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NEW FROM FRENCH L. MACLEAN

Waffen-SS Tiger Crews at Kursk

The Men of SS Panzer Regiments 1, 2 & 3 in Operation Citadel, July 5-15, 1943

Now Available
Waffen-SS Tiger Crews at Kursk

Books by French MacLean

This Date in History: June 23

Werner Best

Werner Best, SS-Obergruppenführer, born July 10, 1903 in Darmstadt, National Socialist legal expert, Reich Commissioner for Denmark, sentenced to death in Denmark in 1946, sentence commuted, released from prison in 1951, died on June 23, 1989 in Mülheim/Ruhr, made the following comment on the on the legality of the Gestapo: “As long as the police carries out the will of the leadership, it is acting legally.”  (2,000 Quotes From Hitler’s 1,000-Year Reich)

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Master Sergeant John C. Woods

John C. Woods, who had told Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) authorities that he was experienced in mechanical work and whose previous trade had included a mechanic and bridge builder, was assigned as a cook at the CCC camp at Fort Leavenworth (the Headquarters Company for the Missouri District.)  He served in that capacity of through June 23, 1933, and performed in a satisfactory manner.  (American Hangman: MSgt. John C. Woods: The United States Army’s Notorious Executioner in World War II and Nürnberg)

Welcome to an Adventure!

Do you enjoy solving mysteries ? Do you like to travel in time when you read ? Are you looking to discover history books that tell what really happened ? Then come on in.

I had a great life spending over thirty years in the Army; was able to help defend the country in two wars with a bunch of tremendous soldiers and any success I may have had was due to each and every one of them; as I frequently tell my friends — I am no hero, but I served with heroes and you can’t do any better than that. I was also able to see the world, help develop complex technology and understand that I lived in a pretty special country. The only downside to all that Army time was that after I retired, doing regular day-to-day living was pretty boring.

So I started to write. It didn’t and doesn’t bring you much money, but it sure has been interesting traveling around the country and the world to chase after historical mysteries. I came across a page or two in some World War II history books, for example, on some special Waffen-SS unit in World War II that was composed of criminals let out of jail — but there were not that many details about it — and by luck I ran into detailed records of the unit buried in our National Archives. That led to The Cruel Hunters: SS-Sonderkommando Dirlewanger Hitler’s Most Notorious Anti-Partisan Unit.

Several more books on Germany in World War II followed: the dark side with works on concentration camps, Einsatzkommandos, and the Destruction of the Jewish Warsaw Ghetto, and more-traditional writings on Luftwaffe Knights Cross winners and U-Boat sailors. That was fun, because I was able to interview many of them.

On a trip out to the Little Bighorn, I began to wonder what life was like for the basic enlisted cavalryman. All the existing books talked about officers — George Custer, Marcus Reno and Frederick Benteen — but what about the hundreds of privates and sergeants? That search led to Custer’s Best: The Story of Company M, 7th Cavalry at the Little Bighorn, which was able to win the John M. Carroll Award.

Then, in 2001, I discovered U.S. Army records that were languishing outside Washington, D.C. that contained the story of 96 American soldiers who were court-martialed in Europe and North Africa in World War II and subsequently executed by the Army — not the German Army, but our own Army. And they were buried in a secret cemetery northwest of Paris that is not shown on any map! It took me a decade to run down all the loose ends, but we finally got the story, which led to The Fifth Field: The Story of the 96 American Soldiers Sentenced to Death and Executed in Europe and North Africa in World War II, which subsequently received the Lieutenant General Richard G. Trefry Award. In fact, if you only read one of the books, read this one!

More recently, I stumbled across a little known battlefield in southeast Montana on a bed & breakfast ranch, and just turned in into Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Gold and Guns: The 1874 Yellowstone Wagon Road and Prospecting Expedition and the Battle of Lodge Grass Creek. It is the saga of a Montana wagon train in Montana in 1874 that was searching for gold. The 150 gold miners, buffalo hunters and Civil War veterans did not find any gold, but they did run into Sitting Bull and 1,400 of his closest friends. You can visit the route they took today as many of their campsites and their three major skirmishes with Sitting Bull are all shown with GPS coordinates that you can just plug into your device.

