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German Uniform Photos


4thGordons
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I received an interesting Christmas gift from my better half. A "grab-bag" of about 300 what appear to be 1900-1920 photographs. These originated from a dealer in Germany so it is unlikely that there is anything really special in them (by which I mean I suspect they have been sorted through) but a quick glance does suggest that there are some interesting group shots.

grabbag.jpg

While I am reasonably comfortable with British photos - these are exclusively German - and an area about which I know very little. My knowledge of German military organization is relatively limited also so I was hoping to pick the brains of experts here. Quite a number of the photo-cards have writing on and a quick glance through suggests both the handwriting and the language is going to challenge my 30 year old O-Level German!

As I sort through these and attempt to organize them I thought I might use this thread to post questions rather than start a new one each time.

So if you would indulge me: just a couple off the top!

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undated divided back , photographer W Kofahl, Konigsbruck i Sa Sign appears to read "07 Reserve 09, Parole 138"

So -- a Saxon Reserve unit - pre war? (1909?) would be my guess

2.jpg

(undated, blank divided back . Newspaper appears to be Hetz? Chalked sign above fireplace reads "...andres shlickeit"

What is the collar insignia on the chap front right as we look?

Shoulder tabs appear to have a 2 on them

Chris

Edited by 4thGordons
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I think you are correct Dave - thank you.

A few down in the pile was another one of I think the same group -- which fills out the rest of the chalked message:

post-14525-0-65564400-1419628843_thumb.j

1 jahr in landres villa gemachlickeit (? my sense is this is an anniversary of living in this "sumptuous? / "relaxed" location)

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Is this inside a submarine? The tally-bands on their hats appears to read Unterseeboots -- Ab????something.
I know nothing at all about German Naval uniforms - is the chap in the middle an officer?

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Chris, this looks like it will be a really interesting thread.!

The tally band should read Unterseeboots Abteilung (abbrev. U.A) so Submarine Detachment.

Cheers, S>S

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Thanks S>S I will keep a look out for bayonets..(there are quite a lot of cabinet card types where there seem to be bayonets/knots)

There is another U-Boat one but the Tallyband here seems to show Unterseeboots Flottille (with something after it ???)

post-14525-0-11124100-1419636753_thumb.j

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I have gone to the Imperial Submarine organisation charts and may have to amend the first translation.

So in this case the Unterseeboots Abteilung will literally mean Submarine Division.

The next one is more of a guess, but I think it could be an M for the next letter ...

If that is the case it should indicate Unterseeboots Flotille Mittelmeer (ie. Mediterranean Flotilla)

PS. The other option will be that it is an F, which would then mean Unterseeboots Flotille Flandern

Cheers, S>S

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Here are a couple where the unit is identified on the reverse with a stamp (in a lilac coloured ink)

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Reserve Regiment 102

7 Kompany

1915

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post-14525-0-00489900-1419638255_thumb.j

5 Komp. Landwehr Inf. Reg No 16

Does this show a mix of Picklehalbe (officers) and Stahlhelm?

There is writing on the back of this which appears not to be German, perhaps a slavic language? (it is largely illegible to me but appears to have marks over some vowels like czech)

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Just one more for now:

Unfortunately no identifying marks - photo is stuck to scraps of album page and there appears to be some writing there so I will see if I can remove the page/glue residue.

Appears to be a medical detachment. Do uniforms give a clue to year?

post-14525-0-86765900-1419638935_thumb.j

Chris

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Reserve Regiment 102

7 Kompany

1915

A nice collection!

This is the Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 102- the 'parent' unit was Kgl. Sächs. 3. Infanterie-Regiment König Ludwig III von Bayern Nr.102. On 09.09.1916 this 7. Kompanie was assigned to the (Kgl. Sächs.) Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 392 as its 3. Kompanie.

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5 Komp. Landwehr Inf. Reg No 16

Does this show a mix of Picklehalbe (officers) and Stahlhelm?

There is writing on the back of this which appears not to be German, perhaps a slavic language? (it is largely illegible to me but appears to have marks over some vowels like czech)

Yes, does look like a mixture of headgear - not unusual in reserve areas.

So, Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 16. See: http://humanbonb.free.fr/Phototheque/images/phototheque/normal/581516985258.jpg, for another member, and: 10188911426_9561b91d1a_b.jpg for other possible members.

