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FAR 32

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  1. He is wearing an imperial crown badge on his sleeve. Does that mean he was a member of the Freikorps Heydebreck when this photo was taken, or was this crown also the sleeve-badge of the volunteer automobile corps before the end of WW1?
  2. Hello Christian, The Liquidierendes Kriegsministerium was an entity created from the remnants of the old Imperial War Ministry following the collapse of the Monarchy. It was never officially known as the "K.u.K" Liquidierendes Kriegsministerium. The Order of Precedence you posted is well known to Austrian phaleristicians and collectors, however, it has never been regarded as a "K.u.K" decree because at that point, there no longer existed an empire, a monarchy, an emperor, or the imperial armed forces. This Rangordnung was issued when the Liquidierendes Kriegsministerium was a component of the Staatsamtes für Heereswesen during the Demokratische Republik Deutschösterreich (1918-1919). It was the first attempt to "clean-up" the decrees of 1916 and 1917 issued by Kaiser Karl and was primarily intended for the Deutschösterreichische Volkswehr. The "Rangordnung der Auszeichnungen" of 1917 that I posted above represents the one and only final imperial decree approved and issued by Kaiser Karl himself through the Imperial War Ministry.
  3. Hello, Based on the final Rangordnung der Auszeichnungen from the year 1917 as found in the Österreichisches Ordenshandbuch, 4. Band, 2. Auflage, the order of precedence is listed below. Note where the War Service Medal (Kriegsmedaille) is on the list... Number 43. It would come right after the Signum Laudis on the Mosaner grouping. Also, the War Commemorative Medal and the Tirol Medal would have been classified as lower-level "Erinnerungsmedaillen/Denkmünzen" so it would be most appropriate to put them in the vicinity of Number 68, 69 and 70. The Wound Medal is waaaay down there, right after where the commemorative medals would be. Rangordnung der Auszeichnungen 1. Orden vom Goldenen Vlies 2. Großkreuz des Militär-Maria-Theresien-Orden 3. Großkreuz des Sankt Stephans-Ordens 4. Militärverdienstkreuz I. Klasse 5. Großkreuz des Leopold-Ordens 6. Orden der Eisernen Krone I. Klasse 7. Großkreuz des Franz-Joseph-Ordens 8. Kommandeurkreuz des Militär-Maria-Theresien-Ordens 9. Kommandeurkreuz des Sankt Stephans-Ordens 10. Militärverdienstkreuz II. Klasse 11. Kommandeurkreuz des Leopold-Ordens 12. Orden der Eisernen Krone II. Klasse 13. Kommandeurkreuz des Franz-Joseph-Ordens 14. Ritterkreuz des Militär-Maria-Theresien-Ordens 15. Ritterkreuz des Sankt Stephans-Ordens 16. Ritterkreuz des Leopold-Ordens 17. Stern des Ehrenzeichens für Verdienste um das Rote Kreuz 18. Offizierskreuz des Franz-Joseph-Ordens 19. Orden der Eisernen Krone III. Klasse 20. Ritterkreuz des Franz-Joseph-Ordens 21. Militärverdienstkreuz III. Klasse 22. Ehrenzeichen für Verdienste um das Rote Kreuz I. Klasse 23. Geistliches Verdienstkreuz I. Klasse 24. Insigne der Elisabeth-Theresien-Stiftung 25. Erinnerungszeichen an Feldmarschall Erzherzog Albrecht 26. Ehrenzeichen für Kunst und Wissenschaft 27. Geistliches Verdienstkreuz II. Klasse 28. Große Militär-Verdienstmedaille 29. Silberne Militär-Verdienstmedaille 30. Bronzene Militär-Verdienstmedaille 31. Goldene Tapferkeitsmedaille 32. Goldenes Verdienstkreuz mit der Krone 33. Kriegskreuz für Zivilverdienste I. Klasse 34. Offiziersehrenzeichen für Verdienste um das Rote Kreuz 35. Goldenes Verdienstkreuz 36. Silberne Tapferkeitsmedaille I. Klasse 37. Silberne Tapferkeitsmedaille II. Klasse 38. Bronzene Tapferkeitsmedaille 39. Silbernes Verdienstkreuz mit der Krone 40. Silbernes Verdienstkreuz 41. Eisernes Verdienstkreuz mit der Krone 42. Eisernes Verdienstkreuz 43. Kriegsmedaille 44. Kriegskreuz für Zivilverdienste II. Klasse 45. Erinnerungsmedaille 1864 46. Denkmünze an die Tiroler Landesverteidigung 1848 47. Denkmünze an die Tiroler Landesverteidigung 1866 48. Karl-Truppenkreuz 49. Kriegskreuz für Zivilverdienste III. Klasse 50. Militärdienstzeichen I. Klasse