This Week's Story: The Soldiers Of Spessart Part 2

This week our story comes from Brigitte Weber of Ettlingen-Spessart, which lies in the hills above Ettlingen. Brigitte's two uncles fought and died in Laffaux on the Western Front when they were both just 20 years old. During the Great War, Brigitte's family received letters and photos from relatives and friends, and collected some of the memorial cards of soldiers who had died from the village.

These two photos, sent home to Brigitte's family from the Western Front, show soldiers recovering in the lazaret together with the nurses who worked there.

During the Great War, the need for prosthetics escalated immensely as tens of thousands of soldiers lost limbs. As a result, there were unprecedented developments in the design of artificial limbs.

Soldiers also suffered from a new phenomenon known as "shell shock", which was the reaction of some soldiers to the trauma of battle. Unfortunately, this "nervous and mental shock" was poorly understood, as there were often no signs of physical injury. At the start of the war, it was assumed that there was a link between the symptons and the effects of explosions from artillery shells. However, an increasing number of men who had not been exposed to artillery fire began to suffer from the phenomenon. Symptons included tinnitus, amnesia, headache, dizziness, tremor and hypersensitivity to noise.

Carl Ludwig Wilhelm Maisch, of Foot Artillery Regiment 14, born on October 3, 1895 in Ettlingen-Schöllbronn near Spessart, was wounded on April 26, 1916 at 9:30 a.m. at Verdun, and died in the lazaret at Villiers on the Western Front on April 27, 1916

Kanonier Anton Weber, born on August 31, 1885 in
Ettlingen-Spessart, fell on July 19, 1916 "on the field of honor"
at Biaches on the Somme.

A hero's death I died,
I won the best death for myself,
God holds all gifts in his hand.
I am at peace in France's cool grave,
A grenade struck me down
But heaven is open to warriors.
Mother, brothers and sisters and all my loved ones,
Remember me in your prayers,
Don't forget your Anton
Who is lying buried in foreign earth
God's will was done
We'll meet again up there.

Unteroffizier Stefan Weber, born on May 25, 1892 in Ettlingen-Spessart, and fell on December 1, 1916 at Verdun.


tonyon said...

...see soldiers jumping innocently from the deadly and muddy trenches, forced to the force by order of their inflexible "superiors", to massacre them from enemy´s machine gun nest...while the causers of those wars: monarchs, politicians and of all religions pontifex in their golden palaces were eating partridges...

OneAlternative said...

Isnt that how it is in every war since the beginning of time.
Both my grandpas fought on opposite sides of ww2. Later in life they became great friends.
The best law that should be passed in every country of the world would be:
Wars are solved by duelling of the presidents of each country.
You call for war you go fight it.

OneAlternative said...
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