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The Fourth of July, 1944

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Release Date: 07/04/2019

Thanksgiving in the Rain show art Thanksgiving in the Rain

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Our nation spent Thanksgiving this year in the middle of a war that has claimed a quarter of a million lives. My father's tank battalion spent the Holidays in the middle of a different kind of war. Just as today, Thanksgiving was a special day.

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Episode 62: Cult of Personality show art Episode 62: Cult of Personality

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

This episode of the War As My Father's Tank Battalion Knew It podcast is not about my father's 712th Tank Battalion. Rather, it is about Joseph Stalin. Ten years ago I met Ludwik Kowalski, a retired college professor who grew up in Russia and emigrated to the United States. His story is both powerful and timely in light of recent events.

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Food and War show art Food and War

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

You've probably heard the phrase "An army travels on its stomach." In this collection of culinary anecdotes from Aaron Elson's archive of oral history interviews, I doubt that you'll find any recipes that would appeal to the Cooking Channel.

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You could die laughing: Stories of Humor and War show art You could die laughing: Stories of Humor and War

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

In one of Bill Mauldin's Willie and Joe cartoons, a grizzled sergeant says to his squad, "I need a volunteer what don't owe me money." Many combat veterans credited a sense of humor with helping them maintain their sanity. These are their stories.

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Cannon Fodder: Arnold Brown, Part 2 show art Cannon Fodder: Arnold Brown, Part 2

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Arnold Brown enlisted in the Army as a private in 1936 and despite having only an eighth grade education became a rifle company commander in the 90th Infantry Division. My father's 712th Tank Battalion was attached to the 90th Division for most of the war in Europe. Arnold's G Company of the 358th Infantry Regiment played a pivotal role in the battle for Oberwampach, Luxembourg, which as you'll see in other episodes was a major event in the history of A Company of the 712th.

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Arnold Brown, Part 1 show art Arnold Brown, Part 1

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Arnold Brown enlisted in the Army in 1936. Despite having only an eighth grade education, he rose in the ranks to become a company commander in the 90th Infantry Division. He was awarded the French Croix de Guerre for the battle of Oberwampach, where his company and tanks from the 712th Tank Battalion withstood nine German counterattacks.

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My Father's Tank Battalion: Booze and War show art My Father's Tank Battalion: Booze and War

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

A few years ago I began experimenting with themed audio CDs, where I would take stories from interviews with different veterans that had the same theme: Stories about jumping out of airplanes, about food on the front, about growing up in the Great Depression, about meeting General Patton, about romance and religion and strange events. In this episode of Myfatherstankbattalion, I present some excerpts from the double audio CD "Booze and War."

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Lieutenant Dale Albee Part 3: Handlebar Hank show art Lieutenant Dale Albee Part 3: Handlebar Hank

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

This is the 56th episode of the podcast and it seems like I'm just getting started. I want to thank all of you who have listened to more than one episode. You can find episode titles and supplemental material at myfatherstankbattalion.com and aaronelson.com. An edited transcript of the Dale Albee interview in booklet form and for Kindle is available at amazon under the title "From the Cavalry to Czechoslovakia."

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Dale Albee, Part 2 show art Dale Albee, Part 2

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Dale Albee enlisted in the Army in 1938, became a sergeant in the horse cavalry, earned a battlefield commission as a tanker, and led a platoon of light tanks through the Battle of the Bulge, the Siegfried Line, across Germany, and into Czechoslovakia.

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Dale Albee Part 1 show art Dale Albee Part 1

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Dale Albee enlisted in the horse cavalry in 1938, earned a battlefield commission in my father's tank battalion, and led a platoon of M3 Stuart light tanks from the time he was promoted until the battalion reached Czechoslovakia at the end of the war in Europe.

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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.