Oct. 1, 2020 — My Uncle, Navy Lt. Erling Wangsnes, Radioman (1910-1958), a 23 minute video with live action and music, was presented as the lead-off in the Fall Zoom Program of the Luck Area Historical Society, Luck, WI. A native of Luck, Lt. Erling Wangsnes had a 25 year career (more than 9 years at sea) in which he helped to advance Naval Communications by Radio and Radar, served in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of WWII, fought in the greatest Naval battle of the war which put an end to the Japanese Navy, served on the flagship for the Atomic Bomb tests at Bikini Atoll after the war, and served in Central Communication for the Pacific Fleet during the Korean war.
The lecture series this year is to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the End of WWII and the 100th Anniversary of the American Womens’ Right to Vote. To view subsequent talks in the series, all starting promptly at 7:00 PM, please email firstname.lastname@example.org three days in advance:
Oct. 22. “Womens’ Suffrage: Yesterday and Today,” with JoAnn Hallquist.
Nov. 5. “Memories from the Homefront,” with Norm Toensing.
Nov. 11 “Verdie Asper, one of Luck Wisconsin’s WWII Heroes,” (Film from Normandy, France).
Mar. 7, 2020 — Patton’s Madness chosen as Book of the Month by the EBC Book Club, Pelican Sound, Florida. My wife and I were invited to a dinner hosted by Linda and Dave for a dozen club members and their husbands in Estero, Florida. After dinner in a sitting room there was a discussion of the book moderated by Linda, and I had a chance to answer wide-ranging, including some rather pointed, questions from many of the group who had thoroughly read and digested the book. The ramifications of Patton’s personality disorder to our every day political life were abundantly clear to this group of clear-eyed investigators, triggering a lively exchange among all. During dessert and coffee, I signed some books. This was my first meeting with a book club, and I found it very stimulating and thoroughly enjoyable.
Dec. 15, 2019 — New hardcover edition, Patton’s Madness: The Dark Side of a Battlefield Genius goes on sale nationwide today.
Today I am thrilled to announce that the new hardcover version of my Patton psychobiography is now available for sale on Amazon and many other outlets at a retail price of $22.95. Stackpole Books has done a beautiful job of internal and cover jacket design, indexing, printing higher resolution photos, and distributing press releases and review copies. This should grant us wider access to nationwide media through reviews in newspapers and magazines, and media interviews. As one of my reviewers suggested, “Before you read any other Patton biographies, get this one first.” In all modesty, this book make the rest obsolete, and should be the authoritative word on the great general for some time to come.
On Saturday, June 22, 2019 at an Alumni Reunion at Carleton College, my Alma Mater, there will be an opportunity at the Book Signing event there to pre-order the Stackpole hardcover edition of Patton’s Madness: The Dark Side of a Battlefield Genius at a 30% discount from the retail price of $22.95.
The General and the Giant German Railway Gun: Patton’s Brush with Death in France
An interactive Powerpoint presentation with sound and video, presented Nov. 13 at the Luck Area
Historical Society, Luck Museum, Nov. 13, 2018.
This talk is available on request.
Because of the large size of the Powerpoint file, we are displaying here only the .pdf file stripped
of the following interactive features:
1) Opening martial music
2) Comparison of Patton and George C. Scott’s voices
3) Google Earth Pro flyover of Patton’s palatial HQ in Luxembourg City
4) Flyover of Place Stanislaus in Nancy, France.
5) Flyover of 3rd Army casernes in Nancy
6) Captured German footage showing firing of giant railway guns
7) Flyover of simulated Nancy shelling Oct. 11, 1944
8) Flyover of Patton’s Nancy HQ
9) Flyover of simulated shelling of Patton’s Nancy HQ Oct. 24, 1944
10) Guided tour inside Patton’s HQ
11) Walking tour of Nancy’s bombed out areas
12) Video of drive to Teterchen, in search of railway gun firing location
13) Rare color footage of 377th Fighter Squadron P-47s as they prepare to bomb the Teterchen railway tunnel
14) Flyover from Teterchen to Landonvillers, probable site for Nancy bombardment
Travels to WW2 Battlegrounds in Sicily
From Oct. 13 through Oct. 24, 2018, my wife and I visited a number of important battlegrounds, some of which I have written about in my book, “Patton: The Madness behind the Genius.”
We limited our travels to the northern coast of Sicily. We visit Palermo, Cesaro, Troina, San Fratello, Brolo, Milazzo, and the Aeolian Islands offshore. It’s not all war since there is also humor, music, and beautiful scenery. I have made extensive use of Google Earth Pro for showing the terrain, with many graphic overlays and flyovers. I think this is an incredible tool for showing military battles.
