✚11122✚ German post WW1 mounted medal group Flandern Cross Honour Legion Cross

£289.99

Original German mounted post WW1 medal group: Honor and Remembrance Cross of the Navy Corps - Flanders (Das Ehren- und Erinnerungskreuz des Marinekorps Flandern) with two Battle Clasps (Gefechtsspangen):  SOMME & DURCHBRUCHSSCHLACHT (for breakthrough battle), Austrian Legion of Honour With Swords 1914-1918 (Österreichische Ehrenlegion 1914-18 Pro Patria Kreuz mit Schwertern) & Kyffhauser League 1914-1918 War Veterans Commemorative Medal (Kyffhäuserbund Kriegsdenkmedaille 1914-18), IN VERY GOOD CONDITION, ON GENUINE RIBBONS, PERFECT PIN DEVICE, A REALLY NICE & UNIQUE MEDAL GROUP INDEED

HISTORY OF THE AWARDS:

Commemorative Honour Cross of the Navy Corps Flanders (Ehren- und Erinnerungskreuz des Marinekorps Flandern, a.k.a. Flandernkreuz) - Flandernkreuz was instituted on September 13, 1921 by the post-war veterans’ association “Kamerdschaftsverband des Marinekorps Flandern”, and all German former military personnel who took part in battles in Flanders were eligible for a badge. Institutional document particularly stipulated: “In the days of September 1914, the newly raised Naval Division (Marinedivision) later known as the Naval Corps (Marinekorps) was baptized by fire during victorious five-day battles against the Belgian army at Löwen and Kampenhout north of Brussels. Encouraged by heroic deeds, it performed further feats of valour during the World War that lasted more than four years. Commemorative Honour Cross of the Navy Corps Flanders for former military personnel of the Corps is instituted this very day, on September 13, 1921 as a token of commemoration of those events that had covered Naval Corps with glory and fame on land and sea, in the air and under water, with an intention to perpetuate the memory of the fallen brothers in arms, to reward front fighters for their faithful duty and bravery in the field during the War 1914-1918 and to serve as a reminder for their descendants as well as for the whole German people”. Falndernkreuz had a shape of an equilateral Teutonic cross with beaded borders, with crossed swords between its arms and with a loop for ribbon suspension. An obverse had a rampant lion being a Flemish heraldic symbol situated on the upper arm of the cross and inscriptions “Naval” (“Marine”) and “Corps” (“Korps”) on the left and right arms as well as dates “1914/18” on the lower arm. A central circular medallion consisted of the 1903 pattern Imperial German Naval Ensign (Reichskriegsflagge) surrounded by a laurel wreath made of two branches tied at their bottom. A reverse bore an inscription “Invincible on land and sea” (“Unbe” – on the left arm, “siegt” – on the right, “Zur See” – on the upper and “Im Felde” – on the lower arm of a cross). A crowned naval anchor with a monogram of Wilhelm II (“W”) was situated in the middle of a central medallion surrounded by the laurel wreath, similar to the one described above. Flandernkreuz that measured 40,2x40,2 mm and weighed 22 g was made of bronze. Commemorative Honour Cross of the Navy Corps Flanders was worn either obverse or reverse outside depending on preference of its holder. It was worn on the left side of a breast suspended from a black silk ribbon with two thin white and yellow vertical stripes at both edges. Non-regulated device in a shape of crossed swords was sometimes attached to a ribbon to indicate former front fighter’s status. As all the other Weimar-era badges, Flandernkreuz had to be purchased at veteran’s own expenses upon presentation of an award document issued by Kamerdschaftsverband des Marinekorps Flandern. The cost of cross was 3,50 Marks, of miniature – 2 Marks, of a battle clasp – 50 Pfennigs. Approximately 30,000 crosses were issued. Battle clasps (Gefechtsspangen): ten battle clasps (Gefechtsspangen) commemorating combat experience of frontline soldiers were instituted as well. Those clasps were made of Buntmetal and were attached to a ribbon by two prongs soldered to reverse. Those wishing to buy a clasp worth 50 Pfennigs had to provide proof of participation in particular battle, in most cases a specific entry in a Soldbuch. It’s worth mentioning that no restriction was imposed on the number of battle clasps that could be worn simultaneously. The following battle clasps were issued: Antwerpen, Durchbruchsschlacht (for breakthrough battle), Durchbruchsschlacht 1918 (for the breakthrough battle fought at Momby-Cambrai on March 21-23, 1918), Flandernschlacht (for battles fought in Flanders between October 20 and November 18, 1914), Flandernschlacht 1917 (for battles fought in Flanders between July 31 and November 06, 1917), Luftkrieg, Seekrieg, Somme, Ypern & Yser. According to a Decree published on November 14, 1935 (Verordnung zur Ausführung des Gesetzes über Titel, Orden und Ehrenzeichen vom 14.November 1935) that put into effect a Supplement to the Law regarding state awards of April 07, 1933, wearing of a Flandernkreuz was prohibited. Nevertheless deliberate violation of this provision by military personnel was tolerated by Reich authorities.

