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Fearless and Loyal

Here is an unlisted (as far as I know) German WWI service medal. After the first world war the German Weimar Republic refused to issue a national war service medal for a war they didn’t start. This opened up a medallic void that was soon filled by a large number of veterans group issues some of which remain uncataloged. One of these medals is this silver 37.5mm medal marked 950 on the edge. I do not know what kind of ribbon it originally had but the blue ribbon with slot brooch it is on can not be correct.
The obverse features a young German soldier with rifle that always reminds me of the novel “All Quiet on the Western Front”. Above the soldier is an oak sprig and to the right are the war dates 1914 1918. The legend “VERDIENST UM DAS VATERLAND” translates, Service on behalf of the Fatherland.
The reverse is a bit more interesting featuring the Saxony’s Royal coat of arms with the motto “PROVIDENTIAE MEMOR” (Mindful of Providence) on the banner below. At the top we find the Wuerttemberg motto “FURCHTLOS UND TREUE” which translates, Fearless and Loyal. Was this an error or just an attempt to sell more medals? I have concluded that this is not an error since the words Furchtlos und Treue are not on a banner of any kind and thus are not part of a coat of arms. Who ever designed this medal just used the words to describe the character of Saxony’s soldiers during the first world war.

About Fred Borgmann

Retired from KP after nearly 31 years as new issues editor and the Standard Catalogs.
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