Original German / Brunswick pre WW1 Peninsula Commemorative Medal (17th Totenkopf Hussar) - 1909, IN VERY NICE CONDITION, ON NEW RIBBON, A GOOD DETAILED EXAMPLE WITH ATTRACTIVE TARNISH - A RARE MEDAL, HARD TO FIND
HISTORY OF THE AWARD:
Brunswick Peninsula Commemorative Medal, Death’s Head (17th) Hussars (Peninsula Erinnerungsmedaille, Totenkopf (17. Regt.) Husaren), 1809-1909 - Circular bronze medal with loop for ribbon suspension, 35 mm in diamater. The face with the head and shoulders portrait of Friedrich Wilhelm, Duke of Brunswick in military uniform facing left, circumscribed ‘FRIEDRICH WILHELM HERZOG ZU BRAUNSCHWEIG’; the reverse with a death’s head, a ribbon below inscribed ‘PENINSULA’ imposed on oak and laurel branches, dated ‘1809 1909’ below. The medal was instituted in 1909 by Johann Albrecht, Duke of Mecklenburg (08.12.1857 – 16.02.1920) who reigned as a regent of the Duchy of Brunswick from 1907 to 1913. The medal was awarded by the Dukedom of Brunswick in 1909 to the descendants of the 17th Regiment (Death’s Head) Hussars who fought in the Napoleonic Peninsular wars of 1809. The Duchy of Brunswick was absorbed into the newly-created Napoleonic Kingdom of Westphalia in 1807 as a result of the Prussian defeat at Jena-Auerstedt on 14 October 1806. The Duke of Brunswick, leading the largest Prussian army, was wounded at the battle and died two days later, his son Friedrich Wilhelm, present at the battle as a major-general, inheriting the title. Initially, Friedrich Wilhelm fled to Baden but in 1809 he created the ‘Black Brunswickers’ and fought with the Austrian Empire against Napoleonic France. Following Austrian defeat, he took his force of 2,300 men to England and subsequently to Spain and Portugal during the Peninsular War where they gained a reputation for brave, disciplined fighting. The image of Duke Friedrich Wilhelm is that used on the Brunswick Waterloo Medal, 1815. Peninsula Commemorative Medal was worn on a blue ribbon with two wide yellow stripes for combatants and in inverse colours non combatants. A rare, historic medal.