Path of the Past


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Path of the Past is a full-length feature documentary which amalgamates a grandson’s own effort to retrace his grandfather’s narrow survival through all five Major European Campaigns and first-hand accounts of soldiers and civilians alike.  The average Sherman tank crew serving in combat in the European Theater of Operations (ETO) during WWII lasted mere weeks, as they were so horribly outmatched by German armor. Yet Sgt. Cady’s tank crew stayed together from Normandy to Germany and in the same tank! As part of the 3d Armored Division, they suffered higher tank losses than any other US tank division – a roughly 580 percent loss ratio of tanks. Yet this crew survived together for the bulk of the ETO.

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Based on the book Louch, authored by Path of the Past’s, writer, director, and executive producer, the film is the culmination of more than a decade of research on Louis “Louch” Baczewski’s harrowing journey that 152 men started and only 18 survived. The film includes never before seen photos, rare film clips, comments from noted European and US historians, and Baczewski’s own account of retracing his grandfather’s wartime battle through France, Belgium, and Germany. It dispels many myths about WWII, delves into hard topics that make the story relevant and eye opening, and invites the audience to see the war in a whole different way.  It is by no means a glamorization of war, but a tribute to the lessons we should garner from the fast disappearing “Greatest Generation.” The project is supported by many, has been mentioned in the New York Times, Deadline.com, on NPR affiliates, podcast programs and many newspapers and magazines have written lengthy articles about the effort. Lou Baczewski the Writer, Director & Producer of Path of the Past, has worked for over 15 years to tell this story and bring it to the public eye. Follow the progress of this project on Vimeo and support it on Facebook. We will be getting a private viewing of this documentary at the 2018 (Nov 15-17) Reunion at Fort Benning, Columbus, Georgia. Again, click on the Facebook link to follow and add your support to this compelling documentary!

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Todd Depastino ReviewYale Educated historian, Host of Veteran’s Breakfast, and Author of A Life Upfront a Biography of Bill Mauldin

“Louch is both a memoir of a grandfather’s relationship with his author grandson and an account of one man’s experiences as a Sherman tank driver in Europe in WWII. Lou Baczewski the elder, nicknamed Louch, is one of those American Originals with the full complement of idiosyncrasies and attachments, a son of immigrants hailing from tiny Pocahontas, Illinois, and expert in the art and mystery of cat-fishing muddy Shoal Creek. But, of course, Louch is really Everyman, just one of millions torn from their Depression-scarred homes and thrown into the maelstrom of combat in the 1940s. The book captures well the horrors of mechanized warfare, and no book does a better job detailing both the lived experience of serving in a Sherman tank crew and the broader contours of armored division combat in western Europe. Lou Baczewski the younger is especially superb in explaining the shortcomings of the Sherman and how they condemned Louch and his comrades to a hellish world where few escaped unscathed. The author’s in-depth research, wry humor, broad knowledge of history, and especially unflinching candor (it is hard to overemphasize the importance and scarcity of this last quality in popular histories) separates Louch from other memoirs, biographies, and microhistories seeking to capture the stories of members of the fast-disappearing Greatest Generation. I highly recommend it.”

Click this link to get the book.

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