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Yup-- CLASSIC every-single-Major-in-the-Prussian-army-1914 bar! :cheers: Actually, I counted once and I think there were 3 who did NOT have Red Eagle 4s when the May 1914 Rank List came out.

And if he was not among the unfortunates wasted in the first 2 months of fighting, these would have been worn on service dress:

(My guy was lucky enough to have gotten his RAO4 before his XXV rather than the other way around from this set from David S's collection.)

So a battalion commander (when a 1914 battalion was the size of a 1918 brigade) who probably went on to command a regiment-- if he survived. It is surprising how many simply never wore their medals again after 1918.

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Yup-- CLASSIC every-single-Major-in-the-Prussian-army-1914 bar! :cheers: Actually, I counted once and I think there were 3 who did NOT have Red Eagle 4s when the May 1914 Rank List came out.

The comment about literally every one of a certain grade having an RAO reminds me of something that happened to me.

I started in on college weeks after graduating from High School by taking summer courses. The first day in one class, I had my High School ring on. The student next to me started laughing. He told me "everyone on campus had one" and what made me think mine was so special I needed to wear it.

I took it off that day and never wore it again.

The "flaunt it if you got it" idea doesn't work if everyone has one, and either knows you have, or should have the same. Maybe the only way to stand out from the crowd is NOT to have one, or if you do, NOT to wear it.

Sometimes I wonder how many Germans who qualified to wear the Centennary medal didn't bother to put it on, and anything else they considered "common" or ordinary. During the war, there are more than a few photos of senior officers wearing sometimes wearing none of their awards, perhaps one or two, and not bothering with everything else.


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I don't know Les. perhaps they were proud back then to be in service.

I don't know either. Photos of men in uniform show a wide range of situations and comportment. Ask Rick how often he's found medal bars or ribbon bars that did not have every award present that the recipient could have worn on the bar. He's come across an example or two. Official photos aside, the unofficial or candid photos often show far less glitz and glitter than the strutting peacocks. Many probably wore whatever they were entitled to have, but we can't say that everyone did that. There are photos of officers wearing perhaps an EKI, an empty space where the loops for a medal or ribbon bar should be, and nothing else. What was worn at any given time could be a matter or personal taste, comfort, or whatever. Even mini-Centennaries for a buttonhole, with nothing else exist. Is that the result of pride, arrogance, desperation, some parent or wife's gift? Who knows?

If someone doesn't have much of whatever it might be, they might want to flaunt what little they have. I can understand a solitary mounted "Hindenburg" with swords but a solitary mounted "Centennary" medal seems sad by comparison.

The Pour le Merite, one of the highest (but not -the- highest) award the Empire could bestow, came with an official requirement that it had to be worn whenever the recipient was in uniform. Additionally, serving German officers were -required- to wear a uniform whenever in public so they could be readily recognized as a officers. Civilian attire was not an option.

Why order officers to wear their uniforms in public and require recipients of some medals to wear them? If they had pride and wanted to wear what they had so it could be shown off (or to strut their stuff), then no orders would be required. Richtofen died completely out of uniform, in a set of blue pajamas, no uniform and not one medal on. On other occasions he did wear his uniform, but not every medal he was awarded.

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some very interesting points have been raised here.

It's my belief the origial recepient of the medal bar i posted was very proud of it,as both the LS and Centenary medal appear gilded.

secondly,as far as MVR, I would think comparing his not wearing his medals in combat to a rear echeleon type to be akin to comparing chalk and cheese.

Due to the bulky clothes neded to keep warm,as well as the liberal amounts of whale grease applied to the face and neck wearing a standard uniform wasn't always the best option for an aviator. In fact aviators on both sides wore whatever they could to keep warm,and to enable them to fight at a the highest possible level of effiecency.

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