Foreign Winners of the Golden Bravery Medal 1789-1918
When the Golden and Silver Bravery Medals were introduced in 1789 no one thought about the possibility of awarding them to members of foreign armies but during the following years it became necessary in some very rare cases. The basic work on this topic was made by Oberleutnant (ret.) Adolph Ascher when he published a book about the winners of the Golden Bravery Medal in July 1898 and further with the revised and enlarged 2nd edition in April 1902. In his books he told of the great lack of official files which had been thrown away over the years and considered that it was nearly impossible to get a complete list of all the recipients - sometimes only their surnames. The situation regarding the foreign winners was no better.
Now, a hundred years later, these circumstances have not improved. I have spent the last decade in compiling a list of all Austro-Hungarian winners of the Golden Bravery Medal during the period of 1914-1918 and I am still not 100% sure of it completeness. Regarding the winners in foreign armies one has to notice the common "exchange value" of the bravery medals: the Silver Bravery Medal 2nd class was given on occasions where for instance the Germans would award the Prussian Iron Cross 2nd class to foreigners and the Silver Bravery Medal 1st class was awarded to foreign non commissioned personnel in cases of the Prussian Iron Cross 1st class. I often wonder why I can not find any foreign wartime winners during this period and probably it is because there are none!
Anyway, I hope that the one or other of our visitors can support our work and help us to enlarge the following list. Any information about a confirmed winner or additional information to listed winners would be most welcome.
For the battle at Brienne: Unteroffizier KILLENBERGER of the 1st mounted battery and Oberjäger RIPPMANN of infantry regiment number 9, both from the Army of Württemberg received the Golden Bravery Medal.
For the battle near Monterau Sergeant SCHICK of the 2nd mounted battery, Sergeant HAUG of the1st infantry battery, Pionier Wilhelm KNECHT of infantry regiment number 9, Jäger KÖNIG and Oberjäger WERNWAG of light infantry regiment number 10, Feldwebel Jakob UNRATH of infantry regiment number 3 and Grenadier-Korporal KEIDEL of infantry regiment number 7. All seven from the Army of Württemberg received the Golden Bravery Medal.
For the battle near Paris Feldwebel Johann Friedrich BAUER and Unteroffizier Georg ERNST of the 1st Garde-Regiment zu Fuß, Unteroffizier Johann SCHEITHAUER and Unteroffizier August DENNERLEIN of the 2nd Garde-Regiment zu Fuß and Jäger Gottlieb KOEBE of the Garde-Jäger-Bataillon, all five from the Prussian Army received the Golden Bravery Medal.
For his performance during the campaign 1813/14 Gefreiter Karl VORBAN of the Garde-Dragoner-Regiment of the Prussian Army received the Golden Bravery Medal.
For the battle at Strassburg Kadett-Korporal NIEPOCH of the Leibgarde-Regiment, Korporal HERZING of the Garde-Füsiliere, Schütze DÜRRWALD of the Erbgroßherzog-Regiment and Oberfeuerwerker RÖMER of the artillery, all four of the Army of Hessen received the Golden Bravery Medal.
During this year some members of the Army of Württemberg received the Golden Bravery Medal but neither the number of awards nor the names of the recipients are known.
For the street fighting in Dresden Feldwebel Karl EDLER and Unteroffizier August SCHRÖDER of the Kaiser Alexander Grenadier-Regiment and Füsilier Friedrich SCHADE of the 24th infantry regiment, all three from the Prussian Army and Feldwebel MÜLLER and Korporals KREISSER and SCHUBERT of the Leibgarde-Infanterie-Brigade, Sergeant GNAUCK and Korporal WOLKE and Soldat KLIMAND of the 1st infantry brigade and Feldwebel HEMPEL of the 1st Schützen-Brigade and Feldwebel JUST of the Festungsartillerie-Regiment, all eight from the Saxon Army received the Golden Bravery Medal.
On the 22nd of August 1849 the Russian General of Infantry von Lüders received 10 Golden Bravery Medals to honoor the soldiers of his Russian 5th infantry corps. Only two names of these winners are known: Kosaken-Unteroffizier Daniel BARZAGOW and gunner Alexis DMITRIEW of the 6th light battery of the 9th brigade.
During this year Unteroffizier-Fahnenträger Grigorij WASSILIJEW of the Russian Kexholmsches Garderegiment - Kaiser Franz Joseph was the Oberstinhaber of this Russian regiment - received the Golden Bravery Medal.
During the war in Denmark the Prussian Army received 10 Golden Bravery Medals, they were awarded as follows:
|BEHR Hermann||Unteroffizier||1. Posensches Infanterie-Regiment Nr.18||Düppeler Schanze VIII||18th April 1864|
|BÜSCHING Carl Heinrich August||Sergeant||2. Westfälisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr.15||Düppeler Schanze IX+X||22nd February 1864|
|DETTMANN Georg||Unteroffizier||8. Brandenburgisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr.64||Alsen||17th April 1864|
|GROTHUES Franz Anton||Sergeant||5. Westfälisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr.53||Düppeler Schanze IV||18th April 1864|
|HEINE (1) Friedrich||Füsilier||Leibgrenadier-Regiment (1. Brandenb.) Nr.8||Vorpostengefecht||28th March 1864|
|KITTO||Pionier||Brandenburgisches Pionier-Battaillon Nr.3||Sprengung Schanze II||18th April 1864|
|MEISTER Johann Joseph||Unteroffizier||2. Westfälisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr.15||Alsen||17th April 1864|
|REISS Franz||Sergeant||7. Brandenburgisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr.60||Düppeler Schanzen||18th April 1864|
|ROMEY Bernhard||Unteroffizier||4. Garde-Grenadierregiment "Königin"||Düppeler Schanze VI||18th April 1864|
|SCHULZE Karl Jakob||Feldwebel||4. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß||???||???|
On the 9th of November 1865 Korporal Benjamin UGARKOVITS of the Mexican Volunteer Corps received the Golden Bravery Medal for his outstanding performance during the battle of Actopan.
During the war of 1866 the Saxon Army received 23 Golden Bravery Medals. they were awarded as follows:
|ROCH Hermann Karl||Soldat||???|
|SCHUBERT Karl Ernst||Portepée Fähnrich||Feldartillerie-Regiment Batterie "von der Pforte"|
On the occasion of the meeting between Kaiser Franz Joseph and Kaiser Wilhelm on the 8th of September 1872 the Army of Prussia received 10 Golden Bravery Medals to honour outstanding performance - especially for the regiment of Kaiser Franz Joseph was the Oberstinhaber or regimental colonel - during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870/71. They were awarded as follows:
|AMBROSY||Sergeant||Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr.2 "Kaiser Franz"|
|BLOCZ||Lazarethgehilfe||Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr.2 "Kaiser Franz"|
|BUNZ||Unteroffizier||Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr.2 "Kaiser Franz"|
|DUMKE||Feldwebel||Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr.2 "Kaiser Franz"|
|FAUST Julius||Wachtmeister||Schleswig-Holsteinisches Husaren Regiment Nr.16|
|JANKE Otto||Wachtmeister||Schleswig-Holsteinisches Husaren Regiment Nr.16|
|KRAUSE||Sergeant||Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr.2 "Kaiser Franz"|
|MEINCKE||Vizefeldwebel||Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr.2 "Kaiser Franz"|
|STASINOWSKI||Feldwebel||Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr.2 "Kaiser Franz"|
During the Boxer Rebellion German and Austro-Hungarian troops acted closely together and consequently Gefreiter Franz Joseph PAULY and Musketier Heinrich August Wilhelm HALVES, both of the 2nd Battalion of the 2. Ostasiatisches Infanterie Regiment of the Prussian Army received the Golden Bravery Medal.
It is interesting to note that in June 1908 the then retired Sergeant Franz Pauly asked for the pension for his Golden Bravery Medal but in consequence of the prevailing regulations this request was refused by the Austro-Hungarian authorities.
On the 15th of June 1903 Squadron Sergeant Major S GOODE of the British 1st King's Dragoon Guards of which Kaiser Franz Joseph was the colonel, received the Golden Bravery Medal.
On the same occasion Sergeant T Gilton of the same regiment received the Silver Bravery Medal 1st class.
When the war started in the summer of 1914 the German troops of the so-called Skutari-Detachement traveled through Sarajevo and Vienna back to Germany. This was a great occasion for the propaganda purposes and at every stop along the route they were celebrated as heroes. On the 31st of August 1914 Feldwebel Hermann REINHARDT of the German Skutari-Detachement received the Golden Bravery Medal from Feldzeugmeister Potiorek in Sarajevo.
On the same occasion at Sarajevo the commander of the Skutari-Detachement Major Paul Schneider received the Order of the Iron Crown 3rd class with war decoration, the Sergeants Hans Höllinger, Rudolf Schlüter, Eugen Zinär and the Gefreiter Willi Meinhold received the Silver Bravery Medal 1st class and Unteroffizier Christoph Dittmann, the Gefreiten Ernst Kessel, Ernst Steglich, Alois Fleitz, Max Wenkel, Karl Mühlhause, Georg Bayer, Wilhelm Egger and the See-Soldaten Georg Rau and Karl Kurz received the Silver Bravery Medal 2nd class.
German submarines which were deployed in the Mediterranean Sea used Austrian naval facilities, especially at Pola as their operational base and were supported by the Austro-Hungarian Navy there. During this time some members of German submarine crews were honored with Bravery Medals during the summer of 1915: Ingenieuraspirant Alfred Schirmer went on to become a Vice Admiral (Engineering) and holder of the German Cross in Gold during the Second World War:
|AGRELL Friedrich||U-11||15 Jul 15|
|DATLIE Karl||Obersteuermannsmaat||U-10||20 Jul 15|
|GONDESEN Ernst||Obermaschinenmeister||U-11||15 Jul 15|
|KOLBE Max||Obermaschinenmaat||U-10||20 Jul 15|
|LANGE Fritz||Obersteuermannsmaat d.R.||U-10||20 Jul 15|
|RIESS Gustav||Obersteuermannsmaat d.R.||U-11||15 Jul 15|
|SCHIRMER Alfred||Ingenieuraspirant||U-10||20 Jul 15|
|STICHLING Fritz||Torpedo-Maschinistenmaat d.R.||U-11||15 Jul 15|
|Carl Ernst SCHUBERT received the Golden Bravery Medal as a Fähnrich in the Saxon Feldartillerie-Regiment in 1866.||Franz Joseph PAULY received the Golden Bravery Medal as a Gefreiter in the Prussian 2nd Ostasiatisches Infanterie Regiment in 1901.||Heinrich August Wilhelm HALVES received the Golden Bravery Medal as a Musketier of the Prussian 2nd Ostasiatisches Infanterie Regiment in 1901.|
|Major Paul Schneider, Commander of the German Skutari-Detachement||
The German Skutari-Detachement at Vienna in September 1914.
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