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Mass Executions at Dinant


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Regimentel histories seem to gloss over events in belgium 1914... the huge outcry over the sacking of Louvain is covered in 2 lines in the regt history of this unit..

http://www.kaiserscross.com/41815/77301.html

So... away from my books and just having the net, i am having some problems finding just which German units were involved in the mass Murders at Dinant in 1914...

I seem to remember they were Saxons...

Does anyone have an idea?

Thanks

chris

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Regimentel histories seem to gloss over events in belgium 1914... the huge outcry over the sacking of Louvain is covered in 2 lines in the regt history of this unit..

http://www.kaiserscross.com/41815/77301.html

So... away from my books and just having the net, i am having some problems finding just which German units were involved in the mass Murders at Dinant in 1914...

I seem to remember they were Saxons...

Does anyone have an idea?

Thanks

chris

Hi Chris ,

I found on the net a chapter from the book "By All And Any Means " by Commandant de Gerlache de Gommery, 1915

In the article it says that Soldiers from INF Rgt 108 was killing the people in Dinant.

Could that be true , there was a Füsilier Rgt Prinz Georg 108 ?

Maybe someone else have more info

Christer

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Regimentel histories seem to gloss over events in belgium 1914... the huge outcry over the sacking of Louvain is covered in 2 lines in the regt history of this unit..

http://www.kaiserscr...1815/77301.html

So... away from my books and just having the net, i am having some problems finding just which German units were involved in the mass Murders at Dinant in 1914...

I seem to remember they were Saxons...

Does anyone have an idea?

Thanks

chris

This is a very interesting post. If anyone can provide an entire list, I would be interested also. We always seem to overlook this part of history. I have heard about this incident when reading,b ut never knew any of the units involved. Everyone seems to always blame the Germans for attrocities, but I am sure there were some on both sides. Simply killing prisioners on even grinding a foot into a wound is also against the law of war; of course the LOW did not exist back then.

ostprussenmann

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Chris,

the 46. Infanterie-Briade (Generalmajor Bernhard v. Watzdorf) of 23. Infanterie-Division was primarily responsible for clearing Dinant in August 1914:

Schützen- (Füsilier-) Regiment "Prinz Georg" Nr. 108

16. Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 182

Sachsen in Großer Zeit speaks of heavy fighting, especially against the "heimattückische" (dastardly, insidious, perfidious) population of the town!

Regards

Glenn

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  • 3 weeks later...

A 1919 study by a local lawyer, Edouard Gerard, refers to two companies of IR 148, which advanced into Dinant on 7.8.1914 from Givet. The study also mentions IR 178, which was certainly a Saxon regiment, and Artillerie-Regiment 108, which is described, if I recall rightly, as starting the massacres at 21.30 hrs on 21.8.1914 after receiving an order from Corps HQ to kill all civilians and burn down their houses. Soldiers of IR 178 marched through the Leffe district killing anyone who crossed their path. Cavalry and guardsmen are also mentioned in passing. In all, more than 650 Belgian civilians were murdered in and around Dinant. Other references mention IR 104 and 107, both Saxon, which destroyed 130 of the 138 houses in Surice, some 20 km from Dinant, and killed 69 locals, as well as 23. Division, which entered Dinant on 23.8.1914.

And from German Atrocities 1914 A history of Denial (Horne & Kramer 2001):

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A 1919 study by a local lawyer, Edouard Gerard, refers to two companies of IR 148, which advanced into Dinant on 7.8.1914 from Givet. The study also mentions IR 178, which was certainly a Saxon regiment, and Artillerie-Regiment 108, which is described, if I recall rightly, as starting the massacres at 21.30 hrs on 21.8.1914 after receiving an order from Corps HQ to kill all civilians and burn down their houses. Soldiers of IR 178 marched through the Leffe district killing anyone who crossed their path. Cavalry and guardsmen are also mentioned in passing. In all, more than 650 Belgian civilians were murdered in and around Dinant. Other references mention IR 104 and 107, both Saxon, which destroyed 130 of the 138 houses in Surice, some 20 km from Dinant, and killed 69 locals, as well as 23. Division, which entered Dinant on 23.8.1914.

And from German Atrocities 1914 A history of Denial (Horne & Kramer 2001 - Trinity College, Dublin):

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The Tschoffen Wall in the Faubourg Saint-Nicholas district where "116 inhabitants of Dinant were shot by the Saxon hordes on August 23rd 1914", as the caption says. These Saxons were from Leib-Grenadier-Regiment (1. Königlich Sächsisches) Nr. 100. IR 178 was Infanterie-Regiment (13. Königlich Sächsisches) Nr. 178, IR 104 was Infanterie-Regiment Kronprinz (5. Königlich Sächsisches) Nr. 104 and IR 107 Infanterie-Regiment Prinz Johann Georg (8. Königlich Sächsisches) Nr. 107. On the other hand, the only IR 148 reference I can find is 5. Westpreußisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 148. So most of the perpetrators would indeed appear to have been Saxons.

Edited by PKeating
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  • 1 month later...

It's a little disingenuous to state that they "gloss over" the events in Belgium. Most regimental histories are a little more detailed in their accounts of the early phases of the war and a number of those for regiments that passed through Belgium will readily describe reprisals that were carried out against Belgians in some instances. As "proof" of this "gloss[ing] over," however, you provide only one example--that of the "regimental history" of RIR31. This book is in fact was part of the "Erinnerungsblätter deutscher Regimenter" series (in fact, the fourth volume produced) and was published in 1921; these books were intended to give former members something to remember their service, and therefore tended to be cursory in nature. Most of the regiment's service was "gloss[ed] over" and in some cases their are lengthy gaps. I know this because I own a copy and have actually read it. Anyway, you raise an interesting point; some 100 years following the events of 1914, it appears there still isn't an authoritiative account of the movement of German troops in Belgium whereby we can determine which German (and Belgian) troops were present when certain incidents occurred. It seems that most people (and scholars, in some cases) are pretty much content with the version produced by the propagandists during the war.

Regimentel histories seem to gloss over events in belgium 1914... the huge outcry over the sacking of Louvain is covered in 2 lines in the regt history of this unit..

http://www.kaiserscr...1815/77301.html

So... away from my books and just having the net, i am having some problems finding just which German units were involved in the mass Murders at Dinant in 1914...

I seem to remember they were Saxons...

Does anyone have an idea?

Thanks

chris

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Also as a clarification, in looking at the entries for 23rd to 25th, the books states that I/RIR31 arrived on the evening of 24.8. in Neerwinden. Stab and MGK on the morning of 25.8. in Neerwinden. II/RIR31 in Loewen on the evening of 25.8. And III/RIR31 on the evening of 25.8. in Tirlemont.

On the morning of 25.8. Stab, MGK, and I/RIR31 were ordered to march to Loewen. Stab passed through and went to Buken [bueken] via Herent. The MGK arrived in Buken at about 4 pm. According to the book at about 5 pm II/RIR84 in Buken started taking fire; "at the same time our troops in Loewen were being ambushed." If II/RIR31 arrived in Loewen, at what time? The book doesn't say. Eventually, I/RIR31 arrived in Buken at about 7 pm, with II/RIR31 following at 10pm.

Edited by KenS
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