Lt. Gen. Fritz Hofmeier - Artillery Commander

Discussion in 'World War 1' started by janel90, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. janel90

    janel90 New Member

    Hi all, from a relatively new kid on the block!

    I'm hoping someone can tell me a bit about my great-grandfather and about the battle that is depicted on a hand drawn map I inherited from him.

    Lt. General Fritz Hofmeier was my great-grandfather. I am trying to learn more about his military service. I know that in 1918 he was the Artillery Commander of the 227th Division, a Baden outfit. In the 1926 honor rank list of the Prussian Army he is listed as retired - Generalleutnant a.D. - who came back to serve in the war. Field Artillery Brigade 29 of the 29th Division in Freiburg, Baden, was listed as his last command. In 1900 he was with the Field Artillery Regiment 55 as commanding officer of Abteilung II in Erfurt.

    I inherited what I think is a pretty spiffy document from him -- a hand drawn map of a Jan 22, 1915 battle that was thrown down to him by Pilot/Observer Otto Baer in a tube attached to a Fliegermeldung. The map has these 3 towns drawn on it - Regnieville, Limey, and Mamey -- and then some enemy positions. The message written below the map translates to something like ----

    2 batteries in the second hollow north of Mamey (150 m west of the street) firing on the Priesterwald. We are going up again. If you would like to we could direct your fire on these batteries. The signals remain [the same].

    (signed) Baer

    Inscribed on the top of the map, in my great=gransfather's hand, is:
    On 20. [or 28.?] 1.15 at the Bois d’Herties [?] Basis for a destructive bombardment by our batteries.

    Any information would be greatly appreciated!!

  2. janel90

    janel90 New Member

    Here are some photos of the banner and map --

    Attached Files:

  3. Interrogator#6

    Interrogator#6 Active Member

    I believe the banner identifies the tube as containing important information. It was a message dropped from an aircraft, written by an "Officer Observer", who rode with an observation airplane. This was common during the Great War, that for speed of handling information, it was air-dropped with such a banner. The banner served both as a source of drag, to slow the rate of descent (cheaper than a parachute), and to assist in recovery by ground-forces. The colours identify it as German.

    Observers/spotters were used by both sides during that war to assist the artillery. It was not uncommon for planes to be flown by sergeants while the observer was an officer.

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