Remembering D-Day

June 5, 2019

Troops approaching Normandy Beach, D-Day, World War II.

On June 6, 1944, exactly 75 years ago, in perhaps the most seminal battle of World War II, the U.S., together with Britain and Canada, executed Operation Overlord, better known to us as D-Day, in which they, alongside other countries, invaded the coasts of Normandy, carrying out the largest seaborne invasion in history against Nazi-Germany. The U.S. Government Publishing Office invites you to remember this historic day by highlighting some resources from our collections.

 Cross Channel Attack, by Gordan Harrison, available from the U.S. Government Bookstore, details that the preparation for D-Day started long before landing on the beaches of Normandy. The allied forces carried out an act of military deception, known as Operation Bodyguard, in which the goal was to mislead the Germans as to the location and date of the allied landing. Hitler was nonetheless aware that allied forces were intending to invade, which is why he ordered the construction of the “Atlantic Wall,” a 2,400-mile line of bunkers, mines, and water obstacles along the coast of Normandy.But due to the lack of time and resources, he was unable to complete the wall in its entirety. For the allied forces, the element of surprise was of grave importance–if Hitler did not know the exact locations of allied entry, he would be forced to spread his forces thinly along the entire coast, which is exactly what ended up happening. Though combat was difficult in all five allied-landing sites, it could have been much worse had Operation Bodyguard not succeeded.

Sometimes visuals speak louder than words; D-Day: The 6th of June (Map poster), also available from the U.S. Government Bookstore, helps one considerably in visualizing the aforementioned scenario, allowing one to see where exactly the allied forces landed and how vast the coast of Normandy actually is.

The landings were preceded by extensive aerial and naval bombardment. For organizational purposes, the allied forces divided the 50-mile coast of Normandy into five strategic sections: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword.  In 1944, at 6:30, allied forces landed on the beaches, and on each one they encountered different levels of resistance. For instance, at Omaha, the shore was heavily mined and for this reason, Omaha suffered the highest number of casualties. At Juno, despite losing 50% of their force, the Canadians succeeded in capturing most of the beach. On June 11th, all five beaches were captured. The U.S., Canada, Britain, and allied powers pushed Germany on the Western front while the Soviet Union pushed on the Eastern front, and less than a year after D-Day, Germany surrendered unconditionally. The aforementioned is a small summary of Omaha Beachhead, a book which provides significant details on the struggles at every beach.

On D-Day, men and women from all over the world came together for a common goal. Though this event happened on a 50-mile coast of land, it impacted everyone, which is why D-Day is remembered to this day throughout the world. For instance, in 2012, the French Ministry of Culture announced its official consideration for adding the D-Day landing beaches to the UNESCO list of world heritage sites. In addition, the United States on an annual basis commemorates the memory of D-Day. “D-Day Plus 50 Years” is one such example.These commemorations can be found on govinfo.

GPO offers a wide array of resources that cover every angle of D-Day. These include beautiful maps, commemorations, digital images, and historical books. The  books mentioned above are available for purchase from the U.S. Government Bookstore, and can also be downloaded for free electronically via GPO’s Catalog of Government Publications. Below is a small sample of resources we offer:

Available from the Catalog of Government Publications

Available from the U.S. Government Bookstore

Available on govinfo

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

You can click on the links above in this blog article or through any of these methods:

Sign up to receive promotional bulletin emails from the US Government Online Bookstore.

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy a vast majority of 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 4:30 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. Email orders to ContactCenter@gpo.gov

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

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 Mohammed Butt is a Technical Services Librarian in GPO’s Library Services & Content Management unit.


A Well Deserved Salute to the Air Force Reserve

April 12, 2019

Founded April 14, 1948, and operating in various locations around the world, the Air Force Reserve has evolved from a “stand by” force for emergencies into a Major Command (MAJCOM) of the Active Duty Air Force. More than a fighting force, it serves other specialized capabilities not found in the regular active duty Air Force, such as two unique missions for which it serves as the sole USAF capability:

  • Aerial Spray Missions
  • Hurricane and Weather Reconnaissance
  • Aerial Firefighting, conducted in tandem with the Air National Guard

Citizen Airman, Official Magazine of the Air Force Reserve

Pegasus has Landedopens this edition of Citizen Airman with a story featuring the “new era in aerial refueling and mobility.” Then getting personal with a cool story about a hot rock band about an instructor pilot who when off duty rocks his guitar with his all-Airman band, “Call for Fire.” There’s always something unique and interesting among the eclectic collection of Citizen Airman articles from becoming a F-35 pilot to how a former Air Force Academy footballer is today a Brigadier General. For anyone interested in learning more about the Air Force Reserve or considering becoming a member, the bi-monthly Citizen Airman magazine offers complete and up-to-date information of interest to and about the Air Force Reservist.

