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Rick Research

And Now For Something Insanely Rare

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Yeah yeah yeah, if I've got something like that it's only because nobody else cares or wants one...

well, for many long years I scrupulously avoided ever posting the reverse of this little Unsung Treasure ( :unsure: there be BAD people out there in The World :unsure::shame::o ) because in every price guide I have seen since 1982 has been the

"*" of "none sold, so sorry, not one clue on pricing"

Well, upon discovering this listed and shown in splendid (but) Black and White in Niemann's "Bewertungs-katalog Orden und Ehrenzeichen Deutschland 1871-1945" 2004 edition as number 2.01.59.1

I shall at long last dissipate the veil of secrecy and reveal

In Glorious Color

BOTH sides of the badge handed out on the 15th anniversary-- 1934 :speechless1: -- of the liberation of the Bavarian city of W?rzburg from Red control

by a trainload of J?gers coming back undefeated from Far Colchis-- the Democratic Republic of Georgia.

You may now have a moment to prepare yourself for a sight No Living Eyes have seen in a generation. Try not to think of Lord Carnarvon and Tutenkhamun's Tomb, OK? :ninja:

Ready? :rolleyes:

When I die, this is going to VerKuilen Ager (thus incentivising his Long And Happy) as the only other person on the planet who CARES--

plus he is the only person I know who has the "tinnie" given out to spectators that day-- the center disk in pinback hollow bronze.

This was the final Freikorps award created in Germany.

And almost every recipient would have been wearing

the Georgian Order of Saint/Queen Tamara.

And you know how I am about THAT.

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Rick,

It was already listed in Andr? H?sken's 1999 edition of his "Katalog der Orden und Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Reiches 1?871-1945" under the # 21.112 "Erinnerungsplakette" of the city of W?rzburg, with a DM price the most shameless dealer would have dreamt to achieve.

Thanks fo the glorious colour, it looks great

Gilles

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Hi Rick,

Well, no idea what anyone else thinks but I for one think it's a beautiful piece! :love::jumping::jumping: Nice back... I'm probably the only one who hasn't seen such but I kinda like how it's mounted with the pins coming through the back. Very nice work! :D

A very simple but alluring design. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. :beer:

Dan :cheers:

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Rick,

A real good looking unit. I am certain it is much more rare then RKs, DKs and most other items that are highly sought. I for one will buy a strange medal, badge or insignia in a minute. More often then not they are not too expensive, very attractive, and hard to find information on. Most of all they look super in a display. :speechless1::jumping:

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Buying reference books ALWAYS pays off. And having wide ranging (if obscure :lol: ) interests that are personally satisfying AND have zee-row to do with "investment trends" maketh for happy collecting.

It is impossible to find anything Insanely Rare that is affordable by Mere Mortals in the "popular" collecting fields. But that is still possible Off The Beaten Path. :rolleyes::beer:

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well, it looks good to me, but what do i know?

I'd LOVE to compare these side-by-side.

By the way Rick, I CARE! sniff-sniff. :Cat-Scratch:

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Packrat! :P

Roman-- according to Niemann, the late types are much rarer than the issue pieces, but "worth" less money. The 1 November 1935 date has nothing to do with the liberation of the city OR Nazi parties, so I'm not sure what that occasion was. The fact that the silver content was higher and that those LATE badges are numbered suggests maybe they were given out to ? important people who hadn't bothered to turn up in April of 1934? Maybe "Ehrenhalber" honorary awards to people who weren't even there in 1919? Or maybe to W?rzburg civilians?

It would be nice to see what the local newspaper reported on that occasion.

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The hollow-back event badge. Appears to be from the same die as the awards.

Wurzburg6.jpg

When the German Republic was declared on November 9, 1918 a revolutionary flag already flew over the W?rzburg Residenz (one of the most ornate and famous palaces in Europe and over the years the residence of a variety of German royalty and religious leaders) and a "Red Committee" was installed in its ornate halls. A revolutionary sailor's group occupied the railway station and machineguns controlled other important buildings and streets. To cement their hold, the Committee took sixteen citizens hostage and put up posters that warned that a hostage would be shot for every proletarian comrade who had their hair so much as ruffled.

wurzburg7.jpg

The Residenz today. Note the fountain out front.

