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Hallo,

digging though my collection I found this picture I got few years ago but - unlike others - I was never able to identify this man. As you can see he has at least the rank of Major, the Pickelhaube bears a line eagle. The picture was taken in Schwerin / Mecklenburg, presumably around 1880, perhaps a little later.

He is a veteran of 1870/71 and 1866 with EK2 and red eagle 2nd class with swords (?) and (??) Kronenorden (??), the rest I cannot identify. Happy to hear any opinions on him!

Cheers ArHo

DSC01093a.jpg

DSC01093ab.jpg

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Dear ArHo,

lovely picture you have there. A nice RAO4x, although it could also be a KO4x, I'm not entirely sure. The third award is not the Kronenorden, but rather a LS-decoration. It has straight arms, not the slightly bent arms we'd see on a Kronenorden.

Kind regards, Laurentius

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Hello!

It´s not a Schwerin regiment. They had different helmets. What about the cuffs pipings?

Until 1890 we only had 15 army corps. Some of them had no pipings, some white, some yellow, some blue pipings.

What do you think? It´s not white...

So we have the  following corps:

II, IV, VI, VIII  (none)

IX, XI (yellow)

X, XV (blue)

Unfortunately a lot of staff officers in that time had EKII and RAO4...

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Phew, the old colour problem... Just gave it another try with a little less yellow lamp... As a result, and compared to the little visible patch of the central red part of the ribbon of the Kriegsdenkmünze 1870/71, I would opt for yellow...

Also, may the second decoration from right (viewers's point of view) be the Mecklenburg Militärverdienstkreuz? If it were, the yellow part, compared to the piping would also speak for yellow, would it?

Laurentius: I think you are right - no Kronenorden here, should have seen that myself 🙂 thanks!

Cheers

IMG_2417.JPG

Edited by ArHo

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1 hour ago, ArHo said:

Also, may the second decoration from right (viewers's point of view) be the Mecklenburg Militärverdienstkreuz?

It is the Mecklenburg Militärverdienstkreuz, however, due to the unclear picture we won't be able to figure out if it was for the Austro-German war of 1866 or the Franco-Prussian war of 1870/1871.

Kind regards, Laurentius

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Hi!

If it is a CDV could you post a scan of the whole photo front and back with name of studio?

Could help dating the pic.

GreyC

Edited by GreyC

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Hi all!

That´s not so easy...

IF we have yellow pipings and a Mecklenburg cross and the pic was taken in Schwerin, we should have IXth Army corps without a Mecklenburg regiment.

In 1883 we had the following structure:

IX.Army Corps

17.Inf.Div. with: Inf.Rgt.75, Inf.Rgt.76, Ldw.Rgt.75, Ldw.Rgt.76, Gren.Rgt.89, Füs.Rgt.90, Ldw.Rgt.89, Ldw.Rgt.90

18.Inf.Div. with: Inf.Rgt.84, Füs.Rgt.86, Ldw.Rgt.84, Inf.Rgt.31, Inf.Rgt.85, Ldw.Rgt.85, Res.Ldw.Rgt.86

No matches in the ranklists 1879 and 1883.

Unfortunately I don´t have the ranklists 1880-1882

Back to the medals. Laurentius: What do you mean with LS-decoration?

I see 8 decorations.

1) EKII

2) RAO4x

3) maybe KO (see below)

4) prussian 70/71 medal

5) prussian 1866 medal

6) maybe prussian 1864 medal (see below)

7) MMV2

8 ) maybe Mecklenburg 1848/49 medal (see below)

In order to the regulations, N°3 might be a Kronen-Orden, N°6 the prussian 1864 medal and N°8 the Mecklenburg 1848/49 medal, but that´s just a guess...

N°3 could also be a Militär-Ehrenzeichen 1.KL.:

https://www.ehrenzeichen-orden.de/deutsche-staaten/militar-ehrenzeichen-1-klasse-1864.html

or Militär-Verdienstkreuz:

https://www.ehrenzeichen-orden.de/deutsche-staaten/militar-verdienstkreuz-1864.html

Both crosses were awarded to NCOs. Does that fit to our man???

If not, it must be a KO!

Note, that the medals 48/49, 64, 66, 70/71 are not mentioned in the ranklists!

So, IF I´m right, we have to look for a staff officer with EKII, RAO4x, KO and MMV2

Here are the regulations:

Anordnung der Orden.jpg

Edited by The Prussian

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3 hours ago, The Prussian said:

Back to the medals. Laurentius: What do you mean with LS-decoration?

 

3 hours ago, The Prussian said:

Both crosses were awarded to NCOs. Does that fit to our man???

If not, it must be a KO!

 

LS is the abreviation for Long Service decoration. This is the only one that fits the third place. It isn't a Kronenorden, since the cross-arms are straight and not slightly bent. 

