Patton's Iron Cavalry - The Impact of the Mechanized Cavalry on the U.S. Third Army Page: 89
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THE 6TH CAVALRY GROUP
Throughout the day on 9 and 10 July 1944, the 6th Mechanized Cavalry Group (MCG),
including the 6th and 28th Squadrons, debarked from landing craft in Normandy to join the "great
crusade" to liberate Europe. The 6th Cavalry stood as one of the proudest and most unique
regiments of the old army, having been the last regular cavalry regiment raised before the
outbreak of hostilities in the Civil War. Additionally, the "Unicorn" was the only American
cavalry regiment to have served in the China Relief Expedition in 1900. The regiment had
served with General John Pershing in the Mexican Punitive Expedition, though their service in
the First World War had been exclusively behind the lines in a rear security role. Now the 6th
Cavalry stood poised to once again enter the field of battle in a role that would make them the
most widely deployed regimental-size formation in the U.S. Army.
Prior to the 6th MCG departing England, Third Army had decided to detach the group
from its parent corps, XV Corps, and assign the Unicorn a demanding Army-level mission. As a
result of General George Patton's previous combat experiences in North Africa and Italy, he
desired a direct form of intelligence from the battlefield straight to his headquarters, bypassing
the traditional reporting channels, thereby enabling more rapid decision-making at the field army
level. The 6th Cavalry had been chosen for this task, a mission that would be labeled the Army
Information Service (AIS).195 One squadron would fulfill the duties of the AIS, while the other
in conjunction with the associated parts of the AIS squadron not needed for that role (the tank
195 Unicorn Rampant- History of the Sixth Cavalry Regiment / Group at Home and Abroad (Sixth Cavalry
Association, 1951), 41.
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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/m1/95/: accessed October 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .