On December 1, 1929 Military Max Joseph Order recipient Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb (*9. 5. 1876 – †4. 29. 1956) was promoted to Generalleutnant (Lieutenant-General).  From February 1, 1930 through October 1, 1933 Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb was the Commander of the Reichswehr 7th (Bavarian) Division stationed in Munich and Wehrkreis (Military District) VII.

This interesting medal was awarded during that period.  The medal is 50mm in diameter and is made of bronze that was gold-plated.  The medal weighs 50.95 grams.  There are no die-sinker markings and there are no edge markings.  On the obverse of the medal is a Reichsadler (Imperial Eagle) of the Weimar Republic.  On the reverse of the medal is a laurel-wreath bound at the bottom.  Inside of this wreath is the engraved inscription: “FÜR HERVORRAGENDE/ LEISTUNG/ GENERALLEUTNANT/ VON LEEB/ KOMMANDEUR D. 7. BAY. DIVISION” (FOR OUTSTANDING/ PERFORMANCE/ LIEUTENANT-GENERAL/ VON LEEB/ COMMANDER OF THE 7TH BAVARIAN DIVISION).  There is also simple ornamental scrollwork engraved under the words “VON LEEB”.

There are circular tooling lines on the reverse of the medal which show that the die was most-likely re-worked to remove previous details.  This was a cost-saving measure that I have seen incorporated during the manufacture of other medals.  Note that the medal was engraved and then plated.

The medal is housed in a black hinged leather-covered case with a blue felt lining at the bottom and with a white lining on the lid.  There are no markings on the case.  There is only the blue and white printed label of a jeweler: “FR. SCHIMMELPFENNIG/ JUWELIER UND GOLDSCHMEID/ BERLIN N. W. 7./ DOROTHEENSTRASSE 68”.  The case has a sprung catch and push-button release closure.

 

 

 

Figure 1: Obverse of the Lieutenant-General von Leeb Commander of the 7th Bavarian Division Medal. Image from the author’s archive.

 

 

 

Figure 2: Reverse of the Lieutenant-General von Leeb Commander of the 7th Bavarian Division Medal. Image from the author’s archive.

 

 

 

Figure 3: Lieutenant-General von Leeb Commander of the 7th Bavarian Division Medal in the issued case. Image from the author’s archive.

 

 

 

Figure 4: Lieutenant-General von Leeb Commander of the 7th Bavarian Division Medal in the issued case. Image from the author’s archive.

 

 

 

Figure 5: Top of the issued case for the Lieutenant-General von Leeb Commander of the 7th Bavarian Division Medal. Image from the author’s archive.

 

 

 

Figure 6: Bottom of the issued case for the Lieutenant-General von Leeb Commander of the 7th Bavarian Division Medal. Image from the author’s archive.

 

 

 

Figure 7: Detail of the maker’s label on the bottom of the issued case for the Lieutenant-General von Leeb Commander of the 7th Bavarian Division Medal. Image from the author’s archive.

 

 

 

I have not seen another medal of this type.  Without other examples or literature as a guide, some questions come to mind.  Was this medal awarded to Lieutenant-General von Leeb?  Or, was this medal awarded by Lieutenant-General von Leeb?  If the medal was awarded to Lieutenant-General von Leeb, then who was the awarding authority?  Was it the Weimar Government or was it the Reichswehr administration?

I would surmise that the medal was made in the Berlin area and distributed from that area due to the jeweler’s label on the case.  Due to the cost of engraving individual medals, it would stand to reason that not many of these were ordered.

In my opinion is that this medal was probably awarded to Lieutenant-General von Leeb.

 

Thank you for your interest regarding this article.  Comments are welcome.

– Lorin

 

Literature:

Kramer, Rudolf von, Waldenfels, Otto von, and Pechmann, Dr. Günther Freiherr von.  Virtuti Pro Patria, Der königlich bayerische Militär-Max-Joseph-Orden, Kriegstaten und Ehrenbuch 1914-1918.  Selbstverlag des königlich bayerischen Militär-Max-Joseph-Ordens, München, 1966.

 

For more information regarding the Reichswehr [7. (Bayerische) Division]:

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayerische_Reichswehr

https://www.historisches-lexikon-bayerns.de/Lexikon/Reichswehr_in_Bayern

http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gliederungen/DivisionenRW/DivisionRW7-R.htm

 

For more information regarding Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb: 

https://www.dhm.de/lemo/biografie/biografie-wilhelm-ritter-von-leeb.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_Ritter_von_Leeb

 

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2 Comments
  1. Hello, I have this exact medal in the case as shown above. I believe my Father picked it up during WWII.
    Is there any value to it? Are there any museums that might be interested in it?
    Thank you.

    • Hello Michael,

      Thank you for you inquiry. I am glad to hear that there is another one of these medals in existence.
      It therefore leads me to believe that Ritter von Leeb had these made, and awarded them to Officers or soldiers
      under his command. If possible, please share photos of your medal. Yes, these types of collectable items
      do have some value. However, it is not likely that a museum would be interested in this particular type of item.

      Best regards,

      Lorin

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