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tv   Christmas time on the Battlefield  CSPAN  December 27, 2014 1:10pm-2:04pm EST

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salem, indiana, and moved them here to lafayette. you had railroad cars being built here. lafayette, its location near the the peopleresources, here, a significant number of enterprising people -- those are all the reasons why lafayette became significant. are watching american history tv. 48 hours of programming every weekend. follow us on twitter at c-span schedule, our upcoming programs, and to keep up with the latest history news. >> coming up next on american history tv a look at christmas , during wartime with stanley atntraub, professor emeritus
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penn state university. he is the author of "pearl harbor christmas." we will hear about how president roosevelt and british prime minister winston churchill navigated that first christmas after america entered world war ii. and we will also hear about how american soldiers marked christmas from the revolutionary war through the korean war. ohio's franciscan university hosted this event. it is about one hour. >> good evening. it is a great pleasure for me to be here this evening. this is such a fine lecture that the vice president for academic affairs showed up. that is a good thing. along with other english professors. stanley weintraub finished up his years at penn state as the professor of arts and humanities.
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he joined the department of english september 1, 1956. i think i was in fourth grade. [laughter] he was an instructor. he became a full professor in 1965. a research professor in 1970. and the evan pugh professor in 1986. dr. weintraub's areas of specialization include victoria in an earlier 20th century literature, biography and cultural history, and of course 19th and 20th century drama. on the table, we see many of his books, some of which were devoted to our topic tonight, wartime christmases. during his 43 years at penn state, dr. weintraub published 45 books. and he never stopped when he retired. nobody knows for sure how many he has published, but i think it is up to 60 or thereabouts.
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on and on. ladies and gentlemen, i would like to present to you my mentor , who said -- who responded to me when i said, "what do you want of me," after i said my phd from bowling green, and he said "words." i have tried my best to give them to him. i present to you one of the dearest friends and mentors i have ever had. nobody does this alone. this is mine. stanley. [applause] >> thank you, bob. i am glad to see so many people escape from the rain inside here. [laughter] i hope that is not the only reason you're here. but it is dry inside. my topic, wartime christmases,
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is something that came upon me accidentally. i had not expected to write about the subject or talk about it. i did spend two christmases in korea during the korean war. they were not very exciting christmases. hardly anybody knew it was christmas until we tuned to tokyo army radio and heard recordings like "i saw mommy kissing santa claus," which was not very good for morale. [laughter] i forgot mostly about christmas and war. although i wrote about war from early on. my first biography dealt with lawrence of arabia. it came out just as the movie with peter o'toole came out. that was a lucky break because people suddenly heard of me. it made it easier to write other books.
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in the 1980's, i began work on a book on the end of world war i , on the period of the armistice on november 11, 1918. and in the process of doing that research, after many previous books, i discovered there had been a truce, a cessation of shooting, in the christmas period of 1914, the first year of world war i. i was fascinated by the idea that the war may have stopped for good earlier. why hadn't it? and was this really a truce? i went back to the history books. not all of them are accurate about this period. in fact a number of historians , who even earned knighthood in
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england did not even mention the christmas truce in the index of their books. it did not happen, it was a myth. then i came upon a reference to the fact that soldiers from both sides, germans, british, french, played football between the trenches, in no man's land. no man's land, for those of you not involved in wartime studies, is the period between the two sides that is fought over, a period that no man wants to be in. did they play football? football, after all, is soccer in american terms. i discovered from what i read that that was a myth, it did not really happen. who could have played football in no man's land full of shell holes and dead bodies? dead bodies truly because it was
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an area that you could not go into to retrieve the wounded or the dead without being shot at. and so bodies literally littered no man's land. anyway andt ahead checked further and found there was a truce. it did happen. and while my wife and i were working on it, a book came out in england, a picture book of the television show about the christmas truce. pictures had been found in the imperial war museum of the british and germans fraternizing in no man's land. and the picture book made it evident there really was such a thing. but it did not go into details about what really happened in the cases of other truce. -- other troops. were the french involved?
