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WWII Films

Today I'm sharing a list of WWII films I've recently watched and some I'm eager to see! But before I dive into that, I just want to remind ya'll that the blog survey is still up. I'll be closing it next week and then I'll do a fun little blog post with the results. So if you haven't taken the survey, please do!

Ok. Here we go.


"Look them in the eye. They'll remember you."

Valkyrie is based on the true story of Claus von Stauffenberg who was a German army officer and one of leading members of the failed July 20th plot to assassinate Hitler. Obviously I knew they didn't succeed, but I still was hugging a pillow and dying from the suspense. UGH. ALL THE FEELS. I really liked this one. 

Flags of Our Fathers

"I want you to always remember something. The heroes of Iwo Jima are the guys who didn't come back."

Flags of our Fathers tells the story of the Marines involved in the second flag raising on Mount Suribachi and how the publicity/propaganda of that picture affected their lives. I really want to watch the companion film, Letters From Iwo Jima.


"Freedom of speech means you can say whatever you want. What you can't do is lie and expect not to be held accountable for it."

I mentioned Denial before, but it's really a great film so I have to mention it again! It's based on Deborah Lipstadt's book History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier. Deborah Lipstadt was a Holocaust scholar and was sued by Holocaust denier David Irving for libel. 

Blessed is the Match

“To die, 
so young to die.
No, no, not I,
I love the warm sunny skies,
light, song, shining eyes,
I want no war, no battle cry,
No, no, not I.” 

Blessed is the Match is a docudrama about Hannah Senesh, one of 37 Jewish parachutists of Mandate Palestine who assisted in the rescue of Hungarian Jews about to be deported to Auschwitz. She was executed at the age of 23. It's an incredible story. I just got the book Hannah Senesh, Her Life and Diary and I'm looking forward to reading it. 

 Now five WWII films I'm looking forward to watching this year!


Dunkirk: Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, Canada, and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.


The Zookeeper's Wife

The Zookeeper's Wife tells the account of keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, Antonina and Jan Zabinski, who helped save hundreds of people and animals during the German invasion.

Warsaw? WWII? Umm yeah. I gotta watch this. And read the book.

Hacksaw Ridge

Hacksaw Ridge: WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.

I still haven't seen this! I have it on hold at the library so I WILL be watching this soon!

Ashes in the Snow

In 1941, an aspiring artist and her family are deported to Siberia amidst Stalin's brutal dismantling of the Baltic region. In a seemingly hopeless place, love is the only means of survival. 

I read the book by Ruta Sepetys and ever since I've been so excited about the movie! There's not a release date yet, but it's supposed to come out this year!

Who Will Write Our History?

This one doesn't have a release date either, but it's coming out this year and I cannot wait! It's a full length documentary about the hidden archives of the Warsaw Ghetto. Please come out soon, PLEASE. 

What are some of your favorite historical films? What new releases are you looking forward to seeing?


A Paratrooper's Faith

I just have to share a beautiful piece of history with you all! I'm borrowing this 1944 booklet called A Paratrooper's Faith. It's dedicated to twenty year old Sgt. George Bowler Tullidge of the 507th PIR, 82nd Airborne who gave his life during the Invasion of France. A few months before the invasion, his mother sent him a booklet filled with poems, inspirational excerpts, and Bible verses to comfort and encourage him while overseas. He called it the little book while his mother called it A Paratrooper's Faith.

I've read through it a couple times (and will continue to until I have to give it back!) and it's chocked full of inspiring quotes and verses. One of my favorites is from Emerson.

"Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always some one to tell you you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to the end, requires some of the same courage which a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men to win them."—Emerson.
The very dashing George Bowler Tullidge
After her son's death, Mrs. Tullidge voluntarily duplicated the booklet and mailed them to over 300,000 soldiers! The booklet is still being duplicated and inspiring people today. If you'd like to pass one along to someone in service, you can request a free copy from George's sister HERE.

