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Hello fellow forumites,

 

Alexander Freiherr von Fritsch was a Saxon cavalry officer in UR 18 who had previously served in the Schutztruppe für Deutsch Südwestafrika. He was placed z.D. on 20.4.1914 and was the owner of a farm in SWA when World War I started. He subsequently served again with the Schutztruppe during the brief fighting there in 1914/15.

 

Fritsch had previously received the Albrechts-Orden, Ritterkreuz 2. Klasse mit Schwertern (SA3bX), while serving with the Schutztruppe.

 

When he was placed z.D. in 1914, he was decorated with the Ritterkreuz 1. Klasse mit Schwertern am Ringe (SA3aXaR).

 

On 18.6.1920, he was decorated with the Ritterkreuz 1. Klasse mit Schwertern (SA3aX).

 

As far as I know, there was no such grade of the Albrechts-Orden as "Ritterkreuz 1. Klasse mit Schwertern und Schwertern am Ringe", so my question is, would he have returned the SA3aXaR when he received the SA3aX, or would he have been able to wear all three Albrechts-Orden crosses?

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Hello.  My guess would be that Fritsch was awarded an AOR1 that has yet to be documented by the research community and his "swords on the ring" were awarded for that AOR1.  This is the only way I know of that swords on the ring were awarded for the Albert knights crosses 1st class.  Now... RAO2Xs with swords on the ring are an entirely different story.

Regards.

Edited by Triadoro
to correct an egregious spelling error
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He received the Ritterkreuz 2. Klasse mit Schwertern for the Herero war.

 

When he left active duty in 1914 as a Rittmeister, he was given the retirement award of the Ritterkreuz 1. Klasse. Since he had a lower grade of the order with swords, his Ritterkreuz 1. Klasse was with swords on the ring. This was normal procedure in German states when one received a higher grade of an award without swords but had previously received a lower grade with swords. It does not actually make sense for Saxony since that kingdom, unlike Prussia, allowed the wear of two grades of the order at the same time.

 

The award of the Ritterkreuz 1. Klasse with swords was one of the many retroactive awards made to Schutztruppe officers after they returned from captivity. Similarly, Fritsch's Iron Cross 2nd Class was a post-war award, made on 20.10.1919.

 

Technically, since the monarchy was no more, there was no one who could not tell Fritsch not to wear all three classes, but with exceptions people still tended to follow the old regulations. I just don't know if even the old regulations would have allowed for wear of all three.

 

 

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11 minutes ago, chuck said:

 

Good article on the subject, and also has the original medal bar.

 

 

This is pretty much what I said, only instead of 28 paragraphs, I said it in two sentences.

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It still does not fully answer my question, but it does give me something to talk to Andreas about the next time I see him. 

 

The medal bar is perfectly consistent with Fritsch's known awards from published sources, but it does not address the recently discovered 1920 SA3aX award. The SA3aX is a higher award than the SA3aXaR, so why he chose not to wear it is curious. Maybe he just decided to keep wearing the lower, but rarer, award. Maybe, given the post-war situation in Dresden, he never received the cross and never thought to just acquire one himself from a jeweler. Maybe he decided he did not deserve the award, since the Schutztruppe for DSWA did not accomplish much, unlike the Schutztruppe for DOA, although he does wear the EK2 given for the same service. Who knows? Oh well.

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Medalnet's article about the Albrechtsorden ends with one sentence.  It's pretty much the same thing I said on Saturday.   Here is the sentence...

 

Medalnet 3.jpg

Edited by Triadoro
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Well, if Freiherr von Fritsch was awarded the AO 1st class with swords in 1920, that was not an official award. The constitution of the republic of Weimar states in § 109, that no orders nor medals should be awarded from the German state anymore! So if von Fritsch was impirial to the bone, like nearly all officers at that time were, then he would have never accepted an order given by someone else but the king. I would think that this is the answer why you don't find it on this bar. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi,

I have found this to explain the swords on ring.

