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tv   D- Day - June 6 1944  CSPAN  June 9, 2019 8:40am-9:46am EDT

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national world war ii president nick mueller talks about his new by , everything we have sharing personal stories of the people involved. this one-hour program is part of a conference hosted by the national world war ii museum in new orleans. >> we begin the day with a special conversation between the museum's founding president and c.e.o., dr. nick mueller and one of the longest serving friends and member of university of new orleans. the 71st anniversary of d-day is coming up next june. dr. mueller has written a become due out in march that incorporates some of the museum's best and least known assets related to the invasion. to discuss his soon-to-be released book, "everything we
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have," please join me in welcoming author dr. nick mueller and dr. gunther bischoff. gentlemen. [cheers and applause] >> good morning ladies and gentlemen. how are you doing this morning ? all right. i call it the a-team of world war ii aficionados assembled here. read to see you. it is a privileged to sit here on the stage with my colleague and friend to introduce his new book to a very special audience here. now, the book is called "everything we have," and it is a book in five chapters, looking at other perspectives of the war, and i think what is special about this book, and you will
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see some artifacts that we will be -- that will be in the book and also nice maps that have been prepared for the book. i think it is that above all that makes the book. t has a preface by tom brokaw, another good friend of the museum. i will start out of here -- out here by asking dr. mueller about the origins of this book on the lakefront of new orleans, at the university of new orleans, where the eisenhower center used to be located. it was directed by dr. ambrose. and for the 50th anniversary of d-day, dr. ambrose started collecting oral histories already in the 1980's. this is really a book of oral histories and i would like nick to briefly recount the genesis of the book and the museum out there on the lakefront. >> thank you, gunter. good morning to everybody. of course,
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the book does have its origins and its dna at the university of new orleans with my friendship with stephen ambrose and it goes back to 1990. some of you know that story. at happened in his yard in the 1990's. i won't belabor it. it was in a small gazebo in his backyard where we met every afternoon for a few drinks -- i think that day we had too many drinks, but the outcome was pretty good. but steve had been collecting oral histories. i think we have the slide up there now -- steve and i were best friends for 30 years and we didn't off a lot of things together. we were used to taking a projects, but this is really a ripley's believe it or not story n terms of how it ended up. if
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you can see the gazebo on the back of the slide, that is the hewlett-packard moment for this museum right there. about the third drink of cheap sherry steve said, i have a project for you. what i propose is to give you 1000 oral histories i have got given to me by all these veterans of d-day, ecause he was getting ready to start researching and writing, he had done his research on his book about the day that cannot four years later. he said, i will give you the artifacts, and those, and we will build a small museum for d-day, right were andrew higgins had those landing craft. eisenhower had told stephen in 1968 in gettysburg, he said -- well, he asked them first. he said, did you ever know andrew higgins? he said, no, i didn't. he died before i got there. he
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said, well, you missed meeting the man who won world war ii. ambrose, if you remember him, what a comment for what a source. nobody knows hagans. let's honor hagans. let's preserve these stories for future generations and to hell with them and watching them -- in washington, because they are never going to do anything up there for d-day or world war ii. i have asked every powerful senator i know. let's get going. that's where we started. 10 years later, we went broke a few times. we did not know what we were doing. i could write a book on all of the mistakes and i think that is my next project. but we made everyone you could make in starting a museum. steve thought it would be a million dollars and i told him he was an idiot. it's going to be at least $4 million. 10 years later, 25 -- $25 million later, we were in the downtown location in the original louisiana pavilion. a
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great day, as you can see there on the slide. steven spielberg, senators, congressmen. 200,000 people on the streets of new orleans. it was a day those of you who were there will never, ever forget. 18 months later, we opened on the days of the pacific and president bush was there. he had been three times. some even before in 98 when we had bought this warehouse. this was an amazing day. t was our kickoff. low and behold, a few years later, the pacific and president many years later, with -- many years later, this is what we have. those who have been around the campus know there is still construction going on. liberation pavilion, the canopy, hotel democracy, all in their final stages. when you look at this and think of that gazebo, now come on. really. huh?
