Brief history of the 43rd Cavalry Rcn Sq (Mecz)


The following is a brief history of the 43rd Cavalry Rcn Sq (Mecz) taken from the Bowie Blade, Camp Bowie TX,  31st August 1945 issue.


   With an urgent ďassistĒ to smack the Germanís bid for the offensive near Mortain, France, this outfit began its ETO Combat career on August 9, 1944.
   In the 273 days that followed until VE Day, the 43rd, as part of the 3rd Cavalry Group spent 260 days in combat with the enemy.  With a series of dashes, changes of direction and constant bluffing, the 43rd Cavalry led the 20th Corps and the Third Army across France below Paris, and by the historic ďno gas dayĒ of September 1st, 1944, they had a reconnaissance unit at the Moselle River, reporting details of the progress of the Germanís historic retreat across this river into Germany.  Horses werenít there, but the wild unpredictable cross country tactics were.   Jeeps, armored cars, assault guns and tanks, expected by the Nazis to roll down the road into their well-prepared defenses, prepared the more startling type of entrance through a farmyard fence or a barn or two.
   Immediately following this dash across all of France, Luxembourg and part of Belgium, came the seven-week river watch along the Moselle.   During this time, the handful of men (760) in this squadron kicked up such a fuss with the help of supporting artillery, that the German G-2ís reported everything from an armored combat command to several divisions in the 23 mile front zone.   Aggressive reconnaissance was so successful in this zone that assault troops of the 90th Division knew the location of every mine field and strong point when it jumped across the Moselle,  after the 43rdís  assault and capture of Berg, France on 5 November, 1944.
   With the river crossing the 43rd went to the north flank to hold, but instead, pushed north and east into Germany being the first third Army troops to cross the border, capturing the key points of Perl, Buschdorf, Hehning and Nohm on the Saar River.  The 43rd Cavalry and its sister squadron,  the 3rd held this precious ground on the south flank of Rundstedtís bulge area within the Saar-Mosell triangle from the 17th of November until the middle of February when the 10th Armored Division attacked north to clear the Saar-Moselle Triangle.       
After serving as a blocking force for this attack northward, which was exploited to include Trier,  the 43rd Cavalry came up with one of its roughest holding missions;  when the Germans made a full scale bid to recapture Trier, receiving over 4000 rounds of medium and heavy German artillery plus uncountable numbers of rocket shells in one day.
   Then came the big move to clear the Saar Palatinate.  The 43rd slashed out on the north end of the Trier bridgehead,  then turned over to the 16th Cavalry to hold , while the 43rd went to slash out again from the left flank of the 94th Infantry near Reinsfeld, Germany, near the center of the XX  Corps and Third Army, establishing liaison with the Seventh Army, just in time to find out that the Seventh was to attack the next morning in territory already occupied by the 43rd, and other Third Army elements.  Then they slashed eastward again to assist in breaking the Nazi backbone in the Saar. 
   After this turmoil came,  the 43rd  Cavalry jumped across the Rhine and Main Rivers, and the 150 mile , 3 day spearhead from Hochheim,  near Frankfurt, northeast to Herzfold,  the Fulva River, and Kassel;  this time muscling in on the First Army sector, and making possible the long move of two infantry divisions without dismounting. 
   Finishing the clean-up of  Kassel and suburbs, the 43rd Cavalry swung east to clean out a pocket of German resistance in the Bad Sooden area,  and two days later straddled the German Super-highway toward Dresten and Chemnitz with the mighty 4th Armored Division.
   At the approach to Chemnitz,  there came the total shift southward of the entire Third Army,  and another 20mile night march by to new action to the complete surprise of the Nazi east of Nurenburg.
   Almost immediately, the 43rd Cavalry was formed into a powerful spear-heading task force, with 5th Rangers, TDís and 274th Armored Field Artillery attached. A day and half later several Nazi divisions and at least one Corps headquarters, had been completely outflanked by the 43rdís Cow-path Spearhead to the Danube River looking into Regensburg.  Following that, a series of fast moves to the flank, then the front, and back to the flank, put the 43rd across three more rivers, the Danube, the Isar, and the Inn River at Braunau,  Hitlerís birthplace in Austria.  Nothing could stop the drive now, so the 43rd kept moving south into the vaunted Mountain Redoubt, and VE day found them ferreting out and screening German and Hungarian soldiers by the thousands.  They wound up the war by meeting the Russians and the British Eighth Army in the Heart of the Alps, close to the Italian border.
   As part of the 3rd Cavalry, the 43rd Cavalry Squadron remained as the spear head reconnaissance for  XX Corps, the most mobile the most mobile corps of Pattonís Third Army, and mile for mile, fought over more of Europe than any other cavalry unit in the ETO.
   Personnel strength of the 43rd Cavalry is 760, and casualties in the four European campaigns participated in, 58 were killed, 260 wounded, and 12 captured by the enemy.
   On the others side of the journal the 43rd Cavalry killed at least 1,429, and wounded an estimated 1,820 and captured 10,051 Germans, even before the entire German organization collapsed, and counting of prisoners was forgotten.


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