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Gordon Craig

SCHÜTZENKOMPANIE  SEPP INNERKOFLER-SEXTEN

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SCHÜTZENKOMPANIE 
    SEPP INNERKOFLER-SEXTEN


Sepp Innerkofler was a WWI Austrian soldier from the Tyrol area of Austria/Italy.  He was a well know mountain guide (Berführer) before WWI.  He was born in Sesto/Sexten (Italian/German name) 2 December 1861 and died April 18, 1915.  The town is located in Italy.  According to the2011 census, 95.37% of the population spoke German, 4.36% spoke Italian and 0.27% spoke Ladin. (Ladin  Italian: ladino; German: Ladinisch) is a Romance language consisting of a group of dialects that some consider part of a unitary Rhaeto-Romance language, mainly spoken in the Dolomite Mountains in Northern Italy in the provinces of South Tyrol, Trentino, and Belluno, by the Ladin people. It exhibits similarities to Swiss Romansh and Friulian.)  
After Italy declared war on Austria’Hangary in May of 1915 the Standschtützen became part of the army on both sides.  Standschützen were rifle guilds and rifle companies that had existed since the 15th and 16th centuries and repeatedly intervened in the acts of war initially only within and later also outside the borders of Tyrol. A standing gunner was a member of a shooting range where he was enrolled and which he committed himself to the voluntary military protection of the state of Tyrol (or Vorarlberg ).  Sepp Innerkofler was a member of one of these Standschützen. He was successful in forming, and leading, a group of mountain guides within the Standschützen that successfully carried out a war of movement within the Alps delaying occupation of the area by Italian troops until Austrian troops arrived.  These standschützen prevented an Italian army breakthrough.  At this time, Austrian troops were fully occupied fighting the war on the Serbian-Russian front and there were relatively few Austrian soldiers available to oppose the Italians in the Tyrol in May of 1915.  Sepp Innerkofler was killed while trying to reconquer the summit of Paternkofel that had been captures by the Italian Alpini.
The badge I have in my collection is marked, on the obverse, “STANSCHÜTZENKOMPANIE SEPP INNERFOFLER-SEXTEN-1979".  I can not find anything on the net referring to this gathering but it was probably a rifle competition between local Standschützen.  The makers mark on the back is to GRANERO a firm that is still producing badges for many organizations.  It is a good quality badge in high relief.

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Hello,

the badge refers to the foundation of one of the many "Shooters' Companies" (Schützenkompanien"), active in the Alto Adige autonomous province (also known as "Südtirol" from the german-speaking population).

Here, https://schuetzen.com/veranstaltung/40-jahre-wiedergruendungsfest-der-schuetzenkompanie-sepp-innerkofler-sexten/ you can find a few data about the celebrations for the 40 years of that company, to be held in the next July.

As you can see from the link above, they mean to celebrate the "re-foundation" of their company, named to Sepp Innerkofler… that actually never existed prior to 1918; a curious story.

The Tyrolean "Schützenkompanien" are now paramilitary organizations recalling the traditions of the Tyrolean Standschützenkompanien existing until some years after 1918 in the territories then passed to Italy after its victory over Austria-Hungary in WW1. In the territories now part of the Italian Republic, they keep a strongly nationalist, anti-italian position, assuming that no single Italian-speaking citizen, lived in South Tyrol, pr ior the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.

Personally, I can accept that local associations could keep alive, the old traditions of their own region/territory. I less understand the expansion, in an anti-Italian action, of such "Schutzenkompanien", all over the Trentino province, that is the Italian-speaking province, forming the autonomous region of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol; such companies, also proclaiming themselves as "re-founded", never ever existed in the Trentino area, also during the austrian monarchy, except some "Compagnie di Tiratori del Casino di Tiro di…(name of the town-city)".

I apologize for this long introduction...

Your badge was made by Granero, a very active and qualified maker of badges, orders and decorations: the firm, closed in 2013 and all their materials have been destroyed or lost; the machinery, sold or demolished. Mrs. Granero, the last owner of the firm, was a kind lady with a deep knowledge of phaleristic and technical jewellery, now enjoying her retirement after a life in a firm, she inherited from at least three generations, after its in Turin, back in the late 19th Century.

Best wishes,

Enzo (E.L.)

 

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Enzo,

Thanks for adding your interesting comments to the thread.  I was somewhat confused by the existence of these Austrian type organizations in Italy and your comments helped very much here.  I wasn't aware that Granero had gone out of business.  There are a considerable number of the badges they made for sale on ebay. 

Regards,

Gordon

 

 

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