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[applause] dr. mueller: and i never missed a just to say , who said you could never do anything with a history degree? [laughter] [applause] dr. bischof: so cheap sherry, nick, huh? cheap sherry. and -- dr. mueller: and gunter was here in the beginning. he was part of the early feasibility studies when that wild idea came into ur brains. dr. bischof: so, why the title of this book "everything we have"? dr. mueller: that's a good question. coleman suggested it to me. he works in my office. i eisenhower met with his general two weeks before d-day. you can imagine, everything,
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england was bursting. troops were moving. everybody was getting close own. a big show was coming. not knowing when. this momentum had been building for over a year. intensely for the last 5-6 months. eisenhower says, boys, we are going to throw everything we have into this. another way to said, we are in it to win it. there is no alternate plan. we are throwing everything we have. we thought that was a good title or the book. you see ike's icon you can order of the day. it's worth repeat the opening lines. very familiar to everybody in this audience. soldiers, sailors, airmen, you are about to embark on a great crusade.
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the eyes of the world are upon you. the hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. it was a crusade. hat was their mission. that story, the arc of that story continues to be played out in this museum. since this book is about their stories, about those soldiers and sailors and airmen, from their own perspectives, with letters and photos and maps that surround their personal stories, so it is the guys on the beach, the guys in the ships and the landing crafts and the planes. i want to just say, this book could not have happened on the ferocious deadline that the publishers had us on. we signed the contract last january. one of -- the book about her last july 1. i want to thank and the knowledge my office. coleman warner, my chief of
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staff. kaylee martin. they helped curate the oral histories. [applause] i can't see anybody. find the best oral histories and get them transcribed. the photos, artifacts, images of the artifacts. building the website that goes with it. rob, who helped with the editing at the end of my narrative. in the media center, we have a gentleman who did world war ii media education center. seth, who produced many of the oral histories for the website. our whole oral history and collection department was involved. of course, my successor, stephen watson, who greenlighted the project, this would not of happened. i just want to say, this is orld war ii and d-day.
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there was a lot of people on the team that got us to this point. dr. bischof: it takes a village. you're are retired from university. you recently retired, semi from the museum. you are still in the thick of things as ceo emeritus. what motivated you to write this ook? dr. mueller: we come full circle. it's the same thing that motivated steve and me to begin to develop this museum. those personal stories. the oral histories. the 75th anniversary was coming up. i talked to steve watson last year. i said we ought to do something for world war ii. -- d-day 75th. e said, yes. it's a tribute to the guys who
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were there. it was a could be to the ordinary guys who took part in this epic battle. you have on the screen the epic nature of this battle. i won't go into that and we tell a little bit of that and the introductions of the book. it is nothing new. the big picture, it shows the monumental gamble that was at stake here. we are looking at it from a birds eye view. these ordinary guys. i was motivated to bring forward some of their great stories to public view on the anniversary. it is also a tribute to steve ambrose. that can also showcase our oral history. that should not be lost on what we are trying to do. dr. bischof: you mentioned oral history. many historians have relied on oral histories to tell the story
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of d-day. what is unique about this book? dr. mueller: let's start with what is not unique. it is not a full narrative history of d-day. it is not going to add new knowledge to the broad stroke of the campaign, the strategy, the operations, the tactics of neptune and overlord. there are plenty of great books starting with some of the people in this audience who have spoken here. steve ambrose, there are many of those. there are three things that i think are unique. the first, a focus on the 24 hours of d-day from midnight to midnight, that is the core, the crux of the focus. i was not the first one to figure this out. as rick atkinson reminded me a few weeks ago, he is curating the cornelius ryan papers, that
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cornelius ryan back and 57 or 1958, was the one who saw the power of these 24 hours. out of that came the longest day. i don't say that to say this is by any way a comparison. that was it utilization of those stories. we are focusing on the transcripts of oral histories in our collection. we have 10,000 of them. the largest curated oral history collection in the world. about 1600 on d-day alone. kaylee and coleman found the best of the best. we took those slices of their stories of that day. we put them and the reader right in their footsteps or on the planes. i think that is the most unique, and i will talk more about it ater on.
