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Glenn J

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About Glenn J

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  1. Claudio, he does not appear in the officer/official lists of either the k.u.k. Army or k.k. Kandwehr. I am assuming he is a Landsturm military official. That does seem to be a rank "Rosette" on the collar as worn by officials as opposed to a star worn by officers. Regards Glenn
  2. Does he have a name? Regards Glenn
  3. A subject now firmly on my radar! Here is a photograph I took at the tomb of Kaiser Wilhelm I in Charlottenburg in 2013. As can be seen, the old Emperor never "upgraded" himself from Generaloberst der Infanterie (mit dem Range eines General-Feldmarschalls). Regards Glenn
  4. GD, I have been researching the Prussian army for many years and as Andy rightly said, there sometimes are not the answers in black and white that we desire. However, I will offer an opinion. The first two promotions of the the Prince of Prussia and Prince Carl were "one offs", that is promotions of two individuals who were Hohenzollern princes and therefore according to past practice were not promoted to actual GFM rank but accorded the dignity and seniority as such with a different title; Generaloberst and General-Feldzeugmeister respectively. Following King Wilhelm's accession to the throne and the successful course of the Franco-German war, he changed the practice used hitherto and promoted two Hohenzollern princes (both army commanders) to the rank of GFM. It will be seen that all the other wartime and immediate post war promotions to GFM were of former army commanders, the chief of staff and the war minister: Moltke, Roon, Manteuffel, Herwarth (1866) and Steinmetz. With the the creation of army inspectorates following the creation of the German Empire, promotions of senior generals to these posts at a time when the nation was no longer at war allowed for the promotion to Generaloberst but still ranking as a GFM. Additionally, the corps commander of the Guards Corps, Prince August was so promoted. As time went on, the fine distinctions were blurred and as Andy alludes, Kaiser Wilhelm was probably more generous with his promotion policy (as indeed he was with his awards policy) and this accounts for Haeseler, Bock und Polack and Goltz's peacetime promotions to GFM. Certainly until 1900 one can consider the holders of the ranks of Generalfeldmarschall, Generaloberst der Infanterie, Generaloberst der Kavallerie and General-Feldzeugmeister as holding the rank of a Field Marshal and they were consequently listed together in order of seniority in the army list. Promotion policy and politics is a difficult minefield to navigate in the Prussian army and this is exacerbated by the wartime destruction of pretty much all the original primary documentation. Nothing is clear cut; we have a peacetime corps commander - Graf Haeseler as a GFM and wartime army group commanders such as von Below and von Gallwitz as a General der Infanterie and Artillerie respectively! Regards Glenn
  5. No, the Prince was à la suite (an honorary position similar to that of a regimental "Chef") to the Garde-Kürassier-Regiment and therefore entitled to wear that regiment's uniform. Regards Glenn
  6. There is an interesting section in the book by Reinhard Stumpf - "Die Wehrmacht Elite" which covers in some detail the development of the rank of Generaloberst. He refers to the case of the future Kaiser WIlhelm I who was promoted to Generaloberst by his brother, King Friedrich Wilhelm IV. for his army command in the 1849 Baden campaign. He refers in this case to an " unwritten rule, lost in the depths of time, that Hohenzollern princes could not attain the rank of Field Marshal.This would also have applied in the case of Prince Carl's promotion to Generalfeldzeugmeister. In any case, titles aside, at this time the rank of Generaloberst ranked equally with the Generalfeldmarschall. This unwritten law was broken with the promotion of the Crown Prince and Prince Friedrich Karl to Generalfeldmarschall in October 1870. Below is a portrait of Generaloberst (2 Sep 73) Prinz August von Württemberg, commanding the Guards Corps. One can ascertain at least two of his three stars plus crossed batons. I heartily concur with Andy's last couple of sentences! Regards Glenn