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were the germans involved? were there only scotsmen involved in the british forces, and so on? i found much of interest to go back to. i wente bandai -- and back to england every summer looking at material. we went to the british newspaper library in north london, the library no longer exists. but it was there at the time. it contained all the newspapers that had been salvaged from the blitz. the library had been bombed during world war ii. hadmany files of newspapers been destroyed. but the british painstakingly covered all of england, wales, and scotland, and ireland and found files of newspapers to replace many they had been missing. and we went through those papers
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figuring if there would be any news about the christmas truce, it would appear in those newspapers, because there was not any censorship yet. although there was not any wartime censorship, war correspondents were not allowed at the front lines. so, in effect, there was a kind of tacit censorship. where did we find information? we found it in places like the letters to the editor, strange place to do research. thathat happened is soldiers involved in the truce wrote home. it was not very far from home. it took perhaps four or five days or a week for the letters to get home. they wrote home and said, mom, dad, dear wife, you won't believe what happened to us. it was like a waking dream. and they went on to describe how the truce had begun, and how it
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lasted, and what friends they had made from the other side. and how it all began. it began in a couple of unexpected ways. one of the ways, i brought a sample here, you are welcome to look at it later. saysis a brass box that "christmas 1914." it was sent by the british to their troops in flanders and in france with chocolates or candy or tobacco or other things for christmas. and this was to lift morale. the germans discovered the british were going to do this, and so they rushed out their own boxes, wooden boxes in this case, filled with what would be typical german gifts for christmas. snacks, cigars, sausages,
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something typically german. the result was that each side had something to swap. [laughter] they could trade christmas gifts. in addition, one of the british newspapers had big ads before christmas, saying, send plum puddings to your loved ones at christmas. the troops got so many plum puddings they did not know what to do with them all. [laughter] and they were very happy to swap them for anything the germans were willing to swap them for. [laughter] the germans on the other side of the line had actually started the christmas truce because what that germany was an easier route to bring christmas trees to the frontlines. they did not have to cross the english channel. it was easy for them by land.
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and the tradition in germany that went back a couple of hundred years was to have tabletop fir trees. not big fir trees with all kinds of gaudy stuff on them like we have in this country. but tabletop trees, so that each child in the family would have his or her own tree. and under it, you would put gifts. those tabletop trees perhaps 30 inches high, not even a yard high in some cases, were shipped out by the tens of thousands to the front lines. and the germans took their chances and erected them on the front of their trenches. and they came already with candles attached. that is the germans were very , efficient about this. they did not just send trees. they sent trees with candles attached. and the germans erected them on
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the bulwarks of their trenches and lit them. who were only a few hundred yards away, shot at them. the germans patiently re-erected them. [laughter] before long, the british got curious. what in the world were we shooting at? they crawled into no man's land looking at the other side and what was all lit up. they discovered the christmas trees, and they discovered the germans that had crawled out from their site to meet them. the two sides agreed that yes, it was christmas. they were celebrating christmas. why don't they do so in daylight? this was christmas eve. in don't they do it daylight? why don't they get together? they could get together and swap gifts, because they had all of these gifts and the british had plum puddings besides. [laughter] the result was that the next
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morning at dawn, the british and germans crawled out to no man's land and began clearing the area of shell holes and dragging out the corpses from no man's land for burial. and the two sides, quite reverently, with chaplains attending, buried the dead. and after they buried the dead and filled in the shell holes, they had a field to play football. the only problem was, they did not have a football. and they did not have any of the gear that goes with soccer or european football. but they improvised anything they could. and so they made improvised goals. -- improvise rules. they made goals. they actually had football play between the trenches. in my book "silent night," which
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is still in paperback, i have one chapter just called "football," about the games played between the lines. people did not believe this actually had happened. but we went to the imperial war museum in london, which has the records of all of the units that survived. the units on both sides were supposed to prepare what they called daily diaries of what was going on in your unit for the day. and we found in the daily diaries the scores of the games. [laughter] they really did happen. many of the scores were very low like 3-2, but that is typical of soccer, typical of european football. and the germans won most of them. [laughter] but they were more professional perhaps in their backgrounds for
