Resources on History – Military

Extreme Pastoral Care – Mission at Nuremberg

By Charlie Wingard · January 16, 2015 · 0 Comments
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Christian ministers seek the lost, proclaim God’s gospel of faith and repentance to all who will listen, and refuse pastoral care to no one who seeks it. Their commitment leads them to minister in dark places of human depravity. The prison complex of the Palace of Justice in Nuremberg, Germany was such a place. Housed there in 1945-46 were prominent architects of the Nazi war machine and its “Final Solution,” standing trial for crimes against peace and humanity. With them was Missouri Synod Lutheran pastor and United States Army Chaplain Henry Gerecke, who provided pastoral care to the Protestants among them. At age 50 Gerecke joined the  U.S. Army Chaplain Corps. His years of leadership at City Mission in St. Louis were distinguished by care for  the poor, the sick, and…

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By Charlie Wingard · November 29, 2014 · 0 Comments
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“Every leader has (or should have) a moral code – a spur that gets him up in the morning, and a matrix that tells him what he may, what he must, and what he must not do. He has to decide if his moral beliefs are sensible, and if his line of work suits them, and he should know that those decisions may cost him time and money, perhaps popularity and power. “The varieties of bravery are not necessarily connected. Benedict Arnold was as brave a warrior as George Washington, and had a shattered leg to prove it, but he did not have the courage of his convictions, because he had no convictions. Bravery is a quality a leader must…

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“The Guns at Last Light”

By Charlie Wingard · May 24, 2014 · 2 Comments
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  Memorial Day weekend is a fitting time to finish reading The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945, the final volume of Rick Atkinson’s deservedly praised Liberation Trilogy. The author makes extensive use of servicemen’s letters home. None are more heartwrenching than those that proved to be last words to beloved mothers and fathers, wives, girlfriends, and children. One of many such stories: With less than six weeks remaining in the war, an American B-24 was shot down near Wesel, Germany. “The eight dead crewmen included First Lieutenant Earle C. Cheek of Missouri, the navigator, a ‘genial friend a good companion and a lovable comrade,’ according to the unit chaplain. Cheek had survived many harrowing sorties…

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Flags of Our Fathers

By Charlie Wingard · January 28, 2014 · 0 Comments
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In February 1945 Associated Press photographer Joseph Rosenthal snapped what became the most widely distributed photograph in America’s history, the raising of the our flag atop Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima. During the month long battle to take the 8 square mile island, 6,800 United States Marines gave their lives;  21,000 more were wounded. The sliver of land became a strategic airbase for U.S. fighters escorting heavy bombers on missions to Japan, and a haven for crippled aircraft that otherwise would have been lost to the unforgiving sea. Joe Rosenthal’s photograph captures the valor and fierce determination of the United States Marine Corps. It is also one of the cherished cultural symbols of what Tom Brokaw calls “the greatest generation,”…

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The Tin Can Sailors’ Last Stand

By Charlie Wingard · January 23, 2014 · 0 Comments
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Several years ago one of Westminster’s teenagers recommended to me The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy’s Finest Hour by James D. Hornfischer. What a read! From beginning to end a fast-paced and moving story of heroism. Leyte Gulf was the largest naval engagement in history, and also the world’s last large-scale naval battle (or perhaps, more accurately, series of battles). Leyte was a desperate attempt by the Japanese to disrupt MacArthur’s Philippine invasion, and to keep the the Philippines and its vital natural resources under Japanese control. The book focuses on one engagement of the Battle of Leyte – the two-and-a-half-hour fight off the island of Samar. There,…

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Learning on the Run

By Charlie Wingard · December 11, 2013 · 2 Comments
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Until October, when I had to curtail my activities, I enjoyed listening to history lectures on my longer runs. Below are some of my favorites. Series from The Teaching Company: The Conservative Tradition, Patrick Allitt Famous Greeks, Rufus Fears Famous Romans, Rufus Fears Robert E. Lee and His High Command, Gary Gallagher The American Mind, Allen Guelzo Donald Kagan’s “Ancient Greek History” lectures are available for free through Open Yale Courses. Both audio and video are available.  In one lecture he  uses students to demonstrate the hoplite phalanx. The video is hilarious. I remain an enthusiastic subscriber to Ken Myers’ Mars Hill Audio Journal, which “is committed to assisting Christians who desire to move from thoughtless consumption of contemporary culture…

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