What ever became of these likely lads........
Showing my age with the title (some UK collectors may remember the 1970's sitcom and when we had the choice of three TV channels)...... but I look at photographs and often wonder what happened to the guys in them.
This rather jolly picture of comradeship came with an album I bought on the off chance which turned out, after a bit of research, to be from an Officer in IR17.
He very kindly wrote the surnames of each officer underneath the picture to guide us further.
After looking at a few sources, all non internet based ie. books, I have been able to put a career path onto all of them from 1925 when the picture was taken to their placement in 1932 just before you know who came into power.........
From left to right.
Ltn. Krehan who was commissioned on 1.3.1921 at the very start of the Reichswehr and he finished first in the class meaning he scored the highest percentage points in the officer examinations. He is at this time a company officer in 10th company IR 17 He was promoted to Oberleutnant on 1.6.1926 and finished third in the class, by 1932 was serving with 8th MG Company IR1.
The Reichswehr operated a system of seniority with respect to officer promotion and this career progression by Krehan mirrors this policy, in fact he may well be slightly ahead of his peers as some officers served nearly ten years at lower grade before promotion came their way. Being in the first tranche of officers (class of 1921) everybody who came after this class had to wait for him and his colleagues to move up the ladder before they got their chance. With only 4000 officers allowed this made it a longer process than in other armies.
Oberleutnant Ropke was commissioned just before WW1 1.4.1914 and served through the war winning The EK2 and EK1. He was promoted Oberleutnant on 1.12.24 after finishing second in his class and in 1925 was was a company officer with 9/IR17. After a relatively short time he was promoted to captain 1.4.1929 and by 1932 was assigned to command 1st company IR 17.
Leutnant Schneider was commissioned 1.12.24 and was 12th in his class. 1925 found him in as a company officer in 11/IR17.
Promoted to Oberleutnant in 1.3.28, 11th in that class, he was by 1932 serving on this rank in 13th MG Company IR 17.
Leutnant Von Bauer was the adjutant for third battalion IR17 in 1925. He commissioned on 1.9.1915 (194th in his class, showing the sheer number of officers that needed replacing after only one year of war) and the medals on his chest EK1 show he was a front line officer. The fact he was adjutant tells a story as it supports his WW1 experience and also the limited career opportunities meant that officers had to get other assignments to move on and up. He made Captain on 1.1.1931 and became company commander of 9/IR17 in 1932.
Officer at far right is unknown.
Seated: Leutnant Foertsch was commissioned on 1.4.1922, 19th in his class and was in 1925 a company officer in 11th company IR17. Oberleutnant promotion followed just after this picture on 1.2.1926, 19th in his class and he was assigned to 12th company MG IR17 at Goslar.
He was selected to attend the General Staff Training course in 1932, one of only 38 officers from across the Reichswehr. Other noteable names on the list of those selected included Oberleutnants Bayerlein and Westphal.........he was in talented company !
Thanks for looking, any further additions welcome.....
04-07-2014 05:28 PM
Another picture from the same source showing Oberleutnant Bantsch of 12 MG Company IR 17. He is on he far right of the picture stepping into the middle sadly creating an unclear shot of him. He was decorated with the EK1, no wound badge though and the Friedrich-kreuz which offers more chance of research into his past now we know he state he served under in the Imperial Army.
The Frederickcross (German: "Friedrich Kreuz or Friedrich-Kreuz"), was instituted in 1914 by the ruling Duke of Anhalt, Frederick II of Anhalt as a decoration not unlike the Iron Cross for merit in time of war.
another WW1 veteran, he was commissioned 1.1.1914, served through the war and made oberleutnant on 1.7.1923 and Hauptmann on 1.4.1928. He was selected for the General Staff Course in 1927 and was on the same group as Jodl's younger brother Ferdinand. By 1932 he was serving with the staff of 3rd Division under some bloke called Von Rundstedt.......
great research Spandau,well done.
Outstanding work, thanks for sharing the results of your research...I've got a few individuals on my study-list as well and have an appreciation for the time and effort involved in these projects, lol...
Thanks Glenn, those few lines about each man took bloomin' ages to put together !
here is an up date on Ferdinand Foertsch.......... incredible career.
Generalleutnant Friedrich Foertsch - Lexikon der Wehrmacht
and also Kurt Ropke
Lexikon der Wehrmacht -
Achtung: there were two Foertsch persons, brothers, one of whom was a flaming Nazi after 1933 and the other went on to be the Generalinspekteur d.Bw after Heusinger....
Thank you for the heads up on the brother scenario FB, it was on my radar before posting as I checked the lists as to which one it is in my photo as both served in IR 17 in the early 20's.
Luckily the rank lists helped as Ferdinand was shown as an officer in 11 komp IR17 in 1925 and this supported the information written in the album making me pretty sure the link above is for the correct brother (who went on into the Bundeswehr).
Herman (who went to the dark side) was an officer in Artillery Rgt 5 in 1925 so would not have appeared in these pictures. He still had quite an accomplished career in WW2. As shown below
General der Infanterie Hermann Foertsch - Lexikon der Wehrmacht
I am happy to stand corrected if I have got them round the wrong way !!
studious regards as ever