While the Habsburg Dynasty fell at the end of the First World War, its legacy can still be seen in the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum in Vienna, Austria. Located in the LandstraĂe district of the Austrian capital it is fittingly not far from the Belvedere complex, which served as the summer resident for Prince Eugene of Savoy â the French-born general who first saw action for his adopted home during the Ottoman siege of Vienna in 1683.
Designed by architect Theophil Hansen, the Heeresgeschichtliches has laid claim to being on the oldest and largest purpose-built military museums in the world. It is part of the Arsenal complex, which was built following the 1848 revolution that began in Vienna. Completed in 1856 at the behest of Emperor Franz Joseph I, the museumâs original purpose was to chronicle the history of Austria. This includes one of the worldâs largest collections of bronze cannons, many of which are displayed on the grounds outside the main museum building.
While more than 150 years old, the building features a Byzantine style design mixed with some Gothic elements, which make it look far older. It was badly damaged during the Battle of Vienna at the end of the Second World War but repaired to its original splendor, even if the Arsenal appears to have seen some better days. The museum now features five main elements, which include the entrance hall that contains the âHall of Generals,â along with four large exhibition halls, along with a gallery of armored vehicles outside the museum.
The history of Austria is closely linked to that of the Holy Roman Empire, and the original intent was to include the vast Habsburg collection of arms and armor. However, due to the limitations, today the medieval armor is housed with the New Castle wing (the Neue Burg) in the Hofburg Palace complex.
As such the collection of the Heeresgeschichtliches begin with the Thirty Yearsâ War and the conflicts with the Ottoman Turks, and continue through the Napoleonic Wars, World War I, the inter-war revolution and World War II. In the fall of 2013 the museum began a major renovation of its World War I galleries in anticipation for the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War. The museum also contains a notable gallery of Austrian naval history, which is all the more unique today given that the nation is now landlocked!
It’s that time of year again. Time to don the red suit, groom the reindeer and figure out what to fill the ol’ gift sack with. To help find some special items for the military history buffs and gamers on your list, Armchair General‘s web team compiled our annual shopping guide to books, DVDs, computer and board games.
To kick things off, though, here is a partial list of the books and DVDs that were selected by Armchair General magazine’s editor in chief, Jerry Morelock. For the complete list, see Armchair General, January 2014, on newsstands now. And while we’re on the topic of our publication, remember: a gift subscription or renewal to Armchair General magazine makes a thoughtful and much-appreciated gift that will last all year; now available in digital as well as print format.
BOOKS recommended by Armchair General magazine Hell or Richmond, by Ralph Peters (Tor Forge, 2013)
Charles Lindbergh. Eddie Rickenbacker. Jimmy Doolittle. These three names are synonymous with some of the greatest achievements in American aviation history. Although primarily known for their individual successes, they shared a surprising number of common traits and experiences. Skillful aviators in their own right, their greatest contributions actually came through improvements and advances in aviation doctrine, safety, aircraft design and performance, and military or corporate leadership.
Civil War Battlegrounds â The Illustrated History of the Warâs Pivotal Battles and Campaigns covers 18 key battles. Clearly written and easy to follow, it is a good starting point for readers just beginning to study the war, but serious Civil War historians are unlikely to find new information here.
The Civil War in Color is a fascinating coffee-table sized book that adds life to âdusty images of a dustier past.â Period photographs have been electronically âcleaned upâ to improve image quality and then colorized with careful attention to detail.
Rick Atkinsonâs The Guns at Last Light is a fitting conclusion to his World War II trilogy. This book and its accompanying volumes, the Pulitzer Prizeâwinning An Army at Dawn and Day of Battle, are a definitive account of the American experience in the Second War in Europe. It will appeal to anyone looking to understand not just the grand advances of the Allied forces, but the human side of war, from the psychology and weighing of competing priorities needed to lead an alliance, to the tremendous physical and spiritual costs incurred not just by the soldiers but by their families and friends.
Into The Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War by Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer is a compelling book that takes readers into the emotions of soldiers during and after combat as few other books have done.
A small group of French political prisoners, including four very brave women. A few American tankers with a single tank. Two Austrian resistance fighters. An SS colonel. A Werhmacht unit. Throw them into a Bavarian castle / ski lodge and have them defend against several SS assaults in a medieval-style siege (but with panzerfausts and machine guns). If you tried to make this into a movie, no one would believe it.
Alfred Young has provided a superior addition to Civil War literature and plugged a substantial hole in our knowledge of the Overland Campaign. Doing 10 years of research, he found some of the previous strength estimates are not that far off, other numbers were seriously skewed. Casual readers might not find much to savor in the bookâs listings of percentages, charts, and tables. Regimental historians, genealogists, battlefield guides, and other researchers, however, will find Leeâs Army during the Overland Campaign: A Numerical Study a valuable addition to their library.
