Jump to content
Gentleman's Military Interest Club
Chris Boonzaier

Various kinds of non combat EKs

Recommended Posts

Okay... a difficult question... Unfortunately the statutes are missing from any books I have, so maybe a good public chew over may find the answer.

Iron Crosses for folks not engaged in combat in any way and not in the combat zone.

Three kinds I can think of

1) the white ribonned cross

2) The black ribonned cross for services in the field (In occupied territory)

3) The black ribonned cross for services in the Heimat (at home)

With 2) and 3) we are talking about docs mainly where the "Verdienst" is actually written on the doc, not where we suppose "Well, this guy couldnt have heard a shot fired"

The 2) ones seem to be for officials and civilians outside of the borders of the Reich.

The 1) and the 3) overlap here a bit.... both are for service in the Heimat (Have not seem a white ribonned cross doc for anyone serving in a military or civilian position outside of germany) ... now who got what? Are all White ribonned guys civilians? I have yet to see one to a soldier. For the 3)... my one of these is to a soldier, for services in a garrison town.

Its too few examples to base a definate opinion on...

what do you guys think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe a type #1 was awarded to an official in Turkey in 1918-it was in a Spinks auction @ 5 years ago. I'll go to the attic and poke round the archives.

Ah- my error it appears to be a "type 2.5-that is a "normal 1914 EK2. Lot 264 Spink catalogue #5/12/2002 documents to Dr. Wilfreid greif, Marine-intendantur-Sekretar at Sofia: docs consisted of EK2, Liakiat X, Baden WMK,Bav. WMK, Bulg. Order of Merit5thw crwn., Aust. service cross (mounted as worn) along with 2 Gallipoli stars (one made by Godet) and Baden and Bavarian vets' crosses. (sold: $700.

Edited by Ulsterman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With a drumroll, one of the 6,855 " for war merit in the Homeland" combat ribboned non combatant type, ne'er before seen by mortal eyes nor in any book on the Iron Cross:

D?hring had until just before the war been a regular officer. As an unpensioned Reservist, he then virtually immediately got an LD2, but spent the entire war in out-of-action Etappen jobs, racking up awards from Hamburg and Austria-Hungary as well as this "black-white" noncombatant EK .

And yes, the paper is locally watermarked, so uncounterfeitable without going to THAT secret depth of Arcane Knowledge, buwahahahahahah.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must check up on what I find in the books, but who has white ribboned EKs in their collections and who recieved them?

Beamten, Military, doctors....

But how many real "Civilians"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen 2 to marine architects/engineers employed at Kiel, one to a Silesian Mayor, several to train officials and one to a postal official.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen 2 to marine architects/engineers employed at Kiel, one to a Silesian Mayor, several to train officials and one to a postal official.

Once again, mostly officials.

As far as I can see, although I have not read it anywhere, the white ribboned crosses seem to be only awarded within the borders of the Reich, to "non-soldiers".... not as is often claimed, to doctors or medics or officers behind the lines in non combat positions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have just bought a book published in 1937 by a Bavarian Military chaplain.

It lists all the WW1 Bavarian Chaplain and Clergymen who served in WW1 and includes all their units and decorations.

Strangley enough, it seems they all recieved the EK on a black ribbon, which kinda reinforces my theory (to me anyway) that the white ribbon is technically (in Ww1 at least) not really to non -combattants, but rather to officials in NON COMBAT AREAS ... ie. homefront.

Non combattants seem all to have recieved the black ribbon if they were in combat areas... or does anyone have any info to the opposite?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have just bought a book published in 1937 by a Bavarian Military chaplain.

It lists all the WW1 Bavarian Chaplain and Clergymen who served in WW1 and includes all their units and decorations.

Strangley enough, it seems they all recieved the EK on a black ribbon, which kinda reinforces my theory (to me anyway) that the white ribbon is technically (in Ww1 at least) not really to non -combattants, but rather to officials in NON COMBAT AREAS ... ie. homefront.