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my own part of the story is to do the introduction and set the stage for the entire book. the introductory context for each of the actions and individual chapters. the reader will have an understanding of how these personal stories fit into their -day experience. the second thing i think that is unique is that this is not just the transcripts of the stories. we have pictures when they are young, and we have photographs that surround their stories. artifacts that were part of the stories and people who went to omaha or utah beach or the airborne, so people get immersed in the story. the personal story is the core of it. they will get into what it was like for these small unit actions. the third thing that is unique, and we are excited about this, but there is going to be, there is already a website being built.
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people who will read the book and go to the museum website, if they want to see the individual soldier or sailor or airman, on screen, with be roll showing the ackground of live footage, giving their entire account, we may have an hour and a half and i'm only using 10 minutes worth of transcript for d-day. those three things will make it pretty special. they are all involved in very critical actions on that day. they did it from their perspective. that website is already up. d-day is what it is. dr. bischof: on the german side, his geography of german history starts with an account about them coming.
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quite a gripping account that comes at the beginning of the german historiography. in your book, how do you get into the story of these 24 hours? dr. mueller: right where you'd expect. right at the beginning. it starts with the airborne. the first few minutes after midnight, the c 47's going ashore with paratroopers. my narrative takes you up to the moment that those guys are going ut the door. the first guys there. set you up and then you're out there. then the battleships are next. the bombardments and the shorelines and then we go to the higgins landing craft. omaha and utah. just as they step off, that is where you pick up the personal stories. that is how we get it going. then we let the stories of the guys who were in the planes and
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on the ground and on the ships carry the story. dr. bischof: in the historical profession, the history of emotions is a big thing these days. if you read these oral histories carefully, there was a lot about emotions. tell us about the fear and chaos of those original hours of d-day and the emotions involved with the soldiers. dr. mueller: we will always be reminded that that is a big part of the story. i think it is not news to anybody in this audience and you have heard some of our talks yesterday that get into that. it's not just the emotional aspects. we are not just trying to get that. the emotional stories, the fear, it's palpable. you can see it in the photographs and the voices. there is a great power to understand what was happening on
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hat day. their descriptions of the chaos, their descriptions of their own fear and worries and anxieties, the shock, when boats next to them were blown up. when their buddies were killed next to them. the images of soldiers dead and dying on the beaches. you are right in the middle of the combat. they even talk about the smell of death and of course, the smell of cordite. but that's the only thing missing from this book. there is no smell of cordite, but almost every one of those guys mentions that when they are talking about their stories. but the drama and the emotional tension is very palpable and i think everything we have gives
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that insight into the human dimension of the battle. the anticipation, the fear of death that was on their minds. thoughts of their loved ones. their last letters home. but yet, there are also emotions of confidence, courage under fire in the heat of battle, and i think we gain, at the end of the day, we gain a sense of the values these young men carried into battle. it's pretty compelling, those who survived. it is all there in first-person and living color for the imagination of your mind.
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dr. bischof: so you have the oral histories on the first 24 hours of d-day. i think they present quite a lot of quite granular stories, how those battles were fought and they present us with fresh memories, individual memories of what happened there. can you give us some examples of that? dr. mueller: sure. let me jump from stu eisenhower, the paratroopers. i am going to jump into another question here. this is not a new photograph. ike first went to meet with the paratroopers because he was worried about the enormous casualties they expected of the paratroopers. he went there and was talking to wallace. this is the gun that wallace had. the picture of his gun which we have in our collection. he is there to cheer the troops up. they are in high spirits. because the supreme commander is
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with them in the hours before they boarded the planes. they were ready and ike was there to cheer them on. i think they all knew this was going to be a fight to the finish, that freedom and democracy versus fascism was not something that was unknown to them. they knew what they were fighting for and they knew they were going into an epic battle. but anyhow, let me go back to your question of how do we get into these granular stories? now, hal baumgarten is someone who has spoken at these conferences. some of you may remember him. he just passed. beach, in on h think rick atkinson referred to it.