See the three new videos in my section called Battleground Tours.
Moderator at Ft. Snelling History Round Table
On Oct 11, 2018, I was the moderator for a lecture and round table discussion entitled “Nazi Prizoners in America.” The original speaker, Dr. Arnold Krammer, Emeritus History Professor from Texas A&M, due to unforseen circumstances was replaced at the last minute by three local speakers. Dean Simmons, Jerry Yocum, and Tom Lalim have all written about POWs in the Upper Midwest and did a great job filling in. A slide show of original photographs from Dr. Krammer’s collection was also shown.
One reason I volunteered for this lecture is my personal experiences as a 7 year old boy, witnessing the hundreds of German POWs in Milltown, WI, who worked at the Stokely Pea Cannery there.
Gen. Lucian K. Truscott, Jr. Discussion at Ft. Snelling’s History Round Table starting 6 PM, April 12, 2018
I also invited the great general’s grandson Lucian K. Truscott IV, who will take part in the Student Outreach Q & A session starting at 6 PM. Main lecture at 7 PM is by biographer Harvey Ferguson.
Public welcome, $5 donation appreciated, students are free.
Truscott was probably our greatest battlefield general, as I argue in comparing him to other generals under Articles in this website: “Patton and Clark the Showmen, Truscott the Maestro”
Lucian IV is a New York-based journalist, novelist, screenwriter, West Point graduate. Click on the image below for a larger view.
Appointed to Board of Directors of WWII Round Table
The first meeting of the 31st year of the Harold C. Deutsch World War II History Round Table, the longest-running WWII discussion group in the nation, was held on Sept.14, 2017 at 1930 at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, and I was privileged to attend. The Director throughout these years, Col. (US Army, ret’d) Donald G. Patton invited me to serve on the Resource Board of the group, and introduced me to all the board members attending the lunch at the Richfield VFW.
I was very impressed with the quality of the board members, many of them authors and historians, and we had a lot in common. What is most impressive is the enthusiasm of the die-hard audiences at these lectures. The auditorium holds about 300 people and it started at fill up a half hour before the lecture began. The round table discussion after the lecture with WWII veterans I found very moving. These 90 plus year-old soldiers, sailors, and pilots have seen so much in their lives, and are still able to convey their experiences, sometimes just through their modesty and the power of understatement. Though the session ran a bit long, maybe 2 hours all together, I didn’t see any of the audience get up and leave.
It’s all open to the public, generally on the 2nd Thursday each month Sept thru May. Check their website http://www.mn-ww2roundtable.org/. The public is welcome, admission is a donation of $5. Don Patton is the glue that holds it all together and he knocks himself out to make everyone feel welcome and included. I hope I can contribute something to the discussion and to the organization during the coming year.
Shattuck/St. Mary’s Alumni Magazine Notice
In the Summer edition of “Through the Arch,” the proud magazine of my Alma Mater, Class of 1955, the following article appeared on page 51 about my new book Patton: The Madness behind the Genius. I have always been eternally grateful to Shattuck for the education I received there, made possible by a scholarship from anonymous alumnus or alumni. I really did learn the elements of grammar and composition there, especially from two very stern taskmasters, “Nails” McNally and “Buzzy” Below — still among my heroes today.
First National Advertising of our Book
We are running a 1/6 page advertisement for our book Patton: The Madness behind the Genius in the August, 2017 and in subsequent editions of the national magazine WWII History. This book has been received enthusiastically here in Wisconsin, but now we need to reach out to the tens of thousands of WWII history buffs nationwide so as to help disseminate our unique viewpoint on the controversial life and character of the great general.
The General and the Giant German Railway Gun: Patton’s Brush with Death from 33 Miles Away
by Jim Sudmeier and Gillian Henry
FREE ADMISSION. Public invited to a video and slide presentation Thurs, June 1, 2017 at 7:00 PM at the Polk County Historical Society, Polk County Museum, 120 Main St., Balsam Lake, WI 54810
The authors, a married couple residing in Luck, WI, traveled to Nancy, France in Feb., 2016 to help solve a mystery. What became of the residence of Gen. George S. Patton, Jr. and the Third Army command post (CP) they had used for nine weeks towards the end of 1944? We could find no person who possessed this information, and no book or other record that listed it. A certain government building was our lead candidate, but the present occupants knew nothing about its history, and ignored our requests to visit until the day we arrived in Nancy. One thing we knew from Patton’s diary was that his house had been bombarded in the early hours of Oct. 24 by a 280 mm German Railway Gun. The 560 pound high-explosive shell missed his residence by only 35 yards but blew out most of his windows as it almost completely destroyed a smaller house across the street, wounding two. We will show our video tour of Nancy as Gillian photographed that house and other buildings that were hit that night.