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Thanks.

Sorting through these I realize how little I know about German uniforms.

So:

1) I assume this is the German equivalent of "Hospital Blue" uniforms for injured/recuperating soldiers. There are quite a number of photos showing this loose, striped cotton clothing.

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2) The collars of these men show 48 and the caps (which might be leather) show a large iron cross - so would this indicate these are Prussians and that picture probably predates the war? (they are armed with Gew 88s) by some years?

(a couple of men appear to have eagles on their caps)

post-14525-0-86667800-1419660172_thumb.j

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Last one tonight:

Interesting because this is a French made card (Carte Postale) posted to Kiel from Montauban (Tarn et Garonne) on 7/6/15 - unfortunately I cannot see anything to identify the unit although the sender appears to be Wilhelm Harter(?) of the 4th Kompany.

Can anything be gleaned from the image?

post-14525-0-71165800-1419660681_thumb.j

Chris

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2) The collars of these men show 48 and the caps (which might be leather) show a large iron cross - so would this indicate these are Prussians and that picture probably predates the war? (they are armed with Gew 88s) by some years?

(a couple of men appear to have eagles on their caps)

48IR.jpg

The chap on right holding the rifle wears a schutzenschnur on his right shoulder denoting that he's a marksman. (Apologies if that's obvious!).

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There is writing on the back of this which appears not to be German, perhaps a slavic language? (it is largely illegible to me but appears to have marks over some vowels like czech)

This sounds like it's written in deutsche Kurrentschrift : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurrent

Search this forum for "Kurrent" and up pops a long list with examples of the writing.

If you have the number of the Regiment you can find the full name, and some info on when established etc, here :

http://wiki-de.genealogy.net/Milit%C3%A4r/Formationsgeschichte/Deutschland/Erster_Weltkrieg/Infanterie

Here for a short discussion on collar insignia:

http://www.worldwar1.com/sfgrank.htm

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Post 17 is an odd one if it was posted in Montauban, which is in southwest France. Any writing on the back to give a clue, e.g. could it have been from a p.o.w., in which case there would probably be a special frank or postmark?

Cheers Martin B

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Depaor1 - believe me - nothing is too obvious at this point - thanks.

JWK - thanks for those leads, I thought about "Kurrent" but I am not sure - here is a quick scan of the reverse - the line I was referring to is that written in ink

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MartinB - yes I know which was partly why I was puzzling it - here is the scan of the reverse - as you can see it looks like a standard French postmark (there is also a very light purple circular stamp towards the middle - I am not sure if you can make it out)

post-14525-0-70832600-1419693498_thumb.j

Thanks all, I will scan a few more today if I get a chance.

Chris

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2) The collars of these men show 48 and the caps (which might be leather) show a large iron cross - so would this indicate these are Prussians and that picture probably predates the war? (they are armed with Gew 88s) by some years?

(a couple of men appear to have eagles on their caps)

Landwehr with oilskin caps (Wachstuchmütze). So this is Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 48. I couldn't see any eagles - reflections on the oilskin caps?

Trajan

PS: According to "Fremde Gewehre in deutschen Diensten 1914-1918", the Landwehr units were armed with the Gew.88/05, but from 1916 onwards were issued with the Gew.98.

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Just one more for now:

Unfortunately no identifying marks - photo is stuck to scraps of album page and there appears to be some writing there so I will see if I can remove the page/glue residue.

Appears to be a medical detachment. Do uniforms give a clue to year?

attachicon.gif7.jpg

Chris

They look to me to be 1910 tunics with Swedish cuffs, a pattern that began to be replaced from about 1916 with simpler cuffs. I can't quite make out the cockade, and unfortunately, Swedish cuffs were used by several of the German states. If we can have a better view of the cockades that might help identify the State.

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Last one tonight:

Interesting because this is a French made card (Carte Postale) posted to Kiel from Montauban (Tarn et Garonne) on 7/6/15 - unfortunately I cannot see anything to identify the unit although the sender appears to be Wilhelm Harter(?) of the 4th Kompany.

Can anything be gleaned from the image?

attachicon.gifMontauban7-6-16.jpg

Chris

Again, a close up of the cap cockades will be useful, but those are - I think - 1910 tunics and Brandenburg cuffs.

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