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    In a related thread at the Drome, Wulffo alerted me to a booklet on German eBay that first broke the news of the existence of the Luftschiffer Becher in 1986.


    And share it with you now. It came out in 1986, and it's interesting because the author had been able to speak with Obermaschinisten Jockers about this super rare award and his life with airships. He is only one of two known recipients, and the only one we know much about.

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    A Previously Unknown Honour Goblet for an Airship Man

    Klaus Borrmeister

    In 1915 silver cups were donated which became known by the changing designation of Flier- or Honour-Goblet, or -Cup. The little that is known about this donation is stated in the text of the bestowal document. It says:

    Friends of the air forces in the Fatherland have placed at my disposal a sum of money for the creation of an honour cup for the victors in air combats.

    It is with grateful joy that I am able to present to you this cup in acknowledgement of your victorious engagements and proven bravery.

    Signed Thomsen

    Major and Chief of Aviation in the Field

    The amount of money donated remains unknown. This money was used to make the cups which, on the direction of senior commanders, and the German Emperor, were to be awarded by the general commanding the Air Forces. Each airplane pilot qualified for an award upon shooting down an enemy airplane. The first known bestowal was on January 27, 1916. Later the criteria for an award would change, when five shoot downs would be required.

    The cups are described as follows: The body is made out of machine-hammered silver and shows on one side, within a recessed octagon, two eagles fighting each other against a background of clouds. Both are depicted with widespread wings. The eagle underneath lies on his back. The wing tips of both extend over the edge of the octagon. In decorative letters within two smooth narrow bands is the inscription, ?The Victor in Air Combat?, and in the back on the upper band is stamped four marks: 1. a trademark halfmoon; 2. the German Imperial crown; 3. the silver content ?800?; and 4. the Prussian eagle. Below the lower band is a pearled border. The whole rests on four ball-shaped feet. Finally, the outside base displays the coin-shaped seal of the Chief of Aviation in the Field enclosing the words Chef des Feldflugwesens and a Prussian eagle flying to the right.

    Dimensions: height 190 mm; diameter inside 95.5 mm; outside 96 - 98 mm; diameter of the base with writing 70 mm; its height 14 mm; the ball feet have a diameter of 21 mm. The weight is about 318 grammes.

    That it was within the scope of a still young air force to choose a non-portable honour of this form certainly suggests a natural sense of fair play. The cup as a whole strikes a sporty, rather pugnacious or even warlike, note.

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    Today no further details can be determined as a result of the loss of documents in the Heeresarchivs during the air raids on Potsdam in early 1945. We do not even know approximately the amount of award pay, or anything at all of the origins or the designer. One could have regarded the topic as closed, were it not for the fact that a few years ago the possession of a modified example become known. Before that, despite the greatest efforts no second type was known to exist, and this example was completely unknown even by experts on the subject. This cup resembles the Flier-Cups with the following deviations in size and form:

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    An octagon with narrow raised edge shows the god Thor dressed in skins and striding out of a storm with blowing hair and arm raised with a hammer in his fist. In the background are the outlines of clouds from which lightning flashes downwards. To the left of the figure can be seen the name of the god Tor. Between his legs is the signature of an unknown artist EB. The octagon is not exactly in the center but sits more to the upper left than right. The whole scene shows the characteristics of a carefully composed, unique work. Where on the Fliers? counterpart cup the band of writing is situated, a shield, pointed at both ends, with a raised narrow edge, bears a two-line engraved inscription D?NABURG 4.2.1916. The remaining surface is animated by oakleaves which run around both sides and meet in back. On the band is positioned the previously mentioned punch marks.

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    One can only regret the loss of the relevant documents underpinning this award taken from the quarters of the original holder as American war booty. The original bestowal document and much pictorial material was removed. However the award and the transmittal document remain. From other remaining documents and period records the personal history and military service of the recipient can be reconstructed.

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    Georg Jockers was born in 9.4.1887 in Neum?hl / Amt Kehl in Baden. His parents were Jakob Jockers, rural innkeeper, born in Kork on 5.9.1845 and Barbara Lapp, born in Neum?hl on 14.8.1847.

