On the Anniversary of the British Surrender at Yorktown, Read This Book

October 16, 2018

October 17 is an important date in American history. Not sure why? The Government Publishing Office, as always, is here with a publication to enlighten you.

On October 17, 1781 (that’s 237 years ago), Lord Cornwallis of Britain surrendered his army at Yorktown. March to Victory: Washington, Rochambeau, and the Yorktown Campaign of 1781, a publication by Dr. Robert Selig, walks readers through the American troops’ march to victory in the Revolutionary War and the large role the French played in helping America gain its independence.

Throughout this booklet learn the endearing details of the relationship between General George Washington and French commander General Rochambeau. Despite having reservations, Rochambeau pledged to use all the resources at his disposal to support Washington’s plan. France promised both to fight and also to agree to no separate peace until Britain formally recognized American independence. To work together to defeat the British under the command of Lord Cornwallis, these French and American military commanders had to overcome formidable barriers of culture, language, tactical doctrine, and political agendas. They used translators to work out plans, including the plan to commence an operation against the British, with Washington focused on an attack in New York and Rochambeau preferring an operation against British forces in the South. In the end, Rochambeau promised his full cooperation in an attack on New York City at the wish of Washington.

Despite having been enemies just 15 years earlier in the French and Indian War, the respect among the French and American troops grew steadily the more they worked together. Jonathan Trumbull, Washington’s private secretary, wrote, “The Junction of the two armies [which] is formed at this Place, & has commenced with high seeming Cordiality & Affection, demonstrated by constant Acts of Conviviality & social Harmony.” Baron Closen of the French army wrote, “I admire the American troops tremendously! It is incredible that soldiers composed of men of every age, even of children of fifteen, of whites and blacks, almost naked, unpaid and rather poorly fed, can march so well and withstand fire so steadfastly.”

General George Washington soon realized, however, that without additional massive reinforcements and material, as well as the assistance of a powerful fleet, an assault on New York had little chance of success. He became convinced it was best to head south. He wrote in his diary that he “could scarce see a ground upon which to continue my preparations against New York, and therefore I turned my views more seriously (than I had done before) to an operation to the southward.”

In early August 1781, French military officer Marquis de Lafayette drafted a report to Washington letting him know that Cornwallis and his men were settling in on the banks of the York River. But to trap the British army, a naval force would be necessary. Again, the Americans turned to the French in their time of need. Rochambeau informed Francois Joseph Paul de Grasse, the commander of the French fleet, of the demand for ships, and de Grasse agreed to send a fleet to Chesapeake. De Grasse’s fleet of 36 ships outnumbered that of the British, who had only 18. However, de Grasse promised to keep his fleet there only until October 15. So, the two commanders in chief hastily adjusted their plans to march south knowing that time was of the essence.

To throw off the British, Washington had a few tricks up his sleeve. He ordered ships for Staten Island and had bake ovens built in New Jersey. Made-up stories about movements and plans were intentionally leaked to the troops, in the hopes that they would be overheard by spies and passed onto the British headquarters. And by dispersing the French and American armies on multiple different routes south, the allies continued their antics to try to confuse their enemy. It wasn’t until early September that the British realized Cornwallis and his troops were in danger. By then, the first units of the Continental Army had already reached the northernmost part of the Chesapeake Bay.

During the march south, several American soldiers quit due to the fact that Robert Morris, financier of the American Revolution, did not have the funds to pay them. Once again, the French stepped in. On September 7, Morris asked Rochambeau if he could lend the Americans money to compensate the troops. Rochambeau gave him almost half the amount left in his treasury. This was the first and only time many Continental soldiers received hard money during their years of service to their country, and to say they were thrilled would be an understatement.

In early September George Washington invited Rochambeau and his staff to stay at his Mount Vernon home. The two commanders continued their journey together and arrived at Williamsburg on September 15 to wait for the arrival of their troops. With a little teamwork, they met with de Grasse and convinced him to keep the French fleet in America until the end of October, buying them more time. After being supplied ships to help them finish out their journey to Virginia, members of the Continental Army were the first to arrive in Virginia. They docked at Archer’s Hope, marched into Williamsburg and camped behind the College of William and Mary. Yes – the college, which was founded in 1693, was already there at that time! The French met them about one week later. Once the French and American troops were all back together again (now in the South), the armies of Washington and Rochambeau finally set out for Yorktown.

