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    #16
    Not all skeptics of York's exploits are necessarily foreigners or armchair generals. Some of the more vocal ones seem to be the descendants of the other 16 men who also took part in the engagement:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...49094422697685#

    Were these men motivated by jealousy? Maybe. Are all these stories made up by their descendants in the hopes of gaining their own 15 minutes of fame, in a weird sort of sour-grapes conspiracy? Possibly, but seems unlikely (what fame could they earn by defaming a national war hero, whose unblemished records have stood for nine decades?). However, these soldiers, unlike the rest of us (including those who wrote and re-wrote the established version of the story), were there that day, and saw what happened with their own eyes. Their version of the story, if faithfully retold by their descendants, cannot be so readily dismissed as revisionist trope.

    Personally, I think there is ample room for 17 heroes in this story without taking anything away from what York had accomplished.

    One downside of telling too extraordinary a tale is that it tends to bring out the skeptic in those who are not emotionally vested, and may in fact create the opposite reaction desired by the story teller, as evidenced by this thread. As WW I recedes into the distant past, fewer and fewer people will feel an emotional connection with that generation of soldiers. Wars are fought differently today, and high profile propaganda failures like that of the Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman stories have made it even more difficult for the modern mind to accept any tale of battlefield heroics at face value, including those sacred legends from the past, whether we like it or not.


    Gene T
    Last edited by Gene T; 01-19-2010, 06:50 PM.

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      #17
      here is the german side of the events:

      http://www.historynet.com/alvin-york...-offensive.htm

      Comment


        #18
        Scott Powell..Awesome post

        Read and weep nay sayers..straight from the mouths of the Germans....


        And yes, I got chills and teary eyed reading it...Awesome post..awesome man Alvin York
        Attached Files

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          #19
          Gene,

          That was a good video. Commentary from the veterans who were there is "hard evidence" in my mind. All we can do is speculate, but the members of Early's platoon were first hand witnesses. Their letters, Col. Buxton's account, the German records, etc. do hold some credibility IMHO. It was interesting to hear from Early's, Kornacki's, and Cutting's descendants. David Kornacki claims his grandfather said during the battle, "York, if you do not start shooting, we are going to shoot you!" After the war, David Kornacki says his grandfather wanted to "take York out." David Kornacki's points seemed to be mostly hearsay. Early's and Cutting's letters hold more water and are pretty damning. The German veterans' statements that they never saw York until they were gathered at the collection point is interesting as well. Why would the Germans lie? The war was over and their statements were taken in the 1930s. Obviously, there seemed to be a lot of hostility towards York from the other soldiers right after the battle. They shunned him big time after the war. York refused to meet Early or the other members of his platoon after the war for public speeches. Cutting trying to sue Warner Brothers over the movie stuck out to me as well. I did not know any of this. Hmmm....

          Thanks for sharing!
          Eddie
          There are only two tragedies in life: One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it. - Oscar Wilde

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            #20
            Sgt. York, the movie lawsuit ???

            Originally posted by EMSMIT2 View Post
            ...Cutting trying to sue Warner Brothers over the movie stuck out to me...
            Eddie
            Hello Eddie:
            I would like to hear more about that, or at least visit some link about same.
            All I've found so far online was that the Warner Brothers Howard Hawks film
            Sergeant York was the top-grossing film of 1941, with Gary Cooper winning
            the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of York, and in addition one other Oscar
            was awarded for Film Editing, nine nominations were received, including Best
            Picture, Supporting Actor (Walter Brennan), Supporting Actress (Margaret
            Wycherly), and Director (Hawks). Hooray for Hollywood, or films with flags.
            ...
            Attached Files
            Last edited by oldflagswanted; 01-20-2010, 12:37 AM.
            sigpic
            .......^^^ .................... some of my collection ...................... ^^^...

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              #21
              Originally posted by oldflagswanted View Post
              Hello Eddie:
              I would like to hear more about that, or at least visit some link about same.
              Have you been able to watch the video Gene posted? Here is the link: http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...9094422697685#

              Here is another good site I would recommend taking a look at: http://www.the-othersixteen.org/home.html.

              Eddie
              There are only two tragedies in life: One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it. - Oscar Wilde

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                #22
                In response to Eddies direct question: "Do you have hard evidence that contradicts York's citation? I would be interested in reading it. I believe York was a true hero, but I am also open to hearing speculation that can be supported with facts."

                I have not done any research into sgt Yorks case.

                However, from experience with hard evidence on other cases, I have noted what is anyways a well known fact: medal citations are usualy exagerated, particularly when it comes to exact numbers.

                This leads me to believe that there is a very good chance that the numbers in Yorks citation are probably also exagerated. And then again, they may be 100% accurate.

                That is ALL I am saying; and I am not trying to imply anything else.

