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The purpose of this research project is to determine what factors led to the operational failure and destruction of the 1st and 3rd Ranger Battalions during the battle of Cisterna on 30 January 1944. Subordinate questions include: Why did experienced combat commanders, like General Truscott and Colonel Darby, utilize the lightly armed Ranger Force against a fortified town? Did the training level of the new ranger replacements compromise the infiltration and affect the outcome? Did the Germans detect the infiltration and emplace an ambush for the unsuspecting Ranger Force? What was the intelligence preparation of the battlefield, and how did it affect the plan? Did General Truscott’s and Colonel Darby’s previous experience lead to assumptions about effectiveness of the Ranger Force in such a mission?

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