Regimental Association of the Prince of Wales's Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians)

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German Corps Order

Extract of a German Corps Order describing the strategy for Messines and Wijtschaete.

1st June 1917

The absolute retention of the natural strong points Wijtschaete and Meesen (Messines) becomes of greater importance for the domination of the whole Wijtschaete Salient. These strong points must, therefore, not fall even temporarily into the enemy's hands. Their permanent commandants and the troops there must be informed that both these strong points must be defended to the utmost and held to the last man, even if the enemy has cut connections on both sides and threatens the strong points from the rear. The same applies to all other holding-on points and strong points and particularly for the advanced batteries in front of the Sehnenlinie which are destined for near defence.

The troops must be told that we have very strong battle reserves close behind the front which are destined to throw back any enemy who may have temporarily broken through in one big counter attack, should the battle reserves of the division not already have been able to do this. The fight of single detachments even if only in strength of a few sections with machine guns, which have hung on and been cut off by the enemy is by no means hopeless, rather does it prepare the way for the success of the counter attack of the strong reserves.

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