Orders & Medals Society of America Forums German Medal Collecting German Empire 1871-1918 German Franco-Prussian War Related Local Medals

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    fred j borgmann

    By Fred J Borgmann

    Veterans are pretty much the same all over the world. Most of them whether draftees or volunteers had honorable intentions. Just as universal is the gratitude felt by the civilian populations for their boys in uniform. Often this gratitude is expressed in the form of locally issued medals given to the returning veterans after a war. In the United States locally issued medals peaked after the First World War. In Germany the situation was similar but delayed. The German States and the later united Germany issued large numbers of medals to their troops starting after their “War of Liberation” against Napoleon which was followed by the “Wars of Unification” culminating with the Franco-Prussian War. Just collecting the officially issued medals of the German States for those wars is a major project. With very few exceptions, local issued medals for those wars were not issued to German veterans until 1895-96 on the 25th anniversary of the battle of Sedan and again in 1910 on the 40th anniversary. This burst of patriotism created a vast and often confusing field of medals that still remains virtually unrecognized and uncharted. The confusion stems from the many medals issued to honor the Franco Prussian War anniversaries that were not intended just for the actual war veterans. A collector of the medals will need to be able to read German to tell which are veteran’s medals and which are just patriotic medals. Veterans medals usually include the words Gewidmet, Ihren or Seinen in the inscriptions. Therefore I have compiled a trial listing of these locally issued German veterans medals. Most of this listing has been gleaned from German numismatic auction catalogs over the last forty years. Interestingly the German catalogers do not use a special category for these medals but usually just list them in a medals section by town names along all other medals regardless of theme though some times the medals are listed under the heading of war and peace.

    German Local Medals to Franco Prussian War Veterans
    ( A Trial Listing )
    ? = does not actually have a “for veterans” type statement on medal which would include the words Gewidmet, Ihren or Seinen in the inscriptions.
    * = I own one.
    This listing does not include war anniversary celebration and monument medals.

    Arlen 1895
    Baden-Baden 1896 looped *
    Bad Kissingen 1895 *
    Bavaria 1895
    Brehna 1895
    Bremen 1895 *
    Brunswick Inf. Regt. No 92 1895
    Crimmitschau 1895, two types; only one is definitely for vets.
    Dusseldorf 1895 *

    Erlangen 1895
    Fischen 1895 *
    Garmisch 1895 *
    Gundelfingen 1896
    Halle a.S. 1895 *
    Hanau 1895-1896
    Hochst a/Main 1895/96
    Holzkirchen 1896
    Ingolstadt 1895 *
    Konstanz 1895 *
    Laufen 1895 *
    Leisnig 1895 *
    Letschin 1910 *
    Lindau 1895
    Oberstdorf 1896*
    Pappenheim 1895
    Perlach 1896 *
    Plattling 1895
    Pless 1895/96
    Poppenhausen 1896 Veterans Assoc. issue *
    Rudesheim 1895 *
    Rothenbach 1895 *
    Saarbrucken 1871 school children’s medal *
    St.Georgen (Bav.) 1895
    Schleswig-Holstein 1870/71 gold medal for helping widows and orphans
    Schoneck 1895 vets issue? *
    Schopfheim 1895
    Thumringen 1895
    Thurnau 1895 *
    Uberlingen 1895 *
    Viechtach 1910 *
    Vilich (now Beuel) 1895 *
    Waldsassen 1895
    Weil 1896 *
    Witten 1895 *

    Did I miss one or are you unsure of a medal you have? Please share it with us, thank you.

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