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Freikorps Gerth

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The portrait is in the despised but here regulation-worn uniform of the Provisional Reichswehr 1919-1920, with the "naval" rank rings for an Oberleutnant and the generic officers' "string bean" shoulder cords.

It is interesting to see that he, at least, has sewn the Totenkopf device onto a cloth backing before attaching it to his sleeve.

Note that the man 3rd from left in the back row is still wearing his Machine Gun Sharpshooter badge on his left sleeve, with the Totenkopf BELOW that.

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This is the owners grandfather Julius Grzesny, born in 1901 in a very small village called "Malsch?wen" near the town of "Mensguth". These photo's are believed to be taken in about 1919/1920

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Interestingly Gerth himself seems to be wearing the insignia as shown, all the others seem only to be wearing a metal Totenkopf on the left sleeve.

Anyone know where/how Gerth was awarded his Pour Le Merit ?

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These are wonderful photos!

Gerth won the PLM in October 1918 as an infantry Oberleutnant in France.

The badge below was authorised for wear as a commemorative 'tradition badge' by Reichswehr Infantry Regiment 40, which absorbed Freikorps Gerth. Gerth also wore his badge in an oval, thought to be bordered in bullion wire.

Edited by Robin Lumsden
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The bordered Totenkopf patches are Provisional Reichswehr (the colors indicate branch of servcice) but none of these men seem to have had them.

I'd have to say "official" is what they are all WEARING in this contemporary photos, not what are in books or loose insignia that they may never have had issued, from the looks of them. :rolleyes:

In post #7 he is wearing the rarely seen regulation 1919-20 Provisional Reichswehr tunic-- correct cap wreath and two old style cockades, clownish oversized collar Litzen, gray "string bean" cords for all enlisted ranks, and scooped up badge cloth covered cuffs with 1 over the other "Turkish" buttons-- but with ?black/dark blue riding breeches and puttees. :speechless1:

Even weirder is his outfit below that-- also used on the leave pass. That appears to be a pre-war Sea Battalion/Marine Infantry cap with no Reichs cockade, a non-elite unit M1915 Bluse... and some pre-war OFFICER'S overcoat with a colored collar from the pre-Feldgrau regulations! :speechless1:

The general effect is a shambles. The Priovisional Reichswehr regulations were in effect for such a short time-- and had several absurd changes during that period-- that it was hard for anybody to actually be Correctly Dressed.

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Here is another example of the bordered Gerth badge..............from von Salomon's book of 1936. At that time, the bordered version was considered to have been the 'official' badge. Whether it was worn widely, or at all, is another matter.

Gerth seems to be wearing a bordered badge in the first photo.

Thies (I think) sold items from the Gerth estate several years ago, including Gerth's own bordered badge.

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  • 5 months later...

Gerth, Daniel geb. Stepenitz (Pomm.) 10.02.1891, gest. (erschossen) Berlin-Lichterfelde 30.06.1934. 00.00.1911 Eintritt in das Infanterie-Regiment 150, 16.06.1913 Leutnant (Gg), 00.11.1914 - 21.03.1918 Kompanief?hrer im Infanterie-Regiment 150; 13.09.1917 Ritterkreuz des Kgl. Hausordens von Hohenzollern mit Schwertern; 21.03.1918 verwundet, anschlie?end im Lazarett, 27.05.1918 - 18.08.1918 Kompanief?hrer im Infanterie-Regiment 150, 18.08.1918 Oberleutnant (V), 18.08.1918 mit der F?hrung des III. Bataillons des Infanterie-Regiments beauftragt; 01.10.1918 Pour le m?rite; 00.01.1919 F?hrer des Freikorps Gerth (Ostpreu?isches J?gerkorps Gerth) im Grenzschutz Ostpreu?en, 30.09.1920 Charakter als Hauptmann, 30.09.1920 verabschiedet; weitere Kriegsauszeichnungen: Eisernes Kreuz II. Klasse, Eisernes Kreuz I. Klasse, Verwundetenabzeichen in Silber. SA-Obersturmf?hrer, Adjutant des Stabschefs der SA; 03.02.1934 Ehrendolch der SA. 30.06.1934 im Zusammenhang mit dem sog. ?R?hm-Putsch? von der SS verhaftet auf dem Gel?nde der ehemaligen Haupt-Kadettenanstalt Gro? Lichterfelde erschossen. Orden & Ehrenzeichen: ?rmelabzeichen des Freikorps Gerth (Ostpreu?. J?gerkorps Gerth) in Sonderausf?hrung f?r den Chef des Freikorps

Who has more infos about Gerth?


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