These are my credentials…

A long, long time ago, the first Army unit I was assigned to was the 8th Infantry Division.  Their motto was ‘These are my credentials.’  Sounds kinda goofy if you don’t know the story behind it but fortunately, that’s why I’m here…

In the summer of 1944m the Allies were consolidating their gains in France.  The Germans were holding onto a few port cities, including Brest.

Then…yadda, yadda, yadda…and the Germans decided to surrender.  So the deputy commander of the 8th ID went to see the German general and…well, I’ll let the Stars and Stripes tell it:

“I am to surrender to you,” Ramcke told Gen. Canham through his own interpreter. “I want to see your credentials.”
Gen. Canham pointed to the eager dogfaces crowding the entrance with their M-1s. “These are my credentials.”
This blunt phrase put the Nazi in his place, and paid dramatic tribute to the real power behind America’s armies — the G.I.

Well, when I was there we were facing Ivan and not Fritz (can I get a woot! woot! for the 8th Guards Army?!) but here’s to the old (now disbanded) 8th ID.

 

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