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Rudolf Laemmlen

Submitted by: Ann Laemmlen Lewis {granddaughter}

58e6d7a8eb6cc Laemmlen, Rudolf, Soldier 1918

Rudolf Laemmlen served in World War 1 in the manner described below.. The dates of service are: Known July 1917- January 1919.










On April 6, 1917, the United States declared war on the German Empire and entered into what is known as the Great War, or World War I.

My father’s German family was involved in this war. In 2007, my father explained to me what happened:

In 1914 World War I broke out. Hermann [Grandpa’s older brother] joined the Ulanen cavalry regiment in Ludwigsburg in 1912, survived the war, and came home at the end of 1918 half deaf and nervous. Hermann was in the infantry from 1915 to 1918. Dad [Rudolf Laemmlen] was drafted in July 1917 into Regiment 122 based in Heilbronn. After three months, he asked to be transferred to the mountain artillery, Sonthofen Allgau. He was only in one bloody battle–at the Marne, against the Americans. He returned home January 1919.

After coming to America in 1929, Grandma and Grandpa joined the First Mennonite Church in Reedley. They believed in a way of non-resistance, which meant refusing to participate in the activities of war. Historically Mennonites have not subscribed to entering the armed forces. During that time Dad would often tell us the story of his military experiences at the end of WWI.

He was conscripted into the German army and sent into the 13th brigade. This Calvary unit manned a cannon (10mm) and they went with six or eight horses into hilly country to station their cannon at strategic places. At one time they were sent to position their cannon over a river on the border between Germany and France. They were up on a hill looking down into a valley that had a bridge going over a river. He told how during the day he watched the soldiers rushing over this bridge and machine guns nests would shoot the soldiers down. By the end of the day the paramedics went in to clean up the dead on the bridge and pile them on each side of the bridge. There were 2 piles of dead men at each side of the bridge of the day, each row 3 feet high. They sat up above on the hill watching this whole situation. He said that by the end of the day he said he was repulsed by the whole scene he had witnessed that day and he concluded that war is a barbarous and dastardly activity of mankind and that people should not engage in it.

Along with those feelings, Dad would recite to us what happened to our 2 cousins. Marie and Richard had 2 handsome sons–both were killed, one in Siberia and one on the battle fields of Russia. Dad counseled us not to get involved in war. My brothers and I became Conscientious Objectors.

Originally posted in Anne's Stories.


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