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Ottoman War Medal (Harp Madalyasi) "Galipolli Star"

Article about: Don't worry Dave, I'm still on the lookout! Regards Brett

  1. #1

    Default Ottoman War Medal (Harp Madalyasi) "Galipolli Star"

    Gday all,
    Something a little different,
    These two stars are part of the collection of Bombardier Eric Ferguson 2/8 Field Regiment, 2nd AIF.
    Eric served in North Africa from late 1940-early 1943 participating in most of the major campaigns and put together a magnificant collection of odds and ends.I have 25 images in total and will post the whole collection when I organise it.
    These two items are of particular interest but I feel they may be copy's made by some enterprising Egyptian or similar during WW2 as Australians would have taken great interest (the Galipolli connection).
    The two examples here are painted EM versions of the Ottoman Star but I feel the pins are incorrect and scream copy as I have not seen this arrangement on any other examples I have found (Images).The quality of originals range from A1 German made enameled Officers examples to poorly made Turkish EM versions so the quality of the star itself may not be that bad.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The question I need to ask is "Has anyone seen a similar pin arrangement on other examples?"

    There are also some known "good" Ottoman pieces within Erics group,Buttons etc. and due to the fact Eric's Regiment was deployed to Syria to assist in the downfall of the Vichy government these pieces may well have come from straight across the border.
    But I do doubt these two Stars.
    Any comments would be appreciated in relation to the pins etc.

    Here's a sneek peek of the whole collection
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I will post all 25 images at a later date.
    Last edited by Thanatos; 11-07-2012 at 08:25 AM. Reason: sPELLINNNN

  2. #2

    Default Re: Ottoman War Medal (Harp Madalyasi) "Galipolli Star"

    wow that is awesome

  3. #3

    Default Re: Ottoman War Medal (Harp Madalyasi) "Galipolli Star"

    Hi Dave, I cannot say I have seen ones with pins like that before either, but these are outside my comfort zone of experience. In fact, there was a star displayed in the Dresden Museum and the enamel work as superb, but it was labeled as a replica? This puzzled me a bit and I wondered if they really meant it was a German made example. So I would like to learn more about these awards too.

    I will look forwards to seeing more of the group.

    Cheers, Ade.
    Had good advice? Saved money? Why not become a Gold Club Member, just hit the green "Join WRF Club" tab at the top of the page and help support the forum!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Ottoman War Medal (Harp Madalyasi) "Galipolli Star"

    Doing a quick bit of research on these badges, I would have to lean towards their being genuine and period badges. They were made in a huge variety of metals and even were commissioned from jewelers to make solid silver versions as well. They were enormously sought after by the Anzac soldiers as the most wanted war souvenier. They were not always made(but most commonly seen) with the red enamel on nickel plated brass. They were made by a very large and diverse number of makers-including the famous German company of Godet among others. Some are more crudely made. The red painted versions were, apparently, manufactured in Turkey. The description below is from the website of
    So, rather than being cheap knock off copies for tourists in WWII, it's my opinion that these 2 badges are quite possibly genuine WWI era pieces-just not as finely made as some of the others. As for the pins, they quite often came loose or were broken and may well have been replaced, but, again, their quality looks to match that of the badges themselves, so I would tend to think that the remaining pin could very well be what was put there to begin with. They both definitely have the Appearance of the proper age to them. Ottoman Star badges are, even to this day, still quite sought after and collectable.

    "Although the medal was officially issued as a single class of award there were some variations in its manufacture with zinc, iron and other base metals all being used by different producers. There was also enormous variation in the quality of the red enamel used. To add to the mix hand-crafted high quality versions using silver metal were made by jewellers for private purchase by officers not content with a mass-produced badge."