  7. The appointment and insignia of the Generaloberst/Generaloberst m.d.R. eines GFM and the char. Generalfeldmarschall is an interesting and somewhat tricky subject. The period introductory orders as published in the Militär-Wochenblatt are rather vague. The first two promotions to Generaloberst were those of the future Kaiser and King Wilhelm I as Prince of Prussia and that of Prince Carl (General-Feldzeugmeister), both in March 1854. The gazetting of both promotions does not mention that these were accompanied by the rank of Generalfeldmarschall. However in the 1854 Prussian Rangliste both are listed as having the rank of Generaloberst m.d.R. eines GFM. It appears that by default, all further appointments to Generaloberst were also accompanied with the title and dignity of a Generalfeldmarschall until the 1901 promotions of Generals von Hahnke and Graf von Haeseler to the "basic" rank of Generaloberst. Up to 1900 the Generalfeldmarschall and the Generaloberst m.d.R. eines GFM were equal in rank. One sees for example that in the 1873 Prussian Rangliste, that Generalfeldzeugmeister Prinz Carl von Preußen was the senior serving officer in the Prussian Army and senior to all the serving Field Marschals. Similary both Generalobersten Friedrich Franz Großherzog von Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Prinz August von Württemberg were senior To GFM Freiherr von Manteuffel and the two char. GFM, Herwarth von Bittenfeld and von Steinmetz. From 1901 the Generaloberst, including those with the rank of a GFM are shown below the Field Marshals. The order introducing the insignia of the Generaloberst dated 30 March 1854 is similarly frustrating; although it details the three stars of the Generaloberst/General-Feldzeugmeister, it does not specifically mention the wear of the batons of GFM rank or the details pertaining to the char. Generalfeldmarschall. To date, I have found no further introductory order describing this insignia. As however noted earlier, that these Generaloberst had the title and dignity of a GFM, it is presumed that the stars were from this point onward accompanied by the crossed batons of a GFM. The first "official" documentation that I have found detailing the permutations (batons with two/three stars) is to be found in the 1879 edition of Helldorf's "Dienstvorschriften der Königlich Preußischen Armee". I have only come across three promotions to char. GFM and these were bestowed on retirement; Carl Graf zu Dohna in 1854 and Herwarth and Steinmetz in 1871. Just to add to the confusion, although only a brevet Field Marshal, Graf Dohna is listed before Prince Wilhelm and Prince Carl until his death in 1859. Regards Glenn
  8. Chaps, Eugen Berckhemer was born in 1866 and did not enter military service until 1884. Presumably not the guy we are looking for. Regards Glenn
  9. Hi Dave, those very much appear to be the shoulder boards of a subaltern officer. He wears nothing that would lead one to believe that this is a non-commissioned officers‘ uniform. Regards Glenn
  10. GreyC, he appears to have the ribbon of the Iron Cross 2nd Class in his lapel. I therefore assume this is in fact an early war photograph. Regards Glenn
  11. Oops, sorry, it is the Baden Campaign medal of 1849. The 1813/15 is to the other side of his 25 year cross. Regards Glenn
  12. Glenn, that really is a wonderful rendition of Oberst Kusserow's medal bar. Much clearer now is the tiny little medal tucked between the Hannoverian Guelphic Order and the Russian Saint George; his campaign medal for the 1831 campaign to put down the uprising in Neufchâtel. Regards Glenn
  13. Certainly, BZL2 Baden order of the Zähringer Lion Commander‘s cross 2nd class FEL4 French Legion of Honour Officer‘s Cross HG3 Hannoverian Guelphen Order Knight‘s Cross HEK2 Hohenzollern Honour Cross 2nd class RG5 Russian Saint George Order 5th class Regards Glenn
  14. Hi, a different Kusserow; August Ferdinand Cusserow. He retired around 1846 and died on 2 March 1872. The extract from the 1835 Prussian Rangliste shows his Russian Anna and Stanislaus orders. An extract from the 1850 Prussian Rangliste shows our Ferdinand von Kusserow's orders as the commander of 14. Infanterie-Brigade. Regards Glenn
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