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    Ribbon Bar Life Stories 02


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    Despite not having an Iron Cross 1st Class from either war, circa 1942, this recalled "retread" regular Major received the highest decoration for valor his home state could give in WW1, and has (surprisingly) been highly decorated by fascist Italy in North Africa. Here he is home on leave in his European uniform... or he was lucky enough to have escaped the May 1943 surrender of the Afrikakorps and this is before the ban on Italian awards after they changed sides in the fall of 1943 (See "Covered In Shame" in the devices gallery).

    His awards are

    1) 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class with 1939 repeat award Spange
    2) EITHER the Saxon Saint Henry Order-Knight OR the Saxon Saint henry Order's Silver Medal:

    On the American or Britsih awards sytem, Saxony did not require earning lower awards first and working up to higher ones by repeated actions. If a first deed was worth the highest they could give, they gave it. This was unique in German practice. (How many insanely brave Victoria Cross/Medal of Honor deeds earned the Germaan recipient a "lowly" Iron Cross 2nd Class? :banger: )

    3) Saxon Albert Order-Knight 2nd Class with Swords

    Even a Saint Henry Medal outranked any of Saxony's other Orders.

    4) Hindenburg Cross for WW1 Combatants
    5) Wehrmacht 4 Years Service Medal (eagle device has fallen off leaving the hole behind)

    6) Italian Bravery Medal! :Cat-Scratch: The star device probably shows which class it was-- bronze? AND makes the very sharp point that a ribbon easily confusable with the one in this case right next to it, used for most German long service awards, was actually in the top tier of Italy's valor decorations.

    These medals are being processed with excruciatingly glacial bureaucracy to this very day for WW2-- THAT is how highly they are rated. No other former Axis country is still making belated awards in the 21st century! :speechless1:

    7) Too blurred to tell. This might be an out of place Austrian WW1 Commemorative Medal, or ???

    8) The Italian North African Campaign medal. This one is "upside down" to the way Germans normally wore it, with stripes from left to (hanging of into space off the backing at the end) GREEN-white-red-white-BLACK.

    Germans normally wore their national colors in the heraldically superior position to the left as viewed.


    Courtesy of Ulsterman.


    From the album:

    Ribbon Bar Photos in Wear

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