GERMANY – SANKE CARD – HAUPTMANN EDUARD RITTER VON SCHLEICH – NR 644
This is Sanke card Nr 644 of Hauptmann Eduard Ritter von Schleich (1888-1947). Like many pilots during WW I he was initially posted to an infantry regiment. There he was severely wounded and transferred to the Air Service. He would go on to fly black airplanes in memory of a fallen comrade. He would become known as the “Black Knight of Germany. Before the end of the war he had achieved thirty-five victories and was awarded the Pour le Mérite. He would later join the Luftwaffe and made general before he retired due to medical reasons. He would die in captivity in 1947.
There are three known Sankes of von Schleich. This is by far the rarest due in part as it was among the 600 series of Sankes which was not as highly produced as earlier Sankes. But there is an interesting story that goes along with this card. He is wearing an RFC/RAF flying coat. Schleich had always wanted one but the coats of the men he had shot down were damaged and unwearable (Actually bloody and ventilated by his guns.). He was finally presented this coat by a ground observer who “liberated” it from its former owner. Schleich’s Pour le Mérite is proudly displayed at his neck.
This card has never been mailed and is in excellent condition.