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1914 - 1915 - 1916 - 1917 - 1918


In 1914 Adolf Hitler lived in Mnchen. When the First World War broke out, he joined the Bavarian Army. After a short training he was transported to Belgium where he fought his first (and only) battle near Ieper in the fields of Geluveld. Hitler was a soldier in the Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment 16 (List-Regiment or RIR 16), that was a part of the 2nd Bavarian Infantry Regiment. The first or second batallion was his batallion, but since he served as a regimental dispatch runner (Meldegnger) his whereabouts and shelters could be different from the locations where the front soldiers where. Sometimes there was a special shelter for dispatch runners, but most of the time he must have lived at the regiment staf buildings behind the front. The idea that he brought a lot of messages from the staf to the soldiers in the front line has been doubted recently by Thomas Weber. Hitler must have been working behind the front lines most of the time he served in the army. August 5 - Mnchen Hitlers request to join the German army is granted. He reports to the 1st Bavarian Infantry Regiment but he is transfered to the 1th batalion of Reserve Infanterie Regiment 16 (List regiment) of the 2nd Bavarian Infantry Regiment in Mnchen. August 16 - Mnchen Hitler joins the army. His training takes place at the Exerzierplatz of the Trkenkaserne and on the Oberwiesenfeld . October 8 Mnchen Ceremonial farewell at the Trkenkaserne, with the king present. Hitler was probably there. October 9 Mnchen Hitler completes his basic training in Mnchen. October 10 March to Lechfeld The 1st battalion marches to Lechfeld for fight training: through the Landsbergerstrasse - Pasing Gilching (first day) Trkenfeld (second day). Another source mentions the route through: Alling (a village West of Mnchen, where Hitler was said to have been spending the night in a stable) and Trkenfeld (also West of Mnchen), where they spent the night outside) Having reached Lechfeld, company 1 and 2 spend the night at the Kloster Lechfeld. October 17 Lechfeld Hitler completes his supplementary military training at Lager Lechfeld, Bayern.


Elisabethschule Location: Elisabethplatz 4 Today: Volks- und Gewerbeschule (tradingschool) In 1914 Hitler was here to be prepared for WWI.

The former Elisabethschule in Mnchen (picture: Jens Krause, Panoramio,

all rights reserved)

Trkenkaserne (Prinz-Arnulf-Kaserne) 1/10


1914 Location: Trkenstrasse, in front of the Pinakothek der Moderne Today: Only the gate, the so called Trkentor, is still there. Its a small museum now. On October 8, 1914 a ceremonial farewell of Hitlers regiment took place at the Trkenkaserne, with the Bavarian king Ludwig present. Hitler must have been there too, but theres no prove real proof of it.

The Kasernenhof Leibregiment Was this the Trkenkaserne? The second batallion of the List regiment at the Trkenkaserne before the war
(picture: Solleder, 1932) (picture: Solleder, 1932)

The only part of the Trkenkaserne that still exists is a gate, the so called Trkentor.

Lager Lechfeld Location: Lechfelderstrae, near the Landsbergerstrasse Today: The barracks are not there anymore. Hitlers regiment had its militairy training here, before it was sent to the front in WW1.

Lager Lechfeld
(picture: Russel, 2006)

Location where Hitlers company spent the night - Kloster Lechfeld Location: The Kloster is located at the Franziskanerplatz Schwabmnchnerstrasse Today: Still there In October 1914 company 1 and 2 of RIR 16 spent the night at the village Klosterlechfeld. Hitler belonged to these companies. On October 17 Hitler completed his supplementary military training at Lager Lechfeld.

The Kloster in Klosterlechfeld


October 21 Travelling to Lille by train The first batallion of the List regiment gets transported to the front by train from Gterbahnhof Mnchen, through: Augsburg Neu-Ulm Bietigheim Boppard am Rhein Kln Aachen Border of Belgium at Herbestal (October 22, Hitler crossed the border on October 23) Brussels, station Schaerbeek Lille, station St. Madeleine on October 23 (the 2nd and 3rd batallion arrive at Lille on the 24th) Hitlers letters speak of a similar route: Along the Rhine, Aken, Luik (Hitler describes a runed station in his letter.), Leuven (He writes about a runed city.), Brussel, T ournai (Doornik, where the soldiers hear the first sound of cannons), Lille (Hitler writes that here was no end to the heavy sound of the cannons.), at night the group of soldiers slept at a courtyard of a trade centre and on another night they slept in a large runed hall of glass. October 24 - Lille The regiment reaches Lille.




Hermannsdenkmal Location: Near Detmold (Nordrhein-Westfalen) at the end of the Hermannsweg Today: still there Hitler saw two monuments: the Hermannsdenkmal and the Niederwalddenkmal (Hessen) when he was on his way to the battlefields of the first World War in 1914. It is said that he was very impressed.

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Journey Mnchen-Belgium 1914 weergeven op een grotere kaart

The Hermannsdenkmal near Detmold today


Station Herbestal Location: Unknown Today: The station is not longer in use/there. Its replaced to Welkenraedt. Herbestal is not longer on the border and it belongs to Belgium now. In the area the people still speak German. October 20 November 22 - First Battle of Ieper . The Battle of Ieper was a large German offensive in Belgium and France: from Bethune (France) to the coast of Belgium. Hitlers Regiment took part in that battle. October 27/28 At night the troops march towards the front. They spend the night somewhere in a castle park. Another night in that period was spend in a runed farm. RIR 16 marches to the front (through Cheval blanche and La Vigne to Comines ). Route: Lille, Place du Concert (where the different companies gather) through the north of Lille (near Marquette, the industrial part of Lille) Cheval blanc Le Beau Chne, where they eat at the break of day cross the river Ins at noon they pass Wervicq and Geluwe (not Geluveld) and reach Panemolen. They have to leave to Vijfwegen (between Roeselare and Rumbeke, a few miles up north). The Regimentstaf is located at the crossing of Vijfwegen. The troops serve as reserve in the open space between Vijfwegen and Pannemolen in the region called Artoishoek. October 29 - March to the front near Geluveld . 1. Part of the List regiment takes position at the Grote Straat between Becelaere and Broodseinde (2nd batallion) 2. The other part, the group of Hitler attacks Geluveld (Meldegnger were reported to have been there too, but Hitler was still a normal soldier at that time. That changed on November 9, 1914). The route of the regiment: Coming from the street Vijfwegen Geluwe they take the road between Geluwe and Geluveld . (1st and 3rd batallion). They leave the Artoishoek area and go southwest, leaving the road . They go to the road between Ieper and Meenen, near the village Koelberg (Vieux Chien), where the road to Ieper crosses the road between Becelare and Poezelhoek (near Kruiseik). The area between the crossing and the village of Geluveld is the area of the fight. The 1st batallion is located on the right side of the Ypernstrasse (Oudehondtstraat), the 3rd batallion is on the left side, near Koelberg . From there they go on to the Castle Geluveld and Poezelhoek. After the fight the List regiment is taken out of the fight, and falls under the 54th Res. Division. The other part of the List regiment is at the front Messines-Wytschaete. Hitler describes the following situations about this period in a letter: When Hitlers regiment fought in Geluveld and Bezeluere/Beselare they went through some woods on the right. After that, they arrived at a meadow-land situated a little higher. (The hight called Hoogte van WijtschaeteZillebeke runs from Mesen, Wijtschate to Hill 60 and Hill 62, but Hitlers vague description is not enough to point out the exact area he ment.) Hitler also talks of a large pool with some woods. The Regiment gets into a fight near the road to Beselare, that was situated on the right. After that they retrieved to Osterwick (unknown place). A known location where Hitlers regiment fought was at the castle park on the Kasteelstraat in Geluveld. Its also on a road to Beselare. October 30 - Geluveld area The 1st batallion was located in the triangel between the two streets to Becelare (on the right) and Ieper (left). The batallion was supposed to back up the attack of the 3rd batallion with fire from their trenches. October 31- Attack of the Geluveld Castle The 1st batallion attacks the Castlepark of Geluveld . The other batallions are on the left (with the windmill as an orientation point) and the right wing. They take Geluveld, but List dies in the castlepark. 3/10



November 1 - Geluveld, after the attack. The grounds behind the castlepark must be cleared from enemies. The castle, church and ostfriedhof are ruined. The castlepark is the central point. All messages go there, but Hitler was no Meldegnger yet. At night the List regiment gathers at the castlepark. They march back to the crossing and take the road back to Wervicq . On their way there, they have a meal at the village of America.

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Ieper: Geluveld weergeven op een grotere kaart

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Geluveld RIR 16 weergeven op een grotere kaart

An old map of the battle of Geluveld, 1914

(source: Solleder, 1932)

Oude Hondt and the open field east of Geluveld Location: East of Geluveld, look at the map, above Wervicq, above the road between Gheluwe and Gheluvelt (Vieux Chien) Today: Still an open field The fields where Hitler and his division started their march towards Geluveld are known as Oude Hondt (Old Dog). Hitler and his fellow soldiers saw their first action in the battle of Geluveld on October 29, 1914.

Above: A field full of grenade holes near Geluveld Below: The area between Geluveld, Beselare and Passendale. On the right is the Vijverbos, in the background are the woods of Passendale. 4/10

(picture: the Hitlerpages, 2009)


Right: A map of the entire Geluveld area (source: Solleder, 1932) Kasteel Keingiaert de Gheluvelt Location: Kasteelstraat, outside the village Today: Destroyed in the first world war, but rebuilt. Private property. Hitler and his fellow soldiers saw their first action in the battle of Geluveld on October 29, 1914. In the fight of the castle of Geluveld, the commander of the regiment, List, gets killed.

The old castle

Right: The castle today

(picture: the Hitlerpages, 2009)

Leftovers of the old windmill Location: Geluveldplaats Today: The mill was runed in 1914 by the Germans, but it was rebuilt in 1926. Today only a part of the construction is still there. The troops attacking the village of Geluveld use the windmill on the Geluveldplaats as a landmark. Hitler was part of the batallions that came from the other side.

The windmill of Geluveld after it was rebuilt in 1926


Meensepoort (1927) Location: Meensestraat, the Meensepoort is one of the entrances to the centre of Ieper. Its on the road from Ieper to Menen. Today: Still there Hitler was in the region of Ieper in the First World War. He visited the Meensepoort in 1940. He was never in Ieper in the first world war. You can find more information about Ieper on the WW2 page of this website. November 2 - 8- Rest at Wervicq and Comines The used sourvces mention no excat locations in Wervicq for this period. November 4 - Comines The regiment serves as reserve regiment at the westside of the town, directly behind the channel. November 5 - Bas-Warneton The regiment goes to Bas-Warneton, but gets back to Comines on the same day and stays there untill November 8. They go to the fields of Warneton on other days too. They always return to Comines at night. November 6-22 Messines/Wytschaete The regiment fights in the region of Messines/Wytschaete (Belgium). For two months Hitlers regiment is in this area. They stay a while at Bethlehem farm. The staf is in Messines . November 9 12 - Messines On November 9 the regiment marches from Comines through Warneton-Ferme de la Croix to the Bethlehem farm. There they replace RIR 20 at the west side of Messines . The troops were located at the southwest entrance of the city. On November 9 Hitler becomes part of the Regiment Staf, as a Meldegnger. His period of fighting in 5/10



the front line is already over. The regiment staf was at the Bethlehem farm. November 12 14 - Oosttaverne - Wytschate In the night of 12/13 November the regiment travels north to Oosttaverne (East of Wytschaete. There are still a lot of WW1-cemeteries there. The German trench network ran northward from the Lys, to the Comines channel, passing east of Oosttaverne, about 2 km. from Wytschate). There they build reserve lines fronting the WestNorthwest. The next day theyre already under attack. November 13/14 - Holleweg The regiment goes to the former hospis Hohlwegen (Holleweg), northwest of Wytschaete. But after a few hours they go back to Oosttaverne. November 15 + 16 - Wytschate, Holleweg (Vierstraat, Voormezelstraat) The regiment has to clear the woods from the French soldiers that are still in there. They storm the axe-shapedwood (now called Bayernwald ). The first and second batallion travel on both sides of the road Vierstraat (coming from Wytschate) to the westside of the forrest. The other batallion is located east of the street WytschaeteSt.Elooi. Behind the first woods is the axe-shaped-forrest. Because its not going fast enough the regiment commander wants to take go up front. Together with Meldegnger Hitler and Bachmann he goes to the Holleweg at the edge of the forrest. The commander gets shot at, but the two Meldegnger are said to have jumped in front of him. They dont want to lose another commander. But a short while later he died anyway. The troops are taken out of the axe-shaped-forrest, because the Germans wanted to use artillerie to get out the French. After that the Germans take the forrest. Theyre still under fire from the Kemmelberg . November 17 - Bayernwald The regiment has taken the lines between the Bayernwald and the Hollandse schuur-farm. The primitive regiment staf location is at the bend in the Holleweg leading to the Bayernwald (could be the location of the former caf Croonaert). The second chief of the List regiment, Engelhardt, dies here.(In the woods along the Kroonaardsstraat is a German Mineshaft. A route along minecraters runs through the area.) November 20 - Resting The regiment rests for three days at different locations: 1. Garde Dieu (Some say its a neighbourhood in Wijtschate, but it seems to be the area between Wytschaete and Neerwaasten (= Warneton).) 2. Hollandseschuur (The farm and a mine crater are still there.) 3. Partijntje (?) 4. Pillegrems-Ferme (Houtem near Hollebeke/Zandvoorde, exact location unknown) The 1st batallion was at the Pillegrems Farm. The 2nd at Garde Dieu. November 24 - Winter Winterstellung between Wytschate and Messines , between the roads to Wulverghem. On November 24 the regiment marches through Gapaard (area south of the Gapaardstraat) to Messines . They make new trenches at the area of street Wytschate In de Kruisstraat street Messines to Wulvegem, under heavy fire. (most likely between the Kruisstraat Katteputstraat - Mesenstraat) November 26 - Messines The 1st batallion goes to the village and the Kloster of Messines for a rest. December 2 - Hitler receives the Iron Cross 2nd Class at Beselare (Belgium), for helping pull Lt. Col. Engelhardt to safety while under heavy fire. December 11 - Comines- Messines The regiment becomes the Division Reserve and finds shelter at the Fabrik Gallant in Comines . After that they go back into the trenches in the region of Messines (no exact date and locations). December 17 - Comines Only the Stabsquartier is relocated at Comines, because the old one was under constant fire. Around Christmas 1914 - Messines

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Comines and Wervicq region weergeven op een grotere kaart




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Messines German Line 1914/15 weergeven op een grotere kaart MESEN -Defense MESSINES (BELGIUM)

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Betlehemhoeve (Bethleem Farm) Location: Rijsselstraat N 50 45.588 E 002 54.540 Today: Runed, but rebuilt From December 1914 untill February 1915 Hitler stayed at the Betlehemhoeve in Mesen.