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and hal got out that higgins landing craft. there you see him as a young man. most of us here know him in his late 80's and 90's. he was at our grand opening. when he gets off the landing craft, he has a riveting story. some of you probably read his book. he talks about the guys going in there, being killed on the left and right of him. he tells you their names and their hometowns. he says, i tell you their names because i did not want them to be forgotten. that is the reason for this museum and this book, too. it's a terrific account of going ashore in omaha beach. and he was wounded three times on d-day. twice the next day. that was the end of the war for hal baumgartner. tremendous bravery and memory. i am going to show you someone you have not heard so much
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about, george morgan. there is a picture of him. now you're going to hear what you can find on our website if they will roll that. >> ♪ >> it's awful. the noise. the noise was terrible. i equate it to a thunderstorm and a crack of lightning cracks right above your house. and the crack and then the thunder. and that is what it's like continuously, hour after hour after hour. >> ♪ >> what happened at omaha, that was a real snafu. >> ♪ over there, it was ncdu.
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these five-men teams were to take care of the obstacles on the beach. a lot of the g.i.'s were hiding behind the stuff that was supposed to blow up so even if we had our explosives, we could not blow it up because these guys were hiding. they did not want to go any further because of what was happening. >> ♪ i didn't know whether i was going to see the sunset that day. i was so scared. i pissed my pants. and i was -- what in the world am i doing here? you just cannot get away from
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it. just terrible. >> ♪ dr. mueller: that's an example of the links to the website that will draw the reader even more deeply into this immersive and powerful story. he was with that naval combat demolition unit that does not get enough credit or mention that had to clear away those obstacles. it is powerful. dr. bischof: the book is largely about the first of the four hours of the d-day assault. in one chapter i had the privilege to read the page proofs of for the book, you go beyond the what made you extend first 24 hours. the story?
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dr. mueller? mueller: the story drives you beyond d-day to complete the story. many thought this was a suicide mission and it fell to the elite second ranger battalion to storm the cliffs in the first hours of the morning. this peninsula had a commanding height over omaha and utah beaches that had to be taken in the first hours of d-day. by colonel or runner -- earl rudder. with this focus -- but this chapter focuses more on the other. the story does not end with the assault and the taking of the point.
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know, many of you, the primary mission was to sixct the artillery toward major does that could reach the beaches on utah and omaha beach. whilead to be destroyed the first waves were going in on omaha and utah. that was the first mission. the second mission, there is a coastal road that runs behind the point. there were big german placements that could have reinforced omaha beach as the americans coming ashore. they had to take that coastal road. that was sort of the basic challenge and rudder was supposed to get there with three companies of the second battalion at 6:30 in the
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morning. snafus began right away. they went off course about a mile and a half in the wrong direction. they had to come along the shore. they were getting peppered by small arms fire and artillery from the shore. they got there 10 after 7:00. the other three companies were offshore circling. companies a, b, c and the headquarter company of the fifth rangers with captain john ron, the other part of the story as part of the point a hawk. just quickly, by the time they got there, the bombardment of the point had been completed already by 6:25 because the rangers were supposed to hit the landing zone at 6:30. they got there at 7:10. there was no surprise germans were out there waiting for them. they managed, despite the fire and machine guns, they scaled the cliff in about 10 minutes.
