About french

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far french has created 214 blog entries.

Adolf Hitler in World War I

Hitler WWI

This World War I postcard from Germany, which shows a burial of German soldiers during the war.  On the reverse, the card is postmarked November 18, 1915.  Most importantly, it is also marked as coming from the 10th Company of the 16th Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment in the 6th Bavarian Reserve Division.  The religious leader in the white cassock appears to be Father Norbert (Norbert Stumpf.)  The soldiers with the armbands are medical personnel.  While at full strength, a German infantry company fielded about 240 men, companies were rarely anything close to full strength, so an average of about 100 might be more accurate.  There seem to be about 50 men present in this photograph.

Why is this photograph anything more than one of the hundreds of thousands of routine depictions of World War I ?

Probably because by this date in 1915, Corporal Adolf Hitler was assigned to the 10th Company shown here, according to several expert sources.

I have looked at the photo for hours under magnification and am not able to say that I have found Hitler in the formation.  As his duties also consisted as a message carrier, or runner, to regimental headquarters, it is quite possible he did not attend this burial.

Adolf Hitler WWI Sample 1

This is a known photo of Hitler during the war.  Unfortunately, it seems that many men in his unit sported flourishing mustaches, so that feature does not narrow down identification.  Below is a second known photo.  When Hitler was in a small group having its picture taken, he often stood or sat near the edge of the group.  But the men at the funeral service probably had no idea that the group was having its picture taken.

Adolf Hitler WWI Sample 2

If you can identify the future dictator of Nazi Germany in the top photograph, please let me know who you believe it is!


Adolf Hitler in World War I2016-07-31T16:48:01-06:00

Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Gold and Guns

Sitting Bull Cover

(August 27, 2016) Schiffer Publishing has received Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Gold and Guns: The 1874 Yellowstone Wagon Road and Prospecting Expedition and the Battle of Lodge Grass Creek. 

The book is available now !

I have a copy and it is gorgeous.  There are 342 color and black and white images, several dozen of which are color maps of the three battles and about 30 locations, where the wagon train made camp for the night, during its 80-day journey.  The photos, most of which previously have never been published, show period weapons, as well as warrior and wagon train participants.  It is on the Schiffer website with ISBN13: 9780764351518

This is the story of 150 of the most adventurous scouts, gold prospectors, gunslingers, buffalo hunters, and Civil War veterans of both sides—they may have been the deadliest collection of shooters to ever hit the trail.  This is the most detailed work ever produced on the obscure legend of the 1874 Yellowstone Wagon Road Prospecting Expedition in the Montana Territory—the product of multi-year research across the country, and visits to the three significant battlefields and expedition route of over 500 miles—an event that impacted the Little Bighorn in 1876.

Numerous legends of the West rode on the expedition, later playing key roles in the Great Sioux War of 1876.  Their adversaries now were the Lakota and Northern Cheyenne—some of the greatest light cavalry to ever gallop over the North American continent.  And watching their every move were Sitting Bull, Gall, Hump, Crazy Horse, and a renegade chief named Inkpaduta, ready to strike.

As part of the book are in-depth descriptions of three pitched battles in 1874 between the wagon train and the Lakota/Northern Cheyenne warriors that hopefully will now be part of the lexicon of the Wild West:

The Battle of Rosebud Creek

The Battle of Great Medicine Dance Creek

The Battle of Lodge Grass Creek

The book also lists warriors involved in these fights and provides detailed information on several renowned scouts during that era such as George Herendeen, William T. “Uncle Billy” Hamilton, Jack Bean, “Muggins” Taylor, Addison M. Quivey, Zadok “Zodiac” Daniels and Oliver “Big Spit” Hanna.

It also describes exploits of heroes you have never met.  John Anderson, a former slave, who had fought in an all black unit in Kansas in the Civil War, was on the trek.  At the Battle of Great Medicine Dance Creek, both the frontiersmen and the warriors stopped in their tracks to watch an epic fight to the death, with knife and tomahawk, between Anderson and a Lakota chief!

John’s photo is in the book, as is perhaps the only photo in existence of scout “Muggins” Taylor, who two years later rode from the Little Bighorn battlefield to the Fort Ellis telegraph office with a note from General Alfred Terry on the debacle that became known as Custer’s Last Stand.  Fortunately for Taylor, much of that route had been the same as he had scouted with the wagon train in 1874.

As a special feature, the book presents information that may link John “Liver-Eating” Johnston with the wagon train.  And using new genealogy resources, such as, the book traces the lives of many of the participants on the wagon train, whether they later again got the itch to search for gold, ended their days at Deadwood in the Dakota Territory, or whether they practiced medicine outside of Tombstone in the Arizona Territory during the “Gunfight at the OK Corral” era.

The epilogue of the book documents the re-creation of Jack Bean’s nearly one-mile shot against a single Lakota warrior that we attempted, during the preparation of the book, to duplicate at the exact location it occurred.

The work is also a history of the wild territory of Montana, including the Montana Vigilantes, no nonsense territorial governors such as Sidney Edgerton and Benjamin F. Potts, the wild town of Coulson, and the search for the mythical Lost Cabin Gold Mine.  Much like today, it has an element of the political elites taking advantage of hard-working regular folks, who ultimately had the last laugh and lived the way they desired.

Perhaps most importantly, the book sets the stage for the Great Sioux War of 1876, which became the cataclysmic event in the nation’s expansion to the west.

Many of the significant incidents on the expedition happened within 30 miles of the Little Bighorn, so for those visitors to that battlefield, this book shows you numerous additional locations to visit during your trip, including GPS information to make navigation easy.  In fact, if you visit Fort Phil Kearny, near present-day Buffalo, Wyoming and adjacent to the Fetterman Fight, follow with an examination of the 1874 Yellowstone Wagon Road and Prospecting Expedition—as shown in this book—and visit the Little Bighorn Battlefield, a total stretch of 93 miles, you can put the entire Lakota and Northern Cheyenne fight with the United States Army during the gold-rush on the Plains into perspective.

Did I mention the Boothill Cemetery?

Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Gold and Guns2016-09-04T20:38:02-06:00


Denial Cover Kindle

The great novel of Puerto Rico is finally here!  After writing all these books on history, Olga and I decided to try and write a novel and the result is now on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing under the title:


A Crime Mystery Novel of Puerto Rico

The mysterious disappearance of a valuable animal in the mountains of Puerto Rico leads Detective Sergeant Antonio Ponce from the murder investigation of Hector “Macho” Camacho to a dangerous journey into the world of animal trafficking in the Caribbean.  The search to solve the crime is complicated by professional hit-men and a Puerto Rican bureaucracy that is in a perpetual state of denial that any crime of this magnitude could ever occur on “The Isle of Enchantment.”  In addition to a page-turning build-up to the book’s conclusion, the work presents an in-depth look at the history, people, geography and culture of the “Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.”

Researching and writing it was fun and stretched our imaginations trying to craft a believable work of fiction.  I think it is a page-turner, but in addition to the storyline, you will find a wealth of information about the island’s people, geography, food and travel — a great book to take with you on your Kindle or Ipad when you go on vacation down there (the restaurants and coffee houses named in the book are all there in real life!)

So have a great time…and do be careful the next time you take a bath!


Theodor Dannecker

Theodor Danneker

Theodor Danneker

Theodor Dannecker, SS-Hauptsturmführer, born 27 March 1913 in Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, assigned to Office IV B 4 (Jewish Affairs) of the RSHA (Reich Security Main Office) under Adolf Eichmann, leader of the Judenreferat at the Sicherheitsdienst post in Paris that oversaw the deportation of 13,000 Jews to Auschwitz, in charge of deporting all Jews from Bulgaria to extermination camps, assisted in the deportation of more than a half a million Hungarian Jews between early 1944 and summer of the same year to Auschwitz and other death factories, committed suicide after being taken prisoner by the U.S. Army on 10 December 1945 in Bad Tölz, Bavaria.

Theodor Dannecker2016-03-29T20:56:26-06:00

Alois Brunner

Alois Brunner

Alois Brunner

Alois Brunner, born 8 April 1912 in Nádkút, Vas, Austria-Hungary, SS-Hauptsturmführer in the Gestapo, commander of the Drancy internment camp, oversaw deportations of tens of thousands of Jews from France, Austria, Salonika and Slovakia to extermination camps, assistant to Adolf Eichmann, fled to Syria after the war to avoid prosecution, known in Syria as Dr. Georg Fischer, condemned to death in abstentia in France in 1954, object of many manhunts and investigations over the years by different groups, serious injured several times by Israeli Mossad letter bombs, interviewed by Bunte magazine in 1985,  lived in an apartment building on 7 Rue Haddad in Damascus, probably died in Syria in 2010 and buried somewhere in Damascus, said in an interview in 1987:

“I first heard about gas chambers after the end of the war.”

