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Florent

German units vs 28th US ID at Fismes-Fismette?

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Florent

Hello

I am researching the German Divisions of the 7th Army which fought the 28th US Division during the Vesle valley fights,near Fismes-Fismettes, West of Rheims Aug-September 1918.

There are a lot of books about the 28th Div units, but I don't manage to find this information.

Thanks a lot

Florent

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bob lembke

Hello

I am researching the German Divisions of the 7th Army which fought the 28th US Division during the Vesle valley fights,near Fismes-Fismettes, West of Rheims Aug-September 1918.

There are a lot of books about the 28th Div units, but I don't manage to find this information.

Thanks a lot

Florent

Florent;

I have researched this fighting a good deal, but, while I don't do a lot of my WW I research in English, in this case I have used almost entirely American sources. I'm not sure that I ever identified any German units, aside from the fact that the flame-thrower troops who attacked Fismette several times were from 9. Kompagnie, Garde=Reserve=Pionier=Regiment (Flammenwerfer). (My interest comes from the fact that my father was fighting in another flame company a bit to the east of Fismette at this time, and at one time I thought that he might have been in this fighting.) German materials from this late in the war are very poor and incomplete. I will poke about a bit and see what I find. It should be possible to at least find the division in that sector. There is another currently active thread on the Western Front (there is "ambush" in the title, I believe) that is discussing some fighting in this approximate time and location.

Bob Lembke

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Florent

Thanks for this data Bob.

Yes, if you have more infos I would be pleased.

Florent

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Chris Boonzaier

There is a very detailed study of this done by the US army in the 1950s.

Directly in front of Fismes was the 1st Guard division and the 216th division on the Left flank at the level of Villesavoye westwards was the 17 ID on the right flank the 29th div. in reserve the 113, 200 and 10R divs. The Korps Wichura was responsible for the sector.

The 4th guard division was also involved until they had pulled back over the river.

it is popular to blame the French for the losses along the lines of "US troops were forced to hold a bridgehead...yada..yada..yada.." but the point was a strategic one and holding bridgeheads is what soldiers do.

The US army report more or less blames the US divisional commander and his officers who, due to lack of experiance, left units and reserves in heavily gassed areas.

Although flamethrowers were used in the village the US report makes no mention of them, showing how Gas shells caused the major losses.

The retreat and rapid withdrawl of the Germans were caused by a French flanking movement.

After action reports of the US divisions "suggests from first to last it was German machine Guns and Gas, not German high explosives, that felled the division".

Best

Chris

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Florent

Hi Chris,

Thanks for these datas. It is useful for me. Do you know the title of the US Army publication ?

Florent

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Martin Feledziak

Gosh

 

that is some delay. Longer than the Great War itself.

 

But a usefull report to read through

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The Ibis

There is a decent chapter on the 28th Division's fight at Fismette in Ed Lengel's 2015 release, Thunder and Flames. The only German division specifically mentioned by Lengel is the 4th Guards.

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LCo308

Just coming on-board to the GW Forum...

 

If anyone is still "out there" on this topic...

Another helpful reference is a companion Chem Corps report covering "The End of the Aisle-Marne Campaign".

http://bl-libg-doghill.ads.iu.edu/gpd-web/historical/acchs/acchs13.pdf

It was very helpful to me in researching my Grandfather's regiment in the 77th Division. It's certainly relevant to any study of the 28th Div as well.

The report provides maps and identities of German Corps, divisions and regiments opposing the 77th and 28th during the cited Aug-Sep 1918 timeframe.

 

My Grandfather was wounded by MG fire in a German rear-guard ambush just west of the town of Serval on the morning of Sept 5.

I know it's a stretch to ask, but if anyone doing German research can provide any fidelity on local troop dispositions on that date, I'd be forever grateful. The above Chem report suggests the troops might have come from the 113th REGT of the 29th DIV. See attachment.

 

Thanks.

 

 

 

German29DIV-090118.jpeg

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Martin Feledziak

Yes - always check in but this is not my knowledge area. 

I have just downloaded your PDF for investigation.

 

My GF would have been in hospital at this time. Recovering from battle wounds from Corcy and Longpont .

But he would be sent back to the Argonne for more October fighting.

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LCo308

My Grandfather didn't recover from his wounds and return to his unit till late Nov. So he missed (maybe fortunate for me!) the Argonne fighting. Most of the men in the well known (at least in the U.S.) "Lost Battalion" were from his regiment.  

 

During my research,I've been able to unearth a tremendous amount of information and fill many "gaps" (I call it "connecting the dots") through simple deductive reasoning.  It's enabled me to create a pretty detailed narrative related to my Grandfather's wartime experience.  I would love to add detail regarding opposing forces, especially on Sept. 5.  Whatever help you can provide is appreciated.

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charlie2
2 hours ago, LCo308 said:

 

My Grandfather was wounded by MG fire in a German rear-guard ambush just west of the town of Serval on the morning of Sept 5.

I know it's a stretch to ask, but if anyone doing German research can provide any fidelity on local troop dispositions on that date, I'd be forever grateful. The above Chem report suggests the troops might have come from the 113th REGT of the 29th DIV. See attachment.

 

Infanterie Regiment 113 was indeed defending Serval on the morning of the 5th.

Part of the entry for the 4/5th from the regimental history:-

“The Americans follow rather ineptly to the heights of Serval, our forward positions and well aimed artillery fire cause them significant casualties“

 

Charlie 

73C7D20C-CE2B-4674-9DC3-538DFF0F8E51.png

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Martin Feledziak
23 hours ago, LCo308 said:

77th Division

 

I was on the site a couple of years ago. The whole area has been claimed back by nature. You would hardly know that such horror took place.

Here is a memorial to the 77th by the roadside.

 

Thanks to the pigeon too.

 

 

77.JPG.d9f63a3b6147cece6133d90e9107c0e4.JPG

 

20 hours ago, charlie2 said:

Infanterie Regiment 113

 

Great info Charlie. That puts them on the plot. During the action in September.

 

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LCo308
On 28/04/2019 at 15:19, charlie2 said:

 

Infanterie Regiment 113 was indeed defending Serval on the morning of the 5th.

Part of the entry for the 4/5th from the regimental history:-

“The Americans follow rather ineptly to the heights of Serval, our forward positions and well aimed artillery fire cause them significant casualties“

 

Charlie 

73C7D20C-CE2B-4674-9DC3-538DFF0F8E51.png

 

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LCo308

Thanks Charlie.  Great stuff!  Any maps or photos to go along with the text?  

The reference to Serval suggests that the "forward positions" cited may have corresponded to the hidden machine guns that ambushed my Grandfather's battalion (which was then hit by deadly artillery fire).  The text alludes to poor American tactics, which somewhat validates my belief that poor (bordering on reckless) command decisions were made that morning.   It's also consistent with the attached English translation of the Seventh Army Commander summary.

Eberhardt.jpeg

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charlie2

There are no maps showing troop dispositions or photos of the area in the regimental histories of IR 112, 113 or 142.

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LCo308

Roger. Thanks Charlie.

Difficult for me to obtain a copy of the History of the 113th Regiment. Versions on-line only seem to go historically through 1890.

Any chance of getting digital images of pages dealing with the mid-late Aug 1918 timeframe?  I'm interested in the run-up to the advance to the Aisle, including the fighting along the Vesle.  My Grandfather's regiment (308th, 77th DIV) was involved in actions around Ville-Savoye, especially at the Chateau-du-Diable.

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LCo308

Awesome! Many thanks!

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