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CHAPTER 5 draws on the personal diaries of the regimental commander Major von Heygendorff and battalion commander Hauptmann Curt John to describe the prominent role of Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 245 in the Second Battle of Ypres (April-May 1915).

This provides a broader perspective on the battle than one would expect, as the regiment was divided up across two sectors at the time. Its commander was tasked with leading a composite Regiment von Heygendorff (comprising battalions from RIR 245, 246 and 247) in the assault on the Gravenstafel Ridge on the northeastern face of the Ypres salient. Meanwhile Hauptmann John was with the rump of the regiment in its established sector at In de Ster Cabaret, with the simpler mission of keeping as many enemy troops as possible pinned in place opposite.

Leutnant von Vahl of RIR 245

Left: This sketch is one of a series of portraits of officers of RIR 245 sketched by the talented regimental artist known only as 'E.T.'. All are dated January 1915 (alongside the artist's signature) and were sold as picture postcards, several of which are reproduced in the book. J├╝rgen has thirteen of them in his collection, but the actual size of the complete series remains unknown. We would be delighted to hear from readers who are in possession of others, or have any information about the elusive 'E.T.'!

This picture is among those which we did not include. Leutnant von Vahl (first name sadly unknown) was a uhlan officer who had originally been responsible for the regimental despatch riders. He was subsequently appointed as Major von Heygendorff's adjutant and can be seen alongside him in several photographs.

For King and Kaiser - sample pages

Above: Sample pages from For King and Kaiser (chapter 5).