FANTASTIC WORLD WAR TWO INSIGNIA & MEDAL GROUP ID’D TO GERMAN GENERAL WHO WAS LIAISON OFFICER IN TOKYO – PRESENTED TO AN AMERICAN GENERAL ON MACARTHUR’S STAFF

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Item Code: 128-1180

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This group of items is identified to Lieutenant General Alfred Franz Kretschmer who was Berlin’s liaison officer in Tokyo through most of World War Two. He presented these items to General Charles A. Willoughby of General MacArthur’s staff in Tokyo in 1947. With the items is the original presentation letter typed and signed by Kretschmer.

Alfred Franz Kretschmer was born in Huenern, Trebnitz in Prussia on December 17, 1894. He was a student at the University of Breslau studying philosophy when he left to serve in the German Army at the beginning of World War One.

In September of 1914 Kretschmer was assigned as a private to the 230th Infantry Regiment on the Eastern Front. He was wounded slightly in the left arm on October 20, 1914 but remained with his unit however, by November he was in the military hospital at Kolberg, Germany.

On January 7, 1915 he returned to his regiment in the field and in May of that year was appointed a corporal/Reserve officer aspirant. Kretschmer was wounded for the second time, severely, when he was shot in the face on May 10, 1915 and was sent to the military hospital at Hanover, Germany. He returned to his regiment in the field (now on the Western Front) as an ensign on October 7 and was appointed as lieutenant in the 155th Infantry Regiment on November 15, 1915.

The year 1916 found Kretschmer assigned to the Company Commanders Course with the 9th Reserve Corps and then for the rest of the year he served as Adjutant of the 2nd and then the 1st Battalions of his 230th regiment.

In early February of 1917 Kretschmer was wounded in the posterior by a piece of shrapnel and spent time in the hospital at Hamburg, Germany. He returned to his regiment as Adjutant of the 1st Battalion on May 1st but in October he became sick from his wounds and was sent to a hospital in Lille, France. He returned to his regiment in November.

Before January of 1918 was out, Kretschmer was back as Regimental Adjutant only to be wounded severely again. This time in both legs by shrapnel on August 22, 1918. This was Kretschmer’s fourth wound in as many years. He was sent to the hospital at Charleville, France. It is not clear from the record if he was back with his regiment by the time of the Armistice.

During the interwar years Kretschmer held numerous staff positions and rose steadily through the ranks. By the beginning of World War Two he was a lieutenant colonel and Senior Quartermaster of the 10th Army. He made colonel while serving as Quartermaster of the Panzer Group Von Kleist. He took part in the Polish Campaign and in the Fall of France in 1940 and was in charge of the supply and administrative preparations for the projected invasion of Britain.

In December 1940 Kretschmer was assigned as military attaché in Tokyo, a position he held till the end of the war. He was promoted Generalmajor in 1942 and Generallieutenant in 1944. In the summer of 1944 he was appointed Army Chief of Supply and Administration but was unable to return to Germany to assume the office.

With the end of the war Kretschmer was held as a POW until August 1947 when he was repatriated. It was in July of that year when he presented these items to General Willoughby.

General Kretschmer died in Wiesbaden on December 30, 1967.

The insignia and medals of General Kretschmer’s that are offered for sale here are listed in a letter he wrote to General Willoughby presenting the items to him. The letter will be quoted here in full. It is the original and comes with the items.

THE FORMER GERMAN MILITARY ATTACHE IN TOKYO   ATAMI, KANKO-HOTEL, JULY 1ST 1947

GENERAL,

I TAKE THE LIBERTY OF PRESENTING TO YOU – AS A LITTLE TOKEN OF MY HEARTY GRATITUDE—

MY SHOULKDER STRAP OF A GERMAN LIEUTENANT GENERAL (CORRESPONDING TO THE USA MAJOR GENERAL.)

MY DECORATION-BADGE

SECOND CLASS OF THE IRON CROSS OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR WITH THE CORRESPONDING “SPANGE” OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR.

CROSS FOR FRONT-LINE-FIGHTERS OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR,

DISTINCTION S FOR 12 AND 25 YEARS OF HONORABLE SERVICE IN THE GERMAN ARMY

A BULGARIAN DECORATION.

THE FIRST CLASS OF THE IRON CROSS OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR WITH THE CORRESPONDING “SPANGE” OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR.

THE MARK OF DISTINCTION FOR HAVING BEEN WOUNDED FOUR TIMES IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR.

I SHOULD BE GLAD IF YOU WOULD LIKE AS A SOUVENIR THESE THINGS WHICH ARE DEAR AND WORTH TO ME.

I HAVE THE HONOR TO BE, GENERAL

RESPECTFULLY YOURS

(signed) A. F. KRETSCHMER

The General’s shoulder strap is in excellent condition. It has a red wool base with heavy intertwined silver cord outlined with gold cord. There is one white metal pip attached at center.

All the ribbons on the ribbon bar are in excellent shape and each has their proper attachment of either a spange, crossed swords or Nazi Party eagle. Reverse retains the original pin.

The First World War Iron Cross 1st Class is excellent. It is convex with a black face with crown at top, letter “W” at center and the year “1914” at bottom. The reverse is silver and still retains its original pin. The face does have one or two small scratches.

The silver wound badge from the First World War is complete with the original pin. The face shows light wear in the raised areas but otherwise it is in very nice condition. Reverse has some surface dirt from age and a slightly bent clasp.

The larger spange is in excellent condition with the original pin on the reverse.

The insignia and medals come in a wooden case with a blue felt background. With the items is the original letter mentioned above and a binder full of supporting documents attesting to the authenticity of the items as well as numerous pages of research on General Kretschmer and General Willoughby. There is even a copy, in German, of Kretschmer’s 68-page final report on his service in Japan throughout World War Two. There are also copies of documents from the German archives as well as a detailed breakdown of Kretschmer’s entire service.

An outstanding and well researched group worthy of any advanced World War One or Two collection.

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MAY BE PURCHASED THROUGH OUR LAYAWAY PROGRAM.

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