Book on Royal Saxon Army in WW1

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Chris Dale
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Book on Royal Saxon Army in WW1

Post by Chris Dale » 07 Mar 2021 15:57

I just got a great new book and wanted to post a review of it for you guys,

Fighting the Kaiser's War- The Saxons in Flanders 1914-1918
By Andrew Lucas, Jürgen Schmieschek
Pen & Sword

I don't believe there's ever been a book on the Royal Saxon Army in the First World War in the English language. Not just that, but this is a very good one indeed! The first part of the book goes year by year through the Saxon army units in Flanders and all their actions. This is a very detailed account, including full histories of individual actions, maps and lists of Order of Battle organisation. The second part of the book is made up of stories of Saxon soldiers told via previously unpublished diaries and letters from the men themselves. I've seen plenty of books before made up of trench diaries and plenty that describe unit histories and organisation but I've not usually read the two together in such a combination as this. They complement each other entirely, the letters bringing the histories to life. There are so many fascinating titbits of information to be gleaned from these, for example, German recollections of the 1914 Christmas Truce, the uncomfortable relations between Saxon and Württemberg officers and advice for soldiers if they were captured and interrogated. The third factor that makes this book such an essential purchase, is that it is literally crammed with more than 300 never seen before photographs of the Royal Saxon Army in Flanders. In short, this a quite stunning fact packed book, highly recommended book for anyone interested in First World War history, either on a tactical or personal level.

Enjoy,
Chris
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Sheldrake
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Re: Book on Royal Saxon Army in WW1

Post by Sheldrake » 07 Mar 2021 23:02

What a super book. I bought, downloaded and read most of it today. It has the German story of one of the actions we used to visit almost every week with British soldiers under training. This is the battle at Gheluvelt on 31 October 1914 which we told as the bayonet charge which saved the British Army. Here are a group of recruits re-enacting the charge
Gheluvelt_LR_8.jpg

The section on Infantry Regiment 105 included an accoiunt of the attack south of the road on 1st Queens position and even mentions the field gun of 2./FAR 84 which is knocked out. This is the gun knocked out by Lt Blewitt and B sub of 54 (Dragon) Battery RFA whiohc I wrote about here. http://www.theobservationpost.com/blog/?p=45
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Chris Dale
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Re: Book on Royal Saxon Army in WW1

Post by Chris Dale » 08 Mar 2021 14:38

Great book isn't it?
I didn't know British army training included such things...
Cheers
Chris

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Sheldrake
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Re: Book on Royal Saxon Army in WW1

Post by Sheldrake » 08 Mar 2021 20:21

Chris Dale wrote:
08 Mar 2021 14:38
I didn't know British army training included such things...
They have done so since 2000. Counter intuitively, taking recruits in week to see the graves of more people than are in the armed forces is an incentive to see out their training and not quit.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Book on Royal Saxon Army in WW1

Post by Sid Guttridge » 08 Mar 2021 22:01

Hi Guys,

How autonomous was the Saxon Army?

The Bavarian Army was initially sufficiently autonomous to have fought the opening actions of the Battle of the Frontiers in 1914 itself. There is an English language book on it titled The First Battle of the First World War. I started a short lived thread on it: viewtopic.php?f=72&t=223235&p=2026986&h ... y#p2026986

Cheers,

Sid.

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Sheldrake
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Re: Book on Royal Saxon Army in WW1

Post by Sheldrake » 09 Mar 2021 20:52

Sid Guttridge wrote:
08 Mar 2021 22:01
Hi Guys,

How autonomous was the Saxon Army?

The Bavarian Army was initially sufficiently autonomous to have fought the opening actions of the Battle of the Frontiers in 1914 itself. There is an English language book on it titled The First Battle of the First World War. I started a short lived thread on it: viewtopic.php?f=72&t=223235&p=2026986&h ... y#p2026986

Cheers,

Sid.
The different German states had slightly different levels of autonomy arising from their status after the wars of 1866 and 1870. Bavaria, Saxony and Württemberg maintained separate armies with different uniforms and numbering, although under Imerial operational control. Bavaria had the most autonomy and even had its on declaration of war. More about this here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Ar ... an_Empire)

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Book on Royal Saxon Army in WW1

Post by Sid Guttridge » 10 Mar 2021 01:25

Hi Sheldrake,

Thanks.

Sid.

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