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D-Day: American

These are my Credentials
8th Infantry Division

The 8th Infantry Division was activated in 1940 and in 1943 the unit spent six months in the heart of the Arizona desert receiving specialised desert warfare training. With the Axis defeat in North Africa, the need for a specialised desert-fighting division disappeared and the 8th was sent to northern Ireland to prepare for the invasion of France. While there, the division retrained itself, focusing on night operations. Fully one-third of all training time was devoted to night fighting and tactics and the division became quite good at it.


The division landed in Normandy on 4 July 1944 and marched straight into combat at the Ay River. There the division was attacked by the Germans, but a night time counterattack by a battalion from the 121st Infantry Regiment, restored the situation. During the breakout, the division was parcelled out into three regimental combat commands. The 13th Infantry Regiment was assigned to the 4th Armored Division to help take Rennes.

The 28th Infantry Regiment followed the 6th Armored Division as it charged toward Brest. The 121st Infantry Regiment supported the 83rd Infantry Division’s attack on St. Malo. Once the three regiments’ missions were complete, the division came back together and took up the line between the 29th and 2nd Infantry Divisions encircling Brest.


The 8th Infantry Division’s mission was to assault the fortress city frontally while the other divisions struck at the flanks. The 8th’s special night training became a critical advantage in isolating and reducing German strongpoints. As the three divisions pressed toward the city centre, space was getting tight, so the 8th was removed to the Crozon Peninsula.

The Pathfinders moved the Crozon Peninsula, south of the city where the remaining German defenders made their last stand. With the help of Task Force A, the 8th wiped out the pocket. On 19 September 1944, the German General Hermann Ramcke, commander of the Brest garrisons, surrendered. Brigadier General Charles Canham, the 8th Infantry Division’s assistant division commander received his surrender in Ramcke’s command bunker. The German told Canham, ‘I am to surrender to you. I want to see your credentials.’ Canham pointed to the armed doughboys who had accompanied him and said bluntly, ‘These are my credentials.’ The Pathfinders’ Brittany campaign was over.

8th Infantry Division 
8th Infantry Division 'Pathfinder'

Fielding the 8th Infantry Division

To field a Rifle Company from the 8th Infantry Division, use the Rifle Company on page 42 of D-Day: American. You can also use the 8th Infantry Division Pathfinder Command Card allows you to Night Attack for 1 point.

Last Updated On Thursday, May 28, 2020 by Wayne at Battlefront