I came across a rather interesting and unusual medal recently. On the obverse of the medal is the inscription: “K. B. 3. FUSSARTILLERIE REGIMENT” (Royal Bavarian 3rd Foot Artillery Regiment) surrounding a right-facing Bavarian Lion sejant regardant with two tails, supporting an oval shield with the Bavarian lozenge-pattern. Under the Lion are the initials “F L” for an as of yet unknown die-sinker.
On the reverse of the medal is the inscription: “FÜR SCHIESSLEISTUNGEN GRAFENWÖHR 1914” (For shooting-performance Grafenwöhr 1914) surrounding the image of St. Barbara (the patron saint of artillery) holding an oak branch and standing in front of an artillery piece.
Stamped into the edge of the medal is the marking of the maker: “C. POELLATH SCHROBENH.” for Carl Poellath Schrobenhausen. The medal was made by casting, is approximately 40mm in diameter, and weighs 28g. The medal was cast in “Neusilber” (“German Silver”). There is an un-fused ring which is looped through a hole in the lug at the top of the medal. It is unknown if a ribbon was provided with this medal, or if some other means of suspension and wear was utilized. There are examples of other medals made by Poellath which follow a similar pattern of manufacture. Those medals, as is the case with this medal, are un-official (non-state awarded) pieces.
It is interesting to note that the Poellath firm is still in business in Schrobenhausen: https://www.poellath.de/en/
The Royal Bavarian 3rd Foot Artillery Regiment was formed on October 1, 1912 and was garrisoned at Ingolstadt. In 1914 they trained at the Grafenwöhr Training Area as part of the Royal Bavarian III Army Corps.
The Grafenwöhr Training Area location was selected by Royal Bavarian Prince Luitpold in 1907 and construction began in 1908. On June 30, 1910 the first artillery round was fired there by the Royal Bavarian 2nd Foot Artillery Regiment. The facility at Grafenwöhr has gone through many changes over the years and has been used for a variety of purposes. Today, it is home to the U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria. U.S. Army, Bundeswehr, and other NATO member forces train at Grafenwöhr, and the tradition of artillery training begun there so many years ago, continues to this day.
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For Further Information:
An excellent article (in German) regarding the tradition of St. Barbara the patron saint of artillery:
For more information (in German) about the first artillery shot fired at Grafenwöhr:
For information regarding the 100th year celebration of the first artillery shot fired at Grafenwöhr:
An article (in German) regarding the “First Shot Memorial” at Grafenwöhr:
For information about the U.S. Army 41st Field Artillery Brigade currently garrisoned at Grafenwöhr:
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