Prussia, Order Pour-le-Merite to Major Wulf
Order of Pour le Merite, awarded to Major Fritz Wulf; Cross Measures 52.1 x 54 mm, weighs 32.8 grams, cross is silver-gilded, maker mark "J.G.&.S.938". With long original worn neck ribbon (21.5 inches). Cross shows small chip on reverse - Family tradition says that this chip occurred when he served as the Police President from Dusseldorf during the 1920?s. With cross comes also Wulf?s 6-place ribbon bar. Purchased directly from the family, this fine Pour le Merite was awarded to Major Fritz Wulf - Battalion Commander, 111th Infantry Regiment on 8 October 1918. Biography: Fritz Wulf, born August 23rd 1874 in Herne, Westphalia, following high school in 1893 joined the local Fusilier Regiment 40 as an ensign, and by 1994 had become a Lieutenant. By 1911, Wulf had attained the rank of captain and company commander. Captain Wulf joined the staff of the 14th R.K., on the first day of mobilization. He occupied various positions within the general command, until he was transferred to be a battalion commander in the 170th Infantry Regiment, which by the autumn of 1915, was serving at the front. In the following 3.5 years, Captain Wulf was the combat troop commander on the western front and was wounded a total of five times. Therefore, in addition to the highest Prussian military award, the Pour-le-Merite, he also held the rare "Golden Wound" Medal. Captain Wulf took part in the battle of the Somme with the 1st Infantry Regiment 170. He bravely defended his position near Sommecourt and was wounded twice during this bitter conflict. Nonetheless, he was forced to finally give up his command when he was wounded for the third time. He was taken to a nearby field hospital in serious condition. At the beginning of December 1917, Wulf had recovered and was reassigned for field duty. He was first given the leadership of a small special formation in the Black Forest. However, in March 1917, Captain Wulf returned as the commander of the 52nd Divison?s 111th Infantry Regiment and took part in positional battles at the Chemin des Dames on the Aillette and the Champagne. On the 18th of August, 1917, Captain Wulf was promoted to Major. During the first offensive in March 1918, Major Wulff and his battalion stormed the heights to the west of the Avre Creek between Montdidier and Amiens, where, the German attack came to a standstill. In the battle, near Soissons and Reims, which commenced on the 27th of May 1918, with the storming of the Chemin des Dames, he and his battalion distinguished themselves in such a way that his name was submitted in June for the Pour le Merite due to his outstanding achievements and personal bravery. In autumn, the 1918 defensive battles occurred. Major Wulf fought firstly with his battalion in the bitter defensive near Monchy-Bapaume, before finally diverging over the North Canal to the Siegfried position. Next, Wulf and the battalion took part in a defensive battle between the Argonne Forest and Maas, during which Major Wulf, as deputy regimental commander of the 111st Infantry Regiment, performed excellent feats of weaponry to such an extent that the commanding General Lieutenant von Kleist, nominated him by telegraph on the 5th of October for the Pour-le-Merite. In his reasoning, Kleist wrote "Major Wulf - as commander of the 111st Infantry Regiment stormed the commanding heights of Montrebeau, overcoming the vastly superior Americans, not only liberating the position again, but pulling the whole front with them so that the Americans were expelled, suffering great losses. He resisted all of the hefty counter-attacks. Always at the front and setting a fine example, he drew his men forward, and by virtue of this strong personality he motivated them to fight bitterly to their ultimate death. I request that his outstanding officer be awarded the Pour-le-Merite." Three days later, on the 8th of October 1918, Major Wulf was awarded the Pou-le-Merite by the supreme commander. Following this award, Wulf and his troops continued to perform outstandingly, as shown in the following extract from the order of the say from this commander of the 52nd Infantry Division, General Lieutenant von Borries - October 15th 1918. " On the 29th of September the Markgraf Ludwig Wilhelm Infantry Regiment magnificently stormed and conquered the heart of the enemy position, Mount Montrebeau, under the command of his deputy commander, Major Wulf, regaining the battlefield position to the east of Argonnen, giving some breathing space to the two severely weakened Guard Divisions. All regiments then managed to withstand the superior forces of the enemy in positions as ordered, attacked from the rear and at the flanks, defending every step, initially along the Lichtenauer and Marienhoehe and then in the Krimheldon position. The Infantry Regiment 169 distinguished itself in the particular through its exemplary defense of the Marienhoehe and the heights to the north-west of the Gesnes. Supported by sections of the neighboring division and its core regiment, the Baden "Leib-Gren". Regiment 109 maintained its position in the face of enemy advances on both flanks until orders to withdraw were given. Once again, it was Major Wulf, assistant commander of the 169th Infantry Regiment who was in command along the section of front. The Pour-le-Merite was awarded to him for his prior and recent efforts by His Majesty, King and Kaiser." After the war, Major Wulf belonged to the Reichswehr in Karlsruhe for a short time. He left in the summer of 1919. Major Wulf joined the police following the war, and became the police commander in Essen. Here, during the spring of 1920, he was involved in heavy fighting against the Sparticists during the Kapp Putsch, fighting which became infamous as a result of the atrocities committed by the rebels at the water tower and the post office. Major Wulf himself was attacked by the rebels in his vehicle, but was able to escape to Wessel, from where he was able to take part in the action to liberate Essen. In 1921, he left the police. He died in Kassel, on the 3rd of November 1934, where he worked peacefully as a local merchant. (This Pour-le-Merite comes with an expert evaluation from D.Niemann).