Fought Duel With Pistols (1909)
German Infantry Captain and Lieutenant of Reserves Had a Go.
The Montreal Gazette, 2 February 1909 (Special Cable Service.)
Berlin, February 1.—A duel with pistols was fought today near Frankfurt-on-Main by Baron Von Oertzen, an infantry captain, and Lieut. Von Stuckrad, of the reserves. The two were formerly close friends until Lieut. Stuckrad, during Captain Oertzen's absence during the manoeuvres some time ago, eloped with the latter's wife. The woman's parents tracked the couple to New York and traied vainly to persuade their daughter to return. Capt. Von Oertzen subsequently obtained a divorce, but this had hardly been granted when Lieut. Von Stuckrad quarreled with the woman, whom he forsook, leaving her in America, and returned to Krueznach, where his father, a retired Burgomaster, resides. After the duel Von Poertzen surrendered himself to his superiors. Probably the only penalty imposed on him will be a formal reprimand.
More to the story, as reported in various paper, including the Mill Valley Independent of Mill Valley, Marin County, California (Number 43, 23 April 1909):
Eloper Slain in Duel
Baron von Oertzen Kills Stuckrad, Who Stole His Wife.
A sequel to the romance of the Baroness von Oertzen and Herr von Stuckrad, who eloped to New York last August, has come from the Stadtwald. near Fraukfort-on-the-Main, where the baroness’ husband killed Herr von Stuckrad in a duel, a Berlin correspondent of the Philadelphia Ledger says. Baroness von Oertzen is believed to be in New York.
Baroness Rudolph von Oertzen and Herr von Stuckrad were friends when in garrison together at Neu-Ruppin, and their parents and both their families were also bound together in ties of friendship. Baron von Oertzen was married to the beautiful daughter of Herr Malm, the great manufacturer of Rostock. Herr von Stuckard was a frequent guest at the house and while maintaining outward appearances of friendship for the baron, made love to the baroness.
Last summer the baron was obliged lo leave home to attend the maneuvers with his regiment. Herr von Stuckrad. who had quitted military service for private reasons, remained at Neu-Ruppin. When the baron returned from the maneuvers he discovered that his false friend had persuaded his wife to elope with him to America. The two were trailed to Bremen and thence to New York. The parents of the baroness, who had crossed the Atlantic by the next ship, found her with Stuckrad and did their utmost to persuade her to return home, but without success. The baroness refused to leave Stuckrad or return to her husband. Baron von Oertzen initiated divorce proceedings on the ground of desertion. The case was tried in December and terminated in his favor.
Scarcely had the divorce decree been pronounced when Stuckrad quarreled with the baroness, left her and returned to his home at Kreuznach, where his father, a retired general, is burgomaster. Baron von Oertzen, on hearing of his return, sent his seconds with a challenge to a duel, which Stuckrad immediately accepted, the conditions being pistols at twenty-five paces’ distance and three rounds. A secluded spot in the Stadtwald was selected as the place where the deadly quarrel of the two men could he fought out without interruption.
Baron von Oertzen arrived on the scene with two brother officers, who acted as seconds, and a physician. A few minutes later Herr von Stuckrad drove up from another direction with his two seconds. The seconds measured the distance and the combatants placed themselves in position. Both took careful aim and the shots seemed to be simultaneously. Baron von Oertzen’s bullet lodged in Stuckrad’s body, inflicting terrible injuries to the internal organs, Stuckrad’s shot missed its aim and the baron remained standing uninjured. After witnessing his opponent’s death the baron, accompanied by one witness, drove to Frankfurt-on-the-Maln to report himself to the military authorities, while the other witnesses of the fatal duel removed Stuckrad’s body to the nearest mortuary.