Did you know that four Rangers once captured 850 Germans?

One of the battery’s coastal guns, knocked out before Edlin’s patrol (Photo: U.S. Army)

The city of Brest in western France was an important German stronghold protected by a battery of four massive, 280 mm coastal guns, which in turn was surrounded by pillboxes, sniper positions and minefields. First Lieutenant Robert T. Edlin of the 2nd Ranger Battalion and three of his men were sent on a recon patrol to the outskirts of the battery on the morning of September 9, 1944. Their job was only to get an idea of the layout of the defenses, but one of the men noticed a path through the minefield and started running down it at full tilt, followed by the others.
The four men overran a pillbox with 20 Germans inside. Three of the men then had an English-speaking German officer lead them to the battery’s commandant while the entire German garrison looked on in disbelief of their apparent madness. The commandant thought the Rangers were bluffing and refused to surrender at first. Edlin pulled the pin from a hand grenade and pressed the grenade against the colonel’s chest, counting “One… two…” The colonel surrendered before three. He broadcast a surrender order on loudspeakers to the entire battery, and 850 Germans marched out to be received by the rest of the Ranger battalion.

The daring patrol (Photo: U.S. Army Military History Institute)

Save up to 15% until Veterans Day

WWII veteran, Jack Appel celebrated by the visitors of the Normandy American Cemetery (Photo: Author’s own)

On the occasion of the upcoming Veterans Day we are offering most of our tours in 2023 and 2024 at a discount price until November 11, 2022. You can either save 10% if you pay the registration fee of $490 now, and the rest of the tour price 90 days before the tour, or 15% if you choose to pay in full now. This promotion applies only in case of new bookings. Please note that this offer cannot be combined with other special promotions and does not apply to those 3 tours in 2024 which include the 80th anniversary commemorations of D-Day in Normandy.

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Veterans Day originates from Armistice Day marking the end of World War I, which formally ended on November 11, 1918. It is still known as Armistice Day in France and Belgium, while the UK and Commonwealth countries celebrate Remembrance Day or Poppy Day.

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