Join the Friends of Romagne and Support the Romagne 14-18 Museum

  Jean-Paul de Vries’ Romagne 14-18 Museum one of the best known museums / attractions in the Meuse-Argonne, and it is visited by thousands each year.  (The Webmaster first visited the museum in 2004, right before it moved to its current location.)  However, as with most museums it takes a tremendous amount of work and funds to operate.  In order to ensure adequate financial support for the museum, the foundation “Friends of Romagne” has been established.  Below is a letter from the foundation’s Chairman encouraging visitors Continue reading →

Twist on a Famous Poster: Do You Know What Your Daddy (or Grandfather or Great Uncle) did in the War?

April 6, 2017 marked the beginning of the Centennial of U.S. involvement in World War 1; and yet many U.S. families know much less about the activities of their ancestors during 1917-1919 than during other time periods.  It’s not too late to correct that deficiency; and it’s also not too late to plan a customized battlefield tour following in the footsteps of your relative! Webmaster Randal Gaulke is making plans to live in France for several months in 2017.  During that period he will be working Continue reading →

News and Events–Stateside: American Experience Three-Part Special “The Great War” Premiers Tonight on PBS Stations Across the U.S.

    Most readers have seen the advertisements on public television stations, on friend’s Facebook pages, etc.  But for those who have not, here is a reminder:  The American Experience has published a three-part special covering U.S. involvement in the Great War.  It will air Monday, April 10; Tuesday, April 11; and Wednesday, April 12–starting at 9:00pm EST / 8:00pm CST.  Readers are advised to plan their viewing / DVR recording accordingly.  

It’s a Wonderful (Web) Life: The Meuse-Argonne Version

Frank Capra’s movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” has become a holiday classic in the U.S.; and likely in other countries too.  (The German title is “Ist das Leben nicht schoen?” and the French title is “La vie est belle.”)  In the film, the main star, George Bailey, learns just how much impact one person’s life can have on other people.  In the words of Clarence the Angel:  “Strange, isn’t it?  Each man’s life touches so many other lives.  When he isn’t around he leaves an Continue reading →

Ninety-Eight Years Ago Today: Remembering the Plight of the Lost Battalion (one day late)

On the afternoon of 8 October, 1918 194 officers and men of the “Lost Battalion” walked out of the Pocket in Charlevaux Ravine.  This represented a casualty rate (killed, wounded/sick, or missing/POW) of nearly 72%.  Seven Medals of Honor were awarded for this one five-day event–more than would be given out for any single modern combat event until the famous U.S. Army Air Forces raid on the Ploesti oil fields in 1943… Well-known historian and author, Robert J. Laplander, was generous enough to provide a well-written Continue reading →

Then and Now: First Aid in Septsarges

    Caption:  “If this wounded soldier can reach Septsarges, across the valley, he will find a first aid station.  To get there, he must crawl and scramble over the intervening space that is swept by a flanking machine gun fire.”   Location:  The un-numbered road that runs between Nantillois and Septsarges, closer to Septsarges.  The original photographer was standing a bit further in the field, and his picture did not capture the bend in the road.  There was also no farm and no tree Continue reading →

Re-Post: New Feature Article–Photo Essay: Western Front Association–USA Branch 2007 Tour

  With the recent announcement of the World War One Historical Association’s June 2017 Pilgrimage of the American Battlefields, the webmaster thought it timely to show pictures from the Western Front Association–USA Branch’s 2007 tour.  (The WFA–USA Branch was one of two entities that merged to form the WW1HA.)   The link below will take readers to a webpage that includes a collection of twenty photographs taken by tour participant Kevin Drake.  Readers who travel to France regularly know that the country is both a place Continue reading →

Why Visiting the Battlefields is Still Important in a Virtual World

  In today’s world:  One can use Google Earth to visit the Western Front;  One can watch videos of the battlefields and of the various battles on-line;  One can scour archives for photographs and letters, etc.  With the coming of virtual reality, one will even be able to walk a trench line.  So why is visiting the battlefields still important?   Last week the webmaster and his father were watching a (VHS) video of their 1993 battlefield tour with Stephen Skinner and his mother.  Stephen, Continue reading →

Your Assistance Please: Guest Content Providers, Sept. 26 – Nov. 11

Looking ahead, the webmaster is preparing to write a daily post throughout the dates of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive this fall.  Other popular WW1 blog sites and FB pages do this.  However, that is quite a daunting task when combined with work, family and other activities.  (Did he say he was learning French two nights a week?) Therefore, he is looking for content providers willing to contribute one or more articles, photo essays, etc.  Topics can range from the usual, well-known–Sgt. York, Lost Battalion, etc.–to a story about an Continue reading →

New Feature Article: A Drive with Section One of the American Field Service

Just a quick post to let readers know that a new feature article has been added to the website portion of this site.  It’s titled “A Drive with Section One of the American Field Service,” and it covers a detailed description of the route taken by the American Field Service ambulance drivers from a poste des brancardier at Jubécourt to the poste de secours at Esnes, closer to the front in 1917.  The 22km route can easily be retraced today.