Kriegsdenkmünze 1870/1871 --- Complete Set

SkipperJohn

Well-known member
Germany’s memorial medals were issued in a similar fashion to campaign medals in the U.S. military. Everybody who served in the Franco-Prussian War, in any theater of the conflict, was awarded one. A civilian version of the medal was also awarded to those who showed honorable or meritorious service in support of the army during the conflict. The requirements for the civilian medal were quite loose, seeming to make almost anyone eligible to receive one.

This is a complete set of the German Memorial Medals for the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 - 1871.

Kriegsdenkmünze für Kämpfer 1870/1871 (War memorial medal for fighters 1870/1871)

This award was given in recognition of the glorious campaign against France. The war memorial for fighters (combatants) was awarded to all soldiers, doctors, civil servants and seafarers from the navy who took part in battles or sieges, or who had crossed the border of France in wartime before March 2, 1871, as well as the crew of the royal ship Augusta. The war memorial was made from captured French guns (cannons). The war memorial was awarded with a certificate of ownership. The number of awards for fighters is given as approximately 1.1 million.

This medal was made of bronze.

On the circumference of this medal was written AUS EROBERTEM GESCHUETZ (FROM CONQUERED GUN (CANNON)).

On the front of the medal were the years of the conflict 1870 – 1871.

OOgJxr8.jpg


On the reverse side of the medal, slightly above center, was a “W” underneath the Prussian Royal Crown.
Below the Crown and “W” was written Dem siegreichen Heere (The victorious army).
Around the edge of the reverse side was written Gott war mit uns ihm sei die Ehre (God was with us (to) him be the honor).

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This medal was awarded on May 20, 1871 by King and Emperor Wilhelm I.
OEK number: 1941/1

The ribbon for the combatant version was:

3eUpPFg.jpg



Kriegsdenkmünze für Nichtkämpfer 1870/1871 (War memorial medal for non-fighters 1870/1871)

The War Memorial medal for non-fighters was awarded to people who were not part of the fighting associations but were nevertheless in the theater of war and proved their worth. The medal was given to all court and state officials and employees of the railway companies who crossed the French border before March 2, 1871. It was also awarded to all Knights of St. John and Maltese and the people who were at his service, people from voluntary nursing, doctors, nurses, health care providers, women and young maidens, as well as pastors in the field who offered care to the wounded in military hospitals in France until March 2, 1871. It was also possible to recommend people for the award who had at least 4 weeks’ worth of work at home in support of the war effort. Military, civil servants and medical officers of the army, and those who served between July 16, 1870 and March 2, 1871, at home or on warships, in difficult conditions could also be recognized. The war memorial was awarded with a certificate of ownership. The number of awards for non-fighters is given as approximately 415,000 pieces.

This medal was made of steel.

There was no inscription on the circumference of the medal.

On the front of the medal were the years of the conflict 1870 – 1871.

RSJvE4B.jpg


On the reverse side of the medal, slightly above center, was a “W” underneath the Prussian Royal Crown.
Below the Crown and “W” was written Für Pflichttreue im Kriege (For loyalty in the war).
Around the edge of the reverse side was written Gott war mit uns ihm sei die Ehre (God was with us (to) him be the honor).

3tfMGfM.jpg


This medal was awarded on May 20, 1871 by King and Emperor Wilhelm I.
OEK number: 1941/2

The ribbon for the non-combatant version of this medal had white stripes between the black and red stripes, unlike the combatant ribbon:

M584HsA.jpg



Kriegsdenkmünze für Nichtkämpfer 1870/1871 (War memorial medal for non-fighters 1870/1871)

As illustrated with the non-combatant version outlined above, it seems that almost anyone who was even aware of the war was qualified to receive this award. Unofficial medals were subsequently minted that were custom-made to cover shortages. These are made of non-ferrous metal and have stamp differences. This medal is referred to in the OEK registry, but no separate OEK number is assigned.

This medal was made of white, non-ferrous metal.

The front of this medal is the same as the steel, non-combatant version, aside from the stamp differences.

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The same may be said for the reverse side.

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The ribbon was also identical.

M584HsA.jpg


This medal was awarded on May 20, 1871 by King and Emperor Wilhelm I.
OEK number: Not assigned, but referred to under OEK number 1941/2

All these medals were sold in miniature versions and buttonhole designs. These were not issued awards and are not addressed in the OEK registry.

On August 18, 1895 King and Emperor Wilhelm II authorized 25 battle clips that could be attached to the Kriegsdenkmünze für Kämpfer.

25 battle clips were officially awarded for the following battles:

- AMIENS - AN DER LISAINE - AN DER HALLUE - BEAUMONT - BEAUNE LA ROLANDE -
- BEAUGENCY-CRAVANT - BAPAUME - BELFORT - COLOMBEY-NOUILLY - GRAVELOTTE-ST.PRIVAT
- LOIGNY-POUPRY - LE MANS - METZ - MONT VALVILLE - ORLEANS - PARIS -
- SAVE - SEDAN - STRASBOURG - ST.QUENTIN - VIONVILLE-MARS LA TOUR -
- VILLIERS - WÖRTH - WEISSENBURG –

If the veteran had served in one, or more, of these battles the clip(s) could be attached to the ribbon on the veteran’s medal. These were not part of the original issue for the award.

Complete information on German Medals, from any period, can be researched here:
https://www.ehrenzeichen-orden.de/

John :)
 

Steve Nick

Active member
A very informative and well presented post John.

I have the 1870 - 71 with "Gravelotte - St. Privat" bar and the 1866 medal.

I don't think I've ever seen one of the 1870- 71 Non-Combatant medals.

Thanks for taking the time to put this together.
 

b.loree

Administrator
Staff member
Excellent post John as always. This obviously took a great deal of time and effort, my thanks!
 
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