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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Looking for Trench Maps Near Craonne, Cornbeny and Juvincourt


cwbuff

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I am working on plotting battery locations from old sketches onto Google Earth images. On the attached image appears to be the scars of old trench lines (identified on image). I would be interested in seeing any trench maps from this area. Thanks.

PS: The colored icons indicate the battery deployment positions of FAR64 (1st deployment = red; 2nd deployment = orange; 3rd deployment = yellow). The first number on the label indicates the Battery number (e.g., 3 = 3rd Battery). The number following the dash (if any) indicate then number of platoons at that position if not full strength. post-71339-0-85873400-1416086424_thumb.j

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Hi cwbuff,

For trench maps there are a lot of free ones at http://digitalarchive.mcmaster.ca/islandora/object/macrepo%3A34 There is also http://maps.nls.uk/ which can overlay trench maps over various modern ones (including Google Satellite) to achieve the kind of result I think that you are after.

EG http://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=15&lat=49.46295&lon=3.82114&layers=101465392

Regards

Chris

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Unfortunately, you're not going to get much detail on the trenches in that area (other than German trenches from (circa) April/May 1918) from online sources that only use British maps (which appears to be the vast majority of online sources for some reason).

However, this French trench map dating from September 1918 shows and names most - if not all - of the features of the area in good detail...

I've got trench maps (French and German) for most of this area for a variety of dates from October 1914 through to September 1918 (mainly 1917 maps though, with a bit of a 'drought' between May and September 1918)). Are you after any specific dates?

Dave

post-357-0-75565500-1416135108_thumb.jpg

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Thanks for the information!

The positions that I plotted are 15 September to 7 October 1914.

But the unit was in this general area on the following dates:
8 to 19 October 1914 (south of the Aisne at Berry-du-Bac)
20 October 1914 to 31 January 1915 (assault on the La Creute Farm - Chemin des Dames)
1 January 1915 to September 1916 (Hill 108 south of Berry-du-Bac)
19 April to 27 June 1917 (Moronvilliers area and later in the attack on La Ville-aux-Bois )
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Thanks for the information!

The positions that I plotted are 15 September to 7 October 1914.

But the unit was in this general area on the following dates:
8 to 19 October 1914 (south of the Aisne at Berry-du-Bac)
20 October 1914 to 31 January 1915 (assault on the La Creute Farm - Chemin des Dames)
1 January 1915 to September 1916 (Hill 108 south of Berry-du-Bac)
19 April to 27 June 1917 (Moronvilliers area and later in the attack on La Ville-aux-Bois )

OK... Other than the La Creute Farm assault, I can cover all of that in (give or take a few days/weeks) correctly dated French mapping (I can do La Creute too, but not for anywhere near the date you require), but could also (I think) add German mapping to your Moronvilliers area (but I've a feeling that my German map for this area might date from later... can't remember until I have a look).

Give me a short time and I'll get something sorted out.

Dave

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Thanks you are very kind. Take your time.

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I think the forum should strike a medal for "Services to Forum Members"....I nominate Dave (Croonaert) for his sterling map work that's helped so many over the years....a real gem that lad!!

regards

Tom

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Thanks Tom, but I've never really had to put too much effort into map requests, so I've never really gone 'above and beyond' for anyone with regards these.

Cheers anyway,

Dave. :blush:

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8 to 19 October 1914 (south of the Aisne at Berry-du-Bac)

Here we go...

A French trench sketch map depicting the positioning of some of the earliest permanent entrenched positions in this location in early October 1914...

post-357-0-25526500-1416175603_thumb.jpg

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20 October 1914 to 31 January 1915 (assault on the La Creute Farm - Chemin des Dames)

Nothing for the correct date (as suspected), but here's the farm on a much later French trench map...

post-357-0-38405800-1416175978_thumb.jpg

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That's great. Here is an interesting story that was in the Regimental history that occurred at the location on the map of Hill 108 that you posted. It is a translation of what was written by the Regimental commander.

"As with the first occupation of the position, a gun at Hill 108 southeast of Berry-au-Bac, had been set up for defense from close-range attacks. A story about an incident can be told here about what happened to the 1st Battery in the operation of the gun. The gun emplacement also served as an observation post. With the increasing foliage of the trees in the spring of 1915, the view from the gun was hindered by a tree line along the canal between our position and the enemy position. During a visit to that position, I therefore promised a special honor for successfully cutting off the crowns of these trees. Immediately Sergeant Grohmann and Corporal Iäpel declared themselves ready to perform this act. The same evening they left our position about 22:00 and crawled forward toward the enemy. While Sergeant Grohmann sat on lookout with a carbine about 50 paces from the enemy listening post, Corporal Iäpel climbed the individual trees and sawed off the limbs of crowns that were hindering the view. He performed this on this night and the following night on 13 trees and was not interfered with despite fire of the enemy, who had become alerted through the crashing of falling limbs. The field of view of the observation post and the line of fire for the gun had become clear. The two courageous men were rewarded for their brave deed with the Iron Cross."

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1 January 1915 to September 1916 (Hill 108 south of Berry-du-Bac)

...

post-357-0-36423200-1416176268_thumb.jpg

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19 April to 27 June 1917 (Moronvilliers area ...

Here's the aforementioned German map of the area...

post-357-0-26479200-1416176488_thumb.jpg

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19 April to 27 June 1917 (...and .... the attack on La Ville-aux-Bois )

Back to the French examples....

... including one depicting the French attack of April 1917 (10DI) ...

post-357-0-76287900-1416176806_thumb.jpg

post-357-0-22405900-1416176906_thumb.jpg

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These maps are great. Thank you!

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  • 1 year later...

Hello

I appreciate that this is an older thread, but could anyone help with trench maps immediately around Craonne / Plateau de Californie for May 1918? In particular, we're trying to narrow down the location of poste de commandement PC Verdun, which is referred to as being within Craonne. My Great Grandfather, CSM C.R. Stephenson of 1/4th East Yorkshire Regiment (C Company, we think) was killed with the company commander by a shell landing in their dugout in the German attack of 27 May. There's a very useful map at http://ljdm.caius.homeip.net/images/CraonneC.jpg which shows PCs Electra and Marais, also used by 1/4th East Yorks - but I haven't managed to make out PC Verdun.

Many thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

Regards

Antony

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Can't see a PC Verdun, but this French map (April, but updated in May 1917) illustrates the location of two others (PC S/Secteur Ouest and PC S/Secteur Est). As this map was annotated during the actual 2nd Battle of the Aisne, these could possibly have been temporary names given at that time with more permanent naming coming later (in time for 1918)... just a thought.

Dave

post-357-0-39563800-1452629123_thumb.jpg

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Many thanks - much appreciated! I think you are right about the re-naming as it looks like PC S/Secteur Ouest corresponds to PC Marais on the 'CraonneC' map at http://ljdm.caius.homeip.net/images/CraonneC.jpg . I'm guessing that the CraonneC map is later, as the systems seem to have deteriorated - most notably Tr. d'Hasloch.Thanks again for your help! (And if anyone else is trying to trace 4th East Yorks near Craonne on 27 May 1918 please get in touch)

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I note that the 4/E.Yorks war diary mentions PC Verdun as actually being IN Craonne........maybe my theory actually does hold water then...'PC S/Secteur Est' , perhaps?

Dave

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This French trench sketch-map from January 1918 illustrates the location of PC's around Craonne. Still only one actually in Craonne...

post-357-0-74638100-1452638613_thumb.jpg

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It would appear to me off the last map that this PC was located in the ruins of Craonne church.

Below is a photo of this location that I took last summer that may be of interest?...

Dave

post-357-0-44419900-1452639081_thumb.jpg

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Hi Dave

Sorry for my delay in replying. Great images - the map is a lovely piece of work. I think you suggestion that PC Verdun is the one shown in the centre of Craonne is a good working assumption. I'll let you know if we are able to resolve any more.

Thanks again - really appreciated!

Antony

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Hi Dave

Sorry to come back asking for more, but are there any trench plans for the area slightly to the west of those above, i.e. to the west of B. de Clam? I think these would be the trenches covered by (centred on?) PC S/Secteur Ouest in the April 1917 map. I'm still looking at the East Yorks in May 1918. Many thanks!

Antony

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...are there any trench plans for the area slightly to the west of those above, i.e. to the west of B. de Clam? I think these would be the trenches covered by (centred on?) PC S/Secteur Ouest in the April 1917 map.

Here's a stitch-together of two July 1917 maps (Craonne is at the extremety of the standard 1:10,000 scale maps in this area). No P.C.'s shown, unfortunately...

post-357-0-77712100-1453074661_thumb.jpg

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