The insignia of the Order consisted of a golden medal with the portrait of William I, surrounded by a golden wreath and suspended from a heavy golden collar. This collar with a weight of 222 grams bore the words WIRKE IM ANDENKEN AN KAISER WILHELM DEN GROSSEN and was designed by the jewellers Emil Weigand en Otto Schultz, one of the first to be decorated was Otto von Bismarck. Also among the recipients were, Heinrich von Stephan, General Post Director -1896, count Arthur von Posadowsky-Wehner, politician -27 January 1900 - on the occasion of the Emperor´s birthday. Princess Marie Elisabeth of Saxe-Meiningen and composer -28 August 1913 - the last recipient of the Order, media related to Wilhelm-Orden at Wikimedia Commons Picture on
Erich Friedrich Wilhelm Ludendorff was a German general, the victor of the Battle of Liège and the Battle of Tannenberg. From August 1916, his appointment as Quartermaster general made him the leader of the German war efforts during World War I until his resignation in October 1918, from 1924 to 1928 he represented the German Völkisch Freedom Party in the German Parliament. Consistently pursuing a military line of thought, Ludendorff developed, after the war. In this work, he argued that the physical and moral forces of the nation should be mobilized, according to him. Ludendorff was a recipient of the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross, Ludendorff was born on 9 April 1865 in Kruszewnia near Posen, Province of Posen, Kingdom of Prussia, the third of six children of August Wilhelm Ludendorff. His father was descended from Pomeranian merchants who had achieved the status of Junker, the Prussian epiphet of lower nobility, and he held a commission in the reserve cavalry. Through Dziembowskis wife Johanna Wilhelmine von Unruh, Erich was a descendant of the Counts of Dönhoff, the Dukes of Legnica and Brzeg.
He had a stable and comfortable childhood, growing up on their family farm. Erich received his schooling from his maternal aunt and had a gift for mathematics. He passed the exam for the Cadet School at Plön with distinction. Ludendorffs education continued at the Hauptkadettenschule at Groß-Lichterfelde near Berlin through 1882, the old sinner, as he liked to hear himself called. Married the daughter of a factory owner, Margarethe née Schmidt. They met in a rainstorm when he offered his umbrella and she divorced to marry him, bringing three stepsons and a stepdaughter. Their marriage pleased both families and he was devoted to his stepchildren, in 1885, Ludendorff was commissioned as a subaltern into the 57th Infantry Regiment, at Wesel. His service reports reveal the highest praise, with frequent commendations, in 1893, he entered the War Academy, where the commandant, General Meckel, recommended him to the General Staff, to which he was appointed in 1894. He rose rapidly and was a staff officer at the headquarters of V Corps from 1902 to 1904.
Next he joined the Great General Staff in Berlin, which was commanded by Alfred von Schlieffen, Ludendorff directed the Second or Mobilization Section from 1904–13. Soon he was joined by Max Bauer, a brilliant artillery officer, by 1911, Ludendorff was a full colonel
Frederick Augustus III of Saxony
Frederick Augustus III was the last King of Saxony and a member of the House of Wettin. Born in Dresden, Frederick Augustus was the first son of King George and his wife, Frederick Augustus served in the Royal Saxon Army before becoming king, and was promoted to Generalfeldmarschall. Though well-loved by his subjects, he abdicated as king on 13 November 1918. He died in Sibyllenort in Lower Silesia and was buried in Dresden, Frederick Augustus entered the Royal Saxon Army in 1877 as a second lieutenant, despite being only twelve years old. Given his royal status, he advanced rapidly through the ranks and he served initially with the Royal Saxon 1. He was promoted to first lieutenant in 1883, captain in 1887, major in 1889, by 1891, he was commander of the 1st Battalion of Schützen -Regiment Nr.108. He was promoted to colonel on 22 September 1892 and took command of the Schützen -Regiment Nr.108 on the same day, on 20 September 1894, the 29-year-old prince was promoted to Generalmajor and given command of the 1st Royal Saxon Infantry Brigade Nr.45.
On 22 May 1898, he was promoted to Generalleutnant and given command of the 1st Royal Saxon Infantry Division Nr.23 and he commanded this division until 26 August 1902, when he took command of the XII Corps. He was promoted to General der Infanterie one month later, on 24 September and he remained in command of the corps until October 1904, when he became king. His military career ended with his accession to the throne. Following his fathers accession, he was in July 1902 appointed à la suite of the German Marine Infantry by Emperor Wilhelm II during a visit to Kiel, Frederick Augustus married Archduchess Luise, Princess of Tuscany, in Vienna on 21 November 1891. They were divorced in 1903 by the decree of the King after she ran away while pregnant with her last child. Luises flight from Dresden was due to her father-in-laws threatening to have her interned in Sonnestein Mental Asylum for life and her brother supported her in her wish to escape Saxony. Emperor Franz-Josef of Austria-Hungary did not recognise the divorce and they had seven children, Friedrich August Georg, Crown Prince of Saxony.
