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    Book about German Imperial decorations

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    Hello folks,

    I recently decided to focus my militaria collection exclusively on Imperial German stuff (mostly medals), with a few exceptions to careers that went through Weimar and TR (in case of medal bars or documents' groups).

    Thus, my first step is to find a decent, still in print, reference book to know more about the "world of decoration" of this Age. I know a lot of decorations already but, as this field is much wider (and funnier) than the TR decorations, I'm afraid to miss something or misunderstand something.

    Must say that I'm not looking for a book about values only but, mostly, with informations about number of medals awarded, grades, makers and so on... So any tip is welcome.

    Thanks in advance,


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    There really is no reference book available that can spell out all Imperial German Awards. Your best bet is to check out the following...

    Neal O'Connor's books - like the ones recently sold here... http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=15655

    Dave Danner's site... http://home.att.net/~david.danner/militaria/states.htm

    ...and this forum. The group knowledge here is the best in the world. I've learned so much here and still don't know anything compared to these guys.


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    Douglas, welcome to the forums and Imperial collecting. As Brian said there is not an one single source. Dave's website and the knowledge of forum members is your best source.

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    Thanks for the tip and the welcome. I had seen the books on the sales forum and it's a shame that they are already sold. No problem, I will be watching for another oportunity.

    I am sure that this forum is a great source of information an I will start to read it carefully from now on. I already have some items - nothing really special - but just a couple of months ago I decided to focus only on Imperial medals and part with my TR collection.

    Thanks once more for the advices and the site.


    PS - I'm drooling over the Navy deck officer document group you are selling. Too bad I blew up my militaria budget for this month with a medal bar...

    Edited by Douglas Jr.
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    I would put the von Hessenthal & Schreiber on CD but I am not sure how well it would sell. Also there is the copyright issue. What would be really nice is a English translation of von Hessenthal & Schreiber.

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    Say what you want about Nimmergut, his big-volume set is still a superb reference, great images but more importantly (IMO) weights, dimensions and almost every known variation of Imperial Orders, decorations and medals in an easy to sort compilation. If you focus on only one state, you can purchase only one volume and save yourself substantial money 7 shipping charges. They are large and quite expensive.

    Niemann's book is also required reading if you have even a passing interest in German Reich (pre-1933) items, especially aviation badges.

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    Hi Paul,

    This is Nimmergut's link about the Handb?cher:


    and this is the contact address:

    Zentralstelle f?r wissenschaftliche Ordenskunde - ZwO

    J?rg Nimmergut ? Eversbuschstra?e 108 ? D-80999 M?nchen

    Telefon ++ 49 (0) 89 8 12 29 63 ? Fax ++ 49 (0) 89 8 13 15 41

    Email: joerg.nimmergut@t-online.de



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    Hi Douglas Jr.,

    I also extend a welcome to the wonderful world of Imperial German ODM. Aside from all of the excellent information offered above, I would like to add J?rg Nimmergut?s handbook which is commonly referred to as the ?OEK?. It is reasonably priced at around $40 and lists all Imperial German awards along with some illustrations. One word of caution - do not put 100% faith in the values which it lists. A valiant effort... but that?s another story.

    Again, welcome - :beer:

    Wild Card

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    I have modern books, and the modern books are expensive as you can read like the Hessenthal & Schreiber already for over 200 euro.

    I accidentaly came across old German collection books.

    Example: I saw on eBay a book from the sigaret producer: Waldorf Astoria, they had books and with every sigaret pack one got a card to put in the book, to stimulate the sale of their sigarets.

    The book tells stories about how Knight orders where created etc.

    it has al the German medals form the medieval ages up to 1926.

    The medals are divided in different groups such as, Knight orders, House orders, Verdienst medals, Kriegsmedals and for every German State.

    They show the name of the medals, states, when they where created etc.And a story for every type of medal(what's the use of verdienstmedals, kriegs medals, why where they created etc.).

    Very complete with pictures and all.

    So now I scout eBay for such books, they only cost about 20 euro+shipping ($26 + shipping).

    I figured out it is great to buy old books(not just about medals) from the 19th century up to the 1930's (the Waldorf one is 1970's), they are old so that's 1 advantage because they can be put in your collection with their age, the other one is that they contain a large deal of information with pictures and all.

    If I can, I'll show some pictures soon on how they look.

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    I'll do a post in the forums when it is ready. I am said to say that I am a little disappointed in the sales of some of my CD and I have hesitated to do anymore. But I figured I would give it one more shot with the H&S book. When I started my CD project I thought that due to the expense of acquiring ALL ranklists to properly research an imperial German army or navy officer, a CD that had all of the required ranklists (all $1000.) would sell well for $75. I for one prefer to do my one research have the information in front of me.

    In about 2 weeks the H&S CD should be done.

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    Hi Paul,

    Although I am pretty much in the camp of books over CD?s, I do feel that H&S on a CD has a real appeal, put me down for one. I am sorry to hear that the response to your previous efforts has not reached expectations; but if you take a step back, I think that you will be surprised at how limited the market is for these products.

    You have to take the small number of Imperial German collectors and, with regard to Rank Lists, distill that number further to those who collect groups because there is where the real need for a Rank List lies. Let?s face it, they do not have much appeal to a collector who is, for example, exclusively dedicated to Iron Crosses or the awards of Bavaria. Then you have to further consider how many of those still left from the above are aware of their availability. Along this line, if I may, I would like to suggest that you consider ads in the OMSA and, especially, BDOS journals.

    At any rae your efforts certainly have not and will not go unappreciated by those who know and use them. As I said before, put me in for an H&S disc when they become available.

    Thanks and best wishes,

    Wild Card :cheers:

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    Wild Card, Thank you for your words of support. You are correct in that their are few of us that really focus on groups. That was one of the reasons I wanted to do a CD on the Kriegsmarine. I may also venture into the SS. I am in the process of trying to place an ad in the BDOS magazine. Do you know who is in charge ads for the JOMSA?

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    Frankly, given the violation of ascribed copyright for H & S (especially if you are scanning a reprint) the OMSA will not run an ad that violates its ethics rules.

    As a lawyer, hear me well when I say this, you are entering deep waters here.

    H &s is still copyrighted to the original authors and copyright was claimed by others only 20 years ago.

    Ranklists were government publications and part and parcel of military material that was surrendered in May, 1945. Ranklists are public domain.

    Edited by Ulsterman
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