Information about birth

Date of birth:
05/10/1898
Place of birth:
Hannover, Hannover, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire

General information

Profession:
High School Student
Religion:
Lutheran

Army information

Country:
German Empire
Force:
Imperial German Army
Rank:
Fusilier
Units:
 —  Füsilier-Regiment Feldmarschall Prinz Albrecht von Preußen (Hannoversches) Nr. 73  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
26/10/1917
Place of death:
Kampftruppen-Kommandeur I.R. 73, Paddebeek, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)
Age:
19

Cemetery

Stadtfriedhof Stöcken
Plot: Unknown
Row: Unknown
Grave: Unknown

Points of interest 2

#1 Place of birth
#2 ‘Place of death’

My story

At the age of 12, Carl Lange, his elder brother Fritz and some friends founded the Hanoverian football club ‘SV Arminia’. Carl was a true football star: as their captain he led Die Blauen (The Blues) to many victories, including the North German title. By 1917, most German football players were recruited in the German army. Many would not return to the pitch. One of them was 19 year-old Carl Lange.

Carl Lange volunteered with the 73rd Infantry Regiment Albrecht von Preussen, the regiment of Ernst Jünger. He was part of the 8. Kompanie. On 18 and 19 October 1917, troops of this regiment were stationed in the region of Ingelmunster and Izegem. They went over Roeselare and Oostnieuwkerke towards the area north of Passendale. The troops passed the ruins of Nordhof on the heights north of Passendale, called Veldt Farm by the British, and took over the Abschnitt ‘Süd’.

On the 25th of October, in anticipation of the attack on the following day, the British started to shell the German positions. The shelling continued during the night, and after the British-Canadian attack started on the 26th, Carl’s Kompanie was ordered to take part in a desperate counter-attack, in the direction of the Kampftruppen-Kommandeur or K.T.K., a fortified Frontline Battalion HQ, which has now disappeared. They went forward in broad daylight. In full view of the allied lines. Ernst Jünger would describe the fateful attack in his WWI novel, Storm of Steel:

“After just a few steps, we came under rifle fire from the opposite hills and had to jump from crater to crater in order to move forward. As we crossed the next slope, the fire became more intense and we took refuge in a string of craters, where we awaited the cover of darkness.”

Carl was killed by shellfire during the rash counter-attack. On the 6th and 10th of November 1917, the German army gave way under persistent Canadian assaults. Passchendaele fell, but both sides were at their wits' end.

The news of the death of Carl Lange was hard for the Hanoverians. The local newspaper published the last letter he sent home:

"Dear mother, sister, other relatives. Tonight we go into position. If I leave my life there, do not cry for me […] Comfort yourself with the thought that so many families have also lost their loved ones. Say hello to daddy once again. I bid you farewell.

Your Carl."

His elder brother Fritz received permission to return Carl’s remains to Hannover, where Carl was buried in the communal cemetery of Stöcken.

Files 1

Sources 2

"Geschichte des Füsilier-Regiment Generalfeldmarschall Prinz Albrecht von Preußen (Hann.) Nr. 73", Voigt H., Berlin, Verlag Bernhard & Graefe, 1938.
Sources used
Ancestry
https://www.ancestry.com
Further reference