The U-28 departed Wilhelmshaven on May 20, 1940, but engine problems forced her to pull into Trondheim for emergency repairs. Günter Kuhnke went almost a month before sighting the Finnish freighter Sarmatia, sailing in ballast from Liverpool to Nova Scotia. The freighter’s crew abandoned ship; the U-28 fired two torpedoes and the Sarmatia quickly sank by the stern southwest of Ireland. The next day at 7:29 p.m. the U-28 torpedoed the Greek 3,443-ton Adamandios Georgandis attempting to reach Cork, Ireland. At 8:00 p.m. Kuhnke fired a coup de grâce that sank the ship. On June 21, 1940 Kuhnke spotted the British 4,443-ton HMS Prunella, a special service vessel, and fired a torpedo at noon that struck the target near the bridge. The ship sank several hours later. The U-28 returned to Wilhelmshaven on July 6, 1940. (Dönitz’s Crews: Germany’s U-Boat Sailors in World War II)
Welcome to an Adventure !
Do you enjoy solving mysteries ?
Do you like to travel in time when you read ?
Are you looking to discover history books that tell what really happened ?
Have you ever wanted to visit a Battlefield with someone who has written and taught about that battle ?
I had a great life spending over thirty years in the Army; I was able to help defend the country in two wars with a bunch of tremendous soldiers and any success I may have had was due to each and every one of them. I was able to see the world, help develop complex technology and understand that I lived in a pretty special country. The only downside was that after I retired, doing regular day-to-day living was pretty boring.
So I started to write. It didn’t and doesn’t bring you much money, but it sure has been interesting traveling around the country and the world to chase after historical mysteries. I came across a page or two in some World War II history books, for example, on some special Waffen-SS unit in World War II that was composed of criminals let out of jail — but there were not that many details about it — and by luck I ran into detailed records of the unit buried in our National Archives. That led to The Cruel Hunters.
On a trip out to the Little Bighorn, I began to wonder what life was like for the basic enlisted cavalryman. All the existing books talked about officers — George Custer, Marcus Reno and Frederick Benteen — but what about the hundreds of privates and sergeants? That search led to Custer’s Best: The Story of Company M, 7th Cavalry at the Little Bighorn, which was able to win the John M. Carroll Award.
Then, in 2001, I discovered U.S. Army records that were languishing outside Washington, D.C. that contained the story of 96 American soldiers who were court-martialed in Europe and North Africa in World War II and subsequently executed by the Army — not the German Army, but our own Army. And they were buried in a secret cemetery northwest of Paris that is not shown on any map! It took me a decade to run down all the loose ends, but we finally got the story, The Fifth Field, which subsequently received the Lieutenant General Richard G. Trefry Award. In fact, if you only read one of the books, read this one!
More recently, I stumbled across a little known battlefield in southeast Montana on a bed & breakfast ranch, and just turned in the draft to a publisher on the saga of a Montana wagon train in Montana in 1874 that was searching for gold. The 150 gold miners, buffalo hunters and Civil War veterans did not find any gold, but they did run into Sitting Bull and 1,400 of his closest friends.
Now, I am helping a great friend finish his own mystery on the murder of Tsar Nicholas II (it didn’t happen the way the Bolsheviks claimed it did,) as well as analyzing the Little Bighorn Cook-Benteen Note (it might have been “doctored” after the battle.)
Another observation I made while in the Army was that the world is a dangerous place and unfortunately a lot of that danger is coming to our own country. September 11, 2001 should have been a wake-up call, but too many lessons have already been forgotten and acts of terror now occur in large cities and small towns across the country. So I have also started several projects to help people organize their thoughts on personal protection (such as the new Walther PPQ M2 .45 ACP pistol,) and how we might want to analyze some of these enemies to our nation (click on S,W&T, which stands for Strategy, Weapons and Tactics).
Here are some recent posts:
Review of Walther PPQ M2 .45 ACP Pistol (go to S, W & T)
Review of book The Third Bullet by Stephen Hunter (go to Author)
Chełmno/Kulmhof extermination center in Poland (go to The Camp Men)
Defeating the Terrorists (go to S, W & T)
Heinrich Müller (go to German Biographies)
New novel Denial on Amazon Kindle (go to E-Books)
New hardcover book Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Gold & Guns (scroll down to bottom of this page)
So come on inside and go on Your Own Adventure!
(October 2, 2017) For my money, the best historical hotel in the United States is the Occidental Hotel in Buffalo, Wyoming, so it was quite pleasing to see that Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Gold and Guns is now being sold in the hotel bookstore. That may be, in part, because the book discusses the Legend of the Lost Cabin Gold Mine and part of that legend occurred along Main Street in Buffalo just yards away from where the hotel stands today.
Everywhere you walk in this famous hotel, you will be walking where many famous people of the Old West walked – the young Teddy Roosevelt, Butch Cassidy and the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang, Calamity Jane, Buffalo Bill Cody, Tom Horn, General “Little Phil” Sheridan, sheriffs Frank Canton and “Red” Angus, numerous figures from the Johnson County War, as well as more modern figures such as Ernest Hemingway and Owen Wister.
In the rip-roaring days of early Wyoming, the Occidental Hotel saloon was famous far and wide as the lawful and lawless played faro and poker, talked up local ladies, consumed way too much hard liquor and beer and occasionally shot up the place, just like many of the gold-hunters on that 1874 Yellowstone Wagon Road and Prospecting Expedition in the book. One visitor in the early days, the establishment opened in 1880, called the Occidental Saloon “a regular gambling hell,” where high-stakes poker games could last for days, before being ended by a gunshot. In 1908, the original rough barroom was replaced with one of the most elegant saloons in Wyoming, which is what you see today; but the raw underbelly is still present as are 23 bullet holes in the tin ceiling.
There is a trout stream right next to the hotel. In fact, if you stay in the Ernest Hemingway Suite, you can walk out the back door to a small porch, and if you are a good fly-rod caster you can fish right from the porch. There is a hotel museum, but really the entire hotel is a museum.
We stay there twice a year; you can get excellent food in the saloon or try and really gourmet meal at the hotel restaurant, known as The Virginian. Elk filet, buffalo steaks and other fabulous entrees are served in a unique atmosphere.
It is certainly not an overstatement to say that the Hotel Occidental (and all its features) simply has to be on your personal bucket list. Maybe you can even pick up the trail and find your own Lost Cabin Gold Mine.
For more information, go to: http://www.occidentalwyoming.com
1874 Yellowstone Wagon Road and Prospecting Expedition, Bucket List, Buffalo Bill Cody, Butch Cassidy, Calamity Jane, Ernest Hemingway, General "Little Phil" Sheridan, Hotel Occidental, Johnson County War, Lost Cabin Gold Mine, Occidental Hotel, Sitting Bull Crazy Horse Gold and Guns, Teddy Roosevelt, The Virginian, Tom Horn