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Remembered Today:

German map Poperinghe


Arne Vandendriessche
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Hey,

Attached clippings of a German map area Poperinge.
there are stars indicated on it, but also black dots with letters.
does anyone know what they stand for?

Arne

points on german map 1.png

Star.png

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The black dots with latters are artillery ranging points to be able to give very fast and clear directions (using the number of the square with a letter, an artillery unit would immediately know what spot exactly was meant).

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On the one map in the NLS system 27 NE the area shown on the German map is in squares F 9, F 10, F 15 and F 16. I looked at the list of locations in the WD of 19 Corps A&QMG November 1917. There were water cart re filling points at Lovie F 16 b 3 5 and F 16 d 5 3 and a horse watering point near Lovie Chateau F 17 a 1 1. 

Brian

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3 minutes ago, mebu said:

Can't see why the Germans would make a point of targeting water points..?

Peter

 

Can't think of anywhere better to target.

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6 minutes ago, mebu said:

I know water is important, but surely in the list of other targets - artillery, ammo depots, HQs, strongpoints etc - ...?.

 

Peter

I should look into this German system of points, but perhaps it has to do with points that were easily targettable (mainly because of geological reasons). I would assume there should be a British manual about this German mapping system in some archive?

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25 minutes ago, mebu said:

I know water is important, but surely in the list of other targets - artillery, ammo depots, HQs, strongpoints etc - ...?.

 

Peter

It's not an 'either/ or' situation.

The Germans would use any intelligence they had on any point of any importance that could impact on the ability of the British army to wage war.

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The wording of the map above does indeed say that.

However many, or most, of the dots/letters and numbers seem to be at trench junctions, with some, in both blue and red areas, actually in the front line and outposts. Not normally battery positions ?

Peter 

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38 minutes ago, mebu said:

The wording of the map above does indeed say that.

However many, or most, of the dots/letters and numbers seem to be at trench junctions, with some, in both blue and red areas, actually in the front line and outposts. Not normally battery positions ?

Peter 

Peter,

We would need to say the full map of the extract to know. I know that the Germans did use a system of fixed points for artillery ranging, normally using numbers (the colour then indicated whether the point was inside German held territory or in enemy held territory etc). However, German maps can be very confusing and difficult to interpret as every Army had more or less its own system (of map squaring) and sometimes these systems changed during the war...

Jan

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We need to know the date of Arne's map in order to compare. I just wondered if there was anything obvious in the list of Units and there was not. I was'nt trying to say that water points were the targets.

Brian

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Hey,

Thanks in advance for the possible functions of the points.
The map is dated 1918.
I don't think they had that many artillery positions here in Proven.

Arne 

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Isn't it Canada Camp? One of the many camps/billets in the rear area for units out of the line.

Can we be certain the Germans knew precisely what the targets were. Aerial photo intelligence might show something of interest without any detail.

Modern day satelitte/drone intel doesn't appear to always get it right.

TEW

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Just to explain a bit. This is an extract from a German Batteriekarte (artillery map) of October 1917. One can clearly see the battery positions marked by the specific symbol and a letter. The numbers are the "ranging points" I was talking about.

Battery positions are always shown with the specific symbol, AFAIK.

 

map.jpg

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HOWEVER, maps from the 6. Armee have a different logic and always seem to use letters. It is ESSENTIAL to give us FULL DETAILS of the map in question before we can make any assumptions. I am now almost certain it is a 6. Armee map (judging by the letters used (starting with f g h within a square). This is a totally different matter.

The map shown by charlie2 is from yet another Armee and follows yet another logic...

(to everyone: forget what you thought to know about the German Army and how well organized and strict it was, to begin with, there was NO German Army, only the Navy and Colonial troops were German, all other units were Prussian (with some dependent armies) or Bavarian)

Jan

 

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On 28/11/2021 at 09:37, Arne Vandendriessche said:

Star.png

About that star:

I found an aerial view of a location where a star is marked on the map. There's a round big thing in that location that could have something to do with it. There were shafts on the farm where that thing is, so that may have something to do with it.
Attached that aerial photo

About those points:

I don't think it's about a settlement that was there but maybe just like Jan says something with coordinates or something. There are extremely many in a small location. And if it happened that much, it would be known.

Arne 

star.jpg

Edited by Arne Vandendriessche
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The WD of 14 Corps A&QMG August 1917 (WO 95/914/4) has a list of Billets and Camps established in the Staging and Proven areas. I picked out a few in F 9, F 10, F 15 and F 16.

Poundon Camp - F 15 d 1 7, Pitchcott Camp - F 9 c 8 8, Piddington Camp - F 16 b 2 9, Pilch Camp - F 15 b 8 8, Putlowes Camp - F 10 a 6 2, Priory Camp - F 10 c 8 6, Plaistow Camp - F 9 a 3 9 and Prade Camp F 9 a 5 9.

In 1917 the area was covered with camps which were being upgraded from tented to hutted camps by the RE. 

Brian

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