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Rangers and Special Forces in WW2

I typically reenact 5th Rangers, D Co. This post isn’t meant to rehash the history of the 5th Rangers (or Special Forces) but to provide some interesting information about them. I’ve divided the information into a few distinct sections. The images below cover all rangers unless otherwise specified in the image.

The images come from Ross, Robert Todd. US Army Rangers & Special Forces of World War II: Their War in Photographs. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Military History, 2002.

Rangers in the Field

Ranger Toggle Ropes

A close-up of the Ranger toggle ropes used on Dday. Probably taken from a training landing or a few days after.

Darbys Rangers

The images below show a Table of Organization and Equipment for Darby’s Rangers but are instructive in a general sense for what the 5th Rangers ultimately had.

Ranger Helmet

The images show some examples of a Ranger helmet. To learn more about how to paint the diamond see: Painting a Ranger Diamond.

Ranger Patch

The image below shows an example of a ranger patch on HBTs and 4 pocket tunics.

D-Day Embarkation

The images below highlight activity around the Rangers as they prepare for Dday. In one image you can see a few BC1000s radios.

Unique Uniform and Equipment Placement

The images below highlight a few unique placements of field equipment. Such as a meatcan pouch attached to a belt.

Ranger Training

The images below show a few examples of Ranger training for D-day and in general. It also shows an example of “Ranger Training” for other units. As in some soldiers in other units were selected to take a “Ranger course” and be certified.

Ranger Haircuts

1st Ranger Battalion SV Boots

The 1st Ranger Battalion had SV books. With “S” meaning sole and “V” meaning Vibram.

2671st Special Reconnaissance Battalion

The 2671st Special Reconnaissance Battalion was an OSS unit. They spray-painted their M1943 with black stripes to help camouflage it during operations. This doesn’t apply to the 5th Rangers but cool to show.