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Remembered Today:

Operation Griftpille


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Hello everyone,


I wanted to share this account which I have translated from a The 1st Prussian Guards Regimental book.


To our honoured leader in serious time. This fallen general also created the name Giftpille (which translates poison pill). We started the attack on February 4th 1917 at 1pm with artillery andminnenwerfer. From planes they checked that the fire was hitting everywhere. at 2:30pm they stopped firing for half an hour then they fired again from 3pm to 3:45pm. We were surprised that the counter fire from the enemy was only weak and without much plan. They shoot again from 4:30pm to 5pm and then from 5:30pm to 6pm they started Vernichtungsfeuer (destruction fire) onto the trenches. the enemies artillery responded again only sparsely. At 5:45 the German troops went over the top and broke into the enemies trenches which they found unexpectedly strong equipped. The trenches were less destroyed than we thought so we lost some soldiers and got into some trouble but we managed to break into the trenches and an embittered fight started. The enemy was forced out of the first line of trenches and the pioneers blew up the trenches. Twelve British prisoners of war were taken. The success was "funny" (spaßig) the front line reported they had severe losses and brought in many injured people, but as they came closer the carrier people brought no wounded but 12 British prisoners, who "resisted their capturing with their characteristic tenacity and the pride which is typical for this race and resisted with fighting with their arms and legs and so they had to be dragged.The success was important as they thought before that there were English troops only north of the Somme, to know they are also in the south was worth the losses that Giftpille cost, two raiding patrol leaders Leutnant der reserve Kirmz and Kuhn were wounded (Kuhn severely), furthermore ten men wounded, one dead. Losses though artillery fire were one dead and fifteen wounded. The following days were quiet, on 8th February 1917, the replacement troops arrived.


I was wondering if anyone could help me with the next steps of finding more about this operation?


Best Wishes,


Micah Dominic Parsons

Edited by MicahDominicParsons
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