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Remembered Today:

egbert

My climb up Hartmannsweilerkopf (HWK)

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Fattyowls

Egbert, these are superb and the front line makes the whole scene make sense. I was transfixed by Steve's microlight flights over the Somme yesterday and these have a similar effect.

Pete.

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ph0ebus

I really hope to have the chance to visit there one day. Quite something!

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Ginnevra

Excellent thread. Informative and interesting. Thank you for posting

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Martin Feledziak

Well my Christmas card arrived from my Brother-in-law today.

He manages a small guest house and Gite business in Aix-La-Fayette, Auvergne

the post mark in France was 14 December 2015. ( just 25 days to reach Middle England from Middle France. )

happily this is the postage stamp which accompanied the festive wishes.

post-103138-0-57817400-1452180555_thumb.

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trajan

With over a 1,000 entries, I would not know where to start searching in this thread for information about the light railway and cable car system the Germans used to supply the front here from Colmar, etc., Anyone have any ideas? I have just been shown a photograph album which records a visit to the system by some what-I-think-are Turkish officers in June 1918, and I am trying to put this into context.

 

Oh, and Egbert, if you see this, once again my sincere and deep condolences...

 

Julian 

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egbert

Thank you Julian.

 

I have many pictures regarding the cable car systems and narrow gauge railways that supplied the front on top of HWK and adjacent mountains. When I have time I will look for them and post them.

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andrew pugh

Hi Egbert ,Happy New Year to you.

What a fascinating thread, The place was so well organised by both sides. What were the losses of the troops involved?

Regards 

Andy 

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trajan
On 25/12/2017 at 19:45, trajan said:

... I have just been shown a photograph album which records a visit to the system by some what-I-think-are Turkish officers in June 1918, and I am trying to put this into context. ...

 

On 26/12/2017 at 04:17, egbert said:

... I have many pictures regarding the cable car systems and narrow gauge railways that supplied the front on top of HWK and adjacent mountains. When I have time I will look for them and post them.

 

The album is currently in my possession, and as it forms a capsule or entity of its own, I have dared to open a parallel thread

 

Julian

 

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egbert
On 27/12/2017 at 00:52, trajan said:

 

 

The album is currently in my possession, and as it forms a capsule or entity of its own, I have dared to open a parallel thread - 

 

Julian

 

I have to admit, that until today I hesitate to add 3 more "thread- excursions" with tons of pictures to HWK. They cover different routes and locations on/at HWK. Maybe it is the time soon to do it if interest persists. A moderator also should help me to seperate and divide the existing thread into 3 parts at my discretion. After that I could start with a part IV........

On 26/12/2017 at 23:57, andrew pugh said:

Hi Egbert ,Happy New Year to you.

What a fascinating thread, The place was so well organised by both sides. What were the losses of the troops involved?

Regards 

Andy 

Andy you forgot to read post #1

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Harry64

Hello Egbert,

 

I'm here on this forum since 2007,  but because of a Job with many foreign missions I found little time for other things.  

But now I have some days of vacation and I read with great great interest all of your stylish and engaging climb topics (Schratzmännele, Buchenkopf and this fantastic topic: HWK).

Also some of Gwyns equally interesting topics and threats.

What is left to say: I hope so you will go on with more "thread-excursions" despite the many work behind it.

 

PS: Looking for Fotos then and now from the Oberrehfelsen. Was the overview from this position as well as from Unterrehfelsen?

 

All the best to you and all others here in this forum for 2018.

 

Harry

 

 

 

Edited by Harry64

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egbert

Harry, glad you enjoy the topice mentioned.

There are 3 "Rehfelsen", "Unterer Rehfelsen", lowest rock formation, located SE HWK,

"Mittlerer Rehfelsen", slightly higher rock formation on SSE slope of HWK and the highest postion, "Oberer Rehfelsen", dominating SE slope .

All three were commanding positions cross-protecting each other with different view angles and lines of fire.

This picture is Oberer Rehfelsen:

 

5a4a864ab029e_HWKObererRehfelsen4.thumb.jpg.320dfdb2f9a94f9921f9cedaaaa2cde4.jpg

Edited by egbert

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ServiceRumDiluted

Partly inspired by this thread and partly because I've always been drawn to the French areas we visited HWK last month. It does not disappoint in any way, and a visit is highly recommended to all. It bought home to me the sheer length of line that the French held, and the sheer bloody effort of mountain warfare.  

 

It is very accessible and anybody with reasonable fitness can really get into the heart of it, though we walked up from the bottom and you see a lot more but need to be ready for 5-600m of ascent and finding the route. We were rewarded with solitude, chamois and lots of interesting discoveries.

 

Thanks for a really great thread, we will be going back next year. The Vosges is a great place.

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Dragon

We visit Alsace and the Vosges frequently. We used a wet day last September to visit the new Memorial / Historial at Hartmannswillerkopf. Its foundation stone was laid by Presidents François Hollande and Joachim Gauck in August 2014, and the centre was opened exactly three years later. It cost 4.7m €. 

 

When we first visited Hartmannswillerkopf [HWK] / Vieil Armand, in the pre-Internet early 1990s, there was very little visitor information available and we had to piece together walks from combining modern maps with old maps, with reading and with what local people told us. Once we’d been along the path through the Silberloch cemetery and to the main cross, the rest was a tangle of undergrowth latticed with indistinct stony trackways. It didn’t feel very safe and probably wasn’t. Today’s visitors are fortunate: there are paths. This centre aims to provide a timeline, some context and an insight into the men’s experiences.

 

I found parts of it pretty annoying, I’m sorry to say. Early on, in an attempt to contextualise, there are some claims which are wrong. And I do wish that they wouldn’t refer to “kills” [in English] as if it was a war gaming app. Then the claim that: “HWK cost 25000 lives (this includes dead, missing and wounded).” Being wounded doesn’t equate to being dead. By this stage I was beginning to wish that I had done some of their translations!

 

What about: “In France in particular, but also in Germany and Australia, towns and villages erected monuments to their war dead.” ?? Why pick out Australia? We were there too! In almost every community in the UK there is a war memorial! And Belgium and, and, and…

 

At times, there is distinct bias in the text. “The French mountain artillery existed since 1888. The German mountain artillery was put together in 1914.” I don’t know what the truth is but I didn’t care for the implication that the disorganised Germans just scrabbled around to fling together a few units. Both sides struggled with mountain warfare and unsuitable clothing and equipment in the early months of the war.

 

There are some odd flaws in the building itself. There is a deep reconstructed trench running round a central cinema (in which voices read letters, diaries, etc, in French and German. The French one sounds exactly like Henri le Chat Noir and I had to suppress the most inappropriate urge to laugh.) If a visitor drops something into this trench, or, if as happened when we were there, a brand new light fitting fell off into it onto a minenwerfer, an embarrassed member of staff has to bring along a four metre long pair of pincers and fish helplessly around trying to grab the lost item.

 

The poor translations are a wasted opportunity and demonstrate the importance of having someone who is a competent native speaker translate, or at any rate proof, the text.  However, as they had had 7000 French visitors and just 11 UK visitors in two weeks, I suppose they might argue that English isn’t really very important. It’s worth spending 5€ for a couple of hours on a wet afternoon, and most people would probably learn something, but I would rather walk round the battlefield itself. The new café is basic and the old restaurant where you could get proper food in a hut has gone. 

 

Pic: l'Autel de la Patrie [altar of the ‘motherland’] above the nécropole.

 

 

HWK altar above nécropole ed curves.jpg

Edited by Dragon

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Marilyne

ooops.... and another visit I have to plan... time time time... need to go back "home" anyway at least once this year to stock up on Alsacian wine.

 

Thanks for the review on the new museum...

 

M.

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egbert

July 11, tomorrow, the Tour de France rides through the village of Hartmannsweiler and into the Linthal valley. You will for sure see helicopter aerials from Hartmannsweilerkopf, Sudelkopf and the Linthal from where several aerial railways supported the mountain front

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DavidOwen
1 hour ago, egbert said:

July 11, tomorrow, the Tour de France rides through the village of Hartmannsweiler and into the Linthal valley. You will for sure see helicopter aerials from Hartmannsweilerkopf, Sudelkopf and the Linthal from where several aerial railways supported the mountain front

Thanks for the heads up, will try to watch (rain expected here!)

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Martin Feledziak

It has been really good today too. Some epic sights including le Chateau du Haut Koenigsbourg

 

 

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Dragon

In 1949, the Tour de France passed through Alsace, through an area in which villages had been utterly reduced to rubble as the Allies pushed through the Colmar Gap between November 1944 and January 1945. The first card is even inscribed on the reverse as la Poche de Colmar. For the communities on this section of the route - Colmar to Nancy - the Tour brought welcome income from tourists and cycling visitors, and helped to promote the region.

I don't know how far the landscape had recovered by the time the Tour passed through, but for some villages it took nearly 15 years before permanent habitation, schools, churches and shops were rebuilt. The inhabitants of Bennwihr, for example, where all that remained was the war memorial, were housed in les baraques ('barracks') where the modern housing estate to the east of the wine road now is. Births, marriages, deaths, education, shopping, play, work, ceremonies... all took place in a complex of wooden huts; and some elderly women to whom we have talked described growing up from birth to their mid teens in this provisional home while their parents rebuilt their lives.

The Tour was won by Fausto Coppi.

 

[My cards]

 

 

 

 

Tour de France 1949 Poche de Colmar.jpg

 

 

 

 

Tour de France 1949 cartoon card.jpg

Edited by Dragon

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Dragon

My photo shows Riquewihr preparing to welcome the Tour de France a couple of weeks ago

 

Riquewihr Tour de France.jpg

Edited by Dragon

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