Updated: Nov 6, 2020
In the Faces of war Series #facesofwarkb41
The Photograph here shows a decorated Infantier Hauptmann in the Heer. The Hauptmann is seen wearing a M36 tunic, the tunic appears to be a summer weight linen style tunic, this is unusual in combination with the late war crusher cap that is seen with Bevo style insignia. The Hauptmann is thought to be a what is known as a Rear Echelon, someone who would be a part of an headquarters or unit that is located a distance from the front lines, this in combination with decoration of awards suggest that he could have been in charge of training troops or an administrative roll.
The awards seen worn by the older Hauptmann show us that he was a First World War veteran, this is seen in the only medal awarded that is a silver wound badge, this being worn in the centre of his breast pocket. Note that it doesn’t have a swastika in the centre showing that it is a First World War awarded variant. The silver second class variant, meaning he was wounded three or four times. The other awards can be seen in the forms of ribbons. One of these being the ribbon seen through the button loop, this being a war merit ribbon, his only notable World War 2 award. The other awards are seen in a bar worn above his breast pocket. In order from Left to the Right; he was awarded the EKII (Iron cross second class) in World War 1. The Bavarian Military Merit Cross (Militär-Verdienstkreuz) Klasse 3, this was awarded for bravery or a military merit, the class seen here being the third class and awarded to mostly Bavarian NCOs and enlisted soldiers. The next ribbon is for the Friedrich August Medaille (Saxony) award, this award was awarded to solders and civilians who showed great achievements as a part of a team during the war, this being seen to continue into his role in the Second World War. The next ribbon is the WW1 Honour Cross without swords (Hindenburg cross) this variant being without swords shows that he wasn’t a front line solider and the final awarded ribbon is the Prussian Long Service, this being awarded for civil or part of the military service.
The conclusion that can be made from his awards was that the Hauptmann was very involved in the first world war but not a front line veteran, he was likely to of helped the army at the time in some way but never been a front line solider of the first world war. The silver wound badge could have been awarded during World War 1 if he was at a location helping and it was bombarded or attacked in some way and he was injured. The other awards could have been awarded if he was to serve as a part of the Weimar Republic, Pre-World War 2. The experiences and service of the Hauptmann in the First World War would have made him a respected member of the Heer, you can only imagine if he went on to survive the second.