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ViewMate Posting VM 11482

Submitted by Marilyn Sheridan

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Information Picture Question
Category: Photo Identification
Approval Date: 3/19/2008
Family Surname: SIGAL
Country: Austria
Town: Vienna
Date of Image: around 1918
Click the picture to enlarge

What WWI uniform is this? My father (Bernhard SIGAL - the little boy - b. 1913) said his father (Israel SIGAL - b. 1887) was a cavalry officer; fought with a "fixed bayonet"; was awarded a medal. He also served as a translator, as he had a natural ability learning languages. His troops loved him, and visited him in Vienna after the war. Were Jews permitted to be officers? Where might he have fought?

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3/23/2008 Try to contact someone from the Austrian Embassy and ask where the military records are kept. Good luck. If you do get an answer, post the details.
Francine Shapiro
Jerusalem
3/23/2008
I have had similar problems.

I think that your G.father was probably in the Austro-Hungarian Army (K.U.K) and was a junior non-commisioned officer. As he wore a bayonet he would have been in the infantry.

I suggest that you look in www,austro-hungarian-army.co.uk/badunif.htm it has a list of the different types of uniform and insignia during WW1

Good Luck
3/23/2008 Your grandfather's uniform is exactly like the 1 my uncle was wearing in photos from WWI, except for the star on the collar. My uncle David Goldman [b. 1895]was drafted into the Austrian army [infantry] from his small town in Galicia, & spent most of the war as a prisoner of the Russians. If you find out anything interesting please post to the Gesher Galicia SIG. Thanks,
Chana
3/24/2008 Riding boots (but not necessarily cavalery, as the cavalery units were transformed into infantry use after beginning of the war) - but he might have had a horse

One star, somewhat distinct. Could be lieutenant, could be private - depending if the star is simple or more distinct.

Knife, could be bayonet, could be portepee. Would be unusual for a lieutenant. Portepee is for sergeants, so would not make sense.

Also has a cord on the right shoulder, could be a distinction for shooting results, or functional sign.

My first idea was to say "private", but on the second look it might also be a lieutenant.

see http://www.mlorenz.at/Bewaffnete_Macht/Dienstraenge.htm

Sorry, no clear answer, but maybe some hints?
Johannes Heidecker (Johannes@Heidecker.eu)
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