Patton's Iron Cavalry - The Impact of the Mechanized Cavalry on the U.S. Third Army Page: 62
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squadrons on the eastern flank of the Corps, it was to continue reconnaissance to the east in order
to identify enemy positions and protect the flank as the Corps attacked to the south. The 3rd
Squadron conducted reconnaissance and liaison duties between the 80th Infantry Division (ID)
near Evron, France and the 1st ID at Mayenne, France, a distance of approximately 14 miles,
while the 43rd Squadron reconnoitered the region between the 80th ID and the 5th ID near Angers,
a tremendous frontage of 47 miles. This movement took a little over a day, with linkup between
the squadrons occurring at 0700 12 August.133 The group then continued its movement east,
ending on a line from S6es in the north to Blois in the South, a remarkable frontage of over 85
miles.134 Due to the continuing light resistance from the Germans in the region, the Brave Rifles
continued its reconnaissance further east, finally ending on the evening of 13 August along the
line Orl6ans - Etampes, a mere 40 mile front for the cavalrymen. In three days, the group had
covered approximately 120 miles, losing a single scout car in the process.135 Moreover, the
Brave Rifles had discovered that the entire southern flank of the German Seventh Army was
exposed and ripe for an encircling assault. This discovery would lead to a series of successful
attacks by the XV Corps that would contribute to the gutting of this German formation.136 This
type of zone reconnaissance has always been a part of the cavalry lexicon from ancient times to
the present. That the troopers of the 3rd MCG accomplished such a significant mission on their
first outing in combat speaks well of the preparation and training of the unit prior to deployment.
However, the cavalry was only able to move so fast and with so few casualties because it was
operating in the rear areas of the Wehrmacht, and not against its front-line combat formations
133 "Patton's Ghost Troops" - After Action Report 9 August 1944- 9 May 1945, (Phoenix: 3rd Cavalry
Veteran's Association, 1974), 49.
134 "XX Corps After Action Report, 1 August 1944 - 31 August 1944," record 220, entry 427, RG 407,
National Archives II, 5.
135 "Patton's Ghost Troops" - After Action Report 9 August 1944- 9 May 1945, 49.
136 "XX Corps After Action Report, 1 August 1944 - 31 August 1944," 5.
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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/m1/68/: accessed January 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .