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Martin Feledziak

Marcin FELEDZIAK 1897 - Infanterie Regiment 171- Meuse- Argonne 1918

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Martin Feledziak

looking good. so he is between Battalion 2 and 3 in the trench and meets up with Ltn d Res SCHMITZ - and there he is in Komp 10. so a good possible. Our Guy, Ltn Res KUHNERT in Battalion 2 Komp 7. SCHMITZ could have moved over to Komp 10 from 9 since this batting order of Sept 1916 - or any combination or variables with the two names - Or it might just be a coincidence.

 

5978ebdbebf69_10Komp.jpg.726adeb080cea4aa6ee00ffdeef02e93.jpg

Edited by Martin Feledziak

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CROONAERT

Martin

 

Per your request, here are some French trench maps from December 1916/January 1917 of Cote 304 and Mort Homme. The map illustrating both locations dates from July 1917, but shows the line as it was after the 1916 Battle of Verdun, but prior to the August 1917 '2nd Battle of Verdun'...

 

Dave

July 1917.jpg

Cote 304 Jan 1917.jpg

...

Mort Homme  Jan 1917.jpg

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Martin Feledziak
55 minutes ago, CROONAERT said:

Per your request,

 

Those are just the job Dave,

Thanks very much.

 

I have added the below, overview map, which shows BETHINCOURT above 295 Mort Homme and

Malancourt above Hill 304.

 

5979c6acda4c0_MapforMortand304.jpg.b4972b80a9c8af6847f749aba42255a7.jpg

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bob lembke
On 7/25/2017 at 15:17, Martin Feledziak said:

 

Here is the account from Lt d Res. KUHNERT from page 224-226 of the Regimental history of IR155. 

 

 

 

59785d48800b4_225top.jpg.75c742357ef8ee9a7a6dfd22d0fd3253.jpg

 

59785d4961c37_225Bottom.jpg.fc5f65e4ca2ea6190bed7b74d607c498.jpg

 

 

 

"About 2:50 PM the already chosen 'Patr.' (unknown abbreviation) undertaking of the 13th Infantry Division took place,

which concluded successfully.

 

"Now, in the following minutes, the unforgettable remained. It is to me impossible, these split seconds describe an even

higher straining of the nerves. So anyway one must experience at first hand. The assault troops stood in gebueckter

(Note: cannot find a meaning for "gebueckter" or "bueckter" in a serious dictionary. I have several 100 year old

dictionaries, but not at hand.) positions, hand grenades ready for use in their hands, distributed on the breakout positions.

I directly found myself by First Lieutenant Graeter. He had positioned himself at the head of the sap of the 'Berthold Sap', 

the pistol in one hand, the watch in the other, counting in a calm loud whisper, the passage of the last minutes and seconds:

'three, two minutes, now one minute; now 30 seconds, now the last second' - the great point in time is there! A pistol shot! 

As a wind the assault troops broke forward over the sally ladders. Into the wire entanglements. Immediately the artillery and

mine throwers lay their fire forward - the storm set in on an agreed-upon second on the entire line. In the space of 30

seconds the leadership let the various storm formations run off.

 

"In the first wave the assault troops went forward, which were to take and hold the enemy first line. They were accompanied

by pioneer troops, flame throwers, and machine guns. In the following second wave of assault troops, that were to take the

enemy second line, and above all to have held it as a defensive line. 

 

"Three red light flares, that quickly rose up, signaled that the first enemy line was in German hands. A report came out of the

defensive line. It also was taken. Three green light flares reported to the commander, that the reported order in conformance 

of orders was ????. (Note: probably need an old dictionary.) Our losses were light. I had the order, to observe, from the sortee

exit position, to observe the forward advance of our storm formation, the eventual resistance of the French, and so on; and

then travel to the rear to report - and then cannot see anything. The first prisoners, that seemed very exhausted (not sure) here,

were already on the sally port. To count them was no work for me. I wanted to see more. What mattered there was long to be considered." (note: last sentence may be archaic idiomatic. Not at all sure.)  

 

Note: Middle of page 225. Ending this chunk here.