The standoff lasted for months, until April 8, 1919, when the non-sympathetic citizenry staged a strike that affected farms, the gas and water supply, the postal service, and railway. They also asked for help from the nearby Faulenberg Barracks which housed two batteries of the 2nd Bavarian Field Artillery Regiment. The unit was grossly undermanned and artillery couldn't be fielded. However, the commander ? a Captain von Oelhafen ? decided to try and rescue the hostages. During the night of the 8th and 9th, he gathered reliable members of his unit, veterans, students from a technical school, and a number of civilians for a total force of about 200 men. On their way to the Residenz they managed to arrest Soldatenrat Sauber, one of the revolutionary members. However, the occupiers of the Residenz ? estimated at about 200 ? were alerted and the element of surprise was lost to the poorly armed rescue force. However, after about a half hour of grenade assaults led by Officer Aspirant Langer, the soldiers in the Residenz were routed and the building captured along with a sizeable supply of arms.

Wurzburg4.jpg

A scene at the fountain in 1919.

In the meantime, troops from the Faulenberg Barracks brought a small number of machineguns and field pieces into play, capturing a radio station at the local airfield, gaining control over an important rail segment, and threatening the revolutionary naval unit holding the rail station. One "Republican Protection Force" called for a truce but was disarmed and sent off to the Barracks as prisoners. Eventually, all the resistance was broken, and, supposedly, the last group of Spartacists was seen escaping through the town's H?chberg gate in a truck.

Wurzburg5.jpg

A fuzzy photo of the freikorps collar emblem. From the pre-war Heeresarchiv collection.

The Residenzplatz was a favorite parade and meeting site for the Nazis. They burned communist literature there in 1933 and the local Gauleiter, Dr. Otto Hellmuth, was married there in 1936. Unfortunately, both the palace and rail station were burned out during W.W. II. Restoration of the outside of the Residenz was completed about 1965 and interiors have only been opened again in recent years. The rail station was replaced by a modern structure. I'd recommend the W?rzburg section of Geoff Walden's Third Reich in Ruins site for many excellent comparison photos of the W?rzburg of yesterday and today.

As you can surmise from the short history above, the April date refers to the freikorps victory. The November 1st date probably refers to the anniversary of the initial date of the conflict in the city. Depending on the award criteria, a number around 300-350 might be close to the number presented. For example, were the students who took part recipients? Klietmann found no award list, criteria, or numbers in the city archives and von Salomon only refers to the "about 200" number who took part at the Residenz.

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The Regimental history of the Georgian J?gers mentions their involvement as simply a matter of chance. Apparently they were just passing through on their way home when they got caught at the railway station and pitched in. Their Soldatenrat was quite "tame" and indeed co-signed the Order of Saint/Queen Tamara award documents.

Glenn has found a most splendid Stammliste on Bavarian FAR 2, so will go see what can be added to von Oelhafen and Langer. Back later.

Splendid October weather here-- must be nippy up on The Lake?

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Langer was not a member of KB FAR 2.

Hauptmann von Oelhafen, however was OTTO--

Later Polizei Generalleutnant und SS Gruppenf?hrer. Died 13 March 1952.

He crosses our collecting trails most frequently as the stamped "signature" found on Munich city issue award documents for Hindenburg Crosses--

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While you are looking up names, a Hauptmann Dittmann was also involved as the leader of a group of volunteers in this action. He and Langer may have been returned veterans who were locals who got drafted back into action. The histories talk about many of the local citizens who "put back on their field gray."

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Yikeys! :Cat-Scratch: The ONLY Hauptmann Dittmann there was-- was a Prussian from far off Pionier Baon 28! :speechless1:

NO Bavarian officers regular or reserve named Dittmann!

There were a number of Dittmars... wondering whether the Chronicler was just winging things off the top of his head from fading meory of "didn't it SOUND like...?"

