Major Ritter's First Name German South West African Campaign

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Tarn
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Major Ritter's First Name German South West African Campaign

Postby Tarn » 29 Oct 2011 07:32

Hello all, ive been working on a project and have hit a snag. Unfortunately one of the major German officers in the South West African campaign Major Ritter is not given a first name in the various english sources i have available. A few wikipedia articles give his name as Hermann Ritter, but the sources for the articles do not include his first name. Apparently he fought at the battles of Otavi and Kakamas. I imagine there are German sources that include his full name, but my German language skills are rather basic and i have had a hard time trying to find his first name. Any help would be greatly appreciated,

Tarn

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Peter H
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Re: Major Ritter's First Name German South West African Camp

Postby Peter H » 29 Oct 2011 23:39

Hi,it does appear to be Hermann.

See here: http://www.klausdierks.com/Biographies/ ... hies_R.htm

Tarn
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Re: Major Ritter's First Name German South West African Camp

Postby Tarn » 31 Oct 2011 15:59

Thanks for posting that, but i have another source that states there were two officers named ritter in South West Africa during the First World War. Any chance that you would know which book Fischer 1935 is that Klaus Dierks references? I bet it give a bit more detail there.

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Chris Dale
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Re: Major Ritter's First Name German South West African Camp

Postby Chris Dale » 06 Nov 2011 13:24

The Schutztruppe Rangliste for 1904 has only one Oberleutnant Ritter in South West Africa.
The Schutztruppe Rangliste for 1914 has only one Major Ritter in South West Africa.

http://www.deutsche-schutzgebiete.de/su ... e_1904.htm

Hope that helps a bit...

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Chris

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Glenn2438
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Re: Major Ritter's First Name German South West African Camp

Postby Glenn2438 » 06 Nov 2011 16:16

Tarn,

Franz Hermann Ritter, born 21 August 1873 at Soest in Westphalia. Commissioned as a Sekondelieutenant in Eisenbahn-Regiment Nr. 2 on 22 March 1892. Transfered to Eisenbahn-Regiment Nr. 1 on 14 September 1893. Seconded to Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 145 on 1 October 1897 and transfered to Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 111 on 8 October 1898. On 30 July 99 seconded to the Foreign Office. 14 September 1900 promoted to Oberleutnant and engaged in railway construction in Southwest Africa until 1903. Returned to Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 111 on 2 JUne 1903. Transfered to Schutztruppe for DSWA on 20 January 1904 in the Railway Detachment and promoted to Hauptmann on 18 May 1905 in the 1. Feld-Regiment. On 15 December 1910 assigned to Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 76 and on 1 February 1911 transfered as a company commander in Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 91(new seniority as Hauptmann from 18 May 1902). On 15 January 1912 seconded to Reich Colonial Office. Promoted to Major on 22 March 1913.

Regards
Glenn

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Re: Major Ritter's First Name German South West African Campaign

Postby jeppestown » 09 May 2017 20:49

Poor old Ritter: he always cops the blame for the defeat at Otavi! But is it justified?

Earlier this year I finished translating an account of (among other things) the Battle of Otavi, by a gent called Eugen Mansfeld who had known Ritter since 1901 and campaigned with him during the Herero Uprising (describing Ritter as "a magnificent officer and a real daredevil"). Mansfeld was an officer at Otavi, and his account of the preparation for the battle is that Ritter had drawn up his forces to defend Otavifontein, but the German commander Victor Franke arrived in a car with his staff officer at 0900 on 28 June and ordered Ritter to move the German troops 3km south-west. Franke directed German resources to positions on the high ground nearby, splitting up the three artillery batteries and arranging the companies without any particular strategy.

Mansfeld's view was that if the Germans had held Otavifontein in their original disposition it would have been a total disaster for the South Africans, as the SA troops would not have had access to water and would have lost most of their horses. But Mansfeld puts the blame for the German defeat firmly on Franke, not Ritter.

Book is out in July: details on the Jeppestown Press website.


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