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Remembered Today:

egbert

My climb up Hartmannsweilerkopf (HWK)

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egbert

I have already posted two picture-threads from my visits to the Vosges mountain battlegrounds here on GWF. They are "My walk from Schratzmännele via Barrenkopf to Kleinkopf" and "My climb up to the Buchenkopf".
Asked by many pals here for a continuation of the Vosges battleground "series", I am ready to let you participate in my two excursions to the mountain of the mountains, the most tragic, the bitter faught and the most bloody of all - the Hartmannsweilerkopf (HWK). The HWK mostly saw the fiercest battles in 1915, heavy artillery bombardments continued until 1918. The mountain cost the lifes of some 30.000+ brave men, who stayed up there, guarding the mighty HWK for eternity.
The thread will evolve over time with hundreds of pictures. So please come in and join the -

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egbert

On my first tour I was accompanied by my friend Louis, a French expert on the Vosges battlegrounds. The tour lasted 8 hrs, was some 12 km long and included 600m height difference.

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egbert

Here is an overview of the morning tour which starts at famous Hirtzenstein which has its own history of fierce battles, follow the lovely mountain stream "Goldbach" to fortresses "Unterer Rehfelsen", Mittlerer Rehfelsen", "Jägerfelsen", "Aussichtsfelsen" to the summit of HWK.

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egbert

Partial view from starting point Hirtzenstein. This historic picture gives full view of HWK southern slope .

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Historic picture of Hirtzenstein who changed sides many times

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egbert

At first I thought what a lovely walk along the Goldbach stream......

passing the place of German wartime baths called Leopoldsbad

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This is what is left today, just a small stream in a side valley

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egbert

This picture shows the same place more busy then

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egbert

Walking through Goldbach valley the first bunkers and trenches come up. This one with old inscriptions

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egbert

Around the corner a memory pyramid with inscription "Den Tapferen Gefallenen" = dedicated to the brave fallen. Once the place of a cemetery in "Camp Möllendorf"

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egbert

Post war picture from same pyramid including the plaque with the names of the fallen

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keithjk

Nice one Egbert. I look forward to following the HWK saga

Keith

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Tony Ring

At last more interesting photographs.

Thank you

Tony

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mandy hall

Looking forward to following your expedition.

Mandy

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tim_oz

Egbert

wonderful Im looking forward to you pictures as always

Tim B

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egbert

Walking further the easy path, this memorial shows up , dedicated to the "Fallen of the Gelben (Yellow) Ulanen April 1915

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egbert

I should also mention , that all following pictures up to the summit were taken in the German frontlines, so all infrastructure you see is German. I will later explicitely point out the French frontline structures.

Not far behind the memorial is an ancient well, now run dry, from Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment (LIR) 56

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egbert

Walking along the valley we pass some ascends to higher located front line trenches...

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egbert

....and lots of bunkers, dug-outs and mountain galleries

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egbert

In the vicinity of deeply bored galleries this memorial from Ulans "Welcome you dear barracks"

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egbert

Entrance to underground galleries

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egbert

Louis is a real expert on HWK. He knows each rock, stone and pebble by name. Here he leads into a gallery

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egbert

Exiting the galleries

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egbert

This next picture is interesting. It shows an 8000V power cable used by the Germans. One of the side effects Louis explained to me: they wired the frontline and thus protected their first line trenches from intruders and unwanted guests .

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egbert

This sign hints to the constructors of the bunker which is situated above a bored gallery "8.Kompanie LIR 56"

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egbert

Some few yards later, this plaque, carved in the rocks above the "Maschinenstollen" honors dead soldiers from Garde-Jäger-Bataillon

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spconnolly007

Ive been looking forward to your thread egbert. Hope to be visiting some of the battlefield after our Verdun trip :thumbsup:

Regards

Sean

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