The 27th volume of the New Brunswick Military Heritage Series, The New Brunswick Rangers in the Second World War, will be available for purchase April 7th. Originating as a 19th-century militia unit, in 1943 the New Brunswick Rangers were sent to Britain, converted into a heavy weapons support unit, and shipped off to Normandy. Matthew Douglass uncovers the New Brunswick Rangers’ participation in the war from their arrival in Normandy to their contributions to the battles in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany.
The New Brunswick Rangers were placed on active service for the first time during the Second World War, serving first in the Maritimes and Newfoundland. In 1943, the Rangers were sent to Britain and armed with machine guns and mortars in preparation for the invasion of Normandy.
The Rangers were present at many of the critical moments of the campaign. They participated in the Battle of the Falaise Gap, which cleared the way for the advance on Paris and the German border; the Battle of the Scheldt, which secured the vital supply lines of the port of Antwerp; and the Battle of the Reichswald, when German resistance on the west bank of the Rhine was finally broken.
Drawing on archival photographs and original source documents, Douglass’s account of the Rangers’ wartime experiences is a crucial piece in understanding the role of heavy weapons support units on the Western Front.
Here is a sneak preview of what you can expect in The New Brunswick Rangers in the Second World War:
The New Brunswick Rangers traced its lineage to the summer of 1870, when militia forces in Kings, Westmorland, and Albert counties were amalgamated. The new unit, the 74th Battalion of Infantry, was headquartered in Sussex, and raised volunteers for service in every war that followed. Men were mobilized for the 1885 North-West Rebellion, but the conflict was resolved before they could depart. Twelve men served during the Boer War of 1899-1902, in which one died of disease and another from wounds received at Paardeberg. In November 1903, the battalion was designated as the 74th Regiment “The New Brunswick Rangers.”