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and lamelle was one of the first ones on top. he got to the top and found out the big guns were gone. immediately grabbed one of squads and they headed inland. the second mission was to get to that coastal road and block it and set up a perimeter. he set it up. he went down to one of the lanes near the coastal road. by then, he found the guns and spiked them quickly. the germans were about 100 yards away talking in a farmhouse. i talked to our french guys and i will introduce the later on. nobody is really quite sure why those guns weren't already firing. but they were aimed at utah beach. in any event, by 8:30, jack kuhn and lamelle had spiked guns with
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for my -- thermite grenades. they destroyed the traverse mechanisms. they had them all out of commission by 8:30. mission accomplished. that is the end of the story? not yet. they set up this perimeter. and if you can see, where the coastal road is you will see the perimeter of the companies d, e, and f. they had to hold the spot. and for the next tonight, ferocious fighting. german attacks through everything they had at these companies. you had to keep the story going a bit. lamelle will get you right up to that point. this is not new to me but i thought it was important to tell
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that part of the story because the other companies had been diverted to omaha beach. rudder was late in getting to the point. their orders were to divert to omaha go in with the 29th , division, reinforce overland. and relief and provide reinforcements from omaha beach. i think that is the other part of that story so you have to do both together. as a side mention, about 15 months ago, sylvan took me to the hedgerows. the first time for him. we will show you a picture of those guns. right where they were nobody goes back there, hard to find some private property. when you see them, look from that section and they were pointed right at at utah beach.
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they could have been firing away for two hours by the time lamelle spiked them. dr. bischof: in the george morgan oral history, we heard that there was this real fear of death that was clearly on his mind. are there other artifacts in the book that speak to that? dr. mueller: anticipation of it. not always in the form of something of an oral history from someone who survived. we have one by second lieutenant gordon ostlund, writing er to -- writing a letter to his wife, chickie. we have that letter. we have a copy of the letter in the book. i think it's going to be on screen in a moment. he wrote her a letter on june 3. about midnight, three days
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before the invasion. time, he probably thought it was going to be happening on the fifth. the letter speaks to the best of the american spirit, the values of these young guys. he is really trying to prepare his wife for what might be terrible news. but at the same time, he exudes a quiet confidence and courage that is very typical of the many letters people wrote to their loved ones at that time. and i'm going to read you this one section of the letter you see on the screen. he says it's almost midnight on june 3. i want you to remember that date. i'm going to get my first real test is an officer very shortly, and i don't know how i'll react to it.
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>> at present, i'm very calm and not the least bit nervous. itn you get this letter, will be old news and you will know what the score is. honey, i'm with a wonderful bunch of men and they are all in the best spirits and morale. well, he had a premonition. ostlund did not make it on d-day. and chickie soon new the score. his sacrificeof lives on in this heartfelt letter and in this book. dr. bischof: we have carefully timed this so there will be time for questions. i will ask my last question. a more general question, soldiers who go into battle usually don't know he overall layer of things, the enormity of
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battle if you will. historians have made d-day into an epic story. soldiers have an idea what they were fighting for? dr. mueller: yes. i think that comes out in many .f their oral histories they think about what they were fighting for. there is the example of one jewish guy who said i was an angry jew and i got angrier when i was fighting the germans. but there's also reflections after the moment. everybody had a sense they were involved in an epic moment. one of them was someone i mentioned earlier. i hope they are watching tonight, this morning, since we are on c-span. captain john ron, captured with the fifth ranger battalion. he was one of that group that
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had to get diverted when they did not get the signal. and went in at omaha beach. i had the pleasure of interviewing him for about the third time. i think john is the oldest living officer right now who was on omaha beach. and i spoke to him about his sentiments on this particular interview. and asked him what he felt about it as he looked back. i think we have a film clip of that moment. it is worth you hearing it directly from home rather than me. [video clip] you, fromink i told what i had seen, we met with nothing but military success. we did in fact relieve the second battalion. and we did in fact get all the maisie and capture
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the artillery batteries. sometimes you can count a fourth but it does not really matter. militarily, it was a great success. it certainly was the giant step toward unseating hitler. and the success on my side, which ended up with the capture of saint little by the 29th division, it all depended upon the fact the fifth ranger battalion landed intact. we were a major fighting force. nobody was able to stop us. we brushed them out of the way. we had help from the tanks. we had help from the artillery. don't kid yourself. we have lots of help, but still , the main thing was ranger
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battalion, well-trained, intact, we just brushed right by the enemy opposition. dr. bischof: ladies and gentlemen, the book is "everything we have." youre we have whetted appetite sufficiently that you will get a copy. it is a special edition from the museum and we would like to thank nick for putting it together and talking with us about it this morning. [applause] dr. mueller: thank you. i would also like to recognize four of our french guys from normandy. christoph goslin, sylvan cap, they are here on my right, pierre nathanson.
