SANKE CARD NR 363 – HAUPTMANN OSWALD BOELCKE
Oswald Boelcke was a major hero in Imperial Germany. He and Max Immelmann were the first two aviators to receive the Orden Pour le Mérite. Boelcke ran his score up to an amazing forty victories before he was killed in a midair collision with one of his own pilots.
This is Sanke Card Nr 363. It features Boelcke in a studio pose and was taken at the same time that Immelmann had his Sanke Card photo taken. [We can recognize this fact because each photo features the same drape behind the men]. Boelcke is seen in his classic hand-on-hip pose. He has his PLM at his throat, his 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class, and his Prussian Army Pilot Badge. His tunic’s buttonhole features his ribbon for the 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class and for the Knight’s Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order (Prussia’s second-highest decoration, generally awarded prior to the PLM).
This card was produced prior to his October 1916 death. Some silver oxidation appears around the edges, which was quite common on early postcards. Later in the war other chemicals were substituted, as silver was needed for the war effort.