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I have been trying to find information about this officer. He was a lieutenant of artillery during WWI and served in the Reichswehr between the wars. By the end of WWII he had attained the rank of Generalleutnant. There seems to be very little information about this officer. I am trying to determine his WWI awards but I do not have access to a ranglist. I would also like to find out more about his Reichswehr service - my father was in the Reichswehr also.

Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Many thanks!

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There is a bio (in German) which covers his service here: http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Personenregister/S/SchopperErich.htm

His WW1 awards were the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Class from Prussia, the Friedrich-Kreuz from the Duchy of Anhalt, the Princely Reuss Honor Cross 3rd Class with Swords, and the Ducal Saxe-Ernestine House Order Knight 2nd Class with Swords. I don't have my references handy, but I would assume the Ernestine House Order was from Saxe-Altenburg, as Schopper's field artillery regiment, FAR 74, provided fire support to Saxe-Altenburg's IR 153. They were part of the 8th Infantry Division along with, among other units, Anhalt's IR 93, which accounts for that award. Schopper was a native of Reuss.

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Thanks, Dave. Yes, he was born in Zeulenroda which is now in Thüringen. I have seen a photo of him taken in 1943 with a rather long ribbon bar so he must have recived other WWI awards, possibly the Hamburg Hanseatenkreuz which appears to be the second ribbon on the bar. I am hoping that someone has the actual refernce book which might help to indentify the other awards.

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It is the Ostmedaille. The center stripe is just blurry. Below is the Feldspange from another angle. I haven't seen a pick that doesn't show the rest of the Feldspange cleary.

1-5 are decorations: the EK2, the Ostmedaille, and the three Landesorden from WW1. #6 is the Ehrenkreuz für Frontkämpfer. 7-8 should be for the Wehrmacht Dienstauszeichnung IV-I.Klasse. #9 is probably a war commemorative medal from one of the Central Powers (Austria, Hungary or Bulgaria), as Art.Rgt. 6 was not involved in the Anschluss or Sudeten operations.

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It is hard to say. Based on regulations, the Ostfrontmedaille would be in second place, but many "higher ups" placed the ribbon further down the line. Being a "sew-on," the ribbon bar moves up and down like a roller-coaster so the angle on the second ribbon is not "head-on." I am familiar with the photo you posted.

Yes, the other possibilities would include WWI commememoratives. If he had received other WWI combat / service awards, they woud have appeared on your Rangliste. The ribbons towards the end of his bar seem to be lighter colors, so the Austrian and Hungarian commemoratives would seem logical. His WWII service included Army Group Central and Army Group South, did it not? Perhaps he received a couple of Romanian awards like the Crown Order and/or the Crusade medal. Where would I look to research this possibility?

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On second thought, I don't think foreign WWII awards are the answer. The general already had 9 or 10 ribbons on his sew-on bar by the middle of 1943. The last two are likely Austrian and Hungarian WWI commemoratives as you have suggested. Were these "applied for" like the Ehrenkreuz?

By the way, only my paternal grandfather applied for the medal. My great uncle and maternal grandfather did not. They were both disgusted with the "Great War" and they were both Social Democrats!

Edited by Arnim
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I hate to keep replying to my own post, but the more I look at the close-up photo the more I am convinced that the second ribbon is not the East Front ribbon. It has a light colored center stripe and two light side stripes. The center stripe is not blurry, bor are the other light colored stripes. The adjacent EKII isn't blurred and the center stripe of the second ribbon is almost as wide as two white stripes of the EKII ribbon. The white center stipe of the East Front ribbon is very thin and it is bracketed by black stripes of the same width.

Edited by Arnim
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I was reminded by a German friend that in order to qialify for the Austrian WWI commemorative, Schopper would have had to have earned an Austrian war decoration, which he did not.

That is not true. There was no requirement for another Austrian award. Nor for the Bulgarian or Hungarian awards. Some applied for all three, some for only one, some for any combination of two.

For example:

Oberst Helmuth Abel received the Austrian War Commemorative Medal on 24.12.1936..

Oberstlt.(W) Paul Ahlfeld received the Austrian and Hungarian commemoratives.

Oberstlt. Arthur Ahrens received the Hungarian commemorative on 8.8.1939 and the Bulgarian commemorative on 11.10.1939.

Oberstlt. Dr. jur. Georg Aßmann received the Austrian (20.12.1934), Hungarian (20.11.1937) and Bulgarian (14.1.1938) commemoratives.

Each of these officers only received the EK2 in World War I.

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Thank you for that information. I have asked my friend for clarification.

On the issue of the first ribbons, here is a "blow up" which clearly shows three stripes on the second ribbon. Numbers three and four can also be seen more clearly.

Also, it was not uncommon for awards to be awarded much later. I am told that some WWI medals were in fact awarded after the war had ended. Given the confusion after the war and during the Weimar period, I am not sure whether later Ranglisten could be considered 100% accurate in every case.

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That is not true. There was no requirement for another Austrian award. Nor for the Bulgarian or Hungarian awards. Some applied for all three, some for only one, some for any combination of two.

For example:

Oberst Helmuth Abel received the Austrian War Commemorative Medal on 24.12.1936..

Oberstlt.(W) Paul Ahlfeld received the Austrian and Hungarian commemoratives.

Oberstlt. Arthur Ahrens received the Hungarian commemorative on 8.8.1939 and the Bulgarian commemorative on 11.10.1939.

Oberstlt. Dr. jur. Georg Aßmann received the Austrian (20.12.1934), Hungarian (20.11.1937) and Bulgarian (14.1.1938) commemoratives.

Each of these officers only received the EK2 in World War I.

My German friend's response regarding the requirements for an Austrian commemorative:

Das ist schon möglich, österreichisches Gesetz war allerdings man braucht eine Kriegsauszeichnung als

Grund für die Erinnerungsmedaille. für die Schwerter musste man eine Tapferkeitsauszeichnung oder eine Auszeichnung mit der Kriegsdekoration und / oder den Schwertern vorweisen können.

Edited by Arnim
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