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football than the british were. but the games existed. they continued to gather between the lines until the commands discovered the truce was occurring. peace was happening. they had not ordered it. and one can never tell with these. it might get contagious. the war might end. if the war might end, the side that was then at the most disadvantaged would not only lose, the government would fall. they could not let this happen. they had to start the war again, and so the war gradually started again. but the commanding officers of the units that were involved in the truce did not want to fight each other. they knew each other. they knew these -- they're man their men were-
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laborers, farmers, milkmen, carpenters, shoe salesman, and so on. one german barber on the frontlines discovered one of his former clients from his days in england there. he said, you need a back and sides trim. [laughter] and so he set him up on an ammunition box and trimmed his hair before the truce ended. the truce became more myth than anything else because it ended so quickly. in some cases, it lasted into new year's eve and new year's day. but what happened is that the two commands, wanting the war to start again, forced the soldiers to fight again, and did so by taking the troops on the line that got to be friendly which
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theith each other into back, into reserves, and taking the reserve units and putting them forward because they were the ones who still hated the enemy. they did not have this experience. the truce therefore ended. but the truce became a matter of song and story. you find such things as "snoopy's christmas." snoopy fighting the red baron. the red baron forces snoopy down. snoopy is sure he will be shot. but the red baron comes out of his silver biplane with a bottle of champagne and says, "merry christmas, my friend." and they share a bottle of champagne, and the red baron flies off again. it is one of many, many songs that exist about the christmas truce. it was fascinating to discover them. perhaps the most moving of them, as well as the least historical, is called "christmas in the
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trenches," by the folksinger john mccutchen. it has some wonderful lines about the troops discovering on that on eachvering end of the rifle, they are the same. they did not want to fire those rifles, but they had to. it ends unhistorically, but it is still a moving song. you never know when you are going to find songs that deal with the christmas truce. some of them do not work at all. there is one country and western song by garth brooks. most of you may know his name. garth brooks has the americans involved in the christmas truce would,e battle of bella which took place in july of 1917. [laughter] he has the snow falling softly on belleau wood in july. [laughter] and the americans involved. of course they weren't.
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but there are so many songs and stories that in my index in the book, it takes two pages just to list the songs and stories about christmas eve. one of my favorites was told to me by a friend in england who said, there is a television series called "blackadder." any of you know "blackadder"? dvd, so it iss on easy to find it now. i have the dvd in this case. blackadder is a young officer in the british army. he is asked later in the war, were you involved in the christmas truce? he says, was i involved? i was never offside. [laughter] so you know from that that not only did they play football, but they actually had amateur referees involved, too. he was never offside.
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we checked further to see about blackadder, and it turns out there were seven officers who died in the war named blackadder. so even though the author of the series may never have known he was writing fact, he wrote fact. very strange to discover your -- that you are writing truth when you did not know you were doing it. that was the first of my christmas books. it was very successful and is still in print. i did not think i was going to write another one. but i was working on a book that i think bob put up here, called "iron tears." "iron tears" is about how the american revolution looked from the british side. how does it look to be a loser, is what this is about. the book got to be a very big one. when i got near the end of the book, i realized i was getting
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into christmas 1783, two years after the war ended. and that perhaps i should end the book where the war ended, and not where the peace treaty was signed. at just that point, i went to washington state to visit my grandsons. in pullman, washington. i was asked by their teachers to come talk about writing to the students. and how do you talk to first and fourth grade students about writing? i figured they must know something about george washington, because after all, the state is named washington. they go to the thomas jefferson school, therefore they must know something about thomas jefferson. i could talk to them about that subject. so i did. and i pointed out that i was thinking of ending the book before the peace treaty, because the book was getting too long,
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and i would end it with yorktown, the battle the british lost definitively that ended the war. they wanted to know more about what happened after that. i had said washington still had to take new york city back from the british, and he took it back at christmas 1783. they wanted to know about christmas. did washington go home for christmas? did he have a christmas tree? how did he travel? did he have a horse? what was the horse's name? i did my research and found out the horse's name was nelson. so here you have learned something that you may remember from this talk. in any case, what happened was that i realized there was a book just on that aspect of the war. the war after the war. and i wrote a book called "general washington's christmas farewell" about his taking of new york and traveling home as a great hero.
