bolewts58

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About bolewts58

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  1. As far as I know this is a Weimar Era Deutsches Reiter-Verdienstkreuz and differs from the 1969 version as the arms were pebbled and followed the familiar pattern of the iron cross as seen in the close-up and also had the letter 'R' at the base of the wreath. As with the post-45 Reiterabzeichen, the 'R' was omitted on the 1969 cross. The only one I have ever had in-hand was silver and made by Steinhauer u. Luck. But, they came in bronze, silver and gold. If you look at post 138 and 139 in this link, you'll see what appears to be a gold version of the cross. http://gmic.co.uk/topic/15277-post-your-r-reiterabzeichen-and-r-fahrerabzeichen/?page=6
  2. Thanks Mike. While I accept Sergey's assessment of this cross, I'm not prepared to declare it an outright fake. At the moment, it seems to be a one-off, from what date, I don't know. I realize that it's certainly not Freikorps period. Sergey's correct that it's details match what I have called the post-1945 Rossbach-sanctioned re-issues (based on what I consider fairly valid info from a very reliable source). But, it is made of "Neusilber" (white metal alloy) rather than the usual bronze gilt seen on these post '45 crosses. So, it's a bit of a head-scratcher, at this point. I will likely try to sell it, at some point. But, I'll identify it as a later manufactured anomaly, unless some new information comes to light that definitively identifies it as a fake.
  3. I can't argue against your evidence, as you have more experience with this cross than I do. I will say that the one thing about mine that bothers me, particularly are the stag heads, especially the antlers. The quality of the seller's Freikorps badges is very high. But, almost all his items are fake. I have been able to spot most of the fakes, because of experience with real items. But, I hadn't seen genuine examples of this cross other than in photos. So, I took a chance. The seller with the ID of porre81 changed his identity to adlernest01 and then again resurfaced as vanderbilt4392. This slippery cheat and fraud is to be avoided at all costs. Subsequently, he deleted his profile on eBay. I did manage to open a case and request a refund. He rejected the refund request and eBay Germany, useless scumbags that they are, accepted his rejection and closed the case. I learned long ago, as both a buyer and seller on eBay Germany, that it does not have the same level of whatever integrity the parent company in the US has and that eBay Germany plays favorites and is often downright corrupt. The real name and address of this seller of high-quality fake Imperial, Freikorps and Third Reich items is: Marc Poredda Gustav-Heinemann-Str. 45 58239 Schwerte Deutschland This whole experience has been a hard lesson learned and a blow to my credibility, more so I think because it happens rarely. But, when it does, it happens in a spectacular fashion. But, it's taught me to go with my gut, rather than taking a chance on spec.
  4. I understand your caution about Freikorps fakes. But, there are comparatively few of them, when compared to the large numbers of fake Imperial German orders, decorations and badges.
