Patton's Iron Cavalry - The Impact of the Mechanized Cavalry on the U.S. Third Army Page: 64
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counterattacks by the defenders had turned the battle into a fierce multiple day struggle that
would eventually involve the 5th ID as well as substantial corps artillery support.139 Thus, the
capture of Etampes would have greatly facilitated the success of the corps' attack and also
prevented the escape of the Wehrmacht formations fleeing the fighting around Chartes.
However, the Brave Rifles did not possess the combat power to fight their way through such
heavy resistance. In the end, this failure meant little to the corps as it succeeded in seizing
Chartres, although victory at Etampes would have meant more Germans captured.
The following day, XX Corps ordered the group to reconnoiter east to identify crossings
over the Seine River. Additionally, elements of the 43rd continued to patrol and conduct
reconnaissance in the Chartres area. At one point during this operation, the 43rd Squadron was
spread over 43 miles, with B troop engaged in combat near Rambouillet, 19 miles northwest of
Etampes, while A and C troops fought their way into the vicinity of Fontainebleau on the Seine
River, 24 miles east of Etampes.140 The Brave Rifles' movements were more successful now as
German resistance in the Paris region was collapsing, allowing greater freedom of maneuver to
the lightly armored cavalry. However, the group (at this point, really only the 43rd Squadron)
still encountered heavy resistance that often had to be bypassed in order to achieve its
On 20 August, XX Corps assigned a TD company as well as a combat engineer company
to the group, assigning it the mission of protecting the western flank of the 7th AD as it attacked a
German strongpoint near the city of Melun, along the Seine River 9 miles north of
Fontainebleau. This drive was part of a larger corps assault to the Seine River on 21 August to
139 The XX Corps. Its History and Service in World War H (Osaka, Japan: XX Corps Association, 1951),
140 "Patton's Ghost Troops" - After Action Report 9 August 1944- 9 May 1945, 50.
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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/m1/70/: accessed December 12, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .