Figure 1: Officer’s Military Service Decoration, First Class, 1890-1918 with Type II crown suspension. Image from the author’s archive.

Introduction:

With this blog I am going to continue the discussion of the Austrian and Austro-Hungarian officer service crosses. I will now complete the discussion of the Officer’s Military Service Decoration, first class (Militärdienstzeichen I Klasse für Offiziere ) which was issued from 1890-1918.

Variations: There are several variations of this decoration:

  • Type I decoration as described above
  • Type II decoration as described above except with horizontal banderols
  • Type III decoration as described above except with diamonds or brilliants
  • Type I reverse: As described above
  • Type II reverse: As described above with the following exceptions: The reverse is sheathed in mother of pearl
  • Type III reverse: As described above with the following exceptions: The reverse is sheathed in Tortoise shell
  • Type IV reverse: As described above except with an inscription on the reverse
  • Type V reverse: With a plain reverse
  • Type VI reverse: With a plain reverse with a rivet in the center for attaching the eagle to the obverse
  • Type VII reverse: The reverse of the arms are decorated with a beaded line that follows the contour of the medal and has a finely pebbled area within the beaded design. The reverse center medallion is round and plain.
  • Type II suspension: As described above
  • Type II suspension: A loop shaped suspension ring
  • Type I eagle: As described above
  • Type II eagle: A roman style eagle with the individual eagle heads on the obverse of the cross crowned
  • Type I crown: As described above
  • Type II crown: A crown with wavy horizontal banderols (some authors have attributed such crosses as navy awards but there is no compelling evidence to suggest that this is true.
  • Type I cross: As described above
  • Type II cross: A zinc cross with a bronze center eagle and crown

Designer: After 1908 Josef Zimbler

Manufacturer:

  • Hauptmunzamt Wien (Imperial Mint, Vienna)
  • CF Rothe
  • Friedrich Rotha

Number Issued:

  • Officers Service Cross First Class = 80
  • Officers Service Cross First Class with diamonds = 1 is known

Order of Precedence: This cross is number 59 after the War Cross for Civil Merit, third class and before the Forty Year Faithful Service Medal

Figure 2: Case Type I.  Image from the Author’s archive.

Figure 3: Case Type II. Image courtesy of Dorotheum

Case:

  • Case Type I: A red cloth covered case with the Habsburg coat of arms in gold on the lid. The interior is black plush and fitted while the inner part of the lid is white silk and has the maker’s logo in gilt. Cases of this type were known to be made by Josef Zimbler and Vinc Mayer and Sons
  • Case Type II: A red leather covered case with the imperial crown applied to the lid and a dedication in gold on the lid. The interior is grey plush and fitted while the inner part of the lid is white silk and has the maker’s logo in gilt. Cases of this type were known to be made by Friedrich Roth.
  • Case Type II:I A fitted cases for multiple decorations have also been seen in which one of the decorations is a service cross.

Figure 4: Fifty Year Service, Cross ribbon. Image from the author’s archive.

Ribbon: A 38-40 mm Yellow-gold ribbon with an 8.5 mm black stripe 3 mm from each edge.

  • A small rectangular ribbon for this decoration was introduced in October 27,1917.

Attachments: None

Miniature: Miniatures of this decoration exist.

Figure 5: Officer’s Military Service Decoration, First Class, 1890-1918 miniature. Image from the author’s archive.