    He was interested in technology, he studied engine construction and electrotechnology, and attended the trade, arts and craft, and mechanical engineering schools in Kehl and Strasburg. During his military obligations he remained faithful to his technical pursuits. He served with the 2. Badischen Feld-Artillerie-Regiment Nr.30 in Rastatt. Shortly before his discharge in 1909 he participated in the Kaiserman?ver at Mergentheim where he encountered a Zeppelin for the first time. He also came to the troop exercise grounds at Griesheim near Darmstadt and found there, in his free hours, the chance to help a man named Euler try out and perfect his homebuilt airplane. August Euler, born 20.11.1868 in Oelde and died on 1.7.1957 in Frankfurt/Main, had opened in 1908 the first airplane manufacturing company and flight school, basing them in Darmstadt. He was Germany?s first pilot, technological businessman and engineer, bike and automobile driver, he wrote songs, won dance contests and ski competitions and a boxing championship, spoke English, French, and Russian, wrote love poetry, and played the guitar, mandolin and piano. A meeting with such a many-sided man would affect the course of Jockers? life.

    The first thing Jockers did was get his driver?s license 3rd Class in July 1910, and work for various companies as a driver and mechanic. He also took tourists on motor tour of the battlefields of Gravelotte and Mars la Tour, learning French in the process. Also in 1910 he was recalled for a four-week exercise with the Kraftfahrtruppe to Sch?neberg, near Berlin. He was extraordinarily impressed by the giant city. After the exercise he joined the firm Neue Automobil A.G. and conceived the bold idea to start a flying school in Johannisthal. Since he couldn?t raise the necessary money, his plan remained unrealized. But Jockers found another way to fly.

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    On 15.3.1913 Jockers presented himself to Major Gross commanding Luftschiffer-Bataillon Nr.2 and was enlisted. ?Hundreds had reported.? He was made a Luftmaschinist and placed under contract. His duty was to support the 180-, 240-, and 500 h.p. Maybach motors in the gondolas of Army airships. Ordered to Baden-Oos, his first job was in the gondola of Airship ?Z 1? in which he made his first flight. Z 1 was stranded in Easter of 1913 and Jockers joined the crew of Ersatz Z 1 which, in the presence of Count Zeppelin on the General Staff, performed maneuvers in Oberschlesien. What a trip on an airship at that time meant can unfortunately only be inferred from fragments of Jockers descriptions:

    An average day was for us a Pechtag [unlucky day]. Our airship?the Zeppelins move and behave in the air like fish in water!?was suddenly pressed downward following an updraft, and the rear gondola was heavily damaged by contact with the ground and became disconnected from the ship. In order to lighten the ship and prevent further damage, I slid down a long rope from the front gondola and jumped the last 10 metres through the air into a herb field. Luckily I was not hurt by my jump, and the ship 70 kg lighter rose up. We were successful in bringing the Luftkr?pple [air cripple] into the hall and had 12 hours work on our hands?With boards, hemp ropes and supports we built up the broken aluminum girders of the support frame and fastened on the rear gondola so the ship was airworthy.

    Because of the bad weather some members of the crew recommended to the leader, Captain Horn, that travel be postponed, however he gave the order to travel to Baden-Oos.

    Since much gas had blown off?the ship had so little lift that we could only go aloft with nine men. We flew almost to G?rlitz, when the forecast storm drew near. It thundered over Germany impetuously, and pushed upon us like a black wall, with gold and white flecks. Magnificent and terrible! The leader allowed us to turn around and try for Liegnitz again, but the storm was faster than we were?we were helpless, a toy ball at the weather?s mercy, dragged along and driven off?to live through such a trip to hell is not so simple and easy. Incessant lightning flashed and cracked near the ship, and the rain poured on us like a waterfall until we were soon up to our ankles in water. There was no talk any more of controlled flight, we flew where the storm blew us. In the night we floated over Posen, Thorn, even as far as the Russian border when, from the leader down to the last man?soldiers and men all?in the blink of an eye we gave each other our hands in silence. There was a mute leave taking from one another and from this world, for no one doubted that the end was near. Only as we approached 5 am had we out-distanced the weather. And only after six more hours could we land the ship with heavy damage in Liegnitz.

    In November 1913 Jockers was transferred from Baden-Oos to K?nigsberg and came to the Z IV. It was the oldest and smallest ship and still had open gondolas.

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    Jockers made ten trips on the Z IV into Russia, after which the entire crew was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd class on October 10, 1914. One of the few remaining photos shows the occasion of this award. Coincidentally, a well-known publication shows the same personnel lined up in order (1). With information from Jockers, the following could be identified. From left to right starting in the back row, are: Jockers, Volkmann, Obermaschinisten, Obersteuermann Galle, unknown, Obermaschinist Klever. In the middle row are, sitting: Leutnant Scherzer, the commander Hauptmann v. Quast, Hauptmann Gerike, und Fahringenieur Hinz. Before them are: Steuermann Dirschauer and the machine gunner Lwowsky.