Loyal Forces is not sappy, syrupy or lightweight: it is a well-researched, engagingly written book on the role of animals in the American military during the Second World War. The book is divided into seven chapters: Dogs and War; The Army Mule; Pigeons; The Last Cavalry Charge; Loyal Forces on the Home Front; Foreign Encounters; and Pets and Mascots.
Well-written and insightful, âRomeâs Last Citizenâ is not only interesting for the historical perspective it sheds on Cato and Rome, but also for the light it sheds on the similarities between Rome and modern America.
Despite its nautical title, âShips of Oak, Guns of Iron,â covers both the naval and ground war of the War of 1812 and is a fantastic addition to the scholarship that is shedding new light on this âforgottenâ war.
Valor in Vietnam, 1963 â 1977 tells the story of Americaâs involvement in Vietnam through the collected stories of many veteransâ experiences. Several chapters also contain some timeless nuggets of military leadership advice.
Veterans’ accounts are woven into a narrative (often accompanied by unique maps) that gives them context. Most are taken from interviews conducted by the author, Jay Wertz. Others are drawn from previously published sources and from archives and include veterans from the U.S. and its allies and those of Japan.
The 4-DVD set Narrow Escapes of World War II is the original, uncut UK version of these gripping tales of desperation and courage, and features over an hour of footage not shown when the series ran on The Military Channel in the US.
The âhookâ in WWII from Spaceâimages shot from space, on which information overlaidâsounds good but isnât particularly impressive; however, the content and the other visuals make this DVD of a program from HISTORY well worth owning.
PCGAMES recommended by Armchair General‘s web team Battlefield 4. Publisher: Electronic Arts. Game Developer: DICE. $59.99. Also available for Xbox 360 and Playstation 4
âBattlefield 4âł offers newly destructible terrain, new modes and new maps. Overall, it is a top-notch game when played online, though its single-player campaign is a bit of a dud. Be aware the computer specs are highâbut it may just be worth buying a new computer to play!
Battle Academy â Rommel in Normandy is the most exciting and intriguing campaign so far in the BA series. The scenarios are not only tense but evocative.
Birth of Rome. Publisher/Designer: AGEOD, Matrix/Slitherine. Boxed+download $34.99
With a greater variety of nations, scenarios, troop types and options, âBirth of Romeâ is even more interesting than its predecessor, Alea Jacta Est,Â which was no slouch of a game itself.
Civil War II. Publisher/Developer, AGEOD Studios. Boxed Edition $54.99
AGEOD has managed to keep the core parts of AACW that made it beloved by many gamers, but has taken the lessons learned over the past eight years to heart. Battles are exciting and the use of the Regional Decision Cards adds a deeper level to the game. The ability to build new railroads and upgrade industries give the Confederate States a reasonable chance for victory past the middle of 1862.
Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations is a sprawling and yet detailed tactical and operational level naval warfare simulation that is totally absorbing and compelling to play and worth every penny of its $79.99 price tag. Its high levels of realism give it a steep learning curve, however.
Andean Abyss is an unusual game that simulates quite effectively a chaotic and fluid war in South America, and it does it in less than 10 pages of rules. It minimizes luck, but players have to rely on adapting to the changing politics.
The Axis & Allies World War I 1914 game shares some common mechanics with its World War II predecessor, but with a number of twists to reflect the situation nations faced in the Great War. Itâs a game, not a history lesson, but players will often find themselves forced into the costly frontal assaults that characterized that war.
The second edition of the popular, award-winning Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! boardgame introduces new units, such as flamethrower tanks, brings the rules up to date with other games in the series, and comes in a redesigned box that is great for storing the components.
Field Commander Napoleon from DVG is highly addictive. It offers 11 different campaigns that can be linked to cover Napoleonâs entire career. Programmed actions by Napoleonâs opponents provide for solitaire play; sometimes that results in unrealistic actions, but overall the game is immersive and features beautiful maps and components.
Gettysburg 150. Publisher: Worthington Games. Designer: Grant Wylie and Mike Wylie. Price $40
Gettysburg 150 is a streamlined, easy to learn game of the 1863 battleâonly 8 pages of rulesâand is great for solitaire play
Iron and Oak. Publisher: GMT Games Designer: James M. Day. $59.00
GMTâs Iron and Oak is a tactical boardgame of naval combat in the American Civil War that also has campaign rules. No tedious pre-plotting of moves required, thanks to the card system, but its index needs to be expanded. (Note: Iron and Oak can be combined with Rebel Raiders on the High Seasâsee entry belowâto provide both strategic- and tactical-level games)
Plays very well and is a blast! That’s the verdict reached in a preview based on a prototype of Sails of Glory, a game of ship combat in the Napoleonic Era that adapts Ares Gamesâ popular Wings of Glory system to the Age of Sail. The game is expected to hit store shelves in December.
