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Gordon Williamson

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Posts posted by Gordon Williamson

  1. Dan,

    I have never seen a photo of the large size miniature being worn by an identified off-duty KM sailor, but I have seen it being worn by Merchant Navy types. I have also had a couple of attributed groupings which came with the cased award, again both to Merchant Navy and both with the large size mini.

    My feeling is that these cased "twin-sets" were intended for Merchant Navy recipients, and the cased Blockade Breaker on its own ( much rarer) is the Kriegsmarine pattern.

    Here is the large mini being worn on civilian clothing by a Merchant Navy diver from a Soldbuch I used to own. (A Soldbuch was often issued to Merchant Navy types or civilians directly employed by the Navy.)

  2. Yes, the Aux Cruiser badge is a design that everyone seems to like. Interesting, that most all the other KM awards show the relevant type of boat/ship (i.e. a U-Boat, E-Boat, Destroyer, Battleship etc). This is the only one that uses a historical link back to some of the earliest sea raiders, the Vikings.

    Very nice miniature too. I've been looking for one of these to go with my cased Aux Cruiser, so if you ever decide to let it go, let me know.

  3. I have a problem with a decorated solider wearing 'more' than he earned just because he could obtain the piece.

    I'd agree but have always wondered about the case of Korvettenkapit?n Nikolaus Burggraf und Graf zu Dohna-Schlodien, commander of the M?we, awarded the PLM in 1916. Nowhere in any of the accepted lists is he noted as an Oakleaves winner.

    Wearing just the PLM here, but in Edkin's book "The Prussian Orden Pour le Merite", there is a photo of him wearing the PLM with Oakleaves.

    Was he wearing something to which he was not entitled ? He certainly did something to upset people as he was known to be greatly disliked in naval circles after the award of his PLM.

  4. Many of the early S&L copies were sold with oakleaves, and it's interesting that the "Hersing" example has a three-band ribbon for the oaks. Hersing was never awarded the oakleaves, so that ribbon in your photo was not one he was entitled to wear. Hersing died in 1960, so it's within the realm of possibility that he (or his family) acquired the 1957 S&L copy (with oaks remmoved and replaced by a jump ring, and the three banded ribbon kept) seen above. Hersing continued to serve his country in uniform after WWI, until he retired in 1935 (20 years after he received the PlM). Did Hersing have more than one PlM? I don't know. If he did, it's entirely possible that his family might not have known which was the actual presentation piece, or a medal he acquired later and opted to show the best looking example. (?)


    In fact the example in the Archiv does have Oakleaves. I was aware that as far as records show, Hersing wasn't entitled to them ( though there are precedences for PLM holders seen wearing Oaks who aren't listed as Oakleaves winners).

    I knew that it wasn't a WW1 period piece, all I know is that it was donated by the Hersing family (why they would have one with oakleaves if Hersing wasn't entitled is anyone's guess) and I mentioned it simply as it matched the piece that Sauerwald claims in a 1930s Wagner.

    In fact since the visit when I took the photo, for security reasons - whether authentic or postwar S&L, the Archiv would value it on the basis of its donation from the Hersing family - it has been removed and replaced with a horrendous cheap modern copy - (after the Archiv suffered from a number of thefts)

    All of which of course still leaves unanswered the questions of just why Sauerwald thinks this type is 1930s Wagner. :unsure:

  5. Hi Gordon

    Many questions in relation to the Sauerwald article.... I don't read German, so I have to grill you instead of reading the article.....

    Does Sauerwald give any indication (photographic or text) as to why he feels it to be a piece from Wagner?

    No, I'm afraid not. He simply says the example he shows was made by Wagner but by machine methods and not jeweller produced in the traditional way that older pieces were, this type he identifies as from the 1930s being stamped in one piece and with the excess material "cut" (sawn) away. My German isn't that proficient but he seems quite adamant it is not modern.

    Is it Wagner marked?

    Nothing stated to suggest that it is marked.

    Did the two big names also indicate whether they thought yours was a Wagner product?


    Your example, being silver gilt not bronze, having the correct style of suspension loop, and showing superior eagle detail and finishing compared to S&L's obviously shabby (but essentially identical) '57 examples would indicate someone who new what they were doing had a hand in assembling it - it's not impossible that this could have been the Wagner firm using the fore-runner to the dies S&L used later, but I beleive Sauerwald would have to come up with some pretty conclusive proof!

    I haven't the faintest whether Wagner re-tooled for PLM's in the 30's of course, but one would have to ask why.... given that only a couple of years prior (as Tim's 20's version exhibits) their original wartime tooling was still being utilised - albeit with some sort of re-jig with the added chest feather cross hatching - and was by all accounts 'still going strong'....

    ...give or take the odd flaw... ;-)



    Actually, given what I paid for it, I'd be perfectly happy with my piece as a very early post WW2 "57" type in the same way as I'd be happy with a nice very early 57 Knights Cross (especially as that this would probably be harder to find - I've had lots of very earlt 57 Knights Crosses but this would be the first "57" PLM of this quality (assuming that is what it proves to be) I've seen.

    I'm just curious as to Sauerwald's identifdication of this type as being by Wagner

  6. Hi all ,

    I,ve been offered a 1957 ribbon bar consisting of the Aux Cruiser badge , russian front and Kurland cufftitle .

    I know a man could have served on Aux cruiser,s and then been involved in the kurland evacuation at a later date , but i was wondering aloud .

    Did any of the auxilary cruiser,s take part in the kurland evacuation ?

    The only one of the Aux Cruisers which could fit the bill was HK1 , the Orion, which was used in the late stages of the war to evacuate people from the Baltic ports. Whether that included the Kurland pocket I can't say. Even then I doubt whether that would have qualified a crewman for the Kurlandband. Most likely a former crewman who ended up in a ground role.

  7. I own an identical piece which I bought cheaply as the owner couldn't guarantee it but thought it was either a "1930s" or an early 1957. Either way the price was right. It is not, like the S&Ls I have seen, in bronze, but in silver gilt and has an oval suspension loop rather than the "paperclip" suspensions I have seen on S&Ls.

    Interestingly I have shown it to two big names known to all here and who have handled many originals. I was told it was a nice postwar piece and when I queried "post WW1 or Post WW2", I got the answer "post WW1".

    Worst case scenario for me was that it was an early 1957, in which case somewhat analogous to the early versus late 57 Knight's Crosses, still far superior to the cruddy later post WW2 pieces.

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