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I apologize for asking this, if it's commonly known (but not by me!): Is it the case that Imperial German medal bars with detachable medals were only worn by enlisted men, not officers?

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I don’t think this is the case at all. For instance, when the medals where awarded to an enlisted man, NCO, or officer, they where awarded as a single decoration, not mounted.
 

It was the at the digression of the awardee to have their awards mounted, and thus, depending upon how much or little they had or wanted to pay, determined the quality and style of their medal mounting. 

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That is what I had thought until recently, a knowledgeable person expressed this belief.  I will survey the early medal bars to see if there are any obvious officer bars there, for example, having a higher grade of the Red Eagle or Crown order or something like that. 

Well, this is interesting, and perhaps deserving of our time to explore. I just surveyed the medal bars in the thread listed for 1870 and older bars in the mega medal bar section and could not find a single one mounted that way that was clearly for an officer.  There were at least two that had a Red Eagle 4th class, without any additional embellishments, eg crowns or swords, which would be rare enough for an enlisted man, but not a single one, mounted that way, that included any higher order gong. So....

I invite anyone to show here examples of officer medal bars of the period 1870's and before, mounting detachable medals.

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Hello,

 

here an example:

This bar has 5 hooks at the back to put all the awards on.

see 

 

 

I have seen Officers up to General ranks with that style of bars.

Not common, but not overly rare as well.

 

Best,

Daniel

 

20201223_174034.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Well, that last one seems to prove the point. Still, It'd be fun to see some other examples of officer medal bars in this style. Thanks to all who contributed thus far.

 

Willy 2 is wearing a RUSSIAN uniform, but with many Prussian awards. Are there any photos of him wearing this bar with German uniform?

Edited by filfoster
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3 hours ago, 91-old-inf-reg said:

Well, I couldn’t find any other photos of Willy du with that particular medal bar, however here are some other examples:

41DF7FE9-0A8F-4DC9-895C-38F02984FC51.thumb.jpeg.2598d1164e7b990ed6aa31e0d39994bb.jpeg87923345-53AB-4E2F-96C6-1E4F2F130538.thumb.jpeg.4ee07f1678292e3f68e990bebbaed67a.jpeg97906958-5A2B-4523-ACA5-17075580DC1F.jpeg.44e77c6f5dccab77186c4ded70cc775b.jpeg283F4161-E8BB-4CB4-A600-E58458867089.thumb.jpeg.d7896ccce7e59e0c13133a38131a7cac.jpeg418C5B25-A77F-4F02-9067-B0E91098D51B.thumb.jpeg.ddce570a4445b45ec69c71e6cfd4b726.jpeg

Well, that last one seems to prove the point. Still, It'd be fun to see some other examples of officer medal bars in this style. Thanks to all who contributed thus far.

 

I am inclined to think these are simply ribbon bars per the regulations for the trapezoidal form, rather than a bar with attachment hooks for medals. 

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YEs, this is a famous photo and I have actually replicated that bar.  No way to know if they are detachable gongs, although I think an example of this medal bar survives in a museum at one of the castles. 

I hope some will post photos of Prussian officer medal bars that have detachable medals, e.g. show the hooks on the reverse, vs. purely early style ribbon bars or medal bars made in this style but with permanently attached medals.

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Here is the backside on my bar, mentioned above.

 

From my experience, there were less bars like this in the early 1900s but far more in the middle of the 1800s. Might be a fashion thing, might be a Financial thing... who knows...

 

Best,

Daniel

20211020_152026.jpg

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Dave: Yes, thanks for this as well. It is an example of an officer's detachable medal bar but the 'bowing' of the ribbon behind the medals, at bottom, suggests, as you say, that it wasn't intended as an alternate ribbon bar. From what we've got so far, I still think these were NOT common for officers, who seem to have preferred the full folded mounting style with permanently attached medals. I hope folks will continue to post examples like yours, of officer bars with hooks, and that rarest of species, the bars that could also be worn as ribbon bars without the medals. I'm sure there are some more out there, like the one shared by Daniel Krause.

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