Humble Origins

About the photo:
Where the Soviets permanently opened the door to global Allied victory in WWII. That’s according to the foremost English-language author* on the Nazi/Soviet war.

The firefight November 23 1942 on this bridge was platoon-level and lasted probably less than an hour. In a brief timespan at a remote place, a few people made a difference global and for the good.
The Don River bridge, seen from the West bank, opposite the town Kalach-na-Donu, Russian Federation, September 2015
*Barbarossa, © Alan Clarke, 2002 reprint, Perennial/Harper-Collins, New York, New York, pages 247 through 249 ISBN: 0-688-04268-6
Higly-recommended brief read. I find it thrilling!
Photo © Landis McGauhey 2015

From humble origins, all great and good.

In this season we celebrate the birth of the Christ.
May His grace, mercy, equity, love, and light go before you and illuminate your path in this season and thru the year to come.

With best regards,


Of Flame, Fame,
Courage and Christmas Eve

Brigadier General Frederick W. Castle, U.S. Army, circa 1944

Brigadier General
Frederick W. Castle
U.S. Army
circa 1944
© The American Air Museum
in Britain

Greater love has no one than this:
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Gospel of John, Chapter 13, line 11
“New International Version, NIV
© 2011-2015 Biblica.

We’ll live in fame, or go down in flame
United States Air Force Battle Hymn

The words, “Christmas Eve”– for us in the Northern Hemisphere– conjure visions of shivering carolers, cups of steaming cocoa, and trees graced with twinkling lights. But Christmas Eve 1944, the bomber crews of the U.K.-based U.S. Eighth Air Force (8AF) had different things on their minds: target charts, bomb loads, and Nazi fighters.

please read more here

© Landis McGauhey 2015

Last Chance Lost

The forces of the Third Reich threw away their last chance for survival, let-alone victory, in the USSR, 73 years ago today.

Through a winter-frozen mix of fatigue, apathy, and totalitarian vanity, the command of the Wehrmacht 6th Army– a quarter-million men– on 19 December 1942 rejected an order to try to break through their complete encirclement by the Red Army.  The Soviets’ circular-siege was anchored in northern Stalingrad.

The 6th Army command disobeyed the breakout order even though another formidable Nazi force had struggled at great cost to try to help 6th Army.  The 57th Panzer Corps, commanded by the gifted Colonel General Hermann “Papa” Hoth, had fought its way to Stalingrad’s southern exurbs, not-far from the Soviets’ circular-siege of the 6th Army.

Hoth’s mission was, from the outside, to smash into the Soviets’ siege-circle at the same time and place 6th Army was to smash out-of the siege-circle.  Thus the Nazi high command in the USSR anticipated a corridor through a ruptured siege-circle.  Through the corridor, much if not most of 6th Army would escape.

But it was not to be, because of a Nazi decision.

Because of this disobedience by command of a Nazi Army:  the huge loss of all Nazi strategic-initiative in the USSR.  From 19 December 1942– in the larger, strategic,
view– Nazi forces in the USSR effectively were walking backward.

flour mill volgograd pub
The flour mill atop the West-bank Volga-River bluffs, above the main landing stages for Soviet forces, in the center of the former Stalingrad. September 2015.
© Landis McGauhey 2015



© Landis McGauhey 2015

Semper Memento

The folly of aggression on spectacular display. With this infamous, treacherous aggression, Imperial Japan accomplished no more than sowing the seeds of her own destruction.
Public Domain courtesy USN
Shaw was a destroyer (USN DD-373). About three years before the infamous attack. Public Domain courtesy Library of Congress.


Eleventh hour, eleventh day, eleventh month

One of my proudest service moments: introducing members of the local society for the blind to display-aircraft at the Castle AFB museum.

Best regards to my brothers and sisters for a hopeful and pleasant Veterans’ Day.

Big thanks to everyone at the the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA):  you are A-List.

Big thanks to the taxpayers who recognize my service-connected disability and assist me through the DVA.  For you, in the blink of an eye, I would serve again:  our inspired Constitution protecting you, and you and your family, are worth it.