11th Cavalry Group

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Normandy //  Northern France // Ardennes // Alsace Rhineland // Central Europe

Commander: A.A.  Frierson, COL, CAV


The 11th Cavalry Group (Mecz), commanded by Colonel A.A. Fierson, Cavalry, consisted of the 36th and 44 Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadrons, ,moved from Holland on 11 December 1944 and went into the line in Germany.  The group was assigned to the Ninth  US Army and attached to the XIII Corps.  Its first combat mission was to relieve the 406th Infantry Regiment o of the 102nd Infantry Division which engaged in a defensive sector between Lindern and Linnich , Germany , on the Roer River .  Due to the Germanís Ardennes offensive, the group soon found itself charged with the defense of the entire sector previously held by the 102nd Infantry Division.  This mission was effectively performed by thorough organization of the ground supplemented by constant patrolling in to the enemy lines and the use of many ruses until relieved almost 2 months later, 2 February 1945 .  Active patrolling continued by elements of the 11th Cavalry Group along the Roer until the group crossed the Roer late in February.

 On 26 February, 1945 , it was attached to the 84th Infantry Division and assigned the mission of screening the exposed left flank of the division.  The mission was completed when the 36th Squadron reached the Rhine in the vicinity of Moeres early on 5 March.  Under operational control of XIII Corps, the 11th Cavalry Group was assigned a defensive sector along the Rhine near Dusseldorf on 12 March with an additional mission of harassing the enemy with combat patrols in a diversionary effort.  Intensive patrolling across the Rhine from 15 to 28 March was undertaken.  It was not uncommon for three such patrols to cross the river during a single night.  These constant jabs at the enemy caused him to heavily reinforce his troops in that area.  The final phase of the operations began when the 11th Cavalry Group crossed the Rhine at Wasel on 1 April 1945 .  Its mission was to screen the north flank of the XIII Corps in its drive from the Rhine to the Elbe Rive e opposite Wittenberg .  During this operation other  important missions were performed, greatly  assisting the rapid advance of the XIII Corps, among which were a rapid thrust through the British sector to the north, crossing the Weser-Elms Canal at Grevern and placing the group in rear of Munster prior  to the attack on that city by the 17th Airborne Division and the British 6th Armored Guards Division, resulting in the killing and capture of large numbers of the enemy garrison upon their withdrawal; and the seizure and holding of the Ricklingen Bridge over the Leine River until passed through by elements of the  84th Division for its envelopment of Hanover.  On the night of 14 April 1945 , elements of the 36th Squadron reached the Elbe River opposite Wittenberg . 

  Klotz Forest   was menacing the Corpsí CP in Klotze.  This enemy force of over 30 armored vehicles and 400 men was effectively bottled up by the group with attached tank destroyers and upon being subjected to intensive fire by the corps artillery surrendered.


This article is extracted from a supplemental student text (undated) written for the US Army Armor School by LTC (Ret) James W. Cooke

 


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