Original WW1 / WW2 Austro-Hungarian Empire / Hungarian Kingdom parade mounted medal grouping: Austro-Hungarian Empire / Bronze Karl IV. Bravery Medal (late war bronzed zinc example), Austro-Hungarian Empire Karl Troop Cross, Hungarian Kingdom Commemorative Medal of the World War for combatants (rare zinc example), Austro-Hungarian Empire General Campaign Medal, Hungarian Kingdom / Commemorative Medal Liberation of Transylvania - 1940, Austro-Hungarian Empire / Jubilee Cross - 1908 & Austro-Hungarian Empire Mobilisation Cross, IN WORN CONDITION, GENUINE RIBBONS, PERFECTLY WORKING PIN DEVICE, ALL MEDALS ARE WORN & LOST PART OF THEIR FINISH, CLEARLY A WELL WORN MEDAL GROUPING
HISTORY OF THE AWARDS:
The Austrian Golden, Silver and Bronze Bravery Medals 1914-1918 Kaiser Joseph II first founded a Golden and Silver commemorative medal on the 19th of July 1789 for Non Commissioned Officers and Private Soldiers who had distinguished themselves before the enemy. Since 1809 this was known as the Bravery Medal or Tapferkeitsmedaille. On the 19th August 1848 Kaiser Ferdinand divided the Silver Bravery Medal into two classes - a First and a Second Class. The 2nd Class Medal being a smaller version with a diameter of 31mm. On the 14th February 1915 Kaiser Franz Joseph introduced the Bronze Medal which was the same size as the 2nd Class Silver. Unlike the three senior awards, the Bronze Medal could be awarded to NCOs and Private Soldiers of allied armies. The Bravery Medals displayed the reigning Kaiser's head on the obverse. In the case of Franz Joseph, he was depicted in a Marshals' uniform and the following inscription was placed around the outer edge of the medal: "FRANZ JOSEPH I. V. G. G. KAISER V. OESTERREICH" (Franz Joseph I, by the grace of God Emperor of Austria). The obverse showed six crossed regimental colours surrounded by a laurel wreath and the motto: "Der Tapferkeit". The diameter of the Gold and large Silver Medal was 40mm. The ribbon of the Bravery Medal was the same white and red ribbon as the Military Merit Cross. An Imperial Decree of the 29th November 1915 introduced bars for repeat awards and these took the form of an 8mm wide smooth rustless iron bar. The recipient of a Bravery Medal was entitled to a lifelong pension and as ordered by the "Zirkularverordnung" of 18th September 1914 the sums were as follows with effect from the1st October 1914: Golden Bravery Medal - 30 Crowns per month, Silver Bravery Medal 1st Class - 15 Crowns per month, Silver Bravery Medal 2nd Class - 7.50 Crowns per month. The Bronze Bravery Medal did not attract a pension and repeat awards did not result in an higher payment for the recipients. With effect from the 4th April 1917 as published in the Normal-Verordnungsblatt Nr.18 new versions of the Medal were introduced bearing the new Kaiser's portrait and the inscription: CAROLVS D. G. IMP. AVST. REX BOH. ETC. ET REX APOST. HVNG." on the obverse. The reverse was altered to bear the Motto "FORTITVDINI". A further change was the newly introduced eligibility for Commissioned Officers to be awarded the Golden and Silver Bravery Medals with effect from the 15th of September 1917 although the Officers' Awards did not attract the monthly pension. The Officers' version was distinguished by the addition to the triangular ribbon of a gold or silver "K". Although the awards to NCOs and Men were delegated to Army Commanders in the field those of the Golden and Silver Medals for Officers remained an Imperial prerogative.
Karl Troop Cross (Karl Truppenkreuz) was instituted on 13 December 1916 by Emperor Karl I of Austria-Hungary. The cross was awarded until the end of the First World War to soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian Army , regardless of rank, who had been with a combatant unit for at least twelve weeks and who had actually served at the front. The medal is of zinc and consists of a cross pattée resting on a laurel wreath. The obverse bears the Latin inscription "GRATI PRINCEPS ET PATRIA, CAROLVS IMP.ET REX", (A grateful prince and country, Karl, Emperor and King). The reverse shows the Austrian and Hungarian Imperial crowns above the letter "C" (for Carolus) with the inscription "VITEM ET SANGVINEM", (With life and blood) and the date MDCCCCXVI, (1916). The design is based on the design of the Army Cross of 1813-1814 (usually known as the ‘Cannon Cross’ – ‘Kanonenkreuz’). The cross was worn on the left chest from a red ribbon with alternate red-white side strips towards each edge. A total of 651,000 were awarded.
