GERMANY – SANKE CARD – RITTER MAX VON MÜLLER – NR 444
During WW I there were three well known publishers and a newly discovered firm (New to me at any rate.)
The best known firm is that of Willy Sanke. The two other well-known firms included NPG and Gustav Liersch. These firms often used the same photos that Sanke did. The other firm is Harry Rothenberg which was located in Silesia which was the ancestral home of the von Richthofens. As an aside you will also come across Kriegs Kartes. These are cheap knock off reproductions and the quality is VERY poor. I don’t even bother with them and if I get one in a larger group of Sanke, NPG, and Liersch cards I either throw them away or sell them for $10.00. That tells you how poor they are.
This is Sanke card Nr 444 of Leutnant Max Ritter von Müller. He was an interesting and very aggressive pilot. Standing only a bit over five feet tall he fought like a giant.
He was one of the most highly decorated pilots of WW I. Only Manfred von Richthofen had more awards than him. While he was a Bavarian by birth he was actually inducted into the Prussian army and flew in two Prussian Jasta, Jasta 28 and Jasta 2. He briefly commanded Jasta 2, renamed Jasta Boelcke in honor of its founder and the man behind the idea of forming hunting squadrons which flew single seater scouts. Max Ritter von Müller received his Pour le Mérite on 3 September 1917.
After his death in January 1918, when he leaped from his flaming airplane, his name was put forward for the award of Bavaria’s highest military award the Knights Cross of the Military Max Joseph Order. Thus in death he was elevated to Ritter or Knight.
Sanke card Nr 444 shows him standing. He has not yet been awarded the Pour le Mérite. He is however wearing a large medal bar which appears to be five places. Below that he is wearing the 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class and the Bavarian pilot badge. The Fliegertruppen device can also be seen on his shoulder board.
This card is in very fine condition and has never been mailed.