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Martin Feledziak

Marcin FELEDZIAK 1897 - Infanterie Regiment 171

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Martin Feledziak
24 minutes ago, bob lembke said:

Martin;

 

 

i think i see kuhnert in the photo, third from left, hand behind back. But it is not the photo I saw. This is years ago, from memory. I'm 

 

He looks a good possible ,

 

He has also a class 1 Iron Cross, high neck tunic, and a possible missing right hand. I have looked at all of the photographs in the IR155 history and there are no other images which fit your specifics, but I will do another look through.

 

I have scans of all of the book but when it comes to important passages of text I am of no help sorry.

 

Edited by Martin Feledziak

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bob lembke

Again from memory, but in a letter to his father from hospital he wrote about the incident, and wrote " Kunert 155", which was a misspelling but phonetically close, and of course 155 meant IR 155. I am finally writing my book, and I think I wrote about 30 pages about pre this attack (well rehearsed, the men knew the entire plan of attack), the attack itself, and then his hospitalization. ( I have misplaced that draft text, but am looking for it among my 400,000 files on my computer.) As in his other serious wound, in October 1, 1918, he minimized his wound to his father; in the other case he said "Ich bin Gazkrank" ("I am gassed"; more correctly "I am sick by gas"), but omitted that he had lost his sight, but regained it after three days, In the Verdun second wound he omitted the fact that he lay in a French dugout for three days before being found. He also, from Verdun, he wrote that he was given a new uniform, but didn't know why, his uniform was fine; to others he said that he was given his uniform tunic, in a sand sack, but it was so cemented into the bag by his dried blood that it had to be cut out with a knife. It was also infested with lice. Poor fashion statement. 

 

The picture that I remember had Kuhnert to the right of two brother officers, again with the right "non-hand" tucked behind his back, the same way as in the picture you found. 

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Martin Feledziak
6 hours ago, Martin Feledziak said:

Not doing very well on this - although it is from 1918 and they all look like "Gaffers" ( that is my slang for officers ) but clearly more than three.

one of them goes by the name of KUHNERT. still looking. From = Regimental history of IR155

 

Gaffers.jpg.472e4e1b30ebf730eb0817109a3ca0c9.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Bob,

If you were tasked with looking for a man who did not have a right hand, you would certainly consider the man third from left. He appears to be hiding his right hand. But also we must also consider the man on the right who is showing his right arm but does not have a right hand.

I would go with third in from left KUHNERT.

 

Edited by Martin Feledziak

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Martin Feledziak
13 hours ago, towisuk said:

I was there in 1970 with my Polish scout group from the East midlands

 

Tom, 

That is not a phrase you hear too often.

 

I see that you have some very interesting family history I am now looking at Tanganyika and see that the British were administrators until 1961. 

and so your family were in Africa. 

 

I will look forward to more snippets.

Edited by Martin Feledziak

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bob lembke

Martin;

 

I have just copied the below and pasted it into the draft text of the book that I am finally writing, after 17 years of research.

As it will cast light on a couple of facets of this discussion, I will paste it here too, for explanation in the morning (here).

I am falling asleep (12:44 AM here), but I wanted to paste it here since I have it available. (I do know that it is in German.)

 

 

Großes Hauptquartier, 29. Dezember.
Westlicher Kriegsschauplatz: 
Heeresgruppe Deutscher Kronprinz: 
Auf dem Westufer der Maas führten gestern an der Höhe 304 und am Südhang des "Toten Mannes" Teile der Infanterieregimenter Nr. 13 und Nr. 155 und des Füsilierregiments Nr. 37, sämtlich von der Somme her rühmlichst bekannt, Vorstöße in die französischen Stellungen aus. Eingehende Vorbereitung durch Artillerie und die durch ihre Wirkung der Infanterie unentbehrlich gewordenen, bewährten Minenwerfer bahnten den Stoßtruppen den Weg bis in die zweite und dritte Linie der feindlichen Stellungen, aus denen 222 Gefangene, dabei 4 Offiziere, und 7 Maschinengewehre zurückgebracht wurden. In den genommenen Gräben wurden mehrere, auch nachts wiederholte Gegenangriffe der Franzosen abgewiesen.
Am Walde von Cheppy und Malancourt holten sich wackere Württemberger und Badener mehrere Gefangene aus der feindlichen Stellung.

 

Der Erste Generalquartiermeister.
Ludendorff. 

 

Martin, Notice in the first part of the text the mention of I=R 155 (Lt. Kuhnert's regiment) and  "des Füsilierregiments Nr. 37",

your ancestor's regiment, placing the unit fighting on the same pair of hills where he fought a few months later.

 

I am almost asleep, "talk" to you in the morning.

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AliceF
8 hours ago, Martin Feledziak said:

you would certainly consider the man third from left.

Hi,

Kuhnert is the third from the left. The names of the men are written underneath the photo accordingly (read from left to right). Sitzend=sitting are the three in the front (also from left to right).

 

Christine

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Martin Feledziak
3 hours ago, bob lembke said:

Der Erste Generalquartiermeister.
Ludendorff. 

 

Great Headquarters, December 29th. Western War Memorial:

Army group Deutscher Kronprinz: On the west bank of the Meuse, at the height of 304, and on the southern slope of the "dead man," parts of the infantry regiments No. 13 and No. 155 and of the Fusiliersregiment No. 37, all known by the Somme,

 

 A thorough preparation by artillery, and the tried and tested mines, which had become indispensable by their infantry, pushed the battles to the second and third lines of the enemy positions, from which 222 prisoners, including four officers, and seven machine guns were returned.

 

In the trenches that had been taken, a number of counter-attacks by the French were repeated, even at night. In the forest of Cheppy and Malancourt, wacky Wurtembergers and Badeners got several prisoners out of the enemy's position.  

 

The First General Quartermaster. Ludendorff.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

N.B Looks like Google did a good job translating that passage for me. unless you know different.

Martin

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Martin Feledziak
1 hour ago, AliceF said:

Kuhnert is the third from the left.

 

Greetings Christine.

I tried to look for him in the Verlustlisten but there are many pages to leaf through. I would imagine that would be reported as a Severe wounding.

Almost 4 pages for 1917 -

But not impossible given that he could be narrowed down by rank, however this means opening each hit and viewing the original scan.

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bob lembke

Christine; re: Your identification of Kuhnert, I had seen that. His pose is the same as in the other photo that I saw. I can't

remember where I saw it, but will poke about. Similar picture and about the same time. He survived the war and

wrote about it for the unit history, IR 155.

 

Martin;  The auto translation is not bad. Several silly errors. I may clean it up, I could have use of it.  It shows that the

Fusiliers were there at that time. When did Johann die? July 18, 1917. Seven months later, almost.

 

I was writing a book with a writing partner (big mistake), and he alerted me to a translation program, and I tried to

translate the first paragraph of a unit history, and the result was so laughable that I never tried to use one again. 

I have not had a day;s formal instruction, not tutorship, in German; in 1942 my family was in a war zone, my father 

was working for the US Navy building an anti-submarine base. There was a Naval Intelligence officer who was

picking on the German-American civilian workers on the base, and he started picking on my father, and he ended 

up injured twice. (How could that happen?)  In retaliation he was going to send my mother and I away from my father

to the mainland USA, where my mother, separated from her husband, and still a German citizen, although here legally

for 14 years and married to a US citizen, might easily be stuck in a concentration camp with me. (The US Congress 

still passes laws restricting the release or display of information on the numbers of German-Americans and Italian-

Americans put in camps during the war, for example the wife of our family doctor when we returned to New York City.

While the Japanese-Americans are discussed and honored, the info on others is hidden as much as possible.)

 

So out of fear my mother made sure that I did not learn German as a child, although it was spoken at home. When I

was 27 I was working for the US State Department in Ljubljana, Slovenija, and learned to speak German there, Slovene

is a very difficult language. And I only taught myself to read German and the handwriting systems when I was 60, in 2000,

when I found my father's and grand-father's letters from the front. But I have not had a day's formal instruction.

 

I will clean up that machine translation. Pardon the digression, but I am trying to encourage people to pick up more 

languages if possible. My wife has about 15 modern and ancient European languages, and estimates that at one time or 

another she has worked in 80 languages at work as a foreign language librarian. She also is in a fairly high percentage

Neanderthal and especially Denisovian. They had bigger brains than humans.

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Martin Feledziak
1 hour ago, bob lembke said:

When did Johann die? July 18, 1917. Seven months later, almost.

 

He did die in hospital on 18th July but as a result of a battle on 28 June 1917.

So now from your report he looks like he was in on the events late 1916 too. I have no way of knowing when he actually first got his year call, he should have been the class of 1917 but clearly they needed many more poor souls.

 

Yes it was a dangerous time for our families as the period between the wars began to develop. I often consider the plight of my Grandfather who had served on the frontline in 1917/18, Born the same year as Johann in 1897 so the class of 1917. He settled in the coal mines of France with a wife and two young sons. When 1939/40 came about and the German army occupied there would be trouble. I know that there were high ranking officers calling on him and clearly they will have seen his papers. They will have been content with him still working in the mines as coal was needed. But he was networked in the Polish community and organised much mischief working in a true Underground.

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bob lembke

Every day, I think about 5 PM (could be wrong, but about then) the German High Command issued a communique, which was widely followed. I think that a strong effort was made to be accurate, although of course it was "spun" by including successes and ignoring defeated. I have seen a conversation between Pershing and a three star general over an account in the communique, involving a number of captured Americans, and not a word about "is this correct?"  

 

It it was disseminated by the Wolff Telegraphic Agency, and that is how I access it in the Internet. It can give you an overview of any important battle, also in Russia, etc. For example, it could give you a quick overview of what happened in the Meuse heights on June 28th. If no mention, probably a minor action. 

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bob lembke

Being a combat veteran, I assume, would have probably extended special consideration to your grandfather. I do not study WW II topics, but I believe even in concentration camps Jewish men with say an Iron Cross First Class had a special status and benefits. 

 

We we are getting badly OT or Off Period. 

 

 

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Martin Feledziak

Back to the script. Here is the batting order for the second Battalion IR 155 from the history page 196 - Listed from 1st September 1916. I think our man is 

5th down in Komp 7

Lt d Res KUHNERT.

 

Now I have that finding his passage should be a little easier.

 

597775b211cd0_BattingOrder.jpg.f5663ac1c51c07bf6f1496922647531b.jpg

 

 

 

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towisuk
19 hours ago, Martin Feledziak said:

 

Tom, 

That is not a phrase you hear too often.

 

I see that you have some very interesting family history I am now looking at Tanganyika and see that the British were administrators until 1961. 

and so your family were in Africa. 

 

I will look forward to more snippets.

There's a site that covers the camps in Africa Martin.......  http://kresy-siberia.org/galleries/refugees/polish-refugees-in-africa/  my relatives ended up in Tengeru camp...

 

But back to the Austrian Hungarian Army, thanks to your help with pointing me in the right direction I found my Grandfathers name in the records...

It turns out he was a Oberleutnant in the Eisenbahnregiment with the Militarverdienstkreuz to his name.....  all that from the site you kindly posted for me to search...

So I shall have something to pass on to my relatives in PL on my next trip....

 

"I see that you have some very interesting family history" ...

Yes I can trace my roots back to 1235 on the Polish side....   and my father was in the Polish SOE in the last war (I have his recordings that he did for the British Library a number of years back. But!! the one that would have been of most interest suffered from "technical problems" and was not available...one out of 9 recordings....., suspecting what was on there I take the view it was redacted.. It involves Kim Philby...!!

 

But that's not for this forum, I'm pleased with what I've learnt about my Grandfather in just an hour on the site you gave me mate....

many thanks

Tom

 

 

Edited by towisuk

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Martin Feledziak
13 minutes ago, towisuk said:

Yes I can trace my roots back to 1235 on the Polish side....