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every place he went, he was feted as a great hero. people were very sad to learn he was going to turn in his commission and go back to being a farmer at mount vernon. and when george iii of england ifrd about this, he said, washington actually refuses to be the king of america, he will be the greatest man in the world. and maybe he was the greatest man in the world at that time. so that resulted in a second christmas book that was unexpected. i then began thinking about a book about franklin roosevelt as president. during the last election that he fought, which was his fourth term election in 1944 during
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world war ii. he never lived to serve out the term. he died the next april. however, many people who voted for him, many servicemen who voted for him voted by absentee ballot because they were far away in europe or the pacific. this was about a month before the battle of the bulge in december 1944. i began thinking that was not the first absentee ballot election. abraham lincoln was elected to a second term in absentee ballot election. i thought, maybe i will look that up and see if there is a book in it. it turned out there was a book and it. -- in it. someone had already written it. it was a very good book. i was very sorry to discover it was already done. [laughter] but there was still something else when i looked it up. i found that general sherman having taken atlanta in november 1864, just after the election,
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crossed georgia, the famous march through georgia into savanna. and when he reached savannah about two days before christmas and took savannah, when the confederates retreated, he sent a telegram to lincoln saying, "you have savannah for christmas." i thought, here is a book. here is the title. "savannah for christmas." and so i wrote a book about the march from atlanta to savannah, ending at christmas in 1864. and i wanted to title it "savannah for christmas." my publisher did not like the idea. he said, it would sound like a travel book. go to savanna for christmas. i did not tell him that was crazy, because he was the publisher and he could veto it. it became "general sherman's christmas." they changed the cover after the
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book was already published, and changed it to "general sherman's christmas." according to my wife, no books were sold in the south as a result because general sherman was hated. nevertheless, that was book number three about christmas. and i continued writing about christmas, but doing so in each case accidentally. i wrote a book about generals eisenhower, marshall, and macarthur, taking them from their beginnings to their ends. in effect a tripartite , biography. "15 stars."call it each one was a five-star general. it was called "15 stars." no one objected to it, although it got a dreadful subtitle awarded by the publisher.
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in any case, when i got to chapter 11 of "15 stars," i realized the book was getting terribly long. i had to take out much of what i had written about the battle of the bulge, because the book had to be shortened. but i don't like to waste words. i reuse them. and so i recycled chapter 11 into a book called "11 days in december," which was about the battle of the bulge and how the battle of the bulge ended on christmas day, 1944. it ended on christmas day, coincidently, because of a great man, a great general who was also maybe a lousy human being, general george patton. patton was in command of the
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third army, and knew the third army had to trudge through the snow and cold to somehow relieve the siege of bastogne, a town in belgium which was holding up the german advance. and if he captured bastogne, he would stop the germans altogether. he tried to figure out how to do it, because the weather was terrible. he went to a chapel in luxembourg, on the edge of the border between belgium and luxembourg, a medieval chapel. he was not a roman catholic. he was episcopalian. but he knelt at the chapel and prayed to god as if god were a superior general. and said, god, i need your help. i need good weather to kill germans. i need good weather so we can -- in order to have the bombers fly again so we can beat the germans.
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and he got up from his prayer. it was overheard by his aides who were with him. so it was not anything i made up or anyone else made up. they went back to war. they broke the siege of bastogne. the sun came out. the bombers flew. and patton was the hero of the battle of the bulge. one never knows how something is going to turn into a christmas book. and this is something that continued for me. i wrote a fifth look about a -- fifth book about a wartime christmas because i had written an earlier one about pearl harbor. i don't know if bob has it on the shelf. "long day's journey into war."
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"long day's journey into war" was an experiment on my part. i wanted to write about every hour of december 7, 1941, becausehe world, franklin roosevelt, who i was writing about at the time, said in his declaration to congress december 11, 1941, is a date that will live in infamy. he did not say day. he said date. people confuse the two regularly. i wanted to deal with the date. it becomes december 7 or any other date on the west side of the international date line. that is where the day begins. it is just east of new zealand that the day begins. i began where december 7 began, and i covered every hour. it was december 7 until december 7 ended west of hawaii, west of pearl harbor, and became
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december 8. every one of those dates was a different time elsewhere in the world. and so i had -- i think it was my wife's idea. i had four clocks at the heading of each chapter. one clock was for the actual time i was dealing with, the successive time in history it itt it -- in history that was december 7. the next were major places where big events were taking place, the date and time in russia, time in england, and so on. so this became a book not about pearl harbor, but about a world at war on december 7.
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when the book was republished in paperback, i gave it a new subtitle and called it "long day's journey into war: a world at war." that book, i thought, did the job for me. i even had a little epilogue dealing with the aftermath, the cleaning up of pearl harbor at the end of the date. that realized after that that was not really the aftermath. the aftermath took a month or more after pearl harbor. not only that, but when pearl harbor happened, roosevelt called winston churchill at his home in england, and said, we are at war. we are on your side. the japanese have attacked us. it was about 9:00 in the evening and churchill was having his dinner. and instead of being shocked that his own forces were being destroyed in the far east, he
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was elated because he told the american ambassador who was with him at dinner, "we are saved. we are saved. we are going to win the war. we are saved because america has entered the war." but he added, "i must get to the white house to talk with the president about how to win the war." the ambassador said, why not give him time to digest what is going on? churchill said, i must go before he makes some very bad decisions. churchill was the one who usually made the bad decisions, by the way. [laughter] a great many of them were bad. but churchill was advised not to fly because the north atlantic crossing was very bad. he could only get as far as labrador at best, and then he would have to fly further into
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united states. it might take three flights. he might be marooned for days waiting for good weather. so he took a battleship. he took the newest battleship in the british fleet and came across to washington by battleship and set himself up in , the white house. it reminded me, this is where fiction anticipates history. it reminded me of a play that was a big hit on broadway the year before, called "the man who came to dinner." for those of you who know it, it is a play about a very famous radio broadcaster. there was no tv then. he was known for his voice and the fact he was a terrible man. and a lot of this fits churchill just as well. churchill came to the white house and stayed, just as the man who came to dinner stayed in the play.
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in the case of the man who came to dinner, when he was finally shooed out of the house because he was so obnoxious, he fell down the stairs and broke his leg and had to be carried back in, and they were stuck with him for a long time thereafter. well, churchill stayed into january at the white house. the food was good. the liquor was good. and he drank a lot of it. and it was also at no cost to his majesty's government, so he remained. and he and roosevelt thrashed out how the war would continue. and it was a very useful trip, actually, because roosevelt was forced to gear up for war far more than he anticipated he could do, at the urging of churchill. churchill was at the white house for the formal lighting of the christmas tree on christmas eve and spoke to a big audience on
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the grounds around hyde park, and then went to congress the day after christmas and spoke to congress and said -- you have to remember his mother was american and his father was english. he said, if my father were american and my mother were english instead of the other way around, i might be talking to you here as president. [laughter] he was not a shy man, as you can tell. anyway that book became "pearl , harbor christmas," about the period when franklin roosevelt and winston churchill met at the white house and talked about the war. well i thought i was finished , with wartime christmases. then, a fan of my books in new
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york state wrote to me and said, i know you are a veteran of korea. why haven't you written a book about wartime korea at christmas? and he suggested a topic for me to write about, that the marines were embattled when the chinese came down from manchuria. and that the marines were in really desperate conditions because general macarthur, who did not know the meaning of overreach, overreached, and should not have had his troops up there near manchuria. and somehow, they had to get extricated from where they were and get home. 93 ships were sent to the harbor in north korea to try to rescue the troops. but they had to get to the harbor. my book, which comes out november 2, it is now officially