Next we drove some 50 miles northeast, almost to Germany, to inspect a tunnel where the Nancy Gun may have been fired from. We knew that the big guns hid in railroad tunnels during the daytime to avoid destruction by the Air Corps’ ever-present P-47 fighter-bombers. Using Air Corps after-action reports and a trip to the National Archives in MD, we put the whole story together about how the Allies discovered the correct tunnel and knocked out the Nancy Gun by skip-bombing on Oct. 28.
A 15 page article with all the details by Jim and French super-sleuth Jerome Leclerc will appear May 15, 2017 in a British military magazine called After the Battle. As a result of our research, a plaque commemorating Patton’s CP will soon be placed on the building whose storied past we revealed.
New YouTube Video
Today, Mar. 13, 2017, I posted a video advertising our new biography Patton: The Madness behind the Genius. The 4 minute video is called Trump’s favorite — General Patton. It starts out by morphing President Trump’s face smoothly into Patton’s. It then goes on to mention the book and to explain its diagnosis of Patton’s well-known psychological instability in terms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Examples of each of the nine NPD criteria are given briefly. Any connection of NPD to Trump is left up to the viewer. You can find the YouTube video with the link
On Friday, Mar 10, come to the Luck Museum between 5:00 and 6:30 PM for the first-ever bull session and coffee klatch with Luck author Jim Sudmeier. Sudmeier, who gave a talk at the museum on Dec. 7 about his new biography “Patton: The Madness behind the Genius” will also be happy to sign books. On Feb. 1 the first books became available on Amazon worldwide both in paperback for $17.95 and Kindle for $9.99. The museum has a supply of the books on hand which you can buy any time now, saving $1 of state sales tax – at the same time donating $5 of the proceeds to benefit the museum.
Sudmeier shows how the great American icon General Patton is diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and how it explains his enigmatic behavior both on and off the battlefield. NPD is most damaging to those who in contact with the NPD sufferer, an adult-toddler who inevitably leaves a trail of destruction. The book is a must-read for WWII buffs and anyone who attempts to understand the behavior of President Trump (Aylford, Henry. Vanity Fair, Nov. 11, 2015) as well as General Patton.
The First Oral Presentation of Patton Biography
A capacity crowd of more than thirty people showed up for my talk, entitled Patton: The Madness behind the Genius, which ran about 70 minutes. It was well received, and produced a lively question-and-answer session. Many of the audience lingered on for further discussion, some with stories of their own family members on this 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day. There was disappointment that the book was not yet available, but it is still at the printer as of this writing, Dec. 11. We hope to repeat the talk in the summer of 2017 before an audience of the many vacationers who come to this area. (photos courtesy of Lynda Berg Olds)
Slideshow and Oral Presentation on Patton Biography coming Dec. 7, 2016
Next Wednesday at 1:30 PM I will be giving the first public presentation of my new book, Patton: The Madness
behind the Genius in front of the Luck Area Historical Society in Luck, WI. The meeting will be held at it usual place on the museum side of the Luck Library and Museum, 301 Main Street. Advance publicity has gone out on the Society’s Facebook page “Luck WI Area Historical Society,”on the front page of the Enterprise Press and the Inter-County Leader, News Section A (both on Nov. 23), and again on page 3 of the County Ledger Press on Dec. 1.
Current Research on the Shelling of Patton’s Nancy HQ.
Can you imagine that the location of the residence of General Patton in Nancy, France where he lived for nine weeks (Oct. 11 through Dec. 19, 1944) could have been forgotten—lost to history? The same building that was almost destroyed one night by a German 280mm railway gun firing from over 30 miles away? Well, that’s exactly what I discovered when I was writing my biography of the great general. I checked with French WWII expert Jerome Leclerc. We had worked together on a different military research project some 12 years earlier. Jerome lives in Nancy and works for the Departmental Archives. When we discovered the address of the former chateau, even the current residents were astonished to learn its history. After a fact-finding trip to France this February, one to the National Archives II, and another to the Patton Museum in Fort Knox, TN, we are nearly finished with an article for the British military magazine After the Battle. “The Shelling of Patton’s Nancy HQ” by Jim Sudmeier and Jerome Leclerc will appear in the 2017 May issue. As a result of this research, a plaque will be placed on the building in the near future. After the article appears, I will be free to tell more about the improbable tale of how this mystery unfolded, with a video record of our travels around France doing the research.