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Remembered Today:

Castle Park Herenthage - Flanders


bob lembke

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I am currently reading the fourth volume of the history of Infanterie=Regiments Graf Werder (4. rhein.) Nr. 30, which covers 1917/1918. The history details the unit's participation in an attack in Flanders. Of course the book was written to memorialize the role of the regiment in the war, and the account in the book describes what might best be described as a surprise raid by two companies of the regiment, and some supporting troops. The attack was successful and the castle park was recaptured. Seems to have been an interesting engagement.

However, I looked at some other material, and they suggest that the attack was in fact larger. Can someone give me an idea of the scope of the attack, and in particular the British side of the combat, the UK units involved, etc.? I will be more facile with looking into the Hunnish side of the matter, but any comments there would also be appreciated.

As a clue, at that time the I.R. 30 seems to have been part of the 34. I. D., which also included I. R. 67 and K. I. R. 145. (What is "K. I. R."? Kavalerie=Infanterie=Regiment?) Did they also participate? I do have access, with some difficulty, to the British Official Histories, but I am hardly familiar with them. If someone knows a volume number which describes the engagement, I might be able to obtain it on loan.

Bob Lembke

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Bob,

K.I.R. 145 : Königs Infanterie Rgt nr.145 (34 I.D.) fought at Nonnebossen, (other side of Menin Road)

Regards,

Cnock

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Participated in the German attack on Herenthage :

IR 177, IR 30, IR67, 7 stormtroops Sturm Bataillon Rohr, 4 Flammenwerfer Garde Reserve Pionier Rgt.

Opposing them: 6th Duke of Cornwall Light INfantry

Cnock

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Bob,

K.I.R. 145 : Königs Infanterie Rgt nr.145 (34 I.D.) fought at Nonnebossen, (other side of Menin Road)

Regards,

Cnock

Many thanks for the several leads, Cnock! I can immediately think of a couple of other sources. But any further information or suggestions will be very welcome.

Why is IR 145 designated K.I.R. 145, as opposed to all the other regiments? The author was an officer of the IR 30 for seven years. Was the Kaiser (or another king) the honorary colonel?

Any easily accessed histories of the British battalions, or war diaries, etc.?

Bob

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...

Why is IR 145 designated K.I.R. 145, as opposed to all the other regiments? .... Was the Kaiser (or another king) the honorary colonel?

...

Bob

Hello Bob,

you are right, Kaiser Wilhelm II. was since 1893 the honorary chief of the Königs-Infanterie-Regiment (6. Lothringisches) Nr.145.

Here you will find some more informations about the KIR145: http://wiki-de.genealogy.net/IR_145

Best regards, ;)

Jens

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  • 11 months later...

Returning to this thread and topic, does anyone know of a British tank or tanks in action on the west edge of the Castle Park in this engagement on August 24, 1917? If anyone is interested in this I may have some info on this from the Hunnish side.

Bob Lembke

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The OCs of both British battalions left detailed After Action Reports on the events surrounding the 24th August. The report from the OC DCLI includes mention of the tanks. A section of tanks were involved, from No. 4 Company, "B" Battalion, 2nd Tank Brigade. There is a detailed AAR in the war diary.

Robert

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Bob,

If you need it, I have the 14th Divisions diaries for this period, there is even a whole section in the Div. H.Q. diary concerning the actions of the Division in the Glencourse Wood, Inverness Copse, Fitzclarence Farm, Herenthage Chateau area from 19th to 28th August with battalion action reports. There is a lot of it mind.

I certainly would be interested in any information from the German side.

Andy

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Robert;

Do you mean the war diary of the 6th DCLI? A year or two I worked with some UK, Canadian and Australian war diaries, and as I remember the Dominion diaries, or some of them, were accessible on-line, but the UK ones were not.

Andy;

Again, the divisional war diary for the 24th might be very interesting.

As I posted last year, I am reading the unit history for Infanterie=Regiment Nr. 30, one of the units attacking, just finished it, very low priority. (It actually attacked with a force of about two companies.) If K=I=R 145 was the other attacking unit, that was one of the other two regiments in 34. Infanterie=Division. But I do not have info on that unit. The regimental history is five volumes, and this one is over 400 pages, so it is very detailed. The account of the attack of the 24th is six pages long. I would be happy to scan it and send it to you guys. Robert, I know, reads German, Andy, if you don't (I should know, you post a lot, but it escapes me), I could help you there, but not in the next few weeks. (The Inland Revenue {US branch} is hot on my heels, I should not even be on the forum.)

Thanks for the strong leads,

Bob

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Bob, there are many British war diaries online. The diaries relevant to this action, however, are not. I have photographed all of the diaries for this period, including the battalion, brigade, division, corps and army diaries, as well as infantry, artillery and tank units.

Robert

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Robert,

We seem to have photographed the same then, same applies here got the div, brigade, battalion, artillery but do not have the Corps or Army diaries for this period.

Some good material in them re the 43rd Brigade who were around the area talked about.

Bob,

Unfortunately no, I do not speak German.

Andy

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Andy;

Happy to send you the pages of the unit history on the attack. Am a bit pressed for a few weeks, but I could translate it, or give you an outline and do a detailed translation of anything that is of particular interest to you. But I could certainly scan it and send it right away.