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2, is calledmber "a christmas far from home, an epic tale of courage and survival during the korean war." that was not my title. as usual, publishers think they know better because they did not write the book. [laughter] i wanted it called "escape into christmas." the book ends literally on christmas eve at 3:00 in the afternoon. it does not end on christmas. it is not about a christmas far from home. it is about the period before christmas, when they were far from home. nevertheless, that is the title of the book. and i call it "escape into christmas," and i hope that is how you will remember it if you look at the book. it was a fascinating story to talk about because the marines are the elite of the american armed forces. there is no question they remain
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the elite of the american armed forces, in their morale and their standards of combat. and their standards of behavior are far better than that of other troops. though i was in the army in korea and not in the marines. nevertheless, the marines were shot at and had to get down as fast as they could from the hills of north korea. it was very difficult for them to do so because of the weather. 30 below zero. high winds. trackless waste to travel on. the weather so bad their planes could not fly much of the time. but they wanted to get home. and they were longing for christmas at home because general macarthur had come to visit them briefly for a few hours just before thanksgiving
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day, and had said, "i'm going to have you boys home for christmas. the war will be over." well they remembered that, but , of course he lied. they were not home for christmas. but they remembered christmas. and almost everything they saw reminded them of christmas. along who were struggling with grenades strapped to their chests reminded them, when they were wet with snow and ice, reminded them of a christmas tree with christmas decorations, the grenades around the chest. they looked at the forests that were covered with snow and were being bombed at. they talked about them as being christmas trees on fire. everything reminded them of christmas, except they had one thing they must do. and this is where i will close.
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they had to get across the 4000 foot chasm. 4000 foot high chasm. the chinese had blown the bridge. how do you cross a 4000 foot chasm with no bridge? the weather 30 below? it is dark and snowing? they found a way. the air force dropped treadway girders for a bridge. and the combat engineers built a bridge with these girders dropped by parachute, that crossed the chasm under fire. it was a very narrow bridge and dangerous to cross. they crossed with men standing in front of each vehicle with a flashlight, reminding them where to go. they had only two inches of clearance on each side for their tanks. and if they did not make it, they dropped 4000 feet. one truck did, loaded with
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living and dead. it must have been a terrible sight to see. anyway, that chapter is probably the most dramatic chapter i have ever written in any book of mine. throughwed me to go what they had to go through to cross the chasm and get to safety, but they did. and they -- the ships left, 93 of them, with over 100,000 marines, on christmas eve 1950. but there is a surprise ending i am not going to tell you about. [laughter] because i want you to read the book. [laughter] so i'm going to end right there. and now it is up to you if you have any questions. and i will let somebody else monitor that. thank you for listening. [applause]
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>> dr. weintraub, thank you so much. i was a history major. i was an advisory of -- advisee of doctor -- >> i can't hear you. somebody will have to carry the message for you. >> thank you so much for coming. doyle, sovisee of dr. we have heard a lot about this for the past number of weeks. i have two questions. first, i was wondering if you would be able to speak to your educational background. it sounds like you might have more of a background in english and how that has played into , writing history. second, i was wondering if you ever considered writing a book with dr. doyle about prisoners of war during christmas time. >> there are a lot of questions there. buried into that one question.
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i became interested in war long before i was in a war. in the 1930's, i am in my middle 80's, so you can judge, 1930's, i was a kid. i collected bubblegum cards. bubblegum cards were not only of baseball players, but they were war cards back then. they were the between wars wars, from the civil war in spain, the war in ethiopia. i collected all those bubblegum cards and was fascinated by war. the cards were erroneous and very propagandistic in many ways, but they got me going and interested in war. i still have 230 of them. i saved them all this time. so war became of interest to me. i began writing a history of the war in a little notebook when i was 10 years old. and it was not very good. and what i learned was only from the newspapers.
