Patton's Iron Cavalry - The Impact of the Mechanized Cavalry on the U.S. Third Army Page: 90
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company and assault gun troop) would serve as a security force for the Army headquarters and
"hip pocket" reserve for the Army Commander.196
While the 6th MCG awaited the activation of Third Army, it spent the month of July
providing security for that headquarters and preparing for its role, a task involving the issue of
several sets of non-standard radio trucks to assist in extra long-range communications.
Additionally, plans were finalized for the execution of the AIS. The two squadrons (the 6th and
28th) would rotate on a 21 day cycle.197 Generally, a reconnaissance troop was assigned to every
corps headquarters (with a troop from the off-cycle squadron assisting as necessary), with
platoons (detachments) to every division. At times of increased fluidity, sections (typically two
jeeps and an M8 greyhound with radio support) could be further assigned to the regimental
level. 198 All these detachments then reported directly to the squadron operations center, co-
located with the Third Army headquarters. This procedure dramatically sped up information
flow to the Army Headquarters, as well as improved the accuracy, as raw data flowed straight to
the Army operations center, without being filtered through so many layers as to be
unrecognizable from the original report.
On 1 August 1944, Third Army became operational and assumed command of VIII, XII,
XV, and XX Corps, then involved in conducting and exploiting the success of Operation
COBRA.199 The 28th Squadron (supplemented by B Troop, 6th Squadron) provided an initial set
of fifteen detachments, spread across the four corps and eleven divisions of the Third Army. An
additional detachment (for a total of sixteen) provided command and control for all AIS troopers
196 Unicorn Rampant- History of the Sixth Cavalry Regiment / Group at Home and Abroad, 63. The term
'hip pocket reserve' is an informal military term that implies a formation that a senior commander retains for use in
missions he deems important. It is different from an operational or tactical reserve in that it is generally smaller and
figures less into subordinate unit planning. It also not normally designated as a reserve in operations order.
197 Unicorn Rampant- History of the Sixth Cavalry Regiment / Group at Home and Abroad, 65.
198 Ibid., 64.
199 "Third Army Operations Diary, August" record 103, entry 427, RG 407, National Archives II, 1 August.
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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/m1/96/: accessed April 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .