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One of the greatest, most mysterious units.....

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35 minutes ago, GreyC said:

Maybe he is mentioned here:

  • Veit Veltzke: Unter W√ľstens√∂hnen. Die deutsche Expedition Klein im Ersten Weltkrieg, Nicolai Verlag, Berlin 2014.
  • GreyC

Yup, I ordered that and am holding thumbs.... often it is murphy law, if 50% of the men are mentioned... you have something to the other 50% ūüėČ

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murphy law is that the guy where you have the doc sometimes slips through the cracks.... I have a small group with Gibralter cufftitle where the letter from the private person it came from said he had served with Ernst Junger and was mentioned in Storm of steel.

A guy who collects 73rd passed it over while he went through Storm of Steel and did not find a mentions... and in the various lists of officers in the Regt history the guy was not found.... BUT...

The lists of officers were every 6 months or so... he served between the dates and was not listed ... but was mentioned in the text... and Junger made various updates to Storm of steel... luckily the guy who passed it up had a verision where the guy was not mentioned ūüėČ

Same with officers docs... you can have a regiment where lots of officers are mentioned in pretty good detail... when a find an officers doc to the regiment... chances are... your guy is not ūüėČ

Veltzke seems to have dedicated his like to the operation... I am going to mail him and ask if there was anything he knows

The document itself is a very important example... as the order to issue preliminary documents only OFFICIALLY came out in 1916, you see these Chef des Generalstabes docs issued in 1916 for awards made earlier in the war, but awards made directly by the Generalstab (Divisional or AOK awards were issued certificates on that level)... as the Expedition had no other higher authority to make awards, they must have fallen under the Generalstab.


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Fritz Klein (* 1877 , † 1958 ) was a German officer who undertaken command operations against the British in Persia and Iraq during the First World War . He has occasionally been referred to as German Lawrence of Arabia .

Klein was the son of an industrial entrepreneur from the Siegerland.¬†He chose the military career and at the same time he went abroad.¬†In 1904 he went on a world tour.¬†In 1910 he took a leave of absence from the military and spent one year at the German¬†embassies¬†in¬†Rio de Janeiro¬†,¬†Cairo¬†and¬†Tehran¬†(where he learned Persian).¬†During the First World War, he first served in France and was wounded in 1914.¬†At that time he was a¬†captain¬†.¬†He took part in an expedition that was supposed to encourage Persian and Arab tribes to rebellion against the English and to attack the oil pipelines in Persia and the Middle East.¬†He was subordinate to the¬†Federal Foreign Office¬†and wasMajor of¬†the¬†Ottoman Army¬†.¬†70 German specialists, including the archaeologists Conrad Preusser, Walter Bachmann and Hans L√ľhrs, engineers and merchants, took part, as well as former Muslim¬†prisoners of war¬†and around 300 Austrian prisoners of war escaped from the Russians.¬†The starting point was in the fall of 1914¬†Aleppo¬†.¬†However, the Turks represented their own interests, and the tribes in Iraq again did not want to know anything about Turkish domination.¬†He met high¬†Shiite¬†dignitaries in¬†Kerbala¬†, who suspiciously demanded large sums of money due to the lack of German troops.¬†From autumn 1915 he was also active in Persia (where the archaeologist¬†Friedrich SarreLiaison officer was), where it also succeeded in April 1915 to interrupt oil pipelines (with which the¬†British fleet was¬†supplied), but not to pull the Persians on the side of the central powers.¬†Later in the war he was placed under the control of the Turks and lost his relatively independent command.¬†While he was initially able to prevent massacres of Armenians in his command district, he later failed.¬†To supply the¬†Turkish fleethe also opened a coal mine on the Euphrates and Tigris, and he fought grasshopper plagues and outbreaks of pests (vaccinations in Baghdad).¬†In Persia he tried to incite the population to a holy war (jihad) against the Entente.¬†If he initially acted arbitrarily, from July 1915 the Foreign Office set up its own German Persia mission, which among other things fought the Russians in the north.¬†However, they suffered a defeat at the¬†Kangavar¬†Pass in February 1916 and Klein returned to Germany in 1916.

After the war he wrote philosophical works. The historian Veit Veltzke was later able to evaluate Klein's estate (as well as the war diary and Klein's official correspondence in the Federal Foreign Office archive).

His adjutant Edgar Stern-Rubarth (1883-1972) was later a journalist (editor-in-chief at Ullstein and in the Wolff telegraph office), who emigrated to England as a Jew in 1936 and published memories of the expedition (Playing Lawrence on the other side). He had studied Romance languages and was at times advisor to Gustav Stresemann.

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