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Somme - At the Hawthorn Ridge Crater with Associate Professor Fiona Graham and Mr. Colin Winn

Battles of the First World War Podcast

Release Date: 07/01/2020

Champagne - Blanc Mont, Pt 2 (featuring Steven Girard) show art Champagne - Blanc Mont, Pt 2 (featuring Steven Girard)

Battles of the First World War Podcast

On October 3rd, 1918, the Doughboys and Marines of the 2nd Division, AEF, hurled themselves against a hitherto impregnable German fortress: Blanc Mont ridge, the key to German defenses in Champagne.    Podcast promo! If you’re interested in a daily podcast that gives you a short episode on anything from the history of the US penny to the Tunguska Event of 1908, then you need to head over to Gary Arndt’s “Everything Everywhere” podcast.    Everything Everywhere podcast:   Also, very excited to announce that I have teamed up with Nicole Chicarelli of The War...

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Champagne - Blanc Mont, Pt 1 (featuring Steven Girard) show art Champagne - Blanc Mont, Pt 1 (featuring Steven Girard)

Battles of the First World War Podcast

In September 1918, the French 4th Army requested American assistance with clearing the Champagne battlefield of German forces. The American Expeditionary Force would provide two divisions, the veteran 2nd and the green 36th Divisions.   For years, the German Army had held Blanc Mont ridge, a lynchpin to holding the Champagne sector of the Western Front.  But the French Army was now too exhausted to carry the massif. MG John A. Lejeune, Marine commander of the American Army’s 2nd Division, planned an innovative attack that would see his division seize the ridge, hold it, and...

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WW1 History, Battlefield Tours, and Blanc Mont Ridge: A Conversation with Steven Girard show art WW1 History, Battlefield Tours, and Blanc Mont Ridge: A Conversation with Steven Girard

Battles of the First World War Podcast

In this episode we have a great and in-depth talk with Steven Girard, a veteran, an archivist/historian of the 4th (Marine) Brigade 2nd Division AEF, and a WW1 battlefield tour guide.    Steve gives us his own background and how he came to study the 4th Brigade Marines and the US Army’s 2nd Division, and then he gives us a comprehensive look into the battle of Blanc Mont ridge -- a detailed look at this forgotten but important battle of the First World War. (Steve gives us a view from the division to individual level going straight from his memory! No notes!)   Hope you enjoy...

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Oise-Aisne - The Black Devils show art Oise-Aisne - The Black Devils

Battles of the First World War Podcast

During the First World War the American 370th Infantry Regiment served by being integrated into French Army divisions, as were the other regiments of the AEF 93rd Division. The 370th Infantry was unique as the only African-American regiment then led by African-American officers.    Known as “The Black Devils,” the Doughboys of the 370th took part in the Oise-Aisne Offensive in autumn 1918, pursuing the retreating German Army until (and even after) the armistice took effect on November 11th.    The BFWWP is on Patreon: .    Any questions, comments or concerns...

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An Interview with Dr. Jeff Gusky on the Smithsonian’s “We Return Fighting” Exhibit and the American 93rd Division in WW1 show art An Interview with Dr. Jeff Gusky on the Smithsonian’s “We Return Fighting” Exhibit and the American 93rd Division in WW1

Battles of the First World War Podcast

Returning to the Battles of the First World War Podcast is Dr. Jeff Gusky, an emergency physician, artist, photographer for National Geographic, and explorer. I’m grateful that with the ongoing epidemic Dr. Gusky is able to come on the show and share his latest work with us, which is part of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture’s “We Return Fighting” exhibit.    Dr. Gusky is the photographer and talent behind the fascinating Hidden World of WW1, an exploration of the many unknown underground cities inhabited by soldiers of both sides of...

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Champagne - “Les Enfants Perdus:” 93rd Division Operations on the Champagne Front show art Champagne - “Les Enfants Perdus:” 93rd Division Operations on the Champagne Front

Battles of the First World War Podcast

Assigned to the French 4th Army, the 369th, 371st, and 372nd Infantry Regiments of the A.E.F.’s 93rd Division (Provisional) fought well in the Champagne offensive of September 1918 that supported the American drive through the Meuse-Argonne. Once again, African Americans proved themselves able fighters, capable leaders, and patriots more than willing to serve their country.    The BFWWP is on Patreon: .    Any questions, comments or concerns please contact me through the website, www.firstworldwarpodcast.com. Follow us on Twitter at @WW1podcast, the Battles of the First...

