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If you saw a ribbon bar with this combination, how would you interpret it?

Hello Dave:

I would interpret it as being a bit strange. A pre-Hindenburg Cross group/field ribbon bar to a Bavarian recipient would usually (but not always) have the MMJO/TKM ribbon first, then the MVO/MVK ribbon, and then the EKII ribbon, etc., etc.

That being said, there are three possibilities in my opinion:

1) Bavarian Officer who was a MMJO Knight recipient and MVO IV w/Swords recipient.

2) Bavarian NCO who recived the TKM and who then received a field promotion to Officer and then recived the MVO IV w/Swords (more likely statistically).

3) Bavarian NCO who received the TKM and the MVO,MVK II w/Swords (most likely statistically).

I believe that someone who has the Sachsen-Meiningen roll book could sort this one out without too much difficulty. There could not have been too many Bavarians with the Sachsen-Meiningen War Merit Cross or War Merit Medal.

On another note: Dave, I am glad that you are back. I really miss your Military Max Joseph Order website. Is there any chance of it ever returning?

Best regards

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The precedence is my mistake, not relevant to the original question. I actually wasn't sure how a Bavarian would place the non-Bavarian awards - after all Bavarian or after war awards but before other Bavarian. I'm still not sure actually, as I've seen it both ways. So I used later precedence, but without an FKE. Here is a revised version:

Regarding the websites, if I manage to get them back up, I will have to extensively revise and update the MMJO bios now that the Bavarian personnel files are available.

Regards,

Dave

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No need to dig further. Schießplatzmeister's #3 is correct.

The point of the exercise was how similar an MMJO/MVO combination might be to a TM/MVK combination. The silver swords could be either for an MVO 4th Class or an MVK 2nd Class, and the MMJO and Bravery Medal ribbons were the same. And of course the SMK and SMM also used the same ribbon, so no help there.

As for the other two Bavarian ribbons, a 1905 Jubilee Medal or 1911 Prinz-Regent-Luitpold-Medaille usually indicates an officer, since only certain NCOs were eligible for either medal. The DA could be an officer's 24, but that wouldn't really fit with only a 4th Class MVO, so more likely for an active NCO or a Landwehr officer/NCO.

so...

Arthur Emil Rudolf Hädicke

- Born 5 November 1885 in Camburg, Kreis Saalfeld, Sachsen-Meiningen

- Entered service 18 October 1906 in 5/10. bay. FAR

- Gefreiter and Unteroffizier promotions in 1908, then Sergeant in 1912, Vizewachtmeister in 1913, Offizier-Stellvertreter in 1916.

- Served in the war with several different Bavarian FARs and RFARs

- EK2 (9.10.14), BsMV (5.11.15), BMV5bX (20.3.16), SMM (15.12.15), BPRLM, BD1, VAs (30.6.18)

As an NCO, he was a Kapitulant, so I assume that's why he was eligible for the Prinz-Regent-Luitpold-Medaille.

I've been trying to find some elusive Bavarian/Meiningen combinations, without luck, but while looking I came across this guy, who seemed interesting. Many of the Bavarian SMM recipients got only an SMM and maybe an EK2, while most also got Bavarian awards like the MVK and DA. But so far this is the only Meininger with a Bravery Medal I've come across.

Edited by Dave Danner
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I have now gone through the Kriegsrangliste entries of well over a thousand Meiningen-born Bavarian enlisted soldiers, and have found that:

- about 1/4 have no decorations

- another 1/4 or so have only a single decoration, either an EK2 or a Bavarian MVK or a SMM

- another 1/4 or so have decorations from two states, usually an EK2 and MVK or an EK2 and SMM, occasionally an MVK and SMM

- another 1/4 have all three: EK2, Bay. MVK, and SMM (plus perhaps other Bavarian awards or an EK1)

- so far, only one has more than three states

I still haven't found Rick's elusive Prussia/Bavaria/Baden/Meiningen combo. For that matter, I also haven't found my own elusive Prussia/Bavaria/Meiningen/Austria-Hungary/Bulgaria officer combo (though many other officers do have more combinations than the NCOs and enlisted men).

The one I did come across is an aviator: Franz Hey, a Vizefeldw. u. Offz.-Stellv. who served from 1912 to 1918 with various flying units. He received the pilot's badge, EK1 & EK2, SMM, a Bavarian MVK (but it doesn't say what grade), and an unusual one, the Austro-Hungarian Silver Merit Cross on the ribbon of the Bravery Medal.

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Completely unrelated to the Meiningen research, how about this combination? What would you read into this?

As a start, after the first three Bavarian awards, the ribbons are in alphabetical order by German state, and then alphabetical order by foreign country.

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I don't think such a combination would be likely to find.

1. The cross of St. Michael's Order suggests an NCO (as it was awarded mostly to civilians, I would see the cross of the Order of Military Merit instead) - other German countries' awards include orders, which were not available to non-commissioned ranks.

2. Awards of other German countries were usually worn in the following arrangement: kingdoms, grand duchies, duchies, principalities, free towns. Although there were exceptions, I do not think a purely alphabetical arrangement was ever used.

3. There are certainly too many ribbons per row (even for a German bar). I can't remember I have ever seen more than 13 in a single row.

Tell me, if I recognize the countries correctly:

1,2,3 Bavaria

4 Anhalt

5 Brunswick

6 Hohenzollern

7 Lippe

8 Mecklenburg

9 Prussia

10 Saxony (Kingdom of)

11 Sachsen-Weimar

12 Sachsen-Ernestine Principalities

13 Schaumburg-Lippe

14 Schwarzburg

15 Belgium (?)

16 Luxembourg (?)

17 ???

18 ???

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#15 and #16 are indeed the Belgian Order of Leopold II and the Luxembourg Order of Adolph of Nassau

#17 could be the Dannebrog, but it isn't. It is the Order of Danilo from Montenegro

#18, of course, as just another red ribbon, could be any number of decorations. In this case, it is the Order of Franz Josef of Austria-Hungary.

The combination does exist, although a full ribbon bar like this would be unlikely for the reasons Lukasz suggests (too long and foreign awards would possibly be in order awarded rather than alphabetically, but I don't know the award dates for all of them).

Regarding the St. Michael, remember that though an officer might get the order rather than the cross based on his rank, and might also get the MVO, a reserve or Landwehr officer might get the award based on his civilian job, not his military rank. In this case, it is the Merit Cross with the Crown, and had nothing to do with being an Oberleutnant der Landwehr.

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Holy cow.

How about a some dozen year job in Munich Kriegsministerium?

3. There are certainly too many ribbons per row (even for a German bar). I can't remember I have ever seen more than 13 in a single row.

I know bars with 20 and more ribbons. That is thing that was just up to the wearer - I'm not aware of any regulations in this matters.

Edited by saschaw
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Our mysteriously well-decorated Bavarian it Olt.d.R.a.D. Max Siegert. Here is his 1914 ranklist entry:

As you may notice, a few of the decorations from the ribbon bar are not shown here (Princely Hohenzollern House Order, Saxon Albrechts-Orden, Schaumburg-Lippe House Order). They do appear, however, in Herr Siegert's other entry, from the 1914 Bavarian Court and State Handbook:

Not in the Kriegsministerium, although a good guess, but a few blocks over at the Hauptbahnhof. I came across Herr Siegert while compiling the non-swords awards of the Princely Schwarzburg Honor Cross. I find him interesting because he illustrated two points.

First, as I noted above, sometimes a reserve military man's civilian job matters . When you see a ribbon or medal bar with an unusual combination, sometimes the military ranklists aren't helpful in finding the holder, or in explaining why he got what he got.

Second, sometimes unusual combinations of awards are simply a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Apparently, whenever a royal visitor came to the Bavarian capital, Siegert was there to make sure their bags ended up in the right place. And they made sure to reward him.

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I'm not sure how interesting this subject is, but I will give it another try. Here is another one I came across while compiling the Schwarzburg awards. If you saw a medal bar with this combination of awards, what would you guess about the owner?

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I'm not sure how interesting this subject is, but I will give it another try. Here is another one I came across while compiling the Schwarzburg awards. If you saw a medal bar with this combination of awards, what would you guess about the owner?

In this order??? I would guess the owner was a real die-hard Prussian to put a Schwarzburg House order m/S in front of a peace-time Crown order and Prussian long service. (I would assume it is the SEK and not the War Merit medal?)

Next I would assume that he was an officer with pre-war service and therefore may be listed, but could be untraceable with so few awards to distinguish him apart.

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Hi Dave,

Another interresting combo. I will try to find something.

First when we see such combo it is difficult without having Schwarzburg rolls. But the other combo is interresting.

First there is no centenary medal but we have a long service medal. Each time I see that I think immediatly to a young officer who begun his career as a NCO and who became officer with the time.

He made his career and won the KO4. If he were a pure Prussian officer, he should received first the RAO4 and then after the KO4.

Our man probably finished his duty just before the WW1. He was then called back during WW1. He won both EK, HHO3X.

And about the SE2X ? It is a very high grade. Our man finished the war, if he has survived , probably with grade of Major. And like he was born, or served or what else with Schwarzburg connection, he received this cross.

That's my explanation, IMHO

Christophe

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Hi Dave,

Another interresting combo. I will try to find something.

First when we see such combo it is difficult without having Schwarzburg rolls. But the other combo is interresting.

First there is no centenary medal but we have a long service medal. Each time I see that I think immediatly to a young officer who begun his career as a NCO and who became officer with the time.

He made his career and won the KO4. If he were a pure Prussian officer, he should received first the RAO4 and then after the KO4.

Our man probably finished his duty just before the WW1. He was then called back during WW1. He won both EK, HHO3X.

And about the SE2X ? It is a very high grade. Our man finished the war, if he has survived , probably with grade of Major. And like he was born, or served or what else with Schwarzburg connection, he received this cross.

That's my explanation, IMHO

Christophe

A very logical analysis, consistent with what we know is typical for German officers when trying to interpret medal or ribbon bar combinations. And that's why this was a bit of a trick. ;)

As Christophe notes, the Princely Schwarzburg Honor Cross 2nd Class with Swords is a very high grade. It is also quite rare. There were only 81 awards during World War I. And Schwarzburg, unlike many other German states, generally required a connection to the principalities. There weren't the courtesy awards to fellow royals or awards to popular leaders like Hindenburg and Ludendorff or famous names like the Red Baron. You generally had to be a Schwarzburg native, or serve in or have command over Schwarzburg units.

As I mentioned, there were 81 awards of the SEK2X. All of them were to Oberstleutnants, Majors or Oberstabsarzts. All of them, that is, except one - Gustav Sommerfeld. When I first transcribed the SEK2X rolls, I misread this guy as an Oberstleutnant, who received the swords on 27 May 1916 to his prewar SEK2. But when I got to the peacetime awards, I saw an error. He wasn't an Oberstleutnant, but an Oberleutnant.

And why would a mere Oberleutnant receive an award for Oberstleutnants and Majors? Because of that peacetime award. He got the SEK2 on 17 March 1914. So when it came time for a wartime award, he got swords to his prewar award rather than a lower SEK3X appropriate to his military rank of Oberleutnant der Landwehr.

And why did a mere Oberleutnant receive a peacetime SEK2 in the first place? Because while to us military types, he was just another junior officer, to the civilians in the court in Sondershausen he was a Kgl. Preußischer Hofrat. Both the Prussian Crown Order 4th Class and the SEK2 were awarded because he was a court official in the Royal Playhouse (Kgl. Schauspiele) in Wiesbaden.

Oddly, I don't think he actually has a Schwarzburg connection, which also makes the award unusual. I don't think he was from the principalities, and he was a Garde-Landwehr officer. Apparently, the Schwarzburg royal family must have liked going to plays when visiting the Kaiser's summer palaces in Wiesbaden.

When war came, Hofrat Sommerfeld put on his uniform and left the world of actors and stagehands. He was a Leutnant des 1. Aufgebots des 1. Garde-Landwehr-Regiments in 1914, and went to war with the 1. Garde-Ersatz-Regiment. He was promoted to Oberleutnant on 22 December 1914. He then went on to Garde-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 6, where he received the SEK2X, and was promoted to Hauptmann der Landwehr on 21 June 1916. His HOH3X came in June 1917.

An interesting example of how sometimes the usual rules don't apply. And why more and more information is better, especially from unusual sources. The 1918 edition of the Handbuch über den preußischen Hof und Staat, which I found in the New York Public Library and got for Paul to scan, confirmed that Hofrat Sommerfeld was the HOH3X recipient. It and the 1918 Handbuch für das deutsche Reich are a wealth of information on awards to government officials, many of whom were also in the reserves and Landwehr. Still, even these have errors and have to be checked with other sources (Hofrat Sommerfeld's entry has his EK1 and HOH3X, but doesn't show the swords to his SEK2).

I hope to have the Schwarzburg rolls finished soon. There is some missing information and I have to cross-check some names. I also have some other projects, mainly on awards from other sources.

Best regards,

Dave

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  • 1 year later...

Bringing this back up for two reasons.

1. The Schwarzburg rolls are pretty much done, except for a missing page the archives didn't copy. I will be in Rudolstadt in September to finish that and to look up some other information. I will be looking through the award recommendations (Vorschläge) for missing biographical information like first names and, if I'm lucky, other awards. I will also try to get the rolls for some other awards like Ehrenmedaillen with the Eichenbruch, 1905 Jubilee Medal, and whatever else I can find and afford to copy.

2. Another little combination quiz. What possibilities do you see in this combination of awards? Hint - #4 is not the House Order of the Wendian Crown.

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No interest? Oh well. :( Anyway, this particular - to me unusual - combination was:

1. EK2

2. Bavarian Military Merit Cross 2nd Class with Swords

3. Honor Cross for Combatants, and

4. Mecklenburg-Schwerin Life-Saving Medal on the ribbon of the Order of the Wendian Crown

The last one was received in 1906 as a Gymnasiallehrer in Berlin, and the recipient was not a Mecklenburger, so I imagine that the person he saved must have been. The official Mecklenburg-Schwerin name was, I believe, the Silberne Medaille für eine rühmliche Handlung, and the ribbon of the order specifically meant the "praiseworthy act" (rühmliche Handlung) was life-saving.

Also, he wasn't a Bavarian either. He was a Prussian native and received the Bavarian decoration in 1918 as a Vizefeldwebel with Armee-Wetterwarte 16, which for some reason counted as a Bavarian formation. He was still teaching in Berlin in 1942, so if you ever see this combination out there, it might have a Treuedienst-Ehrenzeichen as well.

Regards

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  • 3 weeks later...

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