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The Fourth of July, 1944

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Release Date: 07/04/2019

Omaha Beach Armageddon show art Omaha Beach Armageddon

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Combat engineer Chuck Hurlbut landed on Omaha Beach in the early morning hours of D-Day. His compelling interview is included in my Oral History Audiobook "The D-Day Tapes," along with six other interviews, available in my eBay store and at oralhistoryaudiobooks.com.

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Exercise Tiger: Angelo Crapanzano Part 2 show art Exercise Tiger: Angelo Crapanzano Part 2

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Faced with a choice of joining the Army, the Marines or the Navy, Angelo Crapanzano asked his father, who served aboard a submarine tender in World War I, for advice. Join the Navy, his dad said. You'll eat well, and have a place to sleep. So Angelo joined the Navy and became a motor machinist's mate first class aboard LST 507. His father didn't tell him about torpedoes, Angelo said when I interviewed him in 1994.

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Exercise Tiger: Angelo Crapanzano, Part 1 show art Exercise Tiger: Angelo Crapanzano, Part 1

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

In 1994 I read "The Forgotten Dead," by Ken Small, about Exercise Tiger, the ill-fated practice landing for D-Day sometimes known as Slapton Sands, a stretch of beach on the English coast that resembled Utah Beach. In the middle of the night German e-boats, torpedo carrying surface boats. infiltrated the convoy and sank two fully loaded LSTs and badly damaged a third. Angelo Crapanzano was at his battle station in the auxiliary engine room of LST 507 when the torpedo struck.

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Tank driver Charles Vorhees: Part 2 show art Tank driver Charles Vorhees: Part 2

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Sandwiched between the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby and the O.J. Simpson trial, one of the crimes of the century was the disappearance and murder of Brach candy heiress Helen Vorhees Brach. Charles Vorhees, a tank driver in the 712th Tank Battalion, was her brother. In addition to providing details on two important episodes in the battalion's history, Charles talks about his sister.

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Charles Vorhees Part 1: The explosion at Heimboldshausen show art Charles Vorhees Part 1: The explosion at Heimboldshausen

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

April 3, 1945 was a tragic day in the history of the 712th Tank Battalion. It was the day the A Company headquarters were blown up. Tank driver Charles Vorhees was there.

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Interview With a Loader: Bob Rossi Part 2 show art Interview With a Loader: Bob Rossi Part 2

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

War As My Father's Tank Battalion Knew It is a podcast about the 712th Tank Battalion in particular and World War II in general. I'm Aaron Elson

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"Lock and Load" Pfc. Bob Rossi

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

The other day I was listening to a show on National Public Radio and they played an excerpt from a podcast. The show's host said, almost apologetically, "This is from a podcast, so there will be some music in the background." My own musical career ended in kindergarten when I threw my recorder at another kid and it broke. So here you have it: No music, no narrator, just great interviews that reveal a picture of World War II you won't see elsewhere..

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Episode 82: Bussell show art Episode 82: Bussell

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

When I began interviewing veterans of my father's tank battalion, I heard several stories about George Bussell. Forrest Dixon said Bussell was so heavy he had to shimmy into the tank. Ruby Goldstein and Bussell got into a barroom brawl in Phenix City, Alabama. Or the time he drove his tank over three German motorcycles. Bussell didn't come to the reunions, so in 1993 I visited him at his home in Indianapolis.

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A Marine on Iwo show art A Marine on Iwo

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

War As My Father's Tank Battalion Knew It is a podcast about the 712th Tank Battalion in particular and World War II in general. I'm Aaron Elson. Nick Paciullo enlisted in the Marines when he was 17 and fought with the 4th Marine Division on Iwo Jima, Saipan, Tinian and Kwajalein. A transcript of this conversation is available in my book Semper Four, available in print and for Kindle at amazon. Thank you for listening.

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Episode 80: A Medley show art Episode 80: A Medley

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

The first 79 episodes represent a fraction of the more than 700 hours of interviews I've conducted over the past 34 years with the men and women of the Greatest Generation. I'm Aaron Elson. If you would be interested in a modestly priced premium section of the podcast with access to exclusive special episodes and other exclusive features, please email me at [email protected] for details when they become available. Thank you for listening.

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More Episodes

July 4th came a day early in 1944 with a massive artillery barrage in preparation for an assault on the Haye du Puits sector of the Normandy campaign. The 712th Tank Battalion suffered numerous casualties on its first day of combat. Lt George Tarr became the first officer in A Company to be killed. Sgt. William Schmidt was the first member of C company to be killed. In this episode, Jim Rothschadl, a gunner in C Company, talks about the meaning of the Fourth of July, and Stanley Klapkowski describes the death of Sergeant Schmidt.