German FussAB 60

Discussions on the final era of the Ottoman Empire, from the Young Turk Revolution of 1908 until the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923.
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German FussAB 60

Post by stevebecker » 31 Mar 2019 00:56


I have been trying to see where this unit was formed and when it returned to Germany from Palestine.

The 60 FAR (as I had it) but in fact Heavy Artillery Bn (FussAB) 60, shows up in British Intell reports around 1st Gaza March 1917 and disappears after June 1917 from the orbats?

A German mate sent me this on what he believes is the right unit, but as you will see the dates don't match up.

"FAR is the abbr.* for Feldartillerie. Heavy artillery would be FuAR (for regiment) or FuAB for bataillon.

As far as I know the staff and the batteries 1-4 were in Turkey (Sinai) from April until October 1916. The 1st and 2nd batteries were changed into 1. and 2. /Fußart.Btl.158 in March 25, 1917 and served in France. Batteries 1 and 2 were since December 1916 under command of Heeresgruppe Mackensen.

The Fußart.Btl. 60 were set-up by 1st Garde-Fußart.Rgt. In that regimental history is a casualty list of the 60th bataillon.

The latest entry is from November 18, 1916 in Konstantinopel (probably in a lazarett). After this date all casualties in France or Belgium.

The "Ehrenbuch der deutschen schweren Artillerie" has a report of Major Weinlig in that bataillon. He mentioned the bataillon since April 1916 in Suez. The last mentioned actions were from august. He writes: "Die Formationen der deutschen schweren Artillerie kamen einige Zeit in der Nähe von Jerusalem in Ruhequartiere und wurden sodann auf andere Kriegsschauplätze abtransportiert." (The formations of the German heavy artillery came into resting quarters near Jerusalem for some time and were then transported to other theatres of war.).

This information posed a number of questions

Clearly the dates are incorrect, as the unit was still around during 1917 (if these are in fact the same units?)

Also this unit was in Palestine by its history we can be sure.

The German ORbat for this unit has been posted on this site before by a kind soul, and shows

(Fuss ABn 60)

HQ - Capt Apfel
- 1Bty Lt Schmude (2x 105mm guns)
- 2Bty Capt Petri (4x 150mm How)
- 3Bty Capt Naumann (2x 21cm How (Mörsers)
- 4Bty Capt Hartung (2x 21cm How (Mörsers)

Some reports (kress von kressenstein) mentions the 21cm How in Palestine but as yet I am to see any photos of these guns there, also British Intell reports make no mention of these guns, only (4x 150mm How & 4x 100mm How, possibly they could have made a mistake here?

Any gaps you can fill would be of great interest.



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Re: German FussAB 60

Post by adolpheit » 31 Mar 2019 08:58

From Handbuch der Verbände un Truppen des deutschen Heeres 1914-1918, X, 1
07.01.1916 : raised
25.03.1917 : 1. and 2. Bt. became 1. and 2. Bt. FussAB. 158
about 20.10.1917 : 5. Bt. (Kraftzug) raised from Kurzer Marine Kanone Bt. 9 and armed with 15cm Kan. 16 Kp.
03.1918 : 3.4 and 4. Bt. rearmed with langer Mörser

04.1916-07.10.1916: Stab and 1., 2., 3., 4. Bt. in Turkey
01.12.1916 - 01.02.1917: 1., 2. Bt. in Macedonia (Heeresgruppe Mackensen)
01.02. 1917 : Staff and 1., 2. Bt. Ers.Btl. in Döberitz
27.03.1917-11.06.1917 : Staff and 3., 4. Bt. 6. Armee
20.06.1917-21.11.1917 : Staff and 1., 2. Bt. 4. Armee
20.10.1917 : 5. Bt. Köln
27.10.1917 : 5 Bt. 4 Armee
25.11. 1917-10.12.1917: Staff and 3., 4., 5 Bt. 2. Armee
31.12. 1917-22.06.1918: Staff and 3., 4., 5 Bt. 18. Armee
14.07.1918: Staff and 3., 4., 5 Bt. 3. Armee
28.07. 1918-10.08.1918: Staff and 3., 4., 5 Bt. 1. Armee
19.08.1918: Staff and 3., 4., 5 Bt. Longuyon
01.09.1918-25.09.1918: Staff and 3., 4., 5 Bt. 5. Armee
02.10.1918-09.10.1918: Staff and 3., 4., 5 Bt. A.Abt. C
16.10.1918-30.10.1918: Staff and 3., 4., 5 Bt. 5. Armee
03.11. 1918: Staff and 3., 4., 5 Bt. A.Abt. C

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Re: German FussAB 60

Post by stevebecker » 03 Apr 2019 01:50


This now comes to the units use during the 2nd Invasion expedition during Aug 1916.

Ottoman Order of Battle (Orbat) does not mention the unit in its formation, but the units war diary shows it was part of that force?

There were at lest four Heavy artillery units with the Ottoman 3rd Div during the Campaign

two are KUK batteries

one a Ottoman Battery

and one Unknown battery

The force is shown as;

1 nci Kuvvei Seferiye (1st Expeditionary Force)

3rd Infantry Division (Ottoman)
31st Infantry Regiment
32nd Infantry Regiment
39th Infantry Regiment

32nd Regt MG Company (Four or six MGs)
[Each regiment is four battalions, numbered 1-4th Battalions. Each battalion has four companies, numbered 1-16 within the regiment.

3rd Mountain Artillery Battalion/Regt
1st Battery (four 7.5cm mountain guns) 1xMBty/3rd FAR (some accounts show this Bty later lost at Magdhaba)
2nd Battery (four 7.5cm mountain guns) 1xMBty/9th FAR
3rd Battery (four 7.5cm mountain guns) 1xMBty/11th FAR (reported possibly later lost at Romani or Magdhaba)
4th Battery (four 7.5cm mountain guns) 8MBty/1st FAR (reported later lost at Rafa)

2nd Independent Camel Company

1/1st Engineer Company
4/2nd Engineer Company
1/5th Engineer Company

100mm Gun Battery (two guns) (no details on both How Btys) possibly part FussABn 60

One Ottoman 150mm Battery (four howitzers) latest reports possibly 10th Heavy (Agir) Bty

2/81st Infantry Regiment (four companies) lines of coms

Maschinegewehr Bataillon 601/01 (German)
MG Abteilung 601
MG Abteilung 602
MG Abteilung 603
MG Abteilung 604
MG Abteilung 605
MG Abteilung 606
MG Abteilung 607
MG Abteilung 608
All companies have six MGs. The battalion has two MGs in reserve.

Gebirgshaubitzdivision v. Marno (Austrian KUK)

1st Battery (six 10cm Skoda Mountain Howitzers)
2nd Battery (six 10cm Skoda Mountain Howitzers)

This force was deployed as per these Turkish orders

Source: Birinci Dünya Harbinde Türk Harbi, IV ncü cilt, 1 nci Kısım Sina Filistin Cephesi, Harbin Başlangıcından İkinci Gazze Muharebesinin Sonuna Kadar. 1979, p. 338- 394
(Turkish War During WW1, Vol. 4, 1st part, Sinai-palestne Front. From the beginning of war till the end of 2nd Gazze)

The new order of 1st Exp. Forces:
HQ is at Hodelhilva

1st Group: (right wing) commanded by Col Refet (Gen. Bele)commander of 3rd Div.
31st Inf. Reg., 601th and 604th MG Companies, a mountain battery, a long range 100 mm artillary battery, a150 mm Howitzer Obus battary, a company of engeneers.
This group should move from Birülabd following the coast towards Ugratina. Their Hq will be at Hodelnaga.

Second Group: (middle line) commanded by Col. İbrahim (32nd Regt commander).
32nd Inf. Reg., 602 and 605th MG companies, a mountain battery, Austrian-Hungarian mauntain Howitzer battalion, a company of engineers.
This group should move from Birülabd to Hodelmasya over Hodumvayhelhilm which should be their HQ.

3rd Group (left wing) commanded by Maj. Kamil commander of 39th Inf. Reg.
39th Inf. Reg., 603 and 606th MG companies, a mountain battary, a company of engineers. or
Group 3 consists of the 39th Infantry Regiment (minus the 4th battalion), German MG companies 603, 606; one platoon of the Independent Camel Company, 2nd Mountain Battery, 1st Company 5th Engineer Battalion and various support columns
This group should move from Birübayur to Magaybra. Mamaybrua HQ.

4th Group was establisde as a reserve Reg. builded by the 4th battalions of the a/s Reg.s, 607 and 608th MG Companies."

A German report gives this;

The "Ehrenbuch" writes, that the battery 60 was ready to march in march 1916, the transport started in april.

June 6 they reached Birseba, July 8 they marched towards El Arisch, which they arrived July 15. July 20, they marched towards the Suez channel. The only casualty during this time was Lt.d.R. Anders.

The bataillon 60 (Hauptmann Apfel) consisted of (like I mentioned before):

One 10cm battery with two guns (Oberleutnant Schmude) possibly that shown with the Expedition

One heavy field howitzer battery with four guns (Hauptmann Petrich)

Two Mortar-batteries with two guns each (Hauptmann Naumann and Hauptmann Hartung)

*) Kress v. Kressenstein confirmed the death of Lt. Anders in his book in chapter XII "Romani", page 181 (german edition). He said he died after a few hours, instead of a few minutes.



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Re: German FussAB 60

Post by stevebecker » 04 Apr 2019 23:09


Here are some men from this unit, including those who died in Palestine/Turkey during the war;

Anders Gerhard LtdeR 1Bty/FussABn 60 1916- born 29-11-1882 DoD 19-7-16 from cholera he drank non-sterilized water and died a few hrs near the Sinai Oasis Oghratina reported buried 1-8-16 at British Military Cemetery at El Quantara (Kantara) Kress von Kressenstein confirmed the death of Lt. Anders in his book other sources say at Jerusalem (possibly reburied)?
Apfel Capt HQ/FussABn 60 - (4x 150mm How & 4x 100mm How 1916-
Hartung Capt 4Bty/Fuss ABn 60 (2x 21cm How (Mörsers) 1916-
Hoff Peter Gnr 2Bty/FussABn 60 1916- died 2-8-16 in Jerusalem
Horstmann Berhard Gefr 2Bty/FussABn 60 1916- died 19-10-16 in Jerusalem
Leibold Anton Gefr 3Bty/FussABn 60 1916- (died 18-11-16) grave at Tarabya Istanbul
Mielke Heinrich Gnr 3Bty/FussABn 60 1916- died 5-7-16 at Aleppo
Mügge Heinrich Gnr 2Bty/FussABn 60 1916- Born 18-5-1886 died 23-9-16 at Field Hosp 213) buried El Quantara as Heinrich Mugge died illness
Naumann Capt 3Bty/FussABn 60 - (2x 21cm How (Mörsers) 1916-
Petri or (Petrich) Capt 2Bty/Fuss ABn 60 - (4x 150mm How) 1916-
Scherer Damian Gnr 2Bty/FussABn 60 1916- died illness or buried 7-8-16 by British at El Quantara (Kantara) also shown buried in Istanbul
Schmude ObLt 1Bty/Fuss ABn 60 (2x 105mm guns) 1916-
Weinlig Maj FussABn 60 1916- from 1st Garde-Fußart.Rgt not confirmed wrote report on his unit in Palestine



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Re: German FussAB 60

Post by Skarpskytten » 10 Jun 2019 12:44

Stevebecker, adolpheit: I have been trying to figure out what happened to this unit after Sinia, thank you for answering this question. Clearly british intel is not to be trusted!

Stevebecker, do you have access to "Ehrenbuch der deutschen schweren Artillerie"? There is no copy avaible in Sweden, and getting it on an inter-library loan would be expensive, bying it ever worse ...

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Re: German FussAB 60

Post by stevebecker » 10 Jun 2019 23:26


Sorry no I don't

But any other details you can find would be of interest.



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Re: German FussAB 60

Post by Skarpskytten » 12 Jun 2019 07:26

stevebecker wrote:
10 Jun 2019 23:26

But any other details you can find would be of interest.
No, I haven't got so far in my research. I have identified a couple of books that may contain information on FAB60, but I have never gotten around to get hold off them. And since I'm mostly into Allebbys oct to dec -17 offensive and I now know that FAB 60 wasn't part, I guess I will not look any deeper into it's history,

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