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Gentlemen,

Thanks to Marc (Flak88), I recently acquired one of the ex-Tony Colson 1870 spanges, which unfortunately I can't post pictures of, but there is a picture in the classified. This spange consists of: 1870 EK 2, 1870 KDM, 1866 Cross, 1861 Coronation Medal, Romanian Gold Merit Medal and Sachsen-Altenburg Silver Merit Medal. I assume this bar is not traceable, but was wondering if there are in existence Romanian rolls for the Gold Merit Medal, and if there were any connections between the King of Romania and any Prussian regiments ie. was he honorary colonel of any German regiments during the period 1870-80? Any help would

be gratefully received.

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... Romanian Gold Merit Medal ...

There was no medal with this name.

... was wondering if there are in existence Romanian rolls for the Gold Merit Medal...

With the exception of the Order of Michael the Brave, nothing has been published on lists of Romanian awards. However, I guess that the awards were recorded and the lists theoretically should exist, but the important questions are in which archive and whether they are accessible to the public.

?if there were any connections between the King of Romania and any Prussian regiments ie. was he honorary colonel of any German regiments during the period 1870-80?

Carol being of German origin, there were plenty of links to German military. He was even made Marshal of the German Army in 1909. However, I do not know of the existence of a list of his honorary commands with dates of appointment.

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This spange consists of: 1870 EK 2, 1870 KDM, 1866 Cross, 1861 Coronation Medal, Romanian Gold Merit Medal and Sachsen-Altenburg Silver Merit Medal.

Is this the bar in question? Then, the Romanian medal is the Faithful Service Medal.

colson1.jpg
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I took a chance glance in the Journal of King Carol I and in the very beginning I have found the following note.

Monday, 2/14 February [1881]

11:30 official audience for Count Wesdehlen for handing over the Collar of the High Order of the Black Eagle. I don the uniform of my Prussian Dragoon Regiment (no. 9).

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Monday, 2/14 February [1881]

11:30 official audience for Count Wesdehlen for handing over the Collar of the High Order of the Black Eagle. I don the uniform of my Prussian Dragoon Regiment (no. 9).

After reading the note above I remembered seeing this thing some time ago.

r9dpau3.jpg

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The bar is pre-1895, since there are no oakleaves on the EK and no battle clasps on the KDM. I think you see more Romanian awards on later bars, particularly WW2.

Romanian decorations were awarded to foreigners ever since 1877 when Romania declared independence and exercised the sovereign right to issue and award orders and medals. However, the frequency of the presence of Romanian awards on foreign bars depends on the links that existed at the time of the award between Romania and other countries. Thus, I think that most of the awards in the late 1870s were to Russians participating in the war against the Ottomans. However, at that time there were also some German councillors for the Romanian Army, so I would not be surprised if they received awards as well. Then, with the subsequent diplomatic relations and Carol's travels or his honorary appointments to foreign regiments, more and more foreigners might have received Romanian medals. On the other hand it is true that an increase in the awards to foreigners happens in times of war to strengthen the alliance. So since Romania was not involved in any war between 1878 and 1913 probably Romanian awards to foreigners in this period are not that frequent in comparison to WWI or WWII.

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[...] at that time there were also some German councillors for the Romanian Army, so I would not be surprised if they received awards as well.

I have checked my sources and there were indeed some German officers decorated in the Independence War. Most of them were medical doctors, probably part of a medical mission in the war. The source gives only the awardees of the Order of the Star of Romania, but this does not mean that there were no other awards in the same period. Anyhow, here are the names of the German officers that were decorated on the 3rd of January 1878.

Dr. Bussenius of the 4th Thuringian Regiment

Dr. Camnerer of the 9th Prussian Army Corps

Dr. Gaehde of the Magdeburg Garrison

Dr. Hahn of the 1st Guards Grenadier Regiment

Dr. Peiper of the 3rd Eastern Prussia Cuirassier Regiment

Scheven, Attach? of the Royal Prussian War Ministry

Dr. Stricker of the 1st Guards Grenadier Regiment

Dr. Vahl of the Guards Sappers Battalion

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