A Saluting 11-year-old boy on Omaha Beach

After completing one of my lectures, I often receive comments and information from the audience. I have been fortunate enough to personally meet one member of the 101st Airborne Division who jumped into Normandy on D-Day. Once a member of the 2nd Rangers Battalion who climbed the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc gave his approval of my telling of that story – and added his personal insight. Recently, I had an extended conversation with a member of the 30th Infantry Division regarding the places where they fought during WW II.

Last night at the Wood Dale Public Library, someone asked who will carry on the names and stories of the individual soldiers of the war when us older folks are gone. Another person in the audience knew the answer to that question. If you want to know, view this video: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=project+vigil+d-day+2014+the+saluting+boy+on+omaha+beach

One Soldier’s Memories

I recently discovered a wordpress blog that relates the experiences of Milton Schober, a member of the US 106th Infantry Division who fought during the Battle of the Bulge in December and January 1944-45. The inexperienced 106th had been on the frontline only days before it received the full blow of Field Marshal Hasso von Manteuffel’s Fifth Panzer Army on the first day of what the Germans call the Ardennes offensive. Two of the division’s three regiments were surrounded and within days almost 7,000 men, surrounded and low of ammunition and food, surrendered – the largest American defeat in the European Theater of Operations. Mr Schober was a member of the 424th Infantry Regiment, the unit that fought off the initial German assault and participated in many of the Ardennes engagements that followed.

Mr Schober passed away in 2013 at age 93, but his son has collected 122 letters written during the war and other items written by his father and recorded them on a blog.

If you are interested in what it was like to be an average GI – as if any WW II GI was average – read his reminiscences at https://dadswwiiletters.wordpress.com/

 

Fields of War: Battle of Normandy receives Finalist Award in the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards

Press release

Arlington Heights, IL (May 7, 2014)
This morning the Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group announced the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Robert Mueller’s Normandy battlefields travel guide, Fields of War: Battle of Normandy was named as a Finalist in the Travel Category.

In his new book, Fields of War: Battle of Normandy (471 pp., $29.95), veteran battlefield historian, Robert Mueller, brings us to the actual locations and describes the events of the largest amphibious landing in history. The narrative revolves around the stories of the privates, NCOs, and junior officers who faced overwhelming odds with courage – ordinary men from ordinary backgrounds, who did extraordinary things.

Written as a tour guide, Fields of War includes 94 maps and 32 pages of photographs of battle action, ruins, monuments, and cemeteries.  Visitors are guided to major landmarks and artifacts and through Normandy’s scenic countryside and historic villages.

Fields of War: Battle of Normandy
Soft Cover, Perfect Bound
ISBN 978-0-9823677-3-5
471 Pages Including 32 Pages Of B&W Photographs And 94 Maps
6″ X 9″ (15.2cm X 22.8cm) $29.95

Available from: Amazon, Baker & Taylor, Barnes & Noble, Brodart, and Gazelle Book Service (UK).

More information about Fields of War: Battle of Normandy and the author’s battlefield lecture series is available at www.frenchbattlefields.com .

French Battlefields
PO Box 4808 Buffalo Grove, IL 60089-4808
Fax: 224-735-3478 / Email: sales@frenchbattlefields.com

Fields of War: Battle of Normandy published

I am pleased to announce that our new battlefield guide book, Fields of War: Battle of Normandy, will be available on April 1, 2014.

On 6 June 1944, 156,000 American, British, and Canadian servicemen fought ashore on beaches along the Normandy coast or landed from the air to begin wresting back Nazi occupied Europe. The D-Day invasion was the largest amphibious landing in history. Although successful, it was only precursor to months of the deadly fighting necessary to dislodge stubborn German defenders from the Norman countryside and eventually liberate France.

As a visitor’s guide, Fields of War: Battle of Normandy presents the actual locations of key events in the struggle to free France from German occupation. Each battlefield visit begins with a succinct history of events followed by a description of the intense military action that determined success or failure. The narrative revolves around the stories of the privates, NCOs, and junior officers whose sacrifices made success possible. Extensive detailed maps illustrate the flow of the battle across the landscape and the units that participated. Detailed driving instructions and GPS co-ordinates direct visitors to each battlefield site. Descriptions of museums, memorials, cemeteries, and surviving artifacts are given along with their hours of operation. Mailing, email, and web addresses are also provided.

The first nine chapters are each dedicated to the actions of one invading division on D-Day, June 6, 1944. The engagements of the British 3rd and 50th Infantry Divisions, British 6th Airborne Division, 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, the US 1st, 4th, and 29th Infantry Divisions, and 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions  are related through the actions of the men and units who made the invasion ultimately successful. The next five chapters relate the key engagements for the Norman cities of Caen, Cherbourg, and St-Lo, Operation Cobra, and the ultimate annihilation of the German Seventh Army in the Battle of Falaise Gap. A final chapter describes the Liberation of Paris by French partisans and elements of the 2nd French Armored Division.

Available from Amazon, Baker & Taylor, Barnes & Noble or directly from French Battlefields at http://www.frenchbattlefields.com

SOFT COVER, PERFECT BOUND
ISBN: 978-0-9823677-3-5
471 PAGES INCLUDING
32 PAGES OF B&W PHOTOGRAPHS AND 94 MAPS
6″ X 9″ (15.2cm X 22.8cm)
$29.95

Henry-Chapelle American Cemetery

In 2009, I visited the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Belgium where many of the American casualities suffered in the Hürtgen Forest and Ardennes battles are buried. It was a Saturday near Veterans Day. As I arrived, a small group of civilians were just completing some unscheduled ceremony. After they stowed their flags and musical instruments into their cars, they moved onto the platform that overlooks the grave plots.

I approached one gentleman, asked if he spoke English (which, of course, he did), and asked about the ceremony we had just missed. It seems that his small group drove 90 miles to the American Cemetery to pay their respects to American war dead. At that point he took my hand firmly within his grasp and said “Thank you. We will never forget what you did to liberate us.” I shook his hand – but only on behalf of the men in the valley that spread out below us.

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