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they are the top guides for all of our tours in normandy. they have been also of assistance to me in walking those battlefields. we will call on them if you have some questions. they can go into more granular accounts. they're all here for every conference because they're still learning with us. >> if you have questions, please raise your hand and tom and myself will come to you. we will start toward your right. >> it is my understanding that men on the higgins boats were mostly guardsmen. i have not seen any oral histories of them. they had to make several runs to go back and four. i am wondering, is there any
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oral history of their participation? sometimes the coast guard does not get the credit for their wartime services, which were extraordinary. dr. mueller: you probably know marvin, a good friend of ours in the 90's as we were trying to get this museum going. he was an 18-year-old, went on utah beach. here he was 18 years old. he had all of these guys mostly 19, 20. the lieutenant was tough on them . he said make sure you get me into the right place on the speech, young man. promptly one of the soldiers got up that was going in, got seasick, leaned over the side, and threw up. the throw up ended up in his face. the lieutenant said you want a bucket of cold water and he threw it on his face. he cleaned it all off. he asked, you want another one?
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he said yeah. that was a wake-up call and loosened everybody in the boat up. kind of loosened people up. marvin perez was a good friend to stephen ambrose. he was with us past the grand opening days and went around the country talking about his story. all of the higgins boats, most of them were commissioned here in new orleans by the coast guard. it wasn't all coast guardsmen going in here. he himself ended up going to the pacific and was on iwo jima as well in the first way. we are not going to forget the coxswains in this book. they are there. >> the next question is to your far left. >> building on top of his question. things that often get
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overlooked on d-day, do you mention anything about the marines i have heard also played a minor part in d-day itself? dr. mueller: we don't cover any of those stories. the french guides, do you want to talk about that? we don't have any of them in the book but they are certainly worth mentioning and these guys talk about them. >> it's my understanding there are about 30 marines attached to headquarters. and almost all of their recommendations are ignored. [laughter] >> the next question is to your far left with tom. >> dr. mueller, it seems everything i read about d-day invasion, there is a small piece
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left out. my dad was a paratrooper during world war ii but he did not drop on d-day since he had been there since april. he spoke fluent french. there were a bunch of people that dropped in before d-day to prepare getting ready for d-day. i was wondering if you knew of anyone who told that story. dr. mueller: we know about those. we don't tell those stories because we stuck to our limitation of those 24 hours and that was the focus. we have pretty strict guidelines on word count and pages from the publisher. we had to leave a lot out. but that would give us a reason for another book. those are really important stories not to be neglected. we do have a chapter that includes some reactions of a german soldier. and we go a little out of our framework for that last chapter.
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and a nurse who was back in england receiving the wounded, the dead and dying coming back. but by and large, we had to stick to the timeframe of those 24 hours give or take a little bit. >> gentleman in the middle section near the front. >> thank you for preserving these oral histories which are treasures as well as the letters from these men. i remember reading wonderful dispatches from ernie pyle he had written right after d-day. and one that struck me was about some young german pow's. he was standing with them and they were looking out across the water seeing thousands of ships coming and coming and these men were in shock. did you have any oral histories from any german soldiers? dr. mueller: yes.
