Fort Hackenberg

Maginot Line: Fantasy Fortifications

Despite myriad attempts to vilify or justify its construction, the Maginot Line remains above all a paen to the historical contingency (or “shit happens”) school of analysis. It succeeded brilliantly in preventing a replay of World War I. This post takes you with us through our tour of one of the most fascinating artifacts of the Maginot Line, Fort Hackenberg.

Memorial statute at the German Military Cemetery in Saint Mihiel

Apremont Forest: Wie es War

While the extent of the great Western Front scar from the Franco-Swiss border to the English Channel can still be traced on contemporary aerial photography, very few examples of trenches sans artificial stabilization, restoration, or outright replication exist in France or Belgium. The best naturally preserved Great War trenches are in the Foret d’Apremont. Come join us as we explore the trenches of WWI.

Roberto and Morgan at a gun emplacement

Sicilian WWII Battlefield Tours

Roberto Piccione is a professional tour guide for all of Italy and provides WWII battlefield tours in Sicily. He has one website in excellent English giving out helpful information (Impavudis.it) and has another in the works. We highly recommend that you give him a call if you’re interested in seeing some interesting WWII on the island.

Folks in costumes walk among the tourists

Italian Medieval Festivals

Guest writer Hanna Johnson tells us all about discovering Italy through its medieval festivals. Come learn all about the festivals in Monteriggioni, Viterbo, and Filacciano where folks from different guilds dress and act the roles of their medieval ancestors.

Graves with Memorial Day flags

The Americans: Why the New York Times Travel Section Sucks

To be frank, Morgan is appalled by The New York Times Travel Section’s coverage of World War I’s centennial. Not only have their articles failed to do 1914 justice, but they’re full of hyperbole.

In this post, Morgan sets the record straight while taking you along on our tour of Belleau Wood, the Chateau-Thierry American Monument, the Aisle-Marne American Cemetery, the Bulldog Fountain, and the German Military Cemetery near Belleau.

It’s fascinating history, touring, and photos. The New York Times may never forgive us.

Food carts abound on 19th and Quimby

Portland Spring

We’ve returned to Portland for the spring and are loving it. In addition to visiting some old haunts, we’ve discovered some new restaurants, visited a famous food truck, explored the Wildwood Trial in Forest Park, and returned to the PSU market to see an expanded offering.

Hôtel du Lac de la Madine

Quarter Master Report: Apremont Forest

Hôtel du Lac de la Madine, a classic French restaurant with rooms owned and run by two sisters, was our second favorite place to stay on the trip. Check out the meal and the photos.

2014-06-04 193702_P1170147

Quartermaster Report: Ypres

Belgium had some of the best hotels and restaurants of the Battlefield tour. Our favorite was the Main Street Hotel in Ypres. You should definitely check it out.

Langmark German Cemetery

Ypres: Military Theme Park

Belgium played an extraordinary role at the beginning of WWI, refusing to roll over as the script of Germany’s Schlieffen Plan dictated. In this post, we visit key WWI sites in Belgium, gaining a great appreciation for the bravery and resourcefulness of the Belgium people.

Come join us for the Last Post as we explore the WWI sites of Belgium and the Plugstreet Experience. There are also some beautiful photographs of Ypres including the cathedral.

Morgan in front of a destroyed turret at Fort Loncin

Military Architecture: Forever Failing

Europe’s semi-continuous wars since at least the beginning of recorded history have made it the premier locale for the Sisyphusian labor of establishing “impregnable” defensive systems. Join us as we visit the charming city of Metz and then go on the hunt for “Big Bertha” at Liege’s Fort Loncin, a WWI fortification that you can still explore today.