Go to the Government Publishing Office online bookstore to purchase a single copy or sign up for a subscription.

A Magnificent Showcase: History, Heritage, and Art: The United States Air Force and the Air Force Art Program

If you’re looking for a “celebration that depicts how the connection between Airmen and artists began” who documented Air Force history, then this great coffee table top resource is for you. This illustrated, large-format book presents the U.S. Air Force Art Program’s depiction of the Air Force across the service’s history, starting with the birth of U.S. military aviation under the auspices of the Army.  It interweaves the story of the Art Program, including features on artists and their thoughts on significant works, with the history of the birth and growth of the Air Force itself.

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Sign up to receive promotional bulletin emails from the US Government Online Bookstore.

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

Visit our Retail Store: To buy or order 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, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up(s).

Order by Phone or Email: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4:30 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.  Email orders to ContactCenter@gpo.gov

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

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


New! Marine Corps University Journal Vol. 9, Number 1 now available!

February 11, 2019

 

The Marine Corps University Press recently released the latest edition of its MCU Journal digital PDF format issue focusing on Training and Education in the Military.

Officially launched in 2010, the MCU Journal was developed to provide a forum for interdisciplinary discussion of national security and international relations issues and how they have an impact on the Department of Defense, the Department of the Navy, and the U.S. Marine Corps directly and indirectly.

The Journal devotes much of its content to the myriad aspects of educating and training military personnel in articles emphasizing institutional, pedagogical, and historical perspectives.

Featured content in the issue includes, the Professional Military Education (PME) Round Table section, which looks principally at the efforts of select components within Marine Corps Training and Education Command to enhance the development of Marines through the employment of innovative instructional and career-management techniques.

Articles in the current issue include: Educating an Enlisted Force That Can Win in the Future, How Senior Leader Education Supports the Warfighter, The Education of the Enlightened Soldier, Informal and Incidental Learning in the Marine Corps, plus historical perspectives such as The Cavalcade of Universal Military Training: Training and Education within the Experimental Demonstration Unit.

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 Ed Kessler is a Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office


Part Two: Publications on the Second War of American Independence: The War of 1812

January 23, 2019

Welcome back to our three-part War of 1812 Series. In the last post, we discussed the struggles of the American army, including ill-preparedness and lack of strong leadership. In this series, we’ll start to discover how the American military grew into a force to be reckoned with.

By the end of 1812, after defeats at Detroit, the River Raisin, and Queenston, the Americans had actually lost some of its lands to Great Britain. President James Madison and his administration realized the need to overhaul the military to start winning.

One of the most significant improvements to the American side was the strengthening of the U.S. Navy. Capt. Isaac Chauncey was appointed to command in the Great Lakes. He began to build ships and embark on a naval arms race.

President James Madison also appointed a new secretary of war, Brig. Gen. John Armstrong. And in January 1813, Congress decided to increase the number of officers and raised the pay of all ranks. A private was to earn $8 a month, a substantial increase over the $5 they were receiving at the start of the war. President Madison named four new major generals.

Working together, the Army’s senior officer, Maj. Gen. Henry Dearborn, and Captain Chauncey convinced Armstrong to raid York, modern-day Toronto, where they planned to capture or destroy vessels being built there. The raid was successful, giving the Americans a confidence boost.

General Henry Dearborn followed up this achievement by taking Fort George on the Niagara River. However, their victories were followed by defeats at Stoney Creek and Beaver Dams. The two-pronged campaign to seize Montreal in the fall was likewise defeated at Chateauguay and Crysler’s Farm.

In the west, however, Army-Navy cooperation led to the recapture of Detroit. The war along the border with Canada in 1813 saw a string of bitter defeats punctuated by a victory in the Old Northwest. Perhaps most importantly, the Army was recovering from its early mistakes and adapting to the challenges of the war on the frontiers. Officers and soldiers were learning their trade and gaining valuable experience. But it still wasn’t quite enough. Despite increases in pay, not many citizens were willing to join the “Regular Army.” Despite Madison’s new leadership appointments, there was still a lack of experienced officers and noncommissioned officers to train new regiments. American soldiers continued to lack basic necessities such as warm clothing and food.

