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Hello all, I have a question on the Colonial Badge (Elephant Order). Was this badge authorized for "Foriegn" Service such as the ships S.M.S. Dresden and Karlsruhe which were not stationed in a Colony - but were on the North and South american Stations? I have a documented group to the following - Dr. George Warnecke but have not been able to get a full entitlement of awards.

Dr. Georg Warnecke crew of 06.

Born 04 May 1884 in Schleswig.

Studies in Frieburg 1903. 1903/04 in Leipzig math and science, then medicine 1904 in Leipzig, 1904-1906 Jena, 1906 Marbug, 1906/07 Berlin, 1907-1909 Kiel. 18 Jan 1909 States examination

01. Arpil 1906 one year volunteer

01. Feb 1910 one year volunteer navy doctor

22. Jul 1910 promoted to navy doctor

Commissions: 28. Sep 1910 as a "Marine Assistent Arzt" 14. Oct 1911 "Marine Ober Stabs Arzt", 22. Mar 1913 commissioned Marine Stabsarzt (all three analogous to Ensign, Second Lieutenant, First Lieutenant )

War Service: At the start of the war, He was the Ship's doctor of the light Cruiser S.M.S. Karlsruhe, which, after capturing or sinking 76,609 (I have 65,567) registered British tons, (exploded and) sunk at 10 degrees, 7 minutes N and 55 degrees 25 minutes W.

Warnecke was picked up by the "Rio Negro" and returned to Germany on 6 December 1914. He was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class in December 1914. In Jan. 1915 he was assigned to the III. Battalion of the 3rd Matrosen Divison (land based sailors)(also reported as I Battalion). In Oct. 1915, he was the Ship's doctor on the light Cruiser S.M.S. Stralsund.

In Sep 1917 He was Placed at the disposal of the senior navy doctor, working at a sanitorium near Kiel." In 1918 was living in Eppendorf.

Promoted to Marine Oberstabsartz [Korvettenkapitan] (a slightly different rank structure than in 1914) in the Reichsmarine 1 Dec 1924.

Promoted to Marine-Generaloberarzt (Fregattenkapitan)in the Reichsmarine 1 April 1929.


04 May 1939-08 January 1940 Geschwaderarzt zV Dr.med. (Squadron doctor zV [Fregattenkapitan]).

Sep. 1939 – 08 Jan. 1940 Inspection physician in the inspection of the education of the navy.

09 Jan. 1940 – Mar. 1941 Inspection physician in the torpedo weapon and barrier weapon inspection

01 Sep.1940 Promoted Flottenarzt zur Verfügung (z.V.) equavlent [Kapitan zur See]

Mar.1941 - Aug.1941 Führerreserve (Leader Reserves)

Aug.1941 - Oct.1941 Inspection physician in the torpedo weapon and barrier weapon inspection as well as the inspection of the navy artillery thing offices / navy arsenal inspection. Appears left the service in Oct 1941. Ill health?

The old rank-designation Marine-Generaloberarzt equates to the later Flottillenarzt

(or in the army: the later Oberfeldarzt).

+ 12.02.1942 (died 12 Feb 1942, age 57, 10 months).

Thanks in advance

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Hello George;

I think I understand your question, but sorry, I was distracted by your group and the breakdown on his career!

I really like your display. Was everything here original to the group? Thanks for the breakdown on his career. Great stuff.

I think your question is, would Dr. Warnecke have EARNED the Kolonial badge and therefore should you include a badge with this group?

As you know, the Kolonial badge or elephant badge was created by the Weimer Republic for Imperial Military that served in the colonies during wwi. In addition it was an award that you had to apply for and pay for separately.

So, even if WWI service warranted the Kolonial badge, he would have still had to apply for it. (In theory, someone might have colonial service, but not the badge).

In my opinion, I don't believe his shipboard service on the S.M.S. Karlsruhe at the start of the war, sinking tonnage and subsequent sinking would be sufficient service to earn the Kolonial badge.

Navy officers, which I know of, that did earn the Kolonial badge, were stationed at colonial posts, not just in high seas fleets.

But this doesn’t detract from the group. I maybe Warnecke and the crew of the Karlsruhe could have argued that they were operating far outside home waters. Certainly they could make a strong case.

He had Reichsmarine service, so the record of Kolonial badge should be there.

I think this is a great group to;

a pre-war officer,

who served in wwi in a fighting ship,

far from home waters,

that sunk enemy tonnage and

was sunk early in the war.

Survived to serve the rest of the war and had later service as well.


Please show more close-up photos of the group, including the back of the medalbar and ribbon bar.

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Thanks Claudius, I will supply more photos when I get home. Right now I am in Santa Rosa, CA. I had emergency eye surgery on my left eye Tuesday last. I need to remain here until the gas bubble goes down and the Dr. releases me to travel.I had a detached Retina. Cheers George

Whoa. Take care and Godspeed your recovery.

Take some more photos when you get the green light from the doctor.

This stuff isn't worth losing your eyesight over. (some may think this to be blasphemy)

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Hello Claudius I returned today - the operation went fine, now recuperating. Since The right eye is really blurry - I will take your advice and wait to do photo work for at least one-two weeks. The officer's cap insignia is not original to the group and is a copy for display. Thanks George

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