Patton's Iron Cavalry - The Impact of the Mechanized Cavalry on the U.S. Third Army Page: 72
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the hill, wounding five and capturing five.158 The next morning, the 43rd squadron attacked the
town itself with B Troop reinforced with a platoon of engineers, supported by F Company (the
light tank company). The fighting for the town took a brutal four hours, and required the light
tanks to spearhead the penetration into the town in order to protect the pinned down dismounted
cavalrymen. Additionally, the 705th TD Battalion suppressed German forces in the town of
Malling, immediately across the Moselle, preventing their interference in the operation. Once
the 43rd Squadron had secured the town, A troop attacked the high ground from which they had
been repulsed the day before. The 689th FA Battalion preceded the attack with a massive barrage
of eighty 155mm rounds in under three minutes.159 After such a crippling blow, the Germans on
the hill put up little resistance as A Troop recaptured the hill. The squadron captured a total of
45 German soldiers and inflicted an estimated 60 additional casualties.160 Interestingly, over half
of the casualties inflicted on the Germans seem to have occurred in the final stages when the
assault guns in over watch opened fire on boats carrying soldiers attempting to escape to the east
bank.161 The cost to the cavalry was fairly substantial with four dead and thirty-six wounded.162
The attack on Berg demonstrated the power of the cavalry when focused against a small
objective. Of particular note, the cavalrymen were actually somewhat outnumbered, as prisoner
interrogations reported that elements of three companies of the 713th German Infantry Regiment
were in the town during the attack. However, the Germans did not have adequate anti-tank
weapons, instead relying on mines to keep the American armor at bay. Once the attached
engineers breached the German's defensive minefields, the American Stuart tanks were then able
158 Ibid., 69.
159 Ibid., 70.
160 "XX Corps After Action Report, 1 November1944 - 30 November 1944," record 220, entry 427, RG
407, National Archives II, 12.
161 Preston Utterback ed., The 150 Year Saga of the 3rd U.S. Cavalry (Phoenix: 3rd Cavalry Veteran's
Association, 1996), 145.
162 "Patton's Ghost Troops" - After Action Report 9 August 1944- 9 May 1945, 69.
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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/m1/78/: accessed October 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .