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History November 10, 1914

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by Martin Rohmann, Nov 9, 2020.

  1. Martin Rohmann A Fixture

    Langemarck - Myth and Truth ...

    On November 10, 1914, there was heavy fighting at the towns of Noordschote and Bikschote (near Ypres) in the Belgian province of West Flanders as part of the so-called "First Battle of Flanders".

    In the early morning the German commanders sent wave after wave with nearly 10,000 hastily (and completely inadequately trained!) Young volunteers from the 51st and 52nd reserve divisions of General Otto von Hügel...


    ... commanded XXVI. Reserve corps into enemy fire to take a range of hills, mostly very young men who had only volunteered in August 1914 in a patriotic frenzy!


    The losses among the war volunteers are horrendous - within a very short time 2059 German soldiers are killed! More than 25 percent of the troop.


    The losses of the two reserve regiments 235 and 236 (Colonel von Gilsa and Colonel Wilhelmi) are terrible, entire companies are literally mowed down by British fire, the commanders fall, sergeants lead companies. Some combat groups reach the target, but they cannot hold on there!




    The message published by the Supreme Army Command (OHL) reads as follows in its full wording:

    “To the west of Langemarck, young regiments advanced against the first line of enemy positions to the chant 'Germany, Germany above all' and took them. About 2,000 French line infantry were captured and six machine guns captured. "


    Not a word is true about the message!

    Firstly, the fighting took place six kilometers from the village of Langemarck (today: Langemark) - the OHL only chose the name because it was easier to pronounce in German ...:


    Second, the target - the same range of hills - was not captured!

    Third, no "2000 French" were captured.

    And fourth, the attackers didn't sing!
    Not even a German war volunteer is so stupid that he goes to certain death singing - especially if he is to storm a fortified position uphill with full baggage and weapons ...

    Nevertheless, the "Langemarck myth" was born, the fairy tale of the blindly obedient, patriotic soldier who, singing the national anthem, storms against the enemy and willingly sacrifices his life for the fatherland.

    And so many newspapers printed the report back then and supplemented it with phrases about the "sacrifice of German youth".



    The "Langemarck myth" has a long life - it was not until August 2014, a hundred years after the event, that the German Museum in Munich, for example, corrected its Langemarck passages on the museum website ...

    As the saying goes: The first victim in war is always the truth ...
    Old Pete, Ferris, Airkid and 3 others like this.
  2. Nap A Fixture

    Again Martin we learn from your history threads

    I knew a little about this but now know more

    Thank you always enjoyable

  3. grasshopper A Fixture

    Well done Martin. Great perspective
    Martin Rohmann likes this.

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