The Pour-le-Merite & Awards to the Commander of 111th Regiment
The Pour-le-Merite & Awards to the Commander of the 111th Regiment - Order Pour-le-Merite, in silver gilt, hollow, with makers mark "J.G. & S.938"; in extremely fine condition, showing only very minimal signs of wear, with a replacement loop and nice original, long ribbon measuring aprox. 50cm (or 21.5 inches); (Note: The hollow version of the PLM by Godet is considered very rare); medal bar of Major Wulf: a10 -Piece Medal Bar - All with original ribbons, mounted German style, as worn by Major Wulf: the 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class; the House Order of Hohenzollern, Knight with Swords, silver gilt and enamels, maker "W 938"; Baden, the Military Order of Charles Frederick, Knight’s Cross First Class, silver gilt and enamels; Baden, the Order of the Lion of Zahringen, Knight’s Cross Second Class with Swords and Oak leaves, in silver gilt and enamels; the Hohenzollern Honor Cross Third Class with swords, silver, silver gilt; the Hohenzollern Honor Cross Third Class, silver; Austrian Empire, the Military Merit Cross Third Class with War Decoration, silver gilt and enamels; the Centennial Medal 1811-1911; the Military Long Service Cross - 25 Years, gilded; the Wilhelm Centenary Medal for 1897. All awards are in very fine to extremely fine condition. NOTE: part of this complete grouping (G2272) including original award documents was sold, however, COPIES of the documents will be available to a buyer of PLM and the medal bar, and these COPIES include: Award document for the Order Pour-le-Merite, dated 8.10.1918; Award document for Baden, the Military Order of Charles Frederick, Knight’s Cross First Class, dated 13.7.1918; Award document for Baden, the Order of the Lion of Zahringen, Knight’s Cross Second Class with Swords and Oak leaves, dated 1914; Award document for the Hohenzollern Honor Cross Third Class, dated 1909; Award document for Golden Wound Badge, dated 1920; Award document for the Centennial Medal 1811-1911; Award document for Austrian Empire, the Military Merit Cross Third Class with War Decoration; Promotion Document Hauptmann, dated 1911, signature of Kaiser Wilhelm II; approximately another 20-30 documents and papers, letters (award documents and other documents in generally very fine condition);Two period portraits (One of the Wulf family and a sitting portrait of Major Wulf wearing the offered Pour-le-Merite c.1930); additionally, there are 4 newspaper articles directly relating and announcing Wulf as a Pour-le-Merite recipient. FOOTNOTE: Order Pour-le-Merite awarded to Wulf in 1918 under these circumstances: 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."); 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 t the highest Prussian military award, the Pour-le-Merite, he also held the "Golden Wound" award. 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 Wulf 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 Wulff 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 Pour-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.