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    Is it possible to identify Foot Artillery batteries present for major battles?

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    I know the movement of particular Foot Artillery batteries is very difficult to research, but I was curious if there were any resources out there that could identify heavy batteries that took part in major battles? I'm trying to find out if elements of Foot Artillery Regiment 5 or Regiment 15 were present for either First Ypres in 1914 or Second Ypres in 1915 -- is that even possible?

    I did find this Order of Battle for Second Ypres -- http://www.greatwar.co.uk/battles/second-ypres-1915/prelude/german-battle-order-second-ypres.htm -- but it just tantalizes me because it shows how many of each type of heavy howitzer or gun were there but doesn't give details about which batteries are represented.

    Researching Foot Artillery units (well, Prussian ones at least) certainly is frustrating!



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    Hello Tim!

    It´s possible, not to 100%, but possible...

    There are two really good books:

    1) Mein Kriegstagebuch (by Goes and Cron). It shows the major battles and mostly the heavy artillery.

    2) Waffengedenkbuch der kgl. bayerischen schweren Artillerie (each bavarian heavy units are mentioned with the participation in battles.

    In the first book I checked the battle of Ypres (30.10.-24.11.1914). The following units are mentioned:







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    Hi Tim,

    There is little information available in English regarding the disposition of the foot artillery units. British and French intelligence documents were used by the AEF to produce some reference books that cover 1917-1918, but they only list units by sector, which is fairly vague.  After trench warfare developed on the Western Front, foot artillery units commonly remained in a sector and moved only when the front had significant movement. 


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    • 2 weeks later...

    Thank you for your replies, Andy and Chip.

    I didn't even know about those two books, Andy. I ordered a copy of Mein Kriegstagebuch and received it a few days ago. I wish I'd known about it sooner; it looks like a very useful book, especially since it was published before the Second World War.

    I had obtained scans of the German Foot Artillery Index reports by British Intelligence in May 1916 and December 1916, and the soldier of the Foot Artillery I'm researching I believe was wounded at Verdun on or around October 24, 1916. Specifically I think he was in Battery 3 of Foot Artillery Regiment 5 at the time. British Intelligence last identified that battery at the Verdun sector on July 26, 1916, so I was very excited to see that Mein Kriegstagebuch lists Battery 3 Regiment 5 as present for the actions on October 24. It was worth the cost of the book just for that information alone!

    The reason I asked about the first two Ypres battles -- a grandson of the soldier (who had met him while he was still alive in the 1960s) is convinced that the soldier mentioned fighting around Ypres at one point. I've found him in the casualty list and know that he was wounded and out of the war before the Third Battle of Ypres in 1917, so if the man's memory is correct he would have had to been in the Ypres sector for the 1914 or 1915 battles.

    Thankfully, Mein Kriegstagebuch says that Foot Artillery Regiment 15 was present for First Ypres. I know that from mobilization that regiment was attached to II Corps, and that corps was shifted from another part of the line to help with the last desperate push at First Ypres, but I'd never seen any reference to Foot Artillery 15 being shifted along with II Corps until this book (obviously that was my hunch all along, but it's nice to see support for that hunch).

    At the time of the war the soldier lived basically halfway in-between the headquarters of Foot Artillery Regiment 5 and 15. That's why I've been focusing my research on those two units. Unfortunately Mein Kriegstagebuch seems to have incomplete information about Second Ypres, but fortunately the book does show Regiment 5 at Combres (near Verdun) during that time, and 15 seems to be on the Eastern Front during this time. I asked a couple of other grandchildren of this soldier and none of them can remember the Eastern Front ever being mentioned, just France and Belgium. So I'm leaning towards believing that the soldier mobilized with Foot Artillery Regiment 15 up until the end of Ypres 1914 then transferred to Regiment 5 before Regiment 15 was moved to the Eastern Front.

    Like I said, such a useful book. Thanks again for mentioning it, Andy! And Chip, yes it seems that the big hinderance for researching the Foot Artillery is the lack of translation to English of a lot of this great material.


    -- Tim


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    On November 20, 2016 at 22:07, The Prussian said:

    Hi Tim!

    I´m glad, you enjoyed the book! Do you know the german casualty lists?

    Probably you´ll find the soldier here:



    Yes, Andy, I did know about the casualty lists. Of course, my guy shows up after they stopped separating them by their units and just did them all alphabetically. :speechless:

    Haha, Chip. That brought a smile to my face. I think I had noticed one of those shoulder straps for sale on the Collector's Guild site a long time ago and had been waiting to find better evidence before buying it. Now I have that evidence, but someone else bought it a while back.

    Do you own the full set of Foot Artillery shoulder straps? If you ever end up with extras of those two regiments I'd of course be willing to buy one off of you!


    -- Tim

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    I have examples of all (except #29) the enlisted foot artillery numbers 1-30. I have had them for a long time and did not buy any from Collector's Guild. Here is a picture of my foot artillery examples.



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