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Snippets of the Manchester Regiment => Publications => Topic started by: Pete Th on November 22, 2020, 03:01:04 PM

Title: Volume two Zero Hour Z Day (XV Corps Mametz – Fricourt Spur)
Post by: Pete Th on November 22, 2020, 03:01:04 PM
Hi all, Jonathan Porter’s new book “Volume two Zero Hour Z Day (XV Corps Mametz – Fricourt Spur)” has been published. I have volume one (XIII Corps Maricourt – Mametz), which is incredibly detailed, well written and supported by photos, maps, modern day views, etc. Vol II will include details of the 20th, 21st, 22nd and 24th Manchester’s part in that fateful first day of the Battle of the Somme.

Available via: http://www.zerohourzday.com/buy-the-book.php

The following is copied from Jonathan’s email:

VOLUME II: ZERO HOUR Z DAY (XV OPERATIONS BETWEEN MAMETZ - FRICOURT)
Volume II studies, then analyses operations undertaken by XV Corps, comprising 7th, 21st and 17th Divisions.  Like the previous book detailing XIII Corps, focus is on the successful southern flank of the British Fourth Army attack.  Under the command of Lt. Gen. Henry Sinclair Horne, XV Corps achieved virtually total success on Z Day, finishing the job the following morning.  In so doing, they drove the Germans from Fricourt Spur, the lower slopes of Montauban Ridge and captured the bastion villages of Mametz and Fricourt, killing many of the enemy and capturing over 2,000 prisoners.  Their achievements were at the polar opposite of what British folklore would have us believe regarding the supposedly futile and blundering events of 1 July 1916.

FEATURING
704 A4 pages (colour throughout)
70 colour maps
164 B&W photographs
140 colour and B&W aerial photographs
1,138 bios and images of the men
95 sketches and plans
42 colour photographs
20 panoramic photographs
Available as A4 Hardback ISBN 978-0-9956911-2-4                                                         
Available as A4 Softcover ISBN 978-0-9956911-3-1                                     
Volume II Chapters:
1. General Allied Strategy.
2. The Ground Mametz-Fricourt.                                                                                                                                 
3. The Area Sept 1914-March 1916.                                                                                                                                               
4. XV Corps (7th, 17th & 21st Divisions).                                                                                                                   
5. Planning & Preparations.                                                                                                                                           
6. Intelligence Patrols & Raids.                                                                                                                                       
7. Heavy & Divisional Artillery.                                                                                                                                               
8. RFC & Kite Balloons.                                                                                                                                             
9. Divisional Trench Mortars.                                                                                                                                     
10. Brigade Machine Gun Companies.                                                                                                                   
11. Mining, Russian Saps & Special Bde.                                                                                                                   
12. XV Corps Medical Evacuation Plan.                                                                                                                         
13. Tactics, Training & Orders.                                                                                                                                               
14. U Day, Saturday 24 June.                                                                                                                                       
15. V Day, Sunday 25 June.                                                                                                                                                 
16. W Day, Monday 26 June.                                                                                                                                         
17. X Day, Tuesday 27 June.                                                                                                                                             
18. Y Day, Wednesday 28 June.                                                                                                                                   
19. Y1 Day, Thursday 29 June.                                                                                                                                     
20. Y2 Day & Assembly Friday 30 June.                                                                                                                       
21. Z Day Final Hours & Bombardment.                                                                                                                     
22. Zero Hour 91st Brigade.                                                                                                                                         
23. Zero Hour 20th Brigade.                                                                                                                                           
24. Zero Hour 50th Brigade (Fricourt).                                                                                                                         
25. Zero Hour 63rd Brigade.                                                                                                                                               
26. Zero Hour 64th Brigade.                                                                                                                                       
27. Hill 110 & Fricourt (Afternoon).                                                                                                                           
28. Reinforce & Support 62nd Brigade.                                                                                                                           
29. Consolidation.                                                                                                                                                         
30. Removing the Wounded.                                                                                                                                               
31. Clearing the Dead.                                                                                                                                                         
32. XV Corps Analysis

Best regards
Pete
Title: Re: Volume two Zero Hour Z Day (XV Corps Mametz – Fricourt Spur)
Post by: charlie on November 22, 2020, 04:51:17 PM
Pete thanks for the heads up, it looks a very interesting book and is reasonably priced. I‘m sure my son will have £38 available to keep his dear old dad happy at the end of December.