Cross of the Austrian Legion of Honour With Swords, Austria,1914-1918 (Österreichische Ehrenlegion 1914-18 Pro Patria Kreuz mit Schwertern). This award is a military decoration of an ex-service men's organisation, unlikely to be government issue. Obverse description: bronze cross supported by laurel wreath with central medallion bearing text - "PRO PATRIA" (For the Fatherland). Reverse description: the cross has central medallion with "OSTERR / 1914-1918 / EHRENLEGION (Austria / 1914-1918 / Honor Legion). Date Issued: since 1918. Overall Dimensions 40 mm (Width), 45 mm (Height). 

Kyffhauser League 1914-1918 War Veterans Commemorative Medal (Kyffhäuserbund Kriegsdenkmedaille 1914-18) - Oval gilt bronze medal with eyelet for ribbon suspension; the face with a tattered standard, lightning bolts below, dated ‘1914 1918’ to the left above a sprig of laurel, inscribed above ‘Blank die Wehr, Rein die Her’ (Shining Arms, Pure Honour), signed ‘HOSAEUS’ at the base, all within a stylised laurel border; the reverse inscribed ‘Aufrecht u stoß gehen wir aus dem Kampfe den wir über vier Jahre gegen eine Welt von Feinden bestanden, Hindenburg’ (Upright and battered we came through four years of struggle withstanding a world of enemies, Hindenburg), a small five-pointed star above and below, circumscribed above ‘für Treue im Weltkriege’ (for Loyalty in the World War), circumscribed below ‘Der Kyffhäuserbund’, a sprig of laurel to either side; on original court mounting. The medal was instituted in 1922 and, until the issue of the Cross of Honour of the World War (Ehrenkreuz des Weltkrieges), better known as the ‘Hindenburg Cross’ in 1934, was often the only medal of the German soldiers of World War I. The Kyffhäuserbund der Deutschen Landeskriegerverbände veterans’ organisation was set up some years before World War I and Field Marshal Paul von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg was its President of Honour during the 1920s. After his death in 1934, the medal was amended by the National Socialist government with the addition of a cross gammée (Hackenkreuz or swastika). After WWI, a variety of German veteran organization sprang up across the country, keeping with a long-established tradition.  One of these was the "Kyffhäuserbund" (Kyffhäuser Veteran's Organization) who issued a brass type oval medal to commemorate service in WWI.  For many veterans, this was the only WWI service medal that was worn until the German Cross of Honor ("Ehrenkreuz") was officially established in 1934. After the Cross of Honor was authorized, many veterans continued wearing their unofficial medals so it is not uncommon to find this with an official medal grouping - usually worn on civilian clothes, band uniforms, etc.  Obviously, if they were wearing their medals in official uniform, the medal wasn't allowed.   It's interesting to note that many - if not most - of the organizations allowed veterans of the 1870-71 Franco-Prussian War to join - normally as honorary members - and allowed them to wear the organization's medals.  On 2 May 1931, possibly the last Franco-Prussian War veteran joined. The main trivia point being that a Kyffhäuserbund Medal with a Franco-Prussian War Medal and 1897 Centenary Medal is unusual but certainly not impossible and does not indicate service in WWI. This very low cost medal is fairly well documented and illustrated on the internet. What generally isn't illustrated is the numerous devices or attachments that might be found with it but not necessarily.  Since the veteran had to purchase the medal (often included in the initial membership fee), finances sometimes prevented buying every (or any!) device authorized. Each organization had a list of devices available and the veteran could make his own selection from that list, at an additional cost. The most common device found is the crossed swords (which indicate a combatant).  Absence of the crossed swords does not necessarily mean that the recipient was a non-combatant, just that they are not on the ribbon.  The medal is sometimes found with a laurel wreath supporting a diagonal sword (which usually indicates a naval combatant recipient - but it was the buyers decision).  Other attachments are the various battle bars which closely resemble those found on the Franco-Prussian War Medal.  Probably the most common is one that has "PARIS" (probably followed at a distant second by "YPRES") in black letters on the bar which is roughly the size of the ribbon width to almost doubled the size (depending on manufacturer).  Other battle bars are available and have almost every German battle listed.  The most bars I've seen attached to one medal was 7 but this one appeared to be a "made-up" grouping of bars.  The rarest bars would possibly be ones for Africa (no originals are currently known).  I've never seen a "country" bar - only battle associated.  All devices and attachments are generally made of a similar metal as the medal but come in a wide variety of sizes and styles (depending on the manufacturer).  The impressed names on the bars are usually filled in with black enamel.  Most devices use a double prong back attachment although one series of the battle bars are the "slide-on" type and are large enough for a double-wrap ribbon.