Tag Archives: AEF

Then and Now: German “Sniper Position” at Dun-sur-Meuse Church

  Caption:  “Desecrated cemetery, Dun-sur-Meuse, and a portion of the damaged church.  Two German rifles are evidence that they were sniping from here.”   Location:  This very old church sits on a hilltop overlooking Dun-sur-Meuse.  It is most visible on the D998 driving from Doulcon into Dun.  To get to the hilltop, turn North on the D964; then turn right on Rue Saint-Sébastien; then right on Rue de Vieux Château; finally right on the Rue de l’Église.  Enjoy the climb up on the narrow roads! Continue reading →

Then and Now: Crown Prince House in Montfaucon-d’Argonne

    Caption:  The original Signal Corps photo reads:  “Stretcher bearers, 317th Inf., 79th Div., taking last German prisoner out of the house used as observatory by Crown Prince, from which he directed the attack on Verdun early in the war.  Montfaucon, Oct. 2, 1918.”   The webmaster is indebted to Marc Calluy, owner of Le Coq D’Or in Montfaucon, for recognizing that the fence still exists even though the house is long gone. Also, both the webmaster and Marc question the photo’s caption because Continue reading →

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 →

News & Events–Over There: Join the World War One Historical Association on its 2017 Pilgrimage to the American Battlefields of WW1, 3-11 June, 2017. Reserve Your Spot Today!

  Walking the battlefields of World War 1 brings history to life in a way that you can’t get from reading books, watching movies, or using modern technology such as Google Earth.  To follow in the footsteps of the American troops who went to war in 1917-18 is an unforgettable experience.  Whether you are retracing the steps of a relative or are just a student of military history, join the World War One Historical Association on its 2017 Pilgrimage to the American Battlefields of WW1. Continue reading →

We Forget Today: Paris, July 4, 1917, “Lafayette We are Here.”

  We forget today just what an impact World War I had on the lives of its participants and their families.  That is certainly true for war-weary France; when the first Doughboys arrived in their country.  Ninety-nine years ago, on the 4th of July, 1917, one of the most memorable phrases of American involvement in the Great War was coined.  It came during a speech at the end of a five-mile march by the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Division, AEF.  Bowing to French pressure 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: 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–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 →