On D-Day, 1LT Dick Winters led an assault on four German 105mm artillery pieces. The guns, located at Brecourt Manor, were in the position to fire on the American troops coming ashore at Utah Beach. 

The assault on the gun positions saved countless lives on the beach, was recognized as a textbook assault on a fixed position, and was used at the U.S. military academy at West Point as a case study. Winters was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions. 

The assault is a classic case of superb small unit tactics and leadership by Dick Winters, 2LT Buck Compton, and the NCOs.

Most of us have seen Band of Brothers. The second episode Day of Days showcased the 101st Airborne’s combat jump into Normandy at the outset of D-Day.

Dick Winters was the acting company commander of Easy Company, 3rd Bn, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division after 1LT Meehan’s C-47 crashed killing all aboard. 

After gathering up men during the night, Winters led them to their assembly point, the 3rd Bn. HQs at Le Grand Chemin. However, the series shortened the events at Brecourt Manor, which took several hours. 


‘Take Care of It’

Shortly after arriving at 3rd Bn. HQs, Winters was given the task to destroy the German battery, which was initially believed to be 88mm guns in position to fire on the beach. His orders were simple, “There’s fire along that hedgerow there. Take care of it.”