3 hours ago, The Prussian said:

N°3 could also be a Militär-Ehrenzeichen 1.KL.:

https://www.ehrenzeichen-orden.de/deutsche-staaten/militar-ehrenzeichen-1-klasse-1864.html

or Militär-Verdienstkreuz:

https://www.ehrenzeichen-orden.de/deutsche-staaten/militar-verdienstkreuz-1864.html

Both crosses were awarded to NCOs. Does that fit to our man???

These crosses do not fit either, because the ribbon in the picture is blue and not black and white like the first and second ribbon. This officer therefore has a EKII, RAO4x or KO4x and MMV2. Due to the quality of the picture it is near impossible to see whether it is a KO4x or RAO4x. Both these decorations were given out during the Austro-German war of 1866

Kind regards, Laurentius

Edited by laurentius

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AH, ok!

Yes of course. I didn´t know the britsh abrreviation...

In german it is "Dienstauszeichnungskreuz". (DAK) That could fit too!

Thanks a lot!

So again:

1) EKII

2) RAO4x

3) DAK

4) prussian 70/71 medal

5) prussian 1866 medal

6) maybe prussian 1864 medal (see below)

7) MMV2

8 ) maybe Mecklenburg 1848/49 medal (see below)

Could we use this for a research?

I bet we could find him in 80, 81 or 82.

In ranklist 1879 I found:

Major Meyer (Inf.Rgt.75) : EKII, DAK, MMV2

Major v. Lehsten (Inf.Rgt.31) :  EKII, DAK, MMV2

Mayve they received RAO4x later?

 

 

Edited by The Prussian

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8 hours ago, The Prussian said:

Mayve they received RAO4x later?

I doubt that. The RAO4x was only given out during 1864 and 1866 (von Hindenburg received one for Königgratz). The only other recipients served in the colonies, given the lack of decorations that point in that direction I doubt that. Not to mention that Germany barely had any colonies at this point (circa 1880).

Kind regards, Laurentius

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1 hour ago, laurentius said:

I doubt that. The RAO4x was only given out during 1864 and 1866 (von Hindenburg received one for Königgratz). The only other recipients served in the colonies, given the lack of decorations that point in that direction I doubt that. Not to mention that Germany barely had any colonies at this point (circa 1880).

Kind regards, Laurentius

 

Not to make this more complicated, but Laurentius' statement that the PRAO4mSchw was only awarded in 1864 and 1866 (prior to the colonial period, of course) is a widely held misconception.  I have identified 312 recipients of that award for events surrounding the events of 1848/49. and not all of them were Prussians, either. 

Andy

 

 

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The reason I did not mention 1848/1849 was because I didn't believe the recipient to be old enough to have served during the uprisings. However, if we presume that this veteran is in his 50's, he would have been in his 20's around 1848/49 which is an age around which one was most likely in service in those days. Remember that Hindenburg got his PRAO4x at age 19.

Kind regards, Laurentius

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Everyone: warm thanks for all your interesting input! I am away for the weekend and have only limited online access (mountains... love and hate them...) but will around monday post full views of both sides and add my 5 Cents again!

Thanks again and looking forward to keep trying to solve the riddle with you

ArHo

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Chaps,

unfortunately, the basic problem is that his orders are not particularly unusual. This is exacerbated by the fact that he is wearing a Prussian infantry uniform whilst photographed in a Mecklenburg-Schwerin garrison town. He is clearly not wearing the uniform of either GR 89 or FR 90. Added to this, we are at this time unclear of the exact time frame the photograph was taken; it could be anytime between 1871 and probably the mid eighties. If we assume it is in fact 1880, there are nine infantry officers with the combination of an RAO4X, EK2 13 and an MMV2. Of these only two are  listed with the Dienstauszeichnung:

Oberst von Gaza of IR 67

Oberst z.D. von Runckel of Landwehr-Regiment Nr. 48.

The other seven are:

Major Gustorf of FR 34

Hauptmann Frhr. von Mirbach of the Garde-Füsilier-Regiment (It is definitely not him)

Hauptmann von PLaten of IR 64

Hauptmann von Schierstedt of GR 89

Hauptmann Struensee of IR 24

Hauptmann von Wagenhoff of FR 90

Hauptmann von Wrochem of FR 90

Hopefully the rear of the photograph may provide some additional clues

Regards

Glenn

 

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Actually Major Julius Gustorf is looking good! Adjutant of the IX. Armee-Korps in 1880.

Regards

Glenn

Edited by Glenn J

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And here we go! I would date the picture to around 1880 but am open for any other approach!

Cheers

Bild.jpg

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Another info - the picture came from a small group that seemingly belonged to an officer of the IR 31, which was stationed in Hamburg-Altona after 1871.

Cheers

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Hi,

it´s definitely after 1872, as he became "Hof-Photograph" that year and I´d say a wee bit before 1880 juding by the design of the reverse. In the 1880s the design he used was more refrained. But 1880/81 is still an option.

GreyC

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I have checked every edition of the Prussian Rangliste from 1871 to 1888. No officer from IR 31 has that combination of awards.

