Patton's Iron Cavalry - The Impact of the Mechanized Cavalry on the U.S. Third Army Page: 69
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through the use of various methods.150 The cavalry participated in this deception by denying the
Germans the ability to patrol into the region to confirm or deny the presence of that unit. Thus,
during the first half of September, the 3rd MCG served not only as an economy of force for the
XX Corps, but aided in a diversionary effort to draw German forces away from the main effort.
On 19 September, XX Corps established "Task Force (TF) Polk", attaching the 135th
Combat Engineer Battalion, 6th Cavalry Task Force (comprising two assault gun troops and a
tank company of the 6th Cavalry Group), and the 1st Battalion of the 1st Regiment, Paris Division.
These forces were added to provide the under-strength group (the 3rd Squadron though
reattached, was still south patrolling a gap between the 90th and 5th IDs) with enough combat
power to hold an additional eight miles of front while becoming more aggressive in patrolling.151
The Task Force conducted reconnaissance across the river, identifying portions of three
Wehrmacht formations (36th Panzer Grenadiers, 19th and 559th IDs) in its area of responsibility.
On 24 September, the Brave Rifles relived the 357th and 358th Infantry Regiments of the
90th ID in order to allow that division to mass for its attacks against the north side of the Metz
fortified region.152 Also, at this time, the Task Force was placed under the control of the newly
arrived 83rd ID, who assigned the cavalry a front of nearly 20 miles from Richemont, 5 miles
south of Thionville, to Kontz, 10 miles north of Thionville.153 The task force continued to hold
its positions along the flank, allowing the infantry and armored divisions of the corps to mass
their efforts against the Metz forts. As October began, XX corps attached the 135th Combat
Engineer Battalion, the rest of the 1st Regiment Paris Division, the 2nd Paris Regiment (the
French forces were all organized under Group Lorraine) the 1st Battalion, 330th Infantry
150 Ibid., 53
151 Ibid., 53-54.
152 These attacks, unfortunately, were unsuccessful despite application of large amounts of mass and
153 "Patton's Ghost Troops" - After Action Report 9 August 1944- 9 May 1945, 54.
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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/m1/75/: accessed July 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .