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RAF_Louvert

Which Medal Is This ?

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Greetings All,

 

I was doing some research last night in regards to my current campaign pilot, Gefreiter Paul Blum of FFA 48. He currently has 14 confirmed kills so when and if he gets the next one he will no doubt be awarded another medal. But which medal would it likely have been in real life? Keep in mind it is the summer of 1916 and Paul is a non-commissioned officer. This means he would not be given the Royal Order of the House of Hohenzollern, (as the OFF sim would present at 15 kills), since this honor is for officers. Nor would it have been the Orden Pour le Merite as it too is for officers only, (though if Paul were an officer and considering the date, it's nearly a guarantee he would have been presented the Blue Max at 15 kills). So with all this in mind, and given the young flyer's stellar war record and the 1916 time frame, here is almost certainly what would have been presented:

 

 

Which_Medal_Is_This_01.jpg

 

 

Originally cast in solid gold, but by WWI it was gilded silver. Normally worn on a ribbon suspension on the left breast of the tunic. Which medal is it?

 

Cheers!

 

Lou

 

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Lou, I must take some time and read on about Paul, I suppose.

Here is what I found - I didn't know this Orden myself; so I learnt something new:

 

It is the "Goldenes Militärverdienstkreuz" (Golden Military Merits Cross) ,

which was, due to it's limited awardings, regarded as the "Pour Le Merite"

for non-commisioned officers and lower ranks.

 

In World War 1, it was only awarded 1760 times.

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Absolutely right, it is the Goldenes Militär-Verdienstkreuz. Well done Olham, and as you've pointed out, it was referred to as the NCO's Blue Max. Thanks for the links too, I was aware of the Order of the Württemberg Crown as I had come across it before in one of my other research projects.

 

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On The Aerodrome website, you can compare for many aces the date when they received a decoration, and the dates for each of their kills. You can see for example that Gerhard Fieseler, the Storch's father, earnt this Prussian Verdienstkreuz after his 13th kill, before he finally became a Leutnant. You can also see that some brave NCOs had been granted this cross before their first kill, probably for feats noticed before they were transferred to the Luftstreitskrafte. I have used it much during my researches for the Medals Pack I released for First Eagles (for which I had not retained this cross, selecting only the awards for officers; planning to add a Bavarian panel, I won't include the Tapferkeitsmedaille either, the Bavarian counterpart for this Prussian Verdienstkreuz). During my researches, I have not found any air hero who had received the Order of the Crown of Württemberg, on any grade. Some information about that point, Olham?

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Sorry, no - I am still a newbie to WW1 history, to be honest. But I can try a search in German.

 

Capitaine, if you send me a PM with your hometown, I will add you to our OFF Forum Pilots Maps.

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This may be interesting for both of you, Capitaine Vengeur and RAF_Louvert:

 

It shows a different Military Merit Order from the House of Württemberg. While the above Cross had a black-white band,

which looks more like a Prussian band to me, this one has the yellow-black band with the Würrtemberg colours.

 

The order came in three classes: Grand Cross (Großkreuz), Commander's Cross (Kommandeurkreuz) and Knight's Cross (Ritterkreuz).

Generally, the rank of the recipient determined which grade he would receive. Between 1799 and 1919, there were an estimated 95 awards

of the Grand Cross, 214 of the Commander's Cross, and 3,128 of the Knight's Cross, with the bulk of these awards made in World War I;

the numbers may only cover native Württembergers.

 

The words say: "Furchtlos und trew", and "trew" seems to be an old form of "treu", so it would read "Fearless and loyal"

It may as well be, that this old form means "true", but that is the same meaning.

 

 

Among its receipients are: Oswald Boelcke and Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen

 

From reading about the Württemberg orders and their receipients, I come to the conclusion, that even very deserving and brave commanders

in World War One would not receive any higher orders than these - otherwise Boelcke von Richthofen would have been the first to get them.

 

 

 

 

http://en.wikipedia....%BCrttemberg%29

Edited by Olham

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This one I have included in the Württemberger panel of my Medals Pack, of course, as the highest award for repeated feats (equivalents: Militär-Max-Josef-Orden in Bavaria, or Militär-St-Heinrichs-Orden in Saxony, that I also use for Prussia). This is a military-only decoration, as she doesn't need the word Militär, and doesn't have the crossed swords often added for military use on many other German dual-purpose crosses. Neither Boelcke nor Richthofen were Württembergers, but they were exceptionally awarded this coveted cross. Her most famous Württemberger recipient was of course Erwin Rommel, who earnt it after the splendid rush forward of his elite Württemberger battalion after the breakthrough at Caporetto, October 1917.

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