 

The Saxon regulation from 1915 still exist after the end of the Monarchy. To be honest, I have never heard that an officer wore all three awards and particularly one with swords on ring and another with swords between the branches

 

@BlackcowboyBS said, during the Weimar aera the medals and order from the old Monarchy is not accepted. But the EK were still awarded till 1924. Probably as a good German who respects the rules, Fritsch has chosen not to wear the SA3aX on his medal bar and like Dave said he has chosen to wear the rarest medal on his medal bar. It is a good choice.

 

Christophe

 

image.png.ffe78dd484186cbd2bbe5e1e41e4adc4.png

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Hi,

 

Who know when von Fritsch received the SF3X, it is not in WW1 (no on the Rick & Daniel's bppl. I can't find this information on the Saxon Militär Verordnungsblatt. thanks for your help

 

Christophe

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Posted (edited)
On 14/06/2022 at 02:40, BlackcowboyBS said:

Well, if Freiherr von Fritsch was awarded the AO 1st class with swords in 1920, that was not an official award. The constitution of the republic of Weimar states in § 109, that no orders nor medals should be awarded from the German state anymore! So if von Fritsch was impirial to the bone, like nearly all officers at that time were, then he would have never accepted an order given by someone else but the king. I would think that this is the answer why you don't find it on this bar. 

 

Notwithstanding this, awards continued to be made. Possibly because they were Imperial to the bone, many officers did not really care what a bunch of politicians in Weimar thought of their traditions. And awards continued to be made with official sanction. The Reichswehr stopped accepting new recommendations for war awards around 1920, but continued to process existing recommendations, and there was still an exception for returning prisoners of war. For Prussia, this was limited to general awards (e.g., EK1&2, Verdienstkreuz für Kriegshilfe, Rote-Kreuz-Medaille, Dienstauszeichnung), rather than knightly orders associated with the old monarchy, like the House Order of Hohenzollern. But other states had different practices.

 

Saxony: the Heeresabwicklungsamt Sachsen processed award recommendations for Saxon war decorations, including knightly orders. For example, Erich von Loßnitzer was awarded his Militär-St.-Heinrichs-Orden on 21.1.1920. Like Fritsch, Hptm.d.R. Ernst Seydel, Hptm.d.R. Walter Eichler, and OLt. Heinrich Gerlach were awarded the SA3aX on 18.6.1920. On the same date, the SA3bX was awarded to Lt.d.R. Rudolf Berger, Lt.d.L. Rudolf Böhmer, Lt.d.R. Wolfgang von Boetticher and Lt.d.R. Alfred Johnson, and the Verdienstkreuz mit Schwertern was awarded to Proviantamtsinspektor Richard Engst. From the Schutztruppe für Kamerun, Lt.d.L. Johannes Gläser and Lt.d.R. Richard Wolf received the SA3bX on 1.9.1920 and Stabsveterinär Dr. Ernst Artur Gottschalk received the SA3aX on 19.10.1920.

 

Bavaria: The Heeresabwicklungsamt Bayern announced that it would stop processing Vorschläge for most military decorations on 31.5.1920, with 30.6.1920 being the Abschlußtermin for the Militär-Max-Joseph-Orden and the Militär-Sanitäts-Orden. Only prisoners of war returning after those dates could still be considered for awards, and then the proposal had to be made within 2 months after their return. Awards were still being gazetted in the Verordnungsblatt in December 1920. These included the Militär-Verdienstorden, the Militär-Verdienstkreuz, the Tapferkeitsmedaillen and the Verdienstkreuz für freiwilligen Krenkenpflege.

 

Württemberg I am not sure about. The Heeresabwicklungsamt Württemberg did have an office for Ordensangelegenheiten. I have seen some post-war award recommendations denied, but I do know of post-war awards. For exampe, the later-Generalmajor Hermann Harttmann from the Schutztruppe für Kamerun was awarded the WM3 in January 1920, although he had been nominated in 1917.

 

Mecklenburg-Schwerin continued to award the Militärverdienstkreuz into the 1920s. The last known award of the Mecklenburg-Strelitzsches Kreuz für Auszeichnung im Kriege was in January 1924.

 

Awards of the Friedrich-August-Kreuz were made by the Oldenburg Militärkanzlei through at least 1920. I have seen mid-1920s correspondence in a Wehrmacht personnel file from the former Flügeladjutant to the Großherzog regretting that no one was left to approve an award, but telling the officer in question he should consider himself as having earned the award.


The Sachsen-Weimar Hausorden der Wachsamkeit oder vom Weißen Falken was awarded with swords into 1920. As a Hausorden, technically it could still be awarded even after that point, although without any official sanction.

 

The final award of the Schaumburg-Lippisches Kreuz für Treue Dienste 1914 was made in 1923.

 

The final official awards of the Lippisches Kriegsverdienstkreuz were made in 1922 and the last award of the Kriegsehrenkreuze für heldenmütige Tat was made in 1921. Since it was a Hausorden, the Ehrenkreuz continued to be awarded, even with swords after that point. Several Wehrmacht officers had late awards of Kriegsverdienstkreuz and Ehrenkreuz mit Schwertern, although in most cases these were backdated to November 1918.

 

The Bremisches Hanseatenkreuz was awarded into 1923. The Haumburgisches Hanseatenkreuz was awarded into at least 1922. The Lübecksches Hanseatenkreuz was awarded into 1921.

 

The Saxon duchies are an odd case. Awards of the Ernestinischer Hausorden with swords continued to be made into the 1930s at least, and the Reichswehr's and Wehrmacht's attitude toward them varied from time to time. Other awards of war decorations were also made after the war. Major a.D. Heinrich von Hanstein, for example, was awarded the Carl-Eduard-Kriegskreuz and the EH3aX in 1928.

 

Anhalt and Schwarzburg stopped processing awards with the abdications in November 1918. Other stated I am less certain about. I have not come across any post-1918 awards from Baden, Hessen or Braunschweig, but I cannot say for certain there were none.

 

 

 

Edited by Dave Danner
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14 hours ago, Dave Danner said:

 

Notwithstanding this, awards continued to be made. Possibly because they were Imperial to the bone, many officers did not really care what a bunch of politicians in Weimar thought of their traditions. And awards continued to be made with official sanction. The Reichswehr stopped accepting new recommendations for war awards around 1920, but continued to process existing recommendations, and there was still an exception for returning prisoners of war. For Prussia, this was limited to general awards (e.g., EK1&2, Verdienstkreuz für Kriegshilfe, Rote-Kreuz-Medaille, Dienstauszeichnung), rather than knightly orders associated with the old monarchy, like the House Order of Hohenzollern. But other states had different practices.

 

Saxony: the Heeresabwicklungsamt Sachsen processed award recommendations for Saxon war decorations, including knightly orders. For example, Erich von Loßnitzer was awarded his Militär-St.-Heinrichs-Orden on 21.1.1920. Like Fritsch, Hptm.d.R. Ernst Seydel, Hptm.d.R. Walter Eichler, and OLt. Heinrich Gerlach were awarded the SA3aX on 18.6.1920. On the same date, the SA3bX was awarded to Lt.d.R. Rudolf Berger, Lt.d.L. Rudolf Böhmer, Lt.d.R. Wolfgang von Boetticher and Lt.d.R. Alfred Johnson, and the Verdienstkreuz mit Schwertern was awarded to Proviantamtsinspektor Richard Engst. From the Schutztruppe für Kamerun, Lt.d.L. Johannes Gläser and Lt.d.R. Richard Wolf received the SA3bX on 1.9.1920 and Stabsveterinär Dr. Ernst Artur Gottschalk received the SA3aX on 19.10.1920.

 

Bavaria: The Heeresabwicklungsamt Bayern announced that it would stop processing Vorschläge for most military decorations on 31.5.1920, with 30.6.1920 being the Abschlußtermin for the Militär-Max-Joseph-Orden and the Militär-Sanitäts-Orden. Only prisoners of war returning after those dates could still be considered for awards, and then the proposal had to be made within 2 months after their return. Awards were still being gazetted in the Verordnungsblatt in December 1920. These included the Militär-Verdienstorden, the Militär-Verdienstkreuz, the Tapferkeitsmedaillen and the Verdienstkreuz für freiwilligen Krenkenpflege.

