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I have a collection of South African, British and US medals as well as a single copy of a Pour le Merite. With the three other groupings I'm planning to include the insignia of a high ranking officer of the appropriate military. What would be an appropriate rank (and date of that rank) be to display with the Pour le Merite?

For the SADF collection I have a full colonel's shoulder boards, for the British collection i am working on getting a full general's ''parade dress'' insignia and for the US collection I have the insignia of a four star general.

Any suggestions?


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Thanks for the reply. What's the odds of it have been awarded to a colonel or higher?

Since my other three insignia's far outranks a mere lieutenant it would look a bit odd to flank the Pour le Merite with the insignia of a lieutenant.



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I wonder how many field grade officers actually got a PLM with oakleaves, since they were only given to officers (usually generals) who had succesfully won a battle. This was also the reason Manfred von Richthofen couldn't receive the oakleaves, hence he was given the RAO3xKR.

Kind regards, Laurentius

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Good question.

I would reckon that Manfred von Richthofen with his 80 confirmed aerial victories merited the Oak Leaves since he obviously won quite a few significant battles of his own and by shooting down so many aircraft prevented them from being used in a mass attack on the German lines.


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concerning the plm with oaks for field grade Officers, there were quite a few.

Alone 6 Regimental Commanders, Schwerk, Forstner, Kraehe, v.Goerne, Graf Eulenburg and Reinhard,

21 General Staff Officers - among them as lowest ranking guy Major Wetzell.




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Thanks for the interesting information.

I attach a copy of my PLM so as all those that joined in the discussion can see it's the ordinary PLM without Oak Leaves. 

If the lowest ranking officer that got the Oak Leaves version was a major I guess the highest appropriate insignia for the ordinary PLM would be a captain.

That begs another question: the last PLM was awarded on 22 September 1918 should it be a Prussian captain or should it be German?

During the German Revolution in November 1918 the Kaiser and all the other monarchs of territories consisting modern Germany abdicated and the Treaty of Versailles was signed by Germany.


Pour le Merite Obverse.jpg

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Wessel Gordon,

Their were a number of PLM's and Oak leaves awarded after 22 September 1918 to various ranks: -