For more details on the war, purchase The Canadian Theater, 1813, available on the GPO Online Bookstore.

The Chesapeake Campaign, 1813−1814 details British leaders’ strategic decision to conduct a naval blockade at the Chesapeake Bay.

The British wanted to divert American regulars from the Canadian border and shift their focus to defending their own land. One way to do this was via a naval blockade. The only problem was that with the vast majority of the British army fighting against the French Emperor Napoleon at the same time, the British didn’t have enough ships to cover the extensive coastline of America. So, they decided to focus on one area in particular: The Chesapeake Bay.

The fighting began on February 8, 1813. The British captured the Lottery, just one of the many ships the Royal Navy would seize during what would become the nearly two-year-long campaign.

By mid-April, Americans living in small port towns began to directly feel the effects of the war when R. Adm. George Cockburn of Britain sent sailors and marines ashore to raid small port towns. Although he claimed to have paid for any confiscated property, he usually did so with notes that could only be redeemed after the war. At Havre de Grace in Maryland, Cockburn demanded $20,000 from village leaders. When the town refused, a British officer informed town leaders that “your village shall now feel the effects of war.” The British looted and burned most of the town buildings.

Did the young and still somewhat young American military fight back hard enough to win the battle and prove themselves equal to the soldiers of the British Empire? Order your copy of The Chesapeake Campaign, 1813−1814 to find out how the rest of this two-year campaign ended. And stay tuned for the third and final installation of our War of 1812 Series right here on Government Book Talk.

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.

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.


GPO’s Gift Guide Series: Books for a Special Soldier

December 17, 2018

We know you’re probably busy hanging stockings with care, prepping milk and cookies, and writing letters to the North Pole, but we’re back with another installment of GPO’s gift guide series, and this is our most important gift idea yet! So grab a cozy sweater, take a seat by the fireplace and read this post. Today we’re talking about gift ideas for the active serviceman or servicewoman.

Whether they’re deployed or at home this Christmas, make your favorite soldier a care package to show how much you love them. Some ideas for the package are listed below.

Hot cocoa mix
Mini Christmas tree or menorah
Stringy lights
Holiday cookies
An ornament of something they love
A stocking filled with personal items like floss, a toothbrush, and chapstick
Wacky holiday sweater or Santa hat
Hand-written letters and cards
Hand-made holiday crafts
Framed photo of friends or family members

Don’t forget the entertainment … like books and magazines! Check out the below publications your special soldier might enjoy finding in their gift.

Army History: The Professional Bulletin of Army History, a professional military magazine, published four times a year by the U.S. CMH, is devoted to informing the military history community about new work on the Army’s history. Issues include illustrated articles, commentaries, book reviews, and news about Army history and the U.S. Army Center of Military History. Quarterly issues feature thoughtful illustrated articles about the history of the U.S. Army, incisive book reviews by experts in the field of military history, insightful commentaries, and news notes providing the latest information about CMH activities and publications.

The U.S. Army in the World War I Era is part of the U.S. Army Campaigns of World War I series. Drawn mostly from CMH’s two-volume textbook, American Military History, the pamphlet provides an overview of the decades leading up to the United States joining the World War and the country’s experiences during the eighteen months of involvement in the war. The conflict capped a period of reform and professionalization that transformed the Army from a small dispersed organization rooted in constabulary operations to a modern industrialized fighting force capable of global reach and impact.

American Military Heritage provides an illustrated historical collection about Army biographies and traditions.

Those serving our country give us the gift of freedom every day. Now, it’s their turn to get a gift. Let them know how much you care and how thankful you are for their service. May all our military families have a safe and happy holiday!

More from our Gift Guides Series:

GPO’s Gift Guide Series: Books for the Great Outdoorsman

GPO’s Gift Guide Series: Books for the Environmental Enthusiast

Click here to shop our Holiday Gift Guides for everyone on your list.

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.

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.


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.


NEW PICATINNY: THE FIRST CENTURY (EBOOK)

September 13, 2018

Picatinny (Arsenal) details the researching, developing, and engineering of the United States Army weapons and munitions facility programs located in New Jersey that have prepared American troops for over a century. With the recent publishing of the FREE eBook edition of Picatinny: The First Century, Government Book Talk interviews its historian-author, Patrick J. Owens, for a firsthand account of the history of the Picatinny Arsenal.

GBT: What inspired your organization to write the book?

Agency: Inspiration is too grandiloquent a word for the motivations which led to this book.  The organization supported publication of the book to make the outside world aware of the varied and significant contributions Picatinny Arsenal has made to national defense, especially in the area of munitions production and development.

The historian shared in this motivation.  Moreover, he was facing the fact of his own aging and wished to leave an ordered record of what he knew about Picatinny history before too many brain cells decayed.

A third reason was the overwhelming desire of old men to tell stories, and many of his most interesting involve Picatinny.

GBT: How did you come up with the title?

Owens: The title followed from the period covered, from the installation’s founding in 1880 to its centennial.  The choice of terminal date was due, first of all, to the fact a book needs to end sometime.  Second, by 1980, Picatinny had assumed its present duties, research, development, and engineering of all Army armaments and munitions.  Telling how it came to assume these duties gave the narrative a sense of direction.

GBT: What is the overall message you want readers to grasp?

Owens: Hopefully, readers will realize building the installation and performing its multiple tasks was not easy.

GBT: What is the single “don’t miss” chapter, page, chart, or fact in you publication and why?

Owens: The chapter most readers will probably single out covers the explosion in 1926 which leveled Picatinny, Lake Denmark Naval Ammunition Depot, and surrounding communities.  This is certainly the chapter highest on drama.

The photos of the damage are the items most likely to catch the notice of a browser thumbing the book and move him or her to actually peruse the text.

This is the only blast to rate an entire chapter but not the only blast in the book.  When you work with explosives, explosion is always a risk.  Each chapter discusses at least one occasion when risk became reality.

GBT: What was the hardest part of writing the book?  What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?

Agency: The hardest challenge in any writing is for the author is to force the seat of his pants into the seat of a chair and begin filling white space with black characters.

Otherwise, the author of this work was very fortunate in having ample and various research materials close at hand.  Many workers and residents through the years were very good about recording their work, and many of the installation’s newspapers and other publications survive to allow putting names and, often, faces with deeds.  These cover not only big accomplishments, but daily life on the arsenal.

The author could not have brought the events surrounding the 1926 explosion, assuming he gave them life, if a local historian had not compiled a scrapbook of newspaper clippings from the days immediately following the event.  Many of the newspapers no longer and exist, and few of those remaining are scrupulous archive keepers.

The author was very fortunate in the services he received from local libraries and historical societies.

Previous historical studies of Picatinny were very useful, especially the architectural surveys that allowed him to sound knowledgeable when discussing pediments and cornices.

GBT: Do you have anything particular that you want to say to you readers in parting, a memorable quote.

Owens: No.  If there is nothing memorable in over 300 pages, it is too late to redeem the situation now.

Patrick J. Owens

Historian (retired)

Picatinny Arsenal

About the Agency/Organization

GBT: What are the next upcoming unclassified projects for your organization?

Agency: Picatinny continues to accomplish much in the way of armament and munitions research and development, so there should be ample material for Picatinny: The Second Century.  However, despite science’s efforts to extend the human life span, it is doubtful the present writer will be up to literary composition in the 2080s.

Picatinny has a historical section on its website, and the Picatinny archaeologist maintains another website on the history of installation buildings.  The latter is part of Picatinny’s historic preservation work.

GBT: What steps is your agency taking to promote this book?

Agency: It is distributing promotional copies to local colleges, libraries, and historical societies.  It is especially hopeful about the historical societies as generators of book orders.

GBT: What other steps in addition to this book to get the word out about this topic?

Agency: The present Picatinny historian continues writing and speaking to local groups on the subject.  He may, even, sneak in references to this book.

GBT: Did you personally learn anything from this book and what was it?

Agency: This book was part of learning experience which began when its writer became historian for a science and engineering organization.  His education had stressed the humanities, but, though he remained Picatinny’s token technophobe, he became more comfortable with technical topics.  Much credit is due the countless technical people who showed patience with the historian’s ignorance.

HOW DO YOU OBTAIN PICATINNY: THE FIRST CENTURY (EBOOK)?

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 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: Trudy Hawkins, Senior Marketing and Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication & Information Sales Division supporting the U.S. Government Online Bookstore (http://bookstore.gpo.gov).

 

 


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