 

 

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Martin Feledziak
16 hours ago, bob lembke said:

'Berthold Sap'

 

Greetings Bob,

That is great.

 

all good so far, if I was a betting man I would suggest that "Berthold Sap" is right at the top of the Toter Mann. Just a guess on the skizze 13 diagram.

The notation is written Sideways up. There are very few points of reference. Obviously Dave's maps are French so I would guess about the "o" in Homme.

 

keep up the good work. ( honestly no rush - this stuff is over 100 years old so it can wait ) 

 

 

597a21da2eaaa_bestguess.jpg.4b230cfd340425970d40cde3e341f541.jpg

Edited by Martin Feledziak

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bob lembke

My head is spinning correlating the five maps. The three maps provided by Dave, and then the two maps provided by Martin. Let's call them Map 1 thru Map 5, top to bottom.

 

Maps 1 and 4 are clearly displayed in a conventional orientation with north at the top and south at the bottom. In map 1, Morte Homme and Cote 304 are about 5 inches apart as displayed, and in in map 4

the two summits are about 1 inch apart, so (if my map training of 55 + years ago is clear in my brain),

map 4 is about five times "larger scale" than map 1. (As is 1:25,000, vs. 1:5000. "Larger scale",

"smaller images". Right?)

 

As the trench maps depict such different features, I am having trouble correlating the trench maps

with the conventional maps 1 and 4. I can match trench names in Map 3 with the few trench names

in Map 1, so they seem to be oriented in the same way, north to the top. Same with 1 and 2.

 

Martin, is Map 5 out of the IR 155 history? So far I have not linked Skizze 13 details with the other.

It looks like the attack where Kuhnert was was attempting to push south over the (modest) summit

of Morte Homme.

 

Again, the Germans were, on December 28, trying to push the French back, because if they continued

to creep forward they would gain observation points which could direct disasterous (sp?) artillery fire

on the German positions on the west bank of the Meuse.

 

Incidentially, the weather in this period was extremely cold, which must have increased my father's

suffering in his three days in the French dugout before he was found.

 

Just trying to crowd us on the same page.

Edited by bob lembke
improve formatting

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bob lembke

Incidentally, just noticed that the orientation of Map 5 seems to be reversed, south to the top of the map.

 

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Martin Feledziak

Bob,

sorry for the confusion. I think I may have over complicated everything. In short~

 

All of the maps are displayed with North at the top.

 

Dave's 3 maps are all French and I think they use different name terms for the various trench features. So very difficult to identify the exact location of KHUNERT.

 

Map 1 shows Hill 304 and Mort Homme ( Toter Mann ) in relation to each other.

 

2 and 3 are different scale trench maps of each feature giving better detail and trench features.

 

Map 4 is just a basic overview of the whole area showing the features in relation to the nearest villages.

 

Map 5 is a zoom of Skizze 13 from the history of 155. It is my guess at where KHUNERT was at the time of the assault. I have part circled some handwriting in pink which could identify "Berthold Sapp". But it is just a guess.

 

l have also looked on google earth but it is all just forest and now the only obvious feature is the Hill 304 memorial. Nature has claimed almost everything back.

Edited by Martin Feledziak

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SiegeGunner

Bob, 'Patr. Unternehmen' = 'Patrouille-Unternehmen' = 'trench raid' or 'fighting patrol'.  'gebückt' means 'stooped', 'crouched', 'bent-over'.

 

Mick

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Martin Feledziak
3 hours ago, SiegeGunner said:

gebückt

 

Great, 

That could be why there is no trench called "gebueckter" on the little map.

 

just to add more confusion I Just found this map on a search

it does download to a bigger size but still short of fine detail.

 

597b10a80cb83_ToterMann.jpg.6017ae1c88ddf58c1e4d57f9ee3b8a1d.jpg

 

http://www.europeana.eu/portal/en/record/9200231/BibliographicResource_3000060329597.html

http://digital.staatsbibliothek-berlin.de/werkansicht?PPN=PPN755484150&PHYSID=PHYS_0001&DMDID=DMDLOG_0001

Edited by Martin Feledziak

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SiegeGunner

Indeed, the passage in question means that the assault troops were crouched around the jumping-off points (trench ladders, sally ports, or whatever), with grenades in hand ready for use.

