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mikereme

German Spring Offensive 1918 (Ypres Salient)

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mikereme   
mikereme

Hello,

Would it be possible to help me am researching my great uncle who died during the german spring offensive 1918...he was with the 9th Scottish Div (9th Bn MGC),located in St Eloi area, Piccadilly Farm. I am aware the 4th German Army, where in the attack but want to exactly which german unit/units where at his location....just a long shot I know...I thank you in anticipation...

 

pte williams ts.jpg

Edited by mikereme
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The Prussian   
The Prussian

Hello!

No, not 4th army. The 9th scottish division was part of the 5th army (Gough). HQ Amiens. German opponents were the 2nd army, who attacked over Cambrai/Bapaume.

Unfortunately you didn´t tell us a date.

I´ve got two maps. One is from March 3, the other one is from March, 26.

You´ll see there were different places and different opponents. I couldn´t find St. Eloi. Maybe you can locate it?

Scannen0001.jpg

Scannen0002.jpg

Edited by The Prussian

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mva   
mva

hello,

I found 'Mont Saint Eloi' in Département Pas de Calais : https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mont-Saint-Éloi

and : https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abbaye_du_mont_Saint-Éloi   ( le mont Saint-Eloi fut un des points stratégiques pour la défense d'Arras et de la ligne de front alors toute proche. Point d'observation privilégié par les troupes françaises, le site fut donc aussi une cible évidente pour les Allemands qui bombardèrent sans relâche la colline entre 1914 et 1915. Les tours alors au centre des bombardements furent de nouveaux abîmées pour prendre leur aspect actuel. )  but 14/15, not 18 !

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The Prussian   
The Prussian

Well, there is a St. Eloi souteast of Ypres, Belgium. That would fit with the german 4th army, but not with the 9th scottish division...:unsure:

But note, the division later was transfered to the 2nd army and fought in april in Belgium!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9th_(Scottish)_Division

http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/order-of-battle-of-divisions/9th-scottish-division/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/History-9Th-Scottish-Division/dp/1843421909

AND HAVE A LOOK HERE:
https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/maps/units/1051/9th-scottish-division/3366/1st-battalion/

Edited by The Prussian

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The Prussian   
The Prussian

Addition.

I´m sorry. I didn´t read, you named your threat "Ypres"....

So it´s clear. It was the german 4th army ( Battle of the Lys Salient)

British 2nd army vs. german 4th army (probably 7th division with infantry regiments 26, 165 and 398)

The map shows April 29. So the 9th scottish division is not mentioned there, but probably the german division is the same.

9th sottish division:

Battle of Messines April 10-11 with IX.Corps (2nd army)

Second battle of Kemmel April 25-26 with XXII. Corps (2nd army)

Capture of Meteren July, 19 with XV. Corps (2nd army)

http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/battles/battles-of-the-western-front-in-france-and-flanders/the-battles-of-the-lys-1918/

http://www.wartimememoriesproject.com/greatwar/allied/mgcompany.php?pid=10535

 

Scannen0001.jpg

Edited by The Prussian

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The Prussian   
The Prussian

By the way...

April, 17 the 9th division was located near Wytschaete. Right between Wytschaete and Ypres is St. Eloi (Sint Elooi)

If you look here:

https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/maps/units/1051/9th-scottish-division/3366/1st-battalion/

Click: Capture of Hoegenacker Ridge and then in the map on "next", then yo´ll see, the division marched right through the area of St. Eloi!

So we have the time period from August 18 until September 28. I don´t know. when they exactly marched  through St. Eloi.

Screenshot (128).png

Scannen0001.jpg

Edited by The Prussian

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Fattyowls   
Fattyowls

Mike

 

Following on from my friend Don Regiano's post this is the area of Piccadilly Farm today. The photo was taken from the vicinity of the largest of the St Eloi mine craters (the one blown for the Messines operation in June 1917). The pool left by the mine is behind me and the church on the horizon is Whitesheet (I can never spell the correct Flemish version). I think this would put Piccadilly Farm just behind the buildings across the field on the other side of the road you can see climbing the Messines ridge to the village. Probably.

 

Pete.

59b3e56a652f2_WhitesheetfromStEloicrater.JPG.c3941d4f89b1d6c8304ed3f5d29952ee.JPG

 

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The Prussian   
The Prussian

Brilliant research, Don and Pete!

That will be the point, where the german 7th division stood!

The recordings of the 251 divisions say, that the 7th division fought near Hollebeke, Messines, Wytschaete between April 9 and May 1.

 

Edited by The Prussian

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sassenach   
sassenach

Slightly off topic, but could anyone suggest a book that covers the 1918 fighting in the Ypres Salient in detail? 

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Fattyowls   
Fattyowls
3 hours ago, sassenach said:

Slightly off topic, but could anyone suggest a book that covers the 1918 fighting in the Ypres Salient in detail? 

 

Try to get hold of a copy of ' The Battle for Flanders' by Chris Baker. What Chris doesn't know about the 1918 offensive isn't worth knowing. I could well be wrong but the focus of the fighting was to the south of Ypres as per Andy's map in post 5. If I remember rightly the front line around Ypres was given up voluntarily for a line close to the town, closer than at any other time of the war.

 

Pete.

