Having finally won the right to fight during 'The Battle of The Bulge,' a group of African American artillerymen were captured, tortured and murdered by the SS at Wereth in Belgium. Here is a clip from our film, The Americans in the Bulge, that describes their fate.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
We love history - that's why we make films about great military events, but we want everyone to share our passion for these amazing stories. We understand that many people consider history boring - just a bunch of stuff that doesn't seem to have any relation to where we are today.
This just isn't true.
The old way these stories were told, how documentaries relied on talking-heads, people pointing at things and washed out black and white footage, didn't help the cause. Our mission is to make history exciting and entertaining.
We are about to start a new project that will take us back to The Great War; a war that shaped the world, changed the face of America and signaled the dawn of an era of military technology. We will see for the very first time how aircraft, massed artillery, field communications, and dreaded gas were used on the field of battle. In the early 20th century our soldiers were still drilled and trained in the military tactics of the 19th century, but they faced and used modern weapons so ferocious that the casualty rate was mind numbing. Most people know very little about this long forgotten war, of the soldiers sailors and airmen of the American Expeditionary Force, who crossed the U-boat infested Atlantic Ocean, and joined their exhausted allies in muddy, bloody trenches . . but as we approach the 100th anniversary, it is time to tell the story.
All of America was affected by The Great War. African Americans, like the famous Harlem Hell Fighters, the 369th Infantry Regiment, went to war hoping that if they fought for their country, then their country would consider them part of it. It didn't happen. They fought valiantly, but with the French, and returned home to a still-segregated land, which soon forgot their sacrifices.
Livingbattlefield has enlisted the expert skills of retired Marine Captain, Dale Dye, a skilled presenter and actor trainer. Famous for the Academy award-winning movie, Saving Private Ryan, and the epic HBO series, Band of Brothers, Dale will skillfully guide viewers through the actions on the exact locations in Northern France and help us to recreate battle scenes on a specially constructed lot near Fort Benning, Georgia.
|Captain Dye on the set of HBO's The Pacific|
Our productions are shown on Public Television, nationwide. Public television wants to increase the number of younger viewers watching it's programs and we want to help by creating a completely new style of documentary with exciting live-action narration, special effects and re-enactments, that will appeal to a wide audience. Our current series, The American Road to Victory, has gone some way to achieving that.
War can be, and often is, miserable, but it's not necessary to heap misery on top of misery. The stories have to be told with the right amount of respect, without losing their ability to transport and entertain. Soldiers didn't just kill and get killed, they laughed, joked, wrote touching letters home, and saw the humor in their living conditions.
It's young people who will carry the banner of history forward and we want to recruit them. We want to listen to their opinions before we start planning the series. It is for this reason that Livingbattlefield and The National Infantry Foundation are launching a special competition.
The Partnership are inviting young viewers under the age of 18 to submit a paper of not more than 300 words on why they find history documentaries boring and what we can do in our new WWI "Doughboys" series to excite and interest them. We want to hear how they feel about archive footage versus re-enactments? Particular credit will be given to submissions, which offer a reasoned argument for how history can be turned into a subject kids can get excited about.
Deadline & Judging
All submissions must be received by August31st 2013. A panel consisting of Captain Dye, Professor John C. McManus PhD, Livingbattlefield Executive Director, Heidi Lanni and Jordan Beck of The National Infantry Museum will choose 2 submissions. The winners will be notified by email on November 29th 2013.
The two winners (along with a parent or guardian) will be invited to the "Doughboys" set in Columbus, Georgia. They will meet Captain Dye, see him in action as our re-enactors are turned into WWI soldiers. The award will include flights from anywhere on the mainland of the United States, airport transfers, two nights accommodation including meals, a complete guided tour of the magnificent Infantry Museum and a short, specially prepared video of their trip. The winners will make the trip during our 2014 filming season, at a date to be advised.
(Livingbattlefield full terms and conditions apply).
In the first instance please email expressing an interest to: email@example.com A full copy of our terms and conditions will be provided, together with a short questionnaire.
Please note that all applicants will have to obtain the permission of their parents, in writing, to enter the competition.( Neither Facebook nor Google support or endorse this competition)
Friday, November 16, 2012
Christy Short, Regent of the Samuel Elder Chapter of The Daughters of The American Revolution in Gallatin County, Illinois, gathers sponsors to place Operation Ignite into local schools.
".....This has been the easiest project I have put together so far. You are the ones that did all the hard work before hand. Thanks again."
Regent Samuel Elder Chapter NSDAR
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Pick of the Day: The Americans on D-Day (DVD)
By SLJ on November 13, 2012
The Americans on D-Day. DVD. 56 min. with tchr’s. guide on CD. Prod. by Labyrinth Media & Pub. Dist. by Livingbattlefield.org. 2012. ISBN 978-0-615-67814-6. $25.
Gr 7 Up–The June 1944 assault on Hitler’s Fortress Europe by Allied military forces is remembered as a pivotal point in 20th-century history. This well-crafted documentary takes an unusual approach to explaining the planning and execution phases of the invasion. In addition to the usual assemblage of vintage still images and film footage, the producers attempt to bring viewers to the front lines as a contemporary battlefield guide leads us into the foray as he assumes the roles of various soldiers—American as well as German— taking part in combat. Supplemented by a well-formulated mix of credible re-creations, interviews with actual participants on both sides, and crisp graphics, the audience is on the Normandy battlefields as well as in airborne gliders and naval landing craft as were the combatants on this horrifying day. While the content focuses on American forces, the larger picture clearly emerges and concludes with a moving visit to the vast American cemetery in Normandy. In covering World War II, only select highlights of the offensive are presented so that the film can be used within classroom periods. This film is also available as part of a trilogy—The American Road to Victory—which includes coverage of the Battle of the Bulge as well as the Allied push into Germany. Options include chapter selection, closed-captioning, and descriptive video as well as two extra segments on weapons, training, and the uniforms of this campaign. The accompanying CD includes basic lesson/activity suggestions. Even though the tour guide can be a bit overly intense at times, this is a solid purchase for all media collections.–Dwain Thomas, formerly Lake Park High School, Roselle, IL
Monday, November 12, 2012
In rural libraries across the nation, communities have come together to embrace their WWII heroes, as the clock ticks ever faster for this dwindling band of warriors.
