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US Army Rangers, Endkamp
Destruction of US Rangers, 1944
185 pages; 17 chapters and 1 appendix
During World War II, the US Army decided to copy British Commandos by creating
an American version of elite amphibious troops. They decided to create several
Ranger battalions that would be trained by British commandos. US Army Rangers,
Endkamp explains how American Ranger Battalions were ruined by the
amateurism of American generals. Those incompetent US generals, staffs, and even
lower ranking officers created a poorly organized and inadequately trained force that
was, in most cases, hardly ever used as it was supposed to be. Conventional US
generals mostly utilized Rangers as conventional infantry. US Army Rangers,
Endkamp analyzes that inevitable result of amateurish incompetence. The poor
training, wrong utilization, and organizational defects of the US Rangers caused them
to be severely depleted with unnecessary casualties several times, until most of the
Ranger Battalions were wiped out at Cisterna in 1944. US Army Rangers,
Endkamp explains why and how that happened.
“Immediately after the landings, the local army commander proceeded to improperly use the Ranger unit as a
conventional infantry battalion. The general knew better and he had numerous other infantry and armored battalions that
were not involved in any combat operations.
Major General Terry de la Mesa Allen, commanding General of the 1st Infantry Division, used the Rangers as
conventional infantry during the advance inland. The Ranger battalion executive officer, Major Herman Dammer, reported
that the Ranger battalion commander, Major Darby felt conventional operations were “simply part of the job the Rangers
needed to do.” Darby was wrong for one salient reason. When small units of elite troops are wasted as conventional
spearheads, the experienced core of the unit is gutted and its battered structure is frequently filled by inexperienced
personnel. That cycle inevitably resulted in ruination of the unit.
Following the Arzew operation, over 108 replacements were assigned to replace Ranger casualties and transfers.
Extensive training was conducted over the next three months, similar to the modified British Commando training initially
received by the Rangers in Scotland. US Army Ranger units in World War II were frequently forced to take time to
replace their many casualties incurred because of their improper employment, poor organization, and inadequate
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Excerpt from US Army Rangers, Endkamp