Features

Feature articles by our authors, including supplementary material for our books. As time allows, I intend to archive all of my weekly articles for Colonel Joe Robinson's excellent WW1 German history group in this section. There will also be occasional miscellaneous exclusive pieces here.

It will certainly take a while to convert the epic six-part series on my great-grandfather's war service into webpages, so for now you can read it at the following PUBLIC Facebook links (you DO NOT need a Facebook account to view these):

My Great-Grandfather’s War: Part 1 (pre-war and 1914-1915)
My Great-Grandfather’s War: Part 2 (La-Ville-aux-Bois in detail)
My Great-Grandfather’s War: Part 3 (Schloss Belval in detail)
My Great-Grandfather’s War: Part 4 (1916-1917)
My Great-Grandfather’s War: Part 5 (January to September 1918)
My Great-Grandfather’s War: Part 6 (the final battles and post-war)

Here's the rest of the (growing) backlog:

The Jägerheim and Jägerfriedhof - Resting Places of RJB 26, 1914-1915
A Saxon Cemetery on French Soil - the Soldatenfriedhof Quesnoy-sur-Deûle
Old, slow and devastating - Mörser-Batterie 201 and 202 in Flanders, 1915-1916
The Watch in the Saxon Mountains - Grenzschutztruppen of XII. and XIX. Armeekorps, 1914-1919
The 'Krug von Nidda-Heim' and 'Zum Fidelen Blindgänger' - rear area oases of the 24. Infanterie-Division
From occupied Belgium to Alsace and the Niemen - Landsturm-Infanterie-Bataillon Dresden XII.1 and XII.2
From Bautzen to the Białowieża Forest - Landsturm-Infanterie-Bataillon Bautzen XII.3 and Meissen XII.4
Middle-aged militiamen versus machine-guns - Landsturm-Infanterie-Bataillon Pirna XII.5 (and Freiberg XII.6)
From Wachstuchmütze to Stahlhelm: the Evolution of Landsturm-Infanterie-Bataillon Zittau XII.7

Bandsman of Jäger-Bataillon 13 in autumn 1914

This article elaborates on what you can expect to find in each chapter of our new book For King and Kaiser. German-speaking readers can also expect to find much the same content in the original German-language version of this book, Von Armentières nach Langemarck.

This preview is illustrated with some of the many relevant pictures which either arrived too late to be included (the illustrated military historian's perennial frustration) or else were excluded in favour of others.

In some cases, the pictures shown here are directly connected to others which DID make it into print - e.g. by belonging to the same group or album. Therefore even those esteemed few who already own both books (thankyou, we love you all!) have some exclusive material here to enjoy.

Fritz Lehmann in his Pfadfinder uniform

Tragic stories of boys who lied about their age to join the army are all too familiar to British readers. Likewise, there were undoubtedly many underage volunteers in the ranks of XXVII. Reservekorps when it arrived in Flanders in October 1914. But what of those who were rejected as too young, yet remained hell-bent on reaching the front?

In this article we take a look at Fritz Lehmann of Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr.245 and many other adventurous or foolish lads who are mentioned or hinted at in the surviving sources.

This piece expands on some brief references in the diary entries of Major Alfred von Heygendorff as featured in For King and Kaiser.

This week we return to the First Battle of Ypres to introduce another diarist from my first book together with Jürgen Schmieschek, Fighting the Kaiser's War.

On 25th October 1914, Einjährig-Freiwilliger Curt Penther of 6. Kompagnie / Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr.242 (53. Reserve-Division / XXVII. Reservekorps) took part in the regiment's first full-scale assault against the British defensive positions on the Menin Road, at the village of Kruseik.

Wounded a week later, he subsequently described his experiences in a letter from hospital to his sweetheart.

Roland Garros in German captivity

This is the third in my blog series for Colonel Joe Robinson's Facebook group WW1 German History. He is continuing to archive them on his website here.

This time I'm drawing on the writings of the highest-ranking diarist to be featured in Fighting the Kaiser's War, namely Generalmajor Richard Kaden of 116. Infanterie-Brigade.

Upon the prudent advice of my lovely wife Diana I'm changing the format a little, so we will now BEGIN with the diary excerpt. Keener readers can then keep reading for additional detail on the events described and full biographical notes on the diarist! :)

This is the second in my blog series for Colonel Joe Robinson's Facebook group WW1 German History. He is also archiving them on his website here.

Herein we introduce the most prominent of our featured diarists from For King and Kaiser, Major (later Oberstleutnant) Alfred von Heygendorff, revered commander of RIR 245.

The book draws extensively on von Heygendorff's diary entries from both the First and Second Battles of Ypres. In this article we look at the critical situation in which he found himself upon taking command of the regiment at the height of the fighting in October 1914.