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    After the last trip in Z IV it became a training ship, and the crew received LZ 38, an airship three times larger. In this ship Jockers would fly five missions to England (2). On May 31, 1915 London was attacked for the first time. Among the officers is a name worth especially noting. Oberleutnant Helmuth Weidling (3). He would become general of artillery, and the military commander of Berlin who would capitulate to the Red Army in 1945. Jockers was awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class on May 3, 1916 and the Badische Verdienstmedaille in silver on June 3, 1916. After the destruction of LZ 38 by English bombers Jockers joined the crew of LZ 86. In this ship he made both attacks on the fortress and depot of D?naburg. He flew with LZ 97 on one raid against London after which, upon the cessation of the Army airship raids, he joined the ground personnel and within a few weeks trained to be an Offizier vom Dienst at the Army airship school. Until the war?s end he served in France with observation balloons. In November 1918 he mustered out in Aschaffenberg, was briefly thereafter in Neum?hl, at the time occupied by French colonial African troops [schwarzen Franzosen], and then home again. There he taught French, made himself generally useful, and even assisted arrested compatriots and reported on the excesses of French occupation forces. Many times was he himself arrested, and was at the time ?beloved? by members of his crew. He determined to follow a rumour that Hindenburg would set up a new army in the Black Forest and embarked on a new adventure to join it, but soon realized the rumour was false and continued on to Berlin. When he arrived he reported to the Inspektion der Luftschiffertruppe.

    An amply large second lieutenant did not want to announce me to the Commander at all, but I was finally admitted and received, to my astonishment, a silver cup for my trip to D?naburg on LZ 86.

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    There followed a short time with the Luftschifferbataillon. After his retirement Jockers tried to run his own auto workshop, but the times were unfavourable, so he reported to the Sicherheitspolizei where he finally was able to head up a workshop for the Gruppe. The times remained very troubled, and he went to the Schutzpolizei in Oberschlesien. He joined the Group of Count Poninski, who was at the time involved in fighting with the Poles. In March 1920 he was in Berlin again and experienced the Kapp-Putsch. Then he worked for the Main Resichspost Workshop in Borgiswalde, where he stayed until June 30, 1924. Since then he has lived in Frankfurt am Main where he finally ran his very own Fahrzeughalle.

    Shortly before his death on February 23, 1979 he wrote of the events leading up to the award of the cup:

    In the shipyard I devised a mechanism which was inserted in the tail propeller to enable us to shoot through it. All the Z-ships were equipped with it. I believe I received the Becher because this tail defense has proven itself in air combat to be the best. With the Becher also came the heartfelt greetings?(understandably) of the crew who came out of this with their lives.

    As a footnote, near the war?s end Cups were made in base metal. Also other unknown substitutions were used (4). In a parallel case there was a deviation from the normal practice. A document from the Inspektion der Luftschiffertruppen from October 1, 1919 to Hauptmann Kleinschmidt states:

    The Commanding General?has given permission for the additional award of a bronze figure, instead of the silver Ehrenbecher which we are no longer able to give. For the attack of Z VI on L?ttich on August 5, 1914 the Bronzefigur is awarded to you. The Bronzfigur is available at the Inspektion ready for you to collect, since the necessary packing material is not available.

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    This text speaks for itself, and there one could close this subject. But Europe could not find through the laws of peace the desired quiet and, as a result, developments led to the revival of this exceptional award one more time (5):

    Generalfeldmarschall G?ring zum 47. Geburtstag

    Die deutsche Luftfahrt-Industrie

    Highly admired Herr Generalfeldmarschall

    At the suggestion of old war fliers I would like to take the liberty, Herr Generalfeldmarschall, on the occasion of your 47th birthday, in the great struggle for Germany?s future to present you a gift which ties into the tradition of the flyer weapon of the World War.

    The Commanding General of the Luftstreitkr?fte presented to fliers in the World War, who through special pluck demonstrated military excellence, a silver memorial goblet with the inscription: ?Dem Sieger im Luftkampf??

