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Original German WWII III Army Corps General der Kavallerie Baron Franz von Dalwigk of Lichtenfels Uniform Set - Formerly Part of the A.A.F. Tank Museum

Regular price $8,995.00

Item Description

Original Items: One-of-a-kind set. Freiherr Franz von Dalwigk zu Lichtenfels (Baron Francis von Dalwigk of Lichtenfels - 21. April 1876 - 25. November 1947) was a German General der Kavallerie in the Heer Army during World War II. He was commander of the Kavallerieschule Hannover (Cavalry School Hannover) for many years and later the Commanding General of the Deputy General Command of the III Army Corps. Originally a Generalleutnant at the beginning of the war, he was later promoted the rank of General der Kavallerie (General of the Cavalry) after being appointed to the III Army Corps Deputy Command. He was the recipient of some prestigious awards, but was involved mostly in training and administration during the war, and as best we can tell did not see much combat. However as the commander of the Hannover cavalry school for 6 years, he definitely had a large influence on many cavalry officers.

This wonderful German WWII Named Uniform Set came to us from the American Armoured Foundation, Inc. Tank and Ordnance Memorial Museum. The AAF Tank Museum was a living memorial dedicated to the Tank and Cavalry soldiers of the world. Before 1981 some of the artifacts that make up the AAF Tank Museum was a private collection belonging to Mr. William Gasser. Mr. Gasser felt that his collection would be beneficial in educating present and future generations to the sacrifices made and the technologies gained during war. Therefore, in 1981 the AAF Tank Museum was established as a non-profit charitable organization, and Mr. Gasser's donated his private collection to the Tank Museum. Mr. Gasser is still active as Volunteer Director and Curator of the Tank Museum and his knowledge of military history has been a great asset to the museum. Unfortunately after 20 years of operation it had to close its doors, which is when this set was acquired.

General der Kavallerie Baron Franz von Dalwigk's full name was Franz Maria Friedrich Clemens Freiherr von Dalwigk zu Lichtenfels, and he had been a member of Nobility prior to its abolition in Germany. Born 21 April 1876, he was was the youngest son of the Center Party politician and Reichstag member Franz Hubertus von Dalwigk zu Lichtenfels, who had married Elisabeth Geyr von Schweppenburg (1838–1905) on 18 January 1870. He had five siblings, two of whom were half-siblings from his father's first marriage.

von Dalwigk first joined the military in 1896 as an Officer Cadet, went through training and rose through the ranks, eventually becoming a Hauptmann (Captain) by the onset of WWI, when he was in the Thuringian Hussar Regiment No. 12. Later in the war he was a Battalion commander in several reserve units. He was by this point a career soldier, and continued his service in the Reichswehr under the Weimar Republic, where he served in several different cavalry regiments, eventually rising to the rank of Oberst (Colonel), when he was made commander of the Hannover Cavalry School in 1931, a position he continued to hold after the NSDAP takeover.

He was well-decorated, and the following is a partial list of awards we have been able to locate, along with the dates they were bestowed, if available:

● Royal Order of the Crown IV Klasse
● Iron Cross (1914)

- 2nd Class
- 1st Class
● Knight's Cross of the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern with Swords
● Cross of Honor for Frontline Fighters with Swords
● Wound Badge in Black (1918 Version)
● Knight's Cross 2nd Class of the Order of the White Falcon with Swords
● Waldeck Cross of Merit IV Class with Swords
● German Cross in Silver (31 May 1943)
● War Merit Cross 1st Class with Swords (KVK I)

Most of these awards are from his WWI Service, as by the onset of WWII, von Dalwigk was 63 years old, and valued far more or his teaching and administrative abilities. It should also be noted that due to his long service he would have qualified for the Wehrmacht Long Service awards, and other awards not listed. There is a medal bar on his uniform, which represents many of these awards, and looks to be original to the uniform. There is also an Iron Cross First class 1914 attached to the uniform, as well as a Horseman's badge.

The lovely  uniform tunic in this set was is a lovely bespoke example, and still retains the original tailor's label under the inner left breast slash pocket, which reads:

Friedrich Nicolaus

It was made for von Dalwigk in June of 1932, when he was an Oberst following his promotion on 1 April 1930. It is a lovely bespoke example with a stamped name tag inside the pocket, which has faded quite a bit over the years, but is still legible:

Obst. Fnz. F. v. Dalwig
23. Juni 1932

This would have been from when von Dalwigk was commander of the Hanover Cavalry School, and indicates that when he was promoted to Generalmajor on 1 February 1933, he had the staff officer insignia removed, and replaced with the correct General grade collar tabs, eagle, and shoulder boards. This would have been done by a tailor, and it is nearly impossible to tell that they were replaced during the war.

The tunic is really a great example of a private purchased Wehrmacht Heer Dienstbluse (Service Tunic), originally made for a Stabsoffiziere (Staff Officer) but upgraded to be for a Generäle (General Officer). It is constructed from a fine quality field-gray "whipcord" wool woven exterior, with a gray cotton-rayon blended faux silk twill interior lining. There is a left interior slash pocket, and also the usual large "eyelet" for an officer's dagger hanger, which is part of the left waist pocket. The sleeves are lined with white rayon with stripes, which is typical.