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we have one in the last chapter. it is not that particular perspective, but we do have one . and there are a lot of stories like that, that are really palpable and important to seeing like ernie walking on the beaches and seeing the refuse of the dead cigarette packs, the diaries strewn about the sand on the edge of the water, we have that story in our exhibits. ernie pyle and the story of the one german. we just could not get everything into the book. i'm glad you brought that up. it's an important part of the perspective. if we had a bigger book, we
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could have brought more of that into the story because those are really special moments in the aftermath several days later. >> i collected oral histories. i am german and austrian. a good friend of stephen ambrose's give us the addresses of these men. we certainly did not cover the entire beaches. >> the next question is to your far left. this may have nothing to do with anything, but i will ask my question anyway. prior to due date, there was an episode that is probably one of the major snafus of world war
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ii. i suspect it is not in your book. but do you have any oral histories of what took place on that day? dr. mueller: we do in our collection, those who survived it. we refer to it in the introduction to the utah beach chapter because it was admiral on june 5 onto his acreage for the fleet that was going to attack utah beach. it was something that wade very heavily -- weighed very heavily on his mind. they worried that incident would have revealed that the invasion not only was impending but maybe where the attack would come from. fortunately, the germans did not find out. certainly, his failure to notice
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boats that attacked during the training exercises unwittingly was weighing heavily on his mind as he was leaving his part of the fleet going into utah beach on the channel that night on june 5. a very palpable moment. inis on his mind as he goes the night before. we touched on the only by reflecting backward because we are trying to keep our focus very tight on the >> the next question is in the center section toward your right. >> thank you. my uncle was in the 101st airborne. three 27th glider infantry. had a unique story. they went ashore with the fourth infantry division by
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ship because the story went there were plenty of gliders but not enough told planes. i was wondering if there was any history or if the museum about the 327 actually not going in by glider for going in with the nfantry. >> in the utah beach section i don't know that we covered that specifically. we are aware some of the fighter guys went ashore. it's an important story not covered in the book unfortunately. i'm not sure we have it in our exhibits. i think it is something that would lend itself to one of our talks one of these days. at this conference. i think it is something we ought to put the spotlight on. >> dr. mueller we do have the glider exhibit in our original d-day galleries and we do have a photo of the troops coming in by one of the landing craft. a
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rather famous photo in one of the sensor patches covered up for wartime. they are screaming eagles. we have a question from jim who is watching on facebook. are any of the band f brothers in your book? >> yes. we have a greatwe have a great story by dick winters. they were having a conversation. this is one of the places we deviated from the first 24 hours because ambrose alking to winters with the company went in to carrington on the might of june. that chapter is really steve in a conversation with dick winters
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about how the guys walk through the swabs along the road to come into the least defended rea and they are pointing to the map as they talk showing how they got there. got in position to the least defended area a decisive crossroads where the germans could reinforce utah beach. it is important. it brings winters in a conversation back and forth with steve ambrose and he talks about these guys who came in through the swamp area in the least defended area of carrington and he had all the guys lined up on the side of the causeway going through the small. when they had a ready to attack. winters is running around trying to get these guys
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to move. there were going to get under fire immediately. kicking them in me ass, as he said, running toward carytown. nd tipper got blown up and thought he was -- we thought tipper was dead. both his legs ere well mangled by mortars. the tipper story is in there. some of the guys from easy company are in that story o but we chose carrington to deviate from the script because we thought it was special to have this back and forth interview between stephen ambrose d andick winters about how he planned to take the town
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ofarytown which occupied a vital crossroads. they had to block -- they had to take that town and keep the germans from being able to reinforce utah beach so it was a critical action. they moved overnight to get into position and it was -- it is a good story. one of those times where we deviated >> the next question. about alfway back. >> it's hard not to shed tears ver some of those letters. i would like to thank you for what you've helped create. this is a lasting memorial for the world. this is a variation of a
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question that i had asked you yesterday. based upon the oral histories, do you believe that the troops would have gotten off omaha beach without the presence and efforts of the rangers? >> that's -- you know, -- a tough question to answer because we're getting into speculation of what could have happened. they were certainly pinned down there for a while. he best story comes really from john and as i said before i hope you're listening and if i can -- if i get anything wrong you can call and talk to the audience yourself. but the captain went in with the headquarters of the fifth rangers. and you know the story, the guys were paralyzed