After becoming a Jesuit priest, he renounced his rights in 1923 and he was allegedly assassinated by the SS or Gestapo in 1943. Friedrich Christian, Margrave of Meissen, Duke of Saxony, married Princess Elisabeth Helene of Thurn and Taxis and had issue. Married first Princess Sophie of Luxembourg, daughter of Guillaume IV, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, in 1921, Maria Alix Carola, stillborn 22 August 1898 Margarete Carola Wilhelmine. Married Franz Joseph, Prince of Hohenzollern-Emden, married firstly Archduke Joseph Franz of Austria and secondly Reginald Kazanjian
The cross is a white eight-pointed cross having the form of four V-shaped elements, each joining the others at its vertex, leaving the other two tips spread outward symmetrically. This is placed on a red background or worn on a black mantle, the term is often wrongly applied to all forms of eight-pointed crosses irrespective of colour or background. The geometric shape of a cross is found in antiquity. The association with Amalfi may go back to the 11th century, claims by Amalfi that it first appears on their coins in the 11th century is only a reference to a common style of the 8-point cross pattee. Therefore, Amalfis claim to the Maltese Cross is through extension from the founder of the order, the term Amalfi Cross only developed after the 8-point cross was introduced on Malta in 1567. The Knights Hospitaller during the Crusades used a plain Latin cross, these 8-points do not signify that the shape required was that of the four-arrowhead form of 1567, or anything near it, as there are many variants of an 8-point cross.
The association with Malta arose after the Knights Hospitaller moved from Rhodes to Malta in 1530, the first evidence for use of the Maltese Cross on Malta appears on the 2 Tarì and 4 Tarì Copper coins of the Grand Master Jean Parisot de Valette. The 2 and 4 Tarì Copper coins are dated 1567 and this provides a date for the introduction of the Maltese Cross. The Maltese cross was depicted on the two mils coin in the old Maltese currency and is now shown on the back of the one and two Euro coins, introduced in January 2008. John remains the symbol of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, of the Order of Saint John and its orders, of the Venerable Order of Saint John. In past centuries, numerous other orders have adopted the cross as part of their insignia. In Australia, the cross is part of the state emblem of Queensland. In 1967, flight tests were conducted at Fort Rucker, Alabama, to determine the most highly visible, however, in the late 1970s, the FAA administrator repealed this standard when it was charged that the Maltese Cross was anti-semitic.
In the United States today, there are still some helipads that remain bearing their original Maltese Cross emblem, the Maltese cross is displayed as part of the Maltese civil ensign. The Maltese euro coins of one and two euro denomination carry the Maltese cross and it is the trademark of Air Malta, Maltas national airline. Austrias two highest decorations, the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria and the Austrian Decoration for Science and Art, have the eight-pointed Cross as their basis. In Belgium, the cross is the basis of two of the countrys royal orders of merit, the Order of Leopold and the Order of Leopold II. The Order of Bravery is the highest military decoration of the Kingdom of Bulgaria and of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Pour le Mérite, Imperial Germanys highest award for military valor, was a blue-enameled Eight-pointed Cross with golden eagles between the arms
Max Immelmann PLM was the first German World War I flying ace. He was a pioneer in aviation and is often mistakenly credited with the first aerial victory using a synchronized gun. He was the first aviator to win the Pour le Mérite and his name has become attached to a common flying tactic, the Immelmann turn, and remains a byword in aviation. He is credited with 15 aerial victories, Max Immelmann was born on 21 September 1890, in Dresden, to an industrialist father who died when Max was young. In 1905, he was enrolled in the Dresden Cadet School and he joined the Eisenbahnregiment Nr.2 in 1911 as an Ensign, in pursuit of a commission. He left the army in March 1912 to study engineering in Dresden. He returned to service on the outbreak of war, as an officer candidate. He was assigned to Eisenbahnregiment Nr,1, but soon transferred to aviation. When World War I started, Immelmann was called to active service and he was initially stationed in northern France. Immelmann served as a pilot with Feldflieger Abteilung 10 from February to April 1915, on several occasions he engaged in combat while flying the L. V. G.
