Lead the Way, Rangers

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9780934588034: Lead the Way, Rangers
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At the beginning of April 1945, with the end of World War II in Europe obviously only days away, the 5th Ranger Battalion settled into Reid, Austria, following its last mission.

Lt. Col. Richard P. Sullivan, commanding officer of the 5th Ranger Bn., gave Tec 4 Henry S. Glassman the project of composing a history of the 5th Ranger Bn. in WWII. This was to be done using the After Action reports written up and forwarded to the army command after each Ranger mission. It was to be entirely authentic, so that the surviving Rangers and their families could have a record to refer to in later years. It would also be sent to the families of Rangers killed in action and to former Rangers who were no longer in the outfit due to having been wounded in combat. A board of officers was appointed to review each chapter as it was completed and pass or reject it. All chapters were approved without changes.

Many years later, because of constant requests for copies of the book by former Rangers and others, Lt. Col. Ronald Lane requested permission to reprint the book, which was given. The result is this edition. "Lead the Way, Rangers!" Those words, spoken by General Norman Cota on D Day, 6 June 1944, became the rallying cry of the men of the 5th Ranger Battalion. They charged across Omaha Beach that day, leading the Allies toward a victory which would otherwise have been certain defeat. The Rangers suffered many casualties, but they always would accomplish their mission - through France, Belgium, Luxembourg and finally, Germany. As the news of the war's end reached the Rangers, they were located in Austria. There, Tec 4 Henry S. Glassman of Headquarters Company compiled a unit history which was locally printed and distributed to the handful of Rangers remaining. The history tells the story of the Rangers from their creation at Camp Forrest, Tennessee in 1943 to the 6th of June, 1945 while the battalion waits for new orders in Reid, Austria. (Is it home, or on to Japan?). The book includes unit citations, commendations and a complete roster of men who served in the battalion. The men of the 5th Ranger Battalion exemplified pride, self-confidence, resourcefulness, and determination which has come to be known as the "Ranger Spirit." These traits, coupled with their individual abilities to lead and succeed regardless of the obstacles of weather, terrain, fatigue, or the enemy, made them truly combat men. We at Ranger Associates feel that the spirit and traditions of the American Ranger should live on. We have therefore decided to reprint this rare document, the unit history of the 5th Ranger Battalion, in a limited quantity. We do so in proud remembrance of their achievements and in humble tribute to their sacrifices. We reverently dedicate this reprint to all the Rangers of World War II who earned in victory their places in history among the first ranks of courageous American soldiers.

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From the Publisher:

"Lead the Way, Rangers!" Those words, spoken by General Norman Cota on D Day, 6 June 1944, became the rallying cry of the men of the 5th Ranger Battalion. They charged across Omaha Beach that day, leading the Allies toward a victory which would otherwise have been certain defeat. The Rangers suffered many casualties, but they always would accomplish their mission - through France, Belgium, Luxembourg and finally, Germany.

As the news of the war's end reached the Rangers, they were located in Austria. There, Tec 4 Henry S. Glassman of Headquarters Company compiled a unit history which was locally printed and distributed to the handful of Rangers remaining. The history tells the story of the Rangers from their creation at Camp Forrest, Tennessee in 1943 to the 6th of June, 1945 while the battalion waits for new orders in Reid, Austria. (Is it home, or on to Japan?). The book includes unit citations, commendations and a complete roster of men who served in the battalion.

The men of the 5th Ranger Battalion exemplified pride, self-confidence, resourcefulness, and determination which has come to be known as the "Ranger Spirit." These traits, coupled with their individual abilities to lead and succeed regardless of the obstacles of weather, terrain, fatigue, or the enemy, made them truly combat men.

We at Ranger Associates feel that the spirit and traditions of the American Ranger should live on. We have therefore decided to reprint this rare document, the unit history of the 5th Ranger Battalion, in a limited quantity.

We do so in proud remembrance of their achievements and in humble tribute to their sacrifices. We reverently dedicate this reprint to all the Rangers of World War II who earned in victory their places in history among the first ranks of courageous American soldiers.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

History of the Fifth Ranger Battalion - Introduction:

The narrative that follows this introduction is a true account of the activation, training, and unforgettable operations of the Fifth Ranger Battalion, prepared for the men of the battalion as a never-to-be-forgotten record of one small unit of a great fighting force that brought the defeat of the greatest military power in all history - Nazi Germany.

For the men of the Fifth Rangers, all facts brought forth in this introduction are embedded in the thoughts and very hearts of all Rangers, but it is for their friends and relatives who will undoubtedly read this history, that the writer believes it is necessary to present a picture of the type of men and type of organization that made up the Fifth Rangers, and made the heroic feats and miraculous accomplishments of this battalion possible.

Contrary to the beliefs of the uninformed, the Ranger was not made up of former convicts, super-athletes or general "Tough Guys." Men of the Rangers were average men, but with above average spirit - every man a volunteer for an outfit that he knew would be assigned the more dangerous, more difficult assignments of this war. For that reason, the "esprit de corps" of the Rangers had always far surpassed that of other organizations, and the spirit of cooperation and coordination was never absent from any assignment, no matter how difficult or seemingly impossible the task. This spirit was furthered by the leadership of the officers - the Battalion and Company commanders - always in front of their attacking troops, setting an example for men who really needed no example.

Combat decorations throughout the battalion were numerous, as were the Awards of the Purple Heart.

It is impossible to say too much for the spirit of this battalion of Rangers, a fact proven by the history that follows and so present in the character of the men who say so proudly, "We are the Fifth Rangers!"

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