WWII

Normandy and Brittany 1944: WWII Vet Mort Sheffloe

Continuing our series on D-Day and Operation Overlord in June 1944, Mark relives his visit to Normandy with WWII Veteran, Mort Sheffloe. They discuss Mort’s experiences in Normandy and Brittany in 1944 while walking on Omaha and Utah Beaches and visiting various cafés. Mort describes the actions as well as his near fatal wounding by a German sniper’s bullet.

Airborne: The D-Day Invasion

In continuing our study of D-Day for this 75th Anniversary Year, Mark talks about the invasion airborne operations. He and guest historian, Marty Morgan, discuss some of the actions and details of the paratroopers, including “the greatest feat of flying in the Second World War.”

Photo: General Dwight D. Eisenhower speaking with First lieutenant Wallace C. Strobel and men of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment on June 5, 1944. The placard around Strobel’s neck indicates he is the jumpmaster for chalk 23 of the 438th TCG. Strobel’s battalion was the first to drop into Normandy.

Admiral Gorshkov

Mark returns to the Cold War in this interview with Admiral Thomas Brooks about his co-written book, Admiral Gorshkov: The Man Who Challenged the U.S. NavyThey discuss the man who led the Soviet Union Navy for 30 years. He survived Stalin’s purges, fought the Nazis in WWII and engaged the American Navy in a tactical chess match until his retirement in 1985.

NOTE: In our discussion, Admiral Brooks makes reference to the naval officer, strategist and teacher, “Mahan.” Alfred Thayer Mahan (right) was perhaps the most influential Naval theorist of the 19th and early 20th centuries. In his published lectures, The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660–1783, he argued for the paramount importance of sea power in national historical supremacy.

Alfred Thayer Mahan

Alfred Thayer Mahan, 1840-1914

November Events in History

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.

CSS Shenandoah

CSS Shenandoah destroying Union whaling vessels in the Pacific.

Autumn Events in History

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

General George S. Patton Part II: Post WWII

Mark revisits his episode from last October with historian Kevin Hymel, who returns for the second of a two-part discussion of General George S. Patton. They cover his post-war governance in Germany and the actual story of his fatal accident and death. This is Part II of a two-part episode.

Listen to General Georges S. Patton Part I: Early Years and WWII>>

Beyond the Beach: The Allied War Against France

Mark’s guest is Steve Bourque, whose new book: Beyond the Beach: The Allied War Against France takes on a subject often ignored in historical accounts.

Allied War Against France

Cover: Beyond the Beach: The Allied War Against France, Naval Institute Press (click image to buy this book).

Bourque explores the effects of Allied air attacks on French towns and infrastructure in 1944 as part of the D-Day Invasion and war with Nazi Germany. In discussing the book, they examine the different operations, the destruction of military and civilian targets and casualties as well as the results and aftermath of the bombings.

About Steve Bourque

Stephen A. Bourque is Professor Emeritus of military history at the School of Advanced Military Studies, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He left the US Army in 1992 after twenty years enlisted and commissioned service, with duty stations in the U.S., Germany, and the Middle East. Dr. Bourque has taught at several colleges and universities including Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University, California State University-Northridge, the University of Kansas, and the Command and General Staff College.

Steve Bourque

Steve Bourque

His publications including Jayhawk! The VII Corps in the 1991 Persian Gulf War (2002), The Road to Safwan (2007), and Soldiers’ Lives: The Post-Cold War Era (2008) and, most recently book Beyond the Beach, the Allied War Against France (2018). Currently, he is writing a history of the Northwest Europe Campaign as experienced by a senior officer who began the war as a corps chief of staff and ended it as an infantry regimental commander.

August History Happenings and Fall Preview

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.

 

 

General George S. Patton: Early Years and WWII

This week on History with Mark Bielski, historian Kevin Hymel, the author of Patton’s Photographs: War As He Saw It, joins me to discuss one of America’s greatest generals. We delve into George S. Patton’s early years as well as his leadership during WWII.  This is podcast is a repeat of an episode from October 11, 2017.

General Patton in Brolo, Italy

Mort Sheffloe Redux Part 2

In this redux of a prior episode, combat veteran Mort Sheffloe continues discussing his WWII experiences in Normandy and Brittany in 1944. Mort talks about Operation Cobra and being shot by a German sniper near Brest.