Bar with the China Medal and Clasp

Photo Peter Klein

The medals on this bar in order of seniority from left to right are-
Prussian 1914 Iron Cross
, for non-combatants
Prussian Warriors Merit Medal worn back to front
Prussian Merit Cross for War Aid
Prussian Other Ranks Long Service Award, first class for 21 years service
Prussian Other Ranks Long Service Award, second class for 15 years service

1900-01 China Campaign Medal for combatants with clasp for "PEITANG-FORTS"
Silesian Eagle
, second class

The original owner of this medal bar was a non-Prussian NCO who saw action in the Boxer Rebellion but was in a non-combatant position during the First World War and in the Freikorps conflict in Silesia shortly after the war.

Note the reversed colours on the Iron Cross ribbon denoting non-combatant status and the Prussian Warriors Merit Medal awarded to non-Prussian Germans. 

The Peitang Forts were captured during the Boxer Rebellion by soldiers of the German East Asian Expeditionary Corps (alongside their Russian, French and Austrian allies) on 20th September 1900. The clasp for "PEITANG-FORTS" was an officially recognised one and like other China Medal clasps was available for private purchase to veterans of that action.

Most curiously this bar has two Prussian Other Ranks Long Service Awards, one third class and one second class. Usually the latest award replaced the previous medal (except if the two awards were of different status for example a regualr and Landwehr award but both of these are for regular other ranks service).

The Silesian Eagle ("Schleischer Adler") was created on 16th June 1919 by Generalleutnant Von Friedenburg for service in the Freikorps campaign against Polish nationalists in Silesia. The first class award was for six months service and was worn as a breast badge. The second class (as seen here) was for three months service and was worn as a medal on the bar. Unlike most semi-official awards created after 1918 the Silesian Eagle was not banned in the regulations of 1934.

 
     
     

Please contact me here if you have more information on this topic or if you have a medal bar you would like to share. 

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