                JL
                Autopsy of a Battle, the War in Southern France: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZrhUoRdsAQ

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                  #23
                  If anyone would like to seriously discuss the known facts of this battle I would be more than happy to share what I have.


                  Over the last two years I have put together a thorough collection of documentation concerning what happened on 8 October, 1918 west of Chatel Chehery France. This is collection includes copies of primary source documents from the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park Maryland, the Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv in Munich, the Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart as well as published unit histories and numerous other contemporary publications. In addition I have seen most of the material collected by the “Other Sixteen” and have met two of them personally. I also participated in a battlefield archaeological investigation at the site where this event took place with Dr. Tom Nolan of the Middle Tennessee University last April.


                  I would be happy to provide anything I have concerning this event to all serious minded folks. There is currently another debate going on about where this event took place (the exact spot) and this could be a good forum to discuss it.

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Originally posted by Brad Posey View Post
                    If anyone would like to seriously discuss the known facts of this battle I would be more than happy to share what I have.


                    Over the last two years I have put together a thorough collection of documentation concerning what happened on 8 October, 1918 west of Chatel Chehery France. This is collection includes copies of primary source documents from the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park Maryland, the Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv in Munich, the Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart as well as published unit histories and numerous other contemporary publications. In addition I have seen most of the material collected by the “Other Sixteen” and have met two of them personally. I also participated in a battlefield archaeological investigation at the site where this event took place with Dr. Tom Nolan of the Middle Tennessee University last April.


                    I would be happy to provide anything I have concerning this event to all serious minded folks. There is currently another debate going on about where this event took place (the exact spot) and this could be a good forum to discuss it.
                    Please post your findings when you get a chance, I for one would love to read it.

                    regards Adam

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                      #25
                      As would I.
                      pseudo-expert

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                        #26
                        Me too

                        photos taken on the expedition would be great..

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                          #27
                          A consensus! Progress at last.

                          Please carry on, Brad. You have everyone's eyes and ears.


                          Gene T

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                            #28
                            Thanks for those who replied and are interested. This is a LONG story and I will try my best to be as concise as possible to keep it short as possible.

                            My involvement in this started in the summer of 2008 when I was invited by LTC Mastriano to assist him in an “archaeology” project he was doing in the Argonne. He claimed with 100% certainty to have found the exact spot where SGT York earned the CMOH and even found 21 of 21 of the .45 cartridges York is reported to have fired.

                            Before I go much further I want to stress that I do not want to turn this into a bash of anyone personally or any of the groups involved. I have been in one way or another associated with them all.

                            Back to the Argonne; In July 2008 LTC Mastriano invited me to join his group in the Argonne to help recover as many artifacts as possible before relic hunters moved into his site. By this time he had already installed a monument dedicated to SGT York at the site where he claims this event happened (where he found the 21 of 21 cartridges). Immediately after arriving me and my partner began searching the his “York Spot” and in short order turned up another .45 cartridge and .45 slug in addition to a lot of other artifacts his group had missed. Over the four days we were there we recovered a massive amount of artifacts from all over the ridge his site is located on, many of which can be seen in his report and are described as artifacts from his York Spot.

                            I will try to say this without any personal bashing….. From my over 30 years experience searching battlefields with a metal detector I can say that the member of his group had no clue what they were doing and were all using cheap machines and using sloppy search techniques. In addition there was no system, or methodology in place to record the provenance of any of the artifacts recovered. This reminded me or my early relic hunting days on US Civil War sites in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

                            Anyway, after I returned home in Germany I began to have my doubts and actually started doing my own research into this incident. It did not take long to find a copy of the 82nd Division history and realize that the Mastriano led group was indeed at the wrong place. Why? I will leave that for others to figure out on their own. It does appear that Mastriano got his idea for this location from another Army officer, LTC (ret.) Taylor Beattie, who wrote an article for the US Army Center of Military History publication “Army History” on where he thought the fight occurred. Both officers use METT-T and a few other Army doctrines as the basis for their beliefs on where the fight took place.

                            The 82nd Division did a very thorough investigation in February 1919 at the scene of the fight and published a very detailed account of it in their division history. I can post excerpts from these documents later if anyone is interested, but I must warn all that I have 4.7 GB of information stored on my hard drive about this incident and it could take up too much space here to post even a fraction of it. But, I would be happy to send copies of everything to anyone seriously interested in taking a look at this and helping straighten this matter out.

                            After coming to the conclusion that Mastriano was at the wrong spot I came in contact with Dr. Tom Nolan from the Middle Tennessee University who has been conducting research in the Argonne, like Mastriano, since 2006 and was searching in a remote ravine about 500 meters from Mastriano’s “Spot”. On important difference between the two groups is that Dr. Nolan actually had a legal permit to conduct his research from the regional director of archaeology.

