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Some Freikorps Awards

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    Some Freikorps Awards

    I am hoping that others will submit some of their Freikorps awards to fill out this thread.

    To begin with...

    Eiserner Roland for actions against the communist worker and soldier uprising in Bremen on February 4, 1919.

    Awarded to Kanonier Albrecht of Frei-Abteilung Caspari together with the award document and service document signed by Major Walter Caspari.
    Attached Files

    I just picked up a private purchase silver and enamel screw-back Bug-Stern of the Schutztruppe Bug made by Meybauer.

    I'm showing it together with the silvered brass and black lacquer issue version originally instituted on February 1, 1919 for a minimum of 1 month's service in Kurland and Lithuania. However, less well known is the fact that it was also awarded retroactively for service in the Ukraine and Belarus in late 1918 before the Freikorps was officially formed. There were actually 5 different types and qualities of badges, including the original issue badge all made by Meybauer. The star was awarded up to 1923. Meybauer made about 6500 of the various types. Although, the exact number of pieces awarded is unknown due to the destruction of the Freikorps archives in a bombing raid March 1945.
    Attached Files


      Hi Brian

      I've seen the basic version of the "Bug Stern" for sale on occasion (another one to get once I outgrow my Schlesisher Adler phase) but the silver screw back enamelled version is very special. The DRGM # (ending with 46) on the screw disk is the same # as Meybauer used on their screwback EK Is if I remember correctly but its interesting to see how they went about showing their maker mark and the silver grade on a hollow stamped piece : by welding on a small square plate on the back

      Great pieces



        Very interesting breast stars and what i am gathering from the two posts is that Maybauer is the manufacturer that used DRGM 653146? I have a Gold and Silver Screw back wound badges with the same screw set up and markings. Nice to know who made them!! Thanks!
        Attached Files


          While it's true that Meybauer used this particular nut with the mark DRGM 653146 on all the company's screwback awards, I don't know if that means it's definitively a Meybauer mark. It's nothing but a patent number. It may be that Meybauer ordered this particular nut (or may have actually manufactured it) and used it on its awards. But, I don't think that by itself can be taken as absolute proof that they were the only company to use this nut with this patent number or that it indicates a Meybauer piece.

          Perhaps someone has documentation on Meybauer which can prove that only Meybauer used this particular nut.


            Thanks for the clarification!


              Very nice awards!

              Kind regards, Peter


                Die goldene Ehrennadel der 3. Marinebrigade von Loewenfeld
                Gold Honour Pin of the 3rd Marine Brigade von Loewenfeld

                It is believed to have been introduced after the Freikorps disbanded on May 31, 1920 with most of the 2500 members transferring to the Reichmarine, 70 to the police and 60 to the Reichswehr.

                The exact award criteria remains unknown. But, it was issued to all former Freikorps military personnel who “particularly distinguished themselves during the hard times experienced in Germany” (…”besonders zeichnet sich während der schwerer Zeit in Deutschland erlebt”) in 1919 and 1920.
                Attached Files


                  Deutschritter-Kreuz 1 Klasse, Detachement von Randow

                  Instituted in March 1919 with first awards on April 12, 1919 by Hauptmann Alfred von Randow initially in two classes - Deutschritter-Kreuz and Silver Breast Star of the Deutschritter-Kreuz (Bruststern in Silber). Both were issued to Freikorps fighters as a recognition of four (the former) and six (the latter) months of irreproachable service during the initial campaign in the Baltic.

                  Deutschritter-Kreuz was then divided into two classes in May 1919: the pinback cross 1st class was reserved for officers while a 2nd class cross worn on ribbon was for NCOs and other ranks. Prerequisite four months minimum period of service remained unchanged for both.

                  Two additional classes of the Deutschritter-Kreuz were also instituted in May 1919: Golden Breast Star (Bruststern in Gold) and Grand Cross kneck decoration (Grosskreuz des Deutschritter-Kreuzes).

                  The awarded 1st class cross came in two types: either black lacquered silvered bronze (50 mm), or as in the case of the one shown here, black enameled sivered bronze (46 mm).

                  I personally believe the first batch ordered in March and awarded on April 12, 1919 were the black lacquered type. I think from May 1919, the better quality enameled type was awarded.

                  The problem with properly identifying a black enameled Maltese cross as a von Randow cross is that this emblem was used by other organizations.

                  1/ The Russian Westarmee pinback Avalov cross was similar and came in both black lacquer and enameled versions, as well. However there were differences in the Avalov cross in that the central junction tended to be thicker, the arms slightly shorter and the silver frame thicker, more pronounced and sometimes beveled.

                  2/ The Jungdeutsche Orden, paramilitary youth group had a pinback merit cross that was a black enameled Maltese cross which was smaller (36 mm) with a more shallow indentation on the end of the arms, shorter arms and a thicker center junction. The "JungDo" cross is comparatively common and shows up frequently on eBay and many German dealers' websites always mistakenly identified as a rare Prinzen size of the von Randow cross. This is wrong as no Prinzen size ever existed and in any event, the "JungDo" cross is the wrong shape.

                  3/ The German Freemasons wore a gilded bronze black enameled Maltese cross similar to the von Randow cross, but larger (60 mm).

                  To confuse things further, it is generally acepted that some von Randow officers later had private purchase crosses made that were gilded bronze enamel and slightly larger (52-54 mm). These are quite luxurious and well-made with domed enamel, a large, barrel hinge and needle pin, thick, rounded catch and the reverse center reinforced with a cruciform.

                  Lastly, this cross, because of its relatively simple design is widely faked, most notably by "the Club". The fakes are easy to spot because of certain very obvious details (thickness, metal used, finish to name a few).
                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by Brian L.; 12-12-2015, 04:54 AM.


                    Treuekreuz der Schwarzen Garde (1. Garde Landes-Schützen-Abteilung, Detachement von Neufville, Freikorps von Neufville)

                    Founded in two classes by Major and Rittmeister Georg von Neufville on 1 April, 1920.

                    The small cast iron cross on ribbon was awarded for 6 months volunteer service prior to 1 April, 1920 and 9 months service after 1 April, 1920 and before 31 December, 1920.

                    The large enamelled bronze-gilt pinback cross was awarded for 1 year volunteer service prior to 1 April, 1920 and 16 months service after 1 April, 1920 and before 31 December 1920. A variation is known with a black Prussian eagle in place of the Guard Star.

                    Both crosses could be worn together.

                    The Freikorps had a total strength of 630 men. But, exact numbers of each class awarded is unknown.
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by Brian L.; 12-19-2015, 06:56 AM.


                      Deutscher Ordensschild zur Erinnerung an den Grenzschutz Ost
                      (Commemorative German Order Shield for Eastern Border Protection)

                      Award document to Leutnant der Reserve Abel

                      and 2 examples of the award.

                      Instituted on December 22, 1919 by the order of the XVII Army Corps commander Generalleutnant Johannes von Malachowski. The rather lengthy original name - "Commemorative badge for Distinguished Members of the Reserve of Eastern Border Protection (Gedenkzeichen für verdiente Regrostangehörige, "Regrost" standing for "Reserve des Grenzschutz Ost) was popularly shortened to: German Order Shield (Deutscher Ordensschild), but also referred to as: Commemorative German Order Shield for Eastern Border Protection (Deutscher Ordensschild zur Erinnerung an den Grenzschutz Ost), German Knights' Cross (Deutschritterkreuz) and Border Protection Commemorative Badge (Grenzschutz Ost Errinerungsabzeichen).

                      The first awards were made in Danzig in October 1919 before the award was officially instituted. Only an award document was issued while the badge itself had to be privately purchased by a recipient. This resulted in a wide variety of styles and sizes from simple lacquered silvered Buntmetall badges to 800 silver and enamel badges. Initially, only military personnel of the XVII Army Corps were eligible for the decoration. However, from March 1920, elligibility was extended to members of various civil volunteer militia units that protected borders as auxilliaries of the XVII Corps. Exact number awarded are not known.

                      The two shown here illustrate the range from low-end to high-end quality. The enamel badge is by Godet, Berlin.
                      Attached Files


                        Rare Feldspange of the Freiwillige Russische Westarmee

                        Freikorps ribbon bars of anything beyond the Silesian Eagle and Baltic Cross are extremely difficult to find because of the refitting done in 1934-35 which saw the banning of most Freikorps awards.

                        I recently picked up this gem in an eBay job-lot, unrecognized by the seller.

                        Rare Feldspange of the Freiwillige Russische Westarmee

                        Ribbons as follows:

                        EKII, Maltese Cross of the Russian West-Army (Avalov Cross), Baltic Cross, Russian George Cross IV class
                        Attached Files


                          I usually comb ebay for that lone FK ribbon bar, but Ive been lazy about of late! haha

                          Fantastic find Brian, that is a great ribbon bar!!!!
                          My album


                            Well Mike. You'll probably end up with it sooner or later.

                            Anyway, here's another rare one - a single spange to the Eiserne Division. These are the seller's pics as it hasn't arrived yet.

                            As the Eiserne Division Medal private purchase ribbon (unlike the issue ribbon) was very close to the EK ribbon (although with slightly narrower white stripes), I suspect the recipient may have just substituted an EK ribbon spange for the skull clasp.

                            I've seen another of these with a slightly larger skull on a plain black ribbon. I doubt there were any hard and fast regulations governing these.
                            Attached Files


                              Haha, I hope to someday put that ribbon bar in my collection! For some reason ribbon bars hit a soft spot with me.

                              I've got a photo of one I found some time back... it has EK2, Baltic Cross and West Armee ribbon. Finding these little gems are pretty damn rare.

                              I think I know of the "Eiserne Division" ribbon bar with a totenkopf atop black backing you speak of. You are on a role Brian, another great find!
                              My album


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