Rebel Raiders on the High Seas. Game Designer: Mark McLaughlin. Graphics: Rodger MacGowan, Mark Simonitch, Charlie Kibler. Published by GMT Games LLC. $69.00
Rebel Raiders on the High Seas tackles a greatly underrepresented subject in wargaming. It is a strategic-level game of the naval portion of the American Civil War, covering everything from the whaling areas of the far north to operations along America’s inland waters in support of land forces. Land combat is abstracted. Cards add historical events and personalities, but this is a card-assisted (not card-driven) game. It can be combined with Iron and Oak (see above) to allow ship-to-ship combat at the tactical level.
War of the Ring, 2nd Edition. Publisher, Ares Games. Designers, Roberto Di Megglio, Marco Maggi, and Francesco Nepitello. Base game $79.95; Lords of Middle Earth expansion $24.95
War of the Ring, 2nd Edition, manages the finesse of staying honest to the source material of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy novels without being slavish to the minutiae, and the Lords of Middle Earth expansion adds to the strategic possibilities.
We received the following media release and wanted to share it with ACG‘s readers. To learn more about Operation Supply Drop and its founder, see this Forbes article by Michael Venables, “Operation Supply Drop: Fighting PTSD and Bolstering Troop Morale, One Video Game Care Package at a Time.”
Operation Supply Drop Raises Nearly $300,000 in Games and Gear for the Troops for Veterans Day with 8-Bit Salute!â¨
With donations still coming in for Operation Supply Drop’s annual fundraising campaign to get video games to the troops for Veterans Day, the 8-Bit Salute, the military gaming charity crushed last year’s paltry $58,000 in games and gear raised by over five times with the grand total of the time of this posting of $282,721. The donations will be sent out as a part of Operation Supply Drop’s end-of-the-yearÂ 8-Bit SaluteÂ fundraising drive to build video game stuffed care packages for soldiersÂ deployed to combat zones and recovering in military hospitals.
“Every year Operation Supply Drop does this, I always tell myself there’s no way we’re going to beat last year’s numbers, and that this exponential increase ever year has to come to an end…” said charity founder Stephen Machuga, “…then the event happens and we’re flooded with donations.”
The major donors for this year’s event include a staggering donation from Popcap Games of over $100,000 of t-shirts and codes for their titles, GameStop donating over $40,000 in Playstation 3 bundles and console titles, Zombie Studios for donating $25,000 of in game currency for their free-to-play smash hit Blacklight: Retribution, Hidden Path Entertainment for donating $20,000 of Steam codes for their title Defense Grid: The Awakening, andÂ Intel donating over $20,000 of their handbuilt form-factor PC “NUC” units…with one major donation still being totaled as we speak!
For more information about how you or your organization can help get video games to the men and women of the Armed Forces, please visit OperationSupplyDrop.org.
About Operation Supply Drop:
Founded in 2010 by Army Airborne Ranger, Captain Stephen “Shanghai Six” Machuga, Operation Supply Drop is a 501(c)(3) public charity designed around sending video game filled care packages to soldiers both deployed to combat zones and recovering in military hospitals. OSD has already raised $450,000 in donations from across the gaming community and has provided support to approximately 1500 soldiers worldwide.
We received the following media release from the US Navy’s information office. Hearing Vernon Downes recount his experiences when his ship was hit by a kamikaze is worth listening to, even though the numerous images in the video from the modern Navy are a bit distracting.
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Â World War II Veteran Vernon Downes is the featured Department of the Navy inspiration for the Veterans Day YouTube clip, âWhat I Learned In The Navyâ.
During this 3 minute clip, the Salisbury, Md resident reflects on the moments his ship was attacked by kamikaze pilots.
John Antal will make a presentation and have a book signing for his new book, 7 Leadership Lessons of the American Revolution, at the Heritage Foundation (214 Massachusetts Ave., NE, Washington DC 20002-4999 ) at Noon on October 23, 2013 in Lehrman Auditorium.
Armchair General received this media release from Pritzker Military Library. We salute them as their 10th anniversary approaches.
Pritzker Military Library Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Ten Years, Ten-Fold Increase in Volumes & Artifacts;
New Prize, New Book, New Oral History Room and Symposium among Plans
CHICAGO, Sept. 18, 2013âOn Oct. 23, the Pritzker Military Library marks the end of its first historic decade as a fixture in Chicago and an international repository for works pertaining to the citizen soldier. In celebration, the Library has a fall schedule packed with festive events, including the announcement of a new prize; the publication of a new book; the dedication of a new Oral History Room; the unveiling of two new commissioned paintings; a military history symposium; and, in culmination, its 10th annual Liberty Gala on Nov. 16.
