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    ..... or, "How a 35 Year Old gets 25 Years Long Service Credit".

    There will be a series of 4 scans....... I invite Herr Research to post them and then explain this to us all.

    WARNING! Don't try this at home!

    (The Producers, hereinafter referred to as "The Producers", of this program hereby absolve themselves of any and all liability regarding the absorbtion of this material into any and all brains of any/all said Readers, hereinafter referred to as "The Readers" of the herein specified material. The Producers both separately and jointly deny any prior knowledge that absorbtion of said material may inadvertently cause the (heretofore specified said Readers of said information's) brains to explode, implode, splatter across desks, work stations and/or monitors. Furthermore, The Readers herein absolve said Producers of any and all liability, both separately and jointly, from now to infinity, regarding the absorbtion of said specified material)


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    Guest Rick Research

    What? What?

    Just because you need a TARDIS to understand








    There were only THREE kinds of Imperial Time:

    1) Calendar Time

    2) Double War Time

    3) Double Overseas Time

    Oh. Right. Then THOSE are sub-divided, because it was different for REGULARS and members of the RESERVES!

    1) Calendar time is our plain old every day by day time. As long as it was peacetime and everybody was within the borders of the Reich, One Day was...

    One Day.

    Easy as pie.

    2) Double War Time. BEFORE repeat BEFORE World War One, any year during which a war took place was counted double towards long service awards and pension time for:

    a) REGULAR career military personnel

    b) RESERVE/LANDWEHR or draftees AFTER taking part in a pre-1914 "war" or colonial campaign IMMEDIATELY qualified (if they did not already hold it) for the Reserve-Landwehr Decoration SECOND class. Regular personnel were NOT eligible for this "LD2." Reservists who already held an LD2 got nothing additional. And regardless of war double time, for awards of the Reserve-Landwehr Crosses (XX years) ONLY calendar time counted. Inconsistent between the LD2 and LD1 but never changed as an ongoing rule.

    c) for WW1, regular personnel, and those such as War Volunteers who became--no matter how briefly, "career" personnel of the Provisional Reichswehr 1919-20, 1914-1918 counted as double war years (= 10 years) just as regulations from before the World War BUT

    d) because under the pre-war regulations, every single draftee and reservist would have immediately qualified for an LD2 upon discharge--in their MILLIONS-- NO LD2s were bestowed for WW1!!!! Awards for LD2s therefore ceased being counted in 1914, though the "purely calendar" years DID still count, one at a time, for 1919-20 LD1s. SO

    e) Regular officers who did not have "XXV" years including double WW1 time got-- NO long service award. Regular NCOs received IX, XII, or XV years long service awards of the M1913 pattern depending on which of these three milestones they passed with their double counted war years. NCOs also became eligible for the XXV after the war, since bestowals ceased (in Prussia, but not in Bavaria) during the war. Thus, a 1914 War Volunteer who became an enrolled member of the Provisonal Reichswehr in 1919 and then was demobilized in the massed discharge of 1920 got an XII (10 for 1914-18, plus 1 for 1919 and 1 for 1920). A 1914 career enlistee who signed long term enlistment papers ALSO got an XII if discharged in 1920, but only an IX if discharged in 1919 (with 10 + 1 years credit). Anyone drafted in 1914, many of whom were still serving in 1919-20 got.... NOTHING.

    3) Double Overseas Time This applied before the war, mainly to naval personnel who sailed beyond German home waters, but also to colonial forces of the Schutztruppen, stationed in Germany's colonies. There was no "double double" time for such service during WW1, so no double dipping "war time" on top of "overseas time." There were no draftees for the pre-war Schutztruppen, but there were short service naval personnel (4 years) who obviously got the same "credit" for overseas cruising BUT never accumulated enough time within that shorter enlistment to have ever qualified for an IX. But a naval short-termer who happened to take part in a "war" (China 1900-01, Southwest Africa 1904-5, East Africa 1905-07 and so on) upon going home and being discharged...

    got an LD2 (see 2b avove!)

    So... some people could serve 5 years (1914-19) and get nothing. Some people could serve 24 years and get nothing. Some people could serve 2 years (army draftees) or 4 years (navy draftees) in the 19th century (mostly) and get Instant LD2s.

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    Guest Rick Research

    Avert your eyes if you do NOT want to see how a 35 year old had XXV Years service time!!!!

    Johannes Baumgart, born 27 August 1885, enlisted in the navy for an initial short term of 4 years on 1 October 1903. He then became a "Kapitulant" and enlisted for long term service as a career Petty Officer.

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    Guest Rick Research

    Promotions-- note that as per Weimar Republic rewards for declass? NCOs, anyone with "18" years of pension time in was discharged as a Leutnant-- as here.

    Baumgart was discharged 29 February 1920. Having served since 1 October 1903, that was 16 years and 5 full months of "Calendar Time."

    With me so far?