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bob lembke

Mick;

 

Thanks for your clarifications. I want to comment that I try to keep my translations as close to the German as I can, without producing ungrammatical English. This is partially as I recognize the limitations of my German to English translations, this form of translation assists anyone who wants to improve my translation. If I actually publish a translation I probably will make a second pass at the English to produce a more fluid product. 

 

I I have four letters from my father on the topic of this attack; most of them are long and detailed, as he had a lot of time on his hands in hospital. I will look at them and see if they might be of interest. 

 

This is cooperative effort to dig down and work out the details of an interesting attack is, to me, very interesting. Also, I assure you that a lot of this will be folded into the book that I am finally writing. I have faint memory of writing about 30 pages on this attack, and the elaborate preparations for it, years ago, but so far I have not found it. 

 

I I will also look into Hauptmann Markus Klaur's book on Dead Man's Hill; he also wrote one on Hill 304. He mentioned my father saving Kuhnert, and was astonished when I contacted him and told him that I was the son of the unnamed soldier he mentioned. 

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Martin Feledziak
On 28/07/2017 at 14:49, bob lembke said:

This is cooperative effort to dig down and work out the details of an interesting attack is, to me, very interesting.

 

Absolutely agree.

 

found this now for May 1917 - but this is very zoom-able. 

http://digital.staatsbibliothek-berlin.de/werkansicht?PPN=PPN755484150&PHYSID=PHYS_0001&DMDID=DMDLOG_0001

 

9675B329-78F8-491C-A529-7E2B31EA3B27.png.06b978be97a5970666f8a3907522fc2c.png

Edited by Martin Feledziak

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Martin Feledziak

This is a close up and I am sure the very location ( Centered )  for this account - although correct to May 1917. ( this is a German Map )

 

597b60dba58ff_TopMap.jpg.bf342d42cf864465c877169e111af961.jpg

                                                   and zoomed 

zoom.jpg.f28d223e1a683e4e49d51ca3c2925cf8.jpg

Edited by Martin Feledziak

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Martin Feledziak
On 26/07/2017 at 15:14, bob lembke said:

marmalade knife

 

Marmeladenmesser

 

Got to thinking about what one looks like - so after a search of internet images I see what they look like. Perhaps most like fish knives.

I use an old knife at home for dog food tins. It is sure to be from the early 1900's as it came from the home of my Grandmother.

 

This is it.

 

IMG_0502.thumb.JPG.60fa0277cae26638411b84d6cad84572.JPG

Edited by Martin Feledziak

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Martin Feledziak
On 26/07/2017 at 19:53, bob lembke said:

Immhof-pipe

 

Look at this rather pleasing pipe currently on offer on a popular site.  It came up on "Immhof-pipe" search. Rather ornate and from 1905 so could have been on the front line.

It even has it's own little hat.

 

 

Immhof-pipe.jpg

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Martin Feledziak

I should record on this thread the hammer blow of the loss of our forum pal Bob LEMBKE.

Bob always added vital information to questions I fired at him.

 

We were also progressing an account from the regimental history of IR 155. Something which was deeply personal to his father, George, I am sure Bob was fully committed to the  study of our topic.

 

But suddenly he went AWOL. Now I see why.

 

 

To the memory of Bob.

 

Best wishes to Megan and family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Martin Feledziak

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AliceF

Martin, thank you for posting the information about Bob here. I did not know about it before.  Very sad to hear. I'll miss his posts. 

 

Christine

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Martin Feledziak

Anton Feledziak - reported fallen - in the Prussian casualty list  965 of October 1917.

so some 100 years ago. The reports were slightly behind time so there is no real date identified.

other than the fact that he was from Szelejewo, Koschim, not much else is known.

 

I have not been able to find his regiment and the VDK ( German War graves) which only reports my inquiry and shows him "missing"

 

I am sure that something will turn up in the next couple of years as records become better available and digitized.

 

But for now this is it.