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AOK4   
AOK4
6 minutes ago, Fattyowls said:

 

Try to get hold of a copy of ' The Battle for Flanders' by Chris Baker. What Chris doesn't know about the 1918 offensive isn't worth knowing. I could well be wrong but the focus of the fighting was to the south of Ypres as per Andy's map in post 5. If I remember rightly the front line around Ypres was given up voluntarily for a line close to the town, closer than at any other time of the war.

 

Pete.

 

Not in the South. The British withdrew from the Ypres Salient voluntarily, but were forced back in the Wytschaete Salient during the German offensive.

 

Jan

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Fattyowls   
Fattyowls
29 minutes ago, AOK4 said:

 

Not in the South. The British withdrew from the Ypres Salient voluntarily, but were forced back in the Wytschaete Salient during the German offensive.

 

Jan

 

Quite right Jan; the fighting for the Messines ridge and places like Neuve Eglise and Kemmel was fierce and bloody; something that Chris Baker covers. I should have qualified what I said to say the northern part of the line.

 

Pete.

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sassenach   
sassenach

Thanks, both. That's exactly the kind of stuff I'm keen to learn more about.

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The Prussian   
The Prussian

If we have a closer look at the map in #5, we could say, that the 7th Inf.Div. was north of St. Eloi.

I´d rather be saying, the opponents of the 9th scottish division were the 13th Res.Div.

13.Res.Div.: located April 19 in Thielt, April 22 in Dixmude, rested until April 24 in Ledeghem, then it marched to Wytschaete, April 25 attack at Voormezeele.

Units: Reserve-Regiments 13, 39, 57

 

To me the 9th Scots could have met the 13th Res.Div. in the middle of april!

You can buy the history here (written by John Ewing, I hope it´s not J.R. Ewing :rolleyes:...):

https://www.amazon.de/HISTORY-SCOTTISH-DIVISION-John-Ewing-ebook/dp/B074V9CKRZ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1505022088&sr=8-1&keywords=9th+scottish

I also found out that the division fought at 10th, 11th, 16h and 25th of april.

Here is the history online and a map of the 9th Scots in that period

http://lib.militaryarchive.co.uk/library/divisional-histories/library/The-History-of-the-9th-Scottish-Division/HTML/index.asp#/1/

 

Screenshot (132).png

Edited by The Prussian

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mikereme   
mikereme

Gentlemen, 

 

WOW what can I say thank you so much..I did forget to mention that this was the Ypres Salient...St Eloi/Piccadilly Farm area...he was the with 9th Scottish Division (as shown in the map)..i have an air photo from 1917..(april) around the Mound Area St Eloi....it shows the craters...but the date confuses me... where other mines exploded prior to 1917...messines offensive

http://digitalarchive.mcmaster.ca/islandora/object/macrepo%3A5217/-/collection&view

 

Finally can you clarify the german unit for the assault in St Eloi for my great uncle....

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The Prussian   
The Prussian

Hello!

Please check #16. To me it´s

13.Res.Div.: located April 19 in Thielt, April 22 in Dixmude, rested until April 24 in Ledeghem, then it marched to Wytschaete, April 25 attack at Voormezeele.

Units: Reserve-Regiments 13, 39, 57

IT MUST BE THE BATTLE OF VOORMEZEELE; APRIL 25!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Edited by The Prussian

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mikereme   
mikereme

Yes thats it...some of the guns were moved from the Mound....and to dead dog farm and finally located at the vierstraat line ...thank you my friend...any advice with air photo...?

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mikereme   
mikereme

Thank you....this great just reading up on the 13th Reserve Div..

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The Prussian   
The Prussian

Here are the battles of the 13th Res.Div.

http://wiki-de.genealogy.net/13._Reserve-Division_(WK1)

In another book I read, that the german XXVIII.Res.Corps took St.Eloi at April 25, late evening and they took 3000 prisoners and 15 guns

 

Edited by The Prussian

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The Prussian   
The Prussian

Here you see the front at St.Eloi was exactly at April 25.

There is a german book, called "Kemmel" (by Gustav Goes), which has a chapter "Against Groote Vierstraat and St. Eloi"

I read, that St. Eloi was taken by Res.Inf.Rgt.13 and Inf.Rgt.393 (from 7th Division).

Left of St. Eloi you can see "Rotes Haus" (Red House). In the book is written, that the Res.Inf.Rgt.39 and the Res.Fieldart.Rgt.13  fought the British in that house and against the Bayern- and Hessenwald (Bavarian Wood and Hessian Wood). Unfortunately the british units are not named.

There also is aphoto, called "A scottish regiment marches to the Kemmel"

Scannen0002.jpg

Scannen0001.jpg

Edited by The Prussian

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The Prussian   
The Prussian

Here is a better scan.

In Don´s #7 the Picadilly Fram is located south of St. Eloi. The "Quarante wood" with the number 7 is the Bayern-Wald.

Maybe "Bauernhof" (Farm) is Picadilly Farm?

That´s exactly the direction the Res.Inf.Rgt.13 and Res.Fieldart,.Rgt.13 fought the British (in this case the Scottish...)

Another sentence in the book is: "In front of the RIR39 stood the englishmen with their machine-guns and their shag-pipes in the mouth..."

I think, these are the infos you looked for, mate! If we ever meet sometimes, I´ll have a nice Ale, slàinte mhath, or better Iechid da?

Scannen0001.jpg

Scannen0001.jpg

Edited by The Prussian

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mikereme   
mikereme

I will buy you more than one Ale my friend....My great uncle was from Wales, we are on a pilgrimage next year and will mention the germans..and their bravery! thank you so much my friend....

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