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a small group with boxes  

Here are mine.

Hi everybody today I am an happy collector. I have received today the box for the Kriegsverdienstkreuz. I show here all my boxes from Reuss Christophe

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Sweet medal, Tom! For some reason these medals do not seem as common as many of the other German states.

How many classes did this medal come in?


Keep em coming!!

Three: golden merit medal with crown, golden merit medal and silver merit medal.

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Gold w/ crown

Gold w/ swords

Gold w/crown & swords


Silver w/ swords

I think one reason they're scarce is the delicacy of the suspension. I imagine a lot of them were broken over the years.

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Proportionate to the population of the two principalities, I'm not sure their awards are that rare. Here are the member states of the empire in order of population:

Preu?en - 37,278,820

Bayern - 6,524,372

Sachsen - 4,582,000 (1907)

W?rttemberg - 2,300,000

Baden - 2,010,728

Hessen - 1,210,000

Hamburg - 875,090

Mecklenburg-Schwerin - 625,045

Braunschweig - 485,655

Oldenburg - 438,195

Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach - 387,892

Anhalt - 328,007

Sachsen-Meiningen - 268,916

Bremen - 263,426

Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha - 242,292

Reu?-Greiz & Reu?-Gera - 215,160 (70,590 + 144,570)

Sachsen-Altenburg - 206,508

Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt & Schwarzburg-Sondershausen - 182,007 (96,830 + 85,177)

Lippe-Detmold - 145,610

L?beck - 105,857

Mecklenburg-Strelitz - 103,451

Schaumburg-Lippe - 44,992

Waldeck - 59,135

Taking into account population, for the most part the most commonly seen awards are from the largest states. The silver Merit Medal with swords is certainly far more commonly seen than, for example, the Silver Merit Medal with Swords Clasp from Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha, which is the equivalent medal from the next largest state. Sachsen-Altenburg's Bravery Medal and the two Schwarzburgs' Silver Medal for Merit in War are more commonly seen, but also are less popular because of their lower quality manufacture.

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Breaking it down in that manner really puts things into perspective. Also, thank you for showing your bar! It is a real beauty!

Seeing how there were so many classes of this medal, what grade would you think is on my ribbon bar(Silver with swords?)



Edited by Paul Reck
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I forgot to note that except for Saxony these were the numbers from the 1905 census. Saxony's is as noted from 1907. Most of these states had relatively robust population growth in the next decade, except for, among others, the two Mecklenburg grand duchies, which were stagnant backwaters environmentally, economically and politically.

A number of factors will also skew award numbers. Among these was the fact that maritime states like Oldenburg, Mecklenburg-Schwerin and the three Hanseatic cities had proportionately higher representation in the Navy, so their awards to naval personnel. To illustrate this, here are the numbers of awards of certain EK equivalents to Kapitäne zur See of the Navy:

Prussia - Iron Cross, 2nd Class: 111 (109 also had the 1st Class)

Oldenburg - Friedrich August Cross 2nd Class: 49 (45 also had the 1st Class)

Hamburg - Hanseatic Cross: 30

Bavaria - Military Merit Order: 24

Bremen - Hanseatic Cross: 14

Saxony: Albert Order w/Swords: 11

Lübeck - Hanseatic Cross: 10

Württemberg - Friedrich Order w/Swords: 7 (also 3 Crown Orders w/Swords)

Mecklenburg-Schwerin: Military Merit Cross: 7 (also 1 1st Class)

Braunschweig - War Merit Cross: 6

Baden - Zähringen Lion w/Swords: 5

Saxe-Weimar: White Falcon w/Swords: 4

Hessen - General Honor Decoration for Bravery: 3

Anhalt - Friedrich Cross: 2 (one of whom also had the Albert the Bear w/Swords)

Saxon Duchies - Saxe-Ernestine House Order w/Swords: 2

Schaumburg-Lippe - Cross for Loyal Service: 2

By the way, this sample was 113 officers, which makes you wonder what the deal was with the only two captains in the German navy who didn't get the Iron Cross. One of these two, though, had a rather uncommon award: the Red Eagle 3rd Class with Swords and white/orange Bow.

I was going to tabulate through lower ranks and see if the trends were similar, but that might take some time and I suppose someone might already have done this.

Also, since the 1918 Navy rank list came out early in the year, it's possible some state might have shot ahead of the pack later by giving out a lot more naval awards. For instance, when the list came out, Fürst Heinrich XXVII of Reuß might have noticed that he had only awarded the Princely Honor Cross with Swords to a grand total of four regular navy officers - Korvettenkapitän Alexander Werth, Kapitänleutnant Ernst Kellermann, Kapitänleutnant Hugo Schmidt and Kapitänleutnant Fürst Heinrich XXXVII of Reuß.

Fürst Heinrich XXXVII, by the way, was a fairly well-decorated naval officer, with the EK1 & 2, Mecklenburg-Schwerin MVK 1 & 2, Mecklenburg-Strelitz Cross for Distinction in War, Braunschweig War Merit Cross and Reuß Honor Cross 4th Class with Swords to go with his various higher house awards. He was also luckier than his brother, Heinrich XXXVIII, who was wounded in action near Verdun (at Samogneux) on 21 March 1918 and died the next day, one of four Reuß princes killed in the war (another died at Stalingrad in 1942).

