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Nature Abhors A Vacuum

Nature abhors a vacuum and so does human nature. After the First World War a defeated Germany found itself in a vacuum. The imperial and royal governments had fallen. The weak Weimar Republican government had so completely disavowed war and the military that it refused to issue any medals for WWI service. Millions of veterans who served honorably and suffered so many hardships (as did the veterans on all sides) came home to a government that wanted to forget the last 4 ¼ years. To fill this medallic void numerous German veteran and patriotic groups issued a flood of WWI service awards. Even some former allied countries like Austria, Bulgaria and Hungary issued medals. The medals were sold to anyone who felt that they were entitled to wear a particular medal. As a result medal groups can be found with many interesting combinations of medals which often are totally unverifiable. The field is vast and not yet completely cataloged. One could spend a life time just collecting these unofficial awards. Illustrated below are just four of the better looking examples, one from each of the former kingdoms of the Germany Empire: Bavaria, Prussia, Saxony and Wuerttemberg. Take a close look and see if you can figure out which is which.