Non combattants seem all to have recieved the black ribbon if they were in combat areas... or does anyone have any info to the opposite?

Not me-but I have noticed that Chaplains in the front lines got the black/white ribboned EK2. I had always presumed that this was because they got the award early. On the other hand, I have clearly seen photos of chaplains in the field with what I presume is the white/black ribbon as well as others "at home" in Lazaretts with the white/black ribbon. I always thought it was a chronology thing, or no set rules so the Divisional commanders were making judgments based upon what they thought was right.

sorry about the pic-it's from a war time PK.

Rev. Wagner, Fielddivisionschaplain of the 14th reserve division

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I landed another white ribbon doc today, ex navy, serving in a navy docyard as a kaiserlichen marine-intendanturrat when he got the white ribboned cross.

As time goes on I become more and more convinced

1) Outside the borders of the reich there were only black ribboned crosses, either for fighters, or servers.

2) inside germany you could get a white OR black ribbon, the line dividing these two is not so clear.

But basically the "White ribbon non-combattant" is a misnoner, because all non combattants outside germany seem to have got black ribbon crosses (Priests, Doctors, Administarive posts, Staff people, Civilian Commissars etc) instead of white ribbons....

i.e. all white ribbons were non combattants, but not all black ribbons were combattants... many black ribbons being for service.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps the distinction is made due to the proximity of danger. Of course you also have the "Who you know" factor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps the distinction is made due to the proximity of danger. Of course you also have the "Who you know" factor.

Hi,

I am not so sure,

none of the white ribbons seen to have been awarded outside of Germany. Pauls one is in a bit of a grey area as to where the guy served, could only be cleared up with a militaerpass. many folks in occupied Belgium got the black ribbon while hundreds of miles from the front. No white ribbons even for guys in the Eisenbahn HQ in Brussels.. regular black.

White ribbons inside Germany seen to all be non serving military INSIDE of germany.

Black ribbons for homefront service seem to be serving military.

I think the crux is... the white ribbon is not THE award for non combattants, as they also get black ribbons.... but it is for people in the HEIMAT (other than a handful who got a black ribbon)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

does anyone have any thoughts to the ribbon ribbon? Something other than a white ribboned EK?

Was thinking about Pauls doc. Am convinced there is "something in his past" that would clear this up.

best

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the way- I read in "Feldgrau" (pub. 1916 that the EK on black/white ribbon was for courage and exceptional merit in the Kreigschauplatz (The "battlefield" or "Battlearena") and exceptional service in the homeland, whereas the white/black was for ... well see here:

http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=2274...mp;#entry218222

Edited by Ulsterman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Super! Do you have a Xerox of it???

That was exactly the conclusion I had come to, although no modern book (English or German) has made these distinctions.

At some stage it changed... in 1870 a white ribbon was for a non combatant, for 14-18 it changed somewhere along the line and we have more than just "EK for fighting man" and "EK for non fighting man"

We have

1) EK for bravery in the field

2) EK for merit in the field

3) EK for military merit at home (for soldiers?)

4) EK for merit at home (Official + Civilians) with white ribbon.

Now we need the EXACT statutes.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

At first I'm not shure about this doc because I expect an cross with the white ribbon, but after reading this post:

according to all ?the information given above this is a document for an ek given for merit in the field as?an? black ribonned cross for services in the field given esp. in occupied territory, isn't it?

Or not?

regards

westfale

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

That could be for Merit or bravery. There seems to be no rule that states that Iron Crosses for merit in the field need to be labeled as such.

White ribboned crosses usually are, as are Black ribboned for service in the heimat.

Your guy got his award while the Division was on the Aisne, in the 3 or so months before it did not see much combat...

I would guess an NCO with lots of good service, part of it at the front under arty fire... and after a few years his NCO said "Now is the time for an EK..."

A more classical "Merit in the field" would be to Eisenbahn Direktion men or Etappenkommando men (but even they could have it for bravery on occasion)+

Best

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×