Archive for May 2013

D-Day in 60 Minutes Releasing Next Week on the 69th Anniversary

Next week I will be releasing D-Day In 60 Minutes which is my first collaboration with writer William Bradle. It is actually the first in a series of books we have decided to write together called, "The 60 Minute History Series".

People are busier today than ever and there is often no time to read a 300 page history book so this series is an answer to that need. The quality will be extremely high and the books accurate and compelling. They will be broad topics but the detail within them will be razor sharp.

There is a large history audience that has somewhat been left behind by outlets such as the History Channel and other networks which craves more and more historical content but in a an  hour-long length. Our opinion is if the reader knows going in they can finish the book in an hour they will set aside time for it as they used to do with great History Channel programs. And this has somewhat been proven by other shorter history book series.

Each book in the series will also be produced as an audiobook and I am seeing great growth with the audiobooks I have released so far this year. And the D-Day audiobook should release in July.

Hopefully you will consider picking up D-Day In 60 Minutes which hits bookstores next week.

Below is a preview of what you'll see in an excerpt from Chapter One.

Chapter 1-Why? (D-Day In 60 Minutes)

“I have therefore decided to strengthen the defenses in the West.”                                                                                 Adolf Hitler

D-Day is the most crucial battle of World War II for size, complexity and importance because—

-It was to date the largest amphibious invasion in history,
-Ten Allied nations had troops in the fight,
-160,000 troops landed in Normandy on June 6, 1944: 73,000 Americans, 62,000 British and 21,000 Canadians,
-24,000 American, British and Canadian paratroopers dropped behind the lines the night before the invasion,
-American soldiers smoked 20 million cigarettes a day. Eisenhower smoked eighty a day,
-104 American gliders landed behind enemy lines,
-The Allies had 11,590 aircraft in the sky during D-Day. The Germans had two,
-180,000 German troops were in France with the great majority in Pas de Calais,
-The Germans thought the Allies would attack Pas de Calais, 21 miles from England. The Allies attacked Normandy, 90 miles away,
-Ships totaled 6,939 ranging in size from the dreadnought battleship USS Texas 573 long to the Higgins boat at 36 feet long,
-500 US soldiers died at Omaha Beach, total Allied fatalities on June 6 were 2,500. 37,000 Allied soldiers would die in the two-month Normandy campaign to follow,
-C rations came in round cans. The soldiers preferred flat, rectangular cans but there was not enough machinery in the US to produce flat cans,
-German E boats killed 700 troops in April 1944 practicing a landing at Slapton Sands. Hitler noticed the similarity between the Normandy beaches and Slapton Sands. He ordered more troops to Normandy,
-Hitler thought he could stop the Allies at the beach. Stalin wasn’t sure the Allies would ever invade.

And then there is geography.

The impact of the Normandy Invasion on the war boils down to geography. When Allied planning began in 1943, German and Japanese progress had stalled: the German advance in Russia ground to a halt outside Moscow, German forces surrendered at Stalingrad and their tank tactics failed at Kursk. The Marines stopped the Japanese advance and started island hopping in the Pacific on their way to the islands of Japan. Churchill called the time, “This is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end, but it is perhaps the end of the beginning.”

As with Japan in the Pacific, there were a lot of miles between the Germany’s enemies and the homeland. Allied forces were in Italy, but Rome is a thousand miles from Berlin. The Russians were advancing but still 1,200 miles from Berlin. More importantly, they were 1,600 miles from the industrial heart of Germany, the Rhine-Ruhr district. Without the industrial capacity of the Rhine-Ruhr, the German army and air force would not have the weapons to fight; the war would be over.

The southeastern tip of England is less than 300 miles from the Rhine-Ruhr district. The shortest path to victory lay through France and Hitler knew it.

In a November 1943 Fuhrer Directive he wrote, “but now a greater danger appears in the West--An Anglo Saxon landing! In the East, the vast extent of the territory makes it possible for us to lose ground, even on a large scale, without a fatal blow being dealt to the nervous system of Germany. It is very different in the West...everything indicates that the enemy will launch an attack against the Western the spring. I can therefore no longer take responsibility for further weakening the West...for it is here that the enemy must and will attack...that the decisive battle against the landing forces will be fought.”
The shift to the West was, in Hitler’s mind, only temporary. He told his commanders, “The destruction of the enemy’s landing attempt means more than a purely local decision on the Western Front. It is the sole decisive factor in the whole conduct of the war and hence in its final result. Once defeated, the enemy will never again try to invade...And invasion failure would also deliver a crushing blow to British and American morale.”