Commemorative War Medal (Háborús Emlékérem) - Instituted on May 26, 1929 by the Hungarian regent Admiral Miklós Horthy de Nagybánya to commemorate Hungarian subjects who participated and fell during the Great War. Medal’s statute was finalized only on November 14, 1929 and gazetted two days later in the official publication of the Hungarian Ministry of Defence, “Honvédségi Közlöny” (“Military Bulletin”). Awards presentation started early next year. Commemorative War Medal was awarded to military personnel regardless of rank and status, frontline soldiers and non-combatants, wounded and disabled war veterans, medical personnel and awardees of the Red Cross badges, ex-POWs, relatives of KIA. Civilians who worked at homefront and those participated in Hungarian Soviet Republic defeat in summer and fall 1919 were also eligible for this medal. Documents verifying participation in the Great War had to be presented to military authorities and in case of their absence one had to enlist support of two reliable witnesses. Central Powers military personnel who fought alongside Hungarians during the Great War had to apply for the medal. Foreigners received award in envelope that also contained certificate and miniature after verification and reimbursement worth 15 pengő. Medal had to be purchased privately in licensed outlets upon presentation of approval letter. Reimbursement fees depended on status of the awardee – officer had to pay 6 pengő, other ranks – 3 pengő, next-of-kin – 2 pengő. Nevertheless levy could have been lifted by a decree of the Minister of defence due to exceptional circumstances. Outlets distributed medals wrapped in filigree exactly as they came from the mint. No boxes or envelopes were provided. Commemeorative War medal was instituted in two classes – for frontline soldiers and war participants, i.e. non-combatants. These variants different in obverse and reverse design as well as in ribbon colors. In case an applicant was eligible for both classes he received Commemorative War medal for frontline soldiers. Medal was designed by famous Hungarian sculptor Kisfaludi Strobl Zsigmond (01.07.1884 – 14.08.1975) who was Great War participant himself. Circular 37 mm medal with laterally-pierced loop for ribbon suspension was made of bronze with silver finish and was 3 mm thick. It was worn on the left breast suspended by the traditional Austrian triangular ribbon while women wore it on a bow. 1. Commemorative War medal for frontline soldiers (Haborús Emlékérem kardokkal és sisakkal). Obverse had crowned arms of Hungary imposed on crossed swords within a wreath of laurel and oak. Reverse had an image of German M16 steel helmet facing left above the dates “1914-1918”. Latin inscription “Pro Deo Et Patria” (“For God and Fatherland”) was on the upper part while two laurel leaves at the bottom tied at the base by a ribbon tie. 40 mm wide ribbon of a Commemorative War medal for frontline soldiers was white with two wide vertical red stripes close to edges and thin horizontal green stripes placed between red ones. Special combat clasp in form of two silvered crossed swords could be applied to the ribbon bar. 2. Commemorative War medal for noncombatants (Haborús Emlékérem kardok és sisak nélkül) Obverse had crowned arms of Hungary within a wreath of laurel and oak. Crossed swords were missing. Reverse had the dates “1914-1918” in the centre, Latin inscription “Pro Deo Et Patria” (“For God and Fatherland”) on its upper part and two laurel leaves at the bottom tied at the base by a ribbon tie. Steel helmet image was missing. 40 mm wide ribbon of a Commemorative War medal for noncombatants was white with two wide red stripes close to edges and two wide green stripes between them. Miniatures of this medal with a wide clip on reverse were also issued, their design followed obverse of the respective class.