âThe Libraryâs evolving mission is to be a place where citizens and citizen soldiers alike can come together to learn about what is happening in their military,â said Kenneth Clarke, president and CEO of the Pritzker Military Library. âAs a non-profit, non-government institution, we are uniquely positioned to be a center of activities focused on the military-civilian connection.â
Since its inception in 2003, the Pritzker Military Library has outgrown its original location, and, in 2011, moved to a state-of-the-art facility on Michigan Ave., equipped with a lecture hall, TV studio, and both permanent and rotating exhibits. The Libraryâs collection has expanded from 7,500 to more than 75,000 volumes, artifacts and other items. Its oral history program now features more than 60 recordings of veteransâ experiences from World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars. The popular speaker program at the Library has featured guests including Pulitzer Prize-winner Rick Atkinson, Army Gen.Stanley McChrystal,historian and author SirMaxHastings, and more than 30Medal of Honorrecipients.
âI started this library with a small collection of personal books,â said Library founder J.N. Pritzker, a retired colonel of the Illinois Army National Guard. âIts growth in such a short time speaks to the need for an organization of this kind – a place where scholars, soldiers, and the families of soldiers can make sure that their books, objects, and artifacts are preserved for future generations.â
On Sept. 12, the Pritzker Military Library celebrated the official opening and dedication of its Coleman T. Holt Oral History room, the new home of the âStories of Service Oral History Project.â A centerpiece of the room, which is dedicated to the memory of World War II veteran and civil rights activist Coleman T. Holt, is a new watercolor painting by Illinois Artist Laureate Kay Smith. The painting, Red Tails Escorting the B17s, is based on her research and interviews with Tuskegee Airmen.
On Oct. 23, exactly ten years after first opening its doors, the Library will announce a new prize commemorating the anniversary.Â This prize, to be called the âPritzker Military Library Founderâs Literary Award,â will honor one of the most acclaimed writers of the last century. It will be presented on the evening of Nov. 16, at the Libraryâs Liberty Gala.
Also on Oct. 23, a new oil painting will be officially unveiled by renowned military artist James Dietz. The painting, The 132nd at Guadalcanal, was commissioned to document the role of the Illinois National Guard in the pivotal World War I Battle of Guadalcanal. Prints of this painting, along with Smithâs Red Tails, will be available for purchase at the Library.
On Nov. 15, the Library will host a military history symposium. âON WAR: Exploring 20th Century Conflictsâ will feature six of todayâs most distinguished military and history writers: Tim OâBrien, the recipient of this yearâs Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing; best-selling author Karl Marlantes; Allan Millett, professor of history at the University of New Orleans; and Gerhard Weinberg, Carlo DâEste, and Sir Max Hastings, all past recipients of the Libraryâs literature award.Â These noted historians will engage in discussions about World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
Finally, the Library will publish an anthology of military writing to be released Nov. 23 at the National World War II Museumâs International Conference in New Orleans. ON WAR: The Best Military Histories will feature works by all seven of the Pritzker Military Library Literature Award-Winning Authors.
About the Pritzker Military Library Part military history and information center, part museum, the Library is open to the public with an extensive collection of books, artifacts and rotating exhibits covering many eras and branches of the military. Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the Library is a center where citizens and Citizen Soldiers come together to learn from each other, about military history and the role of the Armed Forces in todayâs society.
One of Canadaâs oldest Regular Force military units, the Royal Canadian Regiment was formed as the Infantry School Corps in 1883 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The unit first saw action during the North-West Rebellion in 1885 and was first deployed outside of Canada during the South African (Boer) War of 1899-1903.
The RCR was sent to France in World War I as part of the 3rd Canadian Division, and fought with distinction at Vimy Ridge in April 1917. The unit was again mobilized as part of the Canadian Active Service Force and later as a component of the 1st Canadian Infantry Division during World War II. The unit took part in the Italian campaign, and then was transferred to the Northwest European front at the end of the war to help liberate the Netherlands. (See You Command, July 2013 ACG on Canadian Army operations in Northwest Europe, 1944-45.)
The regiment received 27 battle honors for its service in World War II.
It was called upon again during the Korean War, where its 2nd Battalion helped stabilize the United Nations forces front line along the 38th parallel dividing North and South Korea. The RCR took part in various peace keeping and garrison duties throughout the Cold War, and has played a role in collation combat operations in Afghanistan since 2006.
The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum is located in London, Ontario and is housed in the west wing of the historic Wolseley Hall, the first building to be built by the Canadian government especially for its new standing army in 1886.
The original architectural drawings for Wolseley Hall actually allocated space for a museum, but the museum has recently completed an expansion and as a result it now includes two floors with galleries that chronicle the regimentâs exploits throughout its history. This expansion was launched as a Capital Campaign in 2007 that looked to raise more than $2.3 million (Cdn). This has allowed for an upgrade on facilities that were in place since 1983.