If anyone is interested in a translation of the events as recorded in the history of RIR 111, I‘d be happy to share it.

Charlie
Title: Re: Volume two Zero Hour Z Day (XV Corps Mametz – Fricourt Spur)
Post by: Pete Th on November 22, 2020, 04:53:05 PM
Hi Charlie, I’d be really interested in reading it.

Cheers
Pete
Title: Re: Volume two Zero Hour Z Day (XV Corps Mametz – Fricourt Spur)
Post by: charlie on November 22, 2020, 09:28:39 PM
As this is only a section of the chapter regarding RIR 111 and the battle of the Somme, here are the dispositions of the Regiment as of 30 June 1916 which I hope will be of help when reading the narrative:

1st Bn - Right flank. Nos. 4,2 and 1 Companies in the front line and behind each company one platoon of No.3 Company in support.

2nd Bn - left flank. Nos. 7,6 and 5 Companies in the front line and behind each company one platoon of No.8 Company in support.

3rd Bn - Resting and providing working parties.
      No.9 Company at Edingerdorf,
      No.10 Company two platoons on Höhenweg and one platoon on Pappelweg.
      No.11 Company at the Nestlerhöhlen (Shoelace makers Cave)
      No.12 Company in the Schlosspark, Fricourt   

No.1 Machinegun Company RIR 111 - centre

No.2 Machinegun Company RIR 111 - left flank

Maschinengewehr Scharfschützentrupp 131  (Machinegun Marksman Troop 131) right flank   

Maschinengewehr Scharfschützentrupp 161 - Edingerdorf

To avoid any confusion with trench names etc I have left them in German, the British Fricourt Trench is not the German Fricourt Trench etc. I have attached two maps one German and the other British for reference.

RIR 111 - 1st JULY 1916

In the early morning of the 1st July the bombardment rose to it’s upmost intensity. As it began to become light everything was cloaked in mist, which became thicker and thicker through the gas and smoke which had been released at 7am. Behind this curtain the English readied for the attack. Parts of their orders for the attack had been intercepted by „Moritz“ and in the early morning No. 4 Company had observed that the enemy had moved their barbedwire entanglements. The defenders were now on the alert, Machinegun and rifle fire was exchanged through the impenetrable mist. All the Artillery and close range weapons that were still usable and had ammunition opened fire. Shortly after 8am four loud detonations were heard. The English had detonated mines at La Boisselle, to the south at the Schwabenhöhe (Lochnagar), to the front of Fricourt (German Tambour) and at Höhe 110. That was the signal for the attack to begin. The enemy artillery fire moved it’s might from the forward trenches to the rear area and the remains on the gun batteries. Our artillery’s fire was very weak at an important time and could not prevent the English attack waves, who’s dense columns followed their Officers, some of whom were mounted on horseback, through Bécourt Mulde (Sausage Valley) in front of the Lehmgrubenhöhe (the area in 26d and 27c bounded by Empress Trench, Ball Lane and Dart Lane) and into the completely destroyed and partially abandoned positions of No. 4 Company on the right flank of the Regiment. The attack on this area had been practiced by the English on a training area Northwest of Corbie, where, as aerial reconnaissance showed, the trenches on the Lehmgrubenhöhe had been replicated. The garrison of the second and third lines, which had been joined by No.1 Platoon of No.3 Company, prepared to go on the defensive. Despite two of the Machineguns on the Höhenweg allocated for the defence of the area being knocked out by direct hits at the start of the attack, they were still able to inflict heavy loses on the opponent. The Machineguns on Hohe 110 were also able to direct their fire into this area. The attacking waves stalled and some retired back to Bécourt. To the right towards RIR 110 was a 150m gap caused by the explosion on the Schwabenhöhe, which had destroyed all the trenches. The English pushed through this gap and cut off the right flank platoon of No.4 Company including the Company Commander Leutnant Winkler. Leutnant Göbel, the Platoon Commander on the left flank closed in on No.2 Company, who’s No.3 Platoon had been thrown against the enemy which had appeared in their rear. These elements of No.2 and No.4 Companies soon became embroiled in hand to hand fighting in the Herzberggraben. The English had brought up Machineguns and Mortars which forced the weakened elements of RIR 111 to retire towards the western outskirts of Fricourt. Here the 1st Battalion’s dugout, which was close to the command post near the brickworks, formed a support position under the command of Leutnant Dusbach. Two Machineguns of No.2 Machinegun Company under the command of Oberleutnant Haug were moved into position and fired, with great effect, on the enemy in the Herzberggraben, Höhenweg and the Totenwäldchen. At about 11am, using this fire as cover, Leutnants Dusbach and Mencke (the Artillery Liaison Officer), took a few sections into the Herzberggraben and cleared it as far as No.4 Company’s area capturing some Machineguns. Gefreiter Haller with two sections of No.2 Company worked towards them from the foremost trench. Leutnant Mencke was killed and Leutnant Dusbach wounded. When all the Handgrenades had been used the men had to return to the northern edge of Fricourt.





