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Gentleman's Military Interest Club


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About bolewts58

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  1. Real Deal

    Freikorps is a bit of a minefield these days as interest has increased dramatically in the last couple of years. As a result, there are many more high quality fakes on the market. As someone who has collected Freikorps since the late 60s, I would say that there really isn't a totally legitimate source for genuine FK items. Even dealers who are considered to be more or less reputable sell fakes (knowingly or unknowingly). Educating yourself through reference books, reading through forums and asking questions about pieces you are considering buying is really the only way you will be able to build your knowledge and collect. While there are many novice collectors on the scene now, there are relatively few knowledgeable collectors around and most of those post on forums. Also, the best reference books are in German and Russian. So, unless you can read those languages, you'll need help translating them for information. The first book you should buy is Das Buch vom deutschen Freikorpskämpfer by Ernst von Salomon. An original 1938 edition will run about 250-300 EUR, if you can find one. But, there are reprints available on Amazon, Abebooks etc. for around 50 EUR. For Freikorps insignia, the best book is Katalog der Uniformabzeichen der deutschen Freikorps by Ingo Haarcke (38 EUR). There isn't a comprehensive book on all Freikorps awards. But, there are 2 very detailed volumes in Russian on Freikorps awards related to the Baltic and Silesian campaigns by Konstantin Nickolaev. But, these are only available from the author and I don't think he's printing any more at the moment. There is no dealer in the world who I would rely on. So, your best bet is to read references and consult experts on forums.
  2. Rare Freikorps naval cap tally of Die Eiserne Flotille / Eiserne Torpedobootsflotille Originally known as Die Freiwillige Nordsee-Torpedobootsflottille. Founded in Wilhelmshaven under the Generalkommando des Garde-Korps (Garde-Kavallerie-Schützen-Division, Berlin) on February 20, 1919. It was disbanded on August 3, 1920. Commanded by Korvettenkapitän Rudolf Lahs (later Reichsmarine Kontoradmiral, Vice-President of Deutschen Versuchsanstalt für Luftfahrt (DVL) and President of the Reichsverbandes der Deutschen Luftfahrt-Industrie (RDLI). Order of battle 1. Eiserne Halbflottille 2. Eiserne Halbflottille The Flotille were first stationed in Emden harbor in March, 1919 to prevent a communist uprising. The Flotille participated in the Hamburg uprising, June 1919 (known as Die Hamburger Sülzeunruhen). - The Eiserne Flotille with 8 torpedo boats blocked the Elbe and the entrance to Hamburg and provided a link between Detachments Lebedur and Heug (Reichswehr Pionier_Batl. 9). It also supported the Kapp-Luttwitz Putsch in March 1920.
  3. I think it's a Baden hunt club from the 1920s and not veteran related.
  4. I think it's Verband Badische Jäger. It's not Freikorps and doesn't belong on this thread.
  5. I saw this on eMedals. It's a beautiful award and nice to have the case. Congrats. But, the case has a GA Scharffenberg label. Yet, the cross is marked 'R' which is Alfred Rösner, Dresden. So, the cross and case were likely not originally together, unless the original recipient picked up a replacement case from GA Scharffenberg, which seems unlikely. I don't think it diminishes the value, really. Cases for this order are hard to get. But, still I wanted to point out the discrepancy.
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Freikorps EK2 ?

    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.
  14. That's a nice Militärpass. Freiwillige Schutztruppe Wilhelmshaven is a scarce unit.