Today the museum covers the history of the Regimentâs military heritage including the history of the The London and Oxford Fusiliers (The Canadian Fusiliers – City of London Regiment; and The Oxford Rifles â of Woodstock, Ontario).
Armchair General received the following media release from Bluewater Productions Inc., which bills itself as “one of the top independent production studios of comic books, young adult books and graphic novels.”
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Comic book movies topped the box office this summer with films like Man of Steel and Iron Man 3, but the real heroes are being showcased in their own comic book, American Defenders: THE NAVY that is available Wednesday, August 21st.
For over two centuries, the seas and oceans of the world have been a safer place thanks to the United States Navy. American Defenders: The United States Navy traces how this global force for good began, helped America win not only win the Civil War, but World War I and World War II and continues to defend America’s best interests today and beyond.
Written by Don Smith, drawn by David Alabarcez, and cover by Nathan Girten, the special edition comic book is also on the NOOK, Kindle & iTunes. The American Defenders comic book series will also venture into the other branches of the U.S. Military later this fall.
Willie Jimenez, whom is presently serving in the NAVY, colored the book. âAs a proud service member. I feel lucky to be a part of such a great project. Sharing what is on part of the navy’s long and rich history. In a medium that will hopefully reach a new audience. And let them learn what the Navy is about,â said Jimenez.
Bluewater has ventured into military and politics series Political Power. The graphic novel company is releasing Killing Geronimo: The Hunt For Bin Laden through Simon & Schuster earlier this year.Â The 1st edition of the American Defenders, which is still available, showcased the United States Army.
The Political Power series was launched earlier in 2009 as a companion piece to the successful Female Force biography titles. The comic allows Bluewater to delve into the history of certain newsworthy politicians and political movements and understand how a person has achieved the level of office in the government. Previous subjects include Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Colin Powell, Ted Kennedy, Richard Nixon & Hillary Clinton.
Bluewater Comics biography comic book series has been featured on CNN, Politico, Roll Call, The Today Show, Fox News and in People Magazine as well as thousands of other places.
To find the American Defenders: THE NAVY on iTunes please click here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/american-defenders-the-navy/id673129478?mt=11
You can get the print copies at Comic Flea Market by clicking here: http://bit.ly/ZlD5Bs
You can download these titles on Wowio, ComiXology, DriveThru Comics, Google Play, My Digital Comics, Overdrive, Iverse, PanelFly, iTunes, Kindle, Wowio, Nook, Kobo and wherever eBooks are sold.
Writer and graphic artist Wayne Vansant has carved out a distinct niche for himself with his well-researched, concisely written books of military history presented in comic book / graphic novel format. We’ve reviewed two on this website, Gettysburg and Normandy. Some of his early work was with Marvel Comics on the widely acclaimed series The ‘Nam. Vansant served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War.
Recently, Armchair General received word of two sites that give readers a chance to investigate for themselves the first 20 pages of his new series, Katusha, Girl Soldier of the Great Patriotic War. We strongly recommend you check them out.
Philadelphia’s Laurel-Hill Cemetery circa 1848. (Illustration by Aug. KĂślllner)
A large number of well-known military figures are interred at Laurel Hill Cemetery, one of the oldest Victorian Garden cemeteries dating to 1836. There are an especially large number of veterans from the Civil War interred there. This is due to the fact that Laurel Hill at that time was the leading cemetery for the elites of Philadelphia.
Army is represented by forty-two (42) Civil War Era generals including: Maj. Gen. George G. Meade, victorious commander of the Union army at Gettysburg; Charles Ferguson Smith, commander of the Western army before Shiloh; Joshua âPaddyâ Owen of the Philadelphia Brigade; Robert Patterson of the Shenandoah Valley campaign of 1861 and his two general sons, Francis of the New Jersey Brigade and Robert Emmet of the 115th Pa. Regt.; John C. Pemberton, commander of the southern forces at the siege of Vicksburg. Pemberton is one of a number of Confederate veterans buried in Laurel Hill who also had roots in the North.
The Navy boasts of a number of admirals, commodores, and captains, who rest there, including Adm. John Dahlgren, famed for his work with naval ordnance.
Marine Corps veterans include Gen. Jacob Zeilin, 7th commandant of the Marine Corps during the Civil War and its first general, who also helped design the Marine Corps emblem which is proudly displayed on his memorial obelisk.
There are six Medal of Honor recipients who rest here including: Robert Kelly, masterâs mate USN; Frank Furness, Capt. 6th Pa. Cavalry; George Pitman, Sergeant 1st N.Y. Cavalry; John Story, Sergeant, 109th Pa. Volunteers, Pinkerton Vaughn, Sergeant, USMC, Henry Bingham, Brevet Brigadier General, 140th P.V..