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Somme - At the Hawthorn Ridge Crater with Associate Professor Fiona Graham and Mr. Colin Winn show art Somme - At the Hawthorn Ridge Crater with Associate Professor Fiona Graham and Mr. Colin Winn

Battles of the First World War Podcast

In a wonderful way to help commemorate the 1st of July anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of the Somme, the BFWWP has received this great interview between Associate Professor Fiona Graham and Mr. Colin Winn of the Hawthorn Ridge Crater Association. Conducted last year, Associate Professor Graham and Mr. Winn take a tour of the massive crater at Beaumont-Hamel on the Somme battlefield to discuss the latest developments of the archeological dig there.    Due to the ongoing pandemic and its related closures, commemoration events for the 1st of July on the Somme in France are...

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Champagne - The 93rd Division in the Fight show art Champagne - The 93rd Division in the Fight

Battles of the First World War Podcast

Listener discretion advised: This episode contains racial terms and themes that are considered highly offensive today. These terms and themes are being used here in the context of the First World War era.    Composed of African American National Guard units, volunteers and draftees, the 93rd Division (Provisional) was loaned to the French Army by an American Expeditionary Force that did not particularly care to have them.    These men faced danger and a struggle even before they faced the German enemy--that of the dangers of racist violence back home in the U.S. and...

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An Interview with Nicole Chicarelli of The War Project show art An Interview with Nicole Chicarelli of The War Project

Battles of the First World War Podcast

Hey Folks, this episode we have an interview with an up and coming voice in the Great War history community.    Nicole Chicarelli is the historian behind “The War Project” on Instagram, which can be found here:     And her website is here:     Click on that follow button!    Nicole and I discuss how her passion for history began, her educational background, and her purpose behind The War Project. She is currently a Master of Arts Candidate in military history at American Military University, with a focus on war theory of the First World War. ...

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Meuse Argonne - A Global Overview show art Meuse Argonne - A Global Overview

Battles of the First World War Podcast

The AEF 1st Army is forced to make an operational pause as it replaces devastated divisions with fresh ones.

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In a wonderful way to help commemorate the 1st of July anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of the Somme, the BFWWP has received this great interview between Associate Professor Fiona Graham and Mr. Colin Winn of the Hawthorn Ridge Crater Association. Conducted last year, Associate Professor Graham and Mr. Winn take a tour of the massive crater at Beaumont-Hamel on the Somme battlefield to discuss the latest developments of the archeological dig there. 

 

Due to the ongoing pandemic and its related closures, commemoration events for the 1st of July on the Somme in France are likely to be severely reduced or canceled. The 1st of July of course, is the first day of the Battle of the Somme and the day the Hawthorn Ridge mine was blown for the first time. To help broadcast this year’s commemoration efforts and continue to live up to the well-known phrase “Lest We Forget,” Ms. Graham and Mr. Winn have graciously provided the BFWWP with an interview conducted on site at the Hawthorn Ridge Crater. I am deeply grateful and thankful for the opportunity to share this interview here with all of you.

 

...It’s not often you are invited to be part of a military history and archaeology team examining the very beginnings of the Battle of the Somme, but this is what happened to Associate Professor and Radio and Television Producer Fiona Graham as part of a new research team at Hawthorn Crater near Beaumont Hamel in France.

 

Fiona is a producer and writer who works on historical projects using film at Staffordshire University with colleague cinematographer Paul Ottey. She works hand in hand with history and archaeology teams and communities to research and capture the stories of the battlefields and sites across Europe, including Auschwitz and the First World War. Their recent work includes working on a film about Tank Deborah D51 and the Battle of Cambrai which they have exhibited in Northern Ireland and public talks in the UK and shown to help educate new generations of schoolchildren in Britain and France about the battle.

 

In this conversation on location in France she introduces us to her friend and colleague Colin Winn from the Hawthorn Ridge Crater Association as they take us on a journey around the World War One iconic crater and explain the work they are doing together today from the sights on, around and inside this massive hole in the ground with a circumference of over half a mile. 

 

Colin is a retired weapons engineer for the Royal Ordnance and BAE Systems and his grandfather was killed near Arras in 1917, he’s worked on the BBC documentary “Secret Tunnel Wars of The Somme” with historian Peter Barton and made short films and podcasts in America.

 

It’s the first time anyone has been granted access to uncover the secrets of this time capsule which has laid dormant for over 100 years and Fiona and Colin are the team bringing this new story to light for the next generation. 

 

Join them here on a tour on foot on a sunny but sometimes windy day as they explain what’s happening on the battlefields of Northern France today….

 

Follow the HRCA on Twitter!: https://twitter.com/HawthornRidgeCA