Blog

augustus 2020

MORE EXCITING WWII TELEVISION WORK

2020-08-23T14:25:42+02:00

First, there was the National Geographic episode on Bastogne in the ‘Hitler’s Last Stand’ series. Then there was the Battle of the Bulge episode for the Smithsonian Channel in the ‘Pivotal Battles of the Second World War’ series. Just recently, I was on the road again with an international crew for the series ‘World War [...]

MORE EXCITING WWII TELEVISION WORK2020-08-23T14:25:42+02:00

februari 2020

IN PATTON’S TRACKS WITH NATO

2020-02-03T15:38:05+01:00

How to make your weekend special? First, by being asked to take seventeen ambassadors to NATO on an author’s tour of the Battle of the Bulge. Next, to have the War Heritage Institute liven up that tour just that little bit by organizing a long column of vintage World War II vehicles, including three Sherman [...]

IN PATTON’S TRACKS WITH NATO2020-02-03T15:38:05+01:00

TODAY’S SCREAMING EAGLES

2020-02-03T15:33:23+01:00

It is one thing to be complemented on your book by a reader. It is quite another thing to get praise for ‘Those Who Hold Bastogne’ from a young officer in today’s 101st Airborne Division. Here posing with Captain Jack LaZebnik who dropped by for a chat at the Bastogne War Museum book signing session [...]

TODAY’S SCREAMING EAGLES2020-02-03T15:33:23+01:00

september 2019

THE MONUMENTS MAN

2019-09-23T17:02:49+02:00

Had a memorable meeting with Robert Edsel, author of the international bestseller ‘The Monuments Men,’ made into a movie with George Clooney and Matt Damon. Robert had suggested a get-together after reading my book, ‘The Margraten Boys.’ Monuments man Walter Huchthausen is one of the ten thousand American fallen commemorated at the Dutch WWII cemetery [...]

THE MONUMENTS MAN2019-09-23T17:02:49+02:00

april 2019

HAPPY AUTHOR

2020-02-03T15:34:06+01:00

Very pleased to announce the publication of what promises to be the standard work on Belgium during World War II for some time to come. It is an exhaustive and richly illustrated history and the work of a team of passionate historians. As we approach the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Europe, I am [...]

HAPPY AUTHOR2020-02-03T15:34:06+01:00

december 2018

THE LONGEST NIGHT

2018-12-18T11:42:53+01:00

Signing my books long after dark at the Bastogne War Museum. The museum exceptionally stayed open for a book fair where I gave a talk and had an opportunity to meet readers just hours away from the 74th anniversary of the start of the Ardennes counteroffensive. A very special occasion.

THE LONGEST NIGHT2018-12-18T11:42:53+01:00

oktober 2018

THIS IS IT!

2018-10-26T15:15:30+02:00

Posing at a Sherman in Clervaux that stands as a reminder of the heavy fighting in the Luxembourg town on the road to Bastogne. “We’re surrounded and can’t get out,” Sergeant Donald Fink from his tank radioed to his commander in the American 9th Armored Division as the veteran German 2nd Panzer Division clinically took [...]

THIS IS IT!2018-10-26T15:15:30+02:00

juni 2018

HOLLYWOOD STAR POWER

2018-06-29T10:26:39+02:00

That is the guys standing, of course: Matthew Leitch (Sgt. Floyd Talbert), Ross McCall (Joseph Liebgott), and James Madio (Sgt. Frank Perconte) from the iconic series Band of Brothers. I am perfectly happy sitting at their feet as the Easy Company Tour historian for The National World War II Museum in New Orleans and the [...]

HOLLYWOOD STAR POWER2018-06-29T10:26:39+02:00

april 2018

NEW WORLD WAR II MUSEUM

2018-04-03T15:04:04+02:00

Pleased to share that I have just been named historian and project manager for a brand-new museum to be built and developed in Leopoldsburg, Belgium. The planned museum – Liberation Garden – will tell the transnational story of the Allied liberation in the region, with a strong emphasis on Operation Market Garden’s ground offensive in [...]

NEW WORLD WAR II MUSEUM2018-04-03T15:04:04+02:00

januari 2018

DAY OF THE DEAD

2019-01-28T23:48:03+01:00

José Mendoza López: born in Mexico, raised in Texas. In the Battle of the Bulge, he fought with the veteran 2nd Infantry Division. On 17 December 1944, waves of Waffen SS armor and men descended on his battalion’s positions in the Krinkelter Forest. When all seemed lost and a German breakthrough imminent, Sergeant López prayed [...]

