1914

Further progress of the war in 1914.
November 1

Attack along the north side in the early morning. At the French 143th the order was given to attack the village of Wijtschate. The Germans are in the fields north of the Houthem Street and carry white bracelets to distinguish themselves from the enemy. The Germans pull towards Castel's direction and enter Wijtschate, hard fighting is being delivered, the Germans can drift to the west of Wijtschate (Poperingestraat-Kemmelstraat). Around 4 o'clock the village is occupied by the Germans. However, because German artillery continues to fend on Wijtschate and the French persistently attacks with 6 regiments (one regiment counts + -1500 men), Germans have to retreat to the east side of Wijtschate at 6 o'clock. The French throw for Wijtschate the 2nd Cavalry Division Conneau, the 32nd, 39rd, and 43rd division in the battle. (One division counts 15,000 soldiers)

Attack along the south side in the early morning. A few German regiments are in the farm "The Torreken" -Soenen (Pappelhof) in the Houthemstraat, from there they go to the Ieperstraat, then to the Schoolstraat and Wulvergemstraat to occupy the heights, this attack runs simultaneously with the north side. The struggle is violent, the French are in a position, they shoot the Germans from hedges, windows, basement holes and roof windows. Around 3:30 the goal was reached, the Germans occupied the tramway, the French used a counterattack, there are street fighting and the Germans must retreat. Here too many dead and injured people have fallen. The Germans gather at the Wambeke and in the appeal, 30% of the soldiers are missing in some regiments

On the road Wijtschate-Mesen for the Helletje and more to Wijtschate, the Germans take in the positions of the British, the farm Verrat (now Vanhoutte) remains despite the fierce defense of the British in German hands. The windmill (now Vermeersch) is taken, and the right wing of the 26th German Infantry Division reaches the street Wijtschate-Mesen in the afternoon, it is the night before the Germans the full track Wijtschate-Mesen and the heights in their Possess.

The battle in Mesen and the Wijtschaatse Komenstraat, Middelhoek and Ieperhoek. In the afternoon everything is in German hands, the British pull back to the inn "In the Kruisstraat", the battle for possession of Mesen is over in one day, the Germans dig up to the Douvebeek on either side in of the road Wulvergem-Mesen.

A new attack on Wijtschate from Oosttaverne after afternoon, the Germans move to Wijtschate in 2 groups, the right wing wants to attack via the Sterrebos (Bossenstraat and Hollebekestaat) while the left wing stretches along the Houthemstraat. At 15 o'clock the left wing begins a new attack against Wijtschate along the Houthemstraat, the fighting is violent, to reduce losses, soldiers move forward separately to rejoin Wijtschate. The Germans are suddenly shot by their own artillery, Germans have to fight against the Return to the east side of Wijtschate, the right wing of the Germans moves forward from the conquered Sterrebos along Bossenstraat and Hollebekestraat, at the end of the evening they have to retreat.

From Oosttaverne towards Sint Elooi, in the name of Oosttaverne in the direction of Sint Elooi to Waterstraat, Hollebekestraat and Bruggestraat, the farms north of Strength are still strongly defended, the Germans conquer the Sterrebos defended by the Indians. German losses are that day: 1 officer, 7 officers and 35 grenadiers dropped, there are 210 injured.

In November 1914, R.I.R. 16 in which Adolf Hitler serves at Bethlehem Farm.

Look at the map where you see the course on 1 November 1914 indicated by the letter B

November 2

Fight the Germans with a new attack. The fighting continues until November 10, 1914. The enemy infiltrates the Dutch Barn and is stopped. The fights are very fierce and extreme, fought with spades and hills. The Germans are In the majority and in artillery, but can not make it into the village.

November 3

The Wijtschate forest, between Wijtschatestraat and Vierstraat, was occupied by the Urach Gruppe Urach and the 26th Infantry Division who were forced to force a breakthrough towards Kemmel.

November 4

For Wijtschate there are many dead French, the whole day lies wisely under fire by the British, the French are trying a counter attack, but they are beaten, French losses are very high. The Germans make a new attack on Wijtschatebos, however, the opposition is very large so that they are only slowly moving forward. In the Houthemstraat in "Torreken", the Germans build a telephone exchange. The Germans now want to conquer the B2 forest, under severe losses they reach the Ieper Street from Sterrebos, after a few failed attempts they can take part of the B2 forest and hit lightly until the Ieper Street. The German losses are great: 10 officers, 202 Jäger at a battle of 16 officers and 786 Jäger. There are heavy fights on the Spanbroek mill, the Germans occupy the houses around the Kruisstraat. During the day there were heavy bombings on the Kruisstraat and the Germans managed to occupy a part of the Kruisstraat. Losses: 85 men.

