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Campaigns in the Dolomites 1916-1918


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#1 GordonBoath

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 11:54 AM

Hi,

My wife's grandfather was in the Austro-Hungarian army and according to the family fought in the "Dolomites" and "got malaria in the swamp lands".

His name is Erich Muller (left in photo) and he was a Lieutenant in the Feldhaubitzregiment No 8 2nd Division (Field Howitzer Battalion).

I was just wondering if anyone could tell me what campaigns were fought around this area in 1916-1918.

He also had these very interesting cigarette cases which were engraved by all his battery officers. Xmas presents for service in the field.

Many thanks,

Gordon

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#2 Doc2

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 12:58 PM

Wikipedia gives a pretty good overview--- normal warnings about relying solely on Wiki apply. Take a look at:

http://en.wikipedia....gn_(World_War_I) Doc

#3 apple

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 03:38 PM

Not trying to step on your toes, Doc2. But, you were missing a close bracket ")" from the link. I've pasted a new one below.

Italian camp. WW1. Should work

P.S. You are right about relying on Wikipedia

#4 Glenn J

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 04:50 PM

Gordon,

Feldhaubitzregiment Nr. 8 (later Feldartillerieregiment Nr. 108) was a component of the famous 8. (Kaiserjäger-) Division. Following the division's early campaigning in Galicia, it was moved to the Italian theatre, initially on the Isonzo front in June 1915. From the beginning of October 1915 onwards, it served in the South Tyrol and saw action in many of the major battles of that campaign including the May 1916 offensive in the South Tyrol at Folgaria and Lavarone and at Asiago and Arsiero. It saw extremely difficult fighting at Pasubio in late October 1916 through 1918 and in 1918 ended the war in the withdrawal to Trient and back to the Tyrol proper.

Leutnant in der Reserve Erich Müller was commissioned on 1 Feb 1917.

Regards
Glenn

#5 GordonBoath

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 11:05 PM

Thanks guys for all your help with the wikipedia links.

Glen J, appreciate the information on the Kaiserjager division. Will look them up further.

In regards to commissioned dates etc, are your sources online or from books? Much appreciated.

I've got Erich Muller's commission "certificate" which also states on the back his term of service in the Italian front. Any German readers would be greatly appreciated if they can spare a minute to give me a brief outline of the text.

Once again, obliged to everyone for there time and knowledge,

Cheers,

Gordon

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#6 Glenn J

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 08:37 AM

Gordon,

a wee bit of the text is missing but basically it translates as:

Leutnant in der Reserve Erich Müller has served on active service with FAR 108 from 15 July to 30 November 1918, participated in the campaign against Italy, and has been returned to non active status.

The effective date of his seniority was published in the 1918 k.u.k. Army List of which I have a copy (over 2,200 pages!!) Leutnant Müller was the recipient of a Bronze Bravery Medal and a Karl Troop Cross.

Regards
Glenn

#7 Tom W.

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 09:35 AM

October 17, 1917 - The detached platoon of Leutnant Jahns, Garde-Reserve-Pionier-Regiment, attacked Italian trenches on Mount Piano at Schluderbach in the Dolomites. A steep ravine 55 yards deep separated the opposing positions; the Austrians had not been able to advance because Italian machine guns swept the slope on the near side of the depression. Platoon Jahns slid with its flamethrowers down the snow-covered mountain side, moving so quickly that the enemy did not see them. The platoon then climbed up out of the ravine to within 10 feet of the Italians and opened fire in a surprise attack, silencing a machine-gun position on the precipice and rolling up the trenches.

October 18 - The detached platoon of Leutnant Hübner, Garde-Reserve-Pionier-Regiment, took part in a large-scale nighttime reconnaissance in force on Monte Solgi Bianchi in Italy. Using 12 portable flamethrowers on a front of 330 yards, Platoon Hübner achieved breakthrough, rolled up trenches, and smoked the enemy out of dugouts and caves. A total of 300 prisoners were taken.

November 16 - The detached platoon of Leutnant Hübner launched a surprise attack against positions on Mount Cornella and the village of Quero on the Piave River. The platoon crossed almost 700 yards of open terrain under covering fire from artillery and captured the village, taking 585 prisoners.

November 22 - The detached platoon of Leutnant Hübner made a surprise attack on Mount Tomba southwest of Quero on the Piave River. The platoon climbed almost 200 yards up the mountain side and completely surprised the Italians, who put up a fierce resistance. Breakthrough was achieved; trenches were rolled up; and machine guns were silenced. A total of 835 prisoners, four mountain cannon, and 40 machine guns were captured.

Although more attacks were carried out on the Italian front, the commander of the flamethrower regiment wrote that it was not possible to describe them individually. This period was characterized by the use of single flame shock troops that often had to cross up to 1100 yards of open terrain and engage in arduous mountain warfare. The physical destruction of the battlefield, due to the pounding of heavy-caliber shells, prevented the flamethrower regiment from deploying their emplaced large flamethrowers as often as in the past. Consequently, large flamethrowers were put into action just 1- times on the Italian front in 1917, once with 20 such devices. To make up for this deficit, increased numbers of small flamethrowers were deployed, up to 101 in one operation.

#8 GordonBoath

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 02:04 AM

Thanks guys for all your help.

Thats a lot of excellent information for me to delve deeply into...

Much appreciated!

Cheers,

Gordon

#9 bob lembke

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 05:31 AM

Hi,

My wife's grandfather was in the Austro-Hungarian army and according to the family fought in the "Dolomites" and "got malaria in the swamp lands".

Gordon


There was a great deal of malaria about in Europe in years past. In 1915 my father contracted malaria at Gallipoli, and in the same year my grand-father contracted malaria in the marshes in Russia, and his health was damaged, and he never again served at the front, but was able to do useful service in rear areas.

I had a Russian friend about 1976, and she contracted malaria in urban Leningrad in the 1960's; worse yet, since supposedly one of the glories of Soviet Communism was the eradication of malaria, a doctor diagnosing it might be charged with a political crime, this complicating receiving proper care. I am sure no such problems were encountered in the Party hospitals.

Bob Lembke

#10 GordonBoath

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 02:26 AM

Thanks Bob.

Interesting to hear that Malaria could be a "political diagnosis" in the Eastern Bloc.

Cheers,

Gordon

#11 ildebrando74

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 09:09 AM

Dear Gordon,
it is possible that your relative fought in Pasubio area.
I love this battlefield, and often I hike that mountain full of tunnels and rocky trenches.
If you like some photos and you are sure that your relative was there, please contact me at diegozatelli@yahoo.it
Just yesterday it was 93 years that war ended on italian front; only few people remind this in my country, but I always remeber the end of war.
93 years ago we were enemies, now we are in peace and friend. Wonderful.

Thanks Bob.

Interesting to hear that Malaria could be a "political diagnosis" in the Eastern Bloc.

Cheers,

Gordon



#12 Heid the Ba'

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 11:25 AM

It is very much an overview but "The White War" by Mark Thomson gives an idea of the battles and the conditions. Your chap's division will be mentioned but probably not more detailed than that.



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