For those who do not know me my name is Ralph Whitehead and I am what can be described as an historian with NML. I am quite pleased to be able to attend another NML dig and hopefully assist in identifying any finds the group makes. The Australian contingent is well represented and I look forward to meeting old friends and make some new ones. Some of you already know me and my interest in the German army. Hopefully all of the different perspectives of the fighting will allow us to piece together a better idea of the fighting and events that took place some 90 years ago.
In looking over the German side of the battle we will probably be running into men who served in the 9th Bavarian Infantry Regiment, an active regiment in the 4th Bavarian Division. This regiment or the others in the division, the 5th Bavarian IR and 5th Bavarian RIR held this portion of the line for some months prior to the attack. On
I looked over the available records for these units (9th and 5th Bavarian have regimental histories while the 5th Bavarian RIR did not publish anything in the post-war years). The 9th Bavarian IR had seen service in all main areas of the Western Front other than the fighting at
An example of this was the time they served on the
These losses required replacements and as such the men who were manning the trenches on 7 June were between the ages of 18 and 39. The losses suffered by the German Army required calling up the 1917 and 1918 Class of men early. 36 of the III Bn losses on 7 June were from these two classes.
In looking at the total losses for the regiment in the war the 9th Bavarians lost 3,758 officers and men killed; 134 officers and men who died from disease or accident; 346 officers and men missing; 8,630 officers and men wounded; 1,260 officers and men captured for a total of 14,128 casualties in the war.
In looking further at the losses I noted that one man from the 12th Coy listed as killed and presumed dead was a man born in
I will have additional details on the names of the men who have known graves and those we might possibly come across during the excavation as well as details on the uniforms and equipment most likely to be found as well. If anyone has any specific questions or inquiries please let me know over the next week or so and I will make sure I bring this information with me.
See you at the end of the month, possibly in Comines, possibly at