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nd here comes what john sees as a crazy guy wandering down the beach and he goes to see who it is and it's general koda. they recognize ron. your father is ron, too. i'm the same one, sir. he says well you've got to get these guys off the beach. rangers lead the way. so ron -- they were in the process of putting a torpedo and busting through the wires, and were among the first. this is the group that came over remember, so they were one of the first guys up the bluff. ron was part of that group that went through the wire. the toward blew it up. but that was a moment. it took the leadership of koda, motivating
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ron. saying let's -- the angers lead the way. let's go. so with a would have happened? you know, you can never tell. we almost didn't. as you know bradley almost p pulled the troops back. that was have been a disaster. it was getting close to the late morning on d-day when that happened. but they went through and then they went up the bluffs. as general ron, later, captain at the ime, to triage their nsulating fire on the beaches. and if i didn't say this, and john's watching he's going to get on me for not getting it right. but they couldn't redirect their fire. big guns and the fortifyications. so the
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guys coming up in between them. so the weak spot in the german efense system. and then they get up to the top of the bluffs and he was then sent on a patrol to try to make contact with the first with division which had come in over to the left of them. on a patrol. then he came back in. then ron of course ended up the other end of the story is that john connects and takes his group the rangers on the night of the sixth and seventh they start moving and get over to relieve hem. on the morning of june 8. those two nights, i mean, atrick is here and wrote the book dog company. just i've got
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to shout out to him. he gets that story of the fighting that went on and thehand to hand combat. along for two nights. so that battle wasn't over and ron was coming to relieve him and he came in at omaha. the long answer to your question, but somebody had to break through and they go up and they made it up the bluff. then ron n the 7th with a lot of german fire along the coastal road, tells a gripping story of how he ended up leading the group to come to the relief of the angers that were holding on, on that perimeter, along the coastal road there. then connected up. they were down to using german weapons and german ammunition. they were running out of everything. because no
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elief had come in from the sea to them, the rangers that went up that morning, a little late on day. so that kind of tells the rest of the story. i think it went on longer, i don't know if i answered all of your question. >> ladies and gentlemen, we are to end our time. let me just remind you the website is d day permit me to make a final announcement. tomorrow morning sunday if somebody or some of you are still around, we will have a small workshop at the world war ii museum with very fine historians on something that margaret mentioned in her talk on thursday. mainly that we study too long the wreckage of empires. and this will be a workshop. so if you're around,
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the good news it's free of harge. come by the museum. sunday morning. thank you very much. >> before we end i would like to say a few remarks. thank you o you for helping in the foundation of this institution with with your colleagues, nick, steven. and -- [applause] at risk of future rhett bution, behind every great man is an a even great woman. i would like beth to stand up and be recognized for helping in the creation of this museum as ell. >> thank you. ladies and
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gentlemen, not only are you the first to hear about the book and see some of the key audio visual components but you now have the opportunity to be some of the first to preorder the book. so both nick and gunter will be at the book-signing station and our retail team has preorder sheets available. though it doesn't come out until march you can get your copy now. as we did so well yesterday i'm going to be a harsh task master and keep us right on time. so we will start promptly at 9:30. thank you.
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>> we thought we could use it as a plot but we found shown here was pretty badly destroyed by the germans themselves. they destroyed the docks which we thought we could use. it took them, if i recall, almost two months before we could bring a ship in. >> most of it with was medic but a few of it was mama.
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the cries of the wounded and the dies were sort of haunting but they were drowned out by the rifle and machine gun fire coming in from our right.
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>> princeton university professor kevin kruse talks about the role of historians on social media and what he feels is their duty to provide context to issues. he also discusses how media consumption has changed since the 1970s. this 13-minute interview was recorded in chicago at the annual american historic association meeting. >> kevin kruse is a professor at princeton university, out with a new book this movement the title, fault lines, a history of america since 1974. what's the premise behind it? >> it comes from a course we taught for a couple of years. post 1974 in history


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