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Ranger Platoons Attatched to Convential Infantry

Discussion in 'Western Europe' started by nobody73, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. nobody73

    nobody73 Member

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    Im aware of the organization of ww2 ranger battalions being attatched where needed and moved around. I was reading about Bobbie Brown and the battle of crucifix hill near Aachen. His company and a Ranger Platoon initiated the assault.

    Searching I found that Terry Allen developed Ranger Platoons within the 1st. Can anybody offer any information on this ? It seems that Allen had an organic platoon within his TO&E. But I cant find that list anywhere. Were these men who were tasked with ranger missions or were they selected men in the divison who received ranger training then returned as permanently assigned men ?

    Im trying to make a formal connection with the 'official' Rangers and this reference to a single platoon of 1st infantry div. Rangers. Thanks.
     
  2. Greg Canellis

    Greg Canellis Member

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    Terry Allen was not in command of the 1st Inf. Div. at Aachen. I think your second conclusion is more accurate, that select men within the 1st Inf. Div. may have received Ranger training while still in England. I know this was true with select platoons of the 2d Inf. Div. Those in the 2d Div. who completed the Ranger course were even given a distinct black skull Ranger patch. I knew a couple officers in my father's unit, the 8th Inf. Div. who had received Ranger training while in Northern Ireland. At Brest, and the Huertgen Forest, the 2d Ranger Battalion was attached to the 8th Division. Not saying it couldn't have happened, but I have never heard of organic Ranger platoons within an infantry division.

    Greg C.
     
  3. nobody73

    nobody73 Member

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    You are right, Allen was no longer in command. I was just suprised when reading the commendation of Bobbie Brown and his assault on Crucifix hill. Ive read a ton of 1st histories and never picked up wind of an organic ranger platoon. It is interesting. Most of the Ranger books Ive read deal only with the official Battalions and whom they would be attached to. The rangers and the first special service forces are well worth research if you are interested in the evolution of Spec Ops.

    Few people know about the Navy Scout Swimmer. They either know UDT or Seals. There was an evolution of them. I didnt realize that the first special forces the 10th in Bad Tolz were activated in 1952. I thought that Special forces became official in 62. Ive been collecting links and pages on ww 2 spec ops from the rangers to OSS combat swimmers.

    Little info is known about he UDT in korea, I think mainly because it was a joing CIA operation. One good article is on militaryhistoryonline about them. IMO, they were the first Seals.

    Back to the rangers, the stupidest thing I've read is that the rangers were used as conventional soldiers in the Hurtgen. And Hill 400 is one heck of a story. Like hollywood couldnt have done better.
     
  4. 1ST Chutes

    1ST Chutes Member

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    Actually the Navy Scouts and Raiders predate the UDT's and NCDU formed 8 months after Pearl Harbor at Little Creek Va. They are direct father of Naval Special Warfare and the recognized by the Navy as the direct fore runner of the follow on formations of UDT, NCDU and SEAL.

    NCDU had the first hell week at Ft Pierce Florida in 43 based on S&R's Pt course which was condensed and compressed for the event.

    Phil Bucklew who was awarded two Navy Crosses and is recognized as the father of Navy Spec Warfare was a member or the Scouts& Rangers throughout WWII.
     
  5. nobody73

    nobody73 Member

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    I have been reading a book on the 18th infantry regiment 'American Illiad' by Robert Baumer and Mark Reardon. Its a phenomenal book if you are looking for a specialized history. In the part about Bobbie Brown earning a medal of honor on Crucifix Hill during Hurtgen, it clearly discusses the Ranger company attatched and at the disposal of the Division. It doesnt detail the paperwork or organization rationale. I do know that the Rangers were involved in Hurtgen on Hill 400 as well. Perhaps this is a historical gap of the Rangers in WW 2 Or it is an unknown that the First Infantry had a in house ranger company/platoon. I suppose one would have to talk with someone who was a part of it to get the story straight. I know that often times in ww2, ad hoc units and improvisation were used. Buglers, cooks and typists in the battle of the bulge , etc. Army Airmen who were drafted into the infantry. Very disconcerting given the rigid structure of the military today and specialization.
     