In the beginning of the booklet is a letter from George to his younger brother. Here's an excerpt:

I just know and pray that you will turn out to be the kind of boy that Mother and Dad are teaching you to be. Just please take a word of advice from somebody who has had a small look around anyway. Maybe I am not so old, but this two years in the army has shown and taught me lots of things about life that I never dreamed of before...Often times when I feel depressed and blue it does me an awful lot of good to read my Bible and a little book that Mother sent me. A good belief in Christianity (very broad term) gives a fellow something to grasp when the going gets tough, and it does at times. A lot of boys have a hard time because they do not have it there to take hold of. Of course, it is there for all to have if they want, but due to wrong living and poor home life, they haven't been made to realize that it is there. 

 Maybe this sounds like so much bull; but I just want to impress upon you that if you grow up to be the young man that Mother and Dad want and teach you to be, things will be much nicer and brighter for you. At times the wrong thing will seem much better and more fun, but just remember the consequences. 

Your best Pal, 



Nick | 505th PIR

This is the eighth interview in my WWII reenactor interview series:

Josh | 502nd PIR and 5th Rangers

1. Why did you choose your impression?
I have been interested in WWII airborne units since I was 7 or 8 and got an 82nd airborne GI Joe from 21st century toys. A few years ago I found a book called "Descending From the Clouds" which is about 505th PIR member, Spencer Wurst, and it was all over after that.

2. Can you tell us about your reenacting gear?

I use a mix of original and reproduction gear to represent the three distinct periods of time that the 505 operated in the MTO and ETO. For the Sicilian and Italian campaigns I wear a standard M1942 jump suit with pistol belt and lift the dot rigger pouches. For Normandy I have a reinforced M42 jump suit which I have coated in canvak and gulf wax to approximate CC2 anti gas impregnating. Under those I wear a full wool uniform (shirt and trousers) and wool long johns. I wear the standard web gear and tie style rigger pouches. Finally for Operation Market Garden and beyond I wear an M43 combat uniform, cartridge belt and M43 (double buckle) combat boots. For all three time periods I carry an M1 Garand Rifle.

3. What's your favorite part of reenacting?
Having the chance to talk to WWII veterans and getting to hang out with my best friends.

4. What group do you reenact with? Are they recruiting?
My unit is G. Company, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division. We are always looking for new members.

5. What have
 you learned from reenacting?

I have learned a lot about the history of my unit, and the gear they used obviously, but the most important thing I have learned is how tough these guys were/are. I have had several opportunities to do immersion events where I have dug/slept in foxholes, eaten K rations, been woken up by "enemy fire" and lived only off of what I could carry on my back. It was terrible and only had to do it for a weekend! Those guys did it for days, weeks or even longer.

6. Who's your favorite WWII hero?
General James Slim Jim Gavin. He was the youngest general in WWII and loved by his men because he lead from the front and never asked a man to do something he himself wouldn't do. I endeavor to lead my employees/co workers the same way. He is such an amazing guy that I've given my first born son the name James.

7. What advice would you give to newbie reenactors?

Find a quality unit that is made up of people you would hang out with even if you weren't in the hobby. Buy quality gear and read as much and you can about WWII in general and the unit you chose to reenact.


If you're a WWII reenactor and would like to be featured on Taking Dictation, email me at: authoremilyannputzke@gmail.com

Interview With Author Jesseca Wheaton

I'm so excited to share an interview with historical fiction author, Jesseca Wheaton today! This week she released her WWII novel called A Question of Honor which looks like an awesome read! 

How long have you been a writer?

I started writing when I was eleven, but never really took it seriously until I turned fifteen. So I'd say I've been seriously writing for about four years. 

How long did it take you to write and edit A Question of Honor

As best I can remember, I wrote a random scene around May or June of 2015 off a picture I found on Pinterest. It was then finished in NaNo 2015, and since then has gone through many edits and changes.  So it's been approximately one year and ten months since I jotted down that first scene. 

What's your writing routine look like? 

I like to plot out my stories ahead of time, so once that's finished, I set a goal of either one chapter a day, or three pages . . . whichever comes first. Normally I tend to write at night, simply because that's when things are the quietest at our house. If I'm in the middle of a writing a book and I have an idea, I'll jot it down, or try and find some time to write in the afternoon. 

How did you research your book? 

