bob lembke

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About bob lembke

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  1. One of the hospitals my father was in in 1917 was in a beer-brewing town in Bavaria, a town with 16 export breweries. In each ward there sat a tapped keg of beer. The head nurse in my father's ward was a big nun, and, having nothing better to do, pop kept track of how much beer she drank in a day's shift. 16 liters, or four gallons and one quart. And the sisters had lunch in a separate dining hall, and it would be hard to believe that she took her lunch dry. One mug at lunch, and we are topping four gallons, two quarts.
  2. I await, with bated breath, any feedback stating if I have breached any standards of propriety, or if such standards exist. Other tales come to mind. I don't know how many of the forum's participants are sons or daughters of Great War combat veterans, and can pass along direct "hand me down" anecdotes of life in the Great War. Most of my father's candid anecdotes about social life in his youth (at war) were at his own expense, the perplexities and even terror of interactions with much more experienced women. And after the war, with so many men dead or seriously disabled, sometimes the social scene was bizarre. I really have to finally write my father's military biography.
  3. Well, the topic has been breeched, a bit. I have at least two stories about sex and military hospitals that are worth repeating. First the milder, perhaps. My father spent much of 1917 in and out of military hospitals, which probably saved his life. He had a severe arm wound suffered on Dead Man's Hill (Morte Homme) at Verdun in December 1916, which was infected for a great while and which spit bone for over 10 years. He was in a variety of hospitals with different types of nurses, sometimes nuns. One was staffed by "society lady" volunteers, women of the local upper class. After the war my father visited this town and met a couple of these women that he had gotten to know. Over coffee and cake, they chatted. Finally one of the women said: "Georg, you must tell us something. A very unusual thing happened, and we have never been able to figure it out. Late one night the watchman was making his rounds, and he found patient Xxxxxx lying on a pool table, far from his bed. The problem was that Xxxxxx had lost his legs, we have never figured out how he got there, or why. We asked him many times, but he refused to say." My father uttered the simple explanation, and one of the women laughed so forcefully that she spit coffee and cake all over my father, and she was mortified at this great breech of manners. The soldier's girlfriend was in town, and a plot was hatched. The ambulatory patients let the girl into the hospital late at night, and others picked up and carried the legless patient down into a remote part of the building, for the two of them to have some intimacy. But at the worst possible moment the night watchman approached on his rounds, and the men waiting nearby wisked the girl away, but could not have managed to get the fellow himself away without being discovered with their burden. So they left him on a pool table and fled. I once spent the night sleeping on a proper slate pool table, and I hope that they had not planned sexual gymnastics on the pool table itself, the damned things are awfully uncomfortable, literally "rock hard". Well, there is one of the stories I have in the area of "sex and military medicine". As a child I was treated as a little person, not some special child object, and I was told things and had access to materials that were quite adult, so to speak, in a very matter-of-fact Northern European fashion. Unlike the sterotypical combat veteran who never mentioned his war, my father endlessly told me about his experiences, also stating that it was the best time of his life, and after writing them down I have studied them and the Great War in parallel for 16 years, and of the things that can be checked, and I also have a lot of materials to use, including many family wartime letters, almost everything on 40 pages of oral history jibe perfectly, to my great surprise.
  4. No, these are anecdotes my father told me. I was treated as a little adult, and sex stuff was mentioned to me. Some of the incidents occurred in hospital, he spent a lot of the war in hospitals. Since I never see such matters discussed, I may stay away from the topic. A while ago I was put on trial at another forum for insulting the majesty of the US, or something like that. I might send Kenneth a PM.
  5. Kenneth; How to put this delicately? One aspect of my father's recollections of his WW I medical experiences, which he told me when I was a young lad, might be filed under "Sex in the Hospital". Should I go further? I have been active on a few military fora for over 10 years (on another forum I have over 4000 posts), and can't ever recall anyone mentioning the topic of sex. Bob
  6. Chris; Are you suggesting that you have them? I just want to concoct a suitable formal bibliographical citation. Perhaps: "Lieutenant, RIR 16, Personal war diaries. As posted online at ?????." I agree, with a lot of "elbow grease" one might be able to figure out who he was, using a variety of sources, of course including a regimental history if one was written. I for one don't have the time to do so. Bob
  7. Kenneth; An interesting aspect of the topic of Great War medical care is what I understand was the absolutely awful state of French medical care. (Here, again, I am working from memory on topics examined years ago.) I think that there is objective statistical evidence; I think that the rate of wounded French soldiers dying of their wounds was extremely high; I even think I remember an improbable statistic like three times the rate of well-set up medical services like Germany and the UK. An interesting side to this is a study of medical practice within Paris when besieged by the Germans in 1870. There was a major French-run hospital from which few seemed to survive, the staff had antiquated beliefs such as the deadly nature of night-time fresh air, while in comparison an American-run hospital had remarkably better survival rates, providing up to date care. Again, my father had an interesting story of a French (colonial) soldier who had a simple foot wound, but was denied either evacuation nor care, and was thrown into no-man's land to die by a French mainland unit which took over the sector; Germans, hearing him moan or plead, crawled out of their trench and were able to get him into their trench and then a German hospital. He had gas gangrene by that time, and the Germans performed multiple amputations, finally arresting the gangrene with a radical amputation at the hip joint. My father knew this as he was in the next bed, and he had fluent French. I have visions of an elderly man on crutches and one leg throwing stones at the last French evacuating from Algeria or Morocco. Bob
  8. Chris; Could you say a bit more about the provenance of the diary, or to put it a bit differently, could you aid me with a suggested source citation? Were the diaries found somewhere, so that the author was not known? (Usually a diary might come thru the family and therefore the author is known.) I read thru it and found a few mentions of topics that I have interest in and wish to enter the data points into my timelines. Thanks for bringing the interesting account to our attention. Bob
  9. I have many letters written by my father during WW I, and one or two of them mention him getting a rail pass and traveling to get an X-ray for an arm wound suffered at Verdun which troubled him for over ten years. This is from memory, and I cannot remember if he mentioned precisely where he went for the X-ray. He lay in no-man's land for three days before being recovered, and he had a bad wound in the back of his left arm whose recurrent infection kept him in and out of hospitals for most of 1917. His Militaerpass has the evaluation "fit for combat, but not Flammenwerfer", so he spent the war till late 1918 in Berlin training fresh Flammenwerfer troops. Wanting to get back to combat, he tricked his way to the front and then managed to get wounded twice in a month, the second time being blinded by gas during a flame attack; luckily he got his sight back rather quickly. "No good dead goes unpunished." If anyone is studying this topic seriously I could dig out the letter and give more detail about what he said, but there was not much detail. The history of his medical care, both from letters and his oral history, was fascinating.
  10. Prussian;

