In September I traveled around the Meuse-Argonne and Verdun WWI battlefields in France. I saw and heard quite a bit of history. You can read about one museum at which we stopped in my article, Romagne ’14-’18 Museum.
I was given a physical copy of the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) book, World War I Battlefield Companion. You can download a digital copy from the link above. This is a must-have resource for any WWI researcher or traveler.
When I travel around WWI or WWII battlefields, I like to plan my trips and know where I will stop. I like to be organized and know more of the history of what I will see. While my husband and I do follow the energy and end up at times in interesting places the soldiers send us, for the most part, I have a good idea of where I’m going.
Sometimes there is not enough time for me to fully prepare if a trip comes up quickly, so I enjoy having various travel guides at hand to help prepare me. However, I did not prepare in this way for my WWI Battlefield tours in September in France. I trusted my guide to take me where he felt appropriate since I was not walking in a family member’s footsteps or going for a client. How nice it was to receive my copy of this WWI Battlefield Companion so I could be more prepared for future trips and learn new details.
Why is this book useful?
The book has sections created for all the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) battles. This is helpful to those who are researching their family member in a specific battle(s), to help them focus on the history and sites that are important.
Within each section there are many historical photos combined with maps and current photos. Each section has a list of STOPS to help guide your travel in that specific battle area. There is brief history provided about each battle and information about the ABMC cemeteries created after different battles.
For those of us who love photographs and maps to better understand and learn visually about history, this book does not disappoint. The end of the book also has sections on American Women in the Great War, Paris, and Remembering Their Sacrifice.
Please be aware that every single monument to every unit and participant, that exists in Europe created for the AEF is listed in this book. Instead, this book provides key sites and information as a way to educate and encourage further reading and exploration.
What are you reading?
Have you discovered some amazing WWI or WWII travel guides or battlefield companions our readers should know exist? Please share with us in the comments. I’m always looking for new resources.
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Are you ready to learn the bigger picture of your family member’s military service? There are many ways we can help you with research – we offer full service history research, we can help with evaluating what you have to prepare a research plan for you to do some of it yourself, we can help you write the stories. Just email us at the address below to schedule a free phone consult to discuss options.
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