The Regiment in the World War.
I. The war of movement in the West.
(Aug. 1-Sept. 18, 1914)
The overall situation: The operations plan for a two front war had already been worked out by General Field Marshal Graf v. Schlieffen, placing the defeat of the enemies in the west first, and relegating the northern thrust of the Russians in the east to the level of a second objective.
Between the 11th and the 14th of August, the German western army crossed the border from Krefeld to the Swiss frontier as they advanced, after the army's cavalry had ended their advance on the 7th of August. The mass was organized into seven armies.
The basic intent of the advance was for the right wing of the army to accelerate through Belgium, drawing off the right flank of the French army to win. Toward this end, the 1st and 2nd armies were in the north, the 3rd, 4th, 5th armies crossed south of the Maas, and spread out gradually to the southwest, encirciling the french army of Paris, and swinging to the Rhine and the Swiss law of war, so that the encirclement and defeat can come about. The 6th and 7th armies, with their strong points at Metz and the Vosges had the task, either by the laying on of a defense to an enemy frontal assault or by fettering the enemy with an attack, of hindering an enemy power shift to the Belgian border.
After the 7th of August, with the immobile German dispute force taking Luttich, the French collapse in Upper Alasce on the 8th of August was known. Mid August brought the right flank of the main German army, (1st - 5th armies) into Northern France. In a series of moving battles, the French-English army was forced back over the Marne. Soon, patrols of the German cavalry were standing 30 Kilometers from Paris, but a battle against French Generalissimo Joffre in the battle of the Marne, (6th to the 10th of August) so rocked the German high command that the German army retired behind the Aisne.
I. Mobilization and march out in the West.
(1st to the 7th August, 1914)
1.-6. Aug. 1914. On August 1, at 6:30 in the morning, the "Mobilization" order was given. August 2nd, a Sunday, was the first day of Mobilization.
The Mobilization-Finishing Timetable unwound frictionlessly; numerous problems had been forseen and worked out in advance. The clothing, equiping, and armament ran smoothly. The zeal of all service positions was worthy of recognition. The tune and support of the arriving replacements was exemplary. Every train ran with decorated locomotives and cars, that in the chalk writings, the replacements could find not only humor, but also profound moralistic earnest. Old soldiers marched through the decorated streets of the city of Neisse in festive steps and paces, greeted by the population with a joyful earnestness. The number of war volunteers of all standings and occupations swelled hourly. Citizen and soldier grasped the same deep-seated motive, the will to win at whatever cost, even the highest cost- Life.
Whoever lived through this time, will never forget it! All inner political strife and turmoil was forgotten! It gave rise to only one people, united in their enthusiasm and in their anger, united in their will to defend their suddenly attacked Fatherland. The entire city so resounded with the raucous playing of private bands, that all melted into a single mighty fanfare before the song of the people: "Es Braust ein Ruf wie Donnerhall".
Germany the People in Arms! With God For Kaiser and Empire!
On August 3rd, the departure hour struck for the first part of the Regiment. The 6th Company, (Hauptm. von Debschitz) and a zug of the M.G. Company left the Garrison at 11:30 am, for an unknown destination. Their task was to cover the unloading of the following parts of the regiment.
On the 6th of August, (1914) at 12 noon, the Regiment stood for the last time in an open square on the Wilhelmsplatz in Neisse, 3000 men, prepared to take the oath, to victory or death. Before the middle of the Regiment stood the new Regimental commander, Oberstlt. von Hofmann. Under the beating of the Prussian March, the Flag company, the 1st., approached, under the command of Hauptmann Eichholtz.
The uncased flags, the bearers of a far reaching famous past, stepped to the commander, while the troops presented arms. A new loyalty oath, and a hurra for the beloved Fatherland ended the commander's speech. A parade march in company front ended this last Regimental parade in their beloved garrison.
Mobilization brought various changes to the Officer corps:
(Therein follows a long (2 ½ pages) list of the changes to the officer ranks, and a list of the officers and NCO's mit portapee for each company, paymasters, doctors, ect. The list is deleted to save some space, except for these few --The translator)
- Regts. Kdr.: Oberstlt. v. Hofmann
- Adjt.: Oberlt. Hergesell
- Führer der Großen Bagage: Lt. d. Res. Schmidt (Hus. Rgt. 6)
- (Regmental doctor and paymaster are those of the 1 Batl.)
- Musikmeister: Obermusikmeister Gnieser
- Batl. Kdr.: Major Schliefer,
- Adjt.: Lt. Meyer (Fritz)
- Verpfl. Offiz.: Lt. D. Res. Klinner
- Batl. Arzt (Doctor): Stabsarzt d. Res. Dr. Fleischer
- Ass. Arzt: Unterarzt d. Res. Dr. Weise
- Zahlmeister (paymaster): Feldzahlmeister Froehlich.
3. Kompagnie (need 1. Komp.)
- Hauptmann Schmeidler
- Lt. d. Res. Sommer
- Offiz. Stellv., Vizefeldwebel d. Res. Leo
- Offiz. Stellv., Fähnrich Stock
- Feldwebel Hahn
In succession, I., II., (without the 6th company) the M.G. company, (minus one Zug) and the Regimental Staff, with the participation of the entire population, carried out the transporting away of the regiment in the order of assembly during the night from the 6th to the 7th. of August.
7.8. The III. Batallion followed along as the last transport of the Regiment on the 7th of August. The regiment was a part of the 12th Infantry Division, (Leader: Generallt. Chales de Beaulieu) which had the following war organization:
24th Inf. Brigade:
- Gen. Major von der Heyde (Inf. Reg. 23 and Inf. Reg. 62)
74th Inf. Brigade:
- Gen. Major Bollbrecht (Inf. Reg. 63 and Inf. Reg. 157)
- Ulanen Regt. 2,
12th Field Artillery Brigade:
- Gen. Major Zietlow (Field Art. Regt. 21 and F.A. Reg. 57)
- 2nd and 3rd Batallions, 6 Pionier Reg.
The 12th Inf. Division belonged to the VI Army Corps under the leadership of General der Infanterie v.Pritzelwitz, which was part of the establishment of the 4th Army of Duke Albrecht von Württemburg.