Lieutenant court-martialed

Published: 19 December 1913

Proceedings began this morning before the Court Martial of the 30th Division against Lieutenant von Foerstner, of the Prussian 99th Infantry Regiment, who was until recently stationed at Zabern. The accused is charged with causing wilful bodily harm by the illegal use of arms at Dettweiler on 2 December.

The incident occurred when the Lieutenant drew his sword in a scuffle and struck a crippled shoemaker on the head, causing a wound two and a half inches long.

The Lieutenant gave his version of the events over the course of his examination. He said he was marching with a detachment of troops through Dettweiler in the early morning while it was still dark, when he heard insulting words shouted after them.

Later in the day, Ensign Weiss reported that it had been a lame shoemaker who made the comment. The Lieutenant ordered Ensign to arrest the shoemaker but the man resisted and struck Ensign Weiss twice in the neck. Soldiers came to his rescue, but the shoemaker freed himself and lunged at the Lieutenant, it was then that the Lieutenant slashed him over the head with his sword.

Despite the Lieutenant’s claims of self-defense the jury found him guilty of inflicting bodily injury and he was sentenced to 43 days imprisonment.

Century Ireland

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