Beginning on October 3, 1781, a series of attacks and counterattacks ensued among the British and the French and American forces. On October 16, the British managed to seize two French artillery positions, but the effort ultimately proved unsuccessful. So, they tried it another way and attempted to break the encirclement the French and Americans had created. But as troops were being ferried across the York River to conduct the attack, Mother Nature intervened. A storm disrupted the British operation. Cornwallis began to realize that the Americans and French held a decisive advantage. On October 17, a British officer waved a white handkerchief in surrender. The next day, two British officers met with an American and a French counterpart to negotiate surrender terms. The British government recognized the independence of the United States in the Treaty of Paris, which officially ended the Revolutionary War in 1783.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Read the full story of the March to Victory. Order this publication from the Center of Military History at the GPO Bookstore today.

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS RESOURCE?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at https://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

Find more than a million official Federal Government publications from all three branches at www.govinfo.gov.

About the author: Blogger contributor Cat Goergen is the PR Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations office.


Remembering the Attack on the Aleutian Islands

May 31, 2018

While most people know something about the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, few are aware of the Japanese attack and invasion of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands from June 3 to 7, 1942. Attu is the westernmost of the Aleutian Islands and one of the Near Islands. On Attu Island, the Japanese captured 42 residents of Attu, including the island’s school teacher. Forty people were transported to Otaru, Hokkaido Island, Japan. They were held as prisoners of war from September 1942 until 1945. Twenty-one people died during their internment, including four babies, born in Japan. In 2012, the National Park Service published Nick Golodoff’s Attu Boy. Golodoff was six when his family was captured and sent to Japan. This book combines transcriptions of the oral histories of Attu survivors with Golodoff’s memoir. Sadly, during the war, Golodoff’s village was destroyed, and the United States Government opted to annex the island for military purposes. The Aleuts were not allowed to return.

Today, Attu is part of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument and the Alaska National Maritime Wildlife Refuge. Want to read more about the Aleutian Islands in World War II? See the Army Corps of Engineer’s View to the past which recounts the history of the Army on Amaknak Island and Unalaska Island. And to learn more about the experience of the native people, check out The National Park Service’s publications, Forced to leave the removal of the Unangax̂ of Unalaska, 22 July 1942 and Lost Villages of the Eastern Aleutians: Biorka, Kashega, Makushin.

In June 1942, the United States launched its first offensive in the Pacific, the Aleutian Campaign. From June 1942 to May 1943 Japan held the Island of Attu. The Battle of Attu took place May 11−30, 1943. With Canadian support, U.S. forces defeated Japanese forces in what was the second deadliest battle in the Pacific Theater. More than 3,000 Japanese and Americans died fighting on Attu. Attu: the Forgotten Battle, a new book by John Haile Cloe, explores that battle and its impact on the island. Aleutian Islands from The U.S. Army Center of Military History provides an overview of the Aleutian Islands Campaign.

Major Fleet-Versus-Fleet Operations in the Pacific War, 1941-1945, a publication of the Naval War College, explores three major naval operations of World War II initiated by imperial Japan that resulted in the battles of the Coral Sea, Midway/Aleutians, and the Philippine Sea.

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at https://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Cynthia Earman is a Cataloging & Metadata Librarian in the Library Services & Content Management division of the U.S. Government Publishing Office.


National Vietnam War Veterans Day – March 29

March 29, 2018

On March 29, 1973, President Richard Nixon welcomed home the last of the combat military members from the Vietnam War. In honor of that day, we now celebrate their return and the sacrifices our soldiers made to serve our nation proudly overseas. The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) offers access to the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017, which designated March 29 as Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Day, through the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP).

GPO’s govinfo offers the original Presidential Proclamation for Vietnam Veterans Day in 1974. As well as several other items from Congressional Records during the period.

The Vietnam War era saw the American citizens sick of decades of foreign wars, and who blamed the soldiers who fought them upon their return. Because of this unfavorable environment, the Vietnam War Veterans waited decades for their sacrifices to be formally recognized.

More than 2.7 million Americans served in uniform in Vietnam, with more than 58,000 of those service members killed during the war. The Tet Offensive played an important role in weakening U.S. public support for the war in Vietnam.

In January of 1968, during the lunar new year (or “Tet”) holiday, North Vietnamese and communist Viet Cong forces launched a coordinated attack against a number of targets in South Vietnam.

