MHO Home   Forum Home   Help   Register   Login
 
 
Welcome to MilitaryHistoryOnline.com.
You are not signed in.
The current time is: 7/17/2018 11:14:12 PM
 (1914-1918) WWI Battles
AuthorMessage
Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 3067

Mont Kemmel +100
Posted on: 4/29/2018 2:51:08 AM
This very week one hundred years ago the German offensive on the Western Front entailed the capture of a bastion of Flanders : Mt Kemmel.

It was a dramatic action, involving elite Alpine troops specially deployed by the Germans, a very significant participation by aircraft and, as usual, a bombardment of stupefying intensity . A good example of combined arms operations.

Although this was the sector of the front under the British aegis, French troops had been moved in to hold this position.

The German success here gave rise to some toxic blame game in the Entente camp. The French had sneered at the British for the German success of March, and now the British could return the favour when the French lost the Kemmelberg.

The ferocity of the fighting is attested by an ossuary that contains the remains of several thousand Frenchmen who were killed in this action.

It’s an extraordinary place to visit. The hill dominates so much of the surrounding Flanders flats. There is a distinctly Teutonic - or should I say Bavarian ? - feel to the place, and I get the impression that there a lots of German visitors.

This represents a kind of high water mark of German success in WW1.


Didn’t want to let the centennial pass by without mentioning this.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 4241

Re: Mont Kemmel +100
Posted on: 4/29/2018 4:39:19 AM

Image: Kemmelberg (New Zealand Government Archives)

Cheers,

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6794
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Mont Kemmel +100
Posted on: 4/29/2018 7:55:44 AM
South of Ieper Mont Kemmel was held in a thin defensive line by the British 19th Division.

At 08:30 hours following two and a half hours of bombardment, the German infantry attacked the British lines but were bloodily beaten off and failed to break through.

That evening the French 28th Division took over responsibility for the Front Line at Kemmel and the hill itself. They also held the rear at the Scherpenberg, a smaller hill to the north west of Kemmel and where the British had undergone training in June 1917 for the great victory at Messines - now back in German hands after the briefest of struggles.

The situation was becoming increasingly difficult for the Allies and considerations about a strategic withdrawal were put forward. Such thoughts were rebuffed by General Foch who dispatched a further 3 French Divisions to bolster the British Line.

A quiet interlude
From the 19th to the 24th April the Germans appeared to have called a halt to their attack, and new worries began in the Allied camp that a new strike was being planned elsewhere - perhaps once again on the Somme ?

In fact the Germans were merely preparing their assault on Mont Kemmel.

By the morning of 25 April the French had taken over the entire line between Bailleul (Now in German hands) and Spanbroekmolen, where the Irish and Ulster Divisions had, side by side, stormed through the German lines less than a year before


Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3680

Re: Mont Kemmel +100
Posted on: 4/29/2018 9:34:02 AM

Quote:

Image: Kemmelberg (New Zealand Government Archives)

Cheers,

BW
--BWilson



B,

That image shows what war can do to a landscape!?

Thanks for posting,
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6794
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Mont Kemmel +100
Posted on: 5/18/2018 4:43:43 AM
On 11 April Haig issued his famous “backs to the wall” order – “with our backs to the wall and
believing in the justice of our cause each us must fight on to the end”. Perhaps more important
was the arrival of reinforcements in the shape of the 5th and 33rd British Divisions and the 1st
Australian Division. On 14 April Foch was promoted to General-in-Chief of the Allied Armies, givin
g him enough authority to move French units to the Lys.

Despite this help, Plumer was forced to withdraw from the Passchendaele Ridge. On 25 April the
Germans achieved their last major successes of the battle, capturing Mount Kemmel. A final atta
ck on 29 April captured another high point, the Scherpenberg, but the general progress of the atta
ck on 29 April convinced Ludendorff to call off the offensive.

Both sides suffered heavy losses during the battle of the Lys. The Germans lost 120,000 of the
800,000 men engaged in the battle, while British and French losses had been on the same scale.
Once again Ludendorff had failed to achieve his main target. In some respects the main impact of
the battle of the Lys came after the war. The only significant achievement of the dreadful fightin
g during the third battle of Ypres (1917) was the seizure of Passchendaele Ridge. Now in twenty
days everything gained in 1917 had been lost. The fighting on the Lys in 1918 made the fighting
around Ypres in 1917 look even more futile. Ironically the fighting of 1918, despite causing a
short term crisis, caused critical damage to the German army, and helped to prepare the way for
the great Allied counterattacks of the last hundred days of the war.

Source War History

Regards

Jim

---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 4241

Re: Mont Kemmel +100
Posted on: 5/18/2018 6:42:44 AM

Quote:
B,

That image shows what war can do to a landscape!?

Thanks for posting,
MD


Dave,

 I'm amazed an area as flat as Flanders has terrain like that.

 After the Second War, several German cities had surrounding hills artificially elevated by the amount of rubble from bombing that was dumped. Photo of one by Stuttgart follows.



Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Phil Andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 3067

Re: Mont Kemmel +100
Posted on: 5/18/2018 11:25:25 AM
The area contains one or two prominent features. The Kemmelberg is one, and Mt Cassel another. I think the region is known as The Flanders Alps. An incongruous association, I must admit.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

 Forum Ads from Google