 

Tom,

I am most pleased to have been some help.

 

I might need to come to you with tips on my polish roots.

I am back to 1760 which to me is fairly epic given that my Father had absolutely no clues but I would love to go further.

but that is for another time.

 

Martin

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Martin Feledziak

Bob,

 

I have found the item about the "right hand".

The Chapter starts on page 222 of the regimental History IR155.

 

Here is the opening preamble, Rgt Steinmetz is another term for FR37. I am coping so far but his account is beyond my full understanding,

I can work out that he refers to his right hand.

I will add some bits later, for interested readers.

Kuhnert's account starts on page 224.

 

5977885a13162_28Dec1916.jpg.ee96ea538879ef78962c74c791e616f4.jpg

Edited by Martin Feledziak

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bob lembke

I will paraphrase from memory how Lt. Kuhnert described the event. He was not in the storm formations themselves, but in support, and was about to cadge a cigarette from a brother officer and a French 75 shell exploded nearby, almost completely taking his right hand off. 

 

A big soldier sprung up, and lashed a tourniquet about his wrist. (Kuhnert, probably in shock, thought it was one of the men of IR 155, although my father was wearing a very unusual uniform unique to the German Army and different from a normal infantry uniform in about ten ways. The soldier then escorted him thru the trenches to the rear, till they encountered medical personnel. 

 

My father then left him, want back, started forward in the storm, and another 75 shell exploded amidst his Flamm=Trupp, wounding every man. As all were wounded, they had to leave him behind. 

 

This morning I was reading the war diary of the divisional artillery of the French division defending Morte Homme and Hill 304, and they fired over 18,000 75 mm shells in the defense that day. 

Edited by bob lembke

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SiegeGunner

Sorry, Martin, but there is no mention of any 'right hand' in the passage you cite.

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Martin Feledziak
13 hours ago, SiegeGunner said:

Sorry, Martin, but there is no mention of any 'right hand' in the passage you cite.

 

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

 

 

59785d479f51f_page224.jpg.d2f26bccc0f412ed1ae391dc113435a0.jpg

 

59785d48800b4_225top.jpg.75c742357ef8ee9a7a6dfd22d0fd3253.jpg

 

59785d4961c37_225Bottom.jpg.fc5f65e4ca2ea6190bed7b74d607c498.jpg

 

59785d4a2dc6d_226top.jpg.eeb9dccbf68683dc6eb55776214db743.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Martin Feledziak

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Martin Feledziak

Here is the diagram from the IR155 history. Which should match with the above account.

 

597861482fddf_Skizze13.jpg.e8156ad92639ce28f418b14fe0c1e8bb.jpg

 

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bob lembke

Yes! Almost exactly as I remember it from memory from 10 or more years ago. Except his hand was cut off with a "marmalade knife",

not a "butter knife". As my father had lots of time in hospital after his wounding, I have four long letters from this period, and of course

he wrote his father, a staff officer at Spandau at this time, and described saving the life of an officer, describing Kuhnert as "Kunert

155" in his letter. You notice, however, that he described my father as a "strapping 155er", probably being in well-deserved shock.

Father was wearing, from bottom up, alpine boots, not army boots; puttees and alpine style breeches, not standard trousers; the

tunic/blouse had the Lintzen of the Prussian Guard at the neck, and the skull and cross-bones of Crown Prince Wilhelm at the

bottom of his left sleeve. The uniform itself was likely to be stained with the heavy Flamm=Oil, which was a constant nuisance

among the Flamm=Truppen. Of course Kuhnert must have been in considerable shock.

 

If you want I could translate much or all of that passage. I think I wrote up about 30 pages on that attack, the special training

leading up to it, and the aftermath, including my father's delight when a Dr. intoned: "Oh, a light wound!", then inserting a

platinum probe, to have three days' crop of puss spray out of the encapsulated wound into the doctor's face, to my father's

delight. (Am looking for that chunk of text, so far unsuccessfully, now that I am actually writing "the book".) Light wound indeed,

the wound spit bone fragments for over ten years, and was infected for about a year, requiring frequent hospitalizations,

perhaps ten minor surgeries, all without anesthetic, and wearing a drain for much of 1917, which frequently had to be moved

surgically.