Left: The Bethlehemhoeve at the end of 1914 Centre and right: The Bethlehemhoeve today (pictures: the Hitler pages, 2007)

A drawing of the Bethlehemhoeve

(source: Solleder, 1932)

Mesen, as seen from the Bethlehemhoeve. The church of St. Niklaas is in the centre
(picture: the Hitler pages, 2007)

The back of the farm

(picture: the Hitlerpages, 2007)

A sketch of Mesen, made by Adolf Hitler on February 10, 1915

(Joachimsthaler, 1989)

St. Niklaaskerk Location: Korte Mooiestraat Today: The St. Niklaaschurch was destroyed during the Fisrt World War. It was rebuilt in 1928. Hitler has made a drawing of the destroyed church. In the crypte of the church was a fieldhospital where Hitler was treated for injuries.

A drawing Hitler made of the church 7/10

24/08/2012 in Mesen (picture: Russel, 2006)


The rebuilt church of Mesen (pictures: the Hitlerpages, 2007)

Mesen 1915 (source: Meijer, 1934) The Kloster of Mesen

(picture: Solleder, 1932)


The war monument in St. Elooi

(picture: the Hitlerpages, 2009)

Croonaertbos Holle Weg Location: Vierstraat to Poperinge N 50 47.605 E 002 52.485 Today: The Holle Weg doesnt exist anymore, theres a new road there. Hitler drew a picture of the old road to Poperinge near the Croonaartbos.

The old road to Poperinge inspired Hitler to draw this picture

Above, left and right: The Voormezelsestraat is a side-way of the Vierstraat. It runs through the small forrest. The sides of the road are higher than the road itself, just like on the drawing of Hitler. On the other side of the small wood is the Bayernwald.
(pictures: the Hitlerpages, 2007)

Bayernwald or Beilfrmige Wald (Axe Shaped Woods) Location: Voormezelestraat, near the Croonaertbos, coming from the Vierstraat its the first turn to the left Today: Museum The drawing shown above proofs that Hitler was in this area. The German trenches and the English cemetery in the area remind of the Great War. Hitler was present when the Germans took over whats now called the Bayernwald.




The English cemetery along the Voormezelestraat

(picture: the Hitlerpages, 2009)

Right: German trenches at the Bayernwald

(pictures: the Hitlerpages, 2009)

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Beilfrmiger Wald near Wytschate weergeven op een grotere kaart

Pillegrems Ferme Location: West of Houthem, Pont Malletstraat, between the Houthemstraat and the Kaleutestraat Today: Before WW1 the farm was known as Ferme du Plerin (the French word for Pilgrim). A new farm was built after WW1, next to the original location. The old farm was completely runed. The farm is known as Leterme Farm now. In November 1914 Hitlers regiment rested at different locations in the area of Wytschate. One of the locations was the farm called Hollandse Schuur, near the Beilfrmiger Wald. Another one was located near Houthem. It was called the Pillegrems Ferme. (Thanks to Guy Mahieu for his pictures and information.)

The original Pillegrems Ferme

Leterme Farm today with on the right the church of Hollebeke

(picture: Guy Mahieu, 2010)

Pillegrems Ferme, June 27, 1916

Leterme Farm
(picture: Guy Mahieu, 2010)

The entrance of the old farm was on the right side of the trees next to the barn. (picture: Guy Mahieu, 2010)

The new farm today

(picture: Guy Mahieu, 2010)

The Farmhouse 9/10

24/08/2012 The exact location of the old farm. A pole in the ground marks it.
(picture: Guy Mahieu, 2010)

(picture: Guy Mahieu, 2010)

The only leftovers of WW1 are the explosives the famer still finds when he plows his farmland.
(picture: Guy Mahieu, 2010)


Fabrik Gallant Location: Rue en route dArmentires Today: The buildings were completely destroyed in WW1. The company went to Roubaix. Since 2006 the factory is back in Comines, again on the Rue en route dArmentires. Not sure about the exact location. n December 1914 Hitlers regiment found shelter at the Fabrik Gallant (weavery) in Comines. (Thanks again to Gui Mahieu
for his information and picture.)

German troops inside the weavery

A letterhead of the company of 1910