Blue Heron

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So far Blue Heron has created 148 blog entries.

Modern Map of the Southern Hürtgen Forest

Modern Map of the Southern Hürtgen Forest

The U. S. Ninth Infantry Division had bloody fights at Germeter and Vossenack in October 1944.  South of Germeter off Highway 399 is the German Military Cemetery (Ehr. Fdhf.), where Field Marshall Walter Model is buried.  Elements of the U. S. Twenty-Eighth Infantry Division attacked from the south side of Vossenack to the Mestrenger Mühle and up the other side to Kommerscheidt in November 1944.  Here they ran into the German 116th Panzer Division.

Modern Map of the Southern Hürtgen Forest2012-10-15T20:37:01-06:00

The Hürtegen Forest, 1944 – Getting Interesting Details

The Hürtegen Forest, 1944 – Getting Interesting Details

Years of research dug up this document awarding an Iron Cross 1st Class to a panzer commander, who was killed in the Hürtgen at Kommerscheidt.  Detailed research showed exactly where this fighting happened, including the individual American tank that destroyed the German vehicle.  French has maintained contact with many prominent military antique dealers in Germany, some for over 30 years.

The Hürtegen Forest, 1944 – Getting Interesting Details2012-10-15T20:38:02-06:00

Auschwitz Barbed Wire

Auschwitz Barbed Wire

This is actually the Birkenau Camp, also known as Auschwitz II.  A visit to this location gives the visitor a very strong feeling of going back in time.  The setting is so stark that even an amateur photographer can take stunning photographs.

Auschwitz Barbed Wire2012-10-15T20:39:57-06:00

Auschwitz Front Gate

Auschwitz Front Gate

This is the infamous “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work Brings Freedom) entrance to the original Auschwitz camp.

Auschwitz Front Gate2012-10-15T20:41:10-06:00

Montana Paradise

Montana Paradise

This photo was shot in mid-May, less than 30 miles from the Little Bighorn Battlefield.  A trip to Montana and Wyoming is something you want to ensure is on your “bucket list.”

Montana Paradise2012-10-15T20:42:07-06:00

Southern Stalingrad Map

Southern Stalingrad Map

Sometimes the book uses maps that were generated from bits and pieces of information and put in a simpler format.  Southern Stalingrad is one of them.  Major locations are in red.  Distances between various locations are described in the accompanying text so the reader can get a good feel for the magnitude of the city.

Southern Stalingrad Map2015-09-08T15:34:23-06:00

Stalingrad Situation Map for August 16, 1942

Situation Map for August 16, 1942

The book uses many daily situation maps to show where the German divisions and corps were located.  This is one of the Lage Ost maps from the National Archives, where they are in photo format – the originals having been returned to Germany.  The maps were initially prepared by the German Army High Command (Oberkommando des Heeres [OKH]).  They were first printed by the Mapping and Survey Branch; the OKH Operations Branch then annotated then to indicate specific headquarters and unit locations.  New maps were prepared daily.

The good news is that for many of these maps, you do not have to go to Washington DC and the Archives.  Researcher John Calvin (WWII Aerial Photos and Maps) has put many on his own web site, as well as thousands of photos and other maps.

Stalingrad Situation Map for August 16, 19422015-09-08T15:36:35-06:00

Captured German Generals at Stalingrad

Captured German Generals

This and another similar photo came from Russia.  It is probably from very early in February 1943, as many men appear to be in shock at what is happening.  (Left, with peaked cap and monocle, facing right) is Generalleutnant Carl Rodenburg of the 76th Infantry Division; he was released from captivity on January 10, 1955.  (Center left, with “crusher” hat, facing left) is Generalmajor Martin Lattmann of the 14th Panzer Division; he was released from captivity in 1948.  (Center, in mountain cap) is Generalleutnant Werner Sanne of the 100th Jäger Division.  (Right, with crusher hat, facing left) is Generaloberst Karl Strecker of the XI Corps.  Many German generals, captured at Stalingrad, later agreed to assist the Soviets by renouncing the National Socialist régime in Germany.

Captured German Generals at Stalingrad2015-09-08T15:39:20-06:00
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