While this was happening further waves of English passed through the gap on the northern  flank and moved in an easterly direction through the Totenwäldchen and over the Contalmaisson - Fricourt road and advanced towards the Höhenwald. They first encountered resistance in the Fricourtgraben from the supports, No.1 Platoon of No.3 Company, and on the Höhenweg from Bauer’s and Schlageter’s platoons from No.10 Company (after the battle Schlageter was promoted to Vizefeldwebel for bravery in the face of the enemy). Regardless of casualties they attacked, counter attacked and threw Handgrenades at the numerically superior enemy. They became in danger of being encircled from the right and having been nearly wiped out they returned to the Fricourtgraben. The way to Edingerdorf was now open to the enemy.

As soon as No.9 Company was informed of the breakthrough by the artillery observer in the Totenwäldchen, they deployed on both sides of the Sigelgraben and with the support of a Machinegun of Machinegun Marksman Troop 161, fired on the advancing English and went over to the attack. In hard fighting the enemy was thrown back over the road. The Company’s casualties in the action were severe, they lost both officers - Lieutenants Musselmann and Bill, two brave and loyal soldiers who had really come to the fore during the day. Nearly all the Senior and Junior NCOs were lost as well. The Company’s strength was too weak for a pursuit and there was no contact to the left and right. The remnants of the Company remained in the Sigelgraben and in the divisional intermediate line to its left, 50m away from the enemy. The stay was made worse by one of our own batteries firing short. The last Officer in the front line, Leutnant Lieb, the commander of Machinegun Marksman Troop 161, was killed. Feldwebel Reitze took over command. It became necessary to provide support to the two platoons of No.11 Company on the left, as the enemy repeated his attack on a wide front. The enemy suffered such severe casualties at  the Höhenwäldchen that they were forced to retire. The advance along the Höhenweg also broke down completely. On the sides of Fricourt farm the enemy faced two platoons of No.12 Company under Vizefeldwebel Benninger and Unteroffizier Kallenberger who had taken over command of the platoon from the mortally wounded Leutnant Riemer, and also a half platoon of No.10 Company commanded by Vizefeldwebel Winterer. The previously mentioned Machineguns positioned at the brickworks in Fricourt also helped to bring the breakthrough to a standstill. Shortly after 10am it became possible to form a defensive front against the breakthrough on the right flank along the line Sigelgraben, Höhenwäldchen, the slope towards the farm and up to the Parkweg. Feldwebel Reitze had in the meantime established contact with the Regimental command post using Runners. The orders they received were to attack, along with the adjoining units, the Totenwäldchen.  The attack proved to be impossible, due to the opponent’s, who had also brought up many Machineguns, numerical superiority and his persistent attacks. The enemy had to be brought to a halt. Feldwebel Reitze decided to attack the English at the Sigelgraben tunnel, which led under the road to Fricourt. Among those who volunteered for the raid was Vizefeldwebel Eckert. Feldwebel Reitze made the following report:

„The Squad went along the devastated Sigelgraben and occupied a large shell crater about 20m in front of the tunnel. The moment the enemy Machinegunners on both sides of the tunnel crouched down, the squad sprang forward, drew Handgrenades and before the English on the left and right knew what was happening we were back , using a smoke screen as cover, in the shell crater with a captured Machinegun and a searchlight. We lost only one man - Reservist Schock. The english in, and in front of the tunnel were killed“.




