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Auction archive: Lot number 728

An outstanding Second World War M.M

Estimate
£1,500 - £2,000
ca. US$2,521 - US$3,361
Price realised:
£1,500
ca. US$2,521
Auction archive: Lot number 728

An outstanding Second World War M.M

Estimate
£1,500 - £2,000
ca. US$2,521 - US$3,361
Price realised:
£1,500
ca. US$2,521
Beschreibung:

An outstanding Second World War M.M. group of five awarded to Sergeant L. M. Gilbert, a Swiss National serving in the Intelligence Corps, who undertook a suicidal mission behind the lines while dressed in German uniform Military Medal, G.VI.R. (13053451 A/Sjt. L. M. Gilbert, Intell. C.); 1939-45 Star; France and Germany Star; Defence and War Medals, together with a companion set of miniature medals, both sets mounted as worn, very fine and excessively rare (10) £1500-2000 Footnote M.M. London Gazette 20 December 1945 ‘In recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the field.’ One of only six Military Medals awarded to the Intelligence Corps during WW2, since when they earned one further award for Korea. The following citation was submitted by the Deputy Director of Military Intelligence on 19 July 1945: ‘Sgt Gilbert was formerly employed in the textile trade in Switzerland and France. He came to the United Kingdom in July 1939 and joined the Pioneer Corps in November 1940. Having a strong antipathy for National Socialism, he felt he would like to undertake some active mission to assist in its defeat, and in 1944 he volunteered for special duties. On several occasions he tried to penetrate German-held territory and after a very gallant attempt to cross the Rhine in a rubber dinghy under heavy fire, he finally undertook a hazardous mission to infiltrate through the German lines in German uniform in February 1945. He made his attempt from a point near Hoven opposite Erkelenz, which was occupied by the 335th Infantry Regiment of the U.S. 84th Division. Gilbert came under heavy cross machine-gun fire 150 yards from his starting point. He then struck across country in a N.E. direction, but only ran into further heavy fire and also encountered a mine-field with barbed wire. He spent several hours in a ditch where he was able to observe the approximate position of a number of 88 mm guns and in a further attempt to penetrate East, he called down the fire of these guns upon himself. By crawling and rolling along the ground under continuous fire, he managed to reach an American fox-hole near Hoven. The commander of the 335th U.S. Regiment stated he was very favourably impressed by the local information brought in by Gilbert which caused him to modify his plan of attack, and said he was worthy of the highest praise for the very courageous way in which he had endeavoured to carry out his mission. This is to certify that this statement can be sent to the War Office, the Foreign Office and the Swiss Government.’ The following information was provided by the vendor who knew Gilbert for many years after he emigrated to New Zealand: ‘He was born Joseph Anton Richlé, of Swiss parents, in Switzerland 22 may 1919. His father had business interests, silk and cotton weaving, in Lyons and Burnley. He worked in both, before the war, as a trainee manager and on the shop floor for practical experience. He went, out of curiosity to Hitler’s big Nuremberg Rally in 1938 (?) and became very anti-Nazi. He joined up in Britain at the outbreak of war having changed his name. He spoke fluent German, Swiss-German, Italian, French and English. He told me he had seen service in North Africa and, many years ago, he told me he was in and out of France and Switzerland during the war. He told me he observed the flow of German men and materials through Switzerland to Italy and remained bitter about this. He told me that at some stage he served with the Parachute Regiment. Also of the Normandy landing, fighting through France into Germany, crossing the Rhine etc. At the close of war he stayed in the Army (I think) until 1947, then maybe joined up again (?) to return to Germany in Special Ops. Or maybe he just stayed on in the Army through to 1950, when he was commissioned as Second Lieutenant, 13 May 1950. He told me that he was involved with interrogation and processing of German Military personnel after the war and was also a field operative in Hamburg but, o

