Jardy told CNN that the message was folded inside a small aluminum pill and it was difficult to decipher the script.
A German friend, whom Jardy asked to translate the message, said the officer, based in the town of Colmar, was recounting German military exercises in the area.
“The Potthof platoon received fire when they reached the western border of the parade area, the Potthof platoon received the fire and retreated after a while,”; the statement said, according to the AFP news agency. “In Fechtwald, half of the platoon was disabled. The Potthof Platoon retreated with heavy casualties.”
Jardy says these losses are estimates based on the battles rather than the actual number of deaths, Jardy explains that this is a common practice in military drills.
Difficulty reading the script meant there was some debate about whether the message was sent in 1910 or 1916. However, Jardy believes it was the previous message because he didn’t know about any of the drills. Any military around Colmar in 1916 and notes use specific terms. to military exercises rather than war.
Jardy says artifacts like the message are almost never found today.
“It’s really, very, very rare,” he said. “It’s really special.”
The message will be on display at the Linge Memorial Museum, about the war between the French and German forces in 1915.
France ceded Ingersheim and the surrounding area to Germany in 1871 after the Franco-German War, but the territory changed hands in 1918 with the Allied victory in World War I.