Germany , Order Pour le Merite , In Box - Neck Ribbon
Total weight, including ribbon approx. 1.6 oz.
Medal width approx. 2.25 inches
Ribbon is approx 6 cm wide Ribbon Length is approx 23.25 inches in length
Note: The ribbon has no medal pieces on it. It is a ribbon and is fold perfectly in the upper portion of the box. There are no tie straps, clips or fastening pieces on the ribbon. The box is in very good condition. The hinge section is in good condition. There is no evidence of enamel missing from the medal. The box stays open about a 1 cm as there is no locking portion on it. I believe it is because of the folded ribbon lifing up on the lid. The inside of the box lid has a nice thick cushion. No damage no stains.
A staning and extremely rare item to find
Is a 100% original GERMAN POUR LE MERITE Germany's very highest national Gallantry Order during WWI.
A text book S&L example of a genuine post war PLM made by the world famous German company Steinhauer & Lueck, Germany, there was a need after WWII to produce genuine Pour Le Merite's so that WWI recipients of this Germany's highest Gallantry Order could replace their lost PLM's after WWII.
Steinhauer & Lueck produced only a very limited number in 1957 by request of the German Federal Government.
Two named awards exist and bear this S&L PLM style: Otto Hersing's at the U-Boot Archive and Ernst Junger's at Haus Wildfingen. Given that each vet survived the war for some time (Junger was the last PLM recipient to die in 1998) it is entirely possible that their awards were likely S&L Pour Le Merite's.
How to distinguish this Original text book S&L example from the million fakes? First the original S&L measures 53.mm x 53.mm. The connected letters 'UR' and the distinct 'EAGLES TAIL' the 'UR' is connected on all S&L PLM's. The distinct 'FLAT' bottom of the Eagle's lack of prominent 'FEET' another easy spot for an original S&L.
Please study the detailed picture top of cross, notice the distinctive "PATTERN" on the 'SUSPENSION LOOP' fakes will have a smooth loop. Both sides with 'PILLOW' effect exquisite enamel work, no chips or cracks, in perfect condition.
The ribbon is the original S&L ribbon still in very good condition, silver thread has slightly faded. The Presentation Case is a German superior, very expensive luxurious made replacement.
THIS S&L PLM IS GUARANTEED 100% ORIGINAL
The Pour le Merite, known informally during World War I as the Blue Max (German: Blauer Max), was the Kingdom of Prussia's highest military order until the end of World War I.
The award was a blue-enameled Maltese Cross with eagles between the arms based on the symbol of the Johanniter Order, the Prussian royal cypher, and the French legend Pour le Merite ("for Merit") arranged on the arms of the cross.
The Pour le Merite was first founded in 1740 by King Frederick II of Prussia, named in French, the language of the Prussian royal court at the time. Until 1810, the Order was both a civilian and military honor. In January of that year, King Frederick William III decreed that the award could be presented only to serving military officers. The Pour le Merite is correctly called an "order", in which a man or woman is admitted into membership, and should not be referred to as a "medal" or "decoration".
In March 1813, Frederick William III added an additional distinction, a spray of gilt oak leaves attached above the cross. Award of the oak leaves originally indicated extraordinary achievement in battle, and was usually reserved for high-ranking officers. The original regulations called for the capture or successful defense of a fortification, or victory in a battle. By World War I, the oak leaves often indicated a second or higher award of the Pour le Merite, though in most cases the recipients were still high-ranking officers (usually distinguished field commanders fitting the criteria above; the few lower ranking recipients of the oak leaves were mainly general staff officers responsible for planning a victorious battle or campaign). In early 1918, it was proposed to award the oak leaves to Germany's top flying ace, Manfred von Richthofen, but he was deemed ineligible under a strict reading of the regulations. Instead, Prussia awarded von Richthofen a slightly less prestigious honor, the Order of the Red Eagle, 3rd Class with Crown and Swords. This was still a high honor, as the 3rd Class was normally awarded to colonels and lieutenant colonels, and von Richthofen's award was one of only two of the 3rd Class with Crown and Swords during World War I.
In 1866, a special military Grand Cross class of the award was established. This grade of the award was given to those who, through their actions, caused the retreat or destruction of an army. There were only five awards of the Grand Cross: to King Wilhelm I in 1866, to Crown Prince Frederick William of Prussia (later Emperor Frederick III) and Prince Frederick Charles of Prussia in 1873, to Tsar Alexander II of Russia in 1878, and to Helmuth Graf von Moltke in 1879.
The Pour le Merite gained international fame during World War I. Although it could be awarded to any military officer, its most famous recipients were the pilots of the German Army Air Service (Luftstreitkrafte), whose exploits were celebrated in wartime propaganda. In aerial warfare, a fighter pilot was initially entitled to the award upon downing eight enemy aircraft. Aces Max Immelmann and Oswald Boelcke were the first airmen to receive the award, on January 12, 1916.. Although it has been reported that because of Immelmann's renown among his fellow pilots and the nation at large, the Pour le Merite became known, due to its color and this early famous recipient, as the Blue Max, this story is probably a urban legend.
The number of aerial victories necessary to receive the award continued to increase during the war; by early 1917, it generally required destroying 16 enemy airplanes, and by war's end the approximate figure was 30. However, other aviation recipients included Zeppelin commanders, bomber and observation aircrews, and at least one balloon observer.
Although many of its famous recipients were junior officers, especially pilots, more than a third of all awards in World War I went to generals and admirals. Junior officers (army captains and lieutenants and their navy equivalents) accounted for only about 25% of all awards. Senior officer awards tended to be more for outstanding leadership in combat than for individual acts of bravery.
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