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The question is... the guy doing the books cover, did he have a real one to use in the design, or did he just take an edelweiss?

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That IS the qoestion,. I´m not sure about the crowned Edelweiss. I try to stay in contact with several austrian professionals. Hope to give good answers to you soon

Edited by The Prussian

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I may have mentioned this before, but in looking through some photos that a German friend took during a visit to the mountain troops museum near Sonthofen, I spied this Edelweiß in one of the displays. I asked the friend to take a better picture of the insignia specifically should he ever return to the museum. A year or so ago, he went back and got that picture for me. The picture quality is poor, as it was taken through the glass case, but I think you can make out the insignia and some of the text. You can see that it mentions the Infanterie Leib Regiment.

Chip

Edited by Chip

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Hello Chip!

Oh yes. That surprised me! Great photo! A new Edelweiß, what I have to look for...

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Chip,

That picture seems to tie the crowned edelweiss in with Bayer. Infanterie Leibregiment, tantalizingly possibly the piece of the caption which would confirm it has been cut off. The middle line reads, Crown - Symbol of the Inf. - there it ends. Regards

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I have another photo of the full card, but as of yet, I have not been able to locate it on my computer. I have way too many photos on my computer!

Chip

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Well Chip,

If you do find a picture of the full caption, please don't hesitate to post it on the thread.

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Good evening gentlemen.

I'm new to the forum and also want to add something to the this excellent topic. I've been following this thread for quite a while now and it's a nice discussion so far. But I want to add another point which bothers me for a long time and which counldn't answered satisfiable for me yet. I had some discussion with differend people, mainly here in Germany about that topic, but again the question isn't answered by now.

.

I'm speaking of Württembergians wearing the Edelweiß badge on their headgear. Technically only a few Württembergians were able to wear an Edelweiß "officialy" namely the members of the Württembergiesche Gebirgskanonen Batterie 6. These were the only Württermbergians which were part of the Alpenkorps during the campagin in Tirol 1915 (May-Oktober). Strictly speaking only these men were allowed to wear an Edelweiß on their hat, because the Edelweiß badge was only one time granted to the Alpenkorps members in May/June 1915.

But how does it come that one find a lot of photos showing mostly members of the WGB (Württermbergisches Gebirgs Bataillon) wearing an Edelweiß?

Personally I'm still looking for the answer. But I'll give you the thesis that I heared during my discusions and write down my opinion about them!

1) The Edelweiß badge was granted a second time to the troops.

There is no evidence for this thesis.

2) Members of the WSSK (Württembergische Schneeschuh Kompanie) were transferred to the Badische Schneeschuh Bataillon Nr. 2 before the campaing of Tirol.

I've never heared or read about this in the books and the files of the Alpenkorps. So for me it's highly unlikely that WSSK members were transferred to Prussian unit.

3) After the campaign of Tirol members of differend Alpenkorps units went voluntary to the newly forme WGB because the Württembergian War Ministry looked for volunteers. So these men brought their Edelweiß from the campaing with them into the WGB.

This sound more plausible then thesis 2! But if this realy happend as it's being claimed, I would know if it was that easy to leave your current unit just to form a new one. I also heared the argument that mostly those men came to the WGB that weren't popular in their units. But that sounds like the WGB was a bunch of rowdys mixed up with all the men the other units "didn't like". Secondly, was it that easy let's say to change from a Bavarian unit to a Württembergian unit?

That's all for the moment, I hope you don't mind my English. I wonder what's your opinion on this.

Have a nice evening

AK1915

Edited by Alpenkorps1915

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Hello AK1915!

First of all I want to welcome you here in this forum.

Well, you offered us three intresting thesis.

1) I don´t think so. If it happened, we surely had read anything about that

2 and 3) It was possible, that some units changed their "colours". By example the Geb.Bttr.1 became later in june 1915 the württ.Geb.Bttr.11

About the württ. troops, wearing an Edelweiss, I simply assume, they bought it themselves somewhere and put it at their headgear.

According to the württ. Geb.Bttr.N°6:

Set up 8.3.1915, mobile at 1.4.1915

The replacements came from the würt.2.Ers.Bttr. that was under command of the bavaraian Ers.Abt./Geb.Art.Abt.2 and 4.

The würt.Geb.Btr.6 later came (spring 1917) instead of the bav.Geb.Bttr.12 to the württ.Geb.Art.Abt.4.

So we have a order of battle for the württ.Geb.Art.4

set up september 1915:

württ.Geb.Bttr.11 (former 1.Geb.Bttr.)

bav.Geb.Bttr.12 (later changed with württ.Geb.Bttr.6)

württ.Geb.Bttr.13

preuss. Geb.Haub.Zug 1

We see, we have three württ. units, served in the württ.Geb.Abt.4. This Abt. belonged to the Alpenkorps from 2.10.17-25.10.17 and 14.1.18-21.1.18

This fact makes me thinking, that they wore their Edelweiss not officially.

What do you think?

Edited by The Prussian

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Good morning

thank you for your quick and interesting reply! And thanks for your nice welcome too ;)

If you assume that the Württembergians just "bought" them self an Edelweiß, was it still possible to wear it? I don't think so, because the big discussion about the Alpenkorps units wearing it in 1915 showed me that it wasn't so easy. I mean if the NCO's and the Officers would had allowd such thing, wouldn't every WGB member proudly buy an Edelweiß? Not even the Alpenkorps replacement troops were allowed to wear the Edelweiß because they didn't served in Tirol 1915. An order from 1916 frobid the replacement troops to wear the Edelweiß. Bavaria also began to register in the troop records (Stammrollen) who was a legitimate owner of an Edelweiß badge. In this case it seems hard to belive that the Württembergians just bought them self an Edelweiß.

Another thought of me was, that some men (Württ.) just wore the Edelweiß for the photoshot and took it of after the shot. But that makes also not much sense to me to be honest ;o)

You confused me a bit with the Wtt.Geb.Kan.Batt.6 =)

My thoughts were that the Wtt.Geb.Kan.Batt.6 was the only Württembergian unit that served during the campaign in Tirol 1915 as a part of the Bayerische Gebirgs-Kanonen-Abteilung Nr.2, so it was a mixed unit (Bavarians/Württembergians). I'm only speaking about the campaign in Tirol because this was the time when the Alpenkorps got the Edelweiß. So technically these members were allowed to wear an Edelweiß because they are "Tirol Veterans"!

Later in 1917 you are totaly right, more Württ. units came to the Alpenkorps. Rommel fought with the WGB in Slovenia at the Isonzofront as a part of the Alpenkorps.

I need to look up the book (I think it was Albert Reichs "Das Deutsche Alpenkorps im Westen und Rückmarsch in Serbien") were I found the note that the Bayerische Gebirgs-Kanonen-Abteilung Nr.2 was a mixed unit.

best regards

AK1915

PS: you have a very nice collection of Edelweiß badges, I only got 3 badges so far!

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Hello AK1915!

Well, you´re right with your thoughts about wearing that badge. I think, no one can solve the problem clearly. Remember, it was war, and a lot of soldiers have seen the Edelweiss badges, and they said to themselves "we are in the Alpenkorps, so why not wearing that badge?" If forbidden, or not... A lot of soldiers wore the austrian Kappenabzeichen, even they were restricted to wear. I think, they wore the badges down there -no officer would have blame them for that. Back in Germany, it was another case...

I had my informations about the w.Geb.Bttr.6 from the brilliant book "Handbuch der Vebände und Truppen des deutschen Heeres, Feldartillerie, vol.2".

You are right about the bayer.Geb.Art.Abt.2

It was set up ba the stel.Gen.Kdo.I.bav.AK (preuss. KM 30.5.15 and 1.6.15 and bav.KM from 22.5.15

The w.Geb.Bttr.6 left this unit in february 1917 and joined the w.Geb.Art.Abt.4

The battle order of the bayer.Geb.Art.Abt. was:

w.Geb.Bttr.6 (until feb.1917)

bayer.Geb.Bttr. 12

bayer.Geb.Bttr. 7

bayer.Geb.Bttr. 8 H (Haubitze). in this unit a 1/2 würt. platoon served in the w.Geb.Bttr.11

The 2nd Abt. belonged to the Alpenkorps from may 1915 until july 1917

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Prussian, it still bothers me that I haven't looked up the files in the Bayerische Hauptstaatsarchiv Abt. IV Kriegsarchiv about the Edelweiß badge when I went to Munich in 2010. I was 2 weeks in that archiv to collect material for my paper about the AK during the campaign in Tirol 1915.

I've never seen a AK photo where the guy wore such a Edelweiß with a crown on it. I also never read something in the books and magazines.

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If I were in Munich, I should take my lorry with me to take away all the papers I´d like to read... But I´ve never been there

About the EW with the crown, I agree with you. The only thing, I´ve read about it, is i n the "Katalog der Uniformabzeichen der deutschen Freikorps", under "Freikorps Oberland". There ain´t no photo, but two photos of normally EWs with the text: "Abzeichen der Kompanie Oestreicher (ohne Krone)" (without crown). But I don´t know what that means according to the EW

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If I were in Munich, I should take my lorry with me to take away all the papers I´d like to read...

If you want to do so, it would cost a fortune! I payed quite some Euros to get some copies, but they were worth it. The most interesting thing is Krafft v. Dellmensingens Kriegstagebuch. Very interesting to read.

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I think that the badge became accepted as "alpenkorps" irrespective of if one served in 1915 or not. I remember seeing photos to men of a reserve infantry regt attached to the alpenkorps later in the war... and the men adopted the Edelweiss!!

