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My Opa - 16-year old Prussian Cavalry Soldier


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My Mom was German, and we lived in Europe several times as I was growing up (my father was career U.S. Army).  My Mom was born in East Prussia and came from a good family, however were forced to flee westward as the Soviet Army advanced towards Germany.

 

My Mom's biological father was a German Luftwaffe Fallschirjager, killed in action in 1943 on the Eastern Front.  The man I grew up with and knew as my "Opa" was actually my Mom's step-father.

 

My Opa was Benno Szogas, born in 1900 in East Prussia.  At age 16 he volunteered for the Great War, enlisting in the Prussian Cavalry.  Several years after the war's end he was a recipient of the The Honor Cross of the World War 1914/1918 (most commonly referred to as the "Hindenburg Cross") with swords, denoting front line service. 

So as not to be redundant, I'll post my Opa's WW1 portrait here, and his surviving ribbon bar, then I'll post his Second World War photos in the appropriate forum section for WW2.

This the only photo left of my Opa's youth, in which he is in uniform at 16-years old.  I also have his ribbon bar from the Second World War, bearing the "Hindenburg Cross" with Swords and the WW2 War Merit Cross.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benno Szogas - 1916.JPG

1abc.JPG

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Wow didn't really think they took in 16 years olds in 1916, thought that Barrel Scrapping was done only in 1918.

 

A Tropical uniform it seems he's wearing, lacks shoulder boards though, a tropical type as worn in Palestine. Some kind of unofficial Regimental Badge on his left collar? Do you know what type of cavalry unit he was in, Unlan, Hussar, Dragoon etc?

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We see a Koenigsberg Prussia Photographer, curious as to why he would be posing in this Trop Uniform in Koenigsberg.

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Well if he was in Palestine and was Cavalry, (He may have been also in Salonika/Macedonia as they wore tropical uniforms as well), the only unit of cavalry as a rather small composite unit, called the Asia Corps Cavalry Squadron (Kavallerie-Eskadron Asienkorps)

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