 

Württemberg I am not sure about. The Heeresabwicklungsamt Württemberg did have an office for Ordensangelegenheiten. I have seen some post-war award recommendations denied, but I do know of post-war awards. For exampe, the later-Generalmajor Hermann Harttmann from the Schutztruppe für Kamerun was awarded the WM3 in January 1920, although he had been nominated in 1917.

 

Mecklenburg-Schwerin continued to award the Militärverdienstkreuz into the 1920s. The last known award of the Mecklenburg-Strelitzsches Kreuz für Auszeichnung im Kriege was in January 1924.

 

Awards of the Friedrich-August-Kreuz were made by the Oldenburg Militärkanzlei through at least 1920. I have seen mid-1920s correspondence in a Wehrmacht personnel file from the former Flügeladjutant to the Großherzog regretting that no one was left to approve an award, but telling the officer in question he should consider himself as having earned the award.


The Sachsen-Weimar Hausorden der Wachsamkeit oder vom Weißen Falken was awarded with swords into 1920. As a Hausorden, technically it could still be awarded even after that point, although without any official sanction.

 

The final award of the Schaumburg-Lippisches Kreuz für Treue Dienste 1914 was made in 1923.

 

The final official awards of the Lippisches Kriegsverdienstkreuz were made in 1922 and the last award of the Kriegsehrenkreuze für heldenmütige Tat was made in 1921. Since it was a Hausorden, the Ehrenkreuz continued to be awarded, even with swords after that point. Several Wehrmacht officers had late awards of Kriegsverdienstkreuz and Ehrenkreuz mit Schwertern, although in most cases these were backdated to November 1918.

 

The Bremisches Hanseatenkreuz was awarded into 1923. The Haumburgisches Hanseatenkreuz was awarded into at least 1922. The Lübecksches Hanseatenkreuz was awarded into 1921.

 

The Saxon duchies are an odd case. Awards of the Ernestinischer Hausorden with swords continued to be made into the 1930s at least, and the Reichswehr's and Wehrmacht's attitude toward them varied from time to time. Other awards of war decorations were also made after the war. Major a.D. Heinrich von Hanstein, for example, was awarded the Carl-Eduard-Kriegskreuz and the EH3aX in 1928.

 

Anhalt and Schwarzburg stopped processing awards with the abdications in November 1918. Other stated I am less certain about. I have not come across any post-1918 awards from Baden, Hessen or Braunschweig, but I cannot say for certain there were none.

 

 

 

Very informative!  Thanks for posting this most interesting information

 

Best,

 

Greg

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On 23/06/2022 at 15:19, Dave Danner said:

A really informative roll-up of information that i had not seen previously and explains how the autonomy of the various states. 

regards, 

chuck 

 

On 23/06/2022 at 15:19, Dave Danner said:

Notwithstanding this, awards continued to be made. Possibly because they were Imperial to the bone, many officers did not really care what a bunch of politicians in Weimar thought of their traditions. And awards continued to be made with official sanction. The Reichswehr stopped accepting new recommendations for war awards around 1920, but continued to process existing recommendations, and there was still an exception for returning prisoners of war. For Prussia, this was limited to general awards (e.g., EK1&2, Verdienstkreuz für Kriegshilfe, Rote-Kreuz-Medaille, Dienstauszeichnung), rather than knightly orders associated with the old monarchy, like the House Order of Hohenzollern. But other states had different practices.

 

Saxony: the Heeresabwicklungsamt Sachsen processed award recommendations for Saxon war decorations, including knightly orders. For example, Erich von Loßnitzer was awarded his Militär-St.-Heinrichs-Orden on 21.1.1920. Like Fritsch, Hptm.d.R. Ernst Seydel, Hptm.d.R. Walter Eichler, and OLt. Heinrich Gerlach were awarded the SA3aX on 18.6.1920. On the same date, the SA3bX was awarded to Lt.d.R. Rudolf Berger, Lt.d.L. Rudolf Böhmer, Lt.d.R. Wolfgang von Boetticher and Lt.d.R. Alfred Johnson, and the Verdienstkreuz mit Schwertern was awarded to Proviantamtsinspektor Richard Engst. From the Schutztruppe für Kamerun, Lt.d.L. Johannes Gläser and Lt.d.R. Richard Wolf received the SA3bX on 1.9.1920 and Stabsveterinär Dr. Ernst Artur Gottschalk received the SA3aX on 19.10.1920.