The repeatedly mentioned attempts of the English to gain more ground further occupied the 3rd Battalion, and there were many gaps in the ranks. The gap between the two platoons of No.11 Company was filled, at about 3pm, by the last platoon of No.11 Company, which was now complete again under its commander Leutnant Behle. The reward for Nos. 9,11 and 12 Companies under Hauptmann Grieninger was that they prevented the English from using their success on the Lehmgrubenhöhe to cut off the other two battalions.

What was happening at Höhe 110? At the same time as the previously mentioned detonation on the western front of Fricourt, which could not damage the position much more, the English attack waves started to advance over the crater field towards No.1 Company under Leutnant Koch and the left flank of No.2 Company under Leutnant Hofheinz. The Bavarian Engineers detonated their own mine and about 80 Englishmen were buried. The rest poured back under fire from the trench garrison. Despite their losses the English did not give up. They repeatedly attacked the thinning line and as the artillery was not able to give much support, the Jäger Sap, the foremost part of the Ziegeleiweg and part of the forward trench were lost in hand to hand fighting at about 9am. "Where the enemy has occupied part of a trench, he must be ejected with an immediate counter attack" was the order from the Regimental Command Post. In view of this, all available strength was gathered together and thrown at the enemy. The Jäger Sap was cleared by bombing parties of the 2nd Bavarian Reserve Engineer Company. Ziegeleiweg was retaken by No.1 Company supported by the Engineers, 1 Officer and 56 men were taken prisoner. Through the actions of Unteroffizier Jäger of No.2 Company RIR 111, the situation in the front trench was  soon under control.

South of the mine crater field, in front of No.6 Company commanded by Leutnant Wittwer and No.7 Company under Hauptmann Engländer, where the enemy was not expecting any resistance they advanced in closed ranks. Shortly after leaving their trenches the attack collapsed and having suffered very heavy losses was driven back to their own trenches. No.1 Platoon of No.10 Company was able to provide effective support to the trench garrison from higher up in the Marktplatz position. The Machineguns were also employed to help keep the enemy pinned down.

Heavy fighting developed on Höhe 110. The enemy repeatedly attacked this important point and by about 8.30am had occupied a small part of the crater position. After about half  an hour of bitter fighting in the trenches, No.5 Company supported by the fearless Bavarian Engineers, was once again in command of their positions and was able to hold out against all further attacks. The fighting did not go well over on the left, where RIR 109 had only recently taken over the positions south of Mametz. Here the enemy was able to occupy the German front line and hoped to force Höhe 110 from the front and flank. The last reserves, a few sections of No.5 Company and a platoon of the 8th, had to be deployed to resist the attack and seal off the quarry on its left hand side. The platoons commanded by Leutnants Kleinjung and Kauffmann tenaciously defended every yard of trench. Their calls for reinforcements became more and more desperate. Leutnant Rothacker had already deployed all available men into the firing line. He hoped that a counter attack by RIR 109 would save his precarious situation. To no avail! On the contrary, the enemy gained more ground towards Montauban - Mametz and threatened the company from the rear.




Contact with the battalion command post was cut. Hauptmann Bumiller at the command post, still without any knowledge of the situation regarding RIR 109, suddenly saw Tommies in a trench behind him to the left carrying timber. What was to be done? There were no more reserves available, Fricourt would be lost if the enemy was able to advance from Mametz further westwards. Only help from the rear would be of any use. Communication with the division was established using signaling lamps „hold out, reinforcements are on their way“ was the answer that came back. Despite this, the command post still had to be evacuated. Telephonists Fink, from Immeringen, and Dehmer, from Burladingen, carried the heavy telephone apparatus under heavy fire to the new dugout. That is devotion to duty!

