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Diary of German soldier, unit unknown


roel22

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My brother in law recently discovered his great-grandfather was a German soldier who had served in WW1.

He even got a (copy of) a diary, his gr-grandfather (Emil Willers) had written during five weeks he had been in Avion-Lens-Sallaumines (France) during the retreat to the Hindenburg line.

It is not the typical day by day-war diary. In fact: he hardly ever mentions a date. It's a 42 page book, in which Emil writes about his experiences on the western front.

Ofcourse I'd like to find out more about the whereabouts of Emil and his unit. Problem is: Emil never writes which unit he is in.

From what I read in his diary he was a "funker" (wireless operator) in an artillery-unit. His unit had also seen action in Russia.

His photo may give a clue about his unit: perhaps the "62" on his shoulder?

I've also added a photo of the units guns ("unserer Kanone"), made 2 march 1917.

Emil describes how on easter 1917 his quarters are hit by a shell, killing "Kamerad Lösekann".

I was hoping Kamerad Lösekann would lead me to Emils unit, but the Volksbund has no details about a Lösekann KIA easter 1917.

The Verlustliste of 16 may 1917 has a "Fritz Lösekann" (KIA). This may be him, but I can't find the unit this man was in.

If anybody as an idea how to find Emil Willers unit I'd be very grateful!

Roel

post-5443-0-95573000-1398760788_thumb.jp

post-5443-0-91840500-1398760795_thumb.jp

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I am not too hot on German uniforms, but if that is him with the 62 on his shoulder, then I think that should be his regiment number, and if artillery, so that's the Ostfriesisches Feld-Artillerie-Regiment Nr.62. They were with the 19th Division, which saw action on both West and East fronts (so Russia would fit), and which that was in action on and around the Hindenberg Line (Siegfriedstellung) in March and September 1918.

Hope this helps - if I am right (but if I am wrong I'll soon be corrected! :thumbsup: )

Trajan

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I am not too hot on German uniforms, but if that is him with the 62 on his shoulder, then I think that should be his regiment number, and if artillery, so that's the Ostfriesisches Feld-Artillerie-Regiment Nr.62. They were with the 19th Division, which saw action on both West and East fronts (so Russia would fit), and which that was in action on and around the Hindenberg Line (Siegfriedstellung) in March and September 1918.

Hope this helps - if I am right (but if I am wrong I'll soon be corrected! :thumbsup: )

Trajan

Just judging on the "62" on his shoulder I agree with that.

There exists a written regimental history. More details might be found in that.

Regards

Karsten

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Max Simon-Eberhardt: "Königl. Preußisch. Ostfriesisch. Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 62", Erinnerungsblätter deutscher Regimenter; [26] Artillerie-H. 9, Oldenburg i.O., Berlin 1922, G. Stalling, 153 Seiten.

Regards

Karsten

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IF the Ostfriesisches Feld-Artillerie-Regiment Nr.62, you might want to have a look at this - http://pommerschespionier.com/index.php/collection/postcard/ - search for 62.

EDIT: Thanks Karsten! Yours came through as I was writing this!

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Thanks for all your input! So there was only one 62nd field artillery regiment? (Which came from Ostrfriesland)?

Roel

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Roel,

Yes. Actually there was just one other formation with a "62" - Infanterie Regiment Nr. 62. So according to the number ob his shoulder you have the choice between these two.

Regards

Karsten

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... From what I read in his diary he was a "funker" (wireless operator) in an artillery-unit. His unit had also seen action in Russia....

Yes. Actually there was just one other formation with a "62" - Infanterie Regiment Nr. 62. So according to the number ob his shoulder you have the choice between these two.

Hi Roel and Kartsen, I think we can go with Ostfriesisches Feld-Artillerie-Regiment Nr.62! :thumbsup:

What is your b-in-law planning to do with the diary? It would be nice to have it transcribed and added to an archive somewhere.

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Trajan, I totally agree with the suggestion you made first. I just wanted to complete units with a "62".

It would be absolutely interesting to compare this personal war diary with the official regimental history. Roel, any possibilities to put scans of the diary here in the GWF?

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Reserve-Feldartillerie-Regiment 62 may be a possibility as well?

