We're not lost, Sergeant, We're in … France


Another perspective on Herbert Sobel
11 September 2014, 19:40
Filed under: Band of Brothers, Officers | Tags: , ,

Marcus Brotherton wrote a nice blog post that reveals more of the truth about Herbert Sobel, the man, to add to the image many people have of him from the HBO series. I tend to agree with Marcus and many of the veterans that Captain Sobel truly shaped Easy Company in a positive way, but, based on what else I’ve read, it was better that he didn’t lead the company in combat. His methods may not have been the right ones, but they ended up producing a highly effective unit.

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New photo of Bizory damage
2 April 2011, 09:35
Filed under: Band of Brothers, Bizory monument | Tags: , ,

Well, I was able to get my good friend Brian to drive over from Luxembourg to Bizory this week and take new photos. The bad news is that the damage is still there and no likely to go away on its own.

I’d seen the photo that showed the monument in July of last year (the damage had been done in May) and been told that it worn away by September. Sadly, nearly a year after the monument was damaged, the vandalism is still apparent.

Here it is from July of 2010:

Image of Vandalism (unit numbers scratched in using a stone)

And now, the current photo:

Stone-scratched unit numbers as damage to Bizory monument

The lighting is a little different, so that may have something to do with the visibility of the markings, but they are still evident. One person told me that, if you know where to look you can find them, but if not, you wouldn’t notice. When Brian first got to the monument, he couldn’t figure out where the damage was, but when he re-read my email and went back, was able to find it and provide the photo.



Goodbye, Major

As this posts, the memorial service for Major Winters is starting in Hershey, Pennsylvania. While the accolades that have been bestowed upon him reflect things we should have noticed in many more officers during World War II and many conflicts since, I think it fitting and proper that we commemorate the service and the example of Dick Winters. He was a skilled and caring leader of men. There were others like him, but he’s the one we know the best.

There is a good slideshow of photos in tribute to the Major. You can also check a report on the ceremony held in late January for Major Winters in Carentan.

There is movement to erect a monument in Normandy, using his likeness and

identified as 1st Lt. Richard Winters, E-Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne, but will also be representative of ALL U.S. Army junior officers of all the divisions who were responsible for leading soldiers into combat in Normandy on June 6, 1944 and will showcase all the division names and corps of those who fought in Normandy in the very early stages of D-Day. The monument will prominently feature the words Leadership 6-6-1944 and a quote from Major Winters below his likeness which will read: “Wars do not make men great, but they do bring out the greatness in good men.” The monument will also have the words inscribed: Dedicated to all U.S. Army junior officers who led the way on June 6, 1944.

I do support this, because it is dedicated to all those junior officers, without whom failure of the whole enterprise would have been certain.



Information gathering in progress
7 March 2011, 09:14
Filed under: Bizory monument | Tags: , , ,

I’ve had a small breakthrough in my quest to learn more of what happened at Bizory and what the status is, but it has mostly prompted more questions for me and created a list of people I need to reach out for more information. I’m also going to be tasking a friend who lives in Luxembourg but isn’t involved in historical research or tours to visit the monument to get a photo, as there is no clarity yet on whether the damage persists or not.



Weekend Wanderings Divisional Weekend
16 January 2011, 11:30
Filed under: Films, Weekend Wanderings, WWII | Tags: ,

This weekend is the weekend for NFL division winners to play. For those who enjoy American football, last weekend featured some really good games, so we have a right to expect more good ones this weekend, right? Well, this week, surfing the internet did provide a few interesting things that were WWII-related.

There is a reason that Gen. Mattis and ADM Stavridis are such supporters of the study of history – as all professionals are – it is because it gives you a window into the future and provides a foundation to making decisions today.

  • If you have been thinking about an e-reader, Eric Wittenburg compares Nook and Kindle in layman’s terms, thanks to some notes from Dave Powell. I have Kindle on my android phone and may get one eventually. We bought my mother a Nook because her local library does e-lending in Nook format, but not in Kindle.


Bizory update
11 January 2011, 18:06
Filed under: Bizory monument | Tags: , ,

Having noticed that the most consistent search terms that land people at my blog contain “Bizory monument” or “Mark Patterson”, I’ve been hunting for more information on the current status of the damage and potential for repairs. When I’ve got to various Airborne forums to search the old threads on it, they are sometimes already deleted (in forums that don’t seem to delete any threads) and without any updates, so I’ve started pinging all of my friends in Normandy and, now, hitting their friends in Belgium (I have them on Facebook, after all) to see if any current photos can be found. Marcus Brotherton offered to pass along my contact info to some folks as well, so I expect to be able to post a photo and provide an update within a week or so.

The initial word that I’m getting is that the vandalism is still visible, though in a photo from September it was apparently not as prominent as when initially damaged.



Dick Winters passes
9 January 2011, 17:25
Filed under: 101st, Officers, Veterans | Tags: , ,

Sad news today. Of course, if you follow the obituaries, there seems to be sad news every day, as World War II veterans pass in the hundreds every day. Dick Winters was the most well-known living company commander from World War II and it is indeed sad that he is no longer with us. The men of Easy Company were lucky to have him and the rest of us were lucky to have his example to study and to follow. May he rest in peace.

Pennlive.com has a wonderful article about Winter’s passing and the most poignant part is about 11-year-old Jordan Brown, who’d been working to gather money for Tim Gray Media’s efforts to build a memorial to Major Winters:

“There’s no good way to tell your kid his hero has died,” Brown said. “But I told him he should take comfort in knowing Maj. Winters was happy with his efforts. In a way, [with his efforts] he’d joined the ‘Band of Brothers,’ too.”

Donald van den Bogert of the Para Research Team has put together a beautiful collection of photos and stories about Major Winters that I highly recommend.




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