    I ask you, Herr Feldmarschall, as the brave and undaunted fighter pilot who received the Goblet out of the hand of the highest flier, your superior, in the name of the Federation of the German Aircraft Industry and for the renewal of this tradition in the war now forced upon us, to permit me to present to you two model goblets, employing two different inscriptions:

    `The Victor in Aerial Combat?

    `For outstanding achievement in the Air War?

    The award of these memorial goblets out of your hand, Herr Generalfeldmarschall, will be a great honour to each courageous flier and a source of new encouragement.

    To produce the necessary number of memorial goblets the Federation of the German Aircraft Industry places an order in the amount of 50,000 RMs.

    Beyond that the Federation of the German Aircraft Industry will hand over 50,000 RMs to be used at the discretion of the Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe as relief funds for the Luftwaffe.

    In hope that this war gift is a joy to produce, the Federation of the German Aircraft Industry congratulates, with gratitude and loyalty, their Generalfeldmarschall and Commander-in-Chief

    gez. L a h s

    Konteradmiral a.D.

    G.E. Vogel

    Pr?sident des Reichsverbandes

    Der Deutschen Luftfahrt-Industrie



    As it stated in the text of the new bestowal document the Cups were now awarded for special achievement in the air war and the owner?s name was announced. The appropriate regulation was published on September 1, 1941 in the Luftwaffen-Verordnungsblatt [Luftwaffe-Public-Gazette]. It reads:

    The personnel of the Luftwaffe, to whom the Bild des Herrn Reichsmarschalls or the Ehrenpokal f?r besondere Leistung im Luftktrieg will be awarded, will appear, on the order of the Reichmarschalls of September 1, on a special Honour List and in the current L.V.Bl. The names specified on the Honour-List will be communicated to all personnel of the Luftwaffe and the troops while on parade.

    The award was finally stopped from December 10, 1944 because on July 5 of that year an Ehrenblattspange had been introduced for the Luftwaffe, after one had been donated for the Army on January 30, 1944 and the Navy on May 13. In all cases the ribbon of the E.K.2 carried a device in the form of an oak wreath, each one differently styled to symbolize the branch of the service. Because of their outstanding services, soldiers awarded this clasp had their names published on a special list. Through the introduction of a decoration the honours principle was adapted in favour of a portable award that could be worn and visible to everyone.

    The Cups of World War II represented an evolution of the form of the older model. They now show next to the fighting eagles a stamped Iron Cross from 1939 on the back. Instead of balled feet there is a broad band with the stamped inscription F?r besondere Leistung im Luftkrieg at the base. In the place of the earlier inscription is now the continuous oak wreathing from the airship cup, bounded above and below by smooth bands, the lower containing the engraved date of award, name and rank of the recipient. The initial Cups were 835 silver, and the later cups were alpaca. There was even an edition in fine silver. The manufacturing firm was probably Joh. Wagner & Sohn, Berlin in all cases.


    1. H. v. Zobeltitz, Das Eiserne Kreuz, Velhagen u. Klasings Volksb?cher Nr 123, Bielefeld u. Leipzig o.J.

    2. Vgl. Bericht d.Lt.d.Res. Rhode in: Georg Paul Neumann, Die deutschen Luftstreitkr?efte in Weltkrieg, Berlin 1920

    3. Wolfgang Keilig, Die Generale des Heeres, Friedberg 1983

    4. Mitteilungen v. Dr. Niemeyer, Wehrgeschichtliches Museum Rastatt

    5. Kurt-G. Klietmann, Auszeichnungen des Deutschen Reiches 1936-1945, Berlin 1982.

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    Here's a summary of what was posted before on the Becher I got belonging to Volkmann, who flew with Jockers:

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    There were two types of Army Bechers awarded to aircrew in WW1?the one we?re all familiar with for aerial victories?

    "Ehrenbechers f?r den Sieger im Luftkampfe?

    AND one for successful ground attacks?

    ?Ehrenbechers f?r erfolgreiche Angriffe aus der Luft?

    Nobody knows exactly who was eligible for the latter one, nicknamed ?Thor Becher? or ?Thor Pokal? in Germany, whether just Luftschiffe crews, or also bomber crews, such as those who flew Gothas.

    This Becher came with the Urkunde below signed by Hoeppner and dated, ?Berlin, den 16. Januar 1919.?

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    Only five of these Thor Bechers are known to exist, and only two Urkunden. The London goblet is one of two complete sets. Three of the other four goblets are in museums, most notably the Deutsches Technikmuseum in Berlin, where one is on view.

