On 12 August 1915 the Germans had a significant memorial for the one-year anniversary of the Battle of Halen. This cavalry action brought forth a ceremony that was held in Halen Belgium and attended by 40 relatives from Germany. The Generalgouverneur of Belgium, Generaloberst Freiherr von Bissing and the Militärgouverneur of the Province of Limburg, Generalmajor Keim were present. The Groβherzog of Mecklenburg sent a delegate to honor his fallen Mecklenburg men. Every grave was decorated with an iron cross-with the name of the fallen-and with flowers. After the ceremony, Exzellenz von Bissing-in person- paid his condolences to the relatives and the cemeteries were visited. A special train brought the participants of the ceremony from Halen to Hasselt and then back to Germany.
During the ceremony General Keim gave a speech. The content of the speech and other details can be found in a 17-page booklet (Das Gefecht bei Haelen) that was prepared for the event and contained a number of pictures. This was in the middle of the war. The impact of this battle was so significant on the operational outcome of the Schlieffen Plan, that they actually stopped what they were doing a year later to conduct the memorial. This not only affected the operation but also the flower of German chivalry.
Yet this battle was not well known in the English language until Fonthill Media published the first English-language work earlier this year. Happening 11 days prior to the Battle of Mons, the results of this battle seriously affected the reconnaissance that followed on looking for the BEF. Not that far from Mons and with a battlefield heavily preserved, a visit to the museum and the battlefield would be richly rewarded especially when paired with the maps and story inside The Last Great Cavalry Charge.
You can pre-order The Last Great Cavalry Charge from Casemate Publishers here.
Expected release: September 2015.