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apparently at "Keiberg" ? Googling that I come up with this...

Rain fell all night on 11/12 October, with only one dry interval during the day as the attack began at 5:25 a.m.On the right flank, the 12th Brigade of the 4th Australian Division advanced on time but saw no infantry beyond the railway from the 3rd Australian Division. The Keiberg cutting was captured and consolidated, along with the rest of the first objective, although with heavy casualties. Troops of the 3rd Australian Division arrived at the first objective on the left and dug in, as the advance of the right flank units of the 12th Brigade towards the second objective began at 8:25 a.m. Outpost groups got across the Keiberg spur with heavy losses, then destroyed two German counter-attacks between 3:00 p.m. and 4.00 p.m., withdrawing as the right brigade of the 3rd Australian Division, north of the Ypres–Roulers railway fell back from the first objective, eventually returning to their starting point.

They must have been facing the Aussies...

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I keep only a bare minimum in Frames... the rest I file.

Its a question of space, and I like to think preservation as the mounting methods back then did not take acid free stuff into account.

If someone has space and has things mounted in acid free stuff out of sunlight, i see no problem. But sunlight, old mountings and potential damage due to broken glass make it a no no for me.



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I hope this is of interest. Courtesy of Jack Sheldon, from his book “The German Army at Passchendaele”, which is now coming out in paperback.

It is an account by a member of the G.R. 9, which was reinforcing the R.I.R. 94 in the period the Certificate was made out for. If you want a better understanding of the “bravery and tenacity” please read the article below….

Elements of Grenadier Regiment 9, which was part of 3rd Guards Division, had been forwarded to the Keiberg area to reinforce the front line of the Reserve Infanterie Regiment 94 from the evening of 12 October. The conditions were simply appalling. They occupied a random series of water filled craters. There were no trees to be seen, not a patch of green, no sign of a trench just rain, rain and more rain. The grenadiers stretched their groundsheets over the craters in an effort to keep dry, but it was hopeless. They were up to their waists in filthy water and mud. Some men tried vainly to bale out the holes using mess tins or steel helmets, but soon gave up on the unequal task. Shells continued to rain down and the casualties went on mounting. One of the platoon commanders of the 1st Battalion wrote up his impressions of the conditions and the state of the fighting as the First battle of Passchendaele died away. He could have been acting as a spokesman for the forward troops.

Vizefeldwebel Zaske 1st Battalion Grenadier Regiment 9

“If you wished to find one single sentence to encapsulate what it meant to endure the worst drumfire imaginable, to hang on in ploughed-up terrain which made a mockery of every attempt at orientation, where there was a lack of food, where life was lived out in shell holes and mine craters, where it was impossible to distinguish the clay from the water, where all appeared to have been reduced once more to the primeval swamp from which our planet developed millions of years ago, this was the best attempt that could be made. Yes, we were in the Carpathians and took part in the breakthrough in Galicia; we were there on the Somme, we have got to know the worst of the Eastern and Western Fronts, but here…. And words failed everyone.

When we emerged from our holes, we looked like animals whose natural camouflage made them indistinguishable from the surrounding earth, even for the sharpest eye. Our grey uniforms were coated with mud and earth and it appeared as though every man was encased in terracotta from his steel helmet to the nails of his boots. Here we endured to the uttermost limit of that which was humanely possible; our daily entertainment an endless stream of shells, most of them heavy calibre, which crashed down everywhere that the enemy suspected we earthworms were lurking.

Over there is the crew of a light machine gun, in their “Dugout”, which comprises a medium sized shell hole, featuring a sheet of corrugated iron spread across the portion nearest the enemy as protection against the endless Flanders drizzle for the weapon that the five man crew treat as sacred. The wet conditions gradually turn outer and underclothes into an unpleasant leathery substance sticking to the limbs. A shell impacts two meters in front of this austere shelter. The corrugated iron sheet flies up in a great arc, to land more than 10 meters away. One member of the crew is killed and two other seriously wounded. The remaining pair clean the fallen mud and clay off their gun, mount it on the lip of their crater once more and soon it is chattering away at lines of enemy infantrymen who have been careless enough to expose themselves to it. That is a typical example of defence when the enemy acts as though all life has been extinguished and our men demonstrate that they are still there.

Yes, they stick it out in their thin, wavy defensive lines; on their own or in twos and threes. Self-absorbed, their voices barely able to make themselves understood t their neighbour above the hellish racket. They are fully aware that in Flanders they are right at the focus of the fighting throughout the full length of the Western Front, of the war itself and that the outcome is entirely up to them. Suddenly all falls silent… does it mean an attack all along the line? Hands grip rifle butts tighter, the security screws on grenades are checked. Yes, it is an attack! It is the moment of liberating relief! Rifle and machine gun fire is poured into the enemy and our artillery brings down violent concentrations. Over-keen Tommies, who have already pushed forward in front of the crater, are dealt with using grenades. It lasts half an hour then the attack is beaten off, with casualties amongst both the courageous Pomeranian soldiers and the enemy, whose losses are even higher.

The attack is renewed after two or three hours. The images and the result are the same. The next day the official Army Communiqué reports that the Pomeranian Grenadier Regiment has smashed every enemy assault”

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Very interesting read... Unlike the Balkans, I guess Flanders was worth the bones of several Pomeranian grenadiers.

Indeed... and I think Sheldon does a fantastic service... i am really suprised he is not more well known amonst collectors... its one of the few authors who brings the war from the german side with lots of impressions from german soldiers to the English world.

I have His Ypres, Passchandaele, Somme and one other book that escapes me...

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Just finished reading again "Storm of Steel)" ( 40th edition!) followed by a biography of Ernst Juenger. Had to switch to lighter fare after that.

Sheldon is new to me and perhaps should tackle one for starters.

B.T.W. Old Bismarck knew what it was all about until Wilhelm II knew it all so much better.

Bernhard H. Holst

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