Books and Movies: The New York Public Library and the New York Times (Research Resources)

  Living near and working in a large city has its positive side when researching the past.  Several times over the last twelve months the webmaster has used the materials of the New York Public Library (NYPL) or the New York Times (NYT) for research.   For example, the NYPL’s collection of regimental histories is among the largest in the world; including histories of five of the ten WW1 German Kürassier (Heavy Cavalry) Regimentals.  The drawbacks are:  1) One has to order them in advance; and 2) Continue reading →

Books and Movies: America and WW1: A Traveler’s Guide by Mark D. Van Ells

  In this work author Mark D. Van Ells accomplishes two sizeable feats: 1) First, he is able to synthesize reams of dates, facts and figures into an authoritative, readable travel guide that outlines U.S. involvement in the Great War.  Second, he covers areas that heretofore have largely been neglected, or at least not readily summarized.  Both of these accomplishments make this a book worth having in one’s collection—and having it handy whenever one travels—in the United States and in Europe.   The book is Continue reading →

People of the Meuse-Argonne: Mark D. Van Ells

Even today French locals, other Europeans and Americans find themselves drawn to the Meuse-Argonne region of France.  Once drawn there, many return time and again; often working on multi-year research or preservation projects.  In this irregular interview series, the webmaster hopes to introduce readers to some of these individuals and their labors of love.       1)  What is your name, nationality and occupation? Mark D. Van Ells, American, Professor of History at Queensborough Community College of the City University of New York, and Continue reading →

Books and Movies: Eyewitnesses to the Great War: American Writers, Reporters, Volunteers and Soldiers in France, 1914-1918 by Ed and Libby Klekowski

    This book was a delight to pick up and read; even though only the near-to-last chapters cover the American Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Most of the book focuses on telling the stories of Americans who got involved in the war months and years before the United States was officially at war.  This includes famous writers such as Edith Wharton, who made numerous aid trips to France.  It also includes volunteers of the American Field Service and the Lafayette Flying Corps; and it includes American reporters Continue reading →

Books and Movies: Forty-Seven Days: How Pershing’s Warriors Came of age to Defeat the German Army in World War 1 by Mitchell Yockelson

  Dissonance arises when an author’s expectation and a reviewer’s expectation of a book differ; and that is the case with “Forty-seven Days: How Pershing’s Warrior Came of Age to Defeat the German Army in World War 1,” the latest book from well-known WW1 military historian Mitchell Yockelson.   Looking at the work from 30,000 feet, the book is a skillful re-telling of the Meuse-Argonne battle, focusing on the key American leaders and heroes and select events during the 47 days of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.  Continue reading →

Books and Movies (and Maps): WW1 American Battlefield Maps

  In the 1940s the American Battle Monuments Commission published a “Summary of Operations” for each American Division that fought on the Western Front.  Each book contained numerous large fold-out maps showing the divisional actions and the approximate front line position at various points in time.  The University of Texas at Austin has scanned the entire collection of Divisional maps as large JPEG files; so they can be accessed, easily downloaded, and used by those serious battlefield tourists who want to follow the places where a specific division fought. Continue reading →

Books and Movies: WW1 Graphic Novel Featuring Yurok Soldiers in the Meuse-Argonne

Blog reader and historian, Chag Lowry, is writing a graphic novel, “Soldiers Unknown,” that will tell the story of Native World War 1 veterans of Northern California.  The novel will focus on Yurok soldiers of the 91st Infantry Division, AEF during the first 10 days of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.  Inspiration came when Mr. Lowry was interviewing WW2 veterans and many of them would state that a father, older brother, etc. had served in the First World War.  The 91st Division, AEF, was selected because the Continue reading → Continue reading →

Books and Movies–a New Years Resolution: Building a 2016 Reading List

First of all, Happy New Year, Bonne Année, and Frohes neues Jahr to all readers of this blog and the Meuse-Argonne Facebook Group!   Spending more time researching and reading up on the Meuse-Argonne is one of the webmaster’s 2016 New Years resolutions.  (Learning French is the other major one.)   Toward that end–and for the benefit of all readers–the webmaster is polling readers to find out their favorite Meuse-Argonne books in the following categories: Overall Battle / Discussion of Strategy / etc. Regimental / Divisional Continue reading →

Books and Movies: The Lost Sketchbooks, a Young Artist in the Great War

Readers who know the webmaster well know of his passion for exploring the Meuse-Argonne battlefield armed with maps, regimental histories and highly detailed first person accounts.  Thus, when he was introduced to this book, he must admit that he did not know how to respond:  It certainly was not a detailed study of the battlefield such as those published by Paul Braim (The Test of Battle:  The American Expeditionary Forces in the Meuse-Argonne Campaign) or Mark Ethan Grotelueschen (The AEF Way of War.)   Also, there are Continue reading →

New Feature Article Added: The Lonesome Death of Marvin Stainton

Blog readers are encourgaed to check out a new Feature Article on the website:  “The Lonesome Death of Marvin Stainton.”  The article is an excerpt from James Carl Nelson’s book, The Remains of Company D:  A Story of the Great War. Mr. Nelson’s book is essentially an effort to learn more about the war-time experiences of his Grandfather, John Nelson; but he skillfully brings to life the other members of Co. D, 28th Inf. Regt., 1st Division, AEF as well.  What caught the webmaster’s attention Continue reading →