für Offiziere 51. Ehrenmedaille für 40-jährige Dienste 52. Militärdienstzeichen II. Klasse für Offiziere 53. Militärdienstzeichen III. Klasse für Offiziere 54. Ehrenzeichen für Verdienste um das Rote Kreuz II. Klasse 55. Militärdienstzeichen I. Klasse für Mannschaften 56. Militärdienstzeichen II. Klasse für Mannschaften 57. Militärdienstzeichen III. Klasse für Mannschaften 58. Landsturmmedaille 1908 59. Kriegskreuz für Zivilverdienste IV. Klasse 60. Silberne Ehrenmedaille für Verdienste um das Rote Kreuz 61. Jubiläums-Hof-Medaille 62. Jubiläums-Erinnerungsmedaille für die bewaffnete Macht 63. Jubiläums-Erinnerungsmedaille für Zivilstaatsbedienstete 64. Jubiläumskreuz 1908 65. Militär-Jubiläumskreuz 66. Jubliäumskreuz für Zivilstaatsbedienstete 67. Gedenkzeichen an Kaiser und König Franz Joseph I. 68. Bosnisch-Hercegovinische Erinnerungsmedaille 69. Erinnerungskreuz 1912/13 70. Seereise-Denkmünze 1892/93 71. Verwundetenmedaille 72. Bronzene Ehrenmedaille für Verdienste um das Rote Kreuz 73. Feuerwehr- und Rettungsmedaille 74. Ehrenritterkreuz des Souveränen Malteserordens 75. Ehrenritterkreuz des Deutschen Ritterordens 76. Erinnerungszeichen für die Ritter vom Goldenen Sporn 77. Marianer-Halskreuz des Deutschen Ritterordens 78. Donatritterkreuz des Souveränen Malteserordens 79. Marianerkreuz des Deutschen Ritterordens 80. Insigne des in Tirol immatrikulierten Adels
  4. @laurentius & @Nicolas7507 Hello Laurentius and Nicolas, You guys are brilliant! You found photos of AUTHENTIC Iron Crown Orden ribbon-bar devices on the internet. That's very impressive because these devices are very obscure and very seldom encountered. I was inspired by something you wrote, Laurentius. You mentioned that Rick Researcher would have been excited to see a thread like this. So I performed some internet research instead of simply listening to a person at Dorotheum who obviously did not entirely know what he was talking about. Many years ago, I discovered that HUNGARIAN phaleristic scholars researched and documented K&K orders, decorations and military history much more extensively than the Austrians. It is chiefly because the Hungarians regard the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary (1867-1918) as a "Golden Age" in their history. So I accessed the online research-articles of Hungarian phaleristician Gregory Paul Sallay, which are written in Hungarian, (but thank goodness for Google-Translator!) His research articles provide the answers to all the questions we have been discussing. After the newly crowned Emperor Karl IV ascended the throne, enormously significant changes to the system of imperial orders and decorations were implemented by his decrees of December 13th, 1916. One of the most significant changes was the awarding of SWORDS-ON-THE-RIBBON for Austria-Hungary's wartime orders and decorations. Collectors of German orders and decorations are accustomed to seeing crossed swords on a ribbon bar to indicate combatant service or, at least, service in a combat zone. This is NOT the case with Austrian-Hungarian awards. From 1917 onward, the newly instituted Swords-On-The-Ribbon became a very big deal! For those of you familiar with Oldenburg awards, it is akin to the ribbon-clasp "Vor dem Feinde". Now for Swords-On-The-Ribbon for the Iron Crown Order. According to Sallay's research, in order to become awarded Swords-On-The-Ribbon for the Order of the Iron Crown, Kaiser Karl wanted a commanding officer on any level to lead his [Austro-Hungarian] troops with "Bravery, heroic distinction and outstanding combat leadership resulting in significant strategic and/or tactical gains on the battlefield BEFORE THE ENEMY" (vor dem Feinde.) This would clearly explain why German officers did NOT receive Swords-On-The-Ribbon when awarded the iron Crown Order 3rd Class. They were not commanders of Austro-Hungarian troops (i.e. platoons, companies, battalions, regiments, etc.) The green-enameled wreath-device is obviously a way to indicate combatant status for German officers awarded the Iron Crown Order 3rd Class but who were not awarded swords-on-the-ribbon.
