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I need some help with Behncke's awards.

Here is the list I have so far (sources are the 1914 and 1918 Rangliste and photographic evidence):


-Pour le Mérite am 04.12.1917 als Vizeadmiral und Chef des III. Geschwaders
-Königlich Preußischer Roter Adler-Orden II. Klasse mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern
-Eisernes Kreuz (1914) I. Klasse
-Eisernes Kreuz (1914) II. Klasse
-Königlich Preußische Kaiser Wilhelm-Centenarmedaille 1897
-Südwestafrika-Denkmünze (Class unknown)
-Königlich Preußischer Roter Adler-Orden III. Klasse mit Schleife und mit der Krone
-Königlich Preußischer Roter Adler-Orden IV. Klasse
-Königlich Preußischer Kronen-Orden II. Klasse
-Königlich Preußischer Kronen-Orden III. Klasse
-Königlich Preußisches Dienstauszeichnungskreuz
-Königlich Bayerischer Militärverdienstorden II. Klasse mit Schwertern
-Lübeckisches Hanseatenkreuz
-Großherzoglich Oldenburgisches Friedrich August-Kreuz I. Klasse
-Großherzoglich Oldenburgisches Friedrich August-Kreuz II. Klasse
-Komturkreuz II. Klasse des Königlich Sächsischen Albrechts-Ordens mit Schwertern
-Marineverwundetenabzeichen in Schwarz (1918)
-k.u.k. Österreichisches Militär-Verdienstkreuz III. Klasse mit der Kriegsdekoration
-Ehrenkreuz für Frontkämpfer
 

I have 3 photos where his medal bar is visible. If someone has the 2nd and 3rd photo in better quality, or any other photos of Behncke where his medal/ribbon bar is visible, please post them. Here is my ID of the medal bar:

 

- Eisernes Kreuz (1914) 2. Klasse

- Königlich Preußischer Roter Adler-Orden 3. Klasse mit Schleife und mit der Krone

- Königlich Preußisches Dienstauszeichnungskreuz

- Südwestafrika-Denkmünze (Class unknown) (look at the ribbon) ???

- Another round medal beneath the Südwestafrika-Denkmünze on the first photo ???

- Großherzoglich Oldenburgisches Friedrich August-Kreuz 2. Klasse

- Lübeckisches Hanseatenkreuz

- k.u.k. Österreichisches Militär-Verdienstkreuz III. Klasse mit der Kriegsdekoration

- Kaiserlich Türkische Liakat or Imtiyaz Medaille mit Säbeln ???

 

1. Does anyone know which class of the Südwestafrika-Denkmünze did he receive (Bronze or Stahl). Of course if you agree it's the Südwestafrika-Denkmünze in the first place.

2. What could the other round medal beneath the Südwestafrika-Denkmünze be? Perhaps the Kaiser Wilhelm-Centenarmedaille?

3. What is the last medal, Liakat or Imtiyaz. And what class?

 

If someone has any additional info I would appreciate it very much. Thanks.

167437965.jpg

behncke.jpg

behncke2.jpg

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The RAO4 and the KO3 were replaced and returned when he was awarded higher grades of those orders. He continued to wear ther RAO3SmKr because it was with the Crown.

The Südwestafrika-Denkmünze should be steel, since I do not believe that he served there and based on its appearance in the photos. It should indeed be the Centenary after it.

I have no idea about the Turkish award. Could be either, but likely a 1st class based on his rank.

Other known awards:
• According to the Austro-Hungarian Court and State Handbook, Behncke received the Orden der Eisernen Krone 2. Klasse mit der Kriegsdekoration in 1916.
• According to the Swedish State Calendar, Behncke received the Grand Cross of the Swedish Order of the Sword (Kommendör med stora korset) in 1924.
• He received the Olympia-Ehrenzeichen 2. Klasse on 15.1.1937 as an Admiral a.D. and Präsident der Deutsch-Japanischen Gesellschaft in Berlin.

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Thank you very much Dave. I don't quite understand the part about RAO4 and KO3. Why did he have to return the awards to the State? To me that doesn't make sense. Could you explain this practice in more detail?

The 1st class of the Turkish award should be the Medal in Gold.

Thank for that information about the Orden der Eisernen Krone 2. Klasse mit der Kriegsdekoration. The 2nd Class was worn around the neck, that means he didn't mount it on the photos above. He only mounted the Militär-Verdienstkreuz 3. Klasse mit der Kriegsdekoration on the medal bar.

So the Olympia-Ehrenzeichen 2. Klasse was awarded posthumously? Because he died on 04.01.1937

Edited by Kriegsmarine Admiral

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Prussian Army and German navy officers normally worked their way up the Red Eagle / Crown Order ladder during their careers. Typically, the first award was the RAO4. The KO4 was a less common award for junior officers usually for specific actions while the RAO4 came after a period of long and meritorious service. The next step was receipt of the KO3.  An officer could wear both the RAO4 and the KO3. Next was the award of the RAO3. The RAO3 was awarded with the Schleife if one already had the RAO4, which was almost always the case with Prussian and naval officers, and the RAO4 was returned. The officer would then wear both the RAO3S and KO3. 