Just as I started writing this book, I found out there was a WWII research museum only about 45 minutes from where we live. I was SO excited! In addition, it had a research library with volumes of books exclusively about WWII. I had already scoured our normal library trying to find research books, and had only come up with a few, so I was in extremely happy. 

And over the course of writing the book, I learned to jot down any questions I had to ask the two gentlemen who worked at the research center. They were incredibly helpful, and seemed to always have the answers I was looking for. 

So in short, I'd say the majority of my research came from reading books written by pilots who had fought in the Battle of Britain (in particular Duel of Eagles by Peter Townsend), WWII veterans whom I had the privilege of interviewing, and talking to the people who worked at the research center. Documentaries, and even dramatized films helped give me a feel for the aircraft as well. 

What is your advice for aspiring authors?

First of all, write what you want to read, or a subject that is close to your heart.  Because if you do that, it becomes something you're passionate about. Also, find someone you trust to critique you work. Preferably not a family member. I know it can be so difficult to hand over something you've written to someone else, but if you want to grow and improve in writing, you need constructive feedback. And I've learned from experience; it's not as scary as it all seems. ;) 


About the Book:
A man. A child. A war.

When German soldiers invade France during World War II, young Joyanna's perfect world is shattered. In the hands of those who hate her, she battles to comprehend why people can be so ruthless and cold toward those whom they have never met.

David Sullivan, pilot in the Royal Air Force, was certain he would never hate, but a painful loss forces him to either reconsider or do the inconceivable—forgive. He is suddenly challenged by the realization that doing God's will is not easy, but most important. With the lives of freedom-fighters relying on him, he must learn the difficult lesson that he is not in control, but merely one who must surrender his heart of obedience to One greater.

A sudden turn of events lands Joyanna and David in the same country—but for far different reasons. When their paths cross, David finds he must make a decision that will affect them both for the rest of their lives.

Will he chose vengeance, or will he let his life be ruled by a higher standard? A standard of Honor.

Find on Amazon and Goodreads

About the Author

Jesseca is an 18-year old daughter, sister, and a child of God. Her days are spent reading, cooking, spending time with siblings, or playing piano. And writing, of course! At an early age words fascinated her, and her love for the printed page has only grown. She lives with her parents and seven siblings in the sunny state of Kansas, and she’s convinced there’s no place like home.

Be sure to enter Jesseca's giveaway for a chance to win a paperback edition of A Question of Honor!

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"To Them We Have a Solemn Obligation."

A few weeks ago my mom and I took a day trip to Washington, D.C. I had a list of historical/military things I either wanted to see again, or see for the first time. 

It had been at least four years since I'd been to the Arlington National Cemetery. I definitely didn't appreciate the significance of it four years ago as I did this time.

It was my first time seeing the United States Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington. Having just recently watched Flags of our Fathers and seeing the monument on February 20th, just a day after the battle of Iwo Jima began 72 years ago, made it all the more meaningful.

It was my first time seeing the 9/11 Pentagon memorial. 

And it was my first time seeing the Air Force Memorial in Arlington. 

I've been to the Holocaust Memorial Museum a few times. But this time, after researching the Warsaw Ghetto for the past year, I had to see the original milk can that held part of the hidden archives (Oyneg Shabes) of the Warsaw Ghetto. There's a documentary coming out this year about the archives that looks amazing. 

What we were unable to cry and shriek out to the world we buried in the ground. I would love to see the moment in which the great treasure will be dug up and scream the truth at the world. So the world may know …. We would be the fathers, the teachers and educators of the future. May the treasure fall into good hands, may it last into better times, may it alarm and alert the world to what happened in the twentieth century. May history attest for us.” —Dawid Graber, age 19, August 2, 1942, Warsaw Ghetto

 One of the guns used in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising ... after doing so much research on the uprising, it's surreal to see one of the actual weapons.

Another place I wanted to see again was the National WWII Memorial. I'd love to go back with Honor Flight one of these days.

Have you ever been to D.C.? What are your favorite museums/memorials?


P.S. Rafflecopter has chosen the winners of Resist! Congratulations Joy and Ekaterina!