Historical Information: Background Reading

Here is some information for the real Baker Company we portray (B Company 1st Bat, 116th Reg, 29th ID.): http://www.29infantrydivision.org/WWII-Documents/29th_Division-116th_Regiment-1st_Bn-B_Company-Group_Critique_Notes.html

If anyone else has some interesting reads / info related to the Campaign feel free to post it up here.

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    Just posting some pictures for you gents.

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    M-29 Weasel (‘St Lo Special 1′) personnel and supply carrier of ‘C’Coy, 121st Combat Engineer Battalion, 29th US Infantry Division.
    Normandy. c. July 1944.

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    U.S. Infantry in Normandy

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    The next round of the scrim takes place in the normandy village of La Cambe.

    One interesting fact about La Cambe today is that it is home to the La Cambe German war cemetery; the final resting place of over 21,000 German military personnel of World War II.

    Among the burried include the famous German Tiger Tank ace Hauptsturmführer Michael Wittmann, who was was credited with the destruction of 138 tanks and 132 anti-tank guns, famously destroying 13–14 tanks during the battle of Villers-Bocage.

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Cambe_German_war_cemetery

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    Heres a declassified picture of FSgt Cyr briefing Baker Co before the first round.

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    edited August 2016

    An image showing the devastation caused by the battles for St Lo, which the current Baker campaign is based off.

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    And here is a story about the real life commander of the battle, demonstrating how important the fight for St. Lo was for the success of Operation Cobra and eventually the liberation of France:

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    Thomas Dry Howie (April 12, 1908 – July 17, 1944) was an American army officer, killed during the Battle of Normandy during World War II, while trying to capture the French town of Saint-Lô. He is known as "The Major of St. Lo".

    Howie entered active duty when the 29th Division was federalized in 1941. The unit moved to the United Kingdom in September 1942 and landed at Omaha Beach on D-Day; a little more than a month later, on July 13, 1944, Major Howie was assigned to command the 3d Battalion. On July 16, the 3d Battalion used hand grenades and bayonets to break through the German lines and join the 2d Battalion, which was isolated and nearly out of food and ammunition. Howie left the 2nd Battalion to defend the position, reporting that they were "too cut up", and planned to use the 3d Battalion alone to capture Saint-Lô. On the morning of July 17, Howie phoned Major General Charles Gerhardt, said "See you in St. Lo", and issued orders for the attack. Shortly afterward, he was killed by shrapnel during a mortar attack. The next day, the 3d Battalion entered Saint-Lô, with Howie's body on the hood of the lead jeep, at Gerhard's request, so that Howie would be the first American to enter the town. The photo of Howie's flag-draped body in the rubble of the St. Croix cathedral was widely circulated in the United States and became one of the most iconic images of the war; because of wartime security Howie's name could not be revealed, so it was famed New York Times correspondent Drew Middleton who dubbed Howie "The Major of St. Lo". 60 Minutes commentator Andy Rooney, then a reporter with the Stars and Stripes newspaper, witnessed the event and called it "one of the truly heartwarming and emotional scenes of a gruesome and frightful war".

    The town of Saint-Lô erected a monument to Howie. In 1956, Collier's magazine printed a story, "The Major of St. Lo" by Cornelius Ryan; it was made into an episode of the TV show Cavalcade of America that was broadcast on June 5, 1956, with Peter Graves playing the part of Howie. The bell tower on the campus of The Citadel is named in Howie's memory, and a mural of his body being carried into St. Lo is one of a series on school history displayed in Daniel Library. Staunton Military Academy honored him by establishing a drill team called the Howie Rifles, which is now part of the Army ROTC detachment at Mary Baldwin College. Howie was posthumously awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, and the French Legion of Honor; he is buried at the Normandy American Cemetery. Howie's story was prominently featured in the book Citizen Soldiers by renowned historian Stephen Ambrose; after having served as a script consultant on the movie Saving Private Ryan, he indicated that Howie was the model for the Tom Hanks character of Captain John Miller.

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