For a little background on the battles that took place near the Meuse-Argonne, Henri-Chapelle and Sicily-Rome American Military Cemeteries, take a look at these World War I and II books and movies:
World War I
"All Quiet on the Western Front," written by Erich Maria Remarque, a novel, told through the eyes of a rank-and-file German soldier.
"Goodbye to All That," written by Robert Graves, a memoir of life and death in the trenches of World War I.
"Grand Illusion," directed by Jean Renoir, a 1937 masterpiece of a movie about World War I, with references to the German-French battle for the fortress of Douaumont, near Verdun.
"Sergeant York," directed by Howard Hawks and starring Gary Cooper, a 1941 film about the exploits of an American hero in the Meuse-Argonne offensive in France.
"Un Long Dimanche de Fiançailles," ("A Very Long Engagement,") a 2004 film starring Audrey Tautou as a disabled French girl who searches for a soldier missing after the Battle of the Somme.
"World War One: A Short History," written by Norman Stone, a brief but astute retelling of how the Great War started, unfolded and ended. (Available in the U.S. next year; available now in Britain.)
World War II in the Ardennes
"A Bridge Too Far," directed by Richard Attenborough, based on a book by Cornelius Ryan, a 1977 movie about the failure of Operation Market Garden a few months before the Battle of the Bulge.
"Across the River and Into the Trees," written by Ernest Hemingway, about the last days of a U.S. Army officer who was demoted after fighting in the Hürtgen Forest near Aachen, Germany.
"Band of Brothers," written by Stephen Ambrose, the book that inspired the HBO miniseries about the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division, which fought at Bastogne, Belgium, in the Battle of the Bulge.
"Battle: The Story of the Bulge," written by John Toland, on-the-ground stories of the men who fought the Battle of the Bulge by a master World War II historian.
"Patton," a memorable 1970 movie about the controversial career of "Old Blood and Guts" Gen. George S. Patton, who commanded the U.S. 3rd Army's relief of Bastogne
"The Battle of the Bulge: Hitler's Final Gamble," written by Patrick Delaforce, the newest and perhaps most comprehensive consideration of the Battle of the Bulge.
World War II in Italy
"Catch-22," written by Joseph Heller, is set on the island of Pianosa off Tuscany, which Heller knew from his days in the U.S. Air Force during World War II.
"Naples '44," written by Norman Lewis, memoirs of a young intelligence officer stationed in war-ravaged Naples after its liberation
"Rome, Open City," directed by Roberto Rossellini, a 1945 classic neo-realist film depicting the Eternal City during the German occupation.
"The Foreign Correspondent," written by Alan Furst, a subtle spy novel about the Italian resistance to Mussolini during World War II.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun