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This Lippe-Detmold medal bar is one of my last purchases, and I have some doubts about the Military Merit Medal:

If the basic bravery decoration of this Principality is the Kriegsverdienstkreuz, what was the reason for concession of this medal?

Maybe is like a "longtime service medal"....?



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Officially, the MVM was supposed to be a lesser award:

According to the 1915 regulations, "Die Fürstlich Lippische Militär-Verdienstmedaille mit Schwertern kann verliehen werden an solche Unteroffiziere und Mannschaften, die infolge einer leichten Verwundung oder einer im Feld entstandenen Krankheit dienstuntauglich geworden und nicht im Besitze des Eisernen Kreuzes oder dazu eingegeben sind." So it was apparently intended for soldiers wounded or rendered unfit for service due to illness in the field, who did not have the Iron Cross or weren't recommended for it.

The Kriegsverdienstkreuz, by contrast, originally was supposed to require award of or recommendation for the Iron Cross, or other excellence in combat ("Für die Verleihung des Kriegsverdienstkreuzes ist Bedingung, daß der Vorzuschlagende das Eiserne Kreuz zweiter Klasse besitzt, von seinem Truppenteil hierzu eingegeben ist oder sich sonst besonders hervorgetan hat."),

A March 1917 regulation said that if an MVM recipient later received the KVK, he was supposed to return the MVM ("Bei Verleihung des Kriegsverdienstkreuzes ist jede etwa vorher verliehene Militär-Verdienstmedaille an das Militärkabinett zurückzureichen."). However, there are numerous examples of this not occurring, so apparently this regulation wasn't followed in practice.

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Perfect explanation from Dave. :beer:

Indeed the MVM was the lesser award and the former owner got it before the crosses.

But even the "Hofmarschallamt Lippe-Detmold" wasn´t sure about the return of the medal after awarding the military merit cross, so they asked in a letter the Militaerkabinett in 1917 about this

and the Kabinett released this regulation, which explained officially (again).

Around 50 % of the merit medal with swords on it were returned, which makes this medal even more rare.

By the way, according to its stautes, it wasn´t allowed to wear the ribbon without the medal

(for example on a ribbon bar) :whistle:



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  • 2 weeks later...

An interesting illustration of the process for Lippe awards. The NCO below, a Lippe native, initial served in Res.-Inf.-Regt. Nr. 202, and later went to the 6. Armee ambulance detachment (San.-Kraftw.-Abt. 6).

On 6 June 1915, he was nominated for a "Lippe decoration" (Lipp. Ausz.). For whatever reason (wounding, no Iron Cross nomination when the recommendation arrived in Lippe), he got the Lippe Military Merit Medal on 30 August 1915. In the meantime, in July 1915, he was nominated for an Iron Cross 2nd Class and a Lippe War Merit Cross. The Iron Cross was turned down, but the Lippe War Merit Cross came on 13 September. As you can see, the Military Merit Medal was then crossed off, as was supposed to be the case according to the Lippe regulations which weren't always followed.

It then took three more recommendations before an Iron Cross 2nd Class was awarded on 5 May 1916. After he arrived at his Bavarian-run unit, it took two recommendations to add a Bavarian Military Merit Cross 2nd Class to his awards.

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Another example:

Pion. Ernst Gellrich, also from San.-Kraftw.-Abt. 6. Like Bolzau above, he was nominated for a "Lippe medal" on 6 June 1915 and received the Lippe Military Merit Medal with Swords on 30 August. Again like Bolzau, he was in the meantime nominated for a "Lippe cross" on 15 July and received it on 13 September. On Gellrich's record, we see the notation "anstelle der Medaille" ("in place of the medal"). His regular Kriegsstammrolle entry also notes that the War Merit Cross was awarded in place of the Military Merit Medal.

For the next three years that is all he had. His Iron Cross 2nd Class didn't come until June 1918, and his long service medal in August 1918.

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