Belgio / Campo di battaglia

​​Band of Brothers: Fighting at Rachamps​



Indicazioni stradali

​​​“Band of Brothers” was the famous name given to Company E, 2nd Battalion, US 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. The Companyfought during the Ardennes Offensive (also known as the Battle of the Bulge) in the winter of 1944 to 45. ​On 16 January 1945, Easy Company left the village of Noville in Bastogne and headed to the nearby village of Rachamps. Their aim was to liberate it from German forces.

​​Following three consecutive days of fighting at Foy, Cobru and Noville, the troops of Easy Company, among them Captain Richard Winters, a Battalion commander who has since become well known, expected to be held in reserve. They thought that the village of Noville had been their final objective, and that they would therefore have time to rest.

However, this was not the case and on 16 January 1945, they received orders to take over the village of Rachamps. The Company's 2nd Battalion attacked from the south and southwest, whilst the 1st Battalion attacked from the north.

They encountered very little resistance from the German troops that remained in the area. As the paratroopers approached the village of Rachamps, across the snow-covered fields, sporadic artillery fire landed around them. Once in the village, it was clear the German forces had withdrawn.

Easy Company spent that night in the village and, for the first time since they had arrived in the Ardennes, inside. They stayed in the old convent, and local children came to sing to them. The convent remains to this day and is now a bar and children's nursery. It is located a hundred yards up the hill beyond the church. The next morning, the Company were finally relieved by the US 17th Airborne Division and were able to leave the front line.

During their time on the front line in the Ardennes (19 December 1944 to 17 January 1945), Easy Company saw many men injured and killed. Beginning with approximately 121 Officers and men, by the end of the fighting here only 63 remained active.

The men of Easy Company killed during this period were:

Sergeant Warren Muck, Corporal Francis Mellett and Privates A. P. Herron, Kenneth Webb, Harold Webb, Carl Sowosko, John Shindell, Donald Hoobler, Harold Hayes, Alex Penkala and John Julian.

The battles and conditions of December 1944 to January 1945 left a mark on all the men of Easy Company. Their actions of here were captured in the HBO series Band of Brothers, in episodes 6 ‘Bastogne’ and 7 ‘The Breaking Point’.

Rachamps, 6600