The collar is constructed of flaschengrün (dark bottle-green) wool, and is adorned by a set of General grade collar tabs, known as alt-Larisch or Arabesque style, which were used for all General ranks below Feldmarschall. These have the correct Hochrot (deep red) backgrounds with gold bullion embroidery, which has oxidized a bit over the years. 

The tunic predates the M36 pattern a bit, and has two pleated breast pockets with scalloped flaps on the front, with two slash waist pockets below, which also have scalloped flaps. The front closure features 8 buttons on the right matched to an equal number of reinforce buttonholes on the left, and both sides are piped in the same deep red color as on the collar tabs. There are also two hook and loop fasteners on the collar Of note is that the buttons were at one point moved about an inch and a half, so it is possible that the tunic was let out later. All of the pebbled buttons are the correct gold color for a General officer, and all look to be marked maker marked la la on the back, with some embossed designs as well. They all show a bit of wear and oxidation from service.

Each shoulder is decorated with the sew-on style Generalleutnant rank shoulder boards. They are both constructed out of a row of interwoven silver and gold bullion strands in the typical Russian braid style, which have an interlocking weave pattern ending at a pebbled gilt metal magnetic button. Both have the correct deep red base, and each has single rank pip installed on each, correct for a Generalleutnant, equivalent to a U.S. Army Major General. The pips and shoulder boards show a bit of wear and oxidation due to age and wear. Most likely when von Dalwigk was promoted to General der Kavallerie, he had a new uniform commissioned, and this one was retired.

On the right breast is a fine quality gold bullion eagle, constructed of rolled, twisted, and flat hand embroidered gilt stitching with amber celeon retaining threads, placed onto a dark bottle green wool backing. It is neatly stitched to the outer layer of fabric, however the bullion now displays a somewhat oxidized patina, while the celeon threads are still bright amber.

Along with the tunic there is a lovely pair of General's breeches / jodhpurs in the correct stone gray (steingrau) color, with red stripes on the side, and lace up bottoms to the legs. They come with the correct suspenders, which are civilian made and marked Herkules on the buckles. They are in very good shape, and definitely period correct, though they do not have any markings on the inside that we can find. The suspenders show some lovely light period discoloration and wear.

Finishing out the set is a lovely set of two German WWII officer's tall jackboots, which are in very good condition, though they do not look to be a matched pair. They still retain their internal pull loops, as well as a leather strap for attaching to the breeches to keep them in place. The soles are leather, and look to originally have had metal strips at the front and back for wear protection, which also would give a satisfying "clack" when worn indoors. The boots are about 17 inches tall, and are 11 3/4 inches from heel to toe, so they do appear to be the same size.

Along with the uniform is the original painted metal display placard used when the uniform was owned and displayed by the A.A.F. Tank Museum. We were unfortunately not able to find any picture of von Dalwigk, though due to the various different ways his name is given, they may be listed incorrectly.

We very seldom get uniform sets with such great provenance and research potential. This could become the centerpiece of your WWII collection. Ready to research and display!

Approximate Measurements:
Collar to shoulder: 9.5"
Shoulder to sleeve: 25”
Shoulder to shoulder: 14.5”
Chest width: 18.5"
Waist width: 18.5"
Hip width: 22"
Front length: 29.5"

Waist: 16.5"
Inseam: 24"

More on German Uniform Tunics
Terms such as M40 and M43 were never designated by the Wehrmacht, but are names given to the different versions of the Model 1936 field tunic by modern collectors, to discern between variations, as the M36 was steadily simplified and tweaked due to production time problems and combat experience.

Field Tunic (Feldbluse) Model 1936
When the NSDAP came to power in early 1933 the Reichswehr, the armed forces of the Weimar Republic, were near the end of a two-year project to redesign the Army Feldbluse (field-blouse). Beginning in that year the new tunic was issued to the Reichsheer and then the rapidly growing Wehrmacht Heer, although minor design changes continued to be made until the appearance of the standardized Heeres Dienstanzug Modell 1936. The M36 tunic still retained the traditional Imperial and Reichswehr uniform color of grey-green "field gray" (feldgrau) wool, but incorporated four front patch pockets with scalloped flaps and pleats (on Reichswehr tunics the lower pockets were internal and angled). The front was closed with five buttons rather than the previous eight, and the collar and shoulder straps were of a dark bottle-green instead of the Reichswehr grey. Compared to the Weimar-era uniforms the skirt of the feldbluse was shorter and the tailoring was more form-fitting due to Germany's adoption of mechanized warfare: soldiers now spent much time in the confined space of a vehicle and a shorter jacket was less likely to pick up dirt from the seats. It also included an internal suspension system, whereby a soldier could hang an equipment belt on a series of hooks outside of the tunic. These hooks were connected to two straps inside the lining, which spread the weight of equipment without having to use external equipment suspenders. The M36 was produced and issued until the very end of the war, though successive patterns became predominant.

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