Recipients of the Officers Service Cross First Class

  •  Eugen Freiherr Albori: General der Infanterie
  • Gustav Ritter Amon von Treuenfest: Oberstleutnant
  • Johann Freiherr von Appel: General der Kavallerie
  • Karl Graf Auersperg: General der Kavallerie
  • Miklos Emanuel Balas de Gyergyo Szent: Fieldmarshalleutnant
  • Anton Freiherr von Bechtolscheim: General der Kavallerie
  • Freidrich Freiherr von Beck-Rzikowsky, Fieldzeugmeister (with diamonds)
  • Eduard Ritter von Bergler, Fieldmarschalleutnant der Reserve
  • Adam Berzevicy de Berzevicze et Kakas-Lomnitz, General der Kavallerie in der Reserve
  • Joseph Ritter von Blaschek, Fieldmarschalleutnant der Reserve
  • Artur Freiherr von Bolfros, General der Infanterie
  • Wilhelm Freiherr von Bothmer, General der Kavallerie der Reserve
  • Michael Broderic, Major der Reserve
  • Ernst Chalaupka, Major der Reserve
  • Emanuel Cvjeticanin, Generalmajor
  • Bernhard Dobler von Friedburg, Fieldmarschalleutnant der Reserve
  • Karl Freiherr Drathschmidt von Birkenheim, General der Infanterie der Reserve
  • Viktor Graf Dubsky von Trzebomislitz, General der Kavallerie
  • Alexander Eberan von Eberhorst, Admiral der Reserve
  • Ludwig Fabini, Fieldzeugmeister
  • Michael Fadlallah el Hedad, Oberst
  • Geza Freiherr Fejervary de Komlos-Keresztes, General der Infanterie
  • Ferdinand IV, Archduke, Fieldmarschalleutnant
  • Franz Joseph II, Emperor
  • Anton Galgotzy, Fieldzeugmeister
  • Franz Ritter von Gammel, Fieldmarschalleutnant der Reserve
  • Anton Gebaur Edker vin Fulnegg, Fieldmarschalleutnant der Reserve
  • Gustav Graf von Geldern-Egmund zu Arcen, Fieldzeugmeister der Reserve
  • Heinrich Freiherr Giesel von Gieslingen, Fieldzeugmeister der Reserve
  • Benedikt Ritter Gottlicher von Bartenthal, Oberst
  • Wilhelm Ritter Gradl, General der Kavallerie
  • Adam Hauber, Major der Reserve
  • Alois Hauer, Oberst der Reserve
  • Liborius Hausner Edler von Hauswehr, Generalmajor der Reserve
  • Johann Edler von Horrak, Fieldmarschalleutnant
  • Emanuel Jurauch, Hauptmann der Reserve
  • Archduke Josef Karl Ludwig, General der Kavalerie
  • Ferdinand von Khuepach zu Ried,Zimmerlehen und Haslburg, Oberstleutnant der Reserve
  • Albin Edler von Kieslinger, Oberst
  • Wilhelm Freiherr von Klobucar, General der Kavallerie
  • Guido Freiherr von Kober, General der Infanterie der Reserve
  • Johann Freiherr Koblitz von Willmburg, Fieldzeugmeister der Reserve
  • Gustqav Freiherr von Konig, Fieldzeugmeister der Reserve
  • Karl Kozelli, Oberst der Reserve
  • Edmund Freiherr von Krieghammer, General der Infanterie
  • Rudolf Freiherr von Merkl, Fieldzeugmeister der Reserve
  • Eduard Edler von Metzger, Fieldmarschalleutnant der Reserve
  • Hugo Milde von Helfenstein, Fieldmarschalleutnant der Reserve
  • Johann Minkusz Edler von Schonfeld, Major der Reserve
  • Rudolf Graf Montecuccoli, Admiral
  • Maximilian Graf Orsini und Rosenburg, General der Kavallerie der Reserve
  • Eduard Graf Paar, General der Kavallerie
  • Heinrich Pelican, Fieldmarschalleutnant der Reserve
  • Eugen Freiherr Piret de Bihain, General der Kavallerie
  • Maximilian Freiherr von Pitner, Admiral
  • Franz Pradwdik Edler von Mahrau, Generalmajor
  • Archduke Rainer, Fieldzegmeister
  • Wilhelm Freiherr von Reinlander, Fieldzuegmeister
  • Julius von Ripper, Admiral
  • Leopold Rollinger von Rollegg, Fieldzeugmeister
  • Valentine Rupert, Liutenant Oberst der Reserve
  • Anton Sabranski von Thalbruck, Generalmajor der Reserve
  • Philipp Prinz von Sachsen-Coberg und Gotha Herzog zu Sachsen, General der Kavallerie on leave
  • Scipio Conte Scapinelli, Generalmajor der Reserve
  • Joseph Ritter Schilhawsky von Bahnbruck, Fieldmarschalleutnant
  • Moriz Schmidt, Fieldzeugmeister
  • Alois Edler von Schuschnigg, Generalmajor der Reserve
  • Ludwig Ritter von Schwitzer von Bayersheim, General der Infanterie
  • Joseph Sommer, Fieldmarschalleutnant der Reserve
  • Hermann Freiherr von Spaun, Admiral
  • Peter Edler von Ther, Fieldmarschalleutnant
  • Alexander Graf Uxkull-Gyllenband, General der Kavallerie
  • Alois Viditz Edler von Auenstein, Generalmajor der Reserve
  • Ernst Freiherr von Vivenot, Fieldmarschalleutnant
  • Johann Freiherr von Waldstatten, Fieldzeugmeister
  • Zeno Graf Weksersheimb, Fieldzeugmeister
  • Franz Freiherr von Wimpffen, Fieldzeugmeister
  • August Prinz zu Winisch-Graetz, Fieldmarschalleutnant
  • Joseph Prinz zu Winisch-Graetz, General der Kavallerie
  • Eduard Ritter von Zambaur, Fieldmarschalleutnant der Reserve

 

Figure 6: Feldzeugmeister Wilhelm Franz Karl of Austria-Teschen wearing the 50 Year Officer Service Cross. Image courtesy of Dorotheum

 

Figure 7: Fieldzeugmeister Beck-Rzikowsky Wearing the 50 Year Officer Service Cross with Diamonds. Image from the authors archive.

 

Figure 8: Emperor Franz Joseph I Wearing the 50 Year Officer Service Cross. Image from the authors archive.

 

Hope you enjoyed this blog. Until next time when I will describe the Officer’s Military Service Decoration, second class 1890-1918, I hope you find joy in our shared interest

Rick

 

 

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