Hugh Shipman Posted 23 January , 2018 Share Posted 23 January , 2018 Dear Forum Members, Hello from me and from Heinrich. Together we have made a translation of the surviving wartime letters of Generalleutnant Eugen Ferdinand Gottlieb von Dorrer (b.18/11/1857, d. 2/4/1916). These have been translated from typed transcripts which were probably prepared for Hans Atzrott, author of 'Das Reserve Jaeger Battalion Nr. 16'. Together we will post a few pages at a time, probably in around twenty installments and then make the whole transcript available as a download together with scans of the original manuscript. The original documents will be offered for inclusion with other papers belonging to Generalleutnant von Dorrer held in Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart. The letters, mainly addressed to his wife, begin with von Dorrer's journey to the front as commander of the 44. Reserve Division, then the battles around Bixschoote-Langemark in November 1914 and the disillusion that followed. The letters do not constitute a technical or historical account of the battles, but contain a personal account of and reaction to the events in which the General played a part. It would certainly be welcome if members could sketch in some historical background where appropriate so that a broader context could be understood. Von Dorrer’s letters are not characteristic for those written by a husband to his beloved wife. They are written in such a way as to indicate that he may have intended to use them as a basis for his memoirs. Like many other senior soldiers from both sides he saw himself as 'maker of history' and one can assume that he had planned to spend his retirement writing his place into it. – But the war turned out not to be a “cheerful skirmish on flower-ornated, blood-bedewed meadows” (Ernst Jünger – Storm of Steel). Eugen von Dorrer died on 2. April 1916 in Brieulles-sur-Meuse of wounds sustained on 31 January 1916 near Verdun. Beyond the simple translation of German written letters into English, our aim has been to transport the particular writing style of von Dorrer into the English translation. Von Dorrer had a tendency that was common for the time of constructing convoluted “boa-constrictor” sentences which drift through series of ideas before arriving at a full stop, giving Heinrich quite a headache which he then passed on to Hugh so that the aforementioned snake could finally be pinned down and straightened out in English. Oh dear, we've started doing it now! A few words about the two of us:- Heinrich: I came upon Hugh when I was doing some research in relation to my grandfather’s participation in WWI. Hugh is a specialist for the occurrences and courses of WWI events in the area between Hill 60 and St Eloi, among others being described in his book “Palingbeek 1915” was one of fellow GWF members who brought my research very much forward. Hugh: I in turn get support from Heinrich in matters of interpretation and translation of German documents and particularly in decoding old script handwriting, where Heinrich's aunt and mother form a formidable team. Heinrich’s own research is reflected by his book “Als Husar im I. Weltkrieg”, from which it became clear that during WWI a grandfather of mine and a grandfather of Heinrich fought within earshot of each other near St. Eloi in April 1918. So in a spirit of reconciliation, together we offer you the first installment, which begins on the train transporting elements of the 44. Reserve Division from their camp at Jüterbog near Berlin to an uncertain future.... Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now