Tuesday, July 8, 2008

"Each man was trying to accomplish what he knew had to be done"

Highly motivated people, who understand the objectives, are willing to take the initiative and create ad hoc organizations can achieve great things.

Pointe du Hoc, June 6, 1944:

Though the climbing of the cliffs has captured the imagination of the public, it was the manner in which the Rangers conducted themselves on reaching the top that best shows their uniqueness. Ranger tactics stressed rapid movement by small groups. From the first man up the rope, the aggressive spirit of the Ranger was demonstrated. There was no hesitancy, no waiting until all the men of their squad, platoon, or company reached the summit; as men came up the ropes, they went over the edge, formed into small parties, and moved out. An estimated twenty separate parties of Rangers quickly assembled at the top of the cliff and headed toward their objectives.

This initiative on the part of the Rangers compounded the problems for the German defense. Though not haphazardly, the Rangers were attacking everywhere. Each man was trying to accomplish what he knew had to be done. As the small groups encountered one another, they merged together, flowing inland ahead of everyone else.

From The Battalion: The Dramatic Story of the 2nd Ranger Battalion in World War II by Robert Black.

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