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Austrian ribbars sizes Pre 3rd Reich X80

These are various WW1 contemporary styles of ribbon bar used by Germany's 1914-18 ally, Austria-Hungary. Like Tsarist Russia, Austria-Hungary was late to take to any ribbon bars at all: recipients of awards most often wearing full sized decorations even at the front.

The top bar probably belonged to a senior medical officer. 40mm ribbons--the width used on trifold ribbons from which awards were suspended--have been overlapped to reduce width across the wearer's chest, and are mounted on a home-made looking nasty "bayonet" type pronged reverse.

The middle bar is German style 15mm width. These are rarely seen and occasionally also found being worn by Bulgarian allies also imitating the neat German M1915 style. This group also suggests a senior medical officer, probably a nobleman.

Lower left is a compromise--half-width 20mm width ribbons, Lower right is a standard 40mm ribbon with a device as a clue to what the universal bravery award ribbon actually represented. Other than crossed swords authorized at the end of 916, I have never found any official regulation governing such devices--and suspect all of these were simply improvizations left up to the wearers themselves. Tolerated but not sanctioned!

Austrian ribbons when mounted singly--as was most common--will either have snap fasteners or sometimes clips on back. These were used to affix to the slightly tilted horizontal loops sewn onto tunics to hold individual full sized awards. "German style" ribbon bars can be found with long pins, safety pins, or filed prongs to jab into uniforms.

After the 1938 Anschluss, Austrian awards were worn in the usual German style, even though wearers sometimes affected trifolds still for their full-sized awards!

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© Rick Research GMIC

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Types of Ribbon Bar

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