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German IR 169

Verdun, Argonne, Reims, and Somme Touring Recommendations

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German IR 169

Greetings fellow WFA members.   I welcome member comments and suggestions on a late June 2019 trip to several WW I battlefields that a friend and I are planning to take.  Among areas of particular interest are those prominent in the history of German Infantry Regiment 169, which is the subject of my 2017 second edition book; Imperial Germany’s Iron Regiment of the First World War.   (www.ironregiment169.com, Badgley Publishing Company.)   In addition to IR 169’s sites, we are also interested in some general areas of the major battles, such as Verdun, the Somme, the Meuse-Argonne, and time permitting, the greater Ypres/Flanders area.

We have about two weeks planned for our trip.  Areas of particular battlefield interest include:

 

- St Mihiel Salient:  Establishing the German 1914 salient lines around Flirey and 1918 US Offensive highlights along southern salient.

 - Verdun:  How to make best use of one full day on the battlefield.

- Meuse Argonne:  Two days; Particular emphasis from Varennes, north through Apremont, Exermont, Fleville to Landres-et-St Georges (site of IR 169’s 1 Nov 18 destruction.)  In addition, Lost Battalion and Sgt York sites.  

- Chemin des Dames:  California Plateau vicinity and German May 1918 Offensive.

- Somme:  Two days available, with a one day focus on Serre area (which IR 169 defended May – December 1916), August 1918 fighting around Bapaume and one day for other, must see Somme battlefield highlights.

-  Flanders/Ypres:  Time depending, visits to La Bassee and other Ypres highlights.

 

Lodging/Dining.   At this point we are planning on VBRO and Air B&B alternatives, but certainly welcome other suggestions.   Also, welcome general recommendations for places in Verdun, a central Argonne lodging area, Reims and best lodging locations for Somme touring.  Ideally, we would like to stay in villages with at least a couple of decent dining options.

 

References:   I already have a number of reference books, including Holt’s 100th Anniversary Guide to the Somme and Western Front South, Battle Ground Series to include Walking the Somme, Walking Verdun, Aisne 1918, Hughes Visiting the Somme and Ypers Battlefields  and Kelly’s Hero on the Western Front (York battleground site.)   While this already is a lot of material to sort through, I welcome any further recommendations on unique map/guide references.   

Thank you in advance for your suggestions.  

 

Best Regards,  

 

 John Rieth

Edited by German IR 169

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nigelcave

How many of you are there? If a couple or maybe four, then recommendations might include B&Bs.


When - i.e. what date - are you planning this trip - this is significant because of, e.g. whether the trees are in leaf, the undergrowth is rampant and so forth.

 

Meuse-Argonne - I suggest Maarten Otte's Meuse Argonne in the Battleground Europe series (which, for sake of clarity, I edited ...). There is also Montfaucon, same series and, depending when you come - yet to be published, due autumn 2019, St Mihiel.

 

The ABMC has produced (2018) a very useful (ring binder bound) guide to the AEF's various battlefields.

 

I would strongly advise that you allow for an occasional non-battlefield day(s): I appreciate it is both a long way and expensive, but battlefield fatigue will most certainly set in and you will begin to suffer from the law of diminishing returns.

 

 

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German IR 169

Hi Nigel,   Thanks much for your response, this is very helpful and I will check out the Meuse Argonne guide, as well as the ABMC binder. There will only be two of us, both with similar interests.   Good advice on planning some down time during the trip, I can already appreciate that there is only so much one can pack in these visits before it gets too much.   

 

All the best for a happy holiday period.

 

John

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healdav

I could do you a good guided tour around these areas. Most places you would visit figure on few if any tours.

I shall be away until the end of January, but after that am intermittently available all year.

If you let me have dates I will be able to tell you what I can do (or fit in other commitments around you).

Have a look at my website: Luxembourg-battles.lu. But it doesn't list everything.

 

Edited by healdav

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Marilyne

Hi, 

 

if, as Nigel suggests, you pass Monfaucon, make sure to stop at the museum there!! The Dutch owner hs accumulated a wealth of stuff over the decades... quite overwhelming. addind to that, they serve a good coffee and say hi to the cat! 

 

M.

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healdav
18 minutes ago, Marilyne said:

Hi, 

 

if, as Nigel suggests, you pass Monfaucon, make sure to stop at the museum there!! The Dutch owner hs accumulated a wealth of stuff over the decades... quite overwhelming. addind to that, they serve a good coffee and say hi to the cat! 

 

M.

I shouldn't bother. The museum is at Romagne, quite a distance away.

 

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Marilyne
25 minutes ago, healdav said:

I shouldn't bother. The museum is at Romagne, quite a distance away.

 

Romagne Sous Montfaucon... right of course... not quite the same village as Montfaucon d'Argonne

10 km further though and just next to the American Cemetery. 

 

M.

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German IR 169

Thanks both for the tips, very helpful, especially as I dig into the Argonne portion of the visit.   Regards, John

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mva

bonjour,

May I recommend : https://www.gites-de-france.com/fr  for your search of a B & B ?

in English : https://www.gites-de-france.com/en/hauts-de-france

of course, not all B&B are there ; for the Somme, there are a few English-owned B&Bs .

Just give your plans, I'll try to help

kind regards from the Somme, martine

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German IR 169

Thank you Martine, this link was very helpful.   John

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