George G. Meade’s gravesite at Philadelphiaâs historic Laurel Hill Cemetery.
Other military notables buried here include: Commodore Isaac Hull of the USS Constitution; Col. Ulric Dahlgren, killed in the Dahlgren-Kilpatrick Richmond cavalry raid; Col. Charles Ellet of the Mississippi Ram fleet; Major (USMC) Levi Twiggs, killed in the Mexican War; George Alfred Townsend, known as âGATH,â the most famous war correspondent of the period; and the battlefield nurse Mary Morris Husband.
Also found here are volunteer soldiers, sailors, and marines who struggled in the darkest days of our nationâs history. Some of the Union veterans from the Civil War are interred in the Meade Post #1 G.A.R. burial plot â including Lt. William Tyrrell, a hero of Gettysburg. Most are scattered throughout the cemetery resting in honored glory, some yet to be identified.
The first official Memorial Day Service in Philadelphia was held at Laurel Hill on May 30, 1868. The Services were sponsored by the newly formed organization of Union veterans of the Civil War: the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.). The Meade Post #1, G.A.R. was responsible for the veteransâ graves in Laurel Hill, and for holding its annual Memorial Day or Decoration Day Services every May 30th for many years. They also adopted the tradition of placing flag holder markers on the graves of veterans. Recently, this tradition was revived by the General Meade Society of Philadelphia, the Post #1 Society of the Union League and the Friends of Laurel Hill, and the project was begun to return the traditional grave marker of the Meade Post to every Civil War veteranâs grave. To date hundreds of the reconstructed Meade Post markers have been placed on veteransâ graves and appropriately dedicated at services at Laurel Hill.
Additionally, there are graves of veterans from all American wars and conflicts, from the Revolution up to Vietnam. A veteranâs marker has been specially designed to be placed on these graves too. This project continues unabated. Whenever a veteran is discovered without a grave stone, a marker is ordered, placed and dedicated at the annual Memorial Day services each year.â¨Each year, the Memorial Day Service is conducted on the Sunday before the National observance employing the old G.A.R. ritual with appropriate ceremony. Lately, hundreds have been in attendance to honor veterans.
Laurel Hill have also undertaken an ambitious project to highlight the Civil War notables buried there with a five (5) year exhibition featuring a constant âelite elevenâ high profile individuals and adding another dozen each year who impacted the action during that period. In conjunction with the Exhibition, special tours have been developed to bring the stories of these historical figures alive at their grave sites. This year is the 150th Anniversary of the events of 1863, and the emphasis will be placed on âGettysburgâ and those who served during that campaign.
Please plan on visiting historic Laurel Hill Cemetery the next time you find yourself in Philadelphia!
While Louisville is home to the âLouisville Sluggerâ baseball bat and the Kentucky Derby, the city â which is also known as the either one of the northernmost Southern cities or as one of the southernmost Northern cities in the United States â is also home to the Frazier History Museum.
Formerly the Frazier Historical Arms Museum and located on the cityâs âMuseum Rowâ it is named for founder Owsley Brown Frazier. First open in 2001, this museum is a hidden gem of American military history museums. It is now affiliated with the Smithsonian Affiliations program and is the only branch of the U.K.âs Royal Armouries in North America â and is the only national museum outside Great Britain to house a collection representing the history of British arms and armor.
With 75,000 square feet of exhibition space over three floors is the museum includes a large collection of toy soldiers, the ivory-handled Colt pistols of General George Armstrong Custer and Teddy Rooseveltâs âBig Stickâ hunting rifle.
Owsley Brown Frazier passed away in August 2012 but in the final decade of his life he was able to amass a collection that will truly endure the test of time.
For the first time in its history, the Pritzker Military Library has honored a fiction writer, Tim O’Brien (The Things They Carried, Going After Cacciato), with its award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing. Armchair General received the following media release.
Pritzker Military Library Announces
2013 Literature Award Winner
CHICAGO, June 25, 2013 – On behalf of the Pritzker Military Library, historian and journalist Sir Max Hastings announced Tim OâBrien as the winner of the 2013Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing. Sponsored by the Tawani Foundation, the coveted $100,000 literature award will be presented at the Libraryâs annual gala on November 16, 2013.
Since its inception in 2007, the Libraryâs Literature Award has become one of the most prestigious literary awards of its kind. Past recipients of the award, which includes a medallion, citation, and $100,000 honorarium, are Rick Atkinson, Carlo DâEste, Max Hastings, James McPherson, Allan Millett and Gerhard Weinberg.