  5. @Komtur Hello Komtur, Very nice and very clean Austrian grouping. The ribbon bar accurately bears the crossed swords of an Iron Crown Order 3rd class with War Decoration. Was the owner a medical doctor or did he simply have a doctorate in something else? I see you're from Prussia and I know how much you Prussian guys appreciate order and precision. If you desire to display the awards in the correct [I believe you say] "Rangordnung" then you should move a few awards around. For Germans, it was logical to group all war-related awards first, but not for Austrians. The first two awards and the Bulgarian medal are in correct positions; the other 7 are not. The Austrian War Service Medal actually has priority over the Karl Troop Cross and the Wound Medal. The 1918 War Commemorative and Defense of the Tirol are theoretically grouped in an "Erinnerungsmedaille/Denkmünze" category and belong behind the Jubilee medals but in front of the Wound Medal. Plus, the order of the two Jubilee medals should be switched around. @laurentius Hello Laurentius, I would like to show you your wreath-device next to a Red Cross Honor Badge 2nd Class so you know I was not just "whistling Dixie" when I said it had nothing to do with the Iron Crown Order. (I actually like Dixie and I would not mind whistling it, but I can't whistle.) It is a real shame that somebody snipped-off the two ends of your wreath because it a rare "Luxury" version of the otherwise plain green-enameled laurel wreath for the Austrian Red Cross Honor Badge's ribbon bar ribbon. Cheers
  6. @laurentius Hello Laurentius and Daniel, Before I comment on your observations, I must state categorically that I do NOT believe that the ribbon on Nicholas' bar is the Iron Crown. It was member Spolei who speculated that it might be the Iron Crown, and I can understand his reasoning behind it. The ribbon is placed BEFORE the Austrian war ribbon, so it is logical to think that maybe it is an Iron Crown Order ribbon. But the stripes all ALL WRONG. The blue is too dark and it does not extend to the edges. (There is still a little margin of yellow on the edges.) On top of that, why is a Swedish order placed in front of Austrian awards on a ribbon bar made in 1940 or later! The Swedes were a neutral power... Austria was a part of the German Empire at that point, so the Austrian awards are treated as if they are German awards. If this was a correctly assembled ribbon bar from 1940 or later, the Austrian wartime awards would be positioned BEFORE the Hindenburg Cross. I regret to inform you, Laurentius, that the example of the wreath-device on the ribbon bar you posted is NOT a genuine device for an Iron Crown Order. Note that one side of the wreath is a laurel-stalk and the other side is an oak tree branch. The Iron Crown Order used only laurel. Somebody sloppily cut-off the ends of these two stalks in a poor attempt to make it look like the war-wreath of a Iron Crown 2nd Class Knight. Any experienced Austrian collector will known immediately what this wreath really is: the Kleindekoration of the Honor Cross of the Austrian Red Cross! Both of you probably looked all over the internet searching for an example of a ribbon bar with a CORRECT green wreath on the Iron Crown Order ribbon representing a wartime-awarded 3rd Class Knight, but you will only find improvised examples, such as the wreath of the Wuertt. MVO or the Wuertt. GVM. Both of you keep talking about a simple green wreath (it actually a half-wreath with an open top) representing the 3rd Class of the Iron Crown Order. This is actually the SIMPLIFIED version of the 2nd Class Kleindekoration! A real ribbon bar from 1940 (or later) is shown below. @Nicholas: I am afraid I don't like your bar in post No. 1. It does not look right to me. On the other hand, your Saxon bar above looks very nice and very correct.
  7. An Iron Crown device surrounded by a green enameled laurel wreath on a ribbon bar represents an Iron Crown Knight's Cross 2nd Class. Hardly any German officers received this award. An Iron Crown Knight's Cross 3rd Class is the award almost all German officers received for valor on the battlefield. It is represented by a crossed swords device on the ribbon. In a little bit I will comment about the inaccuracy of the statement about the Golden Merit Cross with Crown. Mr. Ludwigstorff of Dorotheum in Viena is an expert on Austrian orders and it was he who explained to me the devices used on Austrian ribbons. In the meantime... I would like to know what your concept is of how the Austrian Goldenes Verdienstkreuz mit der Krone am Tapferkeits-Band mit Schwertern am Band should be represented on a ribbon bar? I think you are confusing the GOLDEN Merit Cross with Crown with the SILVER Merit Cross with Crown and that is a common mistake that some people make.