The next step would be award of the KO2. In this case, the KO3 would be returned. So when you see a medal bar with only the RAO3S (without the crown or swords) and no Crown Order, you can surmise that it belonged to an Oberst/Kapitän zur See or Generalmajor/Konteradmiral who wore the KO2 around the neck. If you look at the 1914 rank list, you will see the RAO3S/KO2 combination from Konteradmiral Wurmbach through Kapitän z.S. Höpfner. 

The next step was award of the RAO2. As with the Schleife for the RAO3, an officer who previously had the RAO3 would receive the RAO2 with oakleaves (RAO2E), and the RAO3S would be returned.  Again if you look at the 1914 rank list, you will see the RAO2E/KO2 combination from Konteradmiral Hipper to Konteradmiral Schrader.  In these cases, the officer wore both his Red Eagle and Crown around the neck, and no Red Eagle or Crown order on the medal bar, except for awards with the crown or swords.

The next step was award of the Star to the KO2.  Again going to the rank list, you will see the RAO2E/KO2mSt combination from Vizeadmiral Gerdes through Konteradmiral Trummler. The next step was award of the Star to the RAO2E. You will see the RAO2EmSt/KO2mSt combination with VIzeadmirale Grapow, Bachmann, v. Krosigk and v. Dambrowski. Nothing had to be returned at these steps because they just added a breast star to the existing awards.  

The next step normally was award of the KO1, in which case the KO2mSt was returned. And then normally would come the RAO1, in which case the RAO2EmSt was returned. And then the Grand Cross of the RAO.

As I mentioned above, the exception to the return policy for the lower grades was if they were awarded with special devices. An award of any class of the Red Eagle with the royal crown usually indicated an award for specific merit rather than just long service, and the officer continued to wear it even when he received a higher class. An award of any class of the Red Eagle or Crown Order with swords was worn even when a higher class was awarded, with the provision for "Swords on Ring" as well. 

As one example, look at Admiral v. Pohl in the 1914 rank list. He had the RAO3SXKr, which he continued to wear after receiving the 2nd class because of the crown and swords. His RAO2E was with swords on ring, but he also had the royal crown to it. So when he received the RAO1E with swords on ring, he kept the RAO2EKrXaR as well. Pohl's Crown Order 2nd Class was also with swords, so he kept that even when he got the Star to the KO2 and later the KO1 with swords on ring.

There might be some exceptions I am missing. I can't remember what the regulations were if you had the KO4X and KO3X, for example. But these are the general guidelines for senior officers working their way up the Read Eagle/Crown Order ladder.

And, yes, I assume the Olympia-Ehrenzeichen was posthumous. There were over 500 awards of the 2nd class that day, so it probably had taken a while to process them.

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Dear Dave Danner,

6 hours ago, Dave Danner said:

The KO4 was a less common award for junior officers usually for specific actions while the RAO4 came after a period of long and meritorious service.

If I remember correctly what Rick Research said one time, backed up with info from the late Eric Ludvigsen, that the RAO came before the KO, but this changed around 1900 when emperor Wilhelm II started awarding the KO before the RAO. Here is a chart of awardnumbers of the KOpost-160-1240601565.jpg.44cdfdb464537330e00c725abbcb92af.jpg

We can see a gradual increase from around 1885/1890 onward, when Wilhelm II became emperor. I believe the roles of the RAO and the KO switched here. When we see medalbars of junior officers who started after 1905 we often see the KO, but not a RAO. This is logical ofcourse, they didn't yet have a long career.

Kind regards, Laurentius

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Below are some examples of Prussian officers for whom I know the award dates, to give everyone a picture of the progression through the classes of the two orders, as well as the Dienstauszeichnungskreuz for 25 years' service. While the RAO4 was generally awarded after at least 20 years' service, the actual dates range from 20-26 years of service. I noted that several generals skipped the KO2, probably because their rank at the time they were considered for the "bump" from the RAO3S justified an RAO2E.

