The Schwaben Redoubt

The Schwaben Redoubt (Feste Schwaben) was a German strongpoint built near the village of Thiepval, overlooking the River Ancre. It formed part of the German defensive system in the Somme sector of the Western Front during the First World War. Consisting of a mass of gun emplacements, trenches and dug-outs, this warren of earthworks and its garrison resisted several British assaults during the course of the Battle of the Somme, before being captured in October 1916. It was defended by the 26th Reserve Division that came from Swabia, a southwestern region of Germany. The site of the Redoubt now lies between the Thiepval Memorial and the Ulster Tower.

1 July: Schwaben Redoubt was the objective of 109 Brigade, which attacked on the right with 9th and 10th Battalions, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers making the assault. Advancing at 7:30 a.m., the troops crossed no man’s land, captured the redoubt and advanced to a reserve trench 500 yards (460 m) beyond it. By 8:30 a.m. the troops had reached the Mouquet Switch line and the eastern face of the redoubt. The success of 109 Brigade advance created a salient 1,000 yards (910 m) deep and 200 yards (180 m) wide. The failure of the other 36th Division brigade and the 29th Division to the north and 32nd Division to the south, made it impossible for the troops occupying the redoubt to be reinforced. The brigade was eventually forced to withdraw, having exhausted its ammunition repulsing German counter-attacks. Small parties remained in the German front line at 10:30 p.m. The 36th Division lost 5,104 casualties, the severity of these losses left an enduring psychological scar on Northern Ireland. The redoubt was assaulted again on 3 September by troops of 49th (West Riding) Division. The assault failed due to German machine gun fire, for a loss of 1,800 casualties.

28 September – 6 October: The redoubt was attacked by the 54th Brigade of the 18th (Eastern) Division during the Battle of Thiepval Ridge which gained a foothold in the Schwaben Redoubt (Feste Schwaben). By the evening of 28 September the redoubt had been captured except for the German hold on to the north face until 14 October, when it was captured by the 118th Brigade of the 39th Division. The Territorial Fen Tigers of the 1st Battalion Cambridgeshire Regiment under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Riddell, advanced under a creeping barrage and reached the redoubt without loss. The German garrison was routed in hand-to-hand fighting and the Cambridgeshires defended the redoubt for 24 hours before being relieved, having defeated several counter-attacks. British casualties were 32 killed and 186 wounded. General Haig, commander of the British Expeditionary Force, described the attack as “one of the finest feats of arms in the history of the British Army”.


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The Battle of Sari Bair also known as the August Offensive 1915.

The Battle of Sari Bair also known as the August Offensive was the final attempt made by the British in August 1915 to seize control of the Gallipoli peninsula from the Ottoman Empire during the First World War.

The Gallipoli Campaign had raged on two fronts, Anzac and Helles, for three months since the invasion of 25 April 1915. With the Anzac landing a tense stalemate, the Allies had attempted to carry the offensive on the Helles battlefield at enormous cost for little gain. In August, the British command proposed a new operation to reinvigorate the campaign by capturing the Sari Bair ridge, the high ground that dominated the middle of the peninsula above the Anzac landing.

The main operation started on 6 August with a fresh landing 5 miles (8.0 km) north of Anzac at Suvla Bay in conjunction with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps mounting an attack north into the rugged country alongside the Sari Bair range with the aim of capturing the high ground and linking with the Suvla landing. At Helles, the British and French were now to remain largely on the defensive.
The attack from the Anzac perimeter was directed against two peaks of the Sari Bair range; Chunuk Bair and Hill 971. Under the overall command of Major-General Alexander Godley, the attacking force included the New Zealand and Australian Division, the British 13th Division plus a couple of extra infantry brigades.

The plan was for two assaulting columns to march out of Anzac on the night of 6 August. The right-hand column, comprising the New Zealand Infantry Brigade under Brigadier-General Francis Johnston, would head for Chunuk Bair. The left-hand column, commanded by Major-General Herbert Cox, heading for Hill 971 and neighbouring Hill Q, contained the Australian 4th Infantry Brigade of Brigadier-General John Monash and Cox’s 29th Indian Brigade. Both objectives were expected to be captured by dawn.

