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That's an impressive number of awards for an Oberleutnant.

Much as fighter pilots - U-boot commanders were "darlings" and medal magnets.

If you do the numbers you can very quickly see that the poor grunts of comparable rank were not treated nearly as lavishly. My initial impression was that the PlmO was a Prussian award used to reward all the empire's heroic young officers. Sure seems to be such when focusing on the aviators but if you look at infantry soldiers in the grade of Hauptmann or lower you will find only two non-Prussians serving in non-Prussian units so honored and they are both pictured in this thread and both (coincidently) rose to Generalfeldmarshall in WWII. Guess viewpoint is a function of altitude...

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Much as fighter pilots - U-boot commanders were "darlings" and medal magnets.

If you do the numbers you can very quickly see that the poor grunts of comparable rank were not treated nearly as lavishly. My initial impression was that the PlmO was a Prussian award used to reward all the empire's heroic young officers. Sure seems to be such when focusing on the aviators but if you look at infantry soldiers in the grade of Hauptmann or lower you will find only two non-Prussians serving in non-Prussian units so honored and they are both pictured in this thread and both (coincidently) rose to Generalfeldmarshall in WWII. Guess viewpoint is a function of altitude...

U-Boot commanders may have been media magnets and received more than their "fair share" of awards, but less than 30 received the PlM.

And even in that context, Heino von Heimburg is a little different. Most U-Boot commanders were Kapit?nleutnante. Only four Oberleutnante received the PlM as U-Boot commanders, and von Heimburg was the first (on August 11, 1917).

But as you can see by the photo, von Heimburg only received awards from two German states - Prussia and Oldenburg - so he wasn't really the homefront media sensation that aviators and raiders like Nerger and Graf Dohna were. Oldenburg's Friedrich August Cross, even in 1st Class, is not uncommon among navy officers. The Prussian awards are the PlM, the HHO3x and the EK1 and 2. He also supposedly had the Oldenburg House and Merit Order, Knight with Swords, awarded 7 October 1917, but it does not appear in the photo or the 1918 ranklist, so it may have been a later award that was backdated.

The rest are foreign and are a more impressive combination than his German awards: from Bulgaria, the National Order of Military Merit; from the Ottoman Empire the War Medal, a silver Imtiyaz Medal and a golden Liyakat Medal; and, most unusual, from Austria-Hungary the Leopold Order and the Order of the Iron Crown.

I don't know of too many PlM winners with the Leopold as well - the Military Merit Cross was the main Austrian award to foreigners, followed by the Iron Crown. Another would be Kapit?nleutnant Lothar von Arnauld de la Peri?re, the most successful U-Boot commander of the war. Von Heimburg and von Arnauld de la Peri?re both commanded U-Boots of the Austro-Hungarian Navy until Austrian crews could be trained to take over.

The odd thing about von Heimburg is not that he won all these awards as an Oberleutnant, but that he was still an Oberleutnant. Plenty of members of his class (April 3, 1907) had already made Kapit?nleutnant by the time von Heimburg received the PlM, among them G?nther L?tjens and Otto Schniewind. Another U-Boot commander in von Heimburg's class, Ralph Wenninger, also beat him to Kapit?nleutnant, though von Heimburg beat Wenninger to the PlM.

If this site is to be believed, von Heimburg took on a British submarine in a rowboat, so he gets "stud" props from me.

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  • 10 months later...

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Meet Infanterie - Regiment Nr. 459's only Regimental Commander, Major Friedrich von Pirscher. Notice the Pour le Merite around his neck.

His other awards are both classes of the Iron Cross and the Hohernzollen Hausorden (sorry we cannot tell what the last ribbon is, it is really too bad it's not a color picture).

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Gentlemen,

I would like to offer a picture of Ernst Adolf Julius Guido von Usedom which shows his PLM. I think that this represents an especially nice pre 1914 award.

According to Bill Hamelman?s translation work, Admiral von Usedom, while a Kapit?n zur See, was awarded his PLM for outstanding leadership and conspicuous bravery in action while commanding a detachment of German Marines attached to the Seymour Expedition during the assault and capture of the Taku Forts on 17 June 1900. Not bad.

He was subsequently awarded the oakleaves on 23 August 1915, as an Admiral commanding Special Naval Forces in Turkey. There is a certain irony in all of this in that in this prewar picture he is clearly wearing the sash of the British Royal Victorian Order, the grand cross star of the Order of St. Michael and St. George and two unidentifiable British medals. Of course in his role in Turkey, he would be one of the key German commanders who would give the British commanders fits at Gallipoli.

Regards,

Wild Card

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  • 2 weeks later...

Very nice photo of Major Franke :love::love: . It is the first time I see him with all the medals he received before the WW1.

Christophe

Hello Deruelle,

are you sure that the mayor is Viktor Franke?? I think it is W. von Koppy. I?m missing only the medal for the china campaign.

All the best

Leutwein

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