Major z.V. Dr. Walter Bloem (1868-1951)

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Peter H
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Major z.V. Dr. Walter Bloem (1868-1951)

Post by Peter H » 22 Feb 2004 22:24

I'm after details,the life of Walter Bloem,the often quoted participant of 1914.
Can anybody help?

http://www.1914-1918.net/books/advance_mons.htm
The Advance from Mons
Captain Walter Bloem

This is a classic account of the early days of the war on the Western Front. Walter Bloem was a reservist officer of the 12th Brandenburg Grenadiers, a novelist - and his powers of description make this a gripping, emotionally involving account.

His story begins on mobilisation, leaving behind his family in Stuttgart in an atmosphere where few people realise that the business is serious. Bloem takes us through the epic, exhausting advance across Belgium, to clashes with British and French forces, and all the way down to the Marne and beyond. His surprise at an eastwards move (when Army Commanders Von Kluck and Von Bulow manage to leave the Schlieffen Plan behind them and expose their armies to Joffre's mounting reserve), his dismay at the losses of friends, and his bewilderment at the turn about and retreat to the Aisne, are very well covered.

For those interested in the BEF at this time, Bloem's account of first encountering British troops at Tertre during the Battle of Mons, and the subsequent slaughter of his Company, is something that must be read. So is the account of the killing of an advance party of the 1st Norfolks, at Chivre spur on the Aisne. Bloem's account closes when he is wounded by shrapnel and rifle fire at the same position.

An important work. It is long out of print and not easily available. As far as I know it has only been reprinted in 1930 and in 1967 as a paperback. Worth searching out.

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Post by Kaan Caglar » 22 Feb 2004 22:37

Hello Moulded,
I dug out this review of him by by Roddler F. Morris. Take a look at here
Regards
Kaan

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Bloem

Post by Glenn2438 » 23 Feb 2004 09:48

Hi Moulded,

strange that the link Kaan gave makes little mention of Bloem's front line service in Grenadier-Regiment Nr. 12. His book Vormarsch translated into English as the The Advance from Mons relates the battles of his regiment including the serious casualties the Brandenburg Grenadiers suffered at Mons and culminating in Bloem's wounding on the Aisne.

He served in the initial campaign in the west as an Hauptmann d.R. and the company commander of the 2nd Company. He later served as a battalion commander in Grenadier-Regiment 12 and was promoted to Major d.R. in 1918 having won both classes of the Iron Cross. He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Hohenzollern House Order with Swords on the 7th of May 1918. According to a small article in 1968 edition of the Deutsches Soldatenjahrbuch he was wounded several times (including one received during the March offensive of 1918). Born on the 20th of June 1868 he died on the 18th of August 1951.

Regards
Glenn
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Bloem

Post by Glenn2438 » 23 Feb 2004 09:51

Pictued here as an Hauptmann d.R. with Major Hellich.

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Glenn
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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 23 Feb 2004 13:02

Kaan,
Thanks for the Bloem article. :)

It finally fills gaps in my knowledge of this man.

The Kaiser connection appears important as well---how many 46 year old Rhinish reserve Officers in 1914 lead a company in the premier Brandenburg Grenadiers though?I get the impression that Bloem was thrown into the thick of things perhaps with the desire of a victory narrative of the German advance being available for the record at a later date.

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Post by Peter H » 23 Feb 2004 13:17

Glenn,
Thanks for the excellent details on Bloem's military career and the photos as well. :D

Bloem mentions his battalion commander at Mons as being a Major von Kleist(1st Battalion/12th Grenadiers).Not the later cavalry trained Field Marshall Eduard von Kleist though.

Mick O'Shea's website gives the following details on the 12th Brandenburg Grenadiers.

http://users.hunterlink.net.au/~maampo/ ... index.html
Commander - 2 Aug.1914: Oberst Ernst von Reuter. Died 16th March 1941 as Generalleutnant a.D. .....

The later Luftwaffe Generaloberst Hans-Jürgen Stumpff was the adjutant of I./G.R.12 in 1914.

The later General der Infanterie Wilhelm Burgdorf was both a battalion and regimental adjutant in G.R.12. Last head of the Army personnel office in WW2 and involved in the enforced suicide of GFM Rommel.

The later General der Infanterie Theodor Busse was a platoon commander in G.R.12.

The novelist Walter Blohm was a Major der Reserve, company and battalion commander and wrote the book "the Advance from Mons".
The 3rd Berlin-Brandenburg Corps appears to have had its fair share of good publicity through 1914-16 in the German press as well---perhaps also picked up by the Allies;a New York Times report of July 1916 mentions the famous Brandenburger Iron Corps entering the Somme fighting.

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Hermann von Kleist

Post by Glenn2438 » 23 Feb 2004 13:49

Hi Moulded,

I put together that little article on Mick's site.

The Kleist in question was one Hermann von Kleist: 15 Aug 1864 - 12 Dec 1946. He rose to the rank of Oberst and commanded Infantry Regiment Nr. 157 from 28 July 1916 - 16 Aug 1918.

Unfortunately the regimental history of Grenadier-Regiment 12 (incidentally written by Bloem!) is not indexed and it is difficult to ascertain when he commanded a battalion without reading through it all. He was first wounded by shrapnel to the left thigh and a gunshot wound to the right arm on the Chivres Spur on the 15th of September 1914. He was the last of the original 4 company commanders of his battalion still in action since the outbreak of the war when wounded.

Regards
Glenn

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Post by Peter H » 24 Feb 2004 23:02

Glenn,
Thanks for the further info.

Do you know which Generals commanded the 5th & 6th Divisions of the 3rd Corps in 1914?

Regards,
Moulded

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Divisional Commanders

Post by Glenn2438 » 25 Feb 2004 09:37

Hi Moulded,

5. Division: Generalleutnant Georg Wichura
6. Division: Generalleutnant Richard Herhudt von Rohden

Regards
Glenn

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 25 Feb 2004 13:38

Thanks Glenn.

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Post by Peter H » 28 Apr 2004 01:05

A reprint of Bloem's work has just been published:

http://www.militaryink.com/books/2004/a ... 622574.htm

A liitle more trivia on the man---before the 1914-18 war he lived in Paris for a few years.

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Post by Peter H » 26 Jun 2007 12:31

More on Bloem:

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Bloem

http://www.polunbi.de/pers/bloem-01.html



Nasty scar:
Image



His son Walter Julius Bloem,WW1 Kriegsfreiwilliger,Freikorps veteran,Luftwaffe pilot,with the Waffen SS,missing in Battle of Berlin 1945:

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Julius_Bloem

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Major z.V. Dr. Walter Bloem (1868-1951)

Post by askropp » 19 Nov 2023 11:16

See also here.
There are times in history when staying neutral means taking sides.

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