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.

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.

Oberleutnant der Reserve Alfred (or Alexander) Pache

This is the first in a series of weekly blog posts for Colonel Joe Robinson's Facebook group WW1 German History to promote our upcoming book For King and Kaiser. I will be archiving them all on here as and when I find the time to catch up.

The new book includes new personal accounts, from one of which I have taken today's extract. Herein we introduce our featured diarist, Oberleutnant der Reserve Alfred (or Alexander) Pache of IR 182. Freed from the pressure of space, I've expanded the biographical information to enlarge on Pache's later career and added some newly discovered biographical details. I am indebted to my wife Diana Zachau for discovering the shocking circumstances of his death!

My choice of subject was inspired by the crowdfunded excavations at Hill 80 in Wytschaete, which lay inside the regimental sector described in today's extract. The same archaeological team has recently unearthed evidence of the Kortestollen, a huge accommodation gallery constructed by the Prussians who took over Wytschaete from the Saxons in 1916.