Alois Brunner2016-03-29T13:39:09-06:00

Amon Göth

Amon Göth

Amon Göth

Amon Leopold Göth, SS-Hauptsturmführer, born 11 December 1908 in Vienna, Austria, assigned to Operation Reinhard in Lublin in the summer of 1942, commandant of the Płaszów concentration camp, in charge of the liquidation of the Tarnów ghetto, and the liquidation of the Szebnie concentration camp, relieved of his position and charged by the SS with theft of Jewish property in 1944, diagnosed Göth as suffering from mental illness and he was committed to a mental institution in Bad Tölz , Bavaria, found guilty in Poland after the war of homicide, sentenced to death, hanged at Montelupich prison at Krakow on 13 September 1946, last words were “Heil Hitler,” remains cremated and the ashes scattered in the Vistula River.

Amon Göth2016-03-29T13:10:41-06:00

Franz Stangl

Franz Stangl shortly before his death

Franz Stangl shortly before his death

Franz Stangl, SS-Hauptsturmführer, born 26 March 1898 in Altmünster, Austria, served as the Police Superintendent of the T-4 Euthanasia Program at Hartheim Euthanasia Center, and later of the Bernburg Euthanasia Center, kommandant of the Sobibór and Treblinka extermination camps of Operation Reinhard, winner of the War Service Cross 1st Class, arrested in Sao Paulo in 1967, convicted of crimes against humanity, sentenced to Life Imprisonment, died of a heart attack 28 June 1971 in prison at Düsseldorf, on the Treblinka extermination camp:

“It was Dante’s Inferno.  It was Dante come to life.”

Franz Stangl2016-03-29T12:19:01-06:00

Ilse Koch

Ilse Koch

Ilse Koch

Ilse Koch, wife of Karl Koch (Buchenwald commandant), born 22 September 1906 in Dresden, worked as a guard and secretary at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, reportedly collected items made of human skin, nicknamed: “the Bitch of Buchenwald”, arrested with her husband by SS authorities in 1943 on charges of private enrichment, embezzlement, and the murder of prisoners to prevent them giving testimony but charges dismissed due to lack of evidence,[convicted of crimes against German nationals in 1951, sentenced to life imprisonment by a West German court, committed suicide in prison by hanging herself with a bed sheet 1 September 1967 at the Aichach prison near Dachau, Bavaria, buried in an unmarked and untended grave in the cemetery at Aichach, reported last words on the day of her death were:

“Death is the only deliverance.”

Ilse Koch2016-03-29T11:52:10-06:00

Ernst Lerch

Ernst Lerch at time of trial

Ernst Lerch at time of trial

Ernst Lerch, SS-Sturmbannführer, born 19 November 1914 in Klagenfurt, Austria,  employed in his father’s Café Lerch in his home town in the 1930s, adjutant to SS and Police Leader Odilo Globocnik in Lublin, Poland, participant in Operation Reinhard (Aktion Reinhard)– the operation to kill the Jews of Poland, winner of the Iron Cross 1st Class, served as chief of Globocnik’s personal staff in the OZAK (Operationszone Adriatisches Küstenland), tried in Austria in 1972 but trial adjourned without verdict, died in 1997, said of SS-Obergruppenführer Odilo Globocnik, the chief of Operation Reinhard:

“Globocnik has two souls: one sincere and pleasing one; he really was sociable and fun loving, even witty, and then there was another, completely reversed aspect – the harshness and unbending behavior in his work.  The orders, which came from above, were executed in each particular case; an order could not be discussed.  He had the extraordinary ability, sometimes like that of a priest, to obey these orders.”

Ernst Lerch2016-03-29T11:35:04-06:00

Otto Skorzeny

Otto Skorzeny

Otto Skorzeny

Otto Skorzeny, SS-Standartenführer, born 12 June 1908 in Vienna, Austria, commando leader who rescued Benito Mussolini at Gran Sasso, commanded special commandos at the Battle of the Bulge, winner of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, author Skorzeny’s Secret Missions: War Memoirs of the Most Dangerous Man in Europe, by some accounts was an Israeli Mossad agent in the 1960s, died 5 July 1975 in Madrid, Spain, said on loyalty:

“I believe that if I am loyal to a man when he is winning I should also be loyal to him when he loses.”

Otto Skorzeny2016-03-28T22:08:28-06:00
Go to Top