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Remembered Today:

1916 in the Salient, was there anything?


bkristof
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Hi,

i am wondering if anything significant happend in the Salient in 1916?

Or did all efforts go to the Somme?

Did the Brits or the Germans have enough courage to try more?

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Kristof,

As I am currently making a d-base of the fightings around Ypres, with a special focus on 1916, I can answer your question: yes, lots of things happened, with as highlights the fightings around The Bluff in february, St. Elooi craters, and Hill 61 and 62 in june. During march and april there was lots of activity around Hooge: patrols, trench raids, mainly focused around a small ruin called 'Preusenhaus' by the Germans (I am not sure about the English equivalent). March and april brought an unusual amount of activity in the air.

I haven't looked at the second half of 1916. In july a great deal of German troops left for the Somme, and others came in their place.

regards,

Bert.

p.s. if anyone wants to share some info on 1916- early 1917 in the Saliënt with me, this is more than welcome.

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any further info should be great!

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Great Chris!

thanks, I should have known ;)

I thought it was about the Somme only. :rolleyes: Stupid me, hahahaha

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In August 1916 the Germans launched a gas attack on the 29th Division front at Potijze, using a new type of gas. British masks offered no protection against it, and there were heavy losses, especially in the 2nd Hampshires. You can trace the graves from Potijze back to Poperinghe and beyond. The irony is the division had come to the Salient for a 'rest' after the First Day of the Somme.

I included a little about this in Walking the Salient.

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Paul,

very ironical indeed.

Were there any distraction actions in july?? or on the 1st itself?

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Kristof,

You probably know a lot more than I do about the Salient, but a book Ive just read was very interesting and from my point of view easy reading. It was "A Storm in Flanders " by Winston Groom. I'm not even going to attempt to explain it ,you'll just have to try it.

I would like to ask the more experienced amongst the Pals if anyone has read this book and what was their opinion?

Len

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Hi bkristof

The 20th Division began a series of bombardments and raids from the 24th June 1916. The 6/K.S.L.I. carried out a raid on the German Line opposite Muddy Lane near Y Wood on the night of 29th/30th June. Gas was to be used but the wind was only fair and the K.S.L.I.'s C.O. decided to go ahead with out the Gas. The gas was released at 2.45 a.m. on 1st July, the Gemans replied vigorously with artillery and trench mortars, two company commanders and nine O.R.'s were killed. Now I do not know if these raids were a distraction for the start of the Somme, which was due to some days before the 1st July.

Bert - I have not forgotten to send you the info. on K.S.L.I. actions around Ypres that I said I would send, I have been more busy then I throught, so will hopefully do it next week.

Annette

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Swansea Bn raided the High Command Redoubt on 16-17 Nov 1916. About 165 men took part which was a sizeable (and successful) raid.

Bernard

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Hello,

Did you know the Germans prepared an offensive against Ypres? The offensive on the Somme disturbed their preparations and the big offensive was eventually cancelled and replaced by the smaller scale attack of the XIII. Armeekorps on the Hooge-Hill 60 line.

Regards,

Jan

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As I am currently making a d-base of the fightings around Ypres, with a special focus on 1916,

p.s. if anyone wants to share some info on 1916- early 1917 in the Saliënt with me, this is more than welcome.

Bert

Maybe it's wise to reveal what's going to happen with the result of your work ;)

It could probably lead to a bigger stream of information and more visitors to Ieper in 2006 :P

Patrick

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Hello,

Did you know the Germans prepared an offensive against Ypres? The offensive on the Somme disturbed their preparations and the big offensive was eventually cancelled and replaced by the smaller scale attack of the XIII. Armeekorps on the Hooge-Hill 60 line.

Regards,

Jan

That is new to me Jan.

The problem is that the winner writes the history... :ph34r:

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Guest Simon Bull
In August 1916 the Germans launched a gas attack on the 29th Division front at Potijze, using a new type of gas. British masks offered no protection against it, and there were heavy losses,

Was the new type of gas mustard gas? I thought this only came later?

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mustard gas was 1917.

i think it was phosgene?

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mustard gas was 1917.

i think it was phosgene?

Mustard Gas - July 1917 near Nieupoort

Phosgene - December 1915 near Wieltje.

Unsure of the "new gas" of (8th?) August 1916. I thought it was just a sustained "cloud" attack using established war gasses and combinations thereof that saturated gasmasks and rendered them unuseable. Of the 800+ casualties this day, 2 out of every 5 died. However, there was one plus point in this attack - the Large Box Respirator (aka "Tarbox" or "Tower") seemed to show it's worth.

Dave.

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This incident is described at some length in the diary of No. 3 Can. C.C.S. (Remy Siding). At 11:30 p.m. on August 8 a gas alarm was heard and by 4:00 a.m. the first gas casualties began arriving, continuing until the Station stopped admitting at 8:30. (Presumably one of the other Stations at Remy, Nos. 10 and 17, then opened). The first day 146 gas cases were treated at No. 3, of whom 54 died. More cases were admitted on the 11th, mostly experiencing delayed symptoms.

The summary goes like this:

"The feature of the month was the run of cases of Drift Gas poisoning Aug 9 -

of 178 cases admitted Aug 9th & 12th 54 died - of 9 shell gas cases 1 died.

The gas was probably Chlorine + Phosgene - sent over as regiments

were relieving each other. Cases were very severe and yielded

very little to treatment. Stimulation with Strychnine & alcohol

and free use of oxygen with gas inhalers and morphine

for restless cases was the plan generally employed. Oxygen

eased the breathing & improved the color temporarily.

There were more blue cases than grey - but the proportion of

deaths was about the same in each. Nearly all the deaths

occurred within 24 hrs. "

I understand the PH helmets then in use were effective against these gases. Perhaps because of an untimely relief, and the sudden arrival of high concentrations of gas, the troops were caught unawares. I suspect more attention was paid to gas discipline after this.

Of course I am speculating a bit here.

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Mustard Gas - July 1917 near Nieupoort

Dave,

That's right. But why mention Nieuwpoort when Ypres had the scoop ?

In the night of 12 - 13 July German troops shelled the 55th British Division between Wieltje and Hooge with mustard gas.

And as far as I know the specific area that was hit was between St. Jan and Potyze.

Nieuwpoort was a few days later, but I don't know the exact date.

Aurel

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Mustard Gas - July 1917 near Nieupoort

Dave,

That's right. But why mention Nieuwpoort when Ypres had the scoop ?

In the night of 12 - 13 July German troops shelled the 55th British Division between Wieltje and Hooge with mustard gas.

And as far as I know the specific area that was hit was between St. Jan and Potyze.

Nieuwpoort was a few days later, but I don't know the exact date.

Aurel

Yes, you're right there Aurel. (Not like me to try and put Ieper into 2nd place for anything - I don't know what came over me! Tut!!! :lol: ). But was it the 55th Division or the 15th Division? There seems to be more reference to this day(night) in the regimental histories of the units that made up the 15th Division than of those that made up the 55th. I don't know the answer to this one. Do you have any further insight?

The Nieupoort attack was the night of 21st/22nd July. Quite a while after really!

Cheers,

Dave. :D

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Kristof,

Here's for februari and march 1916:

The 27th German Division (men from Württemberg) holds the ground between Hill 60 and the Bluff. At the end of januari a German mine blows up parts of the British front-line. At 14/2 the 124th Infantry regiment storms the Bluff, which they manage to take quite easily. However, the British replie with an intense bombardment on the ground they lost during the remainders of februari. The 124th loses 329 men during the attack, and 4 days of intense British shelling. They are relieved by the 123th grenadeer regiment, which does not succeed to hold the ground. The Bluff falls back into British hands on the 2nd of march. Apparently some sort of rivalry existed from than on between the 124th and the 123th, that lasted throughout the rest of the war...

regards,

Bert

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  • 14 years later...
On 20/02/2005 at 21:52, jhill said:

This incident is described at some length in the diary of No. 3 Can. C.C.S. (Remy Siding). At 11:30 p.m. on August 8 a gas alarm was heard and by 4:00 a.m. the first gas casualties began arriving, continuing until the Station stopped admitting at 8:30. (Presumably one of the other Stations at Remy, Nos. 10 and 17, then opened). The first day 146 gas cases were treated at No. 3, of whom 54 died. More cases were admitted on the 11th, mostly experiencing delayed symptoms.

The summary goes like this:

"The feature of the month was the run of cases of Drift Gas poisoning Aug 9 -

of 178 cases admitted Aug 9th & 12th 54 died - of 9 shell gas cases 1 died.

The gas was probably Chlorine + Phosgene - sent over as regiments

were relieving each other. Cases were very severe and yielded

very little to treatment. Stimulation with Strychnine & alcohol

and free use of oxygen with gas inhalers and morphine

for restless cases was the plan generally employed. Oxygen

eased the breathing & improved the color temporarily.

There were more blue cases than grey - but the proportion of

deaths was about the same in each. Nearly all the deaths

occurred within 24 hrs. "

I understand the PH helmets then in use were effective against these gases. Perhaps because of an untimely relief, and the sudden arrival of high concentrations of gas, the troops were caught unawares. I suspect more attention was paid to gas discipline after this.

Of course I am speculating a bit here.


 

From the 3rd Can C.C.S.war diaries August 1916 mentioned ,Typewritten details of the 54 men who were gassed and died.

62FFB8B1-210C-4420-A5D0-39E8F597898B.jpeg

59F94AE2-3A2E-4995-9F32-C85253361260.jpeg

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This might have been mentioned already, so if it has, forgive me.

 

The Battle of Mount Sorrel, in June 1916, was one of the fiercest local conflicts of the war.

 

Overlooked by the Somme and Verdun, it entailed fighting of  severe intensity with casualties to match.

 

The Canadians were prominent here.

 

Phil

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