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Imperial German State Pinbacks/Steckkreuz

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Hi Guys,

Anyone here who collects the various state pinbacks and who managed to catch Torsten Straube's update today would certainly have peaked many's interest, myself included.

I would like to hear people's thoughts on these 3 pinbacks in particular.

Lippe Kriegsehrenkreuz für heldenmütige Tat 1914 Steckkreuz - A good award piece by Zimmermann? Do you think the pin has been reattached?

Reuß Kriegsverdienstkreuz 1915 Steckkreuz - An award piece? Possible maker?

Sachsen-Altenburg Herzog Ernst Medaille mit Schwertern Steckkreuz - An award piece? Possible maker?

Those who have you who have these nice awards already, I would love to hear your comparisons.

















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  • 4 weeks later...
8 hours ago, Solomon said:

Hi Alan,

I have no problem with the Kriegsehrenkreuz für heldenmütige Tat Lippe-Detmold.
It´s a typical Zimmermann-piece, as it should look like.


Thank you Roman for opinion and support much appreciated.

I look forward to adding this zimmermann Lippe Kriegsehrenkreuz to my collection along with the Reuß Kriegsverdienstkreuz.

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  • 7 months later...
On 24/08/2018 at 07:42, dond said:

Here is a recent fake of the Saxon Altenburg cross that sold on ebay.de recently. Note the soft details when compared to the one above.

s-l1600 (12).jpg

s-l1600 (13).jpg

Thanks Don for posting the pics. I see it went for 557Euro, pricey filler.

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The seller is currently going down the bidder list offering a second one for less. Uses the story that the soldier had more than one for wear on a second uniform.  What are the chances of two originals turning up, honestly?  I'm sure he has found a second sucker by now.

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  • 7 months later...
14 hours ago, VtwinVince said:

Great collection Alan, but you're missing the 'first class' of the Anhalt Friedrich Kreuz, and where is the Oldenburg equivalent?

Hi Vince,

Anhalt‘s Friedrich Kreuz is an unofficial award so doesn‘t count for me.

11 hours ago, GreyC said:


I am not familiar with these, but isn´t the Oldenburg cross the one next to the EKI on the left (from looking at it)?



Hi Grey,

You are correct.

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Quite an impressive display, there, Alan. I have seen photos on which soldiers wore two different crosses besides the EKI. I wonder if there were also soldiers with more than that? If so, probably Generals and higher.


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Dear Greyc,

there were plenty officers, but also NCO's and sometimes (but rarely) even regular soldiers with more than one 'steckkreuz'. Although most recipients of multiple of these steckkreuzes only wore one at the time, you can sometimes find pictures of officers wearing 2 or 3. It's a bit like neck-orders, most keep it to one, but there are always people who want to brag 😆

Kind regards, Laurentius

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Thanks Laurentius,

I attach a photo of a braunschweiger Förster who earned EKII and EKI as well as the

braunschweiger Kriegsverdienstkreuz II and I. Klasse. The latter was only  awarded since 20.März 1918 by Herzog Ernst August. The photo was taken in 1925. I like it because of the symmetry.



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  • 2 weeks later...

In the case of Braunschweig, to be awarded the Kriegsverdienstkreuz 1. Klasse, you had to have the EK1. It was not automatic; you still had to be recommended for the award, but the only requirement to approve it was possession of the EK1. It did not require a separate act. 

The two Mecklenburgs awarded their decorations without regard to what Prussia did. You could receive the Militärverdienstkreuz 1. Klasse or the Kreuz 1. Klasse für Auszeichnung im Kriege whether you had the EK1 or not. Oldenburg was the same way, although Oldenburg also had the habit of awarding both classes of the Friedrich-August-Kreuz at the same time to people who already had the EK1 but had not yet received the OK2. Several recipients of the Kriegsehrenkreuz für heldenmütige Tat from Lippe-Detmold did not have the EK1.

Although a pinback, Hessen's Kriegerehrenzeichen in Eisen was comparable to the Bewährungsabzeichen for Braunschweig's Kriegsverdienstkreuz 2. Klasse. You had to be from the state and have spent an extended period at the front lines and been wounded ("Ich will es hessischen Staatsangehörigen, die sich bei andauernder Betätigung in vorderster Kampflinie durch Tapferkeit ausgezeichnet und ihr Blut vergossen haben, auf Vorschlag ihrer Vorgesetzten und auf Grund besonders ergehender Bestimmungen verleihen."). 

The other awards were much rarer. Schaumburg-Lippe's was the rarest, since only 20 were awarded and 18 of those were to Fürstlichkeiten (and 11 of those were princes of Schaumburg-Lippe).

Regarding people with more than one pinback besides the EK1, I would say the most common were Mecklenburgers with both the Schwerin and Strelitz pinbacks, and navy officers with the Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Oldenburg crosses. There were also probably a few X. Armeekorps officers with both the Braunschweig and Oldenburg crosses. I know of a small handful of IR 94 and IR 96 officers with both the Reuß and Sachsen-Weimar pinbacks and at least one IR 95 officer with Sachsen-Weimar and Sachsen-Coburg u. Gotha.

The Kaiser had most, but not all (notably, not Schaumburg-Lippe's pinback, even though Kaiser Karl, Tsar Ferdinand and Sultan Mehmet V had it). Crown Prince Rupprecht had three (Lippe-Detmold and both Mecklenburgs). Hindenburg received at least six (Braunschweig, Lippe-Detmold, both Mecklenburgs, Reuß and Sachsen-Coburg u. Gotha) and probably also Oldenburg. Ludendorff had at least five (Lippe-Detmold, both Mecklenburgs, Reuß and Sachsen-Coburg u. Gotha) and probably also Oldenburg and Braunschweig.

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