|Navy veteran receives standing ovation|
From Tolono, Illinois to Leesburg, Florida, this past Veterans Day weekend has witnessed countless groups of library patrons join together to watch special screenings of a public television series on WWII. The American Road to Victory trilogy, a joint history project presented by filmmakers Livingbattlefield and The National Infantry Foundation is the conduit by which these groups can view the actions of their local veterans in context.
William Chiappini, a library director from Melrose Florida wrote of a recent screening of The Americans on D-Day,
“Our D-Day library program was held yesterday to the delight of all. Forty-three people attended (this is a small community), and four WWII vets were there in seats of honor. A local French lady from Normandy, who was 12 at the time of the invasion, also surprised us. She spoke after the film and gave a very heartfelt thanks for the sacrifices to save her country . . . . The program prompted a call for oral histories of our vets which we will turn over to Historic Melrose for follow-up. We look forward to showing the other two films in the future.”
“Rural Libraries have been the perfect vehicle for our Road to Victory initiative,"said Livingbattlefield’s Executive Director, Heidi Lanni, "While a small number of city library systems, such as Boston, have also been holding screenings, the real interest has come from the smaller libraries, where there seems to be more time to organize these events, and great passion for the subject.”
Livingbattlefield will continue their library outreach until 2014, the 70th anniversary of the three campaigns featured in the trilogy.
“Sadly, we are losing these amazing people at an alarming rate,” said Heidi, “ I don’t know how many will be with us by then, but library communities will continue to have the chance to participate in what must surely be their last hurrah . . . . No matter what direction your political compass is pointing, or how you feel about war, this program honors American heroes from the last clearly defined and unambiguous conflict.”
Livingbattlefield is a 501(c)3 charity and a partner with The National Infantry Foundation at Fort Benning Georgia. Libraries wishing to be a part of The Road to Victory project should contact Heidi Lanni: Heidi@livingbattlefield.org
Libraries which acquire a copy of The American Road to Victory trilogy for their collection automatically qualify for the free screening pack, which includes lifetime public performance rights, an intro video by the director, a how-to guide, as well as sample press releases and artwork.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
WWI Battle of Soissons part of National Infantry Museum Last Hundred Yards Diorama
New WWI Documentary to be Filmed Near Fort Benning
Public television series to premiere on 100th anniversary of American involvement
Columbus, Georgia – September 28, 2012 Filmmakers are scouting locations on or near Fort Benning, Georgia, for an upcoming documentary about the ‘War to End All Wars.’
Over There: Doughboys in The Great War will be a four-part series for public television hosted by Hollywood actor-trainer Captain Dale Dye (Ret. USMC). Dye, famous for the HBO series Band of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan, says the series will be “an in-depth, intriguing and inspiring look at one of the most pivotal and costly conflicts in the history of mankind. It will give our audiences a feel for the brutal, dehumanizing experience of static war in muddy, bloody trenches.”
The series will be completed by 2017, in time for the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into World War I. It is a co-production between independent filmmakers Livingbattlefield and the National Infantry Foundation, the non-profit organization charged with the operation of the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center in Columbus, Georgia. Viewers will be treated to an on-location battlefield experience in Northern Europe, while seeing the actual battle scenes acted out near the home of the U.S. Army Infantry.
“This is an exciting opportunity for us,” said Foundation President Ben Williams. “We are thrilled to be part of a production that will explain how young Americans fought in the ugliest of wars.”
The filmmakers hope the trench that will be built for filming could remain open for visitors after production is complete.
The state-of-the-art museum already features a life-size diorama from the bloody battle of Soissons on the ‘Last 100 Yards’ ramp, a recreated trench ‘immersion experience’ and a vast array of memorabilia on display in the WWI gallery.
“Rats, waterlogged trenches, barbed wire and shell holes will add to the authenticity of the series. Our re-enactors will be young U.S. Army veterans,” says Director and Executive Producer Richard Lanni.
Livingbattlefield forged a partnership with the National Infantry Foundation after the filmmaker’s groundbreaking World War II series – The American Road to Victory – aired nationwide on PBS stations. Adopting a quirky and engaging style, Livingbattlefield has rekindled an interest in history among families. “We expect this upcoming World War I project to provide an enlightening explanation of a little-known period of American history,” says Lanni.
Work on the production will begin in Spring 2013. The series will be distributed by American Public Television.
For more information, please contact Rachael Wilson/Livingbattlefield Development, at Rachael@livingbattlefield.org
The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center at Patriot Park, a 200-acre tract linking Columbus, Georgia, and Fort Benning, the Home of the Infantry, is the first world-class site to pay tribute to the U.S. Army Infantryman and those who fight alongside him. As the only interactive Army Museum in the United States, the museum showcases the contributions of the Infantry Soldier in every war fought by the U.S. by offering immersive participation and engaging visitors in the unique experiences of the Infantry Soldier. The complex also includes a parade field, memorial walk of honor, authentic World War II Company Street and 3-D IMAX® Theatre. For more information, visit www.nationalinfantrymuseum.com.