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Dear fellow collectors,

I have recently taken a great interest in Saxon orders, and I have been able to acquire several, but there is one thing that I'm still not sure about. When reading literature I sometimes come across numbers that say there were roughly 11,000 awards of the Albrechtsorden 2nd class, whereas others say there were only around 7700 Albrechtsorden 2nd class with swords, plus around 1500 without swords. Is there someone who can give me a clear number or estimate?

Kind regards, Laurentius

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Good Evening, 

according to the listed website their is 11,100 crosses awarded with swords. (google translate as I can not)

https://www.ehrenzeichen-orden.de/deutsche-staaten/albrechtsorden-ritterkreuz-2-klasse-mit-schwerter.html

Order of Albrecht Knight's Cross 2nd class with swords
 
The Albrechtesorden was donated by King Friedrich August II as a souvenir of Duke Albrecht the Beherzten on 31.12.1850. He first divided into the following classes: Grand Cross, Commander's Cross 1, Commander's Cross 2, Knight's Cross and Cross. The first form of the order, with a "baker's hat", was awarded until 1875. The portrait in the medallion probably represents the greatest error in the history of the Order. The portrait did not depict Albrecht the Afflicted, but John the Constant's nephews from the Ernestine line. This embarrassing mistake was corrected with the change in the medallion. The second form shows the right Albrecht with folding cap. In 1866 the swords were donated to all classes. The knights were divided in 1876 into Knights 1st and 2nd class. The cross of honor was canceled and was now the 2nd class of knights. The Albrechtskreuz replaces the golden medal as 6th grade. In 1890 the officer's cross was donated over the 1st class. Second Class Knight Crosses were made in silver or made of silver with gilt middle shields and swords. The size varies between 48-46 mm x 34.5-33.5 mm. The cross was awarded with swords about 11,100 times.

regards 

chuck 

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Dear Chuck,

thanks for your help, the website says 11,000 pieces were awarded, but I'd like to have some confirmation from actual literature, since the site is often mistaken. It beats wikipedia for sure, but it isn't as good as referencebooks.

Kind regards, Laurentius

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According to late Gert Oswald's Sachsen Spezialkatalog, Band I. Orden und Ehrenzeichen des Königreiches Sachsen (p. 142), published by Frank Bartel in 2011, there was a total of 7894 knight's crosses 2nd class with swords awarded, the biggest part, 7104 to Saxons, the other 790 to "foreigners" (non-Saxons). This includes the colonial awards, but those were very few. So literally almost all of those were given in the "Great War". Oswald also gives award numbers for crosses without swords: 4062 to Saxons, 1509 to foreigners. I do not know if these numbers are complete, but his whole work seems very accurate in general.

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Sascha, do you know what his primary sources were? 

In reviewing Wehrmacht personnel files, I have come across dozens of late war awards of both the Verdienstorden and Albrechtsorden with swords which were not in Roth. I believe that Roth primarily used the MVB, supplemented with secondary sources like regimental histories, which is why he was missing many late war awards. Similarly, for Baden, Roth primarily used the Staatsanzeiger, and was missing several hundred late war awards which I compiled from the actual BZ roll.

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Sascha,

 

I am sorry but Gert was wrong.

I have alone 10.145 knights 2nd class with swords in my files - and thats only the Saxons.

Plus ca. 1.100 awarded to Prussians and Navy, plus ca. 100 to Württemberg, plus ca. 100 to Bavaria.

All in all I would guess we speak about 13.000 awards with swords.

As Dave mentioned, there are many, many awards not published anymore which come out from secondary sources.

 

Best,

Daniel

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Dave Danner said:

Sascha, do you know what his primary sources were? 

Good question! No, that is something I cannot find on the mentioned page. It may well be he did it like Roth, but I tend to assume he counted from actual lists. I don't have Roth on Saxony. Are his numbers close to those I quoted?

PS: Thanks Daniel! Compared to more than 20,000 Bavarian MVOs 4th class, the Albrecht numbers seemed a bit low to me as well...

Edited by saschaw

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Roth has 11267 awards from Saxon primary sources:

1914 - 470
1915 - 3169
1916 - 4256
1917 - 3172
1918 - 200

Based on the numbers of awards in previous years, and based on numbers given in various regimental histories, he guessed there were probably around 1720 awards for 1918, of which he only had the 200. If he was right, that would get you close to Daniel's 13,000 estimate.

 

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Dave, Sascha and Daniel, I'd like to thank you for your input.

 I have however a question. Dave said the guess was that there were around 1720 awards in 1918. isn't that a bit low? That would mean it is the lowest year except for 1914 (which was only 4 months). Isn't 1918 usually the year in which awards were most often given out?

Kind regards, and thanks in advance, Laurentius

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Nope. Not always.

As the Albert was the basic decoration for young Officers, most had it already.

The numbers of the Order of Merit and the St. Henry did increase, same as the Prussian awards of the Hohenzollern or pour le merite increased.

 

Best,

Daniel 

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Roth looked at regimental histories where the total number of awards were given, and found that roughly 86% were before 1918. He applied that number to the known totals from 1914-17, and with some additional information, made his rough estimate.

As Daniel said, there was a drop-off in 1918 for some officer awards. For comparison, here are the year-by-year award numbers for Schwarzburg-Sondershausen:

1914 - 43
1915 - 259
1916 - 147
1917 - 116
1918 - 103

It is likely that the numbers for 1916 and 1917 would have been higher, but Sondershausen rejected many award recommendations to Leutnants who already had the Medaille für Verdienst im Kriege before they were commissioned. It was not until late-1917 that they decided that this was unfair and approved such awards. Baden was the same, and many Baden officers had only a Silberne Verdienstmedaille am Bande des Karl Friedrich Militärverdienstordens earned before commissioning as Leutnants. Saxony, by contrast, never seemed to have a problem awarding the Albrechtsorden to Leutnants who already had the Friedrich-August-Medaille. Bavaria and Württemberg also awarded their basic officer awards to Leutnants who already had an enlisted/NCO award, although Württemberg often awarded the higher award in place of the lower one. For other states with separate officer and enlisted awards, such as Sachsen-Weimar, Reuß and Waldeck, there is not enough data. We know of officers who received both officer and enlisted awards, such as Adolf Heusinger, but we don't know if other officers were rejected because they already had an enlisted award.

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