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Citizen Soldier: The Big Red One on D-Day

The U.S. Army's First Infantry Division lived up to its name on June 6, 1944 by being the first troops to land on the beaches of Normandy during the D-Day invasion. Sponsored by the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park.

Paul Herbert is joined by authors Joseph Balkoski, John C. McManus, and Steven Zaloga for this discussion of the Army's oldest division. In continuous service since 1917, "The Big Red One" has a long and storied history. This panel examines the First Infantry Division's impressive service during World War II, with particular focus on their role in the D-Day landings. 

Joseph-Balkoski-100.jpgJOSEPH BALKOSKI served for many years as the command historian for the Maryland National Guard and the U.S. Army’s 29th Infantry Division. He is the author of several books about D-Day and the Normandy campaign including Omaha Beach and Utah Beach, a two-volume account of the American involvement in the D-Day invasion. More than twenty-five years ago, he began work on a five-volume series about the 29th Division’s service in World War II. The first book in that series, Beyond the Beachhead, was published in 1989 and has been in print continuously ever since. The fourth volume, Our Tortured Souls, was published in 2013. Joe currently runs the 29th Division’s archives and museum in Baltimore, Maryland. He conducts battlefield staff rides in the United States and Europe for current U.S. Army soldiers as part of their military training and was recently recognized by USA Today as “the top living D-Day historian.” He wrote a bi-monthly column for Rick Atkinson’s Liberation Trilogy website titled The Road to D-Day, to recognize the 70th anniversary of the Normandy invasion. 

paul-herbert-100.jpgPAUL HERBERT graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1972 and holds a PhD in History from The Ohio State University in addition to being a graduate of the U.S. Army War College. He is a retired colonel of the United States Army, a professor of military studies at the National War College, and an assistant professor of history at The U.S. Military Academy. He is the author of Deciding What Has to Be Done: General William Depuy; he has lectured and written several articles on national security and military history. He is the Executive Director of the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park.

john-mcmanus-100.jpgJOHN C. MCMANUS is a full-time professor of U.S. military history at the Missouri University of Science and Technology and a Cantigny First Division Museum Fellow. As one of the nation’s leading military historians, and the author of eleven well received books on the topic, he is in frequent demand as a speaker and expert commentator. In addition to dozens of local and national radio programs, he has appeared on, Fox News, C-Span, the Military Channel, the Discovery Channel, the Smithsonian Network, the History Channel and PBS.  His new book, The Dead and Those About to Die, D-Day: The Big Red One at Omaha Beach was released on May 6, 2015.

Steven_Zaloga_100.jpgSTEVEN ZALOGA received his BA in history from Union College and his MA from Columbia University. He has worked as an analyst in the aerospace industry for over two decades, covering the missile and UAV (drone) business as well as the international arms trade. He serves as an adjunct staff member with the Institute for Defense Analyses, a federal think tank. He is the author of several dozen books specializing in armored warfare, military technology, and the campaigns of the U.S. Army in the European theater in World War II. He has served as a correspondent for a number of defense publications including Armed Forces Journal and Jane's Intelligence Review. His writing has also extended to television, and he was the principal writer/director for the popular series "Firepower" which appeared on the Discovery Channel in the 1990s.

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