Bansi, Karl
Diensteintritt am 25.3.1879
RAO4 (22.7.00)
DA (7.6.04)
KO3 (19.1.08)
RAO3S (22.1.11)
RAO2E (1.9.13)
Note: skipped the KO2

Bechen, Karl Martin
Diensteintritt am 1.10.1881
RAO4 (18.1.01)
DA (6.6.07)
KO3 (17.1.09)
RAO3S (22.4.14)

Beck, Karl v.
Diensteintritt am 15.4.1878
RAO4 (18.1.00)
DA (2.6.03)
KO3 (11.9.07)
RAO3S (22.1.11)
KO2 (12.1.13)

Beckmann, Karl Max Gottlob
Diensteintritt am 11.12.1872
RAO4Kr (27.5.95)
DA (9.6.98)
KO3 (20.8.07)
RAO3S (16.8.00)
KO2 (16.1.13)

Bock, Paul
Diensteintritt am 15.4.1878, 21.1.1913 z.D. gestellt
RAO4 (18.1.01)
DA (1903)
KO3 (12.1.13)

Bodman, Wilhelm Frhr.v.u.zu
Diensteintritt am 26.5.1868, 14.4.1907 Offz.v.d.A., 2.5.1907 z.D. gestellt
DA (18.6.92)
RAO4 (21.1.94)
KO3 (18.1.01)
RAO3S (18.1.03)
KO2 (18.1.04)
RAO2E (20.1.07)

Bodungen, Richard v.
Diensteintritt am 23.4.1874
RAO4 (18.1.98)
DA (9.6.99)
KO3 (20.1.07)
RAO3S (16.1.10)
RAO2E (16.6.13)
Note: skipped the KO2

Böckmann, Friedrich v.
Diensteintritt am 18.10.1871, 22.3.1912 z.D. gestellt
RAO4 (18.1.95)
DA (15.6.97)
KO3 (22.1.05)
RAO3S (19.1.08)
KO2 (16.1.10)
RAO2E (8.5.11)

Boedicker, Edgar
Diensteintritt am 31.3.1875, 22.3.13 d. Abschied bewilligt
RAO4 (13.9.99)
DA (9.6.00)
KO3 (22.1.11)
RAO3S (22.3.13)

Boehl, Hermann v.
Diensteintritt am 1.10.1880, 4.7.1910 d. Abschied bewilligt
RAO4 (18.1.02)
KO3 (15.9.05)
DA (8.6.06)

Some examples of more junior officers: Maj. George Runge of UR 11 entered service in 1888. He received his RAO4 on 22.1.11 and DA on 11.6.13. Maj. Siegfried Ruppricht from IR 112 entered service in 1887. He received the RAO4 on 16.1.10 and the DA on 18.6.12.

Rick and Eric were right that the KO4 became more commonly awarded in the years before the war, but it was not standardized as part of the progression. It appears to have been more of a merit award for specific acts, rather than a general award for a period of meritorious service.

A quick overview from the 1914 rank list:

• In the 1.GRzF, all but 3 captains (and one junior major) have a Crown Order (Prinz Oskar had a KO1, two others had a KO4X, the rest a KO4). Of 16 Oberleutnants, 6 have the KO4.
• In the 2.GRzF, 12 of 16 captains have a KO4 (one with swords). None of the Oberleutnants have one.
• In GGR 1, only 5 of 16 captains have a KO4 (two with swords). Again, none of the Oberleutnants have one.
• In GGR 2, only 2 of 18 captains and 3 of 13 Oberleutnants have a KO4.
• In the GFR, 8 of 16 captains and 2 of 11 Oberleutnants have a KO4 (two with swords).
• In the 3.GRzF, 5 of 17 captains and 1 of 6 Oberleutnants have a KO4 (one with swords).
• In the 4.GRzF, 12 of 17 captains (and one junior major) have a KO4. None of the Oberleutnants have one.
• In GGR 3, 4 of 16 captains have a KO4 (one with swords). None of the Oberleutnants have one.
• In GGR 4, 6 of 16 captains have a KO4 (one with swords). None of the Oberleutnants have one.
• In the 5.GRzF, only 2 of 16 captains and 2 of 8 Oberleutnants have a KO4.
• In GGR 5, 8 of 18 captains and 1 of 10 Oberleutnants have a KO4 (two with swords).

That is just among the premier Garde infantry regiments. The pattern is similar in the Garde cavalry (in some regiments a lot of KO4s, in others a few). In the Garde field artillery regiments, 17 junior officers had the KO4 and 9 the KO4X, and the 3.GFAR had none of them. Also, many of these awards were for service in the May 1913 marriage ceremony of Ernst August of Braunschweig and Princess Viktoria Luise.

Outside of the Garde, the KO4 is much less common. To pick a few random regiments: in FR 34 just one captain has a KO4. Same for IR 43 and IR 45. In FR 37, none. Same for IR 44 (although 2 Leutnants have one). One Rittmeister and one Oberleutnant in KR 2.

If I remember correctly, Daniel Krause told me once that many KO4 awards were for winning gunnery competitions and the like. They were also common in the Flieger-Bataillone for performance in aerial flight. Many engineer and technical officers also received their KO4 for specific accomplishments. Add in the Garde officers who received it for various ceremonial duties, and these together might account for much of the increase in awards in the prewar years.
 

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That were some highly interesting posts - I learned a lot!

To throw something in myself. The price the Generalordenskommission payed for a normal RAO4 was 9 Mark

The price for the normal KO4 was 21 Mark

So it was quite expensive in comparison with the RAO4

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