Mark’s guest is Robert J. Laplander who wrote the book, Finding the Lost Battalion: Beyond the Rumors, Myths and Legends of America’s Famous WWI Epic. They discuss the deep research Laplander did in order to tell the story of the soldiers and their commander, Charles Whittlesey and their grueling ordeal by fire in the Argonne Forest. This definitive work follows these men of the 77th Division and chronicles their lives and sacrifices in battle during September and October 1918.
We review some significant November events in history from WWI to the American Revolution as well as the American Civil War and WWII. We include the First Battle of Ypres in 1914 and the 1918 Armistice that ended the bloodshed of WWI as well as the last action of the Civil War with the surrender of the CSS Shenandoah and a brief glimpse at one of the Confederate government’s most interesting characters. For WWII we have the scuttling of the French fleet in 1942 while the Germans watched their potential prize of warships sink to the bottom of the sea.
Photo: Marshall Ferdinand Foch, Supreme Allied Commander during World War One.
On this week’s podcast, I take a look at some events that happened in autumn during WWII and the Civil War, as well as WWI and the American Revolution. I discuss the 1918 Meuse-Argonne offensive by the America Expeditionary Forces and the French army. Launched against the Germans on the Western Front, this final campaign led to the Armistice. I also look at the momentous events that took place at Yorktown, Virginia in 1781. Again, with the aid of the French, this battle proved to be the final military blow for the British in the American war for independence.
Photo: By John Singleton Copley – First Foot Guards, Public Domain
This week Mark takes a look at some events that happening during the month of August in WWII and the Civil War, including the Siege of Leningrad, the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, the infamous Quantrill’s Raiders and Nathan Bedford Forrest’s raid on Memphis. He also previews upcoming fall episodes that cover Antietam, the Allied Bombing of France in 1944, and a new WWI book by one of Britain’s foremost WWI experts.
History with Mark Bielski Tentative Fall Schedule
This fall, Mark will be interviewing some fascinating guests for his History with Mark Bielski Podcast. From legendary football coach Vince Dooley to an onsite visit with the curator of the Dr. Samuel Mudd House and Museum, you won’t want to miss these episodes.
Sept. 6 – General Jack Mountcastle – Touring Civil War Battlefields in the East
General Jack Mountcastle joins Mark to discuss the Battle of Second Manassas, a major Confederate victory in 1862 that gave General Lee the momentum to invade Maryland in September. They will also talk about the Civil War: Hallowed Ground Tour that Jack leads for Stephen Ambrose Historical Tours. The tour covers Manassas as well as the other key events in the Eastern theatre. They will explore the strategies, leaders on both sides of the war, and specific actions taken during the battle and leading up to the fight. It’s the closest thing to going to the battlefield itself.
Sept. 13 – Professor Steve Bourque – Beyond the Beach: The Allied War Against France
Mark and Professor Steve Bourque will discuss his new book, Beyond the Beach: The Allied War Against France, a subject rarely studied. The book is a survey of events, destruction and civilian casualties caused by Allied bombing.
Sept. 20 – General Jack Mountcastle – 150th Anniversary of Antietam
In September, the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, Mark and General Jack Mountcastle will cover the battle, the bloodiest day of combat on U.S. soil. More than 23,000 Union and Confederate soldiers were reported killed, wounded or missing during 12 hours of fighting with no clear winner.
Sept. 27 – History Happenings for September
Mark will talk about some of the interesting historical events that occurred during WWII and the Civil War in the month of September.
Oct. 4 – Dorothea Barstow – Curator of the Dr. Samuel Mudd House and Museum
Mark visits the Dr. Samuel Mudd House and Museum, where he interviews the curator, Dorothea Barstow, at the Mudd home where the Doctor who set John Wilkes Booth’s leg lived. They discuss the doctor’s life, career, trial and possibly unfair imprisonment and release.
Oct. TBD – Vince Dooley – The Legion’s Fighting Bulldogs
Mark is excited to chat with legendary football coach Vince Dooley. They will be discussing Dooley’s book, The Legion’s Fighting Bulldogs and football history. During the 25 years he was the University of Georgia football coach, his teams won six SEC titles and the 1980 national championship. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the American Battlefield Trust/Civil War Trust.
Oct. TBD – Gary Sheffield – World War I
Mark and Professor Gary Sheffield, a noted British military historian, discuss Sheffield’s comprehensive new book, Forgotten Victory: The First World War: Myths and Realities. Prof. Sheffield is a frequent contributor to the BBC.
Oct. TBD – History Happenings for October
Mark will talk about some of the interesting historical events that occurred during WWII and the Civil War in the month of October.
An interview with Ian Densford, artist, and animator, who has just published his graphic novel, Trench Dogs. A book that draws its inspiration from a collection of first-hand accounts from WW1.
More information about Trench Dogs
Inspired from assorted first-hand accounts, this fictional story of World War I is an anthropomorphic retelling of that global conflict and the soldiers who experienced the horrors of the front lines and high seas. While horse drawn carts and trains were ordinary sights, automobiles, tanks, submarines, and airplanes made their wartime debuts alongside machine guns, poison gas, and flame throwers. While the nightmares of World War I and the aftermath are sometimes forgotten, this book asks the reader to look again and remember the dead, and to weigh their number against those who would choose war. Conceived as a long, continuous camera pan through the trenches and beyond, the reader is soon buried in mud, corpses, and ruin, emerging on the other side with blurred recollections of lost comrades and a nagging sense of pointless destruction. Ian Densford’s graphic watercolors paired with a spattering of onomatopoeic utterings create an unforgiving tale of the “war to end all wars.”