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Remembered Today:

Mametz Artillery Positions


huwrevans

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Hi, does anyone have any maps showing the position of the 38 Div Arty during the Div attack on Mametz wood? I can't find any in the various books/guides. plenty about the infantry. My grandfather was in one of the Div Arty Bdes and I plan my first visit there early next month so any advice would be welcome. i then plan to go to Kemmel area following the Div during other periods of the war.

all the best Huw

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Can't help there, I'm afraid.

Bernard

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Hello Huw,

I should imagine that the exact positions (& any changes) will be recorded in the various Brigade War Diaries; or maybe in the 38th Divisional CRA's War Diary for a more overall view? That means a trip to Kew, probably...

LST_164

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I don't have any maps or have any specific info re: the 38 Div Arty, however when I was there in '06 I took a walking tour that passed artillery positions that were in the immediate area. This is from memory and I have some records at home that would give better positions, but start at Dantzig Alley British Cemetary and walk out the back towards the fields with Mametz Wood at about 1 o'clock. Cross through the fields (keeping out of any crops ;) ) as the field begins to drop away there is a row of trees or high hedges. Turn right there and Mametz Wood will be closer to you. To the right along here was artillery positions, I don't know what unit though. When we were taking the tour one of the people I was with went to take a p*ss and found an artillery shell. This is a picture of one of the positions, although you wouldn't know unless told:

Hope this helps.

Jon

post-3373-1244730947.jpg

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Thank guys. Will try and order some war diary pages from Kew - they were good in the past. Unfortunately I don't know which Arty Bde my grandfather was in - the problem with most RFA I presume. Work has curtailed any plans for a July visit so will try again for August. Will the crops be in by then?

Huw

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Thanks for that Nick, have emailed the map poster. I think they're from after the dates I'm looking into because they're too close to the wood in Jul 1916.

I'll probably have to e-mail Kew and get some war diary pages from one of the Bdes for the attack on Mametz to see if they can give better position information.

Still it all helps build up the bigger picture.

thanks again

Huw

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Glad to be of asssitance

Nick

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That's great stuff Egbert. Thanks. I'm finding it difficult to interprate. I take it that's it from a German recce plane? Can you overlay or reference it to a modern map e.g. google? or explain the markings?

Please excuse my ignorance - relatively new to this stuff.

All the best

Regards

Huw

P.S. I can only endorse the comments of others. Thank you so much for sharing these treasures with us from your grandfathers trunk. A sad tale but you're a lucky man to have the artefacts and hence, his story.

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Thanks once again, Now I can clearly see the 'hammer head' - strange how I couldn't before - as it's so obvious now !

Do you have any information on what the numbers mean and the German/English translation.

Thanks again for taking the time to make the obvious even more obvious for the likes of me. lol

Regards Huw

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Huw, I do not know the pattern of numbering the arty positions, but they certainly are groupings. Left side pic it says Mametz (prob wood), 2 gorges, the Artillery gorge and the Grenade gorge and the pic identifies a supply train

Cheers

egbert

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Here's a merged picture overlaying Egberts aerial photo from 1916 with the modern Google Earth shot. It helps explaing the scars that can still be see today. It may also suggest thet the track from the Dragon to Flat Iron Copse cemetery (where the Germans counter attacked from) may originally have been to the west of the current track.

Taken from the battlefield guide to Mametz:

One postscript to the battle (around the time of the photo) states that the 4.5” howitzers and 18 punders located in a hollow N-W of the wood (1058, 1059, 1060 in the photo I guess) were all put out of action by very accurate 5.9” howitzer fire. A German artillery officer who had been in Bazentin Wood after it was captured by the British – stayed hidden and continued to direct fire via his field telephone until he was discovered and captured alive, three days later.

post-36906-1245309539.jpg

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The area that I was trying to describe, where the photo is, is basically in the area just below the Eg of Egbert on the photo above.

Jon

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The area that I was trying to describe, where the photo is, is basically in the area just below the Eg of Egbert on the photo above.

Jon

Are you sure? That is right in Mametz Wood. The 'Egbert' is not quite in the same place on the overlay as it is on the original. On the latter the 'b' lies directly over the hammerhead itself.

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Another point that is relevant to the original question; the artillery positions on the 29th July 1916 photo have nothing to do with the 38th Divs attack on Mametz Wood of 10-12th July. They are engaged in the direction of and beyond the German 2nd line, and relate to the fighting post the 14th July attacks on the Bazentin Ridge. It can clearly be seen that the batteries are arrayed with the wood to their left, not to their front.

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Fair point Toby. But lacking any more evidence for the original question, the thread developed with the introduction of Egberts photo to the Mametz area.

Anyone got an areial photo taken earlier in the month?

I've ordered 10 pages of 122 Bde diary for the period from Kew to see if they give locations. I'll post the info when I get it. thanks again to all.

Huw

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I'v got the first 10 pages (of 28) from the 122 Bde RFA for the Battle. They give quite a lot of information about the infantry as well as the RFA. If anyone want's a copy please p.m. me with your e-mail and I'll send them on.

They Mention Fritz Trench and Beetle Alley - I've never come across these before. Could someone please enlighten this simple soul?

Regards

Huw

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I should have been more clear in my original post. I didn't know when the gun-pit I described was used, but from the position it would seem more likely that it would have been used in support at Bazentin Ridge/High Wood. The area I was referring to though is the line of trees or shrubs below th Eg. Not directly under where the EG is written, but from the bottom of the hook of the g about one inch down (described as Vallee Wagnon on the map)

Jon

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here is a pre July 1st map with enemy artillery positions opposing Mametz/Mametz Wood. I know it is of no help as the batteries are just sequentially numbered and reflect their positions pre attack. Itzs just a snippet of a mammoth 30mB data file. I have posted it to show the massive concentration of enemy artillery on a relative small area behind the Brit jump off trenches

post-80-1245700554.jpg

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30MB file? it would be something to be able to post that on here !

:o

here is a pre July 1st map with enemy artillery positions opposing Mametz/Mametz Wood. I know it is of no help as the batteries are just sequentially numbered and reflect their positions pre attack. Itzs just a snippet of a mammoth 30mB data file. I have posted it to show the massive concentration of enemy artillery on a relative small area behind the Brit jump off trenches
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