Story This Week: Bahnobersekretär Adolf Sattler

Our story this week comes from Hermann Sattler of Ettlingenweier, whose grandfather on his father's side fought on the Western Front at the Somme, Flanders and Kemmel in the Great War.

Adolf Sattler was born on November 18, 1888 and before the war he worked at the company Dynamit Nobel-DWM in Karlsruhe, Ettlingen's nearest city. Here, he tested and fired the weapons that were produced there.

Adolf's own weapon, a 7.92 mm caliber 1898 Mauser model, with bayonet attached

Adolf was a Bahnobersekretär (Senior Railway Secretary) in the Badische Feldartillerie in a Rastatt regiment. He earned the Kriegsverdienstkreuz (medal for war service in Baden).

Adolf's steel helmet. In 1916, steel helmets were introduced at the front, and in 1918, this camouflage painting (known as Tarnbemalung in German) was added.

Adolf survived the war and subsequently worked for the railways, both at Ettlingen-Bruchhausen and Rastatt. He died on October 14, 1956.

Hermann has also provided us with the memorial cards of two other soldiers from Ettlingenweier who served with Adolf and who fell at the Western Front:

Josef Vielsäcker, who held the rank of Pionier. Josef was born on May 28, 1898 in Ettlingenweier and fell on October 20, 1917 in St. August, France
The memorial cards were distributed in church and contained a "Nachlassgebet" ("abatement" prayer), intended to reduce the number of days that the soldier had to suffer in Purgatory for his actions in battle.
Emil Speck served in the 94th Infantry Regiment as an officer (lieutenant and company commander) and was born on June 18, 1896. He fell at the Western Front at the Somme on May 1st, 1917 and lies buried at Selvien in France.

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