Patton's Iron Cavalry - The Impact of the Mechanized Cavalry on the U.S. Third Army Page: 79
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10th AD.173 This move allowed the corps to 'lighten the load' of the 10th AD, which was
simultaneously sustaining a drive to the northeast along the north bank of the Moselle towards
Koblenz, while maintaining forces in readiness to exploit bridgeheads over the Kyll or Ruwer
rivers.174 Additionally, the presence of the Brave Rifles holding the northern flank of the
division allowed the 94th ID to concentrate its infantry regiments for a series of battles over the
extremely brutal terrain south of Trier. This type of fighting required large amounts of infantry
and was not conducive to rapid vehicular movement. Therefore the cavalry held their ground,
allowing the infantry to 'earn their pay' to the south.
The period 3 to 16 March witnessed a war of raids and small battles for hilltops, much
like what would be seen in Korea six years later (though without the extensive trench and bunker
systems). As the terrain did not allow for much heavy vehicular maneuver, assault guns, tank
destroyers and light tanks (by now the heavier and better armed 75mm M24 Chaffee) assumed
static firing positions, or were held in reserved to counterattack enemy penetrations. Though the
cavalry were perhaps undermanned for such a fight, their heavy allocation of machine guns
allowed them to maintain their positions in the face of most attacks. Furthermore, as the German
forces in the area did not possess large mechanized formations (which the restrictive terrain
prohibited regardless) the task force was relatively secure in their, by now, accustomed role on
the front line in a defensive posture.
On 8 March, XX Corps relieved TF Polk from the 94th ID, placing the cavalry under
corps control. The following day, the newly arrived 16th Cavalry Group was placed under the
command of TF Polk, creating the 316th "Provisional" Cavalry Brigade, comprised of the TF
173 "XX Corps After Action Report, 1 March 1945 - 31 March 1945," record 220, entry 427, RG 407,
National Archives II, 14-15.
174 Ibid., 17-18.
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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/m1/85/: accessed September 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .