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Unidentified Germans looking for an ID


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#1 grantmal

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 10:55 AM

Some help, please.

I recently acquired this pc of 5 German soldiers, would be grateful for any hints as to who, what, where, when, ('why' is too much to ask)...

Attached File  4-Germans.jpg   42.54KB   0 downloads

Attached File  buckle,-shoulder,-ribbon.jpg   52.84KB   0 downloads

#2 grantmal

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 10:57 AM

Attached File  Shoulder-flash.jpg   28.57KB   0 downloads

Attached File  Nachrichten.jpg   40.19KB   0 downloads

#3 truthergw

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 12:04 PM

I think the newspaper is the Mortar News. Artillerymen?

#4 Jack Sheldon

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 12:06 PM

Here is one snippet to start you off. The photo must have been taken towards the end of the war and either the unit or at least one individual probably had links to the Rhineland. The newspaper provides the clue. The man on the left is holding a copy of the Dusseldorfer Nachrichten, which changed its name from the Dusseldorfer General Anzeiger (founded 1876) in 1917.

Is there any writing on the reverse?


Jack

#5 fritz

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 12:23 PM

Is it a

T = Telegraphen-Abteilung

or

L = Luftschiffer-Abteilung

on his shoulderboard? I can´t decide it.

Fritz

And the other possibility ...

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#6 grantmal

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 09:48 AM

Thanks very much for the replies.

I like the 'L' more than the 'T', Fritz, looking at the 'tail' going off to the right. Unfortunately the number below it keeps changing the more I look at it.

As for the newspaper (thanks, Jack), I can only find an end date/start date of 1917/1918 for the name change -- presumably it was on Jan 1st, 1918? No clues on the back of the card -- completely blank.

Thanks again,

Grant

#7 fritz

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 10:13 AM

Hi Grant,

there were five battalions of "Luftschiffer". You may select from 1 to 5. One of its companies was from Düsseldorf.

Fritz

#8 Jack Sheldon

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 12:17 PM

Grant

As far as the date is concerned I, too, can only find a generalised one - ab 1917 - However, I read that to mean 'from 1917'. It is difficult to speculate about the exact start, but I incline more to a 1917 date than a 1918 one. Perhaps Fritz could comment, or tell us if there is away of getting at the archives of the modern Westdeutsche Zeitung to see if it can produce an exact date. I also have a feeling that these Luftschiffer (if such they were) were probably members of a tethered balloon detachment which, later in the war, were deployed down to divisional level. Again the comments of Fritz would be helpful in guiding us.

Jack

#9 RogerShephard

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 07:58 PM

Its a long shot but is the shoulderboard a letter over a number or vise versa, kind of looks like a 'A' over '9'? but that just a guess.
also is there any clue in whats hanging on the wall with the coat? looks like a cord with an item hanging from in on top of the coat.

#10 fritz

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 10:43 PM

Jack,

the only hot trace is your advice to Düsseldorfer Nachrichten. We cannot see the whole name, but there is a sign what will be the badge of Düsseldorf. I attach it and I believe it is very similar. 1917 is correct.

Grant,

A is not an option. Possible is only T or L or E (= Eisenbahn = railway). The subject on the wall may be a belt. Usually the "Troddel" on it is an important feature for identification, but only when you can see its colors.

Tough nut.

Fritz

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#11 Ken S.

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 06:42 PM

General Anzeiger/Generalanzeiger
http://www.duesseldo...en/6_0_40.shtml

Nachrichten
http://www.duesseldo...en/6_0_42.shtml

#12 Tom W.

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 09:54 PM

Thanks very much for the replies.

I like the 'L' more than the 'T', Fritz, looking at the 'tail' going off to the right. Unfortunately the number below it keeps changing the more I look at it.

They're definitely men of an Airship Battalion. Since only Prussian Airship Battalions 1 and 2 wore Garde Litzen, these are men from Battalion 3, 4, or 5. The number looks like a "4" to me. None of the Bavarian wartime airship formations wore Litzen, either. The cockades appear Prussian, though.

You can tell it's a wartime airship shoulder strap because it's light gray and lacks colored piping.

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  • Attached File  Luft.jpg   42.51KB   0 downloads


#13 fritz

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 06:44 PM

They're definitely men of an Airship Battalion. Since only Prussian Airship Battalions 1 and 2 wore Garde Litzen, these are men from Battalion 3, 4, or 5. The number looks like a "4" to me. None of the Bavarian wartime airship formations wore Litzen, either. The cockades appear Prussian, though.

You can tell it's a wartime airship shoulder strap because it's light gray and lacks colored piping.


Tom,I agree with you. I was confused a little, because the soldier with the newspaper has an strange design of EK II. Usually there was no
miniaturized sign of the medal on the medal ribbon. I heart only in Sachsen they wore it in this manner.

Regarding his belt buckle I am sure to the Prussian version "Gott mit uns". And I guess the number on the shoulder-strap of the other man is a "3". So it may be they are from Luftschiffer-Bataillon 3, 2nd company, Düsseldorf. This battalion belonged to VIII. Armeekorps.

http://wiki-de.genealogy.net/LB_3

http://de.wikipedia....hes_Kaiserreich)

Perhaps there is anybody who knows something about their way in WW1.

Fritz

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#14 grantmal

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 11:53 PM

Great effort, thanks to all who took the time to post and share their expertise - Vielen Dank vor allem Fritz.

Good on you,

Grant

#15 grantmal

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 08:19 AM

....the soldier with the newspaper has an strange design of EK II. Usually there was no
miniaturized sign of the medal on the medal ribbon. I heart only in Sachsen they wore it in this manner....Fritz


Sorry, meant to ask about this ribbon. Is there any way to trace German Iron Cross awards? Also, (judging by the age of the bloke second left) would personnel of these type of (support) units be men unfit/too old for infantry service? Could the ribbon-wearer have gained his Iron Cross in another service?

Thanks,

Grant

#16 fritz

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 07:13 PM

Sorry, meant to ask about this ribbon. Is there any way to trace German Iron Cross awards? Also, (judging by the age of the bloke second left) would personnel of these type of (support) units be men unfit/too old for infantry service? Could the ribbon-wearer have gained his Iron Cross in another service?

Thanks,

Grant


Grant,

sorry, I´m not an expert about medals and even the simple rules of Iron Cross may be more complicated as I believed.

After war this kind of miniaturized EK on the ribbon was frequently to regard. Also for Prussians. Perhaps a matter of fashion, perhaps because it was too much fragile? Maybe an online antique dealer can help??

I continue to speculate about their service in the last phase of war. They were specialists and too much valuable for infantry service. On the other hand by the air superiority of the enemy it was very difficult for ballooning, so they lost their occupation?

The history ot their unit would be helpful.

Fritz

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