Experience: Ritchie Boys

Guy Stern
“The Ritchie Boys, named after Camp Ritchie in Maryland where they received their military training, were a little-known American Army Intelligence Unit comprised primarily of Jewish soldiers, mostly refugees who fled Nazi-controlled Germany.  They came to America, joined the U.S. Army, and then went back to Europe with military training and a deep knowledge of the enemy and the landscape.  The Ritchie Boys significantly contributed to the Allied war effort and were trained for military action in both the European and Pacific theatre of operations.” 

“Reassigned from a variety of other units to Camp Ritchie, because of their linguistic skills and knowledge of the enemy’s psychology and culture, these Jewish immigrants and American Jewish soldiers received top secret training in German and Italian Army Organization, in Order of Battle, in Morse Code, terrain and aerial intelligence, document reading and in close combat. In the field, the Ritchie Boys interrogated prisoners, intercepted enemy communications, and broadcast propaganda messages via radio or from the front lines.  They engaged in psychological warfare and some did espionage behind enemy lines.  Many teams received unit citations and many individuals were decorated.”

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