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Bavarian Medal For Austrians Only

On may 18, 1915 the Bavarian Body Guard Regiment stationed in Munich which was part of the Royal Bavarian Jaeger Brigade became the core unit of the Bavarian Alpenkorps. During WWI the unit saw action in the Dolomite Mountains, France, Serbia, Verdun, Romania, Caporetto, Italy and France again in 1918. At the start of WWI, Italy was allied with the Central Powers and therefore Austria didn’t feel the need to defend their Italian border and sent their troops to other fronts. In 1915 Italy suddenly changed sides and invaded the Austrian Tyrol. The newly formed Bavarian Alpenkorps was rushed into Tyrol to fend off the Italians until the Austrians could get their three regiments of Kaiserschuetzen (Imperial Infantry) back into Tyrol. These were Alpine units that used the Edelweiss Flower as their insignia. The Austrian Kaiserschuetzen then honored the Bavarian Alpenkorps by awarding them the right to wear their Edelweiss insignia. The Bavarians in turn had an oval silver washed medal made up which they awarded to their Austrian counterparts. The medal is illustrated below. The obverse has an Edelweiss on a cross with crossed swords. The reverse has the Bavarian Guard Regiment’s monogram at the top dividing the date 19-15 and an inscription roughly translating as: from the Royal Bavarian Life Guard Regiment to our brothers in arms in the defense of their Tyrolian homeland.”

By WWII the unit was renamed “Gebirgsjaeger” and still retains the Edelweiss flower insignia to this day.