The Military Merit Medal (Militärverdienstmedaille), 1911-1917 is not at first glance a very important looking decoration. However to the Austrian officer corps and to the empire it was a decoration of substantial significance. This can be recognized when one considers that in the order of precedence of Austrian awards it preceded the Gold Bravery Medal (other than that for officers). In fact this decoration was roughly the equivalent to the American Distinguished Service Medal in regard to the esteem with which its recipients were held within the empire. What follows is part II of the discussion of this significant award in which I will cover the medal numismatics including the designer, manufacturer, number issued, the case3 in which the awards were issued, the ribbon on which the awards were suspended and the attachments to the award .
Designer: Heinrich Kautsch
Manufacturer: Hauptmunzamt Wien (Imperial Mint, Vienna)
Number Issued: Unknown
Case: This medal came in a wide verity of cases (some of which are illustrated above and others below).
- Type I: A red cloth covered case with silver imperial arms in the center and a silver decorative border. The Inside of the lid is lined with white silk on which is in some cases is the makers logo in gold. The inside bottom of the case is black plush and fitted.
- Type II: A red cloth covered case with gold imperial arms in the center. The Inside of the lid is lined with white silk on which is in some cases is the makers logo in gold. The inside bottom of the case is black plush and fitted.
- Type III: A red or maroon cardboard case with an imperial logo in the center in silver or bronze to match the medal inside. The inner lid of the case is white cardboard; the inside of the bottom of the case is also white cardboard and is fitted. Makers logos are in some cases on the exterior bottom of the case
- Type IV: Presentation cases: A maroon leather case with gold inscription and gold border on the lid. The inner lid is white silk and in some cases has the maker’s logo. The inside of the bottom of the case is black plush and is fitted.
Ribbon: A 40 mm red and white laddered ribbon for military recipients. The medal was also reportedly issued on a white ribbon with carmen-red edges to civilians and civil servants after April 28, 1917. The center white strip is 10 mm in width and the red edge stripes are 15 mm in width. No examples of this medal on this ribbon are known to exist.
- A small rectangular ribbon for this decoration sometimes issued with small attachments to indicate specific awards was introduced in October 27, 1917.
- Bronze gilt crossed swords were authorized to be worn on both the bronze and silver decoration
- Trapezoid stainless steel clasps 8 mm in width were authorized to designate repeat awards of the silver medals, when the clasp was granted for the medal with swords the swords were worn on the top clasp. Medals are known to exist with 3 bars. The bars were manufactured by Josef Zimbler of Vienna which has the makers logo engraved on the back of the bars.
- Second award = a bar 50 mm in length (top edge) and 8 mm wide
- Third award = two bars: first bar is 50 mm in length at the top edge and the second bar is 40 mm in length (top edge) with both bars being 8 mm wide (Bars are spaced 20 mm apart
- Forth award = three bars: first bar is 50 mm in length at the top edge, the second bar is 40 mm in length (top edge) and the third bar is 30 mm in length with all bars being 8 mm wide (Bars are spaced 20 mm apart)
- Occasionally the bars are engraved although this was unofficial.
Miniature: Miniatures are known to exist
An example the award when worn in a group
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