I was inspired to assemble this collection a couple of years ago by a wonderful reference thread on another forum that centers around Dave Danner's fantastic scholarly work that breaks down the EK2 equivalents for the German States for enlisted men and junior officers. My collection shown here would have been awarded to enlisted men. Finding the individual awards and completing this set took approximately a year of time, literally searching 7-days a week.
A few of these are quite difficult to find, and it was hard to be patient looking for them each and every day online, checking multiple sources. The Saxe-Altenburg Bravery Medal (in early watime Bronze issue, and not the more commonly found later war zinc version) and the Waldeck Silver Merit Medal with Swords were quite elusive for me in my search. As a side note, a collector friend talked me out of my first Waldeck example for an offer I couldn't refuse, and it took me 6-months to find another example to replace the first one I had found.
A few of the awards could use a better ribbon, but at least they are originals.
It will be a much more expensive challenge completing the equivalents for Lieutenants. I look forward to completing that collection one day in the future.
I look forward to your comments.
Here they are, from left to right, starting at the top row:
1. Anhalt: Friedrich Cross
2. Baden: Merit Medal on the ribbon of the Military Karl Friedrich Merit Order
3. Bavaria: Military Merit Cross 3rd Class with Swords
4. Brunswick: War Merit Cross 2nd Class
5. Hesse: General Honor Decoration "For Bravery"
6. Hohenzollern: Silver Honor Medal with Swords of the Princely House Order of Hohenzollern
7. Lippe-Detmold: War Merit Cross
8. Mecklenburg-Schwerin: Military Merit Cross 2nd Class
9. Mecklenburg-Strelitz: Cross for Distinction in War, "Brave and Loyal"
10. Oldenburg: Friedrich August Cross 2nd Class
11. Prussia: Iron Cross 2nd Class
12. Reuss: Silver Merit Medal with Swords
13. Saxony: Bronze Friedrich August Medal
14. Saxe-Altenburg: Bravery Medal
15. Saxe-Coburg-Gotha: Silver Merit Medal with Swords Clasp of the Ducal Saxe-Ernestine House Order
16. Saxe-Meiningen: Honor Medal for Merit in War
17. Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach: General Honor Decoration in Bronze with Clasp and Swords
18. Schaumburg Lippe: Cross for Loyal Service
19. Schwarzburg: Silver Medal for Merit in War
20. Waldeck: Silver Merit Medal with Swords
21. Württemberg: Silver Military Merit Medal
22. The Free and Hanseatic City of Bremen: Hanseatic Cross
23. The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg: Hanseatic Cross
24. The Free and Hanseatic City of Lübeck: Hanseatic Cross