The Photograph postcard here shows a crisp example of a training depot of the Headquarters Section (Regiments-Hauptquartierkommando) of a replacement battalion with some recently out of the line, and some new soldiers. The men are from Ersatz-Battalion, Grenadier-Regiment,"Prinz Karl von Preußen” (2.Brandenburgisches) Nr.12; hailing from the Frankfurt/Oder area of Germany, part of the III Armee Korps. That is to say, the Replacement Field Battalion of Prince Karl of Prussia’s 2nd Brandenburg Regiment of Grenadiers (12th in the Imperial List). Hidden amongst their number, a young Grenadier writes to his mother.
"Sending you a picture of our battalion staff. Would be very glad too if you could lend me some money. Thanks for that and much regards Hinnerk" He then places details to write back, in many abbreviations, which amount to “Feldpost (no money required) from Ersatz-Jnfanterist. H. Allert, Frankfurt am Oder.“ and his mothers address of “ Frau Wme [Wilhomena, her “Sunday Name”] Gerda Allert, Landsberg Strasse, Brandenbergishe Altlandsberg. He posts it from the Regimental Depot at Frankfurt am Oder on 18 June 1915. Seated on the front row are (L-R) the Major, Oberstleutnant, Adjutant. [The 2 i/c, Battalion Commander, and Chief of Staff] who each have adopted a different mode of Dress.
The Major is wearing the Offizier-Litwak with blue trousers and ankle boots (Clerical Working Duty Dress) The Lt. Col and his adjutant are in “Field Dress” with Officer pattern 1910 pattern tunics and short boots with leather gaiters, but the Adjutant is wearing his Pickelhaube helmet, and his Sash denoting his role as Battalion Adjutant, gloved hands, and a “carried” sword on hooked up into the belt at his waist. The Lt. Col however is more casual with un-gloved hands, and the recently awarded Iron Cross 2nd Class in his Button hole.
Behind can be seen a variety of ranks, mixed in are junior officers and Platoon Serjeants filling the 2nd row, with only the 3rd from the right being particularly noteworthy in that he is an Offizierstellvertreter (Deputy Officer) so a newly qualified Officer on his 3 month wait for promotion to Leutnant. You can see this with the treße to his shoulder boards as well as in the usual collar and cuffs, and his obvious youth. Furthermore, 5th from the left (adjacently behind the Major) is also, and it took a fine examination to spot, the Medical Officer for the battalion. You can just make out the alternative style cuffs behind the Majors left shoulder.
This photograph postcard send from a young Hinnerk home to his mother, a reminder to her of him whilst he is away in service. The Mother would be missing her son, but also would be proud of him in service. Fighting for the kaiser and the country! This photograph postcard will be kept out on display in the family home or in an album. A crisp feldpost and postal history example, with a nice postage mark of the Imperial eagle.
Tags: World War 1, Ersatz-Battalion, Feldpost, Oberstleutnant, Major, Hinnerk, Postcard, Photograph, Offizierstellvertreter, Leutnant, Hauptquartierkommando, III Armee Korps, treße, Pickelhaube, Helmet