Figure 1: Military Jubilee Cross. Image from the author’s archive.

Introduction: This medal, the Military Jubilee Cross (Militarjubilaumskreuz), was issued to reward officers, military officials and soldiers who had a minimum of 3 years of service on a professional status during the period between the 2nd of December 1898 and the 2nd of December 1908, also to all personnel who had taken part in a minimum of one engagement during the 1848/49 war and to all persons, including the civil employees at several military schools, cadet institutes and military orphanages, who were on active duty on the 2nd of December 1908 in a professional status. After the 31st of December 1914 Kaiser Franz Joseph decreed that that all officers and officials of the reserve who met certain criteria were also eligible for the award of the medal.

Date Issued: August 10, 1908
Reason Issued: This cross was presented to all officers, military officials and soldiers who had a minimum of 3 years of service on a professional status during the period between the 2nd of December 1898 and the 2nd of December 1908, also to all personnel who had taken part in a minimum of one engagement during the 1848/49 war and to all persons, including the civil employees at several military schools, cadet institutes and military orphanages, who were on active duty on the 2nd of December 1908 in a professional status. It was additionally awarded to all those on duty on that day on a nonprofessional status who had received a minimum of 2 years of military training. This last paragraph specifically referred to the students of officer aspirant schools from the 2nd class onwards and aspirants for any reserve rank from the normal levy of “universal conscription” that were in their 2nd or higher year of duty (Zweites Präsenzjahr). On the 31st of December 1914 Kaiser Franz Joseph decreed that that all officers and officials of the reserve (or any other similar status) who had participated in the current war and who had already possessed the status of an officer (or official) on the 2nd of December 1908 and had not received the Militär-Jubiläumskreuz before, should now also receive this cross as a special honor. In 1908 only the professionals received the cross whilst this new regulation also included all those from the reserve forces who had as a minimum requirement the rank of Leutnant before the 2nd of December 1908

Classes or Types: One

Interesting Facts: No documents or award certificates accompanied this medal.

Hallmarks: None

Design: A clawed cross with a laurel wreath between the arms and a round center medallion with an attached cylindrical eye

Figure 1: Military Jubilee Cross, obverse. Image from the author’s archive.

Obverse: A clawed cross with a 20-21 mm round center medallion on which is a raised bust of Emperor Franz Joseph I facing the viewers right wearing a Field Marshal’s uniform and the Order of the Golden Fleece. Behind the emperor’s head and following the contour of the rim of the round center medallion is the following inscription: FRANC IOS I. Translation: Franz Joseph I. Below the bust at the 5 o’clock position is the engraver’s name R. Marshall. Between the arms of the cross is a laurel wreath.

Figure 2: Military Jubilee Cross, reverse. Image from the author’s archive.

Reverse:  A clawed cross with a 20-21 mm round center medallion on which is the raised inscription 1848/908 in two lines one above the other. Between the arms of the cross is a laurel wreath.

Weight: 25-27 grams

Size:  36-38 mm in diameter and 5 mm thick

Type of Material: Gold Plated Brass

Figure 3: Military Jubilee Cross, Type IV obverse. Image from the author’s archive.

Variations: There were privately manufactured examples of this medal

· Type I Cross: as described with a soft gold frosted finish

· Type II Cross: as described without the obverse inscription: FRANZ IOS I

· Type III Cross: The same as Type I with a bright gold frosted finish

· Type IV Cross: The same as Type I except that it has an additional engraved line along the margin of the cross. This line is sometimes inlayed with black enamel.

· Type V Cross: The same as Type I but without the engravers name

· Type VI Cross: The same as Type III but with more elaborate engraving

· Type VII Cross: The same as Type I but without any gilding

· Type I Reverse: As described above

· Type II Reverse: As Type I except the reverse is enameled white

Figure 6: Military Jubilee Cross, Type II reverse. Image from the author’s archive.

 

Case:  There was no official case for this award, but many were privately manufactured. The quality of the cases varied widely from well-made leather cases to those of cardboard. What follows are some examples of the cases in which this award was presented.

· A red simulated leather case with an embossed two headed eagle on the lid exterior. Below the eagle are the gilt dates 1848-1898 (see figure 7).

· A black rhomboid shaped case with a white cardboard inner liner of the lid. The inner liner of the lid sometimes bears a printed blue ink label of the manufacturer or the purveyor of the medals. One such label reads JOHANN MAURER WEIN VII. The inner portion of the bottom of the case is red cloth.

· A black rhomboid shaped case with a red celluloid lower inner liner and a white inner top. The known makers of this type case were Johann Maurer and Rudolf Marschall (see figures 8 and 9).

· A red simulated leather case with an embossed two headed eagle on the lid exterior. The inner liner of the bottom of the case is black velvet and is fitted. The inner portion of the lid is white silk and often has the name of the manufacturer in gold (see figures 10 and 11).

· A white simulated leather case with an embossed gilt inscription: Militar Jubilaums Kreuz on the lid exterior. The inner liner of the bottom of the case is black velvet and is fitted. The inner portion of the lid is white silk and often has the name of the manufacturer in gold.

Figure 7: red simulated leather case. Image from the author’s archive.

Figure 8: Black rhomboid shaped case, exterior. Image from the author’s archive.

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Figure 12: Military Jubilee Cross ribbon. Image from the author’s archive.

Ribbon:  Military Jubilee Cross: A 40 mm wide white tri-fold ribbon with 5 mm Carmen-red side stripes, 3 mm from the edge of the ribbon.

Miniature: There are several variations of miniatures

Figure 13: Military Jubilee Cross, miniature. Image from the author’s archive.

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Figure 14: Military Jubilee Cross, miniature in group of 3 miniatures. Image from the author’s archive.

Figure 16: Emperor Karl Wearing
The military 60 year
Jubilee Cross. Image from the author’s archive.

I hope you enjoyed this blog. Until next time, I hope you find joy in our shared interest.

Rick

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