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  5. #5

    Default Re: Ottoman War Medal (Harp Madalyasi) "Galipolli Star"

    Hi Ade,
    You will see this award on the right breast of quite a few German WW1 vets as it was also awarded to Ottoman Allies who had served in their theatre of operations.I believe that many German recipients,esp. the Officer class had much higher quality German jewler constructed "replacements" made as the quality of the originals was quite varied,very good to very poor.Maybe this is what the Dresden Museum means by "replica".
    This award was the Ottoman equivalent of the Iron Cross second class and was held in some esteam by it's German recipients,hence the much higher quality German copies.
    There were two main sub types:
    Enamel finished higher quality version for Officers
    Painted poorer quality for Enlisted Men.
    Both types were pin backs.
    The images I've seen of these do show quite a varied level of build quality and this must be taken into account.
    These two "maybe" examples are enlisted mens versions so the much poorer painted build quality.To me it's a question of the pin,this type I have not seen whilst researching these awards and there's also the question of enterprise during WW2 to take into account.
    The group is super cool and contains WW2 Australian,British,South African,Kiwi,Italian pieces as well as the WW1 Turkish items. I feel quite privileged to have been contact with it.It belongs to our new contract driver Mel,Eric's grandson.Eric Sadly went missing in 1951 and this "North African/Middle East" badge belt and the contents of the box are one the familys only connections to him.I researched Eric's WW2 Service records and was stoked to pass this on to Mel.But more on that when I sort out the images and work out how to present them.
    Must run,Kids to feed.
    All the best
    Last edited by Thanatos; 11-07-2012 at 08:44 AM. Reason: grammar

  6. #6

    Default Re: Ottoman War Medal (Harp Madalyasi) "Galipolli Star"

    I prefer my Turkish made version ! the pins on the ones shown in post 1 seem to be correct ! these original Turkish awards were very different than the "fancy pants" Prussian versions ! As far as I am aware, with the Turkish awards, there was no distinction between EM's and Officer versions, they were the same.
    Prost ! Steve....
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    "The German Army is the perfectly adapted, perfectly running Machine. The difference is that the Germans are organised with a view to War...with the cold, hard, practical and business-like purpose of winning victories."
    G.W. Steevens - The Daily Mail (1897)

  7. #7

    Default Re: Ottoman War Medal (Harp Madalyasi) "Galipolli Star"

    Thats a far more convincing piece Steve.
    The pin on your Turkish made example is one of the two most common types i've noticed on the Ottoman examples (web images only).The other seems to be this flat backed hook type.
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    The pin on the piece I have posted has a back similar to a safety pin and very crudely soldered on.
    Another thing I've noticed is the radius's on the reverse of your example are far more rounded and consistent (similar to most other examples) than the stars I have posted which are more inconsistent in appearence.I must say the two examples I have posted would have to be the poorest examples quality wise I have witnessed as yet.
    My reseach has been computer based so not overly deep but it seems there are a few theories re the Turkish made enameled and painted versions and to whom they were issued.I could well stand corrected on that Steve.
    The ribbon and campaign bar are cool and I think not to common.
    Thanks Steve for your response.
    All the best mate

  8. #8

    Default Re: Ottoman War Medal (Harp Madalyasi) "Galipolli Star"

    You are welcome Dave...of course it wise to remember who made these awards, not just one company I will bet ! and just like an Iron Cross, the design/hardware will differ slightly from maker to maker. This is one of my favourite WW1 awards, I cherish mine despite its salty appearance ! I think it has far more character than the any glossy German versions !
    Prost ! Steve.
    "The German Army is the perfectly adapted, perfectly running Machine. The difference is that the Germans are organised with a view to War...with the cold, hard, practical and business-like purpose of winning victories."
    G.W. Steevens - The Daily Mail (1897)

  9. #9

    Default Re: Ottoman War Medal (Harp Madalyasi) "Galipolli Star"

    Hello All
    These are certainly a good looking award. I had a beautiful painted version similar to the one in post # 6 coming from the U.S.
    I thought that it would go perfectly with my enamelled German example. Sadly it was not to be. It cleared customs & then
    promptly vanished. Hooray for Australia Post!


  10. #10

    Default Re: Ottoman War Medal (Harp Madalyasi) "Galipolli Star"

    That's a bugger Brett,sorry to hear mate.
    I,ve been very luck with shipping over the years I must say,Only ever lost one item in the post and yep it was at this end (Aussie Post).
    I hope you find another soon.
    All the best Brett

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