Original Original German / Oldenburg WW1 / post WW1 medal grouping:
- Mounted medals: Oldenburg FA Cross II. Class & Prussian Long Service Cross for 15 Years' Service
- Prussian Long Service Cross for 12 Years' Service
- Wound Badge in Black
Paperwork / award certificates for the same soldier (Gerhard Blom):
- Oldenburg FA Cross II. Class award certificate - dated on 20.04.1915 / 77th Landwehr Infantry Regiment
- Prussian Long Service Cross for 15 Years' Service award certificate - dated on January 1914 / 4th Lotharingian Infantry Regiment No. 136
- Prussian Long Service Cross for 12 Years' Service award certificate - dated on 26.03.1920 / II. Oldenburg Territoray Command
- Wound Badge in Black award certificate - dated on 14.05.1936 / Oldenburg Pension Office (this is a rare, so-called "2nd awarding" certificate: on January 30th 1936, the Ministry of Interior issued a declaration stating that all those who were wounded during World War I and never received their Wound Badge could now do so through the proper channels. They would also receive the proper documents, which would in turn allow them to wear the badge officially and in public.)
- 2 typewritten list of the battles the recipient was involved (from October 1915 to July 1918)
ALL AWARDS ARE IN VERY GOOD CONDITION, GENUINE RIBBONS, A NICE AND UNIQUE GROUP OF WW1 AWARDS
HISTORY OF THE AWARDS:
Oldenburg Friedrich August Cross (Friedrich-August-Kreuz)was instituted on September 24, 1914 by the Grand Duke of Oldenburg Friedrich August (Großherzog Friedrich August von Oldenburg, 16.11.1852 – 24.02.1931) in two classes. It was awarded to military personnel and civilians regardless of rank and gender for combat merits and outstanding service at the home front during the Great War. Subjects of other German states were eligible for a decoration as well. Roughly saying Friedrich-August-Kreuz was Oldenburg’s equivalent of the Prussian Iron Cross. At the early stage of the war one should have been a holder of the Prussian Iron Cross, 2nd class to become a recipient of the Friedrich August Cross, 2nd class, but closer to the end of the WWI that rule wasn’t observed. Friedrich-August-Kreuz had a shape of an equilateral cross pattée with a round laurel wreath between its arms and a loop for ribbon suspension. A round medallion bearing initials of the Grand Duke (“FA”) in capital letters was superimposed on obverse. The Oldenburg crown appeared on the upper arm, while the year an award was instituted (“1914”) was placed on the lower arm of the cross. Reverse was similar to obverse but without any inscriptions. Friedrich-August-Kreuz, 1st class was worn at the lower left part of a tunic and was attached by pin with catching hook or by screw. The 2nd class of decoration was worn suspended from a ribbon. The 1st class (Steckkreuz) was only awarded to recipients of the 2nd class. Miniatures of the Cross were manufactured as well. Friedrich August Cross for military personnel and civilians differed in colour scheme of ribbon. Thus, the former were entitled for a “combatants’ ribbon” (Kämpferband), made of 35 mm wide dark blue silk with two 5 mm wide red vertical stripes at its edges leaving 2 mm wide dark blue stripes. The latter wore it on a “non-combatants’ ribbon” (Nichtkämpferband), that was red with two dark blue stripes. Late wartime ribbons are sometimes found of a poorer workmanship in the weft and weaving as well as other material being utilized, e.g. cotton. Friedrich-August-Kreuz measuring 38,5-40,5х38,5-40,5 mm was initially manufactured of blackened iron (painted or lacquered) by court jewelers of the Grand Duchy. Since September 1916 Buntmetall and zinc were used as well. Friedrich-August-Kreuz was a mass decoration of Oldenburg: by the end of the Great War 6,900 crosses of the 1st class and 62,800 crosses of the 2nd class were awarded. Like other German decorations, Friedrich August Cross was issued in the post-war Weimar Republic to those front fighters who were not able to receive well-deserved decoration during the WWI. Battle clasp (Spange) for combatants was instituted by the Grand Duke of Oldenburg Friedrich August on September 20, 1918, just two months before the Great War ended. It was issued to front fighters for particular merits together with the Friedrich-August-Kreuz, 2nd class. Battle clasp measuring 35,2х6,7 mm and weighing 2,5 g approximately had a horizontal rectangular shape with a distinctive border. An inscription “Facing the Enemy” (“Vor dem Feinde”) was made in raised capital Latin letters. The battle clasp was usually made of the same metal as the cross itself. It was attached to the ribbon by two flat non-pointed prongs soldered to its reverse. As previous merits were not counted and the clasp couldn’t be awarded retrospectively, veterans obtained a right to purchase it upon presentation of a documented proof of combat experience. Privately purchased clasps measured 34,25-35,2х6,7-6,9 mm and weighed 2,1-2,5 g. Clasp in a miniature form were manufactured as well and were worn on miniature ribbon bars.
