, fighting to maintain the corridor
through which the rest of the Third Army was flowing. The corps had followed the VIII Corps
in the breakout and was now in the process of beginning a wide turn to the east in order to
outflank the German positions still holding in Normandy. The XV Corps was following the XX
Corps, and would take the inside track of the turn, maintaining contact with First Army. The XII
Corps would take the outside track of the turn, protecting the southern flank of Third Army as it
assaulted towards Paris. 132
The afternoon of 10 August saw the Brave Rifles swing immediately into action, with the
squadrons widely separated. The commander of XX Corps, LTG Walton Walker, ordered the
group to conduct reconnaissance east, between its widely scattered divisions that were in the
process of shifting their attack from the south to the east. Then once the group reunited its
132 This order of events is extrapolated from analysis of maps from the following sources: Thomas E.
Griess ed., West Point Atlas for the Second World War- Europe and the Mediterranean (Wayne, NJ: Avery
Publishing Group, Inc., 1998) and, and Martin Blumenson, United States Army in World War II. European Theater
of Operations. Breakout and Pursuit (Washington, D.C.: Historical Division of the Army, 1961).
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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/m1/67/: accessed June 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .