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Historical Novelist

Eastern Front location for novel -- help required!

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Historical Novelist

Hi,

 

I'm a novelist and a small section of my current novel will take place on the Eastern Front between January 1 1917 and June 1917. While of course I've been reading books and memoirs wherever I can, I could really do with a little help pinning down a location. 

 

I need to find a place on the Eastern Front where my Austro-Hungarian officer would be situated in January 1917. He is then injured (can be an accident -- it doesn't have to be enemy action) and placed in a temporary field hospital. During one of the Austro-Hungarian army retreats he is then left behind and captured by the Russians. 

 

Ideally I'd like it to be marshy terrain... but this is fiction, and it doesn't have to be perfect. Rivers have been known to divert a little from their course, even in Thomas Hardy... 

 

Does anyone have any suggestions as to where this could be? 

 

I would also love some suggestions as to his rank (he comes from an extremely wealthy family but he is a Jew which limits his rank). 

 

I am hugely grateful for any thoughts!

 

Many thanks,

 

Natasha

Edited by Historical Novelist
grammatical error

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James A Pratt III

The Austro-Hungarian official history "Austria-Hungary's last war 1914-1918 is online in both English and German. It does tell you what's going on in the East from a A-H viewpoint during this time. The only time the Austrians retreated in 1917 was during the Kerensky offensive. He could be a Captain. The KUK armee was not that big on promoting people so he could be a Battalion commander. Looking at the maps of the area there are plenty of swamps in this part of the Russian front.

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Historical Novelist

Thanks so much, that's really helpful. I'll look up the Kerensky offensive. 

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David Filsell

Oh for the days when hard yards of research were just one rich part of writer's pleasure !

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Historical Novelist
On 13/04/2017 at 17:37, David Filsell said:

Oh for the days when hard yards of research were just one rich part of writer's pleasure !

 

Don't worry David... I've spent the best part of a year researching this book... this is a single detail that I'm struggling to find. 

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David Filsell

I know the feeling only too well - it wasn't a criticism.

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James A Pratt III

I think there is a book that is the memoirs of an KUK armee soldier who was a POW the title is "Siberian Garrison"

 

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Historical Novelist

Great -- thanks will look all of these up. 

 

 

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James A Pratt III

Good books on POWs in Russia:

Among the Prisoners of War in Russia and Siberia Elsa Branstorm

POWs and the Great war captiviity on the Eastern Front Alan Rachaminov

 

Also :

Secret Service on the Russian Front Max Wild ( He was captured in 1917 and escaped from a POW camp note Wild was a German intelligence officer)

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James A Pratt III

Other books on the A-H empire and armee:

 

The Hapsberg Empire 1790-1918

The Passing of the Hapsberg Monarchy 1914-1918

The Army of Franz-Joesph

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David Filsell

For background on AH The Radetski March by Roth is both invaluable and brilliant.

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Historical Novelist

Thanks for all the suggestions -- and I agree the Radetzky March is magnificent. One of the great novels of the last century...

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James A Pratt III

On 1914 and AH there is the book "A Mad Catastrope"

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Historical Novelist

Thanks again -- Secret Service on the Russian front was great... it does read like a novel. 

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James A Pratt III

Glad to be of help . There is another book that I have not read but looks like it should be useful to you "Beyond Nationalism" which deals with the Hapsberg Officer Corps

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Historical Novelist

These are all great -- much appreciated. The novel will be published in May next year. My desk is sagging under the weight of these book suggestions -- so thanks again, everyone. 

 

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