IRON CROSS – 1914 – 2nd CLASS AND AWARD DOCUMENT.
This 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class is paired with its award document. The award of the 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class was given on 10 Oktober 1917 to Unteroffizier d. L. Paul Sonnemann, who was assigned to Vermessungs-Abteilung Nr 24. I have never heard of this unit type. Perhaps he was assigned to either a Pionier or Artillerie unit.
The most detail interesting is the document’s form. Its left upper corner indicates that it came from Armee-Oberkommando der 4. Armee. The Armee-Oberkommando 4. Armee’s rubber unit stamp appears at the document’s bottom. It was signed with a blue grease pencil by a Major serving as the commanding general’s adjutant.
A bit of quick research shows us that in October 1917 the commanding general was Generaloberst Friedrich Sixt von Armin (1851-1936). He previously had been the IV. Armeekorps’ commander. Von Armin had assumed command of the Armeekorps upon Paul von Hindenburg’s retirement in 1911. Von Armin led this unit until February 1917. His Corps was assigned to von Kluck early in the war and fought in both France and Belgium. He was highly-decorated, receiving both the Orden Pour le Mérite and the Pour le Mérite with Oak Leaves. He also received the Order of the Black Eagle, which was more typically given to royals. However, he came from a well-known Prussian family and had performed admirably during the Franco-Prussian War and WW I, so an exception was made. It is a very fine group.