Patton's Iron Cavalry - The Impact of the Mechanized Cavalry on the U.S. Third Army Page: 74
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beyond what had been envisioned for the mechanized cavalry when its doctrine was established
On 9 November, the 90th ID's assault across the Moselle began, supported by TF Polk's
artillery and assault guns. Due to the requirements of the assault, XX Corps stripped the task
force of the 135th Combat Engineer Battalion and the 705th TD Battalion. As some consolation,
the cavalrymen were given the 802nd TD Battalion (-). Additionally, on this day, Corps attached
the task force to the 83rd ID, which was back under XX Corps control for the purposes of the
offensive across the Moselle. The cavalrymen quickly moved to their new positions to the north
along the river, relieving elements of the 83rd ID, so that they could participate in the fighting to
the south. The Brave Rifles new front ran from Kontz, their old northern boundary to Oberbillig,
Germany in the north, a frontage of over 20 miles. The group held these positions until 11
November, when the 83rd ID was returned to First Army, whereupon the cavalry returned to XX
Corps control, losing the 802nd TD Battalion, but regaining their old friends, the 705th TD
Battalion and the 135th Combat Engineer Battalion.164
In the middle of November, TF Polk moved across the Moselle River through the
Koenigsmacker bridgehead that it had helped establish. Then the cavalry relieved elements of
the 90th ID from the responsibility of holding the northern shoulder of the bridgehead, allowing
the infantry to mass forces in their drive to the south to envelop the city of Metz.
Simultaneously, the Brave Rifles moved east, mopping up German forces bypassed by the 10th
AD as it had stormed through the region on a deeper envelopment of the city. XX Corps also
ordered the cavalry to attack north to the vicinity of Saarburg, a major crossing over the Saar
River, 19 miles to the northeast of Koenigsmacker. This move would accomplish two goals. The
164 These units might be forgiven for feeling a bit of whiplash from the rapid pace of attachment and
detachment, but this process was fairly commonplace in the modular WW II American Army. "Patton 's Ghost
Troops" -After Action Report 9 August 1944- 9 May 1945, 71-72.
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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/m1/80/: accessed March 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .