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Erinnerungsmedaille für den Feldzug 1866

Commemorative Medal for the 1866 Military Campaign

Erinnerungsmedaille für den Feldzug 1866 was instituted on February 13, 1867 by the Prince of Lippe-Detmold Leopold III (Paul Friedrich Emil Leopold zur Lippe, 01.09.1821-08.12.1875) who reigned from January 01, 1851 until December 08, 1875.

Commemorative Medal for the 1866 Military Campaign was presented to the subjects of Lippe-Detmold who fought on the Prussian side during the Austro-Prussian War (June 17 – July 26, 1866) as a part of the Main Army (Main-Armee) that fought under command of General Eduard Vogel von Falckenstein against troops from Hannover, Hessen, Bavaria, Baden and Wurttemberg. After demise of the holder of the Erinnerungsmedaille für den Feldzug 1866 decoration together with an award document was kept by the closest relatives of the deceased as a token of remembrance and was not to be returned to issuing authorities.

Military contingemt of the Principality of Lippe consisted of a 6.Westfälisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr.55 under Oberst Stoltz who commanded the unit from January 09, 1864 until October 03, 1866. The regiment, that was given a honorary name “Infanterie-Regiment Graf Bülow von Dennewitz (6.Westfälisches) Nr.55” on January 27, 1889, at the time of the Austro-Prussian War was a part of the 26.Infanterie-Brigade of the 13.Infanterie-Division from the Main-Armee. Generallieutenant August Karl Friedrich Christian von Goeben (10.12.1816-13.11.1880) was in command of the 13.Infanterie-Division, while Generalmajor Karl Freiherr von Wrangel (28.09.1812-28.11.1899) commanded 26.Infanterie-Brigade. Another officer from the 6.Westfälisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr.55, Premierlieutenant (since January 01, 1899 that rank was renamed in the German manner Oberleutnant) Grach served as an adjutant of the 25.Infanterie-Brigade under Generalmajor Rudolf Ferdinand von Kummer (11.04.1816-03.05.1900), that also made part of the 13.Infanterie-Division.

Military personnel from the Principality of Lippe fought fratricidal, though victorious battles of Dermbach (July 4), Kissingen (July 10), Frohnhofen (July 13), Aschaffenburg (July 14), Tauber-Bischofsheim (July 24), Gerchsheim (July 25) and Würzburg (July 27).

Medal dies were created by the Prussian Royal Mint engraver Emil Weigand (20.11.1837-25.03.1906), who worked previously on the famous Prussian Erinnerungskreuz Königgrätz. Decorations were minted at the Prussian Royal Mint (Königlich Preußische Münze) in Berlin. 

Design of the Erinnerungsmedaille für den Feldzug 1866 was quite ascetic. An obverse with wide raised border bore a monogram of the Prince Leopold III, intertwined fancy capital letters  “PFEL” topped with a crwon of Lippe-Detmold. A reverse with the same border showed the year the Austro-Prussian War was fought, “1866” embroidered with two laurel branches tied with a ribbon tie at the bottom.

Round medal measuring 29,1 mm in diameter, 2,2 mm thick and weighing 11,6 g was made of bronze from captured cannons of defeated enemy troops.

Erinnerungsmedaille für den Feldzug 1866 was worn on the left side of the tunic suspended from a 34 mm wide silk red ribbon with two thin vertical white and yellow stripes at its edges (4,5 and 3 mm, respectively).

Totally 988 Commemorative Medals for the 1866 Military Campaign were presented to participants of the Austro-Prussian War from the Principality of Lippe. 

Commemorative Medal for the 1866 Military Campaign 1