General Campaign Medal (Kriegsmedaille) was instituted by the Emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire Franz Joseph I (18.08.1830-21.11.1916) on December 02, 1873, i.e. on the day the celebrations in conjunction with the 25th jubilee of his enthronement were held. Initially Kriegsmedaille was awarded to servicemen on active military service who entered the Army since December 02, 1848, the day the head of the Dual Monarchy ascended to the Austrian throne, and who participated in at least one battle since that year. Eligible actions included the following: first Italian War of Independence (1848-1849), suppression of the Hungarian Uprising (1848-1849), Austro-Sardinian War, or Second Italian War of Independence (1859), campaigns in Schleswig and Jütland during the Second Schleswig War (1864), campaigns in Bohemia and South Germany during the Austro-Prussian War (1866), campaign in Tyrol during the Austro-Prussian War (1866) & suppression of the insurrection in South Dalmatia (1869). Holders of the following Austrian medals were automatically eligible for decoration with the Kriegsmedaille: Commemorative Medal for Defence of Tyrol 1848 (Denkmünze an die Tiroler Landesverteidigung von 1848), Commemorative Medal for the 1864 Military Campaign against Denmark (Erinnerungs-Medaille an den Feldzug 1864 gegen Dänemark), Commemorative Medal for Defence of Tyrol 1866 (Denkmünze an die Tiroler Landesverteidigung von 1866) and Prague Home Guard Medal 1866 (Prager Bürgerwehrmedaille von 1866). Statute of the Kriegsmedaille was changed later on and it was made a decoration for military personnel who took part in subsequent campaigns. Thus, War Medal was awarded in 1878-1880 to participants of Bosnia-Herzegovina annexation in compliance with the concordant clause of the Congress of Berlin. Thereupon Kriegsmedaille was issued to those who took part in suppression of the insurrections in Bosnia-Herzegovina and South Dalmatia in 1882. The last official record of decoration with the War Medal was dated 1900-1901 when it was issued to personnel of the 75 men strong Austro-Hungarian Expeditionary Corps that was sent to China to put down the Boxer Rebellion as a part of the Eight-Nation Alliance. The latter comprised of Russia, Germany, Austria-Hungary, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Japan and the USA. However, some sources indicate that Kriegsmedaille was issued twice even later: in 1909 to holders of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Commemorative Medal (Bosnisch-Herzegowinische Erinnerungsmedaille) and in 1912-1913 to holders of Commemorative Cross 1912-1913 (Erinnerungskreuz 1912-1913). An obverse showed laurelled bust of Franz Joseph I facing right and circumscribed with 5 mm capital letters “Franz Joseph I, Emperor of Austria, King of Bohemia, etc., Apostolic King of Hungary”. An inscription is separated by a small six-pointed or, rarely, five-pointed star at the bottom. Two types of an obverse are known to exist, differing in spelling of the words “Emperor”, “Austria”, “King” and “Bohemia”: “Franz Josef I. Kaiser v.Österreich König v.Böhmen etc. Apost. König v.Ungarn” and “Franz Josef I. Kais. v.Oesterreich Koenig v.Boehm. etc. Apost. Koenig v.Ungarn”. Type of spelling, i.e. utilization of diacritic letters with umlaut or digraphs, depended on linguistic preferences. Thus, the former were characteristic of the German language, while the latter to the Latin. Most medals had thin inner ring just below that inscription, while some lacked it. A reverse bore the date of institution of Kriegsmedaille, “2.December 1873” executed in three rows in capital letters and encircled by a wreath made of olive branch at the left and of oak branch at the right. The wreath is tied with a ribbon at the bottom. Once again, two types of the medal differed in the spelling of the date: “2.December 1873” (Latin) and “2.Dezember 1873” (German). The latter type is less common, in fact and is said to be manufactured after 1900. Slight variations differing in a shape of “2” (straight and fashioned numerals) are known to exist as well. Thereby, on the basis of combination of “German” and “Latin” letters three variations of Kriegsmedaille could be marked out: “Latin” obverse and reverse, “German” obverse and reverse, “German” obverse and “Latin” reverse. Quite unusual type of the War Medal had no image on its reverse at all, save for chequered surface. Those medals dating beginning of the XX century were produced for wearing by officers with white summer tunics. Absence of an image at reverse precluded inevitable rubbing of metal against cloth, thus leaving tunic clean and preventing dark indelible stains. In fact, reverse was made attachable and was manufactured of nonmetal material, e.g. Bakelite. Patent for that invention was issued to the Belgian chemist Leo Hendrik Baekeland (14.11.1863-23.02.1944) in 1909. In most cases the edge of Kriegsmedaille was plain, though some specimen bore mintmarks, e.g. “J*Z” and “K*M”. As the War Medal was manufactured for half a century, from 1873 till 1920s and the number of awards was quite numerous, many variations of Kriegsmedaille existed. They differed in size, weight, metal, shape of ring, presence of mintmarks, as well as in slight distinctions of obverse and reverse design. Kriegsmedaille had a circular shape, measured 36-37,5 mm in diameter and was made either of gilt bronze or gilt bronzed zinc. The War Medal was worn suspended from a traditional triangular silk ribbon of “Habsburg colors”: 40 mm wide yellow ribbon with two black 4,5 mm wide stripes closer to both edges and 22 mm long thin horizontal black stripes in-between. To make an article complete, table medal of the similar design is worth being mentioned here. It was manufactured of light bronze and was 37 mm in diameter.