Two-seaters with which his units were equipped, but never with any success, on 3 June 1915, he was shot down by a French pilot but managed to land safely behind German lines. Immelmann was decorated with the Iron Cross, Second Class for preserving his aircraft and it was with the lMG08 machine gun-armed E. 5K/MG production prototype E. 5/15 Eindecker, one of five built, following two unconfirmed ones on July 1 and 4, all before Immelmann. Like a hawk, I dived. and fired my machine gun, for a moment, I believed I would fly right into him. I had fired about 60 shots when my gun jammed and that was awkward, for to clear the jam I needed both hands - I had to fly completely without hands. Lieutenant William Reid fought back valiantly, flying with his left hand, the 450 bullets fired at him took their effect, Reid suffered four wounds in his left arm, and his airplanes engine quit, causing a crash landing. The unarmed Immelmann landed nearby, and approached Reid, they shook hands, and pulled Reid out of the wreckage and rendered first aid.
Immelmann became one of the first German fighter pilots, quickly building an impressive score of air victories, during September, three more victories followed, and in October he became solely responsible for the air defense of the city of Lille. Immelmann became known as The Eagle of Lille and he gained two further victories during September, to become the first German ace
Alexander von Linsingen
Alexander Adolf August Karl von Linsingen was a German general during World War I. Linsingen joined the Prussian Army in 1868 and rose to Corps Commander in 1909 and he was one of the very few top German generals not to have served on the general staff. At the beginning of World War I, Linsingen was a Corps commander in the First Battle of the Marne, transferred to the Eastern Front where German and Austrian armies were threatened by a Russian offensive in Galicia, Linsingen took command of South Army. He defeated the Russian armies in the Battle of Stryi in 1915 and he was awarded the Pour le Mérite on 14 May 1915 and the Oakleaves on 3 July 1915. In 1915, he took command of the Army of the Bug and was commander of Heeresgruppe Linsingen. In June 1916, his Army Group faced the Brusilov offensive, after an initial retreat, he checked the Russian advance at the Battle of Kowel. He was promoted to Colonel-General, the second highest rank for a general in the Imperial German Army, in 1917-1918 and especially after the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, he led the German advance into the Ukraine.
On 31 March 1918, his Army Group was disbanded and von Linsingen became the Military Governor of Berlin, alexander von Linsingen died on 5 June 1935 and is interred at the Neuen St. Nikolai-Friedhof in Hannover, Germany. It is not under the command of an Army so is in itself a small Army, armee-Gruppe or Army Group in the sense of a group within an Army and under its command, generally formed as a temporary measure for a specific task. Heeresgruppe or Army Group in the sense of a number of armies under a single commander, Imperial German Army 1914-18, Structure, Orders-of-Battle
Order of Saint John (Bailiwick of Brandenburg)
The Order is led by its thirty-seventh Herrenmeister, Prince Oskar of Prussia. Each of its knights, about four thousand men worldwide, is either a Knight of Justice or a Knight of Honor, although membership no longer is limited to the nobility, as it was until 1948, the majority of knights still are drawn from this class. The Order comprises seventeen commanderies in Germany, one each in Austria, France and Switzerland, with the Roman Catholic Sovereign Military Order of Malta, these four Alliance orders represent the legitimate heirs of the Knights Hospitaller. The Order and its orders in the Netherlands and Sweden. The SMOM, headquartered in Rome, admits only men and women of the Roman Catholic faith, in time, these landholdings were gathered into regional administrative divisions known as commanderies, each headed by a senior knight, or knight commander of the Order. The first commandery in the Germanies was founded in the mid-twelfth century, though separated from the Roman Catholic main stem of the Order of Saint John, the Bailiwick of Brandenburg continued to flourish.
Admitting only noblemen, principally from the Germanies, the Bailiwick maintained hospitals and other institutions to care for the poor, the sick, and the injured. The horrific Thirty Years War devastated the Bailiwick, resulting in the deaths of many knights and he established a similarly named order of merit, the Royal Prussian Order of Saint John, in its stead. He announced his election to the head of the Order of Malta, during the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the Order created and supported more and more charitable activities. It now owns and operates numerous hospitals, ambulance services, old-age homes, after World War II, with the Neumark given by the victorious Allies to Poland, the Order moved its headquarters to Bonn, West Germany. After the reunification of West and East Germany, the headquarters were moved again, more than location of the seat of the Order changed in the aftermath of the Second World War. The Finnish commandery, remains a purely noble society, as do the now independent Swedish, there are three active classes in the Order, Knight of Justice, and Knight of Honor.