The U.S. and South Vietnamese militaries sustained heavy losses before finally repelling the communist assault. This was widely considered the final straw in an already unpopular American war, and led to the withdrawal of all American forces a few years later.

GPO has printed several publications throughout the years that illustrate the intricacies of this contested war.

GPO’s Government Bookstore offers many publications that can help you pay homage to this unique history. Some of those include:

  • Combat Operations: Staying the Course, October 1967-December 1968 describes the twelve-month period when the Viet Cong and their North Vietnamese allies embarked on a new and more aggressive strategy that shook the foundations of South Vietnam and forced the United States to reevaluate its military calculations in Southeast Asia. Hanoi’s general offensive-general uprising brought the war to South Vietnam’s cities for the first time and disrupted the allied pacification program that was just beginning to take hold in some rural areas formerly controlled by the Communists. For the enemy, however, those achievements came at a staggering cost in manpower and material; more importantly, the Tet offensive failed to cripple the South Vietnamese government or convince the United States to abandon its ally. As the dust settled from the Viet Cong attacks, President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered his military commanders to press ahead with their current strategy unchanged apart from some short-term tactical adjustments and a modest increase in the U.S. troop deployment. His decision to stay the course seemed to bear fruit as the allies repaired their losses and then forged new gains throughout the summer and autumn of 1968. Even so, the allied situation at the end of this period appeared to be only marginally better than it had been in late 1967; the peace talks in Paris had stalled, and American public opinion had turned decisively against the war.
  • Melvin Laird and the Foundation of the Post-Vietnam Military, 1969-1973 . Melvin Laird became President Richard Nixon’s secretary of defense in January 1969. His challenging agenda included two goals: withdrawing the U.S. military from Vietnam and reshaping U.S. the armed forces for the future. He worked toward ending the inequitable draft system and replacing it with an all-volunteer force of regulars supported by National Guard and Reserve components. Laird’s tenure was also marked by battles with Congress and the administration over the defense budget and the antiballistic military system as well as efforts to strengthen alliances with NATO, East Asian allies, and Israel.
  • Advice and Support: The Final Years, 1965-1973 . In Advice and Support: The Final Years, 1965-1973, Jeffrey J. Clarke describes the U.S. Army advisory effort to the South Vietnamese armed forces during the period when the U.S. commitment in Southeast Asia was at its peak. The account encompasses a broad spectrum of activities at several levels, from the physically demanding work of the battalion advisers on the ground to the more sophisticated undertakings of senior military officers at the highest echelons of the American military assistance command in Saigon.
  • U.S. Army Campaigns of the Vietnam War: Taking the Offensive, October 1966-September 1967 . Taking the Offensive, October 1966–September 1967, by Glenn F. Williams, begins with a discussion of Operation ATTLEBORO in Tay Ninh Province. The largest allied operation to date in the war, ATTLEBORO forced the 9th PLAF Division to abandon its attack on Suoi Da Special Forces camp and cost over 1,000 enemy lives. Additional action in War Zone C, including Operations CEDAR FALLS, JUNCTION CITY, and JUNCTION CITY II, highlight the U.S. Army effort to disrupt the network of camps and supply stores of the North Vietnamese main force units through ground and air assault. Operations in Binh Dinh Province — THAYER I, THAYER II, PERSHING, and LEJUNE — continued to inflict heavy losses on the enemy. The efforts of the U.S. Army throughout Vietnam during this time allowed for growing political stability in South Vietnam leading up to the 3 September 1967 election. This pamphlet contains twelve maps and fifteen illustrations.

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at https://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Scott Pauley is a Writer and Editor in GPO’s Library Services and Content Management offices.

 


Stories and Strategies of America’s Military in Action

June 28, 2017

Experience a Special Collection of U.S. Military stories and publications featuring topics ranging from Civil War battle engagements; to Vietnam and recent Middle East conflicts; plus, insightful articles analyzing and interpreting global political and socio-economic issues facing America’s leaders today.

Titles in the collection are written by knowledgeable military and strategic thinkers who offer readers their professional insights regarding the strategies and decision-making realities facing our military and elected officials.

Whether you’re a military leader, history buff, contractor, government official, or concerned American, these are titles you’ll want to own and read to gain deeper understanding of the thought processes behind American military strategies and actions.

Click here to download Stories and Strategies of America’s Military in Action

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Ed Kessler is a Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.