      Award date  
Ernst Graf Yorck von Wartenburg Major Army 23-Sep-18  
Curt von Brandenstein Oberstleutnant Heer 26-Sep-18  
Otto Könnecke Oberstleutnant Luftstreitkräfte 26-Sep-18  
Walter Blume Leutnant Luftstreitkräfte 30-Sep-18  
Wilhelm Griebsch Leutnant Luftstreitkräfte 30-Sep-18  
Eckhard von Loeben Generalmajor Heer 30-Sep-18  
Rudolf Lüders General der Infanterie Heer 30-Sep-18  
Carl Nehbel General der Artillerie Heer 30-Sep-18  
Leo Leonhardy Major Luftstreitkräfte 2-Oct-18  
Kurt Hartwig Korvettenkapitän Marine 3-Oct-18  
Stanislaus Behrendt Hauptmann Army 4-Oct-18  
Ernst Busch Generalfeldmarschall Heer 4-Oct-18  
Franz Freiherr von Edelsheim Oberstleutnant Heer 4-Oct-18  
Georg Pohlmann Generalmajor Heer 4-Oct-18  
Walter Schultz Major Heer 4-Oct-18  
Detlew Vett Generalleutnant Heer 4-Oct-18  
Heinrich Schmedes Oberstleutnant Heer 5-Oct-18  
Hans Krug von Nidda General der Kavallerie Heer 7-Oct-18  
Horst von Metzsch General der Artillerie Heer 7-Oct-18  
Dr. Oskar von Hahnke Oberst Heer 8-Oct-18  
Alfred von Kleist Generalleutnant Heer 8-Oct-18  
Theordor von Weber Oberstleutnant Heer 8-Oct-18  
Fritz Wulff Major Heer 8-Oct-18  
Felix von Bernuth Hauptmann Army 9-Oct-18  
Tido von Brederlow Generalmajor Heer 9-Oct-18  
Ludwig Breßler General der Infanterie Heer 9-Oct-18  
Ernst Kabisch General der Infanterie Heer 9-Oct-18  
Otto Lancelle Generalleutnant Heer 9-Oct-18  
Arnold Ritter von Möhl General der Infanterie Heer 9-Oct-18  
Wilhelm Pfaehler Major Heer 9-Oct-18  
Karl Seidel Hauptmann Heer 9-Oct-18  
Hermann Wilck Hauptmann Heer 9-Oct-18  
Daniel Gerth Hauptmann Heer 11-Oct-18  
Rudolph Popelka Oberst Österreichische Armee 11-Oct-18  
Friedrich Kundt Generalleutnant Heer 12-Oct-18  
Franz-Karl von Bock Oberst Heer 13-Oct-18  
Hans von der Esch Generalleutnant Heer 13-Oct-18  
Jürgen von Grone Major Luftstreitkräfte 13-Oct-18  
Erich Homburg Generalleutnant Luftstreitkräfte 13-Oct-18  
Heinrich Kirchheim Hauptmann Heer 13-Oct-18  
Albert Müller-Kahle Generalmajor Luftstreitkräfte 13-Oct-18  
Karl Paulus Oberst Heer 13-Oct-18  
Robert von Greim Generalfeldmarschall Luftstreitkräfte 14-Oct-18  
Eduard Kreuter Generalmajor Heer 14-Oct-18  
Max Clausius Oberst Heer 15-Oct-18  
August von Tippelstirch Hauptmann Heer 15-Oct-18  
Georg von Götz Major Heer 17-Oct-18  
Hans Sehmsdorff Major Heer 17-Oct-18  
Adolf Franke General der Artillerie Heer 18-Oct-18  
Paul Baader Major Army 20-Oct-18  
Heinrich Brinkord Oberstleutnant Heer 21-Oct-18  
Albrecht Graf von Stosch Major Heer 21-Oct-18  
Ernst von Uechtritz und Steinkirch Gereralmajor Army 21-Oct-18  
Walter Arens Major Army 25-Oct-18  
Oskar Freiherr von Boenigk Generalmajor Luftstreitkräfte 25-Oct-18  
Hans Bronsart von Schellendorff Major Heer 25-Oct-18  
Franz Büchner Leutnant Luftstreitkräfte 25-Oct-18  
Johannes von Dassel General der Infanterie Heer 25-Oct-18  
Arthur Laumann Generalmajor Luftstreitkräfte 25-Oct-18  
Leopold Milisch Generalmajor Heer 25-Oct-18  
Georg Mühry General der Infanterie Heer 25-Oct-18  
Ernst von Oven General der Infanterie Heer 25-Oct-18  
Hermann Rudolph Oberstleutnant Heer 25-Oct-18  
Albert Schoen Major Heer 25-Oct-18  
Olivier Freiherr von Beaulieu-Marconnay Leutnant Air Force 26-Oct-18  
Rudolf Dänner Generalleutnant Heer 26-Oct-18  
Wilhelm von Puttkamer Generalleutnant Heer 26-Oct-18  
Johann Ritter von Schmidtler Major Heer 26-Oct-18  
Albert Heuck Generalleutnant Heer 28-Oct-18  
Edgar Josenhanß Major Luftstreitkräfte 28-Oct-18  
Hans Petri General der Infanterie Heer 28-Oct-18  
Fritz Rümmelein Leutnant Heer 28-Oct-18  
Wilhelm Kaupert Generalleutnant Heer 29-Oct-18  
Siegfried Woltersdorf Major Heer 29-Oct-18  
Clemens Pfafferott Major Heer 30-Oct-18  
Heinrich Strack Hauptmann Heer 30-Oct-18  
Hermann Wülfing Major Heer 30-Oct-18  
Ralph von Egidy Generalmajor Heer 31-Oct-18  
Ernst Hammacher Oberst Heer 31-Oct-18  
Fritjof Freiherr von Hammerstein-Gesmold Generalleutnant Heer 1-Nov-18  
Gustav von Oppen Oberst Heer 1-Nov-18  
Hans Sottorf Hauptmann Heer 1-Nov-18  
Karl Thom Leutnant Luftstreitkräfte 1-Nov-18  
Emil Waldorf Generalleutnant Heer 1-Nov-18  
Paul Bäumer Leutnant Air Force 2-Nov-18  
Hans von Grothe Generalmajor Heer 2-Nov-18  
Benno Pflugradt Major Heer 3-Nov-18  
Friedrich Wilhelm von Hetzberg General der Kavallerie Heer 4-Nov-18  
Rudolf Rusche Generalleutnant Heer 4-Nov-18  
Friedrich Bruns Oberst Heer 6-Nov-18  
Gustav Dammann Generalleutnant Heer 6-Nov-18  
Theodor Groppe Generalleutnant Heer 6-Nov-18  
Hans Freiherr von Hammerstein-Gesmold General der Infanterie Heer 6-Nov-18  
Hans-Heinrich von Kahlden Oberstleutnant Heer 6-Nov-18  
Wilhelm Osiander Oberstleutnant Heer 6-Nov-18  
Franz de Rainville Major Heer 6-Nov-18  
Ernst von Schönfeldt Major Heer 6-Nov-18  
Adolf Schwab Oberstleutnant Heer 6-Nov-18  
Otto Stobbe Major Heer 6-Nov-18  
Siegfried von Held Generalleutnant Heer 7-Nov-18  
Armand von Alberti Oberst Army 8-Nov-18  
Friedrich Ritter von Bogendörfer Generalmajor Heer 8-Nov-18  
Carl Degelow Major Luftstreitkräfte 8-Nov-18  
Erich Gaertner Oberstleutnant Heer 8-Nov-18  
Wilhelm Edler von Graeve Oberstleutnant Heer 8-Nov-18  
Karl Hansen Generalleutnant Heer 8-Nov-18  
Ernst Kaether Generalmajor Heer 8-Nov-18  
Emil Berthold Meyer Major Heer 8-Nov-18  
Ulrich Neckel Leutnant Luftstreitkräfte 8-Nov-18  
Maximilian Freiherr von Reitzenstein Oberst Heer 8-Nov-18  
        Oak Leaves award date
Siegfried von la Chevallerie General der Artillerie Heer 20-Jan-18 5-Oct-18
Ernst von Below Generalmajor Army 24-Nov-17 13-Oct-18
Otto Ritter von Rauchenberger Generalleutnant Heer 6-Sep-17 19-Oct-18
Günther von Etzel General der Kavallerie Heer 4-Aug-18 25-Oct-18
Curt von dem Borne General der Infanterie Heer 9-Apr-18 3-Nov-18
Felix Langer General der Infanterie Heer 8-Oct-17 7-Nov-18
Arthur von Lindequist Generalleutnant Heer 23-Dec-17 7-Nov-18
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Thanks for the exhaustive list.

