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3rd reich fire brigade decorations

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First post on this forum so I though I would start with some nice colourful awards to catch your eye.

The 1st class fire brigade decoration was awarded at fires for acts of bravery or special achievements.
The rare 1st class decoration started life as a large 60mm vaulted pin back badge. But in 1938 it was replaced
by a smaller 43mm cross of the same design as the 2nd class (shown last post) but in gilt.

Up until 1944 only 147 1st class awards had been awarded.

Example of the 1st pattern badge from my collection:

Example from a German dealer of obverse and reverse views.

Edited by Raz
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An original 43mm 2nd class fire brigade decoration medal. Awarded for 25 years long service and worn from a ribbon.
The reverse is plain.

Edited by Raz
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  • 9 months later...

Nice to see these! :beer: I wish there was some sort of list, or newspaper stories from the period about who got those 1st Classes-- and why.

I had, and sold ten years ago (more fool me) a nifty 5 medal bar to a WW1 veteran from Schwarzburg who was later a volunteer fireman while a civil servant... and have not seen another 2nd Class mounted in a medal bar in YEARS here. So the second classes are by no means as common as we might think, at least in groups.

For some reason-- apparently nothing more than the exceptionally vivid design-- these crosses (along with Mother's Crosses, of all things) were EXTREMELY common as "motorcycle" fakes out of Austria at the beginning of the 1970s. I wish I had one now for the historical comparison with that BIZARRE 1st Class pin.

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Guest Darrell

Nice to see these!  :food-smiley-004:  I wish there was some sort of list, or newspaper stories from the period about who got those 1st Classes-- and why.

I agree ... I dont have one (yet), but these always catch my eye for their great "look" :food-smiley-004:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great items guys.

I've still yet to see a period photo of the 1st class pin back in wear.

I did spy a post on "another" forum a while back by someone claiming of

owning a album with a portrait pic of the badge in wear, alas he had sold

it before he made any scans of the priceless photo. doh.

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I?m a new member who found you site while surfing for information on fire medals. The excellent information on this thread made me want to join in the hope there are other fire-related medal collectors out there somewhere. I?ve been collecting over 30 years, and am more interested in information now than medals, but I don?t pass up one I can use when it comes along.

I?d like the opinion of the 3R collectors on this fire brigade decoration. It?s on a bar with the IC and 14/18 Honor Cross. All three have seen hard wear, the FB Dec. being the worst. The reverse has what appears to be chemical damage as if it sat in something. The front has enamel damage. No sign of any maker marks, and no signs of them being removed either. My rule-of-thimb is to assume all of these are fake unless proven otherwise. Considering the minimum price I paid for the bar, and that the other two are good, I figure I'll come out ahead either way.

Having a bit of trouble with getting photos onboard. If there is a front view here, I'll try to put a pix of the reverse in another post.

Any opinions (assuming a photo came through)?


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Hi Firemedals,

The FB service medal looks OK (silver 2nd class, me thinks).. However, I have a few concerns as to it being original to the bar, seeing that the corrosion has no corresponding stains on the ribbon, from what I can see.

Could you post some full pix of front & back of the bar..? Then we can have a good look-see and come up with an answer for you.

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I have to concure with the comments made. The cross is I think a silver one and the reverse has a corrosion that is not comenserate with the bar.

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Thanks for the opinions on the Fire Brigade Decoration. I've attached front and back photos for your examination.

After reading your comments, I decided to take a closer look at the bar. As I mentioned before, it has been poorly handled. The EK is broken in two places, at the base of the top and bottom arms, and wear and dings to the silver frame. The 14/18 Cross seems to have been spared most wear and damage from its location between the other two. The FB Decoration has the worst wear. All of the enamel is cracked, with some chips, the center medallion being the most damaged. It looks as if it was under a heavy weight at one time. The reverse of the first two have wear you could consider normal. I took the bar to a friend who is a chemical engineer, and he examined the reverse of the Fire Dec.. While there is pitting to the surface, he used a couple of chemicals and removed what I had thought was corrision. He said it was a deposit of some type, that did do some surface damage, but wasn't corrosion in the typical sense. Now the reverse looks much better, and he's going to see if he can improve it even more.

An interesting observation about the damage on the FB Dec.. The left arm of the cross, that would normally be under the 14/18 Cross, has the least damage as if it was protected at the time of damage. Second, the deposits that were on the reverse were in a curved pattern, that matches exactly the curve of the bottom of the ribbon. All of the ribbons may be replaced, as there is a small piece of 14/18 Cross ribbon under the current ribbons that has a faded central red stripe. The current one is nice and bright. And any damage from the Fire Dec. ribbon did not come from the ribbon on there now, as it is clean. All ribbons seem to have an even amount of wear.[attachmentid=3625]

And the metal of the FB Dec. is not silver, probably a bronze. The finish gives a golden appearance.

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