With the defeat of the invasion, Hitler would turn his forces back on the Russians saying, “So the whole outcome of the war depends on each man fighting in the West, and that means the fate of the Reich as well!”

Hitler saw the battle coming; he had the enemy, the time and the place correct and still failed. He had the foresight but not the means to stop the invasion because he lacked resources. Hitler was facing and fighting the enemy on three land fronts—Russia, the Mediterranean and now the threat to Western Europe. At the same time, there was fighting on the home front as the British bombed military and civilian targets at night and the Americans bombed during the day.

Hitler had to prioritize, all of the fighting and defending required men and material. In late 1943 he picked the Western front to receive the logistical support to try and stop the invasion he saw coming.  

But was the invasion important to the Allies? It certainly was not to the United States Army Air Corps. The senior officers of the air force were convinced that around-the-clock bombing of Germany would bring the country to it’s knees. And they were probably right.

The main reason for the invasion was to keep Russia in the war. Hitler knew the Allies were a marriage of convenience—he believed the capitalist societies of the United States and the United Kingdom were actually the natural enemies of the communist regime of the Soviet Union. The Cold War that ensued after World War II would prove him right.

In addition, Germany and Russia had as recently as 1941 been allies themselves, signing the Molotov-Ribbentrop Non-Aggression Pact in August of 1939 that carved up Poland. If Stalin grew tired of the tremoundous casualties he was incurring or became convinced he could not trust the United States and Britain to wage war on Germany aggressively, a separate peace with Germany might be possible. Getting Russia out of the war would allow Hitler to take on the United States and the UK. Or, in his twisted mind, he perhaps could convince the Americans and British to ally with capitalist Germany against communist Russia. As early as 1928 Hitler wrote that Germany and England should be allies and perhaps unite against even the United States—“If England remains true to her great world political aims, her potential enemies will be France and Russia in Europe and, in the other parts of the world, especially the American Union in the future.”

The invasions of North Africa, Sicily and Italy did nothing to prove the mettle of the British and Americans to Stalin. And he cared less about the sacrifices of the Marine Corps in the Pacific. Stalin could do the math as easily as anyone else, and only a stab at the Ruhr valley would keep him in the war. That is why the British and Americans invaded Normandy.
Posted by Robert Child

Free Weekend Promotion. Get 2 Books that Honor Our Soldiers

In honor of our soldiers this Memorial Day Weekend, my distributor, Janson media is running a FREE Kindle promotion. Download the books, Silent Wings: The American Glider Pilots of WWII and Lincoln and Lee at Antietam: The Cost of Freedom which are both based on my award-winning films.


From the early race to build gliders to the D-Day invasion at Normandy and Nazi Germany's final surrender, Silent Wings, reveals the critical role gliders played in World War II offensives. Through interviews with glider vets as well as WWII war correspondents, Walter Cronkite and Andy Rooney, the book places the reader right at the center of the action in the dangerous world of the American glider pilot.
During WWII, 6000 young Americans volunteered to fly large unarmed cargo gliders into battle. For these glider pilots every mission was do-or-die. It was their task to repeatedly risk their lives landing the men and tools of war deep within enemy-held territory, often in complete darkness, using only a stopwatch to navigate. Thousands of lives were saved and battles won because of their efforts. In fact, one pilot interviewed said - the 'G' in their emblem didn't stand for glider; it stood for 'guts'.


It's September 17, 1862 and President Abraham Lincoln needs a victory in order to issue the Emancipation Proclamation and end slavery in the South. But Robert E. Lee has other plans - invade the North.

"Articulate and gut-wrenching...a must for any history buff." --Jordan Riefe, "ABC Radio Network"

"A collection of highly regarded historians offer educated insight into the bloodiest day in American history." --Jason Buchanan, "All Movie Guide"
Posted by Robert Child

The Russian van Gogh FREE Sun. & Monday on Amazon

On the heels of my successful Amazon promotion last week for Rush On, Boys Hamilton at War, this weekend (starting Sunday) the Kindle version of my book, The Russian van Gogh, will be available for free immediate download on Amazon.

