Article Index

CHAPTER 4 draws on the vivid and immediate personal diary of Major (later Oberstleutnant) Alfred von Heygendorff, an experienced veteran commander hurled into the First Battle of Ypres on 23rd October 1914 to take command of Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 245, a leaderless and demoralised formation consisting of undertrained volunteers and older reservists.

Major von Heygendorff's diary entries (as preserved by his wdiow) first appeared in the regimental veterans' newspaper in the 1920s, and have never been reprinted or translated since. They were painstakingly transcribed by Jürgen from fragile and exceedingly rare surviving copies of the original newspapers.

For more on the major and his regiment, please see my previous articles:

Our first book Fighting the Kaiser's War includes several vivid personal accounts of the First Battle of Ypres from other units of XXVII. Reservekorps, including that of Einjährig-Freiwilliger Curt Penther of RIR 242.

Front line of RIR 245 at In de Ster Cabaret

Above: This picture postcard by an unknown regimental artist depicts the regiment's front line in the In de Ster Cabaret sector (north of Polygon Wood) during the winter of 1914-1915.

For King and Kaiser - sample pages

Above: Sample pages from For King and Kaiser (chapter 4).