These services are similar to the St. John Ambulance in many Commonwealth nations, all are carried out under the auspices of the Christian faith. Additionally, spiritual retreats and other activities of the Order concentrate on the spiritual formation, the cloak of the Order is plain black with a large, linen eight-pointed cross on the left breast. For most knights, the cloak is black woollen with a plain lining, the cloaks of most knights are closed only at the neck, but the Herrenmeister, Honorary Commanders, and Knights of Justice wear a long black cord called a cingulum. The insignia, known as crosses of honor, are no longer bestowed by the Order automatically, Knights of Honor now must have rendered five years of service to the Order before a cross of honor is granted. Promotion to Knight of Justice requires at least seven years of distinguished service, the basic insignia of the Order is a white-enamelled Maltese cross. Each cross is worn from a black-moire,4. 5-centimeter-wide ribbon worn about the neck, all members of the Order may wear a plain, Maltese cross as a star or breast badge
Order of the Rue Crown
The Order of the Rue Crown is a Dynastic order of knighthood of the Kingdom of Saxony. It was established in 1807 by Frederick Augustus I, the first King of Saxony, the order takes its name from the green floral crown of rue found on the Coat of arms of Saxony. The order was created to be the counterpart to the Military Order of St. Henry. The order was limited to 24 knights, but exceptions were made for members of ruling houses. The Order of the Rue Crown was presented in a single grade, the order was granted in a special grade with diamonds, to Portuguese Prime Minister Dom Nuno José de Moura Barreto, Duke of Loulé in 1859 and Chancellor Otto von Bismarck in 1885. From its founding to the fall of the Kingdom of Saxony in 1918, the badge of the order is a gold Maltese cross enameled in green with a white border. The white center medallion features the monogram of Frederick Augustus I of Saxony encircled by a green crown of rue. Between the arms of the cross is a crown of rue. The star of the order is of made of silver, and has eight points, the center of the star bears a gold medallion with the motto of the order PROVIDENTIÆ MEMOR inside a ring of green rue leaves.
The badge of the order is borne on a ribband of grass green worn over the right shoulder
Erich von Falkenhayn
General Erich Georg Anton von Falkenhayn was the Chief of the German General Staff during the First World War from September 1914 until 29 August 1916. He was removed in the summer of 1916 after the failure at the battle of Verdun, the opening of the Allied offensive on the Somme, the Brusilov Offensive. He was given important field commands in Romania and Syria and his reputation as a war leader was attacked in Germany during and after the war, especially by the faction which supported Hindenburg. Falkenhayn held that Germany could not win the war by a battle but would have to reach a compromise peace. Falkenhayns relations with the Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg were troubled and undercut Falkenhayns plans, Falkenhayn was born in Burg Belchau near Graudenz, West Prussia to Fedor von Falkenhayn and Franziska von Falkenhayn, née von Rosenberg. His brother Arthur became tutor of Crown Prince Wilhelm while Eugen became a Prussian General of Cavalry and his only sister Olga von Falkenhayn was the mother of Fieldmarshall Fedor von Bock.
Becoming a cadet at the age of 11, he joined the Army in 1880 and he served as an infantry and staff officer and became a career soldier. Between 1896 and 1903, Falkenhayn served in Qing China on leave for several years and he spent time in Manchuria and Korea. After his service in Asia, the army posted him to Brunswick and Magdeburg, he became a major-general in 1912. In 1913 he became Prussian Minister of War, in which capacity he was involved at the beginning of World War I, when the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in Sarajevo took place. Like most German military leaders, he did not expect a great European war but he embraced the idea. Falkenhayn succeeded Helmuth von Moltke the Younger as Chief of the Oberste Heeresleitung after the First Battle of the Marne on 14 September 1914, the British and French eventually stopped the German advance at the First Battle of Ypres. This brought him conflict with Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff. Although more than a quarter of a million soldiers eventually died and Falkenhayn was sometimes called the Blood-Miller of Verdun, contrary to Falkenhayns assumptions, the French were able to limit casualties in the divisions sent to Verdun.
General Philippe Pétain kept the divisions in the line at Verdun until casualties reached 50 percent of the infantry, the procession of divisions back and forth was analogous to the operation of a noria, a type of water wheel that continuously lifts water and empties it into a trough. Falkenhayn assumed command of the 9th Army in Transylvania and in August launched a joint offensive against Romania with August von Mackensen. Following the success, in mid-July 1917 Falkenhayn went to military command of the Ottoman Yildirim Army Group. After long discussions with the Ottoman upper echelon, Falkenhayn was sent on 7 September 1917 as supreme commander of two Ottoman armies in Palestine, with the rank of a Mushir of the Ottoman Army