Commemorative Medal for the Liberation of Transylvania (Erdélyi Emlékérem), 1940 Circular medal in ‘Kriegsmetall’ (zinc alloy) with laterally-pierced loop for ribbon suspension; the face with the head of King Mátyás Corvinus circumscribed ‘ERDÉLYI RÉSZEK FELSZABADULÁSÁNAK EMLÉKÉRE’ (Medal for the Liberation of Part of Transylvania); the reverse with the arms of Transylvania circumscribed ‘MÁTYÁS KIRÁLY SZÜLETÉSÉNEK 500 ÉVFORDULÓJÁN’ (King Mátyás 500th Anniversary of his Birthright) and inscribed around the rim ‘VITÉZ NAGYBÁNYAI HORTHY MIKLÓS KORMÁNYZÓ ORSZÁGLÁSÁNAK XX ÉVÉBEN’ (In the 20th Year of the Regency of Valiant Miklós Horthy de Nagybányai). The medal was instituted on 1 October 1940 to mark the return of part of Transylvania to Hungary. At the end of World War I, Hungary lost almost three-quarters of its territory, amongst them many areas with large Hungarian populations, including Transylvania. In mid-1940, with Romania under pressure from the Soviet Union and Bulgaria, Hungary lodged a claim to Transylvania. Germany and Italy led arbitration at Vienna and on 30 August Romania ceded approximately 43,500 square kilometres of territory and almost 2,400,000 people in northwest Transylvania to Hungary. The award was annulled after World War II and the territory returned to Romania. Mátyás Corvinus (1443-1490) was the son of John Hunyadi and reigned as King of Hungary from 1458 until his death. In 1479 to 1483 he retook Transylvania from the Ottoman Turks and is revered in Hungary as a national hero.
The 1908 Military Jubilee Cross (1908 Militär-Jubiläumskreuz or the 1908 Katonai Jubileumi Kereszt) was instituted on 10 August 1908 (published 18 August 1908) to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the rule of Kaiser Franz Joseph I which occurred on 2 December 1908. In the case of multiple qualification for one of the 3 various Jubilee awards, this award was restricted to only one per person. The military version was considered the highest, the civil was the middle (exactly the same as the military version but for a solid red ribbon), while the court version was the lowest – which was quite a change from the 1898 Jubilee awards! The 1908 Military Jubilee Cross was presented to all military officers, professional military officials and soldiers (except Reservists) who had a minimum of 3 years of service between 2 December 1898 to 2 December 1908, all personnel who had taken part in a minimum of one engagement during the 1848-1849 War, and to all military professionals (including civil employees at military schools, cadet institutes, and military orphanages) who were on active duty on 2 December 1908. It was also awarded to all those on duty on 2 December 1908 on a non-professional military status who had received a minimum of 2 years of military training (specifically: students of Officer Candidate Schools from the 2nd Class and higher and conscript candidates for any reserve rank who were in their 2nd or higher year of service). On 31 December 1914 (published 6 January 1915), Kaiser Franz Joseph I ordered that all officers and officials of the Reserve (or any other similar status) who have participated in the current war and who had already possessed the status of an officer (or official) on 2 December 1908 and had not received the 1908 Military Jubilee Cross should now receive it. The bronze gilt alloy medal is cross shaped (ca. 36 mm x 42 mm) and surrounded by a laurel wreath. Within the obverse center of the cross is a circle (ca. 27 mm) with the bust of Kaiser Franz Joseph I. At the 8:00 to 11:00 position is FRANC. IOS. 1. At first glance, the entire design appears to be struck off-centered but this design was purposely incorporated. The reverse is plain (except for the wreath) with a thick 1848 1908 centered in a 2 line inscription. The medal is almost 4 mm at the thickest point and tapers to the ends of the cross. It is suspended from a thick barrel type suspension which is part of the struck medal and has a hole bored through for the suspension ring. The suspension ring is usually of the same metal as the medal but the alloy varies. The tri-fold military silk ribbon (40 mm wide) is white with a narrow red stripe (5 mm wide) 3 mm from each end. Note that various ribbons are often used on this award but only the solid red (Civilian Jubilee Medal) was ever additionally awarded, the remainder being fantasy ribbons. The original ribbon was woven silk with a very distinctive weft - most modern ribbons are a poly based material and some have printed coloring rather than woven. The original grommet and hook device was of thin fine brass and very tightly affixed - almost all show various degrees of suspension ring wear to the internal ribbon.
Commemorative Cross for Mobilisation (Mobilisierungs-Erinnerungskreuz), 1912-13 Gilt bronze Leopold cross with loop for ribbon suspension; the face with a circular central medallion bearing the dates ‘1912 1913’; the reverse plain; gilding now largely absent; on correct, possibly replaced ribbon. The medal was created in 1913 and awarded to those Austro-Hungarian forces that had been mobilised as a precautionary measure during the Balkan Wars between an alliance of Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro and Serbia on the one hand and Ottoman Turkey on the other. Austria did not intervene in the wars but they led to Turkey being largely thrown out of Europe and a much-strengthened of Serbia, making Austria more nervous of her Slav neighbour and laying the ground for the outbreak of World War I following the assassination of Archduke Franz-Ferdinand in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914 and Austria’s declaration of war on Serbia on 18 July 1914.