Prussian 15-Year Military Long Service Cross (15 Jahre Dienstauszeichnung) was instituted in 1913 to replace the Militär Dienstauszeichnung Schnalle 2. Klasse. It was awarded to military active duty NCO's and enlisted personnel for 15 years active service and required the recommendation of their Commanding Officer. Awards of this Cross continued until the 3rd Reich introduced a series of new medals. These are very often found in WWI German medal groups and helps identifying the recipient as a Prussian. Originally, only one long service award could be worn, so this Cross could not be worn with any other (as well as any of the Landwehr long service awards). It's important to remember that the Prussian Landwehr had a similar award which is often confused with this one. During the 3rd Reich era, the wearing rules were changed which allowed for the wearing of 2 long service awards. The 15-Year Long Service Cross was made of a metal similar to a bronzed brass (the exact metal alloy was varied but the finishing techniques left a flat golden color) with a flat ring loop soldered on for the suspension ring (which is often of a dissimilar metal) through which a blue silk woven ribbon (UV-negative, usually 32-35 mm wide) is worn. The Cross size varied over the years at around 35 mm's and the center was relatively thick at slightly over 2 mm. Both sides of the Cross have a small double border near the cross edges. The obverse had the Prussian crown centered within a double circle in the middle of the Cross. The reverse carried only a XV within a double circle, which represented 15 years. It is very rarely hallmarked with any type of identifying information. Much of the data available on this Cross is quite confusing since many confuse the various classes and military vs. Landwehr awards.
Prussian 12-Year Military Long Service Medal (12 Jahre Dienstauszeichnung) was instituted in 1913 to replace the Militär Dienstauszeichnung Schnalle 3. Klasse. It was awarded to military active duty NCO's and enlisted personnel for 12 years active service and required the recommendation of their Commanding Officer. Awards of this medal continued until the 3rd Reich introduced a series of new medals. These medals are often found on WWI German medal groups and identifies the wearer as a Prussian. Originally, only one long service award could be worn, so this medal could not be worn with any other (as well as any of the Landwehr long service awards). It's important to remember that the Prussian Landwehr had a similar award which is very often confused with this one. During the 3rd Reich era, the rules were changed which allowed for the wearing of 2 long service awards. The 12-Year Long Service Medal was made of a golden coloured metal with a ring loop soldered on for the suspension ring (which is often of a dissimilar metal) through which a blue silk woven ribbon (UV-negative) is worn. The diameter varied over the years from about 32 mm to 35 mm and was relatively thick at slightly over 2 mm. The obverse had the Prussian crown centered with Treue Dienst (Faithful Service) arching the upper portion and bei der Fahne (with the colors) arcing in the lower portion. The reverse carried only a XII, which represented 12 years. No attachments were authorized but you sometimes encounter one with a 3rd Reich eagle device - which is absolutely incorrect. The presence or absence of a miniature 3rd Reich eagle device on a ribbon bar helps in identifying which medal is represented since the ribbons were often exactly the same.
Wound Badge (German: das Verwundetenabzeichen) was a German military award for wounded or frost-bitten soldiers of Imperial German Army in World War I, the Reichswehr between the wars, and the Wehrmacht and the auxiliary service organizations during the Second World War. After March 1943, due to the increasing number of Allied bombings, it was also awarded to injured civilians. It was ultimately one of the most common of all Third Reich decorations, yet also one of the most highly prized, since it had to be "bought with blood". The badge had three versions: black (representing Iron), for those wounded once or twice by hostile action (including air raids), or frost-bitten in the line of duty; silver for being wounded three or four times, or suffering loss of a hand, foot or eye from hostile action (also partial loss of hearing), facial disfigurement or brain damage via hostile action; and in gold (which could be awarded posthumously) for five or more times wounded, total blindness, "loss of manhood", or severe brain damage via hostile action. Badges exist in pressed steel, brass and zinc, as well as some base metal privately commissioned versions. Those of the First World War were also produced in a cutout pattern. All versions of the Wound Badge were worn on the lower left breast of the uniform or tunic. The badge was worn below all other awards on the left. It is thought that more than 5 million were awarded during World War II. In 1957, a revised version of the Wound Badge was authorised for wear; however, the previous type could still be worn if the swastika was removed (for example by grinding). The unaltered Second World War version is shown in the illustration to the right. Wound Badges were primarilly manufactured by the Vienna mint, and by the firm Klein & Quenzer. At first, the Wound badge in Black was stamped from sheet brass, painted semi-matt black, and had a hollow reverse with a needle pin attachment. From 1942, Steel was used to make the badges, which made them prone to rust. The Wound Badge in silver was made (before 1942) from silver-plated brass, and (after 1942) from laquered zinc, and had a solid reverse with either a needle pin or a broad flat pin bar. The Wound Badge in Gold was a gilded version of the Wound Badge in Silver.