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Alpenkorps1915: Haven´t the book Krafft never been published?

Chris: Of course, that´s a possibility. So we could collect every single EW we can find, hoping to get sometimes a "proof-photo".

That´s the way I do.

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I think that the badge became accepted as "alpenkorps" irrespective of if one served in 1915 or not. I remember seeing photos to men of a reserve infantry regt attached to the alpenkorps later in the war... and the men adopted the Edelweiss!!

I mean the thought that men from former Alpenkorps units came to another unit (like for example they've been wounded) is not that deviously. So I see a possibility for taking the Edelweiß with them. But it seems odd that so many Württembergian wear it too. And to be honest, I can't imagine that the Edelweiß badge was just on sufferance by the NCO's and the Officers, not in Germany where military discipline and drill were done in some kind of perfection. Also Kaiser Wilhelm II. spoke again "scharf gegen Eigenmächtigkeiten im Anzuge,

wie sie zum Schaden der Manneszucht vielfach jetzt in Erscheinung treten". That was also the reason why the Prussian War Ministry firstly was against the badge. Only due to Kraff v. Dellemensingens order to wear the Edelweiß without permission it stayed with the Alpenkorps. So one could say it wasn't that easy keeping the Edelweiß badge.

Alpenkorps1915: Haven´t the book Krafft never been published?

No the whole Kriegstagebuch is more or less unpublished. There is a Krafft biography by Thomas Müller "Konrad Krafft von Dellmensingen (1862-1953). Porträt eines bayerischen

Offiziers (= Materialien zur bayerischen Landesgeschichte Bd. 16), München 2002". He used the KTB as a source and also quotes a lot, but it's not as the whole KTB is published as one book.

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I may have mentioned this before, but in looking through some photos that a German friend took during a visit to the mountain troops museum near Sonthofen, I spied this Edelweiß in one of the displays. I asked the friend to take a better picture of the insignia specifically should he ever return to the museum. A year or so ago, he went back and got that picture for me. The picture quality is poor, as it was taken through the glass case, but I think you can make out the insignia and some of the text. You can see that it mentions the Infanterie Leib Regiment.

Chip

Chip - a postscript to your Nr.102 post in the thread. I visited the Gebirgsjäger Museum in the Grünten Kaserne at Sonthofen today. Sunday is the only day its open, for two hours 10 -12. The attendant there (old Bundeswehr Gebirgsjäger soldier) works on a voluntary basis as you might expect he was a keen Gebirgsjäger collector bursting with information. The edelweiss with the crown and paper is still there in its paper wrapping, I got into a conversation with him, apart from telling me Rommel learnt to ski in Sonthofen in January 1915, I asked him about the edelweiss with crown cap badge. He says, only the Infantrie Leib Regiment wore this type of cap badge, the others had a edelweiss cap badge without the crown. May make it a rare item ?

Regards

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Hi AlecH!

That makes sense about the crowned EW.

But did you ask him, he if knows, which one was in the 20.000 pieces stock?

I think, that question is similar to the question, what happens after death... No one seems to know...

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Alec,

Thanks for the confirmation regarding the tag. Did you happen to photograph it or write down the wording? I hesitate to take a non-contemporary's word for it's use. For all we know, the crowned Edelweiß could be a veteran's badge. Until we get some photographic evidence or period documentation, it will remain on the "maybe" list. One thing that I've noticed is that each of these badges that I have seen (only three or four) is in unused condition. It would be nice to see a "worn" example. As I may have mentioned before, the first example that I saw (in the 1980s) of this badge was on a postwar (1920's) Reichsheer universal cap with crushable cloth visor (don't remember the model name). It's the one with the Resedagrün band and piping, similar to the Prussian style wartime Einheitsmütze, only with a visor.

Chip

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Chip,

I did take my camera in the museum with me. At the time I was a bit timid about asking for permission to photograph, only on leaving did the attendant say I could photo what wanted too, then it was to late, felt like kicking myself in the butt. Addressing your concerns, I really don't understand why your procrastinating - is it, is it not, maybe, maybe not - the label on your post Nr. 102 would suggest - it is. Its in a display case at the Gebirgsjäger Museum, I assume everything gets thoroughly vetted by experts, they classify items within a set frame-work / criteria, if they have any doubts, it doesn't get exhibited, its not approached in a laisse-faire way i.e. - its a edelweiss badge we'd better put it in - although from time to time mistakes are made, I don't think this is one of them. Photographic evidence may possibly show up one day. Don't forget we are looking for one regiment's uniform amongst a myriad of uniforms from almost one hundred years ago, we are certainly going to need luck.

Regards

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I am not sure one way or another, but would like to point out, museums often have howling errors... depending on who is doing the labelling, and what sources they use.

Best

Chris

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Chris,

I agree with you and that is why I don't like to make definitive statements based on museum identifications, especially when the identifications are made by non-contemporary generations of curators.

Chip

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