 

Anton.jpg.61d1591d31ffec0d2ba3cc0d763eef58.jpg

 

http://des.genealogy.net/search/show/7023320

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AliceF
On ‎2017‎-‎10‎-‎15 at 13:39, Martin Feledziak said:

I am sure that something will turn up in the next couple of years as records become better available and digitized.

Yes, I hope so too!

Christine

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JOVE23

Hello again Martin et al,

 

I've just received some documents on my man Max Polak that confuse me a bit, but I'm hoping there might be some folks here that can help piece this together.

 

Backstory: PFC Max Polak was KIA on 5 Oct 1918 near Gesnes in or around the Bois de Chene Sec (possibly even by someone in IR 171!). I have several statements confirming this location and date. Using snippets of his Burial File, I even think I've pinpointed where he was killed.

 

HOWEVER, I've just gotten my hands on Max's Burial File in full, and the last page of the file states that on a survey completed between Dec 3-23 1918 of the Meuse-Argonne battlefields, Max's grave was placed among 5 others (or maybe six men in the same grave) approximately 1 KM southeast of Hill 288. American forces don't seem to be anywhere near Hill 288 until October 14, almost 10 days after his death (I should also note one of the men listed in this document was also KIA on Oct 5 so I think they might have been killed together), and there's no mention of him being disinterred before June of 1919. Why on earth did he get buried that far north? Did he and his buddies get disinterred and transported closer to the front lines as the battle progressed? We'll probably never know for sure, but I would like to hear some guesses.

 

Also, I'd be curious to know if the IR 171 diary (or whichever unit was up against the 127th Infantry Regiment) mentions this engagement, as several of Max's comrades were taken prisoner after he was killed. 

 

Thanks,

Justin

Edited by JOVE23

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Martin Feledziak
On 08/07/2015 at 20:47, JWK said:

Top half I can’t read properly. Something about an attack on Chene-Sec woods, and taking 50-60 prisoners (by IR171), who were led away by IR169 (they arrived on the scene a little later)

Second part is a little better:

At 09:45 the enemy attacked again from the woods of Chene-Sec. As 9 and 11 Coy were not yet connected to us they had to retreat to “Hill 2888?” where they withstood the various attacks.

As the danger of a pincer movement was still there we deployed 4/171 (which was still on the approach) on the right hand side.

Through a renewed attack by the enemy the right wing of II/169, which upto then had withstood the attacks, had to withdraw. There was now a gap between 11/171 and II/169.

 

Greetings Justin, Nice to hear from you,

 

As you can see from the above passage kindly translated by JWK.

It comes from page 270 of the IR171 Regimental history.

 

IR171 certainly took prisoners from Chene-Sec woods. However that passage was from 8th October 1918 some three days after Max was killed.

I do not have the regimental history for IR171 only the pages scanned for me by AOK4.

 

EDIT - I have now found pages 268 and 269. It is now clear that page 270 was actually describing the battle of 5th October 1918. So the day Max was killed.

obviously it is in German but I will post it up tomorrow for you to see for yourself.

 

 

As to your mention of moving Max from his original burial place to a new front line position I would consider it most unlikely.

Edited by Martin Feledziak

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Martin Feledziak

I don't know if you have this map.

This is just a section of "32nd Division MEUSE-ARGONNE Offensive September 26, October 20,  1918

compiled by American Battle Monuments Commission

                             I have underlined in BLUE your two reference points. Hill 288 and Bois du Chene Sec

 

 

5a0061c07124f_32ndDivision.jpg.f4385905f7a124baf8892f218ed2e003.jpg

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Martin Feledziak
On 05/11/2017 at 02:02, JOVE23 said:

Max's grave was placed among 5 others

 

I would stick with the documents you originally posted as they make good clear sense.

I have again added blue notations which is how I read it.

 

I would suggest that he was buried where he was killed, but on the 15th so 10 days later. 

Then in July 1919, the following year, moved to the main American Cemetery at Romagne Sous MONTFAUCON

 

5a018b237641a_Maxplot.jpg.343be782cbf690fa33898be3904b8cb0.jpg

 

Edited by Martin Feledziak

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