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Wurttemberg Veteran Medal Set Info

Article about: Hello, As my first post on this forum I wanted to share my Great Great Grandfather's medals set. His name was Jacob Holder and he was an Offiziersstellvertreter in the Wurttembergische Armee

  1. #1

    Default Wurttemberg Veteran Medal Set Info

    Hello,

    As my first post on this forum I wanted to share my Great Great Grandfather's medals set. His name was Jacob Holder and he was an Offiziersstellvertreter in the Wurttembergische Armee. From what I have been able to piece together, he was a career enlisted soldier who served at least 21 years, including the entirety of World War 1. He and his wife immigrated to Detroit, MI sometime in the 1930s, where he worked in a brewery. I have the portrait, the shadow box set seen below and a book that details the war history of the unit he was in. Unfortunately the book is at my parents and so I cannot provide more specific unit information in this post. The book makes reference to him a couple times however, which is how I know his rank. I think I've been able to correctly identify all of the medals in the shadow box but would love any amplifying information (or corrections) that you can provide. I would also love any amplifying information on the photo (type of pickelhaube/pickelhaube plate, sword, schutzenschnurr, etc).

    The pictured awards include the 1914 Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Class, the Wurttemberg War Service Cross with (gold) swords (Verdienstkreuz mit Schwerten) , Honor Cross with Swords, Wurttemberg 21 year? long service medal, a Wurttemberg 15 year long service medal (which he is wearing along with the EK2 in the photo) and the Black Wound Badge. I am most interested in the Wurttemberg awards especially the Verdienstkreuz (which was mounted backwards for some reason) since i have not been able to find much information on it. I believe that versions with gold and silver swords existed and would love to know the difference (if there is one). I look forward to hearing what you have to share!

    Sincerely,

    Volker
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Wurttemberg Veteran Medal Set Info   Wurttemberg Veteran Medal Set Info  

    Wurttemberg Veteran Medal Set Info   Wurttemberg Veteran Medal Set Info  

    Wurttemberg Veteran Medal Set Info   Wurttemberg Veteran Medal Set Info  

    Wurttemberg Veteran Medal Set Info   Wurttemberg Veteran Medal Set Info  

    Wurttemberg Veteran Medal Set Info  

  2. #2

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    Hello and welcome to the forum. Nice Württemberg group.

    Your description of the decorations that form the "ordensspange" of your great-grandfather, I think is right.
    As regards the Württemburg Verdienstkreuz, of which you claim that it is "mounted backwards for some reason", from my experience I think that the most frequent reason why a decoration is thus mounted on an ordensspange is because at some point it fell and was turned upside down by someone who did not know how it should be displayed (probably many years after its owner died)

  3. #3
    MAP
    MAP is offline
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    A great family heirloom and well displayed. Great having the photo as well.

    I can't help with the awards to much as it is not my area, but sure others will be around to provide more insight. It's "holiday" time so a lot of members are away. So be patient.

    You probably know this, but here is what I have found.

    The Cross of Merit was founded on 2 July 1900 by the Württemberg King William II and awarded for general merit. During the First World War the former Cross of Merit was supplemented by two gilded swords. This was mainly awarded to Feldwebelleutnants and older Portepee NCO officers of the Württemberg Army , which had already been awarded or proposed for the Iron Cross .

    In total, 2284 awards of the Cross of Merit with swords can be documented. It ranks between the Medal of Merit of the Order of the Württemberg Crown and the Knight's Cross II. Class of the Order of Frederick . Until the foundation of the Wilhelmskreuzes on 13 September 1915, it was the highest Württemberg Medal.
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  4. #4

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    Thank you very much. I was blown away when my Grandma gave them to me about 20 years ago. I had always been fascinated by military history and had been asking my Grandpa if he had his Dad’s British World War 1 medals (which he did). That’s when my Grandma said “I have my Grandfathers medals. He was in the German army.” And up from the basement she pulls this shadow box with Iron Crosses in it. I don’t think you could have found a more geeked out high schooler.

    I appreciate the write up you provided. It looks like a translated version of the German Wikipedia article on the cross. You saved me a lot of time translating since I can only read bits and pieces of German these days. So thanks again.

  5. #5
    MAP
    MAP is offline
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    Yes. A translation form wiki. But hopefully it gave you part of what you needed.

    A very elderly neighbor many years ago had a similar shadow box of Wurttemberg awards (less the EK1). They were her father's but she knew little about them. I researched them for her and her daughter. I don't think they would have kept them if they didn't know what they were. But happily the daughter kept them
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  6. #6

    Default

    MAP I really appreciate what you gave me. Definitely fills in some knowledge gaps and makes sense based on Great Grandpa’s rank and Iron Crosses. Thanks again. Also glad to hear that the family kept the medals. They are a wonderful heirloom.

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