Raiders or Elite Infantry? The Changing Role of the U.S. Army Rangers from Dieppe to Grenada

Raiders or Elite Infantry? The Changing Role of the U.S. Army Rangers from Dieppe to Grenada

Raiders or Elite Infantry? The Changing Role of the U.S. Army Rangers from Dieppe to Grenada

Raiders or Elite Infantry? The Changing Role of the U.S. Army Rangers from Dieppe to Grenada

Synopsis

This landmark study examines the nature and purpose of the U.S. Army Rangers over the past fifty years and shows how they have been used as scouts, raiders, assault troops, and elite infantry. This provocative study describes how Rangers served their country during World War II. Hogan, an historian with the U.S. Army Center of Military History, also traces the development of Ranger raider units in Korea, the role of Green Berets in Vietnam, in Grenada, and in terrorist attacks and new combat situations today. Photographs, maps, and a thorough bibliographic essay add to the usefulness of the study.

Excerpt

While a graduate student at Duke University, I first became interested in the subject of elite units, particularly Rangers. Beneath tales of heroic exploits and occasionally embarrassing failures, one finds a fascinating story that says much about the way in which Americans view both their military and their past. Few terms have more legendary connotations attached to them than "Ranger," a word deeply rooted in America's frontier heritage. For a public that is hungry for heroes in an impersonal mass society, Rangers, past and present, have a special appeal, even given American traditions of the citizen soldier and suspicion of elitism. Furthermore, the increasing need for Ranger and other special units in the turbulent international scene of recent years has aroused interest in such formations on the part of both the military and society as a whole. When successful in brushfire conflicts and counterterrorist raids, Ranger-type units have boosted national pride. On the other hand, failures have often caused considerable soul-searching. Given the growing interest in the Rangers in the past few years, a thorough examination of the underlying concept seems more important now than ever before.

Within this space, it is impossible to thank all who helped to make this book possible. I would, however, particularly like to express my appreciation to Mildred Vasan and Lynn Flint of Greenwood Press; Ed Reese, Wil Mahoney, Rich Boylan, and Bill Lewis of the National Archives; Romana Danysh, Hannah Zeidlik, Gerrie Harcarik, Terry Kraus, and Mary Sawyer of the U.S. Army Center of Military History; Richard Sommers, David Keogh, John Slonicker, Louise Arnold, and Randy Hackenburg of the U.S. Army Military History Institute; John Jacob of the George C. Marshall Library; Steve Eldridge, Maj. Jim McKernan USA, and Tom Gaskins of the Access and Release Branch, U.S. Army Adjutant General's Office; Vivian Dodson and Al Garland of the U.S. Army Infantry School; Nancy Cooke and Capt. William F. Gerhards USA of the . . .

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