Michael Keogh - April 1918 to Nov 1918

Michael was in the 16 Bavarian Infantry Regt, and Hitler was in 16 Reserve Infantry Regiment

One can follow the movements of Keogh's Regiment on the map below

Hitlers movements have been researched in detail and the 16 Reserve Infantry Regiment followed this path during the time Keogh was at the front.

Where was Michael Keogh during May, Jun, July and Aug 1918?

The problem is that a number of accounts by Keogh exist. I put more weight on the earlier Catholic Bulletin articles of 1928, which are coherent, self consistent and are full of facts. I believe his movements during this period are as recorded in those articles.

April 1918, when news of Dowling's capture in Clare reached him, Keogh was working at the Flying Corps aerodrome workshops at Stolp. He got a pass that enabled him to get from Danzig to Berlin in April, but does not say what he did there, nor how he actually joined the Bavarian Regiment.

May/June/July 1918 With 16 Bavarian Infantry Regiment. He claims to have spent in the front line trenches with his "Bavarian friends" as a machine gunner, 16th Bavarian German Regiment commanding the machine gun company in the first with rank of field-lieutenant. One can see from the history of the 16th Bavarian Regiment that it spent 6 weeks in the front line in 1918, from 5 June to 18 July round Troesnes-Passey en Valois, before being thorown back to Rozet St Albin on July 20 and west of Armentieres on July 21, before being relieved and disbanded in August. The map shows the movements of 16th Bavarian Regiment during the period in question.

July/Aug 1918 in hospital in Namur and Munich with Flu. He mentions that he contracted War Flu and been in hospital in Namur, Belgium and Munich for a few weeks until the worst effects had subsided. And it was there that Berlin tracked him down in August 1918 and ordered him to return to Danzig to face a court martial for desertion from his duties with the Irish Brigade.

Aug/Sep 1918 He went to Berlin to try to fight the arrest, and got sent back to Danzig under open-arrest. The end of August and beginning of September were a pleasant time, when in the company of his escort, a German Sgt-Major, they were free to spend many an agreeable day in the cafes of Danzig.

In early Sept 1918, he went down again with Flu which necessessitated him entering the garrison hospital at Danziz. He suffered a month of high fever, which reduced his weight considerably.

By early Oct 1918 he had recoved enough to get back on his feet. A telephone message to the hospital came through with details of his court martial. The charge was deserting the Irish Brigade and joining without permission the Bavarian Garde Lieb Regt of Munich. The Camp Commandant failed to turn up at the court martial, and the result was that Keogh was "honourably exonerated". He had leave from the hospital, and went to Berlin.

Oct 1918, he parted company with O'Toole in Berlin for the last time (O'Toole had gone to Berlin in Jan 1918 as part of some scheme to infiltrate the West of Ireland)

Oct 1918 returned to Danzig. He wen back to the Danzig hospitel to get signed off, and then on to the Danzig Troyl camp at the start of Nov.

Nov 1918 When the German surrender came, a Soldiers Council General Committee was set up by the Germans in Danzig. And Michael Keogh, Kavanagh and Jeremiah O'Callaghan were elected to represent the Irish Brigade. The Irish negotiated with the Soldiers Council that any member of the Irish Brigade should get a free rail warrent to any provence in Germany. As Danzig was about to be occupied by a squadron of the Royal Navy, the Irish were keen to get out. Each Irish soldier got a soldiers council passport, with an assumed German name, a weeks rations and a suit of civilian clothes, as well as the rail travel voucher. Keogh advised the men to go to his old Bavarian Guards barracks in Munich and wait for him there. Keogh and Jeremiah O'Callaghan, who by now was his number two, were the last Irishmen to leave Danzig, just as the British Navy arrived.

Nov (mid) They had a two day train journey to Munich. However once gathered in Munich in the barracks no help coming from any of their contacts round Munich and most of the Irish Brigade drifted away from their gathering in Munich.

Where was Hitler during this time

Hitler never records being wounded on Sept 28 nor do any of his biographies. And Hitler was a man that liked to record woundings.In fact Hitler was gassed at Ypres in 14 Oct 1918 and spent time blinded in the hospital mentioned by Keogh, Pasewalk in Pomerania. This is 250 miles west of Danziz where Keogh was for the last few months of the war, too far away fro them to have met there. Nor is there any suggestion that they did meet there

They could not have met on Sep 28, and I do not think they could have met any other time. I think Michael Keogh just made a mistake in identifying a man on a stretcher as Hitler.


The second time he met Hitler in Feb 1919

The second time he saw Hitler was in Munich early Feb 1919, when there was all types of political unrest, and according to the article while in the Friekorps he arrested Hitler. Apparently a mob that was beating Hitler up and the arrest saved Hitler from further injury. Keogh was the officer of the day at the Turken Strasse Barracks when at 8 in the evening he got called out because a riot had broken out over two political agents in the barracks gymnasium. The representatives of political parties were allowed into the barracks to make speeches, but this one had caused a riot. Keogh took a sergeant and six men with fixed bayonets at the double to the scene. It transpired that the 200 Tyrolean troops that the political agents were harranguing had taken exception to whatever was being said. The 2 men were on the floor getting beaten up, and some of the soldiers had drawn their bayonets to use as knives, and their lives were in danger.

Keogh ordered a round to be fired into the ceiling, and with that the riot was quelled. The two political agents were badly beten, and Keogh put them under arrest with their agreement, for their own safety. When questioned in the guardroom, one gave his name, Adolf Hitler, the same Lance Corporal that Keogh had seen months before in the hospoital at Ligny. Keogh records that Hitler was much emmaciated after 5 months in hospital in Pasewalk, Pommerania. The other man with Hitler was Zimmer. The next day Hitler was transferred to hospital and had his wounds stitched up.

The details here are correct. Hitler was at the Turken Strasse Barracks, and so was Keogh. Hitler spent a few months on the Pasewalk Hospital recovering from being blinded in a British gas attack on 14 Oct 1918.

Keogh only recognised Hitler because the man gave his name as Adolf Hitler. Keogh says the reason was that Hitler had lost so much weight during his time in hospital. I feel that this episode and the verifiable facts ring true, and that waws Hitler he saved from tthe mob of outraged soldiers.


The third time he saw Hitler was at a Nuremburg Rally in August 1930

He undoubtedly saw the rally but did not speak to Hitler.


Michael Keogh

He claims to have spent in the front line trenches with his "Bavarian friends" as a machine gunner, commanding the machine gun company in 1st List battalion. 16th Bavarian German Regiment. He also says that 2 others of the Irish Brigade joined him in serving at the front with 16th Bavarian Infantry Regt at Munich - the others were an unnamed Corporal and a Private. Keogh says that he commanded the machine gun company. The MG08/15 became, by far, the most common German machine gun deployed in WWI since it reached a full allocation of six guns per company or 72 guns per regiment in 1918. By that time, there were four times as many MG08/15 light machine guns than heavy MG08 machine guns in each infantry regiment. They fired a 250 round fabric belt at around 500 rounds per minure. He does say "I had to shut off the feed to my machine gun owing to the sickening horror of the process, shooting of at the rate of half a thousand a minute, and mowing down a retreating enemy like locusts before a hurricane on the African veldt" However Keogh gives no detail of what he did during the time he claims he was at the front, further he does not name the emn who were with him. No other Brigade man mentions that they served in the front line with the german Army, no other letters exist suggesting that he was AWOL for months on end - the Germans were pretty thorough in checking up on the men's whereabouts, and anyone absent for that time would have been commented on. And his Hindenburg Cross certificate is for non-combatant efforts for the german War machine, not as a front line soldier - but interestingly he has wore the front line version which were easily obtainable.