    The inscriptions on the five known cups are:

    20.12.1914 Mlawa (outside Warsaw) - Z IV?

    20.3.1915 Paris - Z X or LZ 35?

    31.5.1915 London (Urkunde named to C. Volkmann) - LZ 38

    4.2.1916 D?naburg (in Latvia, Urkunde named to G. Jockers) - LZ 86

    20./21.3.1917 Mudros (Macedonia) - LZ 101

    These appear to be the dates of the first successful raid on each city. An earlier attack on Mlawa (in August 1914), for example, had a particularly nasty outcome that the Army would rather forget:

    When the Z-5 attacked the railway yards at Mlawa during the day of August 28th, she was little more than a mile high. The artillery peppered her with shrapnel until she limped off badly damaged, to fall inside the enemy lines near Liepovick. While the crew were trying to burn the wreck, they were captured. Later, they were sent to the prison camps in Siberia. In 1917 one of them escaped and returning to Germany reported the details of how most of the others had died of starvation, disease and abuse. Captain Bruener and a companion escaped. They disguised themselves as peasants and walked across Siberia to China where they were shot to death by Russian police while trying to cross the border.

    --Capt. Ernst A. Lehmann


    German historians speculate that with depleted metal stocks at the end of the war and the scarcity of these goblets today, only one was awarded to a Zeppelin officer or NCO for distinguished service during the first successful raid or an entire air campaign against a particular city. If another goblet is discovered duplicating a city then that theory is out the window. To make it even more interesting, Volkmann, the winner of the London goblet and Jockers, the only other winner known by name, served together on the same Zeppelins, but have different cities engraved on their goblets, which some say proves that they must have done something unique on a specific raid(s) to have received differently inscribed goblets.

    The London goblet turned up two years ago at a small auction house in Berlin specialising in postage stamps. (It was consigned along with some Zeppelin Post by a family member!) Until then, Jockers was for years the only identifiable recipient. This latest cup was awarded to Feldwebel-Leutnant Carl Volkmann?an engineer or ?Schraubenzieher?, aka ?screw puller??he spent a career making sure his Zeppelins? engines ran smoothly. But why was he singled out of all the crews involved in the Army?s air campaign on London? He flew many raids on the city, including the first historic raid, and on many airships, serving on Z IV, LZ 38, LZ 86, LZ 97, and LZ 113. Hauptmann Linnarz was his commander on the middle three. This is why others speculate that the recipient of this award also had to have a distinguished career in airships overall. According to his Rangliste Volkmann joined the Zeppelin section in 1913 at age 33 and was demobbed in March 1919. He flew a total of 32 combat missions. I have no way of knowing if 32 missions is high or average. But I assume you had to survive them all to get this award.

    I read one of Linnarz?s action reports from LZ 97. Very few Fahrtberichten, survived WW2. It describes a raid on London in 1916 by which time the city was an organized gauntlet of ? Artillerie...Fesselballons ? Drachen ? Scheinwerfer ? Lichtkegel ? Leuchtraketen??--bad things that sound even worse in German! But one way to survive was to be able to pour on the altitude and speed when needed. But this is only speculation as to why a man whose rank was Obermaschinist on the date engraved would be presented with something so substantial, and not other members of his crew?or even Linnarz, the commander! I picked up a WW1 postcard on eBay showing a Zeppelin crewmember climbing out onto an engine nacelle in the cold slipstream high above London, trying to free a rope that has fouled the propeller causing the Zeppelin to lose altitude. The illustration was of the quality that looked like it had appeared with a genuine news item in a newspaper or illustrated magazine. Had Volkmann done something like this? Volkmann had already won his EK II in 1914, and his EK I in 1916. Intriguingly, Jockers was also a Fahringenieur, or flight engineer. Here's total speculation on my part--was Linnarz and other commanders, who already had their PLMs, House Orders and plenty of medals--asked to submit names including NCOs and temporary officers of those who deserved more than just EK1s for a distinguished career? Especially when Volkmann's expertise with engines kept Linnarz's butt out of the water, a POW cage, or from going down in flames during three years of flying together? Was there already such an award for this class of combatant, or did they feel the need to create a goblet to fill the gap? Interestingly, once the Navy took the Army's airships, Volkmann was taken off combat duties and sent to the Kogenluft from 1917 until the end of the war.