November 5

At 6 o'clock, the Bavarian soldiers attacked Wijtschate. The fighting at Wijtschatebos did not change, that day it was again to do the Spanbroek mill. The mill itself slipped. The Spanbroek mill height is being siege from both sides, from the Kemmelstraat (now Wijtschatestraat) and from the KruisstraatTegen the evening the Germans were master of the battlefield. The Germans make many prisoners.

Map of the 143eme Infantry Regiment with the situation on November 5, 1914

November 6

The actions of the Germans who are today on Wijtschatebos. It was heavily fought from tree to tree with very heavy losses for the Germans.

Situation on November 6, 1914 of the 143eme Infantry Regiment

November 7

French and British make multiple attacks on Spanbroekmolen without success, as well as on Wijtschatebos, Kapellerie and B2 Forest, the Germans can resist by deploying reserve groups

November 8

Kapellerie is still not taken despite the siege, the Germans lose 6 officers and 190 Jäger. The Wijtschate forest remains the focal point, the propositions do not change. In the early morning, the German troops will be relegated to the Spanbroek mill, which is firing back and forth that Sunday baptizing the Germans on Sunday Sunday. The state remained unchanged, struggle along the Ieper road from Strength to Saint-Eloy continued, the Germans remained in their position in the Oude Bruggestraat, some of them trying to walk over, they stood in the cold water for too long and their wet Legs are almost frozen so that they just overrun when retreating. View the same map to the course on November 8, 1914, marked with the letter C.

November 9
View the same map to the course on November 8, 1914, marked with the letter C

The siege of the Kapellerie and B2 forest continues, reinforcements are sent to Wijtschate, the Germans suffer heavy losses in the advanced positions at Wijtschatebos by the artillery shot of the Kemmelberg, to Sint Elooi the attack is difficult, the weather is not falling Along and the badly built trenches run full of water. At Saint Elooi, the Germans can drive back the French after much struggle, from Sauvegarde, the road Wijtschate-Kemmel, the French defeated the German proposition Kruisstraat-Spanbroekmolen. Between 9 November and 12 November 1914, R.I.R. 16 in which Adolf Hitler operates in the Mesen trenches. The Germans at Spanbroekmolen and Kruisstraat were taken by the French from Sauvegarde.

November 10

The French still defend the Chapel, the Germans shed the forest and the surrounding area. In Wijtschatebos, nothing changes, without mutual heavy bombings, counter-attacks by the French fail.

November 11

Kapellerie and B2 forest fell that day in German hands, the next goal was Kroonaardbos and The Dutch Barn. At Kroonaardbos they made more than 200 prisoners, also the Dutch Barn is attacked, in Wijtschatebos no progress is made and the planned attack is delayed until the invasion of darkness, artillery shoveling continued around Spanbroekmolen and the Kruishoekstraat.

November 12

Between November 12 to November 14, 1914 Adolf Hitler found himself in Oosttaverne-Wijtschate. Situation in Wijtschatebos remained unchanged, however, the Germans conquered the Maedelstede (Oosthoeve) and the Dutch Barn was further sheltered. Also fights on Kroonaardbos and Sint-Elooi.

November 13

Between November 13 and November 14, 1914 Adolf Hitler found himself in the Holleweg. Godschalck was taken by the Germans and also the Wijtschatebos, about 1000 French were captured. Watschate was completely encamped.

November 14

Positions did not change at Kroonaardbos, the Germans did enter Grand Bois (Hessenwald).

November 15

It's raining and it's snowing, the streets have become real mudspots. The Germans are making a new attack to conquer Bayernwald, from a house group at the forest there is hard opposition, it is decided to clear the forest to shelter it, then a new attack can be set up. In the evening, reserve troops arrive and are immediately deployed, most of which did not even list their names. Between November 15 and November 16, 1914 Adolf Hitler found himself at Wijtschate-Holleweg (Vierstraat, Voormezelestraat). The attempt to completely reintroduce Kroonaardbos completely by the Germans did not seem to be successful.

November 16

Bayernwald was evacuated by the French in the morning twilight, the Germans can take the forest despite the strong artillery shot of their opponents. The Bayernwald, which was first called Beilwald, was renamed by the Germans in honor of the Bavarian soldiers in Bayernwald. Named the 14th Brigade, the trenches east of Lindenhoek possessed the 133th Regiment of the 39th French Division. The German trenches are 80 to 100 meters from the French trenches and in slightly higher terrain. In the early morning the French cleared the Kroonaardbos so that the Germans could fully occupy it, despite the ongoing enemy artillery fire.