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eventually, i gave it up. but i was trying to write about war. when i went into the service, all officers sent to korea were required to sign a document that they would not keep a diary. well i don't know whether i was , lying or not, but i had little three by five notebook papers. and i would tear out pages from this and write about interesting things that happened on many of the days in the war. and i kept them. i still have many of them, i think. and that became the material for my first book on the korean war. this is my third book on the korean war. they are all different. but nevertheless, i was learning all the time. and you can't learn any better than you could learn from real experience.
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but real experience is not enough. you have to be able to write. and you learn how to write by writing. and you learn how to write by doing a lot of reading. and i did a lot of both and learned how to write. i did not get a degree in history, except as an undergraduate. i wanted to go long in history, but i could not get a teaching assistantship in history. the result was i grabbed what i could and got a teaching assistantship in english. and i eventually became a phd in english, but continued to write history. it did not bother anybody. i think i did ok. [laughter] but i hope that answers your question. any other query? >> there was a second question.
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>> i missed it. >> have you considered writing a christmas military history with dr. doyle? >> would i consider writing a christmas history -- >> with dr. doyle. >> he would have to find a christmas. i have run out of wars. [laughter] i don't know a thing about vietnam, which was his war. so i would feel quite incompetent working on vietnam. and i don't know if there was any christmas component in vietnam. you could answer that, but you would probably have to go to a mic so everyone would hear you. >> the closest thing that came to that was 1968, when the north vietnamese and the viet cong broke the truce declared for that particular year.
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and so that is it. , that is it. [laughter] >> but it was not a christmas truce. >> it was sort of a christmas truce. but it was tet. it was the vietnamese new year, which is sort of christmas, easter, fourth of july, all wrapped up in one. >> like the christmas truce garth brooks sang about in july. [laughter] >> probably close. i did have one question for you. that is the marine corps is very , proud of the chosin reservoir campaign. that is really true. and they teach this campaign to their officers in their basic school. and also, they teach gallipoli as well. but did you find in your research the quality of the junior officers and the senior enlisted are what the marine
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corps says they were? you know, the marine corps is very proud of j.o.'s and keeping it all together. did you find this in your research as well? >> i think the armed services has been really lucky that senior armed services noncommissioned officers have an .illing to stay for a career i cannot say the same is true with officers because there is a age.em of one of my lieutenants in korea was a special exception. he was a second lieutenant who should have been can because he was over 29 years old, and you are not supposed to be a second lieutenant in your 30's, but for special political reasons, he was kept on.
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it affects every rank in commissioned officers but does not affect enlisted people. you can be a corporal and be 59 years old, but you cannot be a lieutenant and be 59 years old. so the senior noncommissioned officers really make the and itnce and an army, is important for the armed services to try to retain them. but you were important in the reservoir, that's for sure. that's good. i just said it was certainly important in the chosen reservoir campaign. >> i have no further answers. i could, of course, go on talking and talking because
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that's what i do regularly, but i think you have probably heard enough of me. if any of you would like to see "the christmas box," you are welcome too. they are going to show it if people want to see it before they leave, and i will be glad to talk to anyone personally who wants to come up and talk to me. thank you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] join american history tv tonight on the civil war as historians and authors talk factors that impacted
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liggon's reelection campaign in 1864. they explore his expansion of presidential war powers, his relationship with the democratic and republican newspapers, and the impact of the soldiers' vote. that's tonight at 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. eastern time here on c-span3's american history tv. >> coming up next, the national parks service and the friends of the national world war ii dayrial post a veterans ceremony and washington, d.c., honoring servicemen and women. the u.s. navy band brass quintet plays, and world war ii veterans lay wreaths for all of the branches of the u.s. military. this is just under an hour. >> ladies and gentlemen, our mistress of ceremonies for anay's event is emmy-award-winning news anchor of "did morning washington" and abc 7 news at noon. her political reporting


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