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.

 

 

Figure 1: Obverse of the Royal Bavarian 3rd Foot Artillery Regiment Medal. Image from the author’s archive.

 

 

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.

 

 

Figure 2: Reverse of the Royal Bavarian 3rd Foot Artillery Regiment Medal. Image from the author’s archive.

 

 

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/

 

 

Figure 3: Maker’s mark on the edge of the Royal Bavarian 3rd Foot Artillery Regiment Medal. Image from the author’s archive.

 

 

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.

 

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

– Lorin

 

For Further Information:

An excellent article (in German) regarding the tradition of St. Barbara the patron saint of artillery:

https://www.reservistenverband.de/niedersachsen/aktuelles/sankt-barbara-schutzpatronin-der-artillerie-2/

For more information (in German) about the first artillery shot fired at Grafenwöhr:

http://www.weber-rudolf.de/errichtung.htm

For information regarding the 100th year celebration of the first artillery shot fired at Grafenwöhr:

https://www.army.mil/article/41665/eyewitness_to_history_grafenwoehr_training_area_reenacts_historic_first_shot

An article (in German) regarding the “First Shot Memorial” at Grafenwöhr:

http://www.online-infos.de/sazg/2020/pdf/Stadtanzeiger_Juni_2020.pdf

For information about the U.S. Army 41st Field Artillery Brigade currently garrisoned at Grafenwöhr:

https://home.army.mil/bavaria/index.php

 

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5 Comments
  1. Servus Lorin,

    an interesting post about a medal that I’ve never seen before. Thank you for this excellent introduction.

    Many greetings
    Walter

  2. Hello Lorin,

    Grafenwöhr is just around the corner from where I live. The Americans used to organize an Oktoberfet all year. Unfortunately due to Corona it couldn’t happen last year.
    This medal shows the long tradition of this area.
    I wonder how many different medal have been issued for various opportunities. This one is of better quality as many of those medals are often zinc or aluminum.

    Very nice item!

    Regards
    Harald

    • Servus Harald,

      Welcome to the OMSA Blog. Thank you very much for your comments.
      I do not recall seeing other medals for shooting performance similar to this one.
      I wonder if the Regimental Commander paid to have these made and then handed them out.

      Hopefully, in September, Oktoberfest can once again be celebrated.

      With friendly greetings from the USA to Bavaria,

      Lorin

  3. Servus Lorin,

    In principel this medal reminds me on the first glance to the anniversary medal of the bay. Ulanen-Rgt.
    Same style of letters, bavarian lion with shield on the frontside, hinge and also quality.

    • Servus Harald,

      I agree with you regarding the overall design of the medal. I believe that the Ulanen-Regiment medal may also have been made by Poellath.

      With friendly greetings from the USA to Bavaria,

      Lorin

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