âI’m delighted and honored to receive this very special award, which in previous years has gone to such distinguished writers,â said OâBrien.Â âTo find myself in their company is both immensely satisfying and a little daunting.â
The selection of OâBrien, a novelist and short story writer, marks the first time the award has been given to a fiction writer. âTim O’Brien’s fiction about Vietnam, which derives from his own experience as a soldier, is haunting, evocative, and wonderfully inventive,â said Rick Atkinson, recipient of the 2011 literature award. âYet his writing transcends that particular war in that particular era to illuminate our sense of war universally.â
A combat veteran of the Vietnam War, OâBrien is the winner of the National Book Award, the Chicago Tribune Heartland Award, the Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger, the National Magazine Award and the Katherine Anne Porter Award.Â His works include If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship Me Home, The Things They Carried, and Going After Cacciato. His short stories have appeared in The Best American Short Stories of the Century and in publications such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Esquire. His work was recognized by the Society of American Historians, who awarded him the James Fenimore Cooper prize for In the Lake of the Woods, which was also recognized as Time magazineâs Best Book of the Year in 1994.Â He lives in Austin, Texas.
ABOUT THE PRITZKER MILITARY LIBRARY
Part military history and information center, part museum, the Pritzker Military Library is open to the public with an extensive collection of books, artifacts and rotating exhibits covering many eras and branches of the military. Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the Library is a center where citizens and Citizen Soldiers come together to learn from each other, about military history and the role of the Armed Forces in todayâs society through a variety of public events and online and televised programming.
ABOUT TAWANI FOUNDATION
Founded by Colonel (IL) J.N. Pritzker, IL ARNG (Retired), Tawani Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) grant-making organization whose mission is: to enhance the awareness and understanding of the importance of the Citizen Soldier; to preserve unique sites of significance to American and military history; to foster health and wellness projects for improved quality of life; and to honor the service of military personnel, past, present and future, through an awards program that includes the JROTC/ROTC Award for Military Excellence and the Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing.
Armchair General received the following media release from the General George Patton Museum and Center of Leadership, located at Fort Knox, Kentucky. ACG ran an article at the beginning of the museum’s transformation in 2011; click here to read that article, “General George Patton Museum of Leadership.”
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The General George Patton Museum and Center of Leadership is scheduled to reopen June 14 at 10 a.m. The Patton Museum used to be one of the most sought after tourism destinations in the state of Kentucky. However, because the BRAC 2005 decision mandated that the Armor School move to Fort Benning, most of the artifacts – including a large collection of armored vehicles – were moved to Fort Benning as well. Thankfully, the collection of Patton’s personal artifacts stayed behind.
Over the past three years the museum has undergone an extensive $5 million dollar renovation and now tells the story of Army Leadership – both bad and good – from 1775 to the present. The museum now features state-of-the-art exhibits that utilize augmented reality and web-based devices to completely immerse visitors in history. I’m told there is only one other museum in the world that’s using augmented reality like the Patton Museum and even then, it’s not used as extensively as it is here.
As it is the mission of all Army museums to train Soldiers, the Patton Museum’s primary mission is to train ROTC cadets – the future leaders of the Army – about leadership throughout the Army’s history, and it will do so in way it’s never been presented before.
For a few years, a fellow named Dana Lombardy worked with the Armchair General / Weider History team as a freelance consultant. These days, he’s a partner in 1A Games, the new publisher for Tide of Iron expansions. That isn’t surprising, since he designed such classics as Streets of Stalingrad. But we learned he’s also started a book publishing company, Lombardy Studios. Its first effort, Grant Rising combines original maps with text to cover Grant’s army career in a way no other book ever hasâheck, it even has maps of Grant’s movements in the Mexican War. It’s presently on Kickstarter and is a third of a way to its goal.
Normally, we don’t cover Kickstarter campaignsâfrankly,Â if we did we wouldn’t have time to cover anything elseâbut we were impressed enough with our old friend’s project that we asked for a few excerpts to share with our readers. Check them out below, and if you are interested in learning more, head on over to Grant Rising on Kickstarter.
Three channels and there’s still nothing worth watching!Despite the phenomenal increase in channels since this photo was taken in 1958, military history enthusiasts can get frustrated trying to find programs that interest them in TV’s heap of frozen truckers, duck-call inventors and Sasquatch specials. Long-time Armchair General contributor Jim H. Moreno is here with some suggestions. National Archives photo.
Trying to find quality military history TV shows and movies on basic cable may now be as difficult as being given a bayonet and told to destroy a Tiger tank. Not even the *cough* History Channel can be counted on to live up to its name, as it seemingly abandoned authentic history for “reality” TV shows long ago. There is absolutely, positively, and irrevocably no way Iâll submit myself to such grotesque drivel.
So, I turned to the beloved Internet to seek out what military history viewing pleasures could be found. Specifically, I logged in to my Hulu account and dug through the vast variety of TV shows and movies hosted there, and to my surprise, found the military history genre well-represented.