To distract the Ottomans from the impending offensive, on 6 August, at 5.30 p.m., an attack was made at Lone Pine by the infantry brigades of the Australian 1st Division. While the attack was ultimately successful in capturing the Ottoman trenches, it was counterproductive as a diversion as it attracted reinforcements to the north. Another costly diversion was carried out at Helles which resulted in a pointless struggle over a patch of ground known as Krithia Vineyard. As was the case at Lone Pine, the British action at Helles did not restrain the Ottomans from sending reinforcements north to the Sari Bair range.

The right column heading for Chunuk Bair had a simpler navigation task as their route was to some degree visible from the old Anzac perimeter. In what became known as the Battle of Chunuk Bair, the New Zealanders failed to capture the peak by the morning of 7 August but managed the feat on the next morning.
On the morning following the breakout, a number of other attacks were planned within the old Anzac perimeter. The most notorious was the attack of the Australian 3rd Light Horse Brigade at The Nek whose slim chance of success had depended on the New Zealanders having captured Chunuk Bair on schedule.

The left column’s journey through the tangled ravines was doomed to failure and, having become lost and confused, it never got close to the objective of Hill 971. By the morning of 8 August Cox’s forces were sufficiently organised to attempt an attack on their original objectives of Hill 971 and Hill Q. However Monash’s brigade was still mistaken about its position relative to Hill 971. In fact, by the end of the day’s advance Monash’s troops had actually reached the position they had believed they had been starting from. Meanwhile, Hill 971 was more unreachable than ever. The three Australian battalions that had made the assault suffered 765 casualties — the 15th Battalion was reduced to about 30 per cent of its normal strength.

Of the force aiming for Hill Q, one battalion of the 6th Gurkhas commanded by Major Cecil Allanson and joined by disparate New Army men, moved to within 200 feet of Hill Q by 6 p.m. on 8 August where they sought shelter from the heavy Ottoman fire. After a naval artillery bombardment, the battalion attacked the summit shortly after 5 a.m. on 9 August. The plan of the attack, as concocted by General Godley, had involved numerous other battalions but all were lost or pinned down so the Gurkhas went on alone. They succeeded in driving the Ottomans off the hill but were then caught in further naval gunfire from friendly monitors or from an artillery battery at Anzac. Having suffered heavy casualties and with no reinforcements, Allanson’s force was pushed back off the hill shortly afterwards.

By the end of 9 August the Allies retained only a foothold on Chunuk Bair. On 10 August the Ottomans, led from the front by Colonel Mustafa Kemal, counter-attacked and regained control of the entire Sari Bair ridge.


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British Grenadier Guards

Grenadier Guards

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Proclamation changing the Name of the British Royal Family

By the KING. A PROCLAMATION declaring that the Name of Windsor is to be borne by his Royal House and Family and Relinquishing the Use of All German Titles and Dignities.


WHEREAS We, having taken into consideration the Name and Title of Our Royal House and Family, have determined that henceforth Our House and Family shall be styled and known as the House and Family of Windsor:

And whereas We have further determined for Ourselves and for and on behalf of Our descendants and all other the descendants of Our Grandmother Queen Victoria of blessed and glorious memory to relinquish and discontinue the use of all German Titles and Dignities:

And whereas We have declared these Our determinations in Our Privy Council:

Now, therefore, We, out of Our Royal Will and Authority, do hereby declare and announce that as from the date of this Our Royal Proclamation Our House and Family shall be styled and known as the House and Family of Windsor, and that all the descendants in the male line of Our said Grandmother Queen Victoria who are subjects of these Realms, other than female descendants who may marry or may have married, shall bear the said Name of Windsor:

And do hereby further declare and announce that We for Ourselves and for and on behalf of Our descendants and all other the descendants of Our said Grandmother Queen Victoria who are subjects of these Realms, relinquish and enjoin the discontinuance of the use of the Degrees, Styles, Dignities, Titles and Honours of Dukes and Duchesses of Saxony and Princes and Princesses of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and all other German Degrees, Styles, Dignities. Titles, Honours and Appellations to Us or to them heretofore belonging or appertaining.

Given at Our Court at Buckingham Palace, this Seventeenth day of July, in the year of our Lord One thousand nine hundred and seventeen, and in the Eighth year of Our Reign.

GOD save the KING.

