Focus: Lieutenant Ronald C. Speirs

(20 April 1920 – 11 April 2007)

Spiers-V4

Our fantastic new special figure – available on orders over £50 for a limited time – is based on Lt Speirs as immortalized in the HBO production Band of Brothers in his crazy run through German line during the battle of Foy (part of the Battle Of The Bulge).

2.-Ron-Speirs

Speirs was a United States Army officer who served in the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division during World War II. As platoon leader of Dog Company (2nd Battalion), he parachuted into Normandy in the early hours of D-Day. Soon after regrouping he assembled a small group of soldiers to assist during the Brecourt Manor Assault, where they captured the fourth 105mm howitzer.

Richard Winters would later mention Speirs in his memoirs, including that he had worked hard to earn a reputation as a killer but was one of the finest combat officers in the battalion. Winters concluded that in today’s army, Speirs would have been court-martialed and charged with atrocities, but at the time officers like Speirs were too valuable because they were not afraid to engage the enemy.

Foy

1945 – January. Having endured the hardships of holding the line during the failed German attack known as the ‘Battle of the Bulge’, Easy Company began an attack on the German-occupied town of Foy. their commander at the time, 1st Lieutenant Norman Dike, split Easy company – ordering a platoon to go on a flanking mission around the rear of the town, with further poor decisions the attack foundered. At this point battalion executive officer Captain Richard Winters stepped in, ordering the first officer he could see to relieve Dike of command and press the attack.

This officer was Speirs. With no working radios to re-connect to the flanking platoon and countermand their original order, Speirs himself ran through the town and German lines. Having completed this astonishing feat, he then ran back through the German-occupied town back to Easy company where he successfully took over the assault and led them to victory!.

Speirs

He was then reassigned as commanding officer of Easy Company and remained in that position for the rest of the war. Of the officers who commanded Easy Company during the war, Speirs would command the longest.

What next?

Speirs had enough points to go home after the end of the European Campaign, but chose to remain with Easy Company for the potential assault on Japan. After returning to the US he remained in the army, going on to serve in the Korean War, where he made one combat jump and commanded a rifle company. Later he was to become (after a spell as a liaison officer to the Red Army in Potsdam East Germany) the American governor of Spandau Prison. In 1962, Speirs served as a training officer to the Royal Lao Army for Operation White Star. He finished his career in the Army as a plans officer in the Pentagon, retiring as a lieutenant colonel in 1964.

Decorations

  • Combat Infantry Badge 2nd Award.
  • Parachutist Badge with 3 combat jump devices.
  • Silver Star.
  • Legion of Merit.
  • Bronze Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters.
  • Purple Heart with three Oak Leaf Clusters.
  • Army Commendation Medal.
  • Presidential Unit Citation with one Oak Leaf Cluster.
  • American Campaign Medal.
  • European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three Service Stars and Arrowhead Device.
  • World War II Victory Medal.
  • Army of Occupation Medal.
  • National Defense Service Medal with Service Star.
  • Croix de guerre with palm.
  • French Liberation Medal.
  • Korean Service Medal.
  • Korean War Service Medal.
  • United Nations Korea Medal.
  • Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation.

The only way to get this special miniature is to spend £50 or more in our online store – For a limited time only!

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