Bob

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Hi Bob,

No time considerations here so a few weeks is absolutely fine as I would love to read it and compare to the 14th Div's accounts, many thanks.

Andy

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Robert;

Thanks for your kind PM. I must have a limit on what I can receive, but it must be fairly high, I have fairly high-speed connectivity, DSL. I get things of a couple of Megs without difficulty.

Bob

Eddy;

Of course.

PS: sorry to use this as sort of a PM bulletin board; my mailbox alternates being between 98% and 100% full.

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Andy, snap! :lol: I have pulled together diaries for pioneers, engineers, signalling and other 'support' units as well. As you say, the material for 43rd Brigade is very impressive. Great to see the way that the British were trying to learn from everything that was happening.

Bob, I will send some test posts over the next few days.

Robert

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Bob, the first email is on its way. The 6th DCLI account is attached in a Zip file. Please check your Spam folder if it doesn't appear to have arrived.

Robert

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Andy;

I tried to send you a PM but your mailbox is full. I have lost your e-mail address, and want to send you the material. Can you PM me?

Bob

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  • 1 year later...

andy, I tried to send you apm but failed

you are so popular that the box seems to full :D

I could use some help on the 14th division for 18/08/1917 and 24/08/1917

i'm trying to find out more for a friends who's granddad was in the area

kind regards

sabine

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Sabine, please feel free to PM me as well. I may have the material that you are looking for.

Robert

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Brought out of a deep sleep by this recent exchange, I just looked at some of my materials for this engagement and see several interesting aspects that we never worked thru.

From my line of interest, there were 16 Wex model FW used in this attack, by 12 Company, G=R=P=R (Flemmenwerfer) , which lost 11 men, one of the highest tolls in the war. Reportedly a British tank was knocked out with a FW, an unusual occurance, I only know of one other case.

I will not initiate it myself, but if there is life in this sleeping pup I will be happy to participate. I never properly digested the last go at it.

Bob Lembke

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Bob, the tanks (more than one) had already been knocked out in the fight to take the wood.

Robert

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Bob, the tanks (more than one) had already been knocked out in the fight to take the wood.

Robert

The evening communique from the OHL from August 24, 1917 said that in a tank attack on August 22, 1917 the UK lost 21 tanks, the Germans capturing some of the surviving crews. Does that compute?

I'll dig out my history of Infanterie=Regiment Nr. 30 and see exactly what it said about knocking out a tank with a FW.

About this time my father, being trained to fight tanks, trained in a Beute=Panzer Mark IV for a week.

Bob Lembke

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Poked thru the history of Sturm=Bataillon Nr. 5 (Rohr), and found no mention of the engagement. (The history, by Oberleutnant a. D Graf Eberhard von Schwerin, was written late in the 1930's for a reunion, is imperfect and incomplete; Willy Rohr died shortly after the war and never wrote up matters.) So I went thru the death roll of the battalion (which very likely is incomplete), and there was no death in the period of the battle, except for one trooper who died on August 22, 1917 in a rear-area military hospital as a result of illness. All sub-units of the battalion has the date and place of death associated with each deceased man listed, except for the machine gun company. So I cannot comment on the involvement of S=B Rohr in this engagement; the suggestion is that it might not have been heavy. But von Schwerin tended to not mention things that displeased him, like Flammenwerfer.

Looking on page 120 of Die Geschichte des Infantrie=Regiments Graf Werder (4. Rhein.) Nr. 30 im Weltkriege 1914-18; 4 Band: Das Jahr 1917-18, by Major a. D. Ernst Schmidt, 1932, Bernhard Sporn, Zeulenroda. "The crew of an English tank, that was not mobile, but otherwise was intact, stood and fired on the west edge of the Park, was quickly knocked out by Flammenwerfer." The description of the participation of this regiment in this fight is six pages long, pp. 118-123. (If anyone wants a scan of this section, and say the title page, mention it and I will PM you and set that up. I am afraid that my mail box, like my physical file cabinets, is overflowing.

Bob

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Bob, the OHL communique referred to the entire battlefield. According to the superb Landships site, there were 30 British tanks went into action on 22nd August. Two-thirds (20) either broke down, ditched or were put out action by German shell fire. One of the tanks that ditched, Fray Bentos, famously stayed in action for more than 48 hours. It acted as a static pillbox during that time.

The area around Herenthage Chateau was attacked by elements of British II Corps. These were assisted by 4 tanks from 4 Company, B Battalion. From the war diary: B11, 2771, “Bison”, became ditched; B12, 2555, “Boadicea”, rallied; B13, 2567, “Bear”, ditched but continued to stay in action by supporting the infantry to consolidate. "Many casualties inflicted on small parties of enemy in vicinity of Inverness Copse"; and B14, 2041, “Belladonna”, did not cross the start line.

The Flammenwerfer attack was part of a counter-attack supported by a heavy artillery barrage. It is likely that the incident in question refers to an attack on one of the two tanks that had already become ditched. IIRC, B11 was abandoned by its crew but the ditched tank was used by infantry for cover.

Robert

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