Patton's Iron Cavalry - The Impact of the Mechanized Cavalry on the U.S. Third Army Page: 78
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The month of February started much the same as the rest of the winter had for the Brave
Rifles, as they continued their mission of holding the center of the XX Corps line between the
twin efforts of the Saar bridgehead and the fighting in the Saar-Moselle triangle. On 21 February
XX Corps attached the 5th Ranger Battalion to assist the cavalrymen in maintaining their link
with the 94th ID as it attacked to the north. 171 Task Force Polk used the rangers to clear some
enemy pillboxes along their northern flank. Despite the benefits offered to the cavalry by the
rangers, XX Corps withdrew them from the task force on 24 February. The group continued to
maintain their positions until 27 February, when the corps readjusted its boundaries and
organization in preparation for follow-on operations after the clearance of the Saar-Moselle
triangle by the 10th AD and 94th ID. XX Corps assigned the 26th ID to assume most of TF Polk's
and the 94th ID's battlespace along the Saar River, allowing the 94th ID to concentrate on its
bridgehead at Saarburg. TF Polk was attached to the 94th ID in order to allow it to concentrate
its infantry regiments at the main point of attack to the north east towards Trier. Thus, the
cavalrymen assumed a seven mile long squadron screen along the Saar from a point two miles
south of Saarburg to just south of the town of Orscholz.172 This action, although in a slightly
different area, was much the same as what the Brave Rifles had been conducting for over two
months by this point, though the quality of the German forces facing them had begun to
deteriorate, being comprised primarily of fortress divisions and other hastily formed units.
On 2 March, the 94th ID ordered TF Polk across the Saar to assume defensive positions to
the east and southeast of Trier as part of the effort to expand the overall Saar bridgehead. The
group occupied approximately a seven mile defensive line along the Ruwer River relieving CCR,
171 "XX Corps After Action Report, 1 February 1945 - 28 February 1945," record 220, entry 427, RG 407,
National Archives II, 26-27.
172 "Patton's Ghost Troops" -After Action Report 9 August 1944- 9 May 1945, 99-100.
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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/m1/84/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .