Help requested to identify the rank, and if possible the Officer

Discussion in 'Axis Units' started by DCRB, Mar 19, 2016.

  1. DCRB

    DCRB New Member


    I am currently researching a photograph album that I have in my possession. It has been compiled by someone working at the Orthopaedic clinic in Cluj or Kolozsvár as it was during the war. The album is not dated, but I have identified that the founder of the clinic, Alexandru Radulescu, is seen in a number of images, together with a number of dignitaries. In particular the image below. My own rather basic online searching has led my to think the Officer could be Field Marshal Maximilian von Weichs, but I could be way off.

    I am hoping that someone can help me identify the rank, and if possible the Officer. I think that he is wearing at his neck Knight Cross of the War Merit Cross with Swords, - a decoration which I am not sure was awarded to von Weichs. The presence of such a high ranking official, however, makes me think that the album could have been compiled in 1944 when the German army advanced into the town. As far as I am aware, the town was occupied between March and October - but if anyone can suggest another reason or time for his presence that would also be very helpful.

    Any help would be much appreciated! With thanks in advance. WWIIOfficera.jpg WWIIofficerb.jpg
  2. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Hello there, and thanks for launching in with an interesting query.

    Well you certainly don't see many RK War Merit awards.
    I'm not entirely convinced Weichs fits the picture, but it is so difficult to judge isn't it. He also had a 'Standard' RK, which he's, I think understandably, always wearing in pictures

    I was wondering if Otto Rinaldi fits - far right here:
    But... big but... he was apparently captured at Stalingrad.

    Somewhat typically, the useful insignia is a bit too blurred to be that useful, but that combination of barred collar and what looks like 'knotwork' boards could be anything from Captain to Colonel, or indeed a type or two of Feldmarschal. Though most 'Staff' officers didn't have the bars at the collar.

    Sorry I'm not much help. Stared at various possibilities for an hour and nobody I'd say for certain was right has emerged.
    Hopefully someone more knowledgeable than I will wander along.
    Good luck.
  3. steelers708

    steelers708 Junior Member

    I could be wrong but I don't think its an Knights Cross of the War Merit Cross with Swords, you can see the inverted 'V' on the left, right and bottom but on the top you can't, to me it looks like a crown, which leads me to believe it could be the Order of the Crown of Romania. This in turn leads me to think that the officer in question is/could be General der Artillerie Fritz Brand.

    Orde_van_de_Kroon_van_Roemenie_met_Zwaarden_na_1932.jpg Brand-Fritz.jpg
  4. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    I agree, it could well be him and that would date the photo to before September 1943 as he was awarded the DKiS on 23rd September 1943 and that isn't being worn in the second photo. And the large 'star' decoration under the EK I could be another Romanian award.
  5. steelers708

    steelers708 Junior Member

    Upon further research General der Artillerie Fritz Brand did receive the Ritterkreuz des Kriegsverdienstkreuzes mit Schwertern on 24th December 1944, the Order of the Crown of Romania he received was the Grossoffizierkreuz des Kgl. Rumän. Orden der Krone mit Schwertern which came with a Breast Star, which is what( I think) you can see in the two original pictures.

  6. DCRB

    DCRB New Member

    Wow - I can't than you all enough! I had also spent about 2 hours searching to get to Weichs - but I think you have definitely pinned down the right man. As he is visiting the orthopaedic hospital in cluj I assumed it was between March and October 1944 but perhaps it could be later - though I am assuming he would not be there after 1945! Thank you all so much. I will post another couple of images tomorrow just for your info and interest. It is an extraordinary album
  7. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Great stuff, Steelers.
    Reckon you've nailed it.
  8. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    See my post above with regards to the DKiS.
  9. DCRB

    DCRB New Member

    Sorry to be so ignorant about this -but which award does DKiS refer to? Is it the Ritterkreuze or the Order of the Crown of Romania? The two pictures are actually on the same page in the album - so I assumed they were taken at the same time.

    Apologies if I am being dense? It is interesting if you think then that this was probably taken after December 24th 1944 though after September 23rd 1943.
  10. DCRB

    DCRB New Member

    A couple more images for your interest as promised

    Attached Files:

  11. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    The DKiS is the Deutsche Kreuz in Silber (it was a German award rather than a Romanian one) and was worn on the right pocket and as can be seen in the 2nd photo shown he isn't wearing it which would indicate that the photo was taken BEFORE 23rd September 1943.

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