November 17

Adolf Hitler is located in Bayernwald. His regiment takes the line between Bayernwald and Holland Schuur Farm.Thereafter, his regiment remains in different locations for three days. First on the Garde Dieu between Wijtschate and Neerwaasten (Warneton). Then on the Dutch Barn Farm and Finally on the Pellegrems Ferme (Houthem near Hollebeke / Zandvoorde. During the night there was a sharp frost.

November 18

Faint frost and snowy in the morning, slight improvement in weather.

November 19

Bitter cold and heavy snowfall, trenches are peeled.

November 20

Bitter cold and heavy snowfall, trenches are peeled.

November 21

Very difficult by frost, machine gun partially out of order.

November 22

The trenches were thrown under a three to four hour barrage of German artillery, covered the ground with craters and destroyed communication burial mounds.

November 23

History repeated, trenches shot heavily, killed a number of men. The same day, the British set up the field guns and houwitzers and made an excellent party acclaimed by the troops.

November 24

The R.I.R. 16 in which Adolf Hitler finds marched right from the Gapaard (south of Gapaard Street) to Mesen. They make new trenches on the road Wijtschate - In the Kruisstraat street from Mesen to Wulvergem under heavy fire, probably between the Kruisstraat - Katteputstraat - Mesenstraat. The 14th Brigade was relayed at midnight by the Dorset Regiment and marched to Dranouter. During this eight-day trench duty, 2nd Lieutenant H. Housecroft and 17 other ranks were killed and injured 40 other ranks. 2nd Lieutenant Housecroft was less than a month at the battalion.

November 25

Rusty, warm clothes were handed out to the 14th Brigade.

November 26

Rest, arrangement for 200 men to bathe in the cranking stables in Bailleul.

November 27

Experiments done by employees to check the best way of executing the considerable amount of warm clothing now owned by the men.

November 28

At dusk, the 14th Brigade marches back to the trenches this time near Wulvergem.

November 29

Quiet day.

November 30

Quiet day.

December 1

Quiet day, 3 men killed and 3 injured were relieved by the Dorset Regiment.

December 2

On this day Adolf Hitler receives the Iron Cross 2nd Class at Beselare for the security of Lieutenant Colonel Engelhardt under violent gun fire. In the afternoon, the Battalion (14 officers and 633 other ranks) paradeed for inspection by the Commander-in-Chief, Field Marshal Sir John French speaking to them.

December 14

An attack on Wijtschate was performed by the 3rd Division and the French Corps on the left side of the 5th Division that supported the attack of the fire.

December 15

The work was continued without success

December 16

Still without success, the attacking troops were unable to move in the deep mud. The enemy's artillery was very heavy and the battalion of the 14th Brigade had heavy losses, including 11 deaths and 27 wounded in other ranks. Outside WHM Simpson was fatalized. For the bravery in the repair of telephone wires under heavy fire on the 16th Pte.EW Peacock was later awarded the DCM.

Information sources

The battle for the hillside Wijtschate 14 - 18 by Michel Vansuyt Publisher: Groeninghe Kortrijk (2009) - War diaries 1914 - 1918 by Achiel van Walleghem Publisher: Lannoo Tielt (2014) - J.M.O. 143th Infantry Regiment - Wise Skating in 1914-1918 More Than The Mine Battle of José Depover - Imperial War Museum
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5th Lanciers near Wytschate Oktober 1914 Photo:IWM Battlefield at Wijtschate with German Artillery Battery Background 1914 German artillery drawing of Wijtschate German artillery stall near Wijtschate in the winter of 1915 During the night, London Scottish suffered heavy losses, 345 The survivors of the London Scottish C company 2nd batailion at Lancaster House dugout at Wytschate January 1918 Photo: IW Captured redoubt and observation post on the front line Wytschate sector 29.01.1918 Phot: Australian War Memorial
Maps
Situation mid October to mid November 1914 Situation of the Lanquetot-16e Armée Corps group on November,3 1914 Situation of the French 16e Armée Corps on November,4 1914 Situation of the French 143eme Infanterie regiment November,5 1914 Attach of the 6th Armee op November, 11 1914 Situation of the 32nd French Division on November,13 1914 Statement of the Reserve Infantry Regiment Nr.313 on November 15 and 16, 1914 Situation of the French 32nd Division on November,26 1914