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Trajan, I totally agree with the suggestion you made first. I just wanted to complete units with a "62".

It would be absolutely interesting to compare this personal war diary with the official regimental history. Roel, any possibilities to put scans of the diary here in the GWF?

Sorry! Misunderstanding on my part!

But yes, a transcript of the diary would be great - now that we have a good idea of the unit, dates (the Russian interlude) and the area in France!

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Reserve-Feldartillerie-Regiment 62 may be a possibility as well?

There is something visible above the unit number in that photograph in the original photograph in post no. 1. I know nowt about shoulder boards, but might whatever that is indicate if it was Reserve-Feldartillerie-Regiment 62 or Ostfriesisches Feld-Artillerie-Regiment Nr.62? Was the Reserve-Feldartillerie-Regiment 62 active in the west and the east? (note our man's diary indicates service in 'Russia')

Julian

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See here: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ostfriesisches_Feldartillerie-Regiment_Nr._62

Das Feld-Artillerie-Regiment Nr. 62 trug die Uniform nach Muster der preußischen Feldartillerie. Die 2. und 3. (Oldenburgische) Batterie führten als Nationalitätsabzeichen die blau-rote Landeskokarde des Großherzogtums sowie auf den Achselstücken bzw. Schulterklappen den Namenszug A des Großherzogs Paul Friedrich August und am Helm auf der Brust des preußischen Wappenadlers einen neusilbernen Stern mit dem oldenburgischen Landeswappen in Neusilber.

But I think it is not an "A" but a bomb (as sign for artillery). A possibility of a hi-res scan of the shoulder batch?

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It's a flaming cannonball. He's an artillery man.

Where was Emil Willers from? I see a few suspects in the VLs that might be him.

-Daniel

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The Fritz Lösekann killed on 16th May 1917 (mentioned by ROEL in his OP) was born in Elsfleth which is about 25 km away from Oldenburg where the FAR 62 came from.


It's a flaming cannonball. He's an artillery man.

That's what I meant.

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The Fritz Lösekann killed in 16th May 1917 (mentioned by ROEL in his OP) was born in Elsfleth which is about 25 km away from Oldenburg where the FAR 62 came from.

That's was I meant.

Eep, sorry, my hastily-posted post probably came off sounding badly...sorry about that. Wasn't trying to sound curt, honest! :)

I hope we can find more about this fellow and his pal. I did a quick check of Weltkriegsopfer.de and struck out, but will dig around more when I am off the clock.

-Daniel

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Daniel, nothing wrong with your post! My short reply was just meant as consent to your "flaming canonball" insted of my "bomb".

ROEL didn't mention whether Emil Willers was wounded. The three Emil Willers in the Verlustlisten were all "leicht verwundet".

Karsten

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This ist how his shoulder batches might look like http://www.ebay.de/itm/Schulterstueck-Hessen-Nassau-Feld-Artillerie-Rgt-63-mit-feldgraue-Unterseite-/331183355706

I was just wondering what was the difference in shoulder batches of - let's say - FAR 62 and RFAR 62?

Karsten

That's a good question! I hadn't really thought about that before. If I were to guess I would say no, but I am curious what the correct answer is.

-Daniel

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I'll have to check if Emil was killed or wounded during the war.

Right now I can't give a better scan. Perhaps I can get hold of the original photo, but that may take a while.

I promised to post the entire diary, but having said that: what's the best way to post a 45-page diary in this forum?

Roel

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The ribbons on his chest show he was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class & another medal but don't know what it is. No wound badge donhis tunc so if WIA it was after this photo was made.

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The ribbons on his chest show he was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class & another medal but don't know what it is. No wound badge donhis tunc so if WIA it was after this photo was made.

Undoubtedly the Oldenburg Friedrich August Cross 2nd Class.

The wound badge only came into use Mid 1918...

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Roel, I trust you will be getting a suitable liquid reward from your B-in-law for all this?! :thumbsup:

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That will not be a problem, Trajan! In fact I already get liquid rewards by just showing up. :D

By the way: do you have any idea how to post this diary as a pdf? Posting 45 seperate pages doens't look like the best solution.

Roel

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