  6. Arno Lasoe

    Arno Lasoe recruit

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    Are also interested in Ranger Platoons with the 1st Inf Div.

    In the S-3 Journal 1st Inf Div from which I only have some few pages I came across the following:

    20 Sept 1944, 2055 hours, message 85 from 18 Combat Team (18th Inf Rgt):

    Some engineers came down to VAELSERQUARTIER. Their mission was to go into AACHEN and do a rush job for SOS and they ran into the enemy. Our Ranger Platoon had to go out and help them out. This is the second time that this has happened. Somebody back in Army should know the situation. Enemy was active with mortars today. Enemy patrols got into Company A and shot a machine gun. We sent patrol back at them.
     
  7. nobody73

    nobody73 Member

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    Where did you come by the report ?
     
  8. nobody73

    nobody73 Member

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    I emailed a research assistant at the 1st infantry division museum. Its been bugging me for over a year and I want answers NOW ! haha
     
  9. nobody73

    nobody73 Member

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    I received a response from the resident historian that said, they only knew of rangers being attatched on D day to the 116th which was part of the combat team. I cited him an interview from Bobbi Brown on Crucifix Hill and the above mentioned report. He has yet to get back to me. I have a feeling we might have uncovered something not widely known. A possible feather in the hat.
     
  10. nobody73

    nobody73 Member

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    I have received no response beyond the above. Perhaps this is a detail of ww2 that isnt known. My guess is that the 1st had a 'ranger' type platoon or requested a platoon of rangers at certain times for certain missions.
     
  11. canambridge

    canambridge Member

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    It seems at the time the Rangers were first being organized some divisions went ahead and organized an integral divisional Ranger force (battalion). Joseph Balkoski's book on the 29th Infantry Division, Beyond the Beachhead, includes a small section. Perhaps this was the case with the 1st and 2nd infantry divisions as well. The timing for Terry Allen to have done the same for the 1st doesn't seem far off, he would have been the CG at the time. The 29th's Ranger battalion was eventually dismantled, much to the disgust of the men, perhaps the 1st kept their force intact or just downsized from battalion to platoon.
    It is also possible that the reference to "Rangers" means the mean of the regimental I&R platoons.
     
  12. nobody73

    nobody73 Member

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    The 1st Division historian has not responded though I emailed him again with specific qoutes and after action reports. I think this is a dry hole and the above post probably has it right. The original rangers came mostly from the 29th so i can see them keeping some sort of ranger cadre. Terry Allen , I can easily see him keeping a group of 'rangers' for certain missions. From the pieces of info, it appeared they moved from regiment to regiment. I cannot find the story but I read an oral interview with a soldier from the 1st that recounted the ranger platoon grabbing some replacements out of the line infantry. I have searched high and low and cant find it.

    You would think with all that has been written and researched that this subject would have come up or been highlighted. I know of something similar that happened in the korean war with the 25th infantry. David Hackworth formed up a 'ranger platoon' for his regiment. They undertook ranger type operations. They were told they would be awarded the ranger patch. When auditing his records, they found that he had not been awarded the ranger patch from a ranger officer and therefore he wasnt ranger qualified. However, because of a one off promise by an officer, he believed he was a ranger. Units in both these conflicts were so mixed and matched anything is possible.
     
  13. Duns Scotus

    Duns Scotus Member

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    U.S.RANGERS TRAINED AT THE BRITISH COMMANDO training camp in Spean Bridge in the Scottish Highlands in 1942 were atached to convential Canadian Army infantry and joined them in the Dieppe Raid in northern France of August 15 1942 which ended in a bloody fiasco. I think this was the US Rangers first combat outing in W.W.2 but although the Canadians suffered grieviously at Dieppe I don't know the casualty figures for the U.S. Rangers involved in the Dieppe raid.
     

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