Tag Archives: American Battle Monuments Commission

Books & Movies: American Armies and Battlefields in Europe (1938)

    Why write a review for a book written in 1938?  Because the book remains the bible (small “b”) for battlefield visitors!  The Webmaster gets numerous emails from information seekers, and his responses ALWAYS recommend this book as a good starting point for pilgrims.  Likewise, hundreds of people have joined the Meuse-Argonne Facebook group over the last several months looking for more information on their ancestor’s experience in WW1.  Again, this provides a great start. American Armies and Battlefields in Europe was first published Continue reading →

Website Update: Map Case Page has been Constructed. View it for Details.

This is just a simple note to let readers know that the Webmaster has (finally) constructed the page:  “Features / Map Case.”  It includes details on where to find maps for the Offensive and the A.E.F. in general.  It also includes three NARA finding guides for maps in the National Archives’ collections and the numbers of IGN 1:25,000 scale maps relevant for touring the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Feedback or additional sources of maps is appreciated.

Then and Now: Montfaucon d’Argonne 1918-19 Versus Today

    Few sites on the Meuse-Argonne American battlefield are as heavily visited as Montfaucon d’Argonne; and yet it remains difficult to “see” the town as it looked at the end of the war.  Moving from a destroyed village to a preserved memorial park that can be visited safely by thousands annually requires considerable clean-up and sanitization.  Thus, one sees the Memorial, the (enhanced) church ruins and a scattering of observation pillboxes, along with some good signage; but one does not see the ruined town Continue reading →

News & Events Over There: Still Planning Your Centennial Trip to France?

  For those of you still planning your 2018 Centennial trip to France, the Webmaster hopes this summary of events and information sites will be helpful to readers:   Meuse-Argonne.com Events The Webmaster and German historian Markus Klauer are offering a Small Group Battlefield Walk Series–with great date flexibility–from 20 – 27 September.  Each day will focus on a different Army Corps and will include a driven “monuments tour” in the am and an intensive hike in the pm.  The tour has also been designed Continue reading →

About the Griffin Group Photo Archive: Q&A with Randal Gaulke

In early 1919 a group of professional Signal Corps photographers under the leadership of Major T.J. Griffin of the Intelligence Section <G-2> of the AEF General Staff took more than 2,300 high-quality b/w photographs of the American battlefields on the Western Front.  For years, the “Griffin Group” photo archive remained tucked away in the National Archives; known only to a handful of researchers.  In 2017 battlefield historian and tour guide Randal Gaulke viewed this photo collection and was astonished by the level of detail and Continue reading →

La Vie en France #22: With Little Steps Momentum Builds

  This blogpost is for those readers who think about taking a crazy step off a cliff, like the Webmaster took.  He quit his job as a highly-paid bond analyst in NYC in order to spend six months as a freelance tour guide on the American battlefields of France.   Looking back over the multi-year preparation for this new venture, the Webmaster can see clearly that it was hundreds of little steps; and with each little step the momentum started to build.  Like many readers Continue reading →

People of the Meuse-Argonne: Manon Bart

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 a multi-year research or preservation project.  In this irregular interview series, the webmaster hopes to introduce readers to some of these individuals and their labors of love.   2018 update:  As of 16 January, 2018 Manon will be moving to Paris as a Communications Assistant with the American Battle Monuments Commission.  Congratulations Manon!       1)  Continue reading →

News & Events Over There–2018 Event Schedule in France

As 2018 draws near, the Webmaster is receiving numerous inquiries about the 2018 event schedule in France.  Here is a brief summary, based on what he knows so far:       American Battle Monuments Commemorative Events See his June 1, 2017 post:  http://meuse-argonne.com/?p=2288. Note also that the 11 November, 2017 commemoration will include a partial luminary event (1/4 of graves), but that a full luminary event is anticipated for 11 November, 2018     U.S. Presidential/Official Events The Webmaster has no knowledge of what Continue reading →

News & Events–Over There: Luminary Event at Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, 11 November, 2017

    At 3:00pm CET On Saturday, 11 November, the American Battle Monuments Commission will be hosting a (partial) luminary event to mark the 99th anniversary of the end of World War 1.  As dusk falls at the cemetery, approximately 3,500 (or 25% of the) headstones will be lit with candles, creating a powerful image of light overpowering darkness.  Attendees will have the chance to walk through the cemetery and to learn the stories of fifteen Americans honored within the hallowed grounds.  All are invited Continue reading →

Then and Now: Up the Nantillois – Cunel Road with the 3rd and 80th Divisions, AEF

Intro:  The D15 running from Nantillois to Cunel is perhaps one of the most travelled roads by American battlefield visitors.  Going back to 1938, the ABMC described the route as follows:  “From here [Cunel] to the next town, Nantillois, the tour goes opposite the direction of the American advance.  The view of the terrain is, therefore, that which was seen from the various German positions. The difficult character of the ground over which the American Army forced its way forward is illustrated by the country Continue reading →