About midday on 1st July the situation in the regiments sector was as follows. Apart from the breakthrough on the right flank the sector had been held despite the heavy attacks and the dwindling ability of the artillery to provide support. Without doubt there was, on the grounds of the report from the 2nd Battalion that the sector held by RIR 109 had been overrun, a dangerous situation on the left flank. There was confidence that the battle hardened sister regiment would, with or without outside help, be able to throw back the English. Just in case, a platoon of No.12 Company under Leutnant Meichelt was placed at the disposal of the 2nd Battalion. This desperately needed help for Höhe 110 arrived piecemeal.  As it moved through the clearing Fricourt Park the platoon became scattered. Oberst Ley wanted to stabilize  the situation on the Lehmgrubenhöhe and regain control of the regiment’s sector. In order to achieve this he ordered the 1st Battalion to advance in a northerly direction through the Fricourt and Herzberggraben. Using a signaling lamp the division was requested to release reserves. The counter attack by the 1st Battalion and sections of No.10 Company started at 1.30pm and met with initial success. Their opponents defended tenaciously and losses on both sides were heavy. All the available troops - two platoons of the 2nd Bavarian Reserve Engineer Company and two half platoons of No.12 Company, which had to be taken from the position at the farm - had to be deployed. The hoped for effect of the simultaneous attack on the Totenwäldchen came to nothing as the attack never got into its stride. The attack stalled and handgrenade battles developed along the front from the north of Fricourt to the Höhenwäldchen. They lasted into the evening and brought no relief to the regiment. They were a drain on men and material, ammunition was beginning to run short. Leutnant Rupp, No.10 Company, tried to bring No.2 Company’s reserve ammunition forward from the Nestlerhöhlen (Shoelace makers cave). On the way through the crater ridden ground he encountered some English, handgrenades flew through the air and through this officers determination it was possible to capture 1 NCO and 10 men.

The English had recognized a favourable situation and wanted, at all costs, to capture the key to Fricourt - Höhe 110 - in the afternoon. About 3pm a barrage from all calibres of Guns and Mortars was laid down on the trenches of the 2nd Battalion. About 4pm masses of the enemy, apparently fresh troops, advanced from Fricourt station towards Höhe 110. All those which were available from the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th 10th and 1st and 2nd MG Companies and could carry a weapon, threw themselves at the attackers. It cannot be said that this gaggle of worn out remnants, which held onto every shell crater, was a
co-ordinated defence, yet the English attack broke and suffered heavy losses due to their resolute resistance. The enemy managed to pass through the gap between the 5th and 6th Companies and due to their advance from the direction of Mametz, passing behind the quarry position, the fate of No.5 Company, which became encircled from two sides, was sealed.The enemy had to fight hard to become the undisputed master of the blood soaked Höhe 110.
Title: Re: Volume two Zero Hour Z Day (XV Corps Mametz – Fricourt Spur)
Post by: charlie on November 22, 2020, 09:29:50 PM
When all further resistance in the forward trenches became hopeless, Leutnant Rothacker with a part of his company forced his way down the communication trench which led towards Mametz, and held up the pursuing enemy from there. This little group resisted the numerically superior enemy, which attacked from the front and flanks, till 10pm. Then it was all over, those that were still alive - most of them had been wounded, Leutnant Rothacker had been wounded in the head - were taken prisoner. Others from Höhe 110 together with Leutnant Kauffmann and Vizefeldwebel Wünsche, in order to reach Fricourt tried to fight their way through to the right to No.6 Company. Not until the early morning of the 2nd did the English manage to overcome the remnants of this group. Leutnant Kauffmann and many of his men were killed, Vizefeldwebel Wünsche and others were wounded and captured, hardly anyone got through. RIR 111 can look back on the loyalty of No.5 Company and their actions on Höhe 110 with distinct pride.

