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Lublinitzer Tapferkeitskreuz
Lublinitz Bravery Cross

Lublinitz Bravery Cross was instituted in two classes in the second half of May 1921 by the headquarters of the Volunteer Self-Protection Battalion Lublinitz (Freiwilligen Selbstschutz-Bataillon Lublinitz). Following a history of the badge needs a brief digression into the history of the above mentioned unit. 

New Year's eve of 1920 was marked by an establishment of a Volunteer Frontier Detachment Lublinitz (Freiwilligen Abschnitt Lublinitz) that was raised on December 31, 1919 by an Oberstleutnant Schlettwein from the cadre of another Freikorps unit, Frontier Guards Schlesien (Grenzschutz Schlesien). Oberstleutnant Schlettwein also commanded Border Protection Battalion Lublinitz that had home guard civilians fighting side by side with military personnel. Battalion saw action in Lublinitz itself and its vicinity where it fought Polish insurgents in the beginning of 1920. VI Army Corps headquarters approached battalion adjutant Oberleutnant Henz in February or March 1920 with an order of forming a volunteer unit responsible for defense of Lublinitz from Polish separatists as well as for enforcement of rule of law in the town. Thus 80 strong Self-Protection of Lublinitz District (Selbstschutz im Kreis Lublinitz) was raised and accommodated in Kreuzburg (company under command of Henz) and Lublinitz (commanded by Oberleutnant Pfannschmidt). That unit was renamed Volunteer Self-Protection Battalion Lublinitz (Freiwilligen Selbstschutz-Bataillon Lublinitz) on May 19, 1921 soon after the Third Silesian Uprising broke out and was placed under the authority of the group "Nord". Four companies strong battalion commanded by Oberleutnant Henz took part in combat operations in various locations of Upper Silesia in May and June 1921 including the Battle of Annaberg between May 21-26, 1921. Freiwilligen Selbstschutz-Bataillon Lublinitz was disbanded at the end of 1921.  

Having completed that necessary historical digression let's return to the main subject of an article. 

As it was mentioned earlier, Lublinitzer Tapferkeitskreuz was instituted in two classes in the second half of May 1921 by the headquarters of the Volunteer Self-Protection Battalion Lublinitz (Freiwilligen Selbstschutz-Bataillon Lublinitz). Design of the badge was elaborated by Oberleutnant Henz based on the appearance of the Bavarian Military Merit Order (Militärverdienstorden), a decoration earned by Henz during the Great War. 

Initially only battalion personnel already decorated with either class of Silesian Merits Badge were made eligible for the decoration. The cross 1st class was conferred on those "who displayed exceptional courage during combat operations and distinguished themselves in defending Upper Silesia". The cross 2nd class was awarded to Freikorps "who distinguished themselves in the defense of Lublinitz". 

Later on statute of the badge changed and its decoration was extended to non-members of Freiwilligen Selbstschutz-Bataillon Lublinitz provided they had rendered invaluable services to the unit. 

Pin-back Lublinitzer Tapferkeitskreuz 1st class that was worn on the breast had a shape of blue enameled Maltese cross with a central white enameled circular medallion bearing gilt Gothic letter "L". Wide gilt flame tips were situated between arms of a cross. 

Design of a Lublinitzer Tapferkeitskreuz 2nd class was similar to that of its higher class save flame tips. It was worn suspended from a silk 26 mm wide yellow ribbon with two 4 mm light blue stripes closer to edges leaving 1 mm yellow stripe at each side. 

Badges were manufactured by a Berlin-based company "Militär-Effekten und Orden-Fabrik Paul Meybauer" that produced 100 pieces of 1st class and 50 pieces of 2nd class crosses. All badges were issued with the last decoration taking place on December 21, 1921. 

According to a Decree published on November 14, 1935 (Verordnung zur Ausführung des Gesetzes über Titel, Orden und Ehrenzeichen vom 14.November 1935) that put into effect a Supplement to the Law regarding state awards of April 07, 1933, wearing of a Lublinitzer Tapferkeitskreuz was prohibited. 

The author thanks Konstantin Nikolaev (Russia), a military historian, an author and a renowned expert on Freikorps decorations for providing an extract from his book "Silesian Eagle and other decorations of German volunteer units in Upper Silesia, 1918-1921".

Lublinitzer 1