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    Guest Rick Research

    "XXV" because

    Note the doubled pension and long service award times noted here on his assignments pages--

    for two pre-war cruises beyond German home waters adding "double" 4 years, 2 months, and 1 week "overseas time"

    and that "double 5" for 1914-18 that turned FIVE calendar years into TEN long service years,


    so 16 years 5 months real time PLUS 5 war years PLUS 4 years 2 months overseas time = "25 years 7 months" in Baumgart's case.

    Meanwhile, an army career NCO or an army officer, having only domestic service in peacetime and the "plus 5" for WW1, with the exact same Calendar Time as Baumgart, would have had ONLY an XV (for the army NCO) and NOTHING for the army officer.

    Because under TARDIS,

    where the time was spent was as important as how long.

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    Guest Rick Research

    And oh yes-- for anyone who qualified for BOTH regular long service awards and a Reserve-Landwehr one (a former career NCO who stayed on long years of "active" reserve duty, say, or a career military official who was a dR/dL officer for the status but had accumulated "XXV" by 1920)

    could wear both together.

    Different kinds of "time." ninja.gif

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    Thanks Rick! wow! that information explained a huge mystery! thankyou for taking the time to get this all down here for us to read and enjoy.

    My Grandad was awarde an 18Yr long service and good conduct medal haere in NZ for the ( Now defunct) Airforce. He called it 18years of undetected crime! lol

    Thankyou again Rick!

    Marvellous stuff!



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    Thanks for this introductory course in Imperial math.

    Perhaps the addition of dates related to various medals & addenda to them encountered on bars would also be useful to the forum members as a quick reference. Not all but those which assist you in determining the historical context of the original owners.

    May I also suggest that this thread deserves promotion to "pinned" status!


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    Not exactly an overwhelming response to either of my proposals...

    I can't pin but I will take a stab at the gongs that are useful for establishing timeframes for various bars. I hope I'm not the only one who may find this of utility! Please correct any errors noted!

    Imperial German ?Dating? Awards

    Kriegsdenkm?nze 1870/71 established 20 May 1871

    Kaiser Wilhelm-Erinnerungsmedaille (Zentenarmedaille) established 22 March 1897 for active duty personnel including Schutztruppen as well as veterans of the wars in 1848, 1849, 1864, 1866 &1870/71.

    China-Denkenm?nze established 10 May 1901 for service durung the Boxer Rebellion from 30 May 1900 to 29 June 1901.

    S?dwestafrika-Denkenm?nze established 19 March 1907 for service in Southwest Africa from1904 to 1908.

    Ehrenkreuz des Weltkrieges established 3 June 1934.

    Edited by W McSwiggan
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    Guest Rick Research

    China: This "XV" was probably a naval petty officer with double time for the Boxer Rebellion and the average amount of home waters sailings. Before 1913 enlisted long services came in IX, XV, and XXI years grades as ugly brooches. After 1913 when the IX and XII medals and this XV cross were created, recipients could purchase the new model at their own expense. This fellow did NOT serve continuously through WW1, or he would have accumulated an XXV, so he was called back up for the Great War as der Seewehr, probably.

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    Guest Rick Research

    Southwest Africa:

    Obviously a BAVARIAN... so what's he doing with the PRUSSIAN XV?



    Schutztruppen were IMPERIAL troops, and Imperial troops (colonial forces and the navy) recieved the Prussian long service awards. Until they reached a higher class long service award-- if there was one-- a Bavarian with a "Reichs" long service award wore THAT-- he did NOT exchange it for his own national type.

    This particular fellow managed to miss the 1905 Bavarian Army Jubilee Medal by being in Southwest Africa, and was apparently already out of military seviceand into Reichs civil service (the maker's tag is from Berlin) so he never got the 1911 version, either. Although a Feldwebelleutnant in the Bavarian army again during the Great War, as a recalled ex-career NCO he-- unlike Claudio's mysterioys Saxon-- see Ramsauer thread


    -- did NOT get a higher class military long service award.

    The gold finished Prussian XV-- it was supposed to be copper finished-- was apparently popular with warrant officers like this man, who wanted their XV to look like the XXV cross.

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    Guest Rick Research


    This career Petty Officer served in the European bank-default blockade of Venezuela 1902-03. He had accumulated XV years of service for a long service award before the war, which with doubled war time, being in continuous career service, qualified him for the XXV on discharge in 1919/20.


    He should NOT be wearing TWO Imperial long service awards. This is what I call an "October 1936" bar-- the regulations for the NEW Wehrmacht long service awards, with TWO being worn for 12, 18, and 25 years of service was quite often MISAPPLIED, as here, to two OLD "Wehrmacht" awards.

    This Leutnant der Marine aD should only have worn his XXV, which superceded his XV. A very common mistake-- and bar padder.

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    Guest Rick Research

    THESE are what were AUTHORIZED for wear together. Kriegsgerichtsrat Arthur Horchler, chief judge afvocate of the 28th Infantry Division, earned this 1909 "LD1" XX Years Reserve-Landwehr Cross as a nominal reserve officer (Hauptmann dR) in Feldartillerie Regiment 31.


    He NEVER served with the regiment during the war. Beamten often used dR and dL "officer" status not only to wear an officer's sword and sword knot, but for the perception of enhanced social and career prestige.