    Hoeppner must have really believed in this award to present it to Volkmann and Jockers and who knows how many others a few weeks after the war ended (as proved by the dates on the two Urkunden)--with silver stocks exhausted and fighting breaking out in the streets. I imagine it was cast while the war was still on, or maybe it was delivered much later after the Urkunde was presented? Either way, it doesn?t track with what happened to the ?Sieger im Luftkampfe? Ehrenbecher. By the last year of the war that award had gone from Weissmetal (?Scheissmetall?) to conferral document ONLY. Requests after the war by recipients of the document to get a goblet were forwarded to the Reichswehrministerium and, I?m told, were ALWAYS rejected. I assume German corporations were no longer funding these tchotchkes during the tough economic times that followed. So who paid for these, and in 800 instead of plate or base metal? As to silver content, no Zeppelin badges, for example, made from 1919-to the mid-1920s were ?800? silver content, but were always plated, right Stogie?

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    I did learn that Hoeppner and the Kogenluft had been very unhappy when the Kaiser ordered the Army Zeppelin service folded into his favoured service, the Navy, in 1917. While the Army airships flew there had been hot competition between Army and Navy to hit the prestigious targets first. Check Buttlar?s autobiography--his Navy Zeppelin was the first to bomb England, and even though an Army Zeppelin (Linnarz/Volkmann/Jocker?s LZ 38) topped him by reaching London first (becoming front page news around the world), Buttlar doesn?t even mention Army airships once in 300 pages! Every time the Zeppelins reached a new target with a high propaganda value, like London--capital of the country that even tiny Teutons in nursery school had rhymes about Zeppelins burning down--their crews became media heroes, and excellent PR for their branch of the service. It makes me wonder what the significance of targets like Mlawa, Modros and D?naburg were--probably railway junctions and bridges--but we know the Army blew them up first. How many enemy cities did the Army Zeppelins notch up and engrave on goblets in total?

    Another historian suggested that there might have been post-war politics involved. Maybe the New Army wanted to remind everyone of its accomplishments--of which mastering the technology to fly as far as London or targets in the East, bomb `em, and bring `em back alive was high on the list. (People forget--listen to the news reports after the terrorist bombing in London last week. You would think there never was a blitz in 1915-1917.) Also, Zeppelin was an old Cavalry man, like most of the Army airship commanders, whereas Navy commanders had all got their feet wet as cadets. Maybe the Army was dusting off its laurels for its Zeppelin section which had been big news with the public but was out of sight, out of mind for two years now. Germans fed on turnips for years, and now suffering occupation, probably enjoyed reflecting on some past successes. Or, maybe, the Army was looking ahead to win public support for its claim on any funds for aviation--especially once the heat was off, and now that the Navy's number one patron, the Kaiser, was history! If the next war was going to be won by strategic bombing, who did it better?

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    From Volkmann's Rangliste:

    Aug., 1914 - Vertragsmachinist (Jockers and Volkmann started out this way)

    Sept. 1914 - ueberzaehliger Obermaschinist

    1915 - Obermaschinist

    1916 - Fahringenieur

    1917 - Feldwebel-Leutnant

    Interesting that 9 months after Volkmann's presentation, according to Borrmeister the Airship service was out of Ehrebechers...postage and packing material! The officer who got the Bronzfigur had to go collect it! Hauptmann Kleinschmidt is the third name of a Luftschiffer slated to receive an Ehrenbecher--so they weren't confined to NCOs

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    Thanks for this truly fascinating thread, John, I can't get enough of these things. I once heard that a book was written called The Ehrenbechers: Where are they Now? or something to that effect. I wonder if anyone has a copy of this? It's funny that your source states that the regular Becher was awarded for five victories, as I know for certain that my uncle got his for his first, and he received the goblet only three weeks after the claim was made. How did you happen to find out about your Becher coming up for auction? Certainly seems like an incredible stroke of good luck. BTW my dad was living as a refugee near Koblenz after the war, and his neighbour was Freiherr Treusch von Buttlar-Brandenfels.

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    Hi, Vince!

    I forgot, do you have your Uncle's Urkunde? When did he receive his cup? On the kill number, Borrmeister does say it started out as one kill and rose to 5 later in the war. A picker alerted a mutual acquaintance that this was coming up for auction in a postal sale in Berlin.



