Ritchie Boys consisted of approximately 9,000 young Germans and
Austrians, who were mostly Jewish, and who had escaped from their
countries of birth and immigrated to the US as refugees. Most had been
drafted or volunteered into the United States Army.
They were trained at the Military Intelligence Training Center at Camp Ritchie in Maryland, intelligence, counterintelligence, interrogation, investigation and psychological warfare. They were suitable for these tasks because they knew the German language, and importantly the German mentality and life
behaviors, better than most American-born soldiers.
The Ritchie Boys became a decisive weapon for the Allied powers. Many of them entered Europe on D-Day on June 6, 1944 along with the other Allied troops. Others followed over time. Shortly after reaching land they left their units and pursued their special tasks. They were able to feed the Allies valuable information. Moreover, the Ritchie Boys helped break German resistance by demoralizing them in both open and covert operations. They interrogated POWs and defectors to obtain information about German force levels, troop movements, and the physical and psychological state of the Germans. By means of targeted disinformation via newspaper announcements, flyers, radio broadcasts, and sound trucks, the German population and military was prompted to cease their resistance against the Allied invasion.
After the war, many of the Ritchie Boys served as translators and interrogators. Some had these roles during the Nuremberg Trials. Many of them went on to successful political, scientific, or business careers.
Werner Karl Angress (Hq Hq) was
one of these Ritchie Boys and he played a featured role in the film. (view