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    Guest Rick Research

    So, having put in XX years in 1909, Horchler should have gotten his XXV in +5 years = 1914, right?

    Wrong! laugh.gif

    Remembef TARDIS !!!

    He had been a One Year Volunteer and then a reserve officer BEFORE he entered the military legal profession, after normal experience in civil service legal positions. The "clock" ran on different years for the two "simultaneous" careers.

    Also, Beamten were, like NCOs, not authorized for what had been the "officers only" XXV Years Service Cross until the month WW1 began-- and all Prussian/Reichs long service awards were (weirdly, but ...) suspended for the duration.

    So Horchler's XXV for years--incuding double war time-- came along in



    and, with the system of the Senior Ranking member of each division's branch processing awards for that branch, here we see the extremely bizarre spectacle of Horchler, as senior Military Law official of the 28th Infantry Division...

    awarding his XXV Years Service Cross


    to himself! ohmy.gif

    Qualified for XXV as a career military official with that length of pension time, and qualified for the Reserve-Landwehr award for parallel service, he WAS authorized to wear BOTH of these together.

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    Guest Rick Research

    Tjis bar belonged to charakterisiert Korvettenkapit?n der Seewehr a.D. Paul Wiehr (b. 1868), Commodore of the Hamburg-America Line in the 1920s.


    Entering the Imperial navy as a One Year Volunteer in 1892, he earned the XX Years cross as one of the very few Merchant Marine officers allowed into the Imperial Navy. Since he was not a regular officer, he was not eligible for an XXV.

    This bar belonged to a naval technical officer. While the combination was shared by about a dozen officers, mostly naval engineers, the awards DO tell a story.


    The combination of the 1897 Centenary Medal (for seniority of 1896 or earlier) with the Prussian Crown Order 4th Class (given to lieutnenans) and the XXV of a career officer tell us that this man was one of those long hard years in the ranks engineering, ordnance, and the like former enlisted personnel. A line officer with an XXV would have qualified--by rank-- for a Red Eagle Order 4th Class. Technical officers were too junior for that after the same length of service.

    And this bar belonged to either a long serving NCO or an officer. There is absolutely no way to tell which, since the WW1 combat awards were common to all ranks.


    This man was probably not a native Hessian, since the General Decoration Medal "for Bravery" is the late-war silvered alloy version, and a native would have earned one before the end of the war. The absence of an 1897 medal here tells us that this man joined no earlier than that calendar year (or he would have had one), so this is XXV only by the double wartime years. Like the career Petty Officer whose documents started this thread, he might even have had many fewer than XXV "real" years.

    All that mattered was TARDIS.

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    Guest Rick Research

    Johann Jacobs drove a beer delivery wagon. He was married, with 4 children, and 32 years old in 1914-- hardly the classic 19 year old "War Volunteer" of legend.

    And yet he was. He made it to Unteroffizier during the war, and then found his skills as a machine-gunner in demand in the rough days of 1919. His former company commander had found a new career in the Police, and urged Jacobs to join up too-- but 37 year old Corporals were not what the SiPo was looking for, so he opted to sign on with the Provisional Reichsheer instead. Promotions to Sergeant and Vizefeldwebel swiftly followed, and his volunteer status was RETROACTIVELY made into that of a regular career NCO.

    In 1920 38 year old Vizefeldwebel Jacobs thus had XII years service for his 6 calendar years 1914-20.


    Discharged in the mass demobilization of the spring of 1920, his one year of regular service had been ballooned into 12 years of military pension time!!! animal (This was a late-processed award from 1921, and he was only notified by this "Copy" in... 1922!)

    In 1939, Jacobs was 57. This time when he volunteered, it was in the Sicherheits-und-Hilfsdienst (SHD), which became the Luftschutzpolizei in 1942. Although he had never served anywhere in WW1 except France, the Hungarian WW1 Commemorative Medal (available simply on application) padded out his ribbons-- in 1942. And since he had an XII, why NOT wear TWO ribbons, as if they were Wehrmacht 12 and 4? Just because it was contrary to regulations was no reason for a guy turning 60 not to look sharp!


    Never promoted above the grade he had held in 1920 during his 1939-45 SHD/LSP service, in Year Zero he embarked on a THIRD career as an ordinary Bremen fireman, finally (I hope!!!!) retiring in 1948!

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    • 1 year later...

    Absolutely mind-boggling, yet curiously fascinating. Okay, Rick, can you tell me what my great-grandfather would have qualified for with this career:

    Leutnant d.R. 19.9.1901 Inf. Rgt. von Wittich (3. Kurhessisches) Nr. 83

    Oberleutnant d.R. 18.10.1910

    Hauptmann d.L. 24.12.1914

    Served with Res. Inf. Rgt. 233 1914-18 and apparently retired as Hauptmann der Landwehr

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    Guest Rick Research

    Name? He'll be in the Rank Lists. Assuming the usual 5 years before initial commissioning as a reserve officer, certainly an LD2 before the war, and if survived the war, would have gotten an LD1 afterwards.

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