  8. Hello, I would like to correct the above observation regarding the Austrian war ribbon, or Bravery Medal Ribbon as it is better known among Austrians. There is much confusion about Austrian devices for this ribbon, but a staff member at Dorotheum clarified things for me. It is true that both NCO/EM's and officers wore this ribbon, but only officers' ribbons had crossed-swords devices. Such crossed-swords devices on a ribbon bar could represent the Military Merit Cross with War Decoration 3rd Class or the Signum Laudis or the Franz Josef Order Knights Cross. (Sometimes a golden wreath device was used to represent the Military Merit Cross 3rd Class with War Decoration when available, but these wreaths were not always available, so swords were used instead.) A device with both a gold crown and gold crossed-swords represents the Gold Merit Cross with Crown with a crossed-swords-device on the Bravery Medal Ribbon (Goldenes Verdienstkreuz mit der Krone am Tapferkeits-Band mit Schwertern am Band.) The presence of this device alone on the Austrian ribbon tells me that the bar's owner was an officer. That means the silver devices on the Bavarian ribbons represent the MVO4X with and without crown, respectively.
  9. Wow... a wizard. I've never really met a wizard before. Here's a little insight on why I recently joined this forum. For many years, I've used Google to look for answers to questions I've had about various items in my collection. Almost every time, links to threads in this forum appeared at the top of my search-results. The threads not only provided answers, they provided an explanation about the methodology and reference material utilized in arriving at those answers, particularly when other members expressed an interest in learning. One member's name stands out in my mind as somebody who not only came-up with the answers to difficult questions, but also made it a point to explain the process by which he arrived at those answers... Rick Researcher. His posts are highly educational for those desiring to learn and become self-reliant doing their own research. Back to the subject of this thread. We have a member who posted his medal bar and gave an impressive "good-old college try" to come-up with a name, even purchasing a book in the process. Some people here are content being spoon-fed quick answers... in this case, the name of the bar's owner. But it seems that Mr. Beery - admirably - also wants to learn about the process by which the name was discovered, presumably to help him understand how to approach similar research in the future. So, what kind of useful answer is he given? "We are wizards." Frankly, I don't recall this fellow Rick ever giving a self-adulatory response like "We are wizards" when somebody expressed a desire to learn. Oh well... you know what they say: A good magician never reveals his secrets.
  10. @1812 Overture Hello 1812-O, Are those really asian guys dressed-up as imperial German and Austrian officers in Beijing? Wow... that's not something you see everyday. On the other hand, if Genghis Khan and his hoard had penetrated into the Rhineland during the 13th century... and stayed... that's probably what modern-day Germans would look like. Sauerkraut and sausage with chop-sticks? It would definitely be different.
  11. @Utgardloki The excerpt from the book is extremely interesting. No wonder I could not find any mention of a special class of the Grand Cross in the literature... it was actually the King's Grand Cross itself that had special, distinguishing features. As I mentioned above, a special note of gratitude should be extended to member Haku for providing the answer to this question and solving the mystery.
  12. Aha !! The special Grand Master's Cross !! Now I see it !! It was not a special class... it was a special cross !! I must be going blind in my old age not to have noticed it before. The 8 tips of the cross' arms have small ball finials. The standard St.Henry Grand Cross does NOT have ball finials. I have posted a photo of a standard Grand Cross below. Thank you for solving the mystery, Haku.
  13. If there is any documentation that a Sonderstufe of the Grand Cross of the Order of St. Henry existed, then it would be a stunning revelation, indeed. What would be most interesting to know is how this special class was represented on the King's badge(s). Was it represented in some way on the breast star like the Sonderstufe of the Grand Cross of the Albrecht-Order, or was it represented simply by wearing the Grand Cross around the neck? I just re-read the 12-page Statutes of the Order updated with changes that the King authorized in 1915 and there are only 4 crosses mentioned: Grand Cross, Commander's Cross 1st Class, Commander's Cross 2nd Class, Knights Cross. I am unaware of any other updates to the Statutes during the war. @jaba1914 Do you know where the King's Grand Cross is? Is it still in the family's hands?
  14. Hello, I am not aware of a Sonderstufe of the St. Henry Order. I checked the State Handbook as well as other sources and Friedrich August III is listed as having a Grand Cross of the Order of St. Henry and being its Grand Master. However, the Sonderstufe of the Saxon Albrecht-Order Grand Cross is a well known variant. It was represented by a fire-gilded breast star to the Grand Cross. (The rays of the regular Grand Cross breast star were silver.) The Saxon King had an even more special Sonderstufe of the Albrecht-Order. The breast star to his Grand Cross was not only fire-gilded, it also had a silver crown over the medallion. Are you sure you're not confusing the Grand Cross of the St. Henry Order with the Sonderstufe of the Grand Cross of the Albrecht-Order?
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