I participated in the 2007 Western Front Association–US Branch battlefield tour. This was conducted by a British battlefield tour company with Randy leading the parts of the tour that covered the American battles of St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne. Randy is knowledgeable, invariably well-organized, and very effective and personable even when leading groups of know-it-alls like my friends and me. Our tour group that year had been the largest he had ever taken on those battlefields to date and yet his guiding was comparable to that of the well-established and well-known British guides who led the other half of the tour.
Past President, World War One Historical Association
I’ve known Randy since 1998 when we were on the U.S. Branch Western Front Association’s first battlefield tour. Randy helped organize that. I have made 15 trips to the Great War battlefields in Belgium, France, Italy, Turkey, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, Macedonia and Bulgaria. I organized and attended five trips for the U.S. Branch WFA including the 2007 trip when he was guide for the Meuse-Argonne and St. Mihiel.
He knows those battlefields better than anyone I’ve known; and I’ve been there multiple times with good guides. He is friends with locals, speaks French and German and has great people skills. I highly recommend him!
Director, World War One Historical Association
Randal Gaulke’s passion for and knowledge of the Meuse-Argonne Front is second to none in North America. Even in France I’ve only encountered a handful of Europeans who can approach his level of expertise. But it was his dedication and preparation that truly made the difference in a successful overseas journey.
Randy makes the tour personal and functional for every individual. He prepared a detailed catalog of our trip in advance with a complete itinerary and historical information on each site for our 1993 tour. His advance plans included walking time at each site, consideration for the intensity and physical demands of any hiking as it pertained to the capabilities of each member of our party, as well as transportation and food.
His linguistic skills were more than sufficient to minimize and solve all the hiccups that are inevitable in international travel. We truly felt like we were in good hands during our entire trip.
This resulted not only in an educational tour, but an enjoyable tour that I would gladly repeat.
Author, “THE STAND: The Final Flight of Lt. Frank Luke Jr.”
I traveled on a tour Randy organized for a group of us in 2005. On this journey we followed a WW1 German cavalry unit, the 8th Kurassier. Randy took us from Koln, Germany, where they originated; to Helly Ravine, Verdun, where they fought in the battle for Fort Douaumont. Along the way we stayed in small local hotels, saw places significant to the Kurassier, met with veterans who maintained a museum of the 8th Kurassier, and saw such amazing places as the Romagne ’14-’18 museum. (Look it up, it is a special place.)
Randy has a passion for WW1, and his extensive time in Europe has built him an extensive knowledge not only of the history of the area, but a connection with many local people. We were immersed in the history we explored. A trip with Randy is a well-rounded experience that I doubt you will find anywhere else.
Eric “Merlin” Hanson
8th Kuerassier Regiment (Reenacting Group)
It is without any reservations that I can highly recommend Mr. Randal Gaulke as a battlefield guide. His thorough, meticulous approach to research allows him to clearly present not only a broad, general overview to a particular battle, but also a more in-depth analysis and description of the actions which transpired on a particular location or for a specific military unit involved in the battle. This trait, combined with his ability to analyze and interpret the nature and impact of the terrain on the action, makes for a very enjoyable and informative tour. On a recent trip to France, Mr. Gaulke was able to provide me with an insightful tour of the Verdun battlefield in which he traced the movement of my relative’s regiment (IR 87) during the 1916 campaign. His commitment to excellence and in going above and beyond what one normally encounters from many battlefield guides was clearly demonstrated by his research into the location of IR87 in June, 1918 where he was able to show me the area where my relative was killed. I know of no other individual who can provide you with a battlefield tour experience as Mr. Randal Gaulke, and highly recommend him.
Dr. Robert J. Fryman