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Remembered Today:

German Pillbox on Vimy Ridge


Tom E.

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the morning of April 9 1917 must have seen some fighting for a german first aid post (Sanitätsunterstand) in La Folie Wood on the eastern border of Vimy Ridge close to the Staubwasser Trench. The regimental history of RIR 262 states that an enemy patrol of 20 men could be driven out of there using hand grenades.

A while ago I saw a map or sketch of that area with indication of an aid post northeast of La Folie Chateau but don't remember where.

When I visited Vimy Ridge for the first time last week I took a short walk down a path next to what I think are remains of the Staubwasserweg east of where the school and Chateau must have been and stumbled upon a german pillbox. I attached a photo. Could this have been the post?

Unfortunately I didn't have the time to explore the vicinity any further.

The term "Sanitätsunterstand" does of course not necessarily mean a pillbox but could as well describe a dugout.

Does anybody know more about the structure or the event mentioned above? Has this detail of the battle perhaps been noted in canadian divisional (?) histories too?

Any information would be welcome.

Thanks

Tom

post-29698-0-41275800-1304359450.jpg

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the morning of April 9 1917 must have seen some fighting for a german first aid post (Sanitätsunterstand) in La Folie Wood on the eastern border of Vimy Ridge close to the Staubwasser Trench. The regimental history of RIR 262 states that an enemy patrol of 20 men could be driven out of there using hand grenades.

Does anybody know more about the structure or the event mentioned above? Has this detail of the battle perhaps been noted in canadian divisional (?) histories too?

Any information would be welcome.

Thanks

Tom

The term really means "first aid dugout". I don't think that the pictured pill-box, much more difficult to make, would have been used as a first aid station, nor a mixed use fighting fortification and aid post.

Bob Lembke

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Tom,

Where exactly is that bunker ?

Mick

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X marks the spot in the British trench map of May 17. Well... not exactly. I had no GPS, but this is where I think I found it.

Bob, were there any dugouts right there? Most of the work of the Durand Group doesn't seem to have been published in print. I only know the map displayed in the Visitor Center at Vimy and this only shows the immediate front line.

Tom

post-29698-0-41401300-1304531046.jpg

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Hi, did you take a look inside and could describe it ? I've seen a few examples of thes first aid post bunkers...

Best from Johan

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Sure I did. Here's two Photos.

As you can see there are two rooms of roughly equal size. The Roof of each room is made of corrugated iron.

post-29698-0-81748600-1304722299.jpg

post-29698-0-65839300-1304722333.jpg

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The pics were taken through the only (?) original opening. You can see it on the right in the opening photo. I didn't climb inside. My wife wouldn't allow me, as the inside floor level is far deeper than the outside ground level... The first photo shows the right hand room. The second one shows the doorway to the left hand room. The iron walls/roof sit on concrete foundations.

Are these bunkers (are there any more?) on Vimy Ridge documented and published somewhere. I'd like to know more about them but couldn't find anything on the net .

Tom

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