Regards

Glenn

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In 1872 and in the mid 1870s again, Behncke was awarded medals of excellence for photography at two different exhibitions that he then used as means of publicity for a while on the reverse of his CDVs. In the 1880s he was so well established that he no longer used them on his CDVs. However, the style on the back was much more refined, claasical ason your example. So the photo was definitely taken between him being granted the status "by appointment to the Grand duke"(=Hof-Photograph) and his first medal in 1872. The new backs of his CDVs with the medal will have been produced in 1873 a the latest. So the photo must have been taken 1872/73. Two examples from my collection to illustrate the above.

2086204797_acopy.thumb.jpg.810171d32efb86281046c5a75f30c8fa.jpgb.thumb.jpg.14aca23648da65ac876e51987d5cb172.jpg

 

Edited by GreyC

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Dear all!

First of all: please axcuse my silence - I was struck down by one of the arrows of pestilence currently roaming Germany... And thank you to all participants again for your valuable input - I really enjoy this piece of research!

GreyC: Wow, thank you, that is a brilliant analysis and it really sheds some new light on this image - I would have dated the piture later but your arguments are very convincing, indeed!

Glenn: If we now assume that this picture was indeed taken in 1872-1873 - and that the photographer did not use a stock of older cards - it cannot be Gustorf as he was listed as Hauptmann in 1874 (no medals ec. mentioned there but it must be the same man).

Major (in 1874) von Gaza would be a good possibility!

Oberst z.D. von Runckel - also possible but far, far away

the other men did not hold the rank of Major in 1874

I will try and search through the lists, the earlier ones too, again tomorrow - for now: have a good evening, see you!
Cheers

ArHo

 

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As far as I can ascertain, these are the guys who are a possibility in 1875. I would probably exclude the Landgendarmerie officer.

Regards

Glenn

Ballhorn Land-Gendarmerie Maj. RAO4X, EK2 70, DA, MMV2
Becher IR 24 Hptm. RAO4X, EK2 70, MMV2
Gustorf IR 25 Hptm. RAO4X, EK2 70, MMV2
Klösterlein von IR 24 Hptm. RAO4X, EK2 70, MMV2
Merckel von General-Stab der Armee Maj. RAO4X, EK2 70, MMV2
Platen von IR 117 Hptm. RAO4X, EK2 70, MMV2
Runckel von Landwehr-Regiment Nr. 48 Obst. z.D. RAO4X, EK2 70, DA, MMV2
Voigts-König von GR 110 Maj. RAO4X, EK2 70, DA, MMV2
Wrochem von FR 90 Hptm. RAO4X, EK2 70, MMV2

And here are the possibilities from 1871: It is of course possible that the General staff officers are not originally infantry officers:

Ballhorn Land-Gendarmerie Maj. RAO4X, EK2 70, MMV2
Bentivegni von FR 90 Maj. RAO4X, EK2 70, DA, MMV2
Bülow von Großer General-Stab Hptm. RAO4X, EK2 70, MMV2
Gaza von GR 12 Maj. RAO4X, EK2 70, MMV2
Gustorff FR 35 Hptm. RAO4X, EK2 70, MMV2
Heynitz von IR 24 Hptm. RAO4X, EK2 70, MMV2
Holtzendorff von IR 32 Maj. RAO4X, EK2 70, DA, MMV2
Klösterlein von IR 24 Hptm. RAO4X, EK2 70, MMV2
Meerscheidt-Hüllessem Frhr. von IR 24 Maj. RAO4X, EK2 70, MMV2
Merckel von Großer General-Stab Hptm. RAO4X, EK2 70, MMV2
Runckel von IR 78 Obstlt.  RAO4X, EK2 70, DA, MMV2
Schell von Großer General-Stab Hptm. RAO4X, EK2 70, MMV2
Schultz von FR 90 Hptm. RAO4X, EK2 70, MMV2
Seyfried 3. GRzF Hptm. RAO4X, EK2 70, MMV2
Trapp-Ehrenschild von IR 76 Hptm. RAO4X, EK2 70, MMV2
Voigts-König von IR 24 Hptm. RAO4X, EK2 70, MMV2
Edited by Glenn J

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14 hours ago, ArHo said:

Major (in 1874) von Gaza would be a good possibility!

This is von Gaza. I would not think it was him.

Regards

Glenn

763210153_GazaFranzvonGR12.thumb.JPG.bbc54200667259d6c7bf92ee66567dc3.JPG

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On 09/02/2020 at 10:07, Glenn J said:

This is von Gaza. I would not think it was him.

Regards

Glenn

Glenn, I think you are right - this is definitely not him.

I have searched for other pictures of the men you named but was, this time, unsuccessful. I am afraid that despite all the input from forum members - thanks again! - for now this man must remain anonymous, like so many others where no one wrote a name on the picture. Anyway, it was very nice and hey: perhaps sometime in the future someone who reads this post will say: This is X, I own a picture of him!

Cheers

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