     

    My father, not my grand-father! I am an old fart. My grand-father was a Fuss=Artillerie sergeant in the 1880's. 

    1. The Prussian

      The Prussian

      Ah, sorry... I´ll change it...

  11. Hi; Did he include his first name, or at least his first initial? My eyes are suffering at this hour. I used to get material from the German Postal Collectors' Society. (Not sure about the exact name.) Heard about books compiled that for different times over the war gives a correlation between Feldpost Stationen Nummern and various dates with the units, say divisions, where the post stations were located and served. Got to go to bed, about to fall over. My Father was Pion. Georg Lembke; served in 2nd Komp. late 1916, badly wounded, for a while associated with 2. Komp., then was certified as "fit for combat, but not with the flame-thrower" (from his Militaer=Pass), and went to Berlin to train new Flamm=Pioniern. Late in 1918 he wanted to get to the front, tricked the administration, and for his trouble was wounded two times again in a month of fighting. At the front he was in the 10. Komp. or 11. Komp. I have it in my materials. That was near Reims. My German probably horrible, haven't used it in about three years. Bob Lembke
  12. Hello, Preuss! I have been away from my WK I studies for about three years, and I have completed my assignment (building six gorgeous kitchens), and now am coming back. The name Leutnant Hornung seems familiar. When my father was with 2 Komp. they were stationed in Stenay-sur-Meuse, and the Crown Prince often dropped into the company (he and his father were patrons, with money as well as with influence), at least once with his father. (I had beer and pizza a while ago with Prince Fritz of Preuss, and told him a very amusing story about the visit of his grand-father and great-grand-father to 2 Komp., and he got a hoot out of it.) When I get back into these studies I will try to find out if I have anything on Hornung. I even might have his signature. Bob Lembke
  13. Prussian; I have quite a bit of information that should answer many of those questions, as I have accumulated, over 15 years, data on most of the Flammenwerfer engagements of the G=R=P=R during the war, often including the unit they were attacking with or supporting. My father joined the Regiment in the second half of 1916, joining the 2nd Komp., the one company remaining at Verdun, most of the companies had gone north to the Battle of the Somme. (My father wrote that he was delighted to not have gotten into that mess. I think that in the first half of 1916 the 2. Komp. did more fighting at Verdun than any other company, so that they deserved a relative rest. Despite this, my father was wounded twice, once on Hill 304, and once on Dead Man's Hill, the latter on 12/28/16, in that counter-attack to push the French back on the hill-top. He lay in a French dugout for three days before being found. Since you collect stuff, you might be discouraged to hear that my father kept his sleeve skull and crossbones patch, but that it upset my mother and she threw it away. Bob Lembke
  14. Hi, Robin; Pardon my caution, but the placement of the badge on the pocket seems odd and impractical. Was it pinned to the flap? To the pocket? could the pocket open? In the real world, I would think that a real person would pin it to the middle of the pocket. The image stands out so vividly. It could easily be superimposed by a Photoshop artist, which might explain the awkward placement in the real world. Is the photo being sold? Is it an original or a modern copy? Is that another TK on the cap? If so, it seems authentic, but not dramatic. Bob Lembke
  15. Glenn; Once again, thanks for your expert help. That makes a lot of sense, the big guns were being designed and built to bust up those foreign fortresses, so then of course the 4th Department would be a logical source for pressure to improve those guns. The first model came out in 1893, and then I assume they started thinking on how to improve the guns. In the Ranglisten of the period the Great General Staff is given an address of Berlin; the General Staff is given no address; logical, as its personnel were all over the place. In Kabisch's account an infantry regiment stationed at Aachen, at mobilization, sent a General Staff Oberleutnant attached to the regiment as an observer to the Great General Staff at Berlin by express train to pick up the "final mobilization orders" and the "secret war map" and bring the final orders back to Aachen before the regiment marched out. Bob Lembke