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    Guest Rick Research

    Very very nice. What you have is a former senior Noncommissioned Officer or Petty Officer (Prussian General Decoration in Silver Medal) who HAD the old Prussian/Reichs XXV Years Service Cross (service 1896 on, wartime counted double 1914-18) in 1920, RECALLED for service in Wehrmacht uniform 1939+.

    Any NCO/PO with over 18 "pension years" (that included 1914-18 as "10") was commissioned as a Leutnant aD on demobilization in 1920, so this "over the hill" fellow was most likely an Oberleutnant zur Verf?gung circa 1940-- and past 60 years old.

    If he had remained on continuous service as a military administrative official, there would have been 40 years Wehrmacht service oakleaves under the eagle on his 25 Cross, which is how this can be distinguished as a retread rather than a continuous lifer. Former Imperial military veterans with the old long service awards were supposed to "update" them to the matching grade(s) IF back in military uniform 1939+.

    The ribbed black fabric backing doesn't necessarily mean anything-- but MIGHT indicate that he was a member of the navy-- which would dramatically reduce the number of "suspects." :rolleyes:

    The ribbon bar SHOULD look brand new and shiny-- that was the purpose of the nickled flashed on coating. These are either brand new looking or horribly rusty and spotty, since ANY damp or wet and the thin, brittle steel underneath seems to rust MORE than if it had just been stamped out of the heavier ( shaped backings. I don't see any evidence that the tabs have been twiddled with-- scratches around the tabs. that can only ever be done ONCE-- any further meddling causes the brittle tabs to snap right off.

    Just finished up the Mecklenburg-Strelitz Cross for Distinction in War 1914-33 Rolls last year for publication in the Krause/Lundstr?m awards rolls series 2009 volumes, but this sort of senior NCO will be EXTREMELY difficult to pluck out since they left no Rank List paper trail. If there was ANYTHING named from where you got this set as a clue, then I could verify that such a person did or did not get the "MStMV2" in second place. I can't tell if it is an early war solid silver piece with a bit of patina or a silvered bronze end of the war issue, there is so little rubbing on it.

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    Guest Rick Research

    It is so flawlessly unworn, in that condition I can't tell if it's solid silver or silverplated and just still preserves a lot of the original frosted finish.

    IF it is navy and not simply an accident of coincidentally on hand backing material...

    out of 160 naval recipients, I can eliminate 151 for rank, service time, other awards etc etc etc. Of the remaining 9, the most likely suspect is

    Engineering Deck Officer Richard HERING:

    Obermaschinist 01.04.13 (Maschinist 01.04.06). Joined the navy 18.03.95, held the AllgEZ Medal, XV Cross and 1897 Medal as of 1914 when he was at the Kiel Dockyards.

    The other known holder of the same three pre-war awards was

    Supplies Deck Officer Louis BEURMANN:

    Obermaterielenverwalter 01.06.08 (Materielenverwalter 01.11.03). Joined the navy 16.01.91 which probably made him too old for a 1939 call up. In 1914 with the Imperial Yacht Squadron.

    The other 7 "suspects" simply have left no paper trail

    BAER, no first name-- a Steuermann

    B?TTCHER, no first name-- a Steuermann

    BRAUER, Ulrich-- a Torpedomaschinist

    HERSE, Karl-- a Feldwebel (probably too young)

    K?HN, Friedrich-- a Feldwebel (probably too young)

    LEMBKE, Friedrich-- a Torpedomaschinist

    R?TZ, Wilhelm-- a Funkentelegraphmeister

    all of these except the Feldwebels were also Deck Officers, but since they had not achieved that rank by 1914, all seven here are probably too young, having joined the service in the 190Xs.

    So while there is nothing absolute to indicate that this WAS navy and only navy, there are really only two possible "suspects" and my money would be on Hering. Both Hering and Beurmann received their MStMV2 on 16 June 1916 in their final Deck Officer ranks above, both "formerly crew of SMS Mecklenburg." they're numbers 1743 and 1744 of that particular list. As far as I know, that would make their crosses the solid silver type.

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