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#213933 08/31/2008 02:33 AM
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several documentaries which I have seen state that Hitler was of the rank of Korporal during the Great War, also a plaque on the church of St Nicholas in Falnders where he was treated rankes him as that , but reading through a period book mentiones him as the "Gefreiter Adolf Hitler" - I also remember my father in law once saying that he was only Gefreiter .
does anyone know ?
thanks
Helmut


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#213934 08/31/2008 04:55 AM
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Hi Helmut-
Can you say what period book your referring to that list him as a Gefreiter?
Was your father in law of an adult age during the 3rd reich period?
Would Hitler had been this rank early on during his involvment in WW1?
Just interested because its the first I've heard of this subject.
Thanks

#213935 09/01/2008 04:19 AM
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The book I`m refering to is the cigarette album "Deutschland erwacht"
yes my father in law served with the Wehrmacht - first in training for U boats but later in the Infantrie

#213936 09/01/2008 11:30 AM
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Hitler was a private during WWI and never promoted to an NCO-rank. I'm not sure, wether you can buy his book "Mein Kampf" in english translation in the USA, but there you can read that all - written by Hitler in own person.

Kolibri

#213937 09/01/2008 04:42 PM
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I'm glad this was brought up because my Grandma said he was a Gefreiter.

#213938 09/01/2008 11:51 PM
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During WW1 would an enlisted man be a Gefreiter before attaining the rank of Korporal?
Thanks

#213939 09/02/2008 08:00 AM
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Dean, yes. Regards Kolibri

#213940 09/03/2008 09:19 PM
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Did not the winning of both the EK 1 & 2 entitle him to an automatic promotion in rank?

One level for each award?

#213941 09/04/2008 10:28 PM
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here is a picture of the plaque on the church in Messines

Picture_1985.jpg (99.25 KB, 104 downloads)

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#213942 09/08/2008 06:58 PM
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lanner and Kursk,

In the imperial german army every soldier unless his rank could win both classes of the iron-cross.The winning did not entitle him to an automatic promotion in the next rank.

The next problem is the difference between ranks in the german and the british army. During WW 1, the german rank of a Gefreiter means the same like a lance corporal in the british.

Regards

Kolibri

#213943 09/08/2008 11:03 PM
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Kolibri

Was not Hitler promoted to cpl. with the award of his EK1 , i remember reading that in a biography at some point..

Also, did the German Imperial army have automatic promotion for KIA, as in the second world war?

#213944 09/10/2008 07:13 AM
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Kursk,

Hitler was promoted to the rank of a Gefreiter with the date of 1. November 1914.

He got the Iron Cross II.class at 2. Dezember 1914, the bavarian MVO III.class 1917, the wound badge in black in 1918 and the iron cross I.class at 4. August 1918.

The german imperial army and the later Wehrmacht too did not have an automatic promotion for soldiers KIA. Promotion for KIA's were possible, but not automatically. For example, the cusin of my grandmother was killed in action as an Oberst and was after that promoted to a general and decorated with the ritterkreuz (post mortem).

During WWI, six members of my family, three officers and three enlisted men, were killed in action without any promotion.

Hope, that helps.

Kolibri

#213945 09/10/2008 09:53 PM
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Yes, very informative..thank you Kolibri!

One reason i ask, is the number of funeral announcement cards i have which list the rank as Gfr.

I know the German army post 1938 was a huge organization and needed thousands of officers and Nco's, but it just seems strange that so many would have this rank unless they were promoted one pay grade posthumously


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