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Stinkpionier


Chris Boonzaier
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I saw a reference to the Pionier unit that was responsible for the gas attack at Ypres on the 22 April 1915. It was refered to as the 35 Pionier Regiment.

Pionier Regts are unusual in the WW1 German Army, pionier Battalions being the rule.

I cannot find a 35 Regt in the orders of battle, and know the 35. Battalion existed, but cannot place where it served.

Does anyone know if Oberst Peterson commanded the 35. Regt or battalion?

Thanks

Chris

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According to Ludwig Haber, in his book "The Poisonous Cloud" (1986), Otto Peterson was responsible for the initial training and organisation of the chemical warfare effort in 1915 and was responsible for the first operation. The force, initially comprising of 500 reservists, was known as the Pionier Kommando or Disinfectionstruppe Peterson. By the 27 April 1915 it had gradually increased to 1,600 men , and "was formally constituted as Pionier Rgt. 35, commanded by Major von Zingler who had come from the Cavalry." Peterson was promoted to Major-General in 1917, and according to Haber, "was treated as head of a technical group, rather than as a senior field commander."

Haber also notes that during the same month Pionier Regiment 36 was formed under an officer called von Goslich, to support the offensive on the Carpathian Front. The conditions proved unsuitable however, and the Regiment was moved to the 9th Army front, near Warsaw, later serving on the Western Front.

Terry Reeves

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Chris,

A few things from : Robert Baccarne & Jan Steen, 'Boezinge 1914-1918 - Gasaanval 2e Slag om Ieper', 1978, page 134-135

(Boezinge is where the German gas attack took place. The book, describing the village before and in the Gas Attack of 22 April 1915, is only in Dutch.)

A chemical engineer, Kolonel Peterson, was assigned to install the gas cylinders. In February he came to Flanders, with Dr. Haber and a number of meteorologists. Peterson trained the 35e "Genieregiment", soon called "Gasregiment Peterson", or more colourfully "Stinkpioniere". It contained 2 battalions of 3 compagnies each, a "wagenparkkompagnie" (sorry, can't translate, means : trucks and cars), a telephone section and the meteorologists. The compagnies were soldiers of the XV. Korps and XXVII. Reservekorps (the latter was between Poelkapelle and Geluveld). They were treained specifically to handle gas cylinders

Does that help ?

Aurel

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Hi,

Thanks for the help folks.

I have not been able to place the 35 Pionier bat anywhere and had not found the 35 Pionier Regt other than in one reference so I had assumed they were on and the same.

So, now we know there WAS a 35th Regt, I am going to have to keep looking for the Batln. I am wondering it it was used to form the core of the Regt and it is for that reason that it is not in my order of battle?

All the best

Chris

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Hello Chris,

Reason for asking is that I have a book with the composition and histories of 251 German divisions. The book is index on Div. level only so to find a particulair Reg. or Bn. is, euh, monks work? :D

Regards,

Marco

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Hi Marco

I have been trawling the differnet Divs and have not been able to find it attached to any of them.

All the best

Chris

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Chris,

"Die Schlachten und Gefechte des grossen Krieges" by the Grosser Generalstab contains one reference to Pionier-Regiment 35 fighting between the Somme and Oise as part of 2. Armee from 02.02.1916 to 27.02.1916. I can't find anything on a Pionier-Bataillon with the number 35.

The only references it has for Pionier-Regimenter are for Garde-Reserve-Pionier-Regiment and Pionier-Regimenter 19, 20, 24, 25, 30, and 31.

Ruhmeshalle, which does seem to have a few gaps as far as minor units are concerned, also refers to Pionier-Regiment 18 with two companies - 2. Kompagnie and 6. Kompagnie in 15. Landwehr-Division and 46. Reserve-Division, respectively, and Pionier-Regiment 31 with 1. and 2. Kompagnie in 5. Garde-Infanterie-Division.

There is a volume of the "Deutschlands Heere bis 1918" series by Voigt which covers the Pionier units, including commanders. This book may have the information you are after. Unfortunately, I don't have it (yet). Glenn (he of the many Rank Lists and anything you want to know about Austro-Hungarian forces) almost certainly has this volume.

Regards,

David (a.k.a. Frosch at the WA forum)

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Hello,

Pionier-Regiment 35 was a unit under command of the OHL. Parts of it could be given to armies etc. for specific actions, just like the Garde-Reserve-Pionier-Regiment (flamethrowers).

Regards,

Jan

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