I notice that among the recipients of the PLM with Oak Leaves after 22 September 1918 there are several lieutenants. Do you perhaps have an idea what would warrant what seems to be a fairly senior award to a junior officer like a lieutenant at a time when hostilities was calming down after World War 1? Was it belated recognition of actions involving the necessary merit/gallantry during the war?

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Wessel Gordon,

No problem.

Sorry, if my previous post was not very clear. I should have stated that there were two lists. The first and larger list(110 names and ranks) comprises of recipients of the PLM (not Oak Leaves) after 22 September 1918 and the second smaller list at the bottom, which is of seven recipients, is the list of those German military personnel(all Generals) that were awarded the Oak Leaves again after 22 September 1918, to go with their previously won PLM's earlier in the war.

Below is a website that gives some information on the period from 8 August 1918 until 11 November 1918 on the Western Front, which is called the 'Hundred Days Offensive'.


Hope this helps.



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Does anybody have any idea where I can find Prussian/German rank insignia dated around the end of WW1?

I checked Ebay but most of those items are either WW2 or East/West Germany so it's obviously not going to work with a PLM of 1918.

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On 14/08/2019 at 18:28, Wessel Gordon said:

Does anybody have any idea where I can find Prussian/German rank insignia dated around the end of WW1?

I checked Ebay but most of those items are either WW2 or East/West Germany so it's obviously not going to work with a PLM of 1918.

Here you go, two of several:



From  the pic, the plm strikes me as a copy from well after 1918 - but then I guess you know that. 

Kind regards,


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Thanks for the links.

I know for a fact it's a copy...it was advertised as such and I bought it with the full knowledge it didn't hang around some guy's neck in 19-whatever. However if someone with an interest in military history sees it displayed in my house he might think ''Looks interesting...I wonder what the history behind the real medal is''. And as far as my research and Graham's post indicates the PLM was last rewarded in 1918...hence the fact I'm looking for the insignia of around that year.

I know I am in the minority but I buy medals that catches my eye and although it has a massive impact on the financial value of my collection I do not mind owning copies of medals I really like such as the PLM.

To me it's about the thrill of having a copy of a medal I always wanted to own and although it would be awesome to have genuine medals with their full history having the story behind a genuine medal isn't the deciding factor in owning it.

In my SADF collection I have 10 full-sized medals all stamped with serial numbers and they were confirmed by a person more knowledgeable than me as genuine SADF issue and that fact alone is enough for me.

The other factor that influence my decision to buy well-made copies is that they display better than a faded real medal and all my medals I eventually intend to display.





Edited by Wessel Gordon
Added a few thoughts.
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