In case youâre new to the 21st century, Hulu (http://www.hulu.com/) âis a website and over-the-top (OTT) subscription service offering ad-supported on-demand streaming video of TV shows, movies, webisodes and other new media, trailers, clips, and behind-the-scenes footage from NBC, Fox, ABC, TBS, and many other networks and studios.â (Wikipedia) In short, itâs one of many websites that are steadfastly ending the cable & TV era that many of us grew up with, an era that many in the younger generations already consider history.
Below is a list of ten military history TV shows and movies that I found to be of most interest to me, all of them ones that I have not had the pleasure to see. They are not ranked in any order, nor am I giving them any sort of review; the descriptive text is taken directly from Hulu’s own listings. I am simply sharing a small sampling of the military historyâthemed fare that is currently available on Hulu, for those of you who may not be aware, and for those who may be interested.
The shows on this list are freely available on the general Hulu.com site, and do not require the $8 a month Hulu Plus subscription to view. However, some of the shows do have an expiration date, and no guarantees can be made that even the ones without expiration dates will be online indefinitely.
So, pour yourself a glass of your favorite Scotch, settle back in your favorite chair, and help keep online military history alive with what Hulu has to offer.
The fiercest battles of WWII come to life as never seen before in this stunning collection of one of the most powerful epics of history. ACTUAL FOOTAGE from all sides of the war in COLOR. This documentary series takes you behind enemy lines and to the front lines of the tumultuous campaigns of the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Pacific theaters where the soldiers, sailors and airmen fought in the most defining time in the history of the modern world.
Action, Adventure, Drama Russian, subtitled 8 episodes, complete No Expiration Date
In this award-winning action series a Soviet aircraft crashes on Nazi-occupied territory. The pilot and his beloved radio operator miraculously survive, along with the flight navigator. It is now up to each of them to put their military training into action to escape the enemy forces. In the fight to get back to their own troops, they uncover an act of sabotage by a commanding officer and are branded as traitors.
Action Adventure, Drama Korean, subtitled 20 episodes, complete Expires 12/30/2030
This drama commemorates the soldiers who gave their lives in the Korean War, fought between North and South Korea between 1950 and 1953, and is designed to remind people that the heavy cost of human lives far outweigh any national glory. Lee Hyun Joong (Choi Soo Jong) is a South Korean squad commander and war veteran who is dedicated to protecting the lives of the soldiers serving under him, despite his jaded outlook. His chance meeting with Lee Soo Kyung (Lee Tae Ran) on the battlefield stirs memories of the past, but she is now a lieutenant of the North Korean army.
France, 1942, during the occupation. Philippe Gerbier, a civil engineer, is one of the French Resistance’s chiefs. Given away by a traitor, he is interned in a camp. He manages to escape, and joins his network at Marseilles, where he makes the traitor be executed… This non-spectacular movie (do not expect any Rambo or Robin Hood) shows us rigorously and austerely the everyday of the French Resistants : their solitude, their fears, their relationships, the arrests, the forwarding of orders and their carrying out… Both writer Joseph Kessel and co-writer and director Jean-Pierre Melville belonged to this “Army in the Shadows”.
Documentary Length: 1 hour 15 minutes No Expiration Date
Documentary made by the U.S. Army Signal Corps that contained footage from American and British governmental agencies, American newsreels, captured enemy film and newsreels, the Canadian National Film Board and more.
Almost 75 years later, World War II is still one of the most talked about wars today. Considered the deadliest international conflict in human history with an estimated 70 million fatalities, this global, widespread war has been remembered throughout history for the many significant events that occurred; including the Holocaust, D-Day, Pearl Harbor, Battle of the Bulge, and United Statesâ atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. With advances in technology and mobilization, this universal war forever changed how we view the world as Nazi rule almost succeeded in complete domination.
Each year, many museums across America offer free admission to members of the Armed Services and up to five family members. Armchair General received the following information from Blue Star Families about this year’s program.
Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America. The program runs from Memorial Day, May 27, 2013 through Labor Day, September 2, 2013.
The free admission program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card, or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card, which includes active duty U.S. militaryâArmy, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard and Reserve, as well as members of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corpsâand up to five family members. Please see the chart of the acceptable IDs (PDF). Some special or limited-time museum exhibits may not be included in this free admission program. For questions on particular exhibits or museums, please contact the museum directly. To find out which museums are participating, visit www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums. The site includes a list of participating museums and a map to help with visit planning.
Armchair General is the INTERACTIVE history magazine where YOU COMMAND and decide the course of action!
Armchair General (ACG) and ACG online feature a unique, interactive editorial approach that invites the reader to decide the course of action in challenging historical scenarios, to step into the shoes of a battlefield commander. Leading historians and contributors lend integrity and credibility to this fresh presentation of historical and contemporary events.