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US Rangers At Achnacarry-Photos

Discussion in 'WWII Today' started by The_Historian, May 15, 2018.

  1. The_Historian

    The_Historian Pillboxologist Patron  

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    Good set of photos.
    "These fascinating photos reveal how America's first band of special forces had to be trained by hardened British commandos in the Scottish Highlands during the Second World War.
    US President Franklin D Roosevelt feared his troops lacked combat experience as they entered the global conflict in the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941.
    He established a 'hit and run' group to be trained by the British elite commandos who had launched successful raids against the German held Lofoten Islands in Norway.
    Five hundred men were recruited to be part of the 1st Ranger Battalion who began exercises at the British Commando Training Depot in Achnacarry in the Highlands on June 28, 1942.
    For the next three months, the recruits were subjected to gruelling training at various bases including Dundee and Corker Hill, west of Glasgow.
    They were woken by bagpipes and then ordered to do 20 mile speed marches, cliff climbing, barbed wire obstacle courses and hand to hand fighting.
    The photos were taken by acclaimed photographer Phil Stern who was assigned to the US Army Rangers during the conflict."
    www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5731237/Fascinating-pictures-Americas-elite-soldiers-trained.html#ixzz5FaAbvn44
     
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  2. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    They weren't SF and they weren't the first U.S. "Commandos". That was the 1st Marine Raider Battalion, activated 16 February 1942, and the 2d Marine Raider Battalion, activated 19 February 1942. Company A, 1st Ranger Battalion was activated 27 May 1942. The first recognized SF unit in the U.S. Army was the 1st Special Service Force, activated 9 July 1942.

    Nor in the second photo are the Rangers wearing British Army uniforms.
     
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  3. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large Patron  

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    Well said Rich, and Roosevelt was well aware of the 1st and 2d Marine Raiders because it was Presidential pressure that caused the Marine Corps to authorize those two units. His eldest son James was a Marine Corps captain and XO of the 2d Marine Raiders. He had already served at Midway before the 1st Ranger Battalion started their "exercises" in Scotland.

    [​IMG]
    James Roosevelt as a Marine Corps Lt. Colonel during WWII
     
  4. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Unfortunately, this unit was all but annihilated at Cisterna in Italy. Only a few members were not killed or captured.
     
  5. The_Historian

    The_Historian Pillboxologist Patron  

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    Aye, I knew that. ;)
    Bear in mind the teenage journo who wrote it would only see a British-style tin hat and assume it was part of a British uniform.
     
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  6. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    [​IMG]
    Sooo...what about your weapon dudes?

    [​IMG]
    This cant end well surely...20-25 foot drop!!
     
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  7. the_diego

    the_diego Member

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    I thought Garands didn't come out until 1943?
     
  8. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Depends on how deep and soft the mud is I suspect. It looks pretty deep and soft. I'd guess he's about 14-16 feet in the air but if he came off the top 20' looks like a reasonable estimate.
     
  9. wooley12

    wooley12 Member

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    My dad was in the 1st Ranger Btn. He was in the first class that was trained by the men who were trained in Scotland and who were at Dieppe and Arzew. Dad's class got some of the best and hardest training of any Ranger in WWII. The full 6 weeks+ . One of the original Rangers said in a bio that he felt a little sorry for thoe guys in that first class. "The Brits were hard on us when they trained us but they knew that after training we would go our separate ways. We knew that our lives would depend on the guys we trained so pushed them harder still". The war ended for more than a few in training.
     

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