Edited by Dave Danner
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The last one. Like youcan see, I begin with ribbon bar for NCO or enlisted men (the swords are not in silver or in gold), the second is, I think, for one officer (swords are in silver) and the last one is for the Reuss Ehrenkreuz 3. Kl. with X and crown. Hava a look. Thanks to Rick R who ID this beauty.



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Here is the Princely Reuss Honor Cross, 3rd Class with Swords. Note that the 3rd Class is more commonly seen than the 4th Class. This is because the 3rd was the class usually awarded to junior officers. The 4th was mainly for certain senior NCO and warrant-officer types.

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Spectacular bars, Christophe!

How Tracable are the Ruess bars?


Thank you again for your in depth explaination. I have learned more today about the various German State medals than my entire "knowledge base" before.

I have never seen those medals before! Very nice. What are the differences in the first and second classes?


Edited by Paul Reck
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The awards rolls of the RE3X have been lost with the end of the WW2 so we will probably never know the awards number of each medals and orders of Reuss. So it will be very difficult to trace one medal bar. Only if the officers is present in the Ranglisten before the WW1 and only if he survived the war in was in the Reichsheer. In the 1925 Ranglisten I have found only 54 officers who received orders from Reuss, maybe I have forgotten one or two but that's all.



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What are the differences in the first and second classes?


I have a table breaking down the recipients of the various classes here: http://home.att.net/~david.danner/militaria/reuss.htm

I don't have images of any class with swords except the 3rd, but each of the 4 main classes without swords is shown (no Officer's Cross). I also don't have an image of the Golden Merit Medal with Crown and Swords.

Also note that several are on the original statute ribbon, which was amaranth, which was replaced by the yellow/red/black war ribbon in 1915. Brian's forefather's medal bar, which he's shown elsewhere, has a prewar award on this ribbon.

I also need to update the general information on this page (and others). I have that IR 96 was the principalities' main regular unit, but I need more on other Reuss units. I know RIR 32 was heavily made up of Reuss men; I think RIR 252 might be as well, but someone with a regimental list could maybe confirm? I also don't know which LIR would be Reuss', since there does not appear to have been an LIR 96.

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That is a shame with the record's destruction.


That website of yours is a God send! I have book marked it. I must have read it twice already tonight. It really connects a lot of dots for me! Thank you!


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RIR 32 was raised in Gera and intially commanded by Oberstleutnant von Hering of IR 32 (KIA 7 September 1914).

  • I. Bataillon was raised from men taken from IR 95 under the command of Major von Stockhausen
  • II. Bataillon was raised from men taken from IR 96 under the command of Major Uhlenhaut
  • III. Bataillon was raised from men taken from IR 95 under the command of Major von Hertell
The regimental losses are given as 58 officers and 1792 NCOs and other ranks.

RIR 252 was raised by Stellv. Gen. Kdo. XI. A. K. at Truppen-?bungs-Platz Ohrdruf from:

  • Feldbataillon 57 in Sondershausen by Ersatz-Bataillon/IR 71
  • Feldbataillon 58 in Coburg by Ersatz-Bataillon/IR 95
  • Feldbataillon 59 in Rudolstadt by Ersatz-Bataillon/IR 96
The regimental staff was raised by Ersatz-Bataillon/IR 71. Date of establishment was 29 December 1914. The regiment was assigned to 76. Reserve-Division and commanded by Major Laue of F?silier-Regiment Nr. 35. The battalions were commanded as follows:
  • I. Bataillon under the command of Major Bachfeld
  • II. Bataillon under the command of Hauptmann Grau
  • III. Bataillon under the command of Major H?bner
The regimental losses are given as 40 officers and 2288 NCOs and other ranks.

Another unit with a probable Reuss contingent was Landsturm-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 11, which was raised on 16 June 1916 by Stellv. Gen. Kdo. XI. A.K. and assigned to 8. Armee. Its two battalions were raised from Landsturm-Infanterie-Bataillon XI. 22 and Landsturm-Infanterie-Bataillon XI. 23. Replacements were provided by Ersatz-Bataillon/Landsturm-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 11 (XI. 27) (Ohrdruf) and demobilised by IR 71.

Many Landwehr and Landsturm men from Reuss were used as replacements for various units throughout the war. Some units were raised in Gera and used elsewhere, e.g.:

  • III./Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 71 commanded by Major a.D. Ulrich was raised in Gera
  • 2. Landsturm-Infanterie-Bataillon Gera (XI. 13) was mobilised on 17 August 1914 and served with Gouvernement Belgien as part of 2. Armee
  • 2. Landsturm-Infanterie-Bataillon Gera (XI. 25) was mobilised on 10 February 1916 and was assigned to 10. Armee, Armee-Abteilung D, Heeresgruppe Kiew, 1. bayerische Kavallerie-Division
Oberst z. D. von D?cker, Bezirkskommandeur for Gera, took command of RIR 206, so Reuss awards might have been bestowed on men that served with that unit, too.

This information was taken from Hartwig Busche's Formationsgeschichte der deutschen Infanterie im Ersten Weltkrieg 1914-1918.

I'll check my Milit?rpass entries for Reuss awards and add those later


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It's nice to see these Reuss bars. There's not as many mounted examples as one would think floating around out there. Tougher one to find then Prussia, Bavaria or Saxony for sure. In fact, I would venture we see the Hanseatic pieces and Mecklenburg far more than we see Reuss, Lippe or Lippe-Detmold!

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