Link (Grab for Free on Amazon Sun. / Mon.)

I wrote this story essentially as the female version of Indian Jones. I wanted  it to be a fun read, an across the globe adventure in the high stakes world of multimillion dollar art.

Here is more about the story:

A secure Russian government warehouse is breached in a violent raid. Chechen terrorist Sergey Karpov now possesses a priceless van Gogh the world thought lost in an allied bombing raid in 1945.

Seized in a German museum outside Berlin by the Red Army Trophy Brigade during the last chaotic hours of WWII the masterpiece is part of a hidden stash of billions of dollars worth of stolen art the Russians want kept secret.

Karpov's plans to extort the Putin administration are met with an iron fist and he turns to the world stage releasing a shocking tape to the BBC declaring he will burn the van Gogh and other paintings if his ransom is not paid in seven days.

The Russian van Gogh is a thrilling international race against time as the van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam posts a $10 Million dollar reward for the captured painting's return. And British Secret Service along with WWII stolen art recovery experts, The Monuments Men, all join the hunt.

The Monuments Men, founded at Harvard University, dispatches Art History Professor and Forensic Art Detective Riley Spenser, the world's leading expert on the paintings of van Gogh to authenticate the painting. If it is truly the lost van Gogh from WWII it's value could reach $300 million. Riley teams with British MI6 Agent, Justin Watson, and together speed to Moscow and eventually to the most dangerous city in Russia to find the painting.

From first page to last the story is a gripping intelligent page-turner filled with intrigue and peppered with cinematic action that jumps off the page like a major motion picture.

A fast-paced ride, The Russian van Gogh, is the latest thriller from writer / director and Emmy® nominated Filmmaker, Robert Child.
Posted by Robert Child

'Gettysburg' Audiobook Releasing First Week of June

A stirring collection of first-hand accounts from Privates on up to the commanding Generals at the Battle of Gettysburg woven into a dramatic and compelling narrative. The reader is transported back to the chaos and uncertainty of the sweltering first three days of July 1863 when Lee's Army of Northern Virginia invaded the North threatening Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington itself.
Soldiers on both sides gave everything they had believing that Gettysburg would be the final epic battle in an already long and terrible war. Gettysburg Voices From the Front by Robert Child
Posted by Robert Child

Gettysburg Voices From the Front Released Today.

This is a compilation I have  been wanting to do for a long time. Over the past decade I have written and produced two films on the battle of Gettysburg and am producing my third and final one, Gettysburg: Final Measure of Devotion, this year. During all that time in doing my research I have compiled volumes of first person accounts, letters, diaries and dispatches that have helped me support the narrative and the stories I wanted to illustrate.

First person accounts are the living link we have to what occurred at Gettysburg. And although some of the accounts may be less than accurate due to the various authors seeing only their narrow view of the conflict and having limited information - they still bring to life the battle in a deeply personal way.

And I wanted to give that history a voice uncluttered by modern interpretation. There is, of course, great value in the modern view of the battle and I highly recommend the epic history effort by my friend, Allen Guelzo, Gettysburg: The Last Invasion, releasing this month. (May, 2013). But to gain a sense of the chaos and uncertainty in the moment at Gettysburg in 1863 you have to return to the words of the soldiers who were there.
You could call this an immersive type of history as I have woven the first hand accounts together with photographs so that the story unfolds in a linear way. As you read hopefully you will discover the battle wrapping around you with all the intense emotion, fear and uncertainty on both sides. A Union victory was far from a foregone conclusion at Gettysburg and these words from two centuries ago bring you closer to that history and those times.

I hope you'll take a moment to check it out at an online retailer.

Posted by Robert Child

Free Today and Sunday Only - on Kindle - a Novel of the American Revolution

To celebrate the release of the audiobook version, Amazon is offering Rush On Boys, Hamilton at War as a free download today and Sunday only. I hope you'll take advantage of the offer and check out the book. It is also available of course in audiobook and print versions.

Here's the free link.
Posted by Robert Child

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