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Another" uncommon common" medal combination

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In keeping with Rick's discussion of how common awards can sometimes make for uncommon combinations, I present this medal bar. I got this bar in 2007 at Gunzenhausen because it looked nice, but I didn't give any though to research at the time. After all, it's just Prussia, Bavaria and Württemberg, three of the largest states of the German Empire. And there were some 3000 awards of the Bavarian Militär-Verdienstorden 4. Klasse mit der Krone und mit Schwertern (BMV4XmKr) and over 5000 awards of the Ritterkreuz 2. Klasse mit Schwertern of Württemberg's Friedrichsorden (WF3bX).


But when I got back home, something occurred to me. The BMV4XmKr was normally awarded to majors. Captains and lieutenants got the BMV4X without the crown. But the WF3bX was awarded to lieutenants, while majors and captains got the WF3aX. However, as the war progressed, a number of BMV4XmKr were awarded to Bavarian captains and lieutenants who had earlier received the BMV4X. Also, there is no long service or 1911 Prinz Regent Luitpold Medaille, so the recipient was likely a junior officer as the WF3bX would indicate.

My main source for Württemberg awards to Bavarians is Erhard Roth's volume on non-Bavarian awards to Bavarians. I checked those against recipients of the BMV4XmKr, and eliminated those with other known awards such and the Prinz Regent Luitpold Medaille. As I noted back in 2007 in an earlier thread, at first I found one possibility - Lt.d.R. Heinrich Fichtbauer. Unfortunately, further research eliminated him, as he also received the Prussian House Order of Hohenzollern. I then found one other possibility, Ernst Ritter von Müller, but he only worked if his Military Order of Max Joseph was worn on the buttonhole, and not mounted on the medal bar. However, further research eliminated him anyway, as he was killed in action in 1917.


Skip ahead several years to today. I just got access to the Bavarian personnel records on Ancestry.com and began searching for various people. One place I looked was for BMV4XmKr recipients who might have gotten the WF3bX but were missed by Roth because the award came late in the war and wasn't gazetted in the Verordnungsblatt des Königlich bayerischen Kriegsministeriums or other sources.

And who do I find? One Lt.d.R. Ludwig Franz Dürr of bay. 4. IR, recipient of the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Class, the WF3bX (W.F.5. m.Schw. in the Bavarian notation), and the BMV4XmKr. The BMV4XmKr replaced an earlier BMV4X, which itself replaced a Military Merit Cross 2nd Class with Crown and Swords received as a Vizefeldwebel u. Offziers-Aspirant.

There is still a chance that he is not my guy. There might be someone else I missed with that uncommon combination. But out of hundreds of possibles I went through, he is the only match I found. So I think the odds are good on this one, if not 100%.


Edited by Dave Danner
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Excellent research. Outstanding bar as well. I especially like the intricate mounting of the ribbons, notice how they internally "loop" back over the decorations mounting rings, helping secure a snug fit.. A first class job to be sure.



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