D-Day Lecture Series

Our Battlefield Lecture Series during the 70th anniversary of the Second World War continues with public presentations as listed below.

For  descriptions of all five French Battlefields lectures please see http://www.frenchbattlefields.com/lectures.html

The Men of Omaha Beach at Red Mountain Library in Mesa, AZ on October 25 at 2 pm.
The Men of Omaha Beach at Riverside Library on November 9 at 2pm.
Battle of the Bulge: The Forgotten Heroes at Bensenville Community Library on November 10 at 7pm.
Tour of the Battlefields of Europe at Orland Park Library on November 11 at 7pm.
Battle of the Bulge: The Forgotten Heroes at Prospect Heights Library on November 13 at 7pm.
The Airborne on D-Day at Arlington Heights Senior Center on November 14 at 10 am.
Battle of the Bulge: The Forgotten Heroes at Oak Park Library on November 15 at 2 pm.
The Men of the Normandy Invasion at Dundee Township Library on November 16 at 1:30pm.
The Men of Omaha Beach at Crystal Lake Library on November 17 at 7pm.
Battle of the Bulge: The Forgotten Heroes at Park Ridge Library on November 18 at 2pm.
The Men of Omaha Beach at Indian Trails Library on December 8 at 2pm.
Battle of the Bulge: The Forgotten Heroes at Gail Borden Library (Elgin) on December 17 at 7pm.

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

Richard (Dick) D. Winters Leadership Monument

The Richard (Dick) D. Winters Leadership Monument was dedicated on 6 June 2012. Before his death in 2011, Major Winters personally approved of the design and location of the twelve-foot bronze statue that presents him in an aggressive ‘attack’ position leading unseen men against an unseen enemy. His approval was predicated upon dedication of the memorial to all of the junior officers which found themselves commanding men in combat during the Second World War. The statue’s plinth includes a quote from Winters: ‘Wars do not make men great, but they do bring out the greatness in good men.’

The monument is located is Ste-Marie-du-Mont, less than one-half mile from Brécourt Manoir, the site of an thirteen-man attack against a vastly superior force, led by Winters, which eliminated a four-gun German position that was firing upon Utah Beach. The monument stands along causeway #2, one of the four selected Allied routes across flooded lowlands from Utah Beach landing sites to an inland ridge. The Brécourt Manoir guns commanded that causeway and could have inflicted numerous casualties on troops moving inland if not destroyed. Nominated for the Medal of Honor, Winters was awarded American’s second highest medal for bravery under fire, the Distinguished service Cross. Three men were awarded the Silver Star and nine men the Bronze Star.

The attack was famously portrayed in the D-Day episode of the television miniseries ‘Band of Brothers’ based upon a Stephen Ambrose book of the same title, which followed the men of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, from their training in Camp Toccoa, Georgia; through major battles in France, Holland and Belgium; to the capture of Hitler’s retreat in Berchtesgaden, Germany.

After the war, Winters returned to his home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where, as he promised himself he would do after the heat of combat on D-Day, he brought a farm and lived quietly and peacefully for the remainder of his ninety-two years.

6 June 1944

Today is the 68th Anniversary of the massive and critical Operation Neptune, the Invasion of Normandy by American, British, Canadian, and French forces. As I have been preparing Fields of War –  a Second World War battlefield travel guide, my thoughts have been focused on Lower Normandy, its terrain, cities, and highways – and its men.

The similarities with the Norman Invasion by the English Army of King Edward III 598 years earlier are striking. Much like Generalfeldmarschall Gerd von Rundstedt, the French believed that the invasion was aimed at Calais and they had their fleet patrolling off the Pas-de-Calais coast. Edward III landed his army along the coast of the Cotentin Peninsula only 21 km north of Utah beach. Just like German 6th Fallschirmjäger Regiment commander, Major Friedrich von der Heydte, the French commander of Carentan, Robert Bertrand, burned the four bridges north of the city to delay the English advance as reinforcements moved north. Just like US 29th Infantry Division’s commander, Major General Charles Gerhard, Edward III attacked St-Lô from its vulnerable eastern side. And, just as in 1944, the key to Normandy was the capture of Caen.

It was with these events in mind that a new Virtual Battlefield Tour was created which follows Edward III and his army from their landing at St-Vaast-la-Hougue to their seizing of the city of Caen. It can be found on my blog at Invasion of Normandy 12 July 1346