Military Round Tables gives history buffs a chance to delve deeper
By: Jim Erickson
Being a veteran isn’t a requirement for joining this military-oriented organization.
“You just need to have an interest in military history,” said Stuart Hartzell, chairman of the Military History Round Table. The group meets every other month to hear from guest speakers, discuss books devoted to military history and to visit military sites.
Its late February meeting featured West County resident John McManus who is a noted university professor and author. McManus reviewed similarities and differences in the October 1944 battle for Aachen, Germany, and the two battles for Fallujah, Iraq, some 60 years later in 2004. McManus drew on material from his book “Grunts,” which tells the story and explains the importance of American infantrymen in battles from World War II through the Iraqi conflict.
A professor of military history at Missouri University of Science and Technology at Rolla, McManus is the Round Table’s official historian.
“I love history and have great respect for the military,” said Ballwin resident Tim Sansone about why he joined the group. “Having someone like John (McManus) involved in the organization automatically gives it great credibility and legitimacy.”
An attorney, Sansone attended West Point and has been part of the history group since it began in 2011.
Charlotte Manges, of Creve Coeur, was the only woman at the February meeting.
“But that’s not always the case,” she quickly noted.
Trained as a biochemist and with a master’s degree in library science, Manges developed an interest in military history early in life by reading books on the subject to her younger brother, who was determined to be an Army Ranger when he grew up – a goal he ultimately achieved.
The current Round Table is an outgrowth of a military history group Hartzell founded at the Missouri Athletic Club. Anyone interested in learning more about the Military History Round Table can do so by calling Hartzell at (314) 652-3300.