 

The German Army habitually classified a wound that allowed the patient to walk as a "light wound", as he could, if necessary,

evacuate himself; and one to the legs, for example, which required evacuation on a stretcher, as a "heavy wound". Not based

strictly on medical severity. But the wound probably saved his life, he was medically classified: "Fit for combat, but not flame-

throwers", as entered in his Military Pass. The wound probably saved his life, as he managed to get wounded once a month

that he was actually at the front, and his odds of surviving fighting on the West Front from August 1916 to November 1918 

would have been slim. 

Bad word! or two! Not going back and editing that disaster. Sorry.

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Martin Feledziak
1 hour ago, bob lembke said:

I could translate much or all of that passag

 

Bob,

Honestly, if that is not too much trouble if you could do all, I would be most grateful, to be fair most of the text in his account is beyond me.

It would be a great learning tool for me too.

 

I could spot "meine recht hand" because that was what I was looking for but "Marmeladenmesser" went straight over my head, but  now you mention it, it is a Marmalade knife, and obviously always available in a front line battle area.

 

can you identify the location of this incident on Skizze 13 or is the quality poor ? or not even the right map.

 

 

Edited by Martin Feledziak

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bob lembke

I will take a shot at translating the whole passage, but maybe not for a few days. We probably have "Siege Gunner"

looking over our shoulder, and I think that he is a professional German to English translator, so I had better do it

well. I have not had one day of formal German study, so I do not do it fluidly or perfectly.

 

I suspect that the medic did not amputate the hand with an actual marmalade knife. I bet that front-line medics

carried a small field scalpel that looked like a marmalade knife, an so was nick-named that.

 

I will try to look at the map and try to correlate it with the information that I have about the incidents to try to

physically locate the incidents. Another clue is that the Germans held the captured French position there for

three days, and then pulled out.  If anyone has a different trench map of that sector and point in time, perhaps

they could post it. It may not be a matter of "better" or "poorer", but a different map might just have different

information on it. 

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bob lembke

Reading the description from Kuhnert, and looking at the map, there is very little to link the two, except the 

delineated sector of the 3rd Batallion, as he was in the sector of the Ninth Company. Where the front line was

does not seem to be shown on map, and Kuhnert's text gives few place names, if any. So hard to link the two.

The direction of the map is not even apparent. The Germans were pushing roughly south, but I am getting the

impression that the top of the map is south. But that is not the usual convention.

 

Any other maps? I think I have seen others, but perhaps 10 years ago.

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bob lembke
22 hours ago, Martin Feledziak said:

 

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

 

 

59785d479f51f_page224.jpg.d2f26bccc0f412ed1ae391dc113435a0.jpg

 

Lieutenant of the Reserves Kuhnert reported over the following undertakings:

 

   ..............  "At 11:30 in the morning began the slowly increasing 'fire for destruction' of our artillery and mine throwers (mortars)

on the enemies' first positions.  It gave me great enjoyment, to observe the well-laid fire. The Frenchmen appeared to be not

too clear over our plan. They first responded only faint-heartedly.

 

"I went further in the trench and came into the sector of the 9th. Company. Quickly I found the den of the company commander. 

We did not know the living, good Lieutenant of the Reserves Karl Emil Schmitz. A true Westphalian! In an agreeable fashion

he sat at a game of Skat and smoked his pipe, which he loved over everything. Directly he played a 'Grand'! No, this contrast! 

Outside the roar of the cannon, the nerve-ripping detonations of the mortar shells, the hum and clatter of the shell- and mortar-

shell splinters - and here within Karl Emil played his 'Great Game' in a dense cloud of tobacco smoke! Quickly the 'Grand' is

won, then he went out of the dugout, to throw a glance on the French terrain that lay under our fire. Karl Emil drew rather briskly

on his Immhof-pipe, murmured something like "Hm, Hm", and vanished towards the other wing of his company."

 

A first installment!

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