                            Dr. Nolan is a geography professor at MTSU and was interested in applying Geographic Information Science (GIS) in the search for this site. He based his research primarily on the documents that contain spatial information that could be applied on the modern landscape. In the National Archives (NARA) he found letters from York’s former commander Major Buxton and Captain Danforth that were written to Captain Harry Swindler who was preparing a reenactment of the fight for the 1929 Army War College annual carnival. In these letters Nolan found a copy of a 1:20,000 scale 1918 Foret d’Argonne map sheet that Buxton and Danforth annotated the route the patrol took and where the fight occurred as well as the route they took back to the battalion C.P.

                            Dr. Nolan also found the US Army Graves Registration Service (GRS) disinterment records for the 6 soldiers on the patrol that were killed in the action. These men were “buried where they fell” and these records contain grid coordinates to where the men were buried and later removed to the Meuse-Argonne Cemetery.

                            The GRS coordinates and the Buxton/Danforth maps and letters along with the 82nd Division’s account of this event all point to a small area in a remote wooded ravine several hundred meters left of the left flank of York’s unit.

                            Dr. Nolan had published the results of his findings in his doctoral dissertation whereas the other group made a lot of press releases and thus received much more media attention. After Dr. Nolan found out about the monument at the wrong spot he decided to return to the Argonne with a new team including a battlefield archaeologist from the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, a forensic investigator and many other experienced metal detector operators like myself.

                            We spent two weeks last April conducting research on site and found even more evidence that supports the 2006 findings and confirm that this site is the correct site.

                            Why is the actual site important? To understand the battle and this fight it is very important to know where it happened as terrain plays a major role here. Also to properly honor those who fought and died there it is important to place monuments where events occurred. For Dr. Nolan this was a project based on science and thorough research, not a venue to get media attention or pats on the back from important people.

                            Ok, more in a few minutes.

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                              #29
                              SGT York Research – Part 2

                              I think a few questions or points brought out in this thread should be discussed and I have a few answers:

                              1.) How many German were killed and how many were captured?

                              Answer: There is a small discrepancy in the American accounts on the number killed, but it would be safe to say that it was between 20 and 25. Lt. Bertrand Cox of F company, 328th Infantry passed over the area several hours later and reported seeing 20 – 25 dead Germans. The number captured should be considered accurate as it is reported at 132 in numerous accounts.

                              2.) Was it a battalion of German machine gunners?

                              Answer: No. The German units directly involved with this patrol were a small group of men from the 210th Reserve Infantry Regiment (no evidence they had any machine guns), two platoons from the 7th Bavarian Mineur Company (they had several light machine guns – MG08/15 with them), the HQ element from the 1st Battalion, 120th Landwehr Infantry along with a portion of the 4th Company from the same battalion (evidently had a least one heavy machine gun – MG08) and at least two NCOs from the 1st Machine Gun Company, 120th LW (no MGs with them).
                              During our research in the field we found several MG related artifacts where the fight occurred including one MG water can, x4 MG sling drag hooks, a brass coupling from a water can and a water hose coupling. These machine guns will be discussed in further detail when we get into the archaeology vs. historical accounts. But, for now it is safe to say that there were 2 to 3 German MGs that were on the crest of the ridge firing into the left flank of the 328th Infantry. These are the guns that the patrol was sent to silence and were not involved in the York fight. There were other MGs on the reserves slope of this hill waiting for orders to move forward, it is these guns that were involved in the York fight.

                              3.) Did York kill ALL of these Germans or were they killed by others or by artillery fire?

                              Answer: in all honesty it is difficult to say and we have to rely on the historical documents which pretty much unanimously state that York is responsible for these casualties. This area of the Argonne was virtually untouched by 1914 – 1917 fighting so the area is not covered with artifacts as one would expect on a WW I battlefield. There was NO fighting in this specific area before the morning of 8 October 1918 and NO fighting any time after the York fight was over that same morning. No other units moved through or fought in this specific area since it was in a sector that was supposed to be occupied by the 28th Division, but they did not advance and were held up on the slopes of Hill 244 southeast of here. The rest of the 328th Infantry (York’s unit) were several hundred meters north moving in a westerly direction and only Lt. Cox’s platoon passed through shortly after the fight. Therefore, from what we know York must have killed most of these Germans if not all of them since there is little evidence that supports anyone else in the patrol firing more than a couple shots. The allied artillery preparation was lacking as stated in numerous American accounts, the Germans do report casualties due to artillery in this sector, but there is no evidence that suggests any of these Germans were adversely affected at this site by the allied artillery preparation.

                              More soon..... If you'all are getting bored with this let me know and I will stop.

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                                #30
                                Are you kidding? Keep going !

                                Awesome stuff !!

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