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FJI, IJF, and K cap badge question

Article about: Can someone give me a quick rundown on the various Austro-Hungarian cap badges seen on their field caps? I'm primarily a Bundeswehr collector so am pretty clueless on WW1-era items. At what

  1. #1
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    Default FJI, IJF, and K cap badge question

    How quickly did the Austro-Hungarian military switch over to the K cap badge after the death of Franz Josef? Also, am I correct in presuming that existing FJ1/IJF cap badges remained in use for the duration of the war?
    Last edited by FtrPlt; 07-01-2016 at 12:04 PM.

  2. #2

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    I don't have any hard facts about the issuing of the K badge. I can however tell you that they were in common use after the death of Franz Josef. The K badge was produced in a couple sizes and a variety of metals, most common being zinc and steel. I doubt seriously that the K badge was given out in the field to replace the older badges. However, all army issued and tailor made caps in 1917 and 1918 would have had a K badge. This can be seen in photos dated from those two years and also on surviving examples of caps.

    There were only three badges/cockades commonly worn and they had the cypher FJI (Austrian landwehr and Austrian common army regiments), the cypher IFJ (Hungarian honved and Hungarian common army regiments) and the K badge which was universal for all troops. There were some specialty cockades for officers like musicians, administrative, ect., but they were relatively few in number.

    There was also an unusual variant to the K badge that had the Roman numeral I built into the right leg of the K. This formed a KI and was a design element used by a couple of makers. Army regulations called for only a letter K and not a KI. There was no IK badge for Hungarians and there was no KI badge with two separate letters.

    Does this help? I actually wrote a book on WWI Austro-Huungarian caps called FELDKAPPE. If you are interested, you can find it at feldkappe.com.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for your reply.

    Yes, it helps quite a bit. My grandfather served during WW1. When he passed in 1992, we found a few items in the house which I'm finally getting around to looking at ('misplaced them' in my house and recently rediscovered them). He would have been called up in 1917 (class 1899). Recruiting maps show he was in the Kosice/Kassa/Kashau area which would have supplied manpower for IR66 -- a common army unit. This area was definitely in the Magyar-administered part of the empire. Per your reply, it seems likely he would have worn either the IJF or K cap badge, depending on how quickly the K badges were introduced.

  4. #4
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    Helllo

    I have found two K coccarde in austrohungarian positions both in zinc. I think that the K coccarde was introduced in september or october 1917. Because a place where i found them was the first line before the 12. isonzo battle on Banjšice platteau. An Austrohungarian army was there from august to october. i think that some badges of IR 66 was founded also on Isonzo front, maybe they was 1917 trensfered on western front, when become a peace with Russian empire.

    Sašo

  5. #5
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    Hi Sašo,
    Thanks for your reply. I've found tracking the movements of IR66 during 1917/1918 to be somewhat difficult.
    The regiment shows on the OOB as part of 15 ID/29 Bde involved on the Russo-Romanian Front. 15ID was involved in the fighting during the Kerensky Offensive ~July 1917. It must have been particularly tough going. From "Austria-HUngary's Last War, 1914-1918":
    "But the troops of XXVI Corps, especially the
    regiments of 15 ID, had lost almost all of their combat value.
    When the battle started on 3 July, the 15th Division had deployed
    7700 riflemen at the front, of whom just 800 men were assembled
    early on the 9th."
    The Division was fully restored by 19 July and by end of month was entrained for Marosheviz (present day Toplita, Romania)

    To be fair, with no available records, I'm assuming my grandfather served in this regiment -- based upon where he grew up/lived. HIghly probable but not supported by any available documents.

    Items I have from his house include an M16 helmet, a 1914 EK1, and an FJ1 cap badge. I think at least two items are going to prove to belong to others -- possibly one of his cousins who also emigrated to the US in the 1920s.

    I just don't foresee a situation where a soldier conscripted into IR66 in 1917 would likely be wearing a German M16 helmet or being awarded an EK1. I was hoping the FJ1 cap badge might be my grandfathers but again I'm left wondering what cap badge IR66 would be wearing? If this was a Hungarian KuK unit, my thoughts are it would be IJF?
    Last edited by FtrPlt; 07-03-2016 at 02:10 PM.

  6. #6
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    Hello

    Here are some dates :
    IR 66 Magyar - Ruthenian - Slovak

    Aug 14 29 IBrig-(3)
    1 May 15 29IBrig-(3 1/2)
    23 May 15 II/IR 66 - l5 GbBrig
    1 Sep 15 6 ID(3) from 15 ID
    15 Oct 15 II/IR 66 - 15 GbBrig
    10 Mar 16 II/IR 66 - 15 GbBrig
    4 Jun 16 29 IBrig-(4)
    28 Jul 16 29 IBrig-(2)
    1 Aug 16 II/IR 66 - 15 GbBrig
    12 May 17 II/IR 66 - 15 GbBrig
    1 Jul 17 29 IBrig-(3)
    18 Aug 17 II/IR 66 - 15 GbBrig
    24 Oct 17 II/IR 66 - 7 GbBrig
    10 May 18 MilGenGouv Lublin-(3) from 29 IBrig
    15 Jun 18 29 IBrig-(3): II/IR 66 by now III/IR 65
    15 Oct 18 29 IBrig-(3)

    The 2 batalion of IR 66 was also in 15 Geb. Division on Isonzo front.

    Austrian Philatelic Society (APS)

    - - ------- - -

    Hello

    Here are some dates :
    IR 66 Magyar - Ruthenian - Slovak

    Aug 14 29 IBrig-(3)
    1 May 15 29IBrig-(3 1/2)
    23 May 15 II/IR 66 - l5 GbBrig
    1 Sep 15 6 ID(3) from 15 ID
    15 Oct 15 II/IR 66 - 15 GbBrig
    10 Mar 16 II/IR 66 - 15 GbBrig
    4 Jun 16 29 IBrig-(4)
    28 Jul 16 29 IBrig-(2)
    1 Aug 16 II/IR 66 - 15 GbBrig
    12 May 17 II/IR 66 - 15 GbBrig
    1 Jul 17 29 IBrig-(3)
    18 Aug 17 II/IR 66 - 15 GbBrig
    24 Oct 17 II/IR 66 - 7 GbBrig
    10 May 18 MilGenGouv Lublin-(3) from 29 IBrig
    15 Jun 18 29 IBrig-(3): II/IR 66 by now III/IR 65
    15 Oct 18 29 IBrig-(3)

    The 2 batalion of IR 66 was also in 15 Geb. Division on Isonzo front.

    http://www.austrianphilately.com/

  7. #7
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    This is where the lack of records creates problems for me. Using the below map, you can see how even in peacetime 2./IR66 appears attached to IR65 while 1. and 3./IR66 are shown more towards Kashau/Kosicse. These are probably recruiting/district admin offices and not garrison locations? My grandparents village sat right at the top of the second "6" in "66" just west of Ungvar (present day Uhzhorod). They were Slovak/German speakers so not sure if that would have had any bearing on which battalion he might have been assigned to?
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...ehra)_1898.jpg
    Last edited by FtrPlt; 07-04-2016 at 11:07 AM.

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