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I know that certain members here seem to have an uncanny knack of identifying otherwise anonymous medal bars to put a name to a face in a photograph.

This image was taken by a photographer in Minden, the garrison town of 26. Infanterie-Brigade, Infanterie-Regiment 55 and Feldartillerie-Regiment 58 among others, and bears a faint comment in pencil on the back.

The comment reads: "Taken on 1st August, one day before departing in field grey uniform. For the 5th September 1914".

Despite the fact that the bar only has four awards with which the officer shown might be identified, is this combination enough?

The Centenary medal, SEHO and Lippe-Detmold Honour Cross of the House Order seem obvious to me, but I cannot identify the fourth cross, which is the only one with swords.

He was in service in 1897, received two house orders without swords, presumably for peacetime service, and I assume the fourth award was for service involving some sort of action. China or South-West Africa spring to mind, but are these precluded by the lack of awards for service in China or Africa? Might they have been added later considering that this bar may have been put together as late as mid 1914?

Medal bar detail:

For what it is worth, the shoulder strap in detail:

Was he a Saxon on loan to a Lippe regiment? Why is he not wearing any service award (1897-1914)?

What can the rank list and medal bar experts come up with?

Thanks for your comments in advance,


Edited by David Gregory
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According to his awards, this must be

Hauptmann Schmidtmann

who is listed in 1914 in IR15 (Minden). He has the Ernestiner, Schaumburg-Lippe Honor Cross and the Dutch Order of Oranien-Nassau.

He had less than 25 yrs of service, so no long service cross.



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What a great picture!!! The King of the Netherlands was honorary Chef of the regiment.

Later Schmidtmann was a career officer in the Reichsheer-a Major (promoted Major June.16.1920) in 1925 in IR 18 commanded by Von Rundstedt. He also had a black wound badge, the EK1, the Lippe war service cross, and a 25 year LS medal. It appears that he retired @ 1928 (as per Glenn: I do not have the 1930 Rangelist).

He apparently had a son who was a Lt. in the 6th Artillery Regt. in 1932.

I wonder if he was recalled in WW2?

Edited by Ulsterman
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Georg Wilhelm Gustav Schmidtmann, born 4 July 1876 at Alfeld, Hannover.

Entered Infanterie-Regiment Prinz Friedrich der Niederlande (2. Westf?lisches) Nr. 15 on 31 March 1896 as a Fahnenjunker.

18 October 1896: Portepee-F?hnrich

18 October 1897: Sekonde-Lieutenant (Patent 20.7.97 D7d1)

1 October 1902 - 30 September 1906: Adjutant I. Bataillon

11 September 1907: Oberleutnant M2m

1 October 1908 - 30 September 1911: Adjutant Landwehrbezirk Minden

20 May 1913: Hauptmann E4e



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Hi to all,

I'm really impressed by the information you get from this photo... I am really a newbie in Imperial German awards and have all to learn about it.

For my info, what are your source ? Where do you find all these data ? Is there books, CDs that could help ?

Many thanks in advance.



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Hi Christophe.

We are old. Very, very incredibly old.

So we have been doing this for a long long time. (I learned German IN Sutterlin script handwriting.)

Time travellers-- out of the past. that is us! :beer:


Between the stuffed owls and the Egyptian mummies (they were nice people-- I miss them), part of the library:


Dratted Rank List voles breed like rabbits down there in the dark!!!

Here, by pure coincidence, is a scan I already have of a sample page from the 1914 Prussia/W?rttemberg Rank List of Infantry Regiment 15 and how we can "spot" Schmidtmann:



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I'm sure you forgot a few books... as your list seems still a little bit short :rolleyes::D .

Seriously. Of course, all this is not easy... and the magic button does not exist :P !!!

But, it is surprising that all these ranklists books (or part of them) have not been yet digitised, to make access to their content easier... But, real books have a "charm" nothing can be compared to...




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Paul Chepurko here has done some, and is doing more. I have seen his CD version and they are easier to read than the originals (bigger on the computer screen and without the aged paper tones seen in my scan above), easily "searchable," can be printed out...

and are amazingly less expensive than accumulating the real old books over 40 years. Some of my volumes are getting ratty from so much use-- they were not MEANT to be in daily use for 90 years, after all.

These can be ordered from Paul, or through Detlev Niemann if he still has any left after Paul's October trip:


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  • 2 years later...

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