D-Day Anniversary

June 5, 2017

June 6 marks the anniversary of “D-Day.” A day when 6,603 American fighting men were killed, wounded, or missing along the shores of Normandy France. General Eisenhower was explicit about the mission and what was at stake. He said, “The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.” They Marched. They Fought. They Won.

We the living of today owe so much to the valor and determination of this past generation. On this day to be remembered, take a few moments to recall people in your family, or a friend’s, who gave their lives so we could live free, in peace.

Here at the Government Publishing Office we distribute many introspective and interesting published works about America’s military from the Revolutionary War, Civil War, to World War II, Vietnam, and conflicts still being waged across the Middle East.

D-Day: The 6th of June (Map Poster) Part of an extensive collection, this  commemorative two-sided, full color historical map/poster with accompanying graphics (18″x24″) depicts the chronology of the World War II Normandy Invasion on the coast of France. To own this collector’s map for only $4.25 click here.

Also review our latest Military Collection, featuring titles ranging from the Civil War up to insightful studies and analysis of strategies our government is taking today to maintain peace across the globe.

In a world of uncertainty, knowledge helps us all better understand that democracy comes at a price; a price we all need to share to keep America strong and free.

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

HOW DO I OBTAIN WWII RESOURCES?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Ed Kessler is a Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.


Honoring Our Fallen Heroes

May 25, 2017

Just in time for Memorial Day, the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO), Bookstore, has produced a new online collection of military publications that feature the historic stories of military battles and important moments from the Civil War through Vietnam to today. Additionally there are valuable lessons to be learned about how America faces new global challenges in an era when cyber-warfare, counterinsurgency, urban terrorism and other new methods to conduct military excursions are in full force.

The collection includes articles by authors who have in-depth knowledge and the connection to global thinkers and military leaders that provides them with a perspective to offer concerned Americans the resources to learn about the global crisis that surrounds us; not to point to the negative reality of these issues, but rather to become more informed citizens and thus more capable of discerning fact from fiction.

Here’s a link to the collection that you can use to go directly to this unique and comprehensive new list of interesting and informative publications, whether you’re a history buff, perhaps a veteran of one of the wars herein, or concerned modern day observer.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Ed Kessler is a Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.


Honoring Our Nation’s Heroes on VE Day

May 8, 2017

May 8th is the 72nd anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day, a day in which cities in Great Britain, the United States, and formerly occupied territories in Western Europe, put out flags and banners to rejoice in the victory of the allied forces.

On May 8, 1945, German troops throughout Europe finally laid down their arms, ending the European theater of World War II.

Pockets of German soldiers would continue the confrontation with the Soviets into the next day. On May 9, the Soviets would lose 600 more soldiers in Silesia before the Germans finally surrendered.

Because of that, VE Day was not celebrated until the ninth in Moscow, with a radio broadcast salute from Stalin himself: “The age-long struggle of the Slav nations…has ended in victory. Your courage has defeated the Nazis. The war is over.”

In 2006, the House of Representatives passed H. Res. 195 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of VE Day and the liberation of Western Bohemia. On govinfo.gov you can also find several announcements in the Congressional Record recognizing heroes and survivors of WWII:

The U.S. Government Publishing Office’s (GPO’s) Catalog of U.S. Government Publications offers access to a wide variety of related publications and resources from across the Federal Government about WWII and VE Day. Here is just a small sampling:

Inside GPO, we have a Veteran’s Memorial honoring all of those who worked at GPO and answered their Nation’s call to defend democracy and freedom during WWII, but sadly never returned.

If you’re interested in learning more about WWII and the sacrifices our soldiers made to protect freedom around the world, visit the GPO bookstore and pick up a copy of Command Post at War: First Army Headquarters in Europe, 1943-1945. It shows the army headquarters of WWII, the First Army headquarters, in the European theater from its activation in October 1943 to V-E Day in May 1945. It depicts the command as a complicated organization with functions ranging from the immediate supervision of tactical operations to long-range operational planning and the sustained support of frontline units during the war.

Also, the GPO bookstore has United States Army in World War II, Pictorial Record, War Against Germany: Europe and Adjacent Areas. The book is a collection of photographs and text written by Kenneth E. Hunter and edited by Mary Ann Bacon. It deals with the European Theater of Operations, covering the period from the buildup in Britain before the D Day invasion throughout the war to include V-E Day.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Click on the Links: For the free resources, click on the links above in the blog post.

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Scott Pauley is a Writer and Editor in GPO’s Library Services and Content Management office.


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