In order to prevent the English from advancing further towards Fricourt from the quarry, elements of the 6th, 8th and 10th Companies together with the Bavarian Engineers were deployed to the left flank and succeeded in plugging the gap in the second trench behind No.6 Company. The situation remained desperate. Most of the Commanders, Officers and NCO’s had become casualties. A mine had deprived the 7th and 8th Companies of their commanders, Hauptmann Engländer and Leutnant Luhr, forever. The sections in the foremost shell crates were seriously depleted, would they be able to withstand another onslaught ? Everyone was waiting for nightfall which hopefully would bring some respite.

Concern grew in the Regimental Command Post. The 2nd Battalion reported at about 5.30pm that contact had been lost with RIR 109 and that pressure on their left flank was increasing. The Engineers that had escaped from Höhe 110 reported seeing dense columns of English moving up between Höhe 110 and Mametz. Soon afterwards they could be seen advancing from Mametz towards the Granatschlucht. All that could be done to counter this danger to the left flank was for the commander of the 2nd Bavarian Reserve Engineer Company to gather together a half platoon and occupy the southeast perimeter of Fricourt Park. These few men would not have been able to prevent the enemy, which was advancing from the north and west linking up with those that had broken through to the north of Fricourt, from cutting off RIR 111. The only escape then would be to breakthrough to the north. Should the Regiment’s Commanding Officer let it come to this?

Oberst Ley faced a difficult decision. He knew that his regiment would not willingly give one foot of ground, but his men had been engaged in bitter fighting for nearly twelve hours and their losses had been high. The pressure had to be eased, ammunition, handgrenades and food were running out and there was no possibility of any resupply. Our own artillery was nearly completely silent. There was no hope of a counter attack by fresh troops with strong artillery support securing the regiment’s rear and releasing it from a difficult situation. The enemy was able to send overwhelming numbers of fresh troops into the fray and it seemed only a matter of time before the remnants of RIR 111 would be wiped out by the enemy. It was doubtful if a breakthrough to the north would then be possible. Was it better to sacrifice the regiment in the interests of the general situation? Or was it much more important to resist the enemy with it’s remaining strength north of Fricourt, and prevent the division’s left flank near La Boisselle from being turned?





There was still a way out thanks to the resistance of the companies of the 1st and 2nd Battalions north of Fricourt. It was small, which could be seen from the signals being sent up by the English to show their artillery the locations of their positions. There was a risk that the withdrawal of the worn out regiment would present an alert enemy with a grip on the situation with a favorable opportunity.

Oberst Ley had faith in his RIR 111 and ordered, with a heavy heart, the remnants in the front line to be withdrawn under cover of darkness and retire to the intermediate line being held by the 3rd Battalion and extend it to the left towards Mametz. It was a difficult task for the runners to deliver the order. Musketier Löffler undertook to deliver the order to the comrades of the 2nd Battalion who were all scattered about in shell craters.

Covered by rearguards the disengagement from the enemy began about midnight. The withdrawal was made in small groups, in good order and carrying most of the wounded. Fighting could still be heard on Höhe 110. It was only thanks to its brave garrison, which had to be left to its fate, that the 2nd Battalion was able to withdraw unmolested.

RIR 111 was relieved on the nights of 2nd/3rd and 3rd/4th July. Its strength on 23rd June had been 59 Officers and 2997 men. For the period it was in the line the casualty lists recorded 14 Officers and 238 ORs killed, 10 Officers and 443 ORs wounded and 16 Officers  and 1105 ORs missing. Most of the missing were later identified as either killed or wounded and taken prisoner.
Title: Re: Volume two Zero Hour Z Day (XV Corps Mametz – Fricourt Spur)
Post by: charlie on November 22, 2020, 09:30:56 PM
The German map
Title: Re: Volume two Zero Hour Z Day (XV Corps Mametz – Fricourt Spur)
Post by: charlie on November 22, 2020, 09:32:45 PM
And the British one
Title: Re: Volume two Zero Hour Z Day (XV Corps Mametz – Fricourt Spur)
Post by: Pete Th on November 22, 2020, 09:51:39 PM
Thank Charlie, it’s very interesting to see it from the other side. I’ve been to Point 110 Military Cemetery. Is this the 110 Hohe that the diaries refer to?

