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Medaille für treue Krieger

Medal for Faithful Warriors

Medaille für treue Krieger was instituted on December 04, 1815 by Karl August von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach (03.08.1757-14.06.1828) and was presented to the subjects of the Grand Duchy who honourably discharged their duty, showed courage and loyalty while fighting in the ranks of Saxon units during Napoleonic wars of 1809-1815 and never tarnished their reputation neither during military service nor in civilian life.

According to the paragraph 2 of the statute, each decoration with the medal had to be approved by the special Committee headed by Generalmajor August Friedrich Karl Freiherr von und zu Egloffstein (15.09.1771-15.09.1834) as its President. Committee itself consisted of Oberforstmeister Kamerherr Ludwig Ernst Rudolph Gustav von Seebach (1770-1841), former commander of Jäger Corps and volunteer units in 1813; three Subaltern officers with the greatest seniority in the ranks of Capitain, Premier-Lieutenant and Seconde-Lieutenant; two best NCOs of the battalion in the ranks of Feldwebel. However, the latter were excluded from the Committee panel and held consultations apart from officers. Minutes of the meetings were recorded by a clerk from the Territorial board of the Grand Duchy (Landschafts-Collegii).

Each medal was presented together with an award document (Certificat).

Solution of disputed claims concerning decoration of certain war veterans was an exclusive prerogative of the Committee President who was granted right to seek advice of the Grand Duke in the most complex cases. Procedure of deprivation of the medal provided the awardee has been found guilty of a discreditable conduct was carried out in a similar way.

Paragraph 5 of the statute stipulated that medals were to be returned to the above mentioned Committee after demise of their holders. However, special Decree of the Grand Duke signed on September 20, 1816 revoked that condition and since then decorations as tokens of heroism and loyalty were to be displayed in local churches veterans attended. Apart from Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, where the Royal Decree was brought to notice of military personnel from the two battalions the national army consisted of, the Order was made known to authorities of Prussia and other German states.

Another change to the statute of the medal took place on December 17, 1816 when Karl August specified certain points concerning deprivation of the award and restrictions of its open wear. Interesting to know that medal in question was mentioned in the text of the Royal Decree as a “Honorary Military Medal” (Militär-Ehren-Medaille).

Thus, subjects of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach who committed heinous crimes and were sentenced to imprisonment were permanently deprived of the decoration. Petty criminals thrown into jails (but not in prisons) were not allowed to wear Medal for Faithful Warriors within one year after release from confinement. The amendment of statute didn’t apply to those who committed administrative infractions. 

Design of the medal was elaborated by the Berlin münzmeister Gottfried Bernhard Loos (06.08.1773-29.07.1843), while sculptor and medalist from Weimar Angelica Bellonata Facius (13.08.1806-17.04.1887) engraved the decoration.

Inscription in Gothic letters “Faithful Warriors” (“Treuen Kriegern”) ran in two lines on obverse with raised border. A reverse with raised border bore initials of the Grand Duke – “CA” – in its centre.

Circular medal measuring 28,5 mm in diameter and weighing 8,7 g was manufactured of bronze at the Berlin Mint. Up to 1820 the medal was worn suspended from a 36 mm wide light red silk ribbon of the Order of the White Falcon (Hausorden vom Weißen Falken). That was probably the reason Wilhelm Jakob Wippel incorrectly named it “Medal of the Falcon Order” (Medaille zum Falkenorden) in his fundamental book “Knighthood Orders, Part I” (Die Ritterorden. Erster Theil. Wilhelm Jakob Wippel. Berlin, 1824. Page 164). During the years 1820-1827 Medaille für treue Krieger was worn on a 39 mm wide Zivilverdienstmedaille ribbon, green in color with a wide central black stripe and two thin yellow stripes adjoined to its sides.

Bronze miniatures measuring 14 mm in diameter were manufactured as well.

Medal for Faithful Warriors was presented in 1815-1827.

On January 18, 1816 medalist and engraver from Berlin Daniel Friedrich Loos (15.06.1735-01.10.1819) minted 24 custom made silver medals weighing 9,7 g each according to the personal order of Karl August. Twelve medals were bestowed on high ranking officers, while the rest were left at disposal of the Grand Duke. 

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