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    There's a considerable amount to chew on in those posts, and plenty that's thought provoking. What does seem to be clear is that the standard Army and Naval Ehrenbecher, versus the "Thor" version are different in a number of ways. The Army/Navy one was often awarded not long after an flier got his first aerial victories. The goblets were not marked with the recipients name, date, or a place. The "Thor" on otherhand, based on the two known and dated Urkunden, years after the event (and even after the war was over) and had the name and date of a specific raid on them.

    Jocker's by way of one specific, was awarded the EKI, several months after the Dunaberg raid, which raises the question of whether the "Thor" was meant to be a contemporaneous award...otherwise, why wait almost three years before giving him the Urkunde? Also, there's the question of whether the "Thor" for the Dunaberg raid was made during the war when silver was getting scarce, or even...afterwards? If Jocker's had done "something" during the raid, was the EK awarded for whatever it was, or if it was important enough, why hold off on awarding the Thor for almost three years?

    Real "facts" about the "Thor" Ehrenbechers are on the sparse side, and there's more than enough conjecture to go around. Is it possible to determine if the "Thor" was made either during the war (by why wait three years to award it for a specific raid?) or after the war? If it was given for a war time career instead of a specific raid or event, then why add the date and location of a specific raid on it, and instead either leave it blank like the usual Army/Navy versions, or possibly the name of the recipient only? The goblets in a manner of speaking, raise far more questions than it or they asnwer.

    We know the two known award documents were given to the reipients -after- the war, but that doesn't mean either the recipients necessarily got the goblets at that time. Is it possible the "Thors" were made actually made (through previously allocated funds perhaps?) after the war, possibly by Wagner (who made the usual Army version)? I don't know... Let's hope more in the way of facts surface to rid some of the speculation and conjecture here.


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    John, my uncle was credited with his victory for January 3, 1918, along with his observer, and they received the cups on January 22nd. Yes, I'm fortunate to have the original Urkunde, and it is the only original I have of all my uncle's decorations, which were many. I've read elsewhere that the late Bechers were given only for more than one victory, so I don't know what this does to that theory.

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    Hi, Les

    You're absolutely right. Everything I've learned about these Airship cups raise more questions than they answer. We're sure the criteria for PLMs and Bechers had gone up by 1918 yet Vince's uncle got his Becher for one kill ! Maybe it crashed on Haig's chateau! :P

    A couple comments on your response.

    By Naval Ehrenbecher / goblet I think you mean Ehrenpreis, which was named and dated in most cases. Thus there is a precedent for engraving personalised info on a non-portable award. The two types of "Bechers" in my thread were awarded only to army personnel.

    Your second graph gets to the heart of this award. No goblets exist for a raid in which the Army didn't beat the Navy to the target. Both known recipients, and Hauptmann Kleinschmidt who was too late for one and got the Bronzefigur instead, had distinguished careers in airships. Put those two facts together and you have the Army Airship Service patting itself and its distinguished career Luftschiffers on the back.

    I also wondered when these were made, especially when deciding whether to buy this thing!...1918...1928...1938? Well, thanks to Borrmeister, who cites the case of Kleinschmidt, we now have documented proof that they ran out of cups by October 1919. Therefore it is probable the two known recipients received theirs on or about the dates on their Urkunden in January and April 1919. Whether the idea for the Thor becher first occurred before or after Nov. 11 we may never know!



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    Well, thanks to Borrmeister, who cites the case of Kleinschmidt, . . .

    Speaking of Hptm. Kleinschmidt, does anyone know his first name?? And a possible service record?? I only know that he commanded Z VI from 1.8.14 to 6.8.14 when it was destroyed. And that he died as a Major on 13.10.20. Perhaps Rick Research ?? Thanks, R.

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    • 2 years later...

    my ex-wife's family had/has one of these. they are relatives of Ernst Lehmann. i saw it in a family picture taken at her grandmother's house; it was sitting in the background on the fireplace mantle. i asked my wife about it and she pretty much described is as one of these pokals.at the time i had no idea this type existed and i remember commenting to her on how much it looked like an aviator's award. she mentioned it had the word 'thor' on it and i figured it was something else. she used to get yelled at by her grandmother if she got too close to it. i did on several occaisions get to go through the family foto album and it was amazing. there were a lot of freikorps pics in there too.

    just please don't ask me if i can get any more info on it...

    Edited by Eric Stahlhut
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    • 4 years later...

    I own a TOR Honour Goblet as pictured with all the markings shown except that mine is blank in the "banner" area engraved with a name of city & date as pictured. Any idea as to importance for a blank goblet? Collectibility or value?? Thanks

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