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Was a WW1 posthumous EK possible? I have not found a statute probibiting it, but have handeled many, many docs and have never seen an example of it having happened.

have recently gotten a doc that tends to convince me....

Any thoughts on this ?

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Hello

I don't see why a WW1 EK couldn't be awarded posthumous. If the person concerned was killed whilst carrying out the act for which an EK would be awarded then why wouldn't they award it. The final gesture to the fallen hero, and a good moral booster and propaganda tool.

Just my thoughts on it.

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The usual practice for Prussian awards was to be (-presumed-) living when you were granted the award. Orders and higher level decorations given by various states might require review and permission by the monarch, or some pencil pusher at a desk.

Prussian Iron Crosses could be handed out by Willy, or as far down the food chain as the regimental level. After WWI, it's not unknown for Iron Crosses to have been awarded by worker's councils, or even at the regimental or unit depot even as late as the middle 1920's.

It's possible that someone who wasn't aware of the normal protocol of giving an award (for whatever reason) might give a man who was captured and thought to be alive, an Iron Cross (even if the fellow had died in captivity.....) for whatever he might have done at the time of, or leading to his being captured.

If an award could be handed out years after the war was over, it's also possible that after the war a dead man (or a few more for that matter) could have been granted an award contrary to normal protocols. If giving posthomous awards was normal protocol, there would have been hundreds or thousands of such cases known. One or two...call it a possible fluke, and it it's a post-war awarding, I'm inclined to say it "doesn't count."

I'm ready to see the document and supportive facts whenever you're ready.

Les

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I agree that the awarding of a EK for bravery to a soldier who died during the act of that bravery

would be a great moral booster and propaganda tool. BUT on the other hand. Didn't Prussion

law require that the higher orders, PLMs, Eagle orders,ect. be turned back in after the death of the

reciepient? Wouldn't that indicate they weren't to concerend about posthomous awards. Or was it

a case of conserving the gold and silver it took to make the awards?

Greg

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The usual practice for Prussian awards was to be (-presumed-) living when you were granted the award. Orders and higher level decorations given by various states might require review and permission by the monarch, or some pencil pusher at a desk.

Prussian Iron Crosses could be handed out by Willy, or as far down the food chain as the regimental level. After WWI, it's not unknown for Iron Crosses to have been awarded by worker's councils, or even at the regimental or unit depot even as late as the middle 1920's.

It's possible that someone who wasn't aware of the normal protocol of giving an award (for whatever reason) might give a man who was captured and thought to be alive, an Iron Cross (even if the fellow had died in captivity.....) for whatever he might have done at the time of, or leading to his being captured.

If an award could be handed out years after the war was over, it's also possible that after the war a dead man (or a few more for that matter) could have been granted an award contrary to normal protocols. If giving posthomous awards was normal protocol, there would have been hundreds or thousands of such cases known. One or two...call it a possible fluke, and it it's a post-war awarding, I'm inclined to say it "doesn't count."

I'm ready to see the document and supportive facts whenever you're ready.

Les

Very close to what I am getting at, except one point in there...

"Prussian Iron Crosses could be handed out by Willy, or as far down the food chain as the regimental level. "

Until the wars end the approval of the award was still from the commanding general, at east at Divisonal level, although the document could be signed at lower level.

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OK,

so far I have not been able to find a statute of any kind. Circumstantial evidence is: I have reached the 450 mark in Imperial EK docs/small groups. There are a number of groups where the guy was awarded the EK after being invalided out of the army, but so far not a single group where an award was made after the mans death....

Enter this spectacular document......

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Hitzelberger was proposed for the iron Cross (the Alpenkorps was fighting at verdun at the time of his death), but was killed before the approval went through. instead of sending his family an Iron Cross and a posthumous award document, they were sent this doc say "Close, but no cigar".

This document is by the same soldier/Artist who drew the Alpenkorps EK document picture.

For those who do not read German, it says he was proposed for the EK but did not recieve it because he was killed in action in the meantime.

So, this is no watertight proof of my theory, but a lot of circumstantial evidence.

Pretty damned nice of the Alpenkorps to issue a document like this, I have never seen one in a similar format, either as a generic doc, or unit specific doc.

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Chris,

I totally understand. I have a lot of material that I hope to use for a book some day and though I would love to show it now, no one likes to buy a new book and see a bunch of period photos that they have seen before.

If it is done by the same artist who did the well-known 'Das Deutsche Alpenkorps" EK document, then I am sure it is very nice to behold. I can wait until it appears in print. ;)

Chip

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The scan below shows two pages from the Milit?rpass of Sergeant Albert Warnke, who was born on 28 May (today), 1892.

He was killed at 3 a.m. on 29 August 1918 by shell splinters to the head while in the limber position of his unit, Fu?artillerie-Bataillon 87, in Lebucquieres north-east of Bapaume. He was buried the same day at the military cemetry in Abencheul-au-Bac, north-west of Cambrai. Today he is buried at the German military cemetry at Neuville-St.Vaast.

The award date of his EK2 is recorded as 30 August 1918, the day after he was buried. He had also been awarded the Hamburger Hanseatenkreuz according to an earlier entry in his Milit?rpass.

Is this a true posthumous award, or just an award deferred due to the time it took to process the paperwork? Are there any similar cases in which the award was not cancelled, but processed to completion after the recipient's death?

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A rough guess....

If his unit proposed him for an EK, it would take some time for it to go up the chain of command to get approved.

Could it be that they had sent the applications up, (bad) luck had him killed on the 29th, the pile of awards were approved and sent down to the unit on the 30th without the higher command having any idea that he had been killed.

This is the closest I have seen to a potential post KIA award, but I think it was a case of the paperwork arriving after the event as noone above knew he had died.

I have a certificate to the family of a KIA saying "your husband was proposed for the EK but it could not be awarded because of his death..(so have this bit of paper instead...)"

(will show you on the weekend ;-)

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... BUT on the other hand. Didn't Prussion law require that the higher orders, PLMs, Eagle orders,ect. be turned back

in after the death of the reciepient? Wouldn't that indicate they weren't to concerend about posthomous awards.

Or was it a case of conserving the gold and silver it took to make the awards? Greg

Hello,

no the awards don't have to turn back! See attachment: Armee-Verordnungsblatt from 1913.

Best regards, :cheers:

Jens

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Ok,

the part in Question... his EK2 doc signed by the General on the 10.10.1918... although he was killed on the 4th.

A little bit of research shows the division was pulling back and reforming that week, so I am guessing, he was wounded, the proposal went up to the division, he died, the general signed and whammo... a Posthumous award by error. This is all pre email... so if a Company commander sends a proposal to a Regt commander who forwards it to the division.... we are talking about some time required for the papers to go their way...

best

Chris

post-119-089409900 1294518029_thumb.jpg

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Of course these men were approved for the award, then KIA. The Germans, being crazy for bureaucracy, sent out the Urkunde anyway. I love that Alpenkorps document.

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