 

Bavaria: The Heeresabwicklungsamt Bayern announced that it would stop processing Vorschläge for most military decorations on 31.5.1920, with 30.6.1920 being the Abschlußtermin for the Militär-Max-Joseph-Orden and the Militär-Sanitäts-Orden. Only prisoners of war returning after those dates could still be considered for awards, and then the proposal had to be made within 2 months after their return. Awards were still being gazetted in the Verordnungsblatt in December 1920. These included the Militär-Verdienstorden, the Militär-Verdienstkreuz, the Tapferkeitsmedaillen and the Verdienstkreuz für freiwilligen Krenkenpflege.

 

Württemberg I am not sure about. The Heeresabwicklungsamt Württemberg did have an office for Ordensangelegenheiten. I have seen some post-war award recommendations denied, but I do know of post-war awards. For exampe, the later-Generalmajor Hermann Harttmann from the Schutztruppe für Kamerun was awarded the WM3 in January 1920, although he had been nominated in 1917.

 

Mecklenburg-Schwerin continued to award the Militärverdienstkreuz into the 1920s. The last known award of the Mecklenburg-Strelitzsches Kreuz für Auszeichnung im Kriege was in January 1924.

 

Awards of the Friedrich-August-Kreuz were made by the Oldenburg Militärkanzlei through at least 1920. I have seen mid-1920s correspondence in a Wehrmacht personnel file from the former Flügeladjutant to the Großherzog regretting that no one was left to approve an award, but telling the officer in question he should consider himself as having earned the award.


The Sachsen-Weimar Hausorden der Wachsamkeit oder vom Weißen Falken was awarded with swords into 1920. As a Hausorden, technically it could still be awarded even after that point, although without any official sanction.

 

The final award of the Schaumburg-Lippisches Kreuz für Treue Dienste 1914 was made in 1923.

 

The final official awards of the Lippisches Kriegsverdienstkreuz were made in 1922 and the last award of the Kriegsehrenkreuze für heldenmütige Tat was made in 1921. Since it was a Hausorden, the Ehrenkreuz continued to be awarded, even with swords after that point. Several Wehrmacht officers had late awards of Kriegsverdienstkreuz and Ehrenkreuz mit Schwertern, although in most cases these were backdated to November 1918.

 

The Bremisches Hanseatenkreuz was awarded into 1923. The Haumburgisches Hanseatenkreuz was awarded into at least 1922. The Lübecksches Hanseatenkreuz was awarded into 1921.

 

The Saxon duchies are an odd case. Awards of the Ernestinischer Hausorden with swords continued to be made into the 1930s at least, and the Reichswehr's and Wehrmacht's attitude toward them varied from time to time. Other awards of war decorations were also made after the war. Major a.D. Heinrich von Hanstein, for example, was awarded the Carl-Eduard-Kriegskreuz and the EH3aX in 1928.

 

Anhalt and Schwarzburg stopped processing awards with the abdications in November 1918. Other stated I am less certain about. I have not come across any post-1918 awards from Baden, Hessen or Braunschweig, but I cannot say for certain there were none.

 

 

 

 

Edited by chuck
not finished
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On 23/06/2022 at 21:19, Dave Danner said:

 

 

Anhalt and Schwarzburg stopped processing awards with the abdications in November 1918. Other stated I am less certain about. I have not come across any post-1918 awards from Baden, Hessen or Braunschweig, but I cannot say for certain there were none.

 

 

 

For Braunschweig I can tell you what was done there. The orders of Henry the Lion were not awarded anymore after duke Ernst August has retired. The war merit crosses 1st and 2nd class had been awarded by the soldiers and workers concil until mids of 1919. 

These are the numbers:

  • war merit cross 2nd class: 1700
  • medal of prove to the wmc 2nd (Bewährungsabzeichen): 4000
  • war merit cross 1st class: 2700
  • war merict cross for women: 525

At least Jürgens had to deliever 20 extra wmc 2nd to the soldiers and workers council in January 1920, but after this date even these awards were stopped. 

Edited by BlackcowboyBS
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