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What's New

Author Updates and Archive Additions

December 25, 2016
Fellow author and historian Aaron Elson wrote The Armored Fist, a history of the 712th Tank Battalion. It’s currently available on Amazon. He also has two websites where, among other things, he sells oral histories, interviews he’s conducted with veterans over twenty-plus years. He has over 600 hours of audio recordings available. His CD “For You the War is Over” includes an interview with James P. Koerner (55th Armd Eng Bn) who was a prisoner of war with Father Sampson. Jim recounts the Padre’s Christmas service in 1944 while in Prüm, Germany, under USAAF bombs. 


Aaron's website

Aaron’s blog

December 17, 2016
Today marks the seventy-second anniversary of the epic Lausdell battle recounted in my 2007 article for WWII History magazine. I’ve posted six new documents in the archive, all related to the 2nd Infantry Division’s stand against the 12th SS-Panzer-Division during the Battle of the Bulge.

2nd Inf Div, position overlay (map), 17 Dec 44
2nd Inf Div, position overlay (map), 18 Dec 44
9th Inf Rgt, situation overlay, 18 Dec 44
15th FA Bn, S-3 report, Maj. Maples, 18 Dec 44
“Enemy Tanks Destroyed,” Maj. Utley, S-3, 38th Inf *
“The Ninth Infantry Regiment As I Knew It” by William F. Hancock

* Robert Utley created a map encompassing Lausdell and Krinkelt-Rocherath on which he located enemy tanks destroyed, December 17-19, 1944. His total was 78 tanks knocked out, a questionable number insofar as it exceeds the armored strength of the German units engaged in the area. Only a small percentage have been confirmed through photographic evidence. Utley’s map is nonetheless a valuable document, and available nowhere else on the Internet but here.

November 11, 2016 — Website launched
John Parks documents added to Archive:

4th Armd Div G-2 periodic rpt 118, 24-25 Dec 44

4th Armd Div, CCR after-action rpt, 15-31 Dec 44
4th Armd Div, CCR, G-3 journal, 23 Dec 44
37th Tank Bn Honor Roll
37th Tank Bn diary, Dec 44
37th Tank Bn crew roster, Jul 44
37th Tank Bn crew roster, 6 Dec 44
37th Tank Bn combat interview, Dec 44
53rd Armd Inf Bn after-action report, Dec 44
53rd Armd Inf Bn unit journal, 22-24 Dec 44
94th Armd FA Bn after-action rpt, Dec 44
Morning reports, John Parks, 1942-45
Draft registration card, John Parks
Individual deceased personnel file, John Parks


712th Tank Battalion book cover by Aaron Elson.
Mimeograph Machine, VII Corps Headquarters, Germany.

January 3, 1945: T/Sgt. Loy H. Frank operates a mimeograph machine at VII Corps Headquarters. Such machines created many of the primary-source documents that survive today. The A.B. Dick Company in Chicago built the device pictured. Photo by T/5 Leander P. Zwick (165th SPC)

Lt. Col. Creighton W. Abrams, commanding officer, 37th Tank Battalion, 4th Armored Division.

December 5, 1949: Lt. Col. Creighton W. Abrams, former commander of the 37th Tank Battalion, now commander of the 63rd Heavy Tank Battalion, in his office at Heidelberg, Germany. He twice received the Distinguished Service Cross, the first time for his actions on September 20, 1944, and the second time for his actions on December 26, 1944.

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