Regards
Pete
Title: Re: Volume two Zero Hour Z Day (XV Corps Mametz – Fricourt Spur)
Post by: charlie on November 22, 2020, 10:11:11 PM
Thanks Pete. I‘m not 100% sure, that was one of the reasons I left the German location names unchanged. Perhaps Mr Porter's book will clear things up.

Charlie
Title: Re: Volume two Zero Hour Z Day (XV Corps Mametz – Fricourt Spur)
Post by: PhilipG on November 24, 2020, 11:36:46 AM
There are two CWGC cemeteries located behind the Bois Francais front line.   They are Point 110 Old Military Cemetery and Point 110 New Military Cemetery.  It is my understanding that they take their names from the contour line 110 nearby.   Both cemeteries contain the graves of casualties of the Manchester Regiment suffered in WW1.  For example, RSM Gartside and CSM Coop of the 24th battalion who are buried in the Old cemetery.    Point 110 New Cem. contains the graves of men of the 20th, 21st & 24th Manchesters.   This particular burial ground is on the visiting list of those interested in the lives of Siegfried Sassoon and Robert Graves whose great friend - D.C.Thomas is buried there.

For myself, any visit to Fricourt necessitates a visit to the Communal Cemetery.  It is there that an aircrew of No. 59 RAF Squadron are buried.  A Flying Officer (Pilot), a Sergeant (Observer) and an  AC2 (Air Gunner) shot down on 22nd May 1940.   This cemetery is marked on both the maps displayed in Replies 5 & 6.        PhilipG.
Title: Re: Volume two Zero Hour Z Day (XV Corps Mametz – Fricourt Spur)
Post by: charlie on November 25, 2020, 07:52:22 AM
Pete
As Philip correctly says the Point 110 cemeteries (yellow circle) take their name from the contourline. The German Höhe 110 (circled in blue)is a specific area which was behind the crater field and marked as Bois Francais on the British maps.
Charlie
Title: Re: Volume two Zero Hour Z Day (XV Corps Mametz – Fricourt Spur)
Post by: Pete Th on November 27, 2020, 01:29:10 PM
Thanks Charlie
Title: Re: Volume two Zero Hour Z Day (XV Corps Mametz – Fricourt Spur)
Post by: themonsstar on December 01, 2020, 10:03:23 AM
Great write up Charlie and well research.
Title: Re: Volume two Zero Hour Z Day (XV Corps Mametz – Fricourt Spur)
Post by: PhilipG on December 06, 2020, 04:16:21 PM
Pete,   Firstly, I think that the book you recommend will arrive for me on Christmas day.    Secondly, may I recommend that you read "Memoirs of an Infantry Officer" by Siegfried Sassoon, for on the 1st July 1916, Sassoon witnessed the battle from Crawley Ridge.   Interestingly, he even mentions the disobedience of orders by "A" Coy. of the 7th Green Howards, who had attacked at 7. 45 am instead of 2.30.pm.     The right  flank of the company rested adjacent to the 5th Pals at the Communal Cemetery, and as the company left their trenches their attack came under devastating fire from the German machine guns at Wing Corner.    The Green Howards suffered heavy casualties including the company commander.           PhilipG.
Title: Re: Volume two Zero Hour Z Day (XV Corps Mametz – Fricourt Spur)
Post by: Pete Th on December 06, 2020, 05:13:48 PM
Thank you Philip, I will take your recommendation and order the Memoirs book. I look forward to reading it.

Best regards
Pete
Title: Re: Volume two Zero Hour Z Day (XV Corps Mametz – Fricourt Spur)
Post by: PhilipG on December 09, 2020, 12:24:12 PM
As regards the notorious German machine-gun post at Wing Corner, it appears that the Field Artillery battery designated to direct its fire upon that post and trenches was unable to do so.   It is understood that the battery concerned had "fuse trouble".   Of course, when the defect was corrected it was too late, and in particular, fire could not be authorised in view of the number of wounded of the Green Howards lying in front of Wing Corner and its trenches.        It will be interesting to learn in due course, what the book says about this predicament.        PhilipG.