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100 years ago today 1st July 1916…19,240 British soldiers killed and 37,000 wounded.

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Apocalypse World War 1 | FURY – (Part 1/5) TV Mini Series [2014]

Colorized historical footage in ascending order of World War 1. Not only the relatively known Flanders and France battles, but also the generally unknown Italian-Austrian, German-Polish-Russian, Japanese-German, Ottoman Empire- Allied and African German Colonies, and other unknown or forgotten fronts and battles. Original French production retold in English for National Geographic channel as: World War 1: The Apocalypse
– Written by Daniel McLion

A CC&C Ideacom International Co-production

A Series Written and Directed by
Isabelle Clarke
Daniel Costelle

Produced by
Louis Vaudeville
Josette D. Normandeau

Original Score
Christian Clermont

Narrated by
Francois Arnaud

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Battle of Mount Sorrel Hill 62 (Sanctuary Wood Ypres 2nd to 13th June 1916.

Mount Sorrel was the objective of an important battle between Canadian and German soldiers in the First World War. Thousands of Canadians were killed and wounded in the fighting, from 2 to 13 June 1916, for this strategic hill in the Ypres Salient in Belgium.
2 June Assault
In the spring of 1916, the 3rd Division of the Canadian Corps (see Canadian Expeditionary Force) defended Mount Sorrel, a 30-metre hill with a commanding position over the city of Ypres.The wooded elevation also overlooked the important road between Ypres and the town of Menin. Heavy rain and constant shelling left the ground a soggy mess punched apart by holes.
On 2 June, German troops attacked the Canadians with an artillery barrage. The Allied trenches were blown apart, the explosions killing hundreds of Canadian troops and blasting apart their garrisons. The 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles was nearly wiped out — 89 per cent of the regiment’s men were killed or injured. Of the 702 soldiers in the regiment who defended against the German attack, only 76 were unhurt by the end of the battle.
The Germans also attacked from below, detonating mines they had dug beneath the Canadian positions. German infantry swarmed across the broken plains and up Mount Sorrel.
Two Leaders Lost
Two important Canadians officers were lost in the fighting. Major General Malcolm Mercer, the 3rd Division’s commander, was killed; and Brigadier General V.A.S. Williams, commander of the Division’s 8th Brigade, was wounded and taken prisoner. Both leaders were on a reconnaissance mission when they were hit by the German assault.
German forces soon overwhelmed the Canadian defenders and captured Mount Sorrel along with nearby peaks Hill 61and Hill 62. The Canadians tried to retake the hills on 3 June. The plan was to attack under cover of darkness at about 2 a.m., but the attack did not start until after dawn on the rainy, windy day. The Germans repelled the attack.
The Germans also captured Hooge, a village on the main road. They were now well-positioned to attack the city of Ypres itself.
The Allies sought to reclaim Mount Sorrel, but troops and supplies were in short supply as the Allies were also planning the Somme Offensive in France. The British 2nd Calvary Brigade came to the aid of the Canadians.
Starting on 9 June, Allied forces under Lieutenant General Sir Julian Byng attacked the dug-in German hilltop positions with artillery. At 1:30 a.m. on 13 June, the Allies followed with an infantry attack that ran in under the cover of a smoke screen. Fighting in the dark, amid flares of light from the heavy attack, the Canadian and British soldiers pushed through the wind and rain to recapture the mount. Refortifying the repeatedly destroyed trenches was hard work as the churned-up earth was muddy from the rain, and the numerous shell holes were filled with water. Despite these obstacles, the Allies recaptured Mount Sorrel.
“The first Canadian deliberately planned attack in any force had resulted in an unqualified success,” said the British Official History of the war.
It came at a cost. Between 2 and 14 June, more than 1,100 Canadians were killed at Mount Sorrel, with more than 2,000 men missing. Thousands more were injured; in total, 8,430 Canadian men were killed, wounded or reported missing. The Germans suffered 5,765 men killed, injured or missing.
Today, a monument known as Mount Sorrel sits by the Sanctuary Wood Museum near Ypres. The inscription reads: “Here at Mount Sorrel and on the line from Hooge to St. Eloi, the Canadian Corps fought in the defence of Ypres April-August 1916”.
Less than three weeks after the Battle for Mount Sorrel, Allied forces launched the Battle of the Somme.

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