This interesting photo shows a group of Bavarian Officers in the field. In the front row is an Officer with binoculars around his neck wearing a long coat. At either side are two Officers wearing what appear to be Bavarian Military Max Joseph Order ribbons in their buttonholes.
At the bottom of the photo “…..b. Ld. Rgt. 15….” is written which may indicate “Bavarian Landwehr Regiment 15”. An Officer in the second row and to the viewer’s right is wearing what appears to be a Bavarian 11th Infantry Division unofficial “Kappenabzeichen” (cap badge) on his collar. There also appears to be an additional Officer at the rear of the group in the center who may be wearing the Bavarian 11th Infantry Division “Kappenabzeichen”.
At the upper left on the reverse of the photo “…..b. Ld. Rgt. No. 15…..” is written which again may indicate “Bavarian Landwehr Regiment 15”. Written on the reverse of the photo on the right side is: “Zur Erinnerung/an/den ——–/La Parriée/am/13.2.17/Prieser/Obstlt” (In remembrance of the —— La Parriée on February 13, 1917 Prieser Oberstleutnant). La Parriée was a hamlet in the Lusse Commune in the Vosges (Vogesen) Mountains in France.
During 1914 and 1915 the Royal Bavarian Landwehr Regiment 15 was part of the 1st Bavarian Landwehr Division. In 1916 the Royal Bavarian Landwehr Regiment 15 was part of the 39th Bavarian Reserve Division. In 1917 and 1918 the Royal Bavarian Landwehr Regiment 15 was part of the 30th Bavarian Reserve Division.
Based upon the signature on the reverse of the card, an Officer in the photo is Royal Bavarian Army Oberstleutnant Alfred Prieser.
As evidenced by the ribbon worn in his buttonhole as seen in the photo, the Officer in the front row with binoculars around his neck wearing a long coat was awarded the Prussian Iron Cross 2nd Class.
According to the 1914 Militär-Handbuch des Königreichs Bayern, Alfred Prieser held the rank of Major at that time and had been awarded the Bavarian Military Merit Order 4th Class (without swords), the Bavarian 1905 Jubilee Medal, the Bavarian 24 Year Long Service Cross, and the Swedish Order of the Sword Knight 1st Class.
Oberstleutnant Alfred Prieser was also awarded the Bavarian Military Merit Order 4th Class with Crown and Swords on November 23, 1914, the Bavarian Military Merit Order 3rd Class with Swords on June 16, 1916, and the Bavarian Military Merit Order 3rd Class with Crown and Swords on February 27, 1918.
It is interesting to note that I could not find a listing for Alfred Prieser in the “Rangliste der Offiziere der Königlisch Bayerischen Armee 1918”. It is therefore likely that Alfred Prieser had fallen in battle, otherwise died, or retired from service sometime after February 27, 1918.
Who is the Officer with binoculars around his neck wearing a long coat? Could it be Oberstleutnant Prieser? Who are the two Bavarian Military Max Joseph recipients?. Perhaps one of you might know the answers to these questions.
Thank you for your interest regarding this article. Comments are welcome.
Militär-Handbuch des Königreichs Bayern -1914 – nach dem Stande vom 16. Mai 1914. Königlich Bayerischen Kriegs-Ministerium. München, 1914.
Rangliste der Offiziere der Königlisch Bayerischen Armee -1918 – nach dem Stande vom 15. April 1918. Königlich Bayerischen Kriegs-Ministerium. München, 1918.
Roth, Erhard. Statistische Ausarbeitungen zur Phaleristik Deutschlands Band VI, Verleihungen von militärischen Orden und Ehrenzeichen des Königreichs Bayern im Ersten Weltkrieg 1914-1918. PHV Phaleristischer Verlag Michael Autengruber, Offenbach am Main, 1997.
United States. War Department. General Staff. Histories of Two Hundred and Fifty-One Divisions of the German Army Which Participated in the War (1914-1918). Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1920.
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