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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

The Other Side of the Wire


Ralph J. Whitehead

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I have a question that would best be answered by any forum members who have purchased/read any of the three volumes of The Other Side of the Wire.

 

I had expected to write a single volume, which turned into four in total with the last one coming out later in 2019. The series starts with the XIV Reserve Corps heading toward the Somme in September 1914 and the final volume ends in the post war years. What was never covered was the opening months of fighting in the Vosges along the frontier with France. 

 

My question is if those who know of the books would be interested in a book that covers the opening months of the war with the XIV Reserve Corps including a detailed casualty review? If you reply could you please let me know your opinion on the question and if possible which of the first three volumes you have read or own. Thank you for your time.

 

Ralph

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Ralph 

 

I have all three and would be happy for you to give me the next one free :ph34r:

 

Great read

 

Roy

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Thank you David and nice try Roy :) I am glad you enjoyed them. I can say honestly that if I went into this project in order to make a profit then I was a fool. Fortunately I was being realistic and unless Hollywood comes knocking I am fully satisfied that they were ever printed at all. 

 

Ralph

 

Edited by Ralph J. Whitehead
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Dear Ralph

 

Having bought and greatly enjoyed Volume I, I went for the second in the expectation that it would be just as good. Alas, and this is no reflection on the vast amount of work you obviously did, there was so much detail in the descriptions of the fighting, that I found it very difficult to see the wood for the trees, especially as I was far from impressed by the quality of the maps provided (attributable no doubt to the publisher rather than you). As a result I never attempted Volume III, and am probably the loser for it.

 

That said, the 1914 fighting, notably on the French side, I do find interesting. Not enough has been written about it in English, and a prequel to your labour of love could well find a taker here. Who knows, it might then induce me to make up the whole set, assuming I can find space on my shelves.

 

Cheers Martin B

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Hello Martin, I appreciate your comments. It was the most difficult of all volumes to create and present. It was not originally planned and was very restrictive in scope. However, book 3 was prepared the same way as book 1 and book 4 is also based on the style of book 1. 

 

I just need need to complete the translations and then see how much I have in the way of a book.

 

Ralph

Edited by Ralph J. Whitehead
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  • 4 months later...

Update: In volume 2 I was surprised that the Musketen units had not suffered any losses in the heavy fighting, or, as I should say, not that I could find despite numerous searches. No losses showed up in the Verlustlisten. 

 

I have since discovered the names and particulars for a number of the men from these units and ran them through the Verlustlisten index. I have discovered that the first ones I searched for were all listed as casualties in I.R. 117, the IV Battalion. I need further work on the details but it does appear that this regiment supplied the men for some of the Musketen units. 

 

Ralph

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Ralph,

 

The first two volumes occupy a proud place on my shelves ; but I didn’t realise that you had produced a third.

 

Please tell me what Volume 3 covers.

 

Editing : Delighted to report, Ralph, that I’ve just bought it !

 

Phil

Edited by phil andrade
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Hi Phil, the 3rd volume covers helge period after 1July 1916 through late 1917 when major changes were underway in tactics, etc. in preparation for the 1918 offensives. There was a major change in tactics from a rigid defense to an elastic defense in depth. I hope you enjoy it.

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Another update for volume 1 (September 1914-30 June 1916). There were a number of trench raids made against the German lines in the 7 day bombardment period. At least one managed to capture a large group from RIR 99 by Thiepval. The problem is that the Stammrolle for RIR 99 does not exist nor is there any mention of this raid i9n the regimental history.

 

I have recently uncovered a listing where at least eight names were mentioned from the 8/R99 including one who had revolver wounds and was captured. As there are no other men shown as casualties for this regiment, it is in the correct time period and the injuries match what a raid might have caused I strongly suspect that these were the men captured in the late June raid. 

 

Ralph

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  • 10 months later...

Just finished Volume II, agree to a certain extent with Martin re. Volume II but looking forward to reading Volume III. These are absorbing books with superb detail, not light reading but fantastically researched with great detail. Volume IV will be purchased shortly. Certainly interested in the book covering the opening months.

 

Andy

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