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Late reward ? existed a rumour that Hitlers EK I was given to him by Luddendorff post war . Anyways it must be remembered that the Imperial Army although no more Imperial was not disbanded until January of 1919 and between March of 1919 and 1921 the Army was numerous about 400 000 men , 

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The awarding of orders and decorations was halted almost immediately after the abdication of the Kaiser and collapse of the Imperial and Prussian governments. It was renewed in 1919 for the Iron Cross and a few other awards considered state decorations rather than orders (IIRC, the wound badge, the Prussian Verdienstkreuz für Kriegshilfe, and maybe Red Cross decorations). It was supposed to stop officially on 31.5.1924, but a few awards dragged on until 7.3.1925, when authority was officially terminated.

Many, if not most, of the 200,000 or so EK2 awarded between 1919 and 1924 were likely to returning POWs and internees. The 55,000 or so EK1s awarded in this period were heavily "catch-up" awards, as Chris noted.

Looking through my Wehrmacht personnel file notes, I see a fair number of EK1 awards in 1920, 1921 and 1924, but none in 1922 and 1923. I think the backlog of outstanding 1918 recommendations, POW/internee awards and Grenzschutz awards was mostly cleared up by 1921, but there was continued pressure in 1922 and 1923 to process the remaining ones, so a bunch more finally ended up being made in 1924. In 1925 they said "Stop. No more."

After the Nazis came to power, there was a push to revisit the issue, but nothing came of it. Instead, the so-called Hindenburg crosses were instituted to recognize war service, rather than specific merit. There was also a re-evaluation of the criteria for wound badges, which led to a number of awards around 1936, especially silver wound badges for loss of a limb.

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Hello gentlemen,

so if I understand this correctly, there were not only documents issued for EKI, II after the war as "catch ups", but also some that were earned after the armistice during Freikorps activities?

Thank you,

Grey

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  • 3 weeks later...

Great information, Dave. I would also think a number of the post war EK2s were related to the wounded, in addition to POWs and internees. I'm sure it wasn't official policy, but I'm of the opinion that a significant amount (if not close to half in WWII) of EKs were awarded in relation to wounds, both "Black" type as well as the "heavy" wounds (that became official policy in WWII), in both world wars. So, just my general belief in the close connection between being wounded and being decorated with an EK2, would have me think that these post war EKs would show similar trends.

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46 minutes ago, Brian R said:

Great information, Dave. I would also think a number of the post war EK2s were related to the wounded, in addition to POWs and internees. I'm sure it wasn't official policy, but I'm of the opinion that a significant amount (if not close to half in WWII) of EKs were awarded in relation to wounds, both "Black" type as well as the "heavy" wounds (that became official policy in WWII), in both world wars. So, just my general belief in the close connection between being wounded and being decorated with an EK2, would have me think that these post war EKs would show similar trends.

Hi,

there seems to have been a decree in about 1916 that guys wounded enough to have been invalided out of the service recieved an EK2, I have seen this in quite a few groups, even guys wounded in August 1914 badly enough to be invalided out.

I do not see a trend to award the EK as an ersatz for a wound badge for regular wounds.

POWs accounted for a good number of awards,

For the "catch up" awards, applicants had to provide some proof that they deserved it, witnessed by officers of their unit.

Best

Chris

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9 minutes ago, Chris Boonzaier said:

Hi,

there seems to have been a decree in about 1916 that guys wounded enough to have been invalided out of the service recieved an EK2, I have seen this in quite a few groups, even guys wounded in August 1914 badly enough to be invalided out.

I do not see a trend to award the EK as an ersatz for a wound badge for regular wounds.

POWs accounted for a good number of awards,

For the "catch up" awards, applicants had to provide some proof that they deserved it, witnessed by officers of their unit.

Best

Chris

Yup. I'm saying (or thinking) that there must have been a number of guys wounded in the fighting of 1918 that were decorated with the EK2 after the war as a result (without any official policy stating they should).

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