Auction archive: Lot number 728
Auction:
Datum:
18 Sep 1998
Auction house:
Dix Noonan Webb
16 Bolton St, Mayfair
London, W1J 8BQ
United Kingdom
auctions@dnw.co.uk
+44 (0)20 7016 1700
+44 (0)20 7016 1799
Beschreibung:

An outstanding Second World War M.M. group of five awarded to Sergeant L. M. Gilbert, a Swiss National serving in the Intelligence Corps, who undertook a suicidal mission behind the lines while dressed in German uniform Military Medal, G.VI.R. (13053451 A/Sjt. L. M. Gilbert, Intell. C.); 1939-45 Star; France and Germany Star; Defence and War Medals, together with a companion set of miniature medals, both sets mounted as worn, very fine and excessively rare (10) £1500-2000 Footnote M.M. London Gazette 20 December 1945 ‘In recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the field.’ One of only six Military Medals awarded to the Intelligence Corps during WW2, since when they earned one further award for Korea. The following citation was submitted by the Deputy Director of Military Intelligence on 19 July 1945: ‘Sgt Gilbert was formerly employed in the textile trade in Switzerland and France. He came to the United Kingdom in July 1939 and joined the Pioneer Corps in November 1940. Having a strong antipathy for National Socialism, he felt he would like to undertake some active mission to assist in its defeat, and in 1944 he volunteered for special duties. On several occasions he tried to penetrate German-held territory and after a very gallant attempt to cross the Rhine in a rubber dinghy under heavy fire, he finally undertook a hazardous mission to infiltrate through the German lines in German uniform in February 1945. He made his attempt from a point near Hoven opposite Erkelenz, which was occupied by the 335th Infantry Regiment of the U.S. 84th Division. Gilbert came under heavy cross machine-gun fire 150 yards from his starting point. He then struck across country in a N.E. direction, but only ran into further heavy fire and also encountered a mine-field with barbed wire. He spent several hours in a ditch where he was able to observe the approximate position of a number of 88 mm guns and in a further attempt to penetrate East, he called down the fire of these guns upon himself. By crawling and rolling along the ground under continuous fire, he managed to reach an American fox-hole near Hoven. The commander of the 335th U.S. Regiment stated he was very favourably impressed by the local information brought in by Gilbert which caused him to modify his plan of attack, and said he was worthy of the highest praise for the very courageous way in which he had endeavoured to carry out his mission. This is to certify that this statement can be sent to the War Office, the Foreign Office and the Swiss Government.’ The following information was provided by the vendor who knew Gilbert for many years after he emigrated to New Zealand: ‘He was born Joseph Anton Richlé, of Swiss parents, in Switzerland 22 may 1919. His father had business interests, silk and cotton weaving, in Lyons and Burnley. He worked in both, before the war, as a trainee manager and on the shop floor for practical experience. He went, out of curiosity to Hitler’s big Nuremberg Rally in 1938 (?) and became very anti-Nazi. He joined up in Britain at the outbreak of war having changed his name. He spoke fluent German, Swiss-German, Italian, French and English. He told me he had seen service in North Africa and, many years ago, he told me he was in and out of France and Switzerland during the war. He told me he observed the flow of German men and materials through Switzerland to Italy and remained bitter about this. He told me that at some stage he served with the Parachute Regiment. Also of the Normandy landing, fighting through France into Germany, crossing the Rhine etc. At the close of war he stayed in the Army (I think) until 1947, then maybe joined up again (?) to return to Germany in Special Ops. Or maybe he just stayed on in the Army through to 1950, when he was commissioned as Second Lieutenant, 13 May 1950. He told me that he was involved with interrogation and processing of German Military personnel after the war and was also a field operative in Hamburg but, o

Auction archive: Lot number 728
Auction:
Datum:
18 Sep 1998
Auction house:
Dix Noonan Webb
16 Bolton St, Mayfair
London, W1J 8BQ
United Kingdom
auctions@dnw.co.uk
+44 (0)20 7016 1700
+44 (0)20 7016 1799
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