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An engraved, WW1 Tapferkeitsmedaille

Elmar Lang

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Yesterday, I've visited an old friend of mine in Cortina d'Ampezzo. He showed to me some pieces and discussed about some of them.

Later, I've been able to acquire from him a Tapferkeitsmedaille: its an usual 1st Class medal in silver type 1914-1916 (struck with the "A" mark on the rim): curiously it has an old, partially worn gilding and its reverse is engraved "OFFIZIERSKORPS DES J.B. IV/33" on top and below, "FELDZUG 1914-1916". The engraving is very well made, I need to say.

It is complete with a fine, original ribbon (removed by me, to better allow the scans).

The text allows me to think that it refers to a present from the Officers of the 4th Battalion of the Infantry Regiment nr. 33 "Kaiser Leopold".

Searching through the Rang-Liste of 1918 (I haven't earlier ones from WW1) I haven't found any junior officer from the mentioned regiment, with either the Goldene or the Silberne 1. Klasse Medal.

Any further info, would most appreciated,

Enzo (E.L.)

Edited by Elmar Lang
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That's very interesting, thank you!

I think I should try to put together a complete series of the k.u.k. Schematisma and Rang-Listen from 1914 to the end of the war: they are more important than a single, fine decoration.


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The following reserve officers of IR 33 with a 1st Class Silver Medal are listed in 1916:

Oberleutnant in der Reserve Béla Ernyei

Leutnant in der Reserve Géza Olajos

Leutnant in der Reserve Alexander Mateffy

Leutnant in der Reserve Johann Léger

Leutnant in der Reserve Julius Karácsony

Leutnant in der Reserve Karl Kurtag

Leutnant in der Reserve Josef Farkas

Fähnrich in der Reserve Matthias Roth

Fähnrich in der Reserve Andreas Sámson

Fähnrich in der Reserve Anton Szuck

Most of these guys and some others are also in the 1918 list??



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That's excellent; a warm thank you to both Ian and Glenn, replying to my enquiry.

I will look through the 1918 Rang-Liste and see whether any of the mentioned officers were still attached to the JR 33.

Curious, is the fact of the medal's gilding, but this could have happened anytime after WW1...

Best wishes,


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Leutnant in der Reserve Josef Farkas did win a Gold bravery medal - 1 Oct 1917. Perhaps, and this is big perhaps, he had his engraved 1st Class gilted after the war as a replacement piece??



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Hello again,

a more patient research in the 1918 Rang-Liste, helped me to see that all the 10 officers were still on duty in the JR 33.

Géza Olajos was then Leutnant (and not anymore in der Reserve); Johann Léger and Karl Kurtag appear as promoted to Oberleutnants.

One name: Josef Farkas, Leutnant der Reserve, appears as having been decorated with the Goldene Tapferkeitsmedaille along with the MVK III Kl. KD u. Schw.; the Bronzenes "Signum Laudis" am Kriegsband m. Schw.; the Silberne Tapferkeitsmedaille 1. Klasse; the Silberne Tapferkeitsmedaille 2. Klasse and the Karl Truppenkreuz.

There's a chance that the gilding could be old and the medal could have been a present to that brave, young officer.

With my gratitude for the precious help,


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Dear Glenn,

your reply arrived while I was typing my post.

Yes, a perhaps is necessary, since the engraving on my medal refers to the 1914-1916 campaign. Farkas's Goldene Tapferkeitsmedaille was awarded in Oct. 1917, when the type of medal should have been with Emperor Karl's portrait.

If my medal actually belonged to Farkas, it could have been gilt after the war, for unknown reasons and having been his Silberne Tapferkeitsmedaille 1.Klasse.

Or one of the Silberne Tapferkeitsmedaillen 1. Klasse awarded until the early 1917 to a junior officer of the JR 33.

All the best,


Edited by Elmar Lang
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