I helped a great friend finish his own mystery on the murder of Tsar Nicholas II (it didn’t happen the way the Bolsheviks claimed it did,) as well as analyzing the Little Bighorn Cook-Benteen Note (it might have been “doctored” after the battle.) His book is titled Romanovs’ Murder Case: The Myth of the Basement Room Massacre.

Finished a massive book on the German offensive at Verdun in 1916, but so far have been unable to contract with a publisher, so if you know of one that might be interested let me know!

More successful is a book, which came out in October 2019, a biography of Master Sergeant John C. Woods, the U.S. Army hangman in Europe at the end of World War II, who stayed on to hang numerous Nazi war criminals at Landsberg and Nürnberg in 1945-46. American Hangman: MSgt. John C. Woods: The United States Army’s Notorious Executioner in World War II and Nürnberg.

Finished a book on the Tiger tank crews of the 2nd SS Panzer Corps at the Battle of Kursk in July 1943. This is the first work concentrating on the crews, rather than the tank; there are over 220 crewmen that road on these super tanks. It is published by Schiffer, came out October 28, 2020, and is shown above.

Right now I am finishing a book on my father’s experience as an Infantry soldier in the 9th Infantry Division in World War II. He fought in the Hürtgen Forest and The Battle of the Bulge and will be about what it was like to be a young infantryman in these two bloody battles.

Another observation I made while in the Army was that the world is a dangerous place and unfortunately a lot of that danger is coming to our own country. September 11, 2001 should have been a wake-up call, but too many lessons have already been forgotten and acts of terror now occur in large cities and small towns across the country. So I have also started several projects to help people organize their thoughts on personal protection (such as the Walther PPQ M2 .45 ACP pistol,) and how we might want to analyze some of these enemies to our nation (see Strategy, Weapons and Tactics).

So come on inside and go on Your Own Adventure!

Latest News

Don’t Look Up

Osama bin Laden’s Compound

In the Land of the Blind, what if a few men had a billion eyes?  What would we call them?  Well, we’re about to find out.  In one of my old jobs, I used to surf the net and pick out 20 articles per week, copy them, put them in seventeen binders and provide those binders to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, the Commandant of the United States Coast Guard and fourteen other folks around Washington, DC.  All the articles were “open source” – unclassified – the key was knowing where to look for pieces of information they needed to make decisions, and probably wouldn’t get this info from their subordinates who processed data in traditional Washington ways, where sometimes the boss doesn’t find out what’s going on.

Nowadays, sometimes I go geeky and surf around like the good old days, and I found this article from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) which is full of geeky folks researching geeky things.  Its about satellites; how there are at least 768 commercial ones up there zooming around; how US federal regulations limit images taken by commercial satellites to a resolution of 25 centimeters, about the length of a man’s shoe; how their orbits pass over every place on Earth sometimes 15 times a day.  Then it discussed a company called BlackSky Global that promises to have their satellites fly over most major cities up to 70 times a day.  As MIT says: “That might not be enough to track an individual’s every move, but it would show what times of day someone’s car is typically in the driveway.”

Now go to Google Earth Pro.  Type in […]

June 15, 2021|

Denial — Hector “Macho” Camacho

Macho (right) in happier days

Boxing great, Héctor Luís “Macho” Camacho Matías, is a central character in Denial.  His actual murder outside a bar, in a parked Ford Mustang, in Bayamón occurred just before we began writing the novel and served as the principal background event for the story.  We interviewed several persons who had been at the scene of the tragic crime and think we have it accurately portrayed, and like many things in the book, it may have some information that you never knew.  Héctor Camacho was well-known throughout Puerto Rico and beloved by a tremendous number of people.

In this photo, one of our nephews is shown on the left with the champ.  Wilson is the leader of an excellent band on the island and Héctor loved salsa music.  You can’t understand modern Puerto Rico without understanding “Macho” Camacho and Denial is not only a great story, but also a unique guide to this remarkable island.

And it’s not Pay-Per-View!!!  You can read it for free.

June 8, 2021|
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