Advice on German WW1 decorations

Discussions on Axis awards and decorations. Hosted by John G & William Kramer.
Mintie
Member
Posts: 26
Joined: 02 Mar 2011 03:40
Location: New Zealand

Advice on German WW1 decorations

Post by Mintie » 25 Jul 2019 22:35

Hi everyone,

Apologies, firstly, if this is posted in the wrong place - please shift if so - thanks.

I'm a writer looking to get some details right about a Bavarian character who fights in WW1. He is born around 1898, so is young. His friend (who is the same age) receives a fairly lofty decoration, while he has to make do with something much humbler. Any thoughts on what these could be, please? The Iron Cross Second Class for the friend, and...the Bavarian Military Merit Cross Third Class for the main character? I want the latter to receive the lowest honour possible.

Also - any advice on where and when these might have been received, ie where they fought?

Thank you very much for any help!

User avatar
von thoma
Member
Posts: 4205
Joined: 10 Jul 2010 03:40
Location: Spain

Re: Advice on German WW1 decorations

Post by von thoma » 27 Jul 2019 15:34

Hello Mintie ;

More easy, the friend receives a Iron Cross First Class, and the unlucky Bavarian soldier only the Iron Cross Second Class
( This EK 2 could be granted even just for being hurt, before the wounded badge was instituted in 1918 )
They could have fight in Battle of Marne during Sept 1914. That is my idea
Good luck with your work
" The right to believe is the right of those who don't know "

User avatar
HPL2008
Member
Posts: 1838
Joined: 13 Sep 2002 19:32
Location: Bavaria, Germany

Re: Advice on German WW1 decorations

Post by HPL2008 » 27 Jul 2019 16:42

I suppose we're talking about enlisted men who actually served with the Bavarian contingent (as both factors had relevance for what decorations they could have received; for example, proper orders [Orden] were only awarded to officers.

My suggestion would be that one gets the Bavarian MVK III with Swords - a very common award - and the other one the Goldene Bayerische Tapferkeitsmedaille [Bavarian Bravery Medal in Gold]. This was the highest decoration for bravery a Bavarian soldier of non-officer rank could attain.

It was a rare and highly prestigious award: Between the first awards in 1795 and the last one in 1920, the gold grade of the medal was only awarded 1,474 times (998 awards in WW I), whereas ca. 218,000 awards of the EK I were made in WWI alone. (Of course, the EK was awarded to soldiers from all contingents.)

Holders of the medal were paid a (small) monthly honorarium and had to be saluted by guards outside military facilities, which was maintained from the Imperial era throughout the Weimar- and Third Reich period and even into the FRG.

User avatar
von thoma
Member
Posts: 4205
Joined: 10 Jul 2010 03:40
Location: Spain

Re: Advice on German WW1 decorations

Post by von thoma » 27 Jul 2019 17:55

It is undoubtedly, more complete information.
" The right to believe is the right of those who don't know "

Mintie
Member
Posts: 26
Joined: 02 Mar 2011 03:40
Location: New Zealand

Re: Advice on German WW1 decorations

Post by Mintie » 27 Jul 2019 23:28

Thank you both very much for your answers.

Yes, HPL2008, they're enlisted men. When talking in conversation about the Bavarian MVK III with Swords, is it plausible that someone would drop the 'Bavarian' and just say 'the Military Merit Cross Third Class with Swords'? And what might this have been awarded for, exactly?

von thoma, thanks for the Marne suggestion, though that might make my characters a bit young. Do you (or does anyone else) have any other suggestions?

Thank you again!

User avatar
HPL2008
Member
Posts: 1838
Joined: 13 Sep 2002 19:32
Location: Bavaria, Germany

Re: Advice on German WW1 decorations

Post by HPL2008 » 28 Jul 2019 00:17

Yes, in conversation nobody would have expressly referred to it as the "Bavarian" MVK.

The MVK was awarded to enlisted men for merit or bravery; wartime awards were with swords.

The basic 3rd Class (ca. 290,000 awards in WW I) was for private ranks only; the 3rd Class with Crown (ca. 73,000 awards in WW I) was for JNCOs.

(A bit of trivia: Hitler was one of those 290,000 privates.)

Mintie
Member
Posts: 26
Joined: 02 Mar 2011 03:40
Location: New Zealand

Re: Advice on German WW1 decorations

Post by Mintie » 28 Jul 2019 07:40

Thank you very much, HPL2008 - that's very useful.

Return to “Axis Awards”