The Bavarians and their Austrian neighbors are very similar. Both were allies in the 1866 war against Prussia which they lost. So in 1915 when Italy entered the First World War and attacked Austria it must have felt natural for the Austrians to have the Bavarian 1st Infantry Guards Regiment at their side to help them defend the very rugged Alpine Province of Tyrol. The Bavarians were ordered to Verdun in 1916 but they must have enjoyed their visit to Tyrol enough to gift their hosts with a very attractive medal. The obverse of this silver washed bronze oval medal has an Edelweiss flower shield on the center of a cross with crossed swords. The reverse has the crowned monogram emblem of the Bavarian 1st dividing the date 19-15 which is above an eight line German inscription which translates “The Royal Bavarian Infantry Guard Regiment To Their Brothers In Arms In Defense of Their Home Land Tyrol.“
The medal looks like a privately made piece so I’m not sure how official it was or how it was funded and awarded. For all I know it may even have been issued after the war was over. The medal does preserve the memory of a very difficult, hard fought and under rated campaign.
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