  5. Freikorps collecting is often frustrating because of the often incomplete records, sometimes anecdotal information and scarcity of period examples of awards and badges with which to compare. A case in point is the Rossbach Cross of Military Merit. I have one of these in my collection and while I have a great deal of confidence in it because of the quality of manufacture, how it compares to other Freikorps awards and that it conforms in many ways to what is known about the award, there's no definitive way to say absolutely that it is genuine simply because there are so few examples around to use for comparison. I suppose that alone is actually a positive, as there don't seem to be fakes of this anywhere on the market because you simply hardly see this cross in any form. Most of what is known about this award is second hand, coming as it does from Klietmann who received rather spotty information about the cross from Rossbach sometime in the 1950s. What is known is this. Rossbach conceived of the cross in late 1919 as a combattant award for members of his Freikorps. Sample designs were created at the beginning of 1920 by two firms: Friedrich Sedlatzek and J. Godet & Sohn. The cross was around 51mm silvered white metal alloy with gilded stag heads between the white-enameled arms and 12mm center medallion in black enamel with a silvered letter 'R'. It had an unusual round needle pin which passed through a barrel hinge and was bent to form a crude tension spring. This style of hardware is only seen on a few Freikorps period awards and nowhere else. A lack of funds prevented an order being made until Spring 1921. Award certificates only were first handed out in May 1921. It's assumed that recipients had to buy the cross themselves. The number of awards from this ceremony is unknown. Which manufacturer chosen for production is also unknown and all known pieces are unmarked. In my opinion, it's probable that both makers made crosses to order for recipients, since the test dies already existed. Variations of the cross are known. So, this seems likely. Several additional crosses were apparently awarded to members of the Freikorps who participated in the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923. The last awards were made at a dedication ceremony of the old Rossbach battle flags to the S.A. on November 6, 1933. According to Klietmann, Rossbach indicated that he thought no more than 120 formal awards were handed out. A special version of the cross was awarded to General, Prince Pavel Bermondt-Avalov. There was also a 2nd class awarded which is even rarer than the 1st class. Additional anecdotal information that I got from a well-known collector many years ago, who claimed to have been told this by Klietmann was that Rossbach had another lot of crosses produced in the late 1950s made of tombac and only with a gilt finish (rather than the silvered alloy with gilded stags on the originally ordered crosses) and with post-1945 hardware on the reverse. These were supposedly given to special business acquaintances of Rossbach's, who had at that time a very successful import-export business. This post-1945 cross was apparently also given out at the 40 year reunion of the Freikorps in 1961. There are very few of even these post-45 crosses around. Klietmann supposedly referred to them as "Nachfertigungen", which could translate as replica or reproduction, but I think is meant to mean a subsequent production or re-issue. Since Klietmann was running Godet at this point, he could well have been the producer of this "second run" of the cross. Excluding the post-1945 cross, I've identified 4 variations in known 1st and 2nd class crosses, including mine, which is similar to the one shown in Hartung's book, except with different hardware. Here is an image of mine and also a comparison with others that are known.
  6. I think there's zero chance to find his identity because he's just an ordinary soldier. Even if he was an officer, there would only be a slight chance, unless he was a famous leader. Freikorps records are very spotty at best.
  7. I don't dispute that this is a Freikorps Grenzschutz MG unit which happens to have the name Berthold. But, it isn't the same as Detachment Berthold (more correctly Eiserne Schar Berthold) which wasn't formed until April 1919 by ace Rudolph Berthold. At the time of this photo, Berthold was at home convalescing from a plane crash in August 1918.
  8. I believe this is the case. I've seen a number of post 1918 awards to soldiers with no combat experience during the war, but with extensive Freikorps period experience. However, I believe that many of these recipients tended to be members of the regular army/Reichswehr and not the more unofficial Freikorps units, unless those units were attached to and later absorbed into the Reichswehr.
  9. That's a nice Militärpass. Freiwillige Schutztruppe Wilhelmshaven is a scarce unit.
  10. Gilles is correct. It's Freie Nachrichten-Truppen.
  11. I just picked up a Militärpass and Soldbuch to a Sturm-Soldat. He served in the Sturm Abteilung der 207 ID and then in the Sturm Kompagnie der 89 Reserve Infanterie-Brigade. He also served in a Freikorps Grenzschutz Ost company and won the EKI, II and Grenzschutz Ost Deutsch-Ritterkreuz. Here is the front page of his Soldbuch. I will post both pieces when I get them. Does anyone have any information on these two Sturm units?
  12. That's a very interesting and rare badge.
  13. Strictly speaking, it's not a Freikorps as it wasn't formed by Heiss, himself, but by the Reichswehr Oberkommando in Bavaria, with Heiss as an army captain being given its command. But, as it served during the Freikorps period, it falls into the realm of Freikorps and Freikorps collecting, much in the same way that Einwohnerwehren (Civil Defense Militias) fall under the umbrella of the Freikorps period, even though they were mostly government organized units.