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  • 2 weeks later...

I have herd that the lowest grades of the Iron Crown was an award for being wonded (among other things) prior to the Kral Wound Medals - is there any truth to this???

Hallo hunyadi :beer:

Article III; of the Wound Medal riteria states: " In addition to those actually wounded or gassed the following members of the armed forces who had suffered permanent health impairment and had not, as a result had the oppertunity to earn a decoration for bravery were entitled to receive the (wound) medal.

(1) Individuals removed from thefrontline duty as a consequence of illness attributable to conditions of service.

(2) Individuals serving in the rear areas of a theatre of operations wounded through enemy action (e.g., bombing, artillery fire), or those who health had been seriously impaired as a consequence of injury or conditions service.

(3). Individuals not serving in the field army, wounded through enemy action or those whose health had been seriously impaired as a consequence of injury or other war-related circumstances.

* strange to say. a significant injury resulting from falling off ones wounded horse might qualify. However, exactly the same injury incurred as a consequence of the horse stumbling would not qualify one for the medal, the latter would be regarded as the result of poor horsemanship!! or careless use of personal weapons, wounded by friendly fire, or the explosions of one's own ammunition or ordanance.

It should also be noted that, as was commonly the case, wounds simultanesously incurred were regarded as a single wound. In addition the ribbons of wounds stemming solely from illness were not embelished by stripes.

Article IV: Individuals not in the Armed Forces were also to be awarded the medal under any of the conditions specified under Article III.

The Austro-Hungarian Armies were unique in the fact that a wound stripe was worn on the service caps. The latter was in field grey tunic material adopted in 1915, with a short black compostion peak, itself frequently covered with grey cloth or paint.(7) Ear flaps could be buttoned under the chin, or when not in use, fastened together at the front of the cap with the two buttons in the regimental pattern.

Centered above the peak and the flaps was a large badge of metal or papier-mache bearing the Imperial cipher.

An identifying patch was worn on the left-side, except in the instance of the Kaiserjager and Kaiserschutzen units (Imperial Light Infantry and Rifle Regiments) which wore the patch on the right and a black cock feather on the left (Lucas,1973).

The Hapsburg Armies traditionaly decorated their caps, usually with oak or fir sprigs, on ceremonial occassions and while on active service. Consequently, it is not surprising that wound insignia were also worn in that fashion (Figure46).

These normaly took the form of narrow 50mm long cloth stroprs in red or green worn vertically on the left side of the cap. Each denoted one occasion on which the recipient had been wounded (Lucas,1973).

Lucas (1989, personal communication) has also noted that thin stripes of gold lace might also be worn, and that photographs of these are to be found in the Heersgeschichtliches Museum.

(7) Oficers initially wore a high crowned shako in black or grey with gold loops centered in the front with a 4mm diameter embroided Imperial Cipher on a rosette.

Needless to say, these were quickly discarded for those of enlisted personnel as providing a too obvious and tempting target for the alert sniper.

We have not been able to determine whether such a Wound Stripe were worn on the grey tasselled fezes of the Bosnian regiments. However, with the adoption of the wound medal in 1917 these insignia were apparently discarded.

The Austro-Hungarian army was also note-worthy for a wide range of unofficial, but permitted insignias (Lucas,1973). These were often purchased in aid of various charities, and were pinned to the service cap. (Lucas,1989, Personal communication)

Among the great variety of the unofficial badges worn by the Imperial forces during the Great War are several of Interest in the present context. Lucas (1973, p. 69), for example, pictures several of these, among them a wounded soldier, and Angel protecting a wounded serviceman and his family, a red cross bearing the dates "1914", "1915", "1916" and others.

It is presumed that these might have been worn by wounded soldiers, invalided veterans, next-of-kin and so on.

All the above information was found in "Wound Medals, Insignia And Next-Of-Kin Awards Of The Great War." by Arthur H. Houston and Vicken Koundakjian. Printed by the OMSA 1995.

There it also lists the official award criteria for the Austrian Wound Medal, and if of interest (and if allowed by the Administration) I can post it here too.

Kevin in Deva :beer:

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  • 7 months later...

Hallo Gents, :beer:

Most of the Austrian Wound Medals medals being offered for sale today have considerable "zink bloom" however care has to be taken that the ribbons are not new fabrication especially the "RARE" non combatant / illness ribbon less the red edged in black stripes.

A number of these types have been showing up on Ebay USA lately, offered out of Austria,

Kevin in Deva. :cheers:

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