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This is probably a dumb question, but this is a lieutenant's uniform, isn't it?  

Walter_Gropius_in_his_sergeant_uniform_i

The Wikipedia caption is "Gropius in his sergeant's uniform during World War I". The section of the article itself on his service appears to have been written by someone unfamiliar with the German armed forces. It says Gropius "was drafted August 1914 and served as a sergeant major at the Western front during the war years (getting wounded and almost killed) and then as a lieutenant in the signal corps". Gropius was not drafted, but rather was called up as a reservist. He started the war as a Vizewachtmeister der Reserve in Reserve-Husaren-Regiment Nr. 9, and was promoted to Leutnant der Landwehr-Kavallerie I on 1.11.1914. The "signal corps" part is not completely wrong - he was a cavalry officer, but he did serve at the Heeresnachrichtenschule Namur. 

The article also says Gropius "was awarded the Iron Cross twice". That should really be he "was awarded both classes of the Iron Cross" (he was, although obviously the 1st Class came after the photo was taken). For what it's worth, he also received the Bavarian Militär-Verdienstorden 4.Klasse mit Schwertern and the Austro-Hungarian Militärverdienstkreuz 3.Klasse mit der Kriegsdekoration 3.Klasse. 

The German Wikipedia article is worse, as it identifies him incorrectly as an Unteroffizier der Reserve and mentions that he was wounded and received the Iron Cross.

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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

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Hello, The peaked cap he wears looks like a Hussars one. his tunic is well tailored and with breast pockets not allowed to NCOs .finally on his collar there is no NCO lace

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Gropius served in the 15th Hussars Regiment , Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands . a photo of these period shows he in the parade dress of pre war. he bears button and lace on the collar of the attila. that means the rank of sargeant .but recalled by the War could have reached the rank of leutnant .in his old regiment

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If he got the bavarian MMO 4th class X he definitely had the rank of an Leutnant or Oberleutnant - may be in later years of the war.

I like Gropius and Bauhaus very much. I have a few things of it decorating my house.

 

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Hi,

by coincidence saw an old interview on the telly with Gropius during which he mentioned having been with the Wilhelmina Husars, but that he served with the Zieten-Husars (3rd HR) during the war claiming to have gotten the first IC in his regiment. Well, that´s what he said, anyway.

GreyC

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Hello , If he said that ...

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Posted (edited)

Yes he did. The thing is, that the TV piece was on a new biography on Gropius (by Bernd Polster) which comes to the conclusion that Gropius was as good at selling himself as he was an architect and that he (at times) was interpreting the facts to his advantage, if you like.

GreYC

Edited by GreyC

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Hello Grey C . I like , to sell a certain image is not uncommon among famous architects , Albert Speer by case do more or less the same thing . In the other extreme Frank Loyd Wright or today Cesar Pelli , cultivated this way .

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According to a file in the archives in Wolfenbüttel which I reviewed several years ago, 113 officers in HR 3 received the Kriegsverdienstkreuz. Only two were turned down, because they were in the Ersatz-Eskadron and not in the field with the regiment. Gropius is not in the list, so I doubt he was with HR 3 itself.

However, he was with RHR 9 when he was promoted to Leutnant der Landwehr in November 1914. RHR 9 was raised by HR 3, so maybe he was among the first EK recipients in that regiment.

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Hi Dave,

thanks for this interesting info. When he gave the interview he must have been well into his 60s and his miltary service was not the focal-point of the interviewer. So Gropius just mentioned it by the way. Maybe he wanted to keep it short yet make a certain point (bravery).

GreyC

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