Kind of like I do-- only I have computer for aide memoire. :rolleyes:

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Nope-- not a Bavarian at all, which is either odd or the chronicler's got it wrong. Among the books I've inherited from Eric Ludvigsen's library is a directory of all Bavarian reserve officers as of June 1912, so anybody Bavarian who could have been a Captain in the spring of 1919 is accounted for.

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It took me a few years to catch up but I finally got a specimen for my little collection. Wish Rick was here!

0D8FC676-0737-4CF9-800E-81F9449A468D.jpeg

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Amazing what pops up when you dig deep and get lucky! I’ve noticed a couple items posted by you that show you know exactly how hard you have to look to find these treasures.

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Thanks for sharing.

First one's I see.

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Posted (edited)

Rich was basically right but got some details wrong when he introduced this thread. For one thing, this Freikorps was not formed to fight the reds in Würzburg. It was formed to fight the reds in Munich. Also, contrary to what Rich wrote in 2007, this was not the last Freikorps award. The last Freikorps award, which by the way former members of Freikorps Würzburg would have also been entitled to was called: Das Ehren- und Erinnerungszeichen der Befreier Münchens 1919 (Honor and Commemorative Badge for the Liberation of Munich, 1919) which was issued in 1938 and which is much, much rarer than the Freikorps Würzburg badge.

Here's the full story of the Freikorps Würzburg badge.

Commemorative Badge of the Freikorps Würzburg (Erinnerungsplakette des Freikorps Würzburg)

Freikorps Würzburg was formed from the Bavarian Reserve Jäger Batallion 15, which returned to Germany from Georgia in April 1919 after a long, circuitous sea voyage by British merchant ship from the Black Sea to northern Germany and by train south to Bavaria.

Bavarian Reserve Jäger Batallion 15 was formed in August 1918 in the Caucasus as the Kaukasisches Jäger-Regiment Nr. 1. It consisted of the bayerisches Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon and freshly trained released POWs who were formed into a Bahn-Schütz-Bataillon.

On the 20th of September, 1918 they were renamed the bayerisches Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 15 consisting of a staff and two battalions. The battalion was commanded by Major Martin Scheuring from the 8. B.I.R. who continued to command Freikorps Würzburg after its formation.

Bavarian Reserve Jäger Regiment 15 literally arrived at the Würzburg train station on April 9, 1919 after their very long and arduous return home and immediately volunteered to form Freikorps Würzburg, got back on the train and headed to Munich to join other Freikorps already taking up positions outside the city. Freikorps Würzburg took part in the heavy fighting in Munich against the Munich Soviet Republic on May 2-3, 1919.

After the defeat of the Munich Soviet, Freikorps Würzburg joined Detachement Probstmayer, Freikorps Aschaffenburg, Freikorps Bamberg,  Freikorps Bayreuth,  Eiserne Schar Berthold and other smaller Freikorps units to form Reichswehr-Brigade 23.

The badge was given to former members of Freikorps Würzburg in 1934 on the 15th anniversary of its formation.

The 2-piece badge is 900 silver with a silver gilt center medallion and marked on the reverse: KILIAN RUCKERT, WÜRZBURG, 900.

A souvenir commemorative "tinnie" in bronze (shown in CRBeery's post) was given to everyone who attended the award ceremony.

Here's mine.

FKWurzburgHonourcomp.jpg.92bd2d7a1fddc9c92c0f6ed437a15687.jpg

 

And here's the Liberation of Munich badge.

Interestingly, this badge was issued after the 1935 edict banning the wear of all Freikorps awards except the Silesian Eagle, Baltic Cross and Carinthian Cross. Its award accompanied a dedication of a memorial to the liberation of Munich attended by leading Nazis (pictured below).

comp.thumb.jpg.bde75a2a08462be6d0eac41eb2bd3c0c.jpg

Artikel_44351_bilder_value_10_freikorps10.jpg.bbc482772c911e19aa981b8cf00d12b4.jpg

Edited by bolewts58

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Nice pic! Nothing says "Saviors of Freedom" more than standing on a podium giving a speach with a large set of concrete Bollocks hanging 1 meter above your head! 😉

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