DAY OF THE DEAD2019-01-28T23:48:03+01:00

oktober 2017

STANDING TALL

2019-01-28T23:48:03+01:00

Although I gave my book on the only American World War II cemetery in The Netherlands ‘The Margraten Boys’ as title, I do mention that four of the more than eight thousand Americans buried in Margraten are women. Lieutenant Wilma Vinsant is one of them. All her life she was known as Dolly, apparently because [...]

STANDING TALL2019-01-28T23:48:03+01:00

SELFIE WITH HEROINE

2017-10-09T19:57:08+02:00

I have in recent weeks been taking quite a few small and large groups from all over the world on my author tours to Bastogne and America’s World War II cemeteries. Here I am taking some time out to pose for a selfie at Augusta Chiwy’s final resting place in the Bastogne cemetery, just opposite [...]

SELFIE WITH HEROINE2017-10-09T19:57:08+02:00

augustus 2017

STARDUST COMING DOWN

2017-08-29T18:40:06+02:00

A special moment in a field in Bastogne. On 27 December 1944 a C-47 Skytrain named Stardust crashed near the trees to my rear after safely releasing a towed glider with emergency supplies. As I explain in my book, Those Who Hold Bastogne, the town’s defenders were still lacking in everything even after the arrival [...]

STARDUST COMING DOWN2017-08-29T18:40:06+02:00

juni 2017

ON A WING AND A PRAYER

2017-08-29T18:41:58+02:00

At the start of January 1945, the 17th Airborne Division was thrown into the Battle of the Bulge with the task of pushing the Germans back from the area west of Bastogne. Its soldiers, fresh from Britain, had no combat experience whatsoever. The opposing troops were battle-hardened soldiers like Walter Denkert’s 3rd Panzergrenadier Division. As [...]

ON A WING AND A PRAYER2017-08-29T18:41:58+02:00

WISH ME LUCK

2017-08-29T18:40:42+02:00

When Lieutenant Harold Stalnaker took off from the 366th Fighter Squadron’s base in Toul, northeastern France, on 23 December 1944, he had flown more than 90 missions. The 21-year-old fighter pilot should not even have been in the cockpit of his P-47 Thunderbolt as he had been given a 72-hour pass to Paris. But the [...]

WISH ME LUCK2017-08-29T18:40:42+02:00

mei 2017

LOVE, WANDA

2019-01-28T23:48:03+01:00

This is one of many heart-wrenching stories I came across while writing my book, The Margraten Boys. The 392nd Bomb Group flew B-24 Liberators out of Wendling, Norfolk, from August 1943 until April 1945. The group was awarded one Distinguished Unit Citation for bombing an aircraft and components factory at Gotha on 24 February 1944, [...]

LOVE, WANDA2019-01-28T23:48:03+01:00

A CHILD’S WISH

2017-08-29T18:42:26+02:00

Judy’s father, Gordon Russ, was killed in the Battle of the Bulge on 8 January 1945 when she was just five years old. Gordon, a 30-year-old bartender from Minnesota, was a private in the 87th Infantry Division’s 346th Regiment. Some time ago, a journalist from the Twin Cities Pioneer Press who was researching Gordon’s story [...]

A CHILD’S WISH2017-08-29T18:42:26+02:00

april 2017

A BROTHER’S AGONY

2017-08-30T14:22:17+02:00

Virginian and Private First Class Ronald McNeil was one of seven brothers. "My uncle Ronald, a paratrooper with the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, was wounded during the Normandy invasion and was in Belgium, where my father was also serving,” Edie Jeter said in an interview. “They planned to meet during Christmas, but the Battle of [...]

A BROTHER’S AGONY2017-08-30T14:22:17+02:00

CHILDREN OF GOD

2017-08-29T18:50:56+02:00

During the Bastogne siege, two young Belgian nurses braved constant danger while feverishly caring for countless American casualties. One of them, Renée Lemaire, was killed during a German bombing raid. The other nurse, Augusta Chiwy, was lucky and survived. Augusta was the daughter of a Belgian veterinarian and an African mother from the Belgian colonies. [...]

CHILDREN OF GOD2017-08-29T18:50:56+02:00

FAREWELL TO A SILVER STAR

2019-01-28T23:48:04+01:00

This is a rare picture. We are familiar with images of soldiers posing in uniforms and with comrades during training or at the front. But it is not often we get to see glimpses of the wrenching moment when a civilian says farewell to his family before reporting to duty. This is Bob Burns on [...]

FAREWELL TO A SILVER STAR2019-01-28T23:48:04+01:00