Karpathenkorps-Abzeichen, a.k.a. Karpathenabzeichen

Carpathian Corps Badge

Instituted by the last ruler of the Austro-Hungarian Empire Karl I as a special decoration for combat bravery of military personnel of the German IV Reserve Corps that fought under the command of the Austro-Hungarian 7th Army in Carpathians and Bukovina against Russian forces. Carpathian Corps was its official designation from July 24, 1916 to December 12, 1917.

General der Infanterie Arnold Feodor Alois Maria Gustav von Winckler (17.2.1856 - 24.7.1945), holder of the highest Prussian military award Pour le Mérite (27.11.1915) was the Corps’ first commander (11.09.1915 – 06.08.1916). On August 07, 1916 he was succeeded by General der Infanterie (18.08.1918) Richard Heinrich Karl von Conta (24.11.1856 – 20.01.1941), holder of Pour le Mérite (15.10.1916).

Wearing of this cap insignia was authorized by the decree of Wilhelm II on July 11, 1916 and the first batch of badges was awarded in August.

Main units of the Carpathian Corps with its headquarters in Ruszpolyana:

1st Division that consisted of:
Grenadier-Regiment “Kronprinz” (1.Ostpreußisches) Nr.1
Grenadier-Regiment “König Friedrich Wilhelm I” (2.Ostpreußisches) Nr.3
Infanterie-Regiment “Herzog Karl von Mecklenburg-Strelitz” (6.Ostpreußisches) Nr.43
3/Ulanen-Regiment Graf zu Dohna (Ostpreußisches) Nr.8
Feldartillerie-Regiment (1.Ostpreußisches) Nr.16
Feldartillerie-Regiment (2. Ostpreußisches) Nr.52
FussA.R.15 (3eme batterie)
3./Pionier-Bataillon Prinz Radziwill (Ostpreußisches) Nr.1
Pionier-Kompagnie Nr.271
Minenwerfer-Kompagnie Nr.1

200th Division that consisted of:
Brandenburgisches Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 3
Magdeburgisches Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 4
Jäger-Bataillon „von Neumann“ (1. Schlesisches) Nr. 5
Reserve- Jäger-Bataillon Nr.20
Reserve-MG-Abteilung Nr.4
Gebirgs-MG-Abteilung Nr.202
Gebirgs-MG-Abteilung Nr.209
Gebirgs-MG-Abteilung Nr.239
Gebirgs-MG-Abteilung Nr.242
bayerische Gebirgs-MG-Abteilung Nr. 206
2./Ulanen-Regiment “Kaiser Alexander III von Rußland” (Westpreußisches) Nr.1
Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr.257
bayerische Gebirgs-Artillerie-Abteilung Nr.2
bayerische Gebirgs-Artillerie-Abteilung Nr.4
Fußartillerie-Bataillon Nr.54
Fußartillerie-Bataillon Nr.139
Pionier-Kompagnie Nr.105
Pionier-Kompagnie Nr.282
Gebirgs- Minenwerfer-Kompagnie Nr.173

Other units that took part in various battles alongside Carpathian Corps:

01.08.1916 – 31.08.1916: August fights on the Tataren-Pass and in the Ludowa area. 10.Königlich Bayerische Infanterie-Division, 117.Infanterie-Division (22-31.08.1916), 200.Infanterie-Division, 2.Radfahrer-Brigade, Landsturm-Infanterie-Regiment Nr.35, Landsturm-Infanterie-Regiment Nr.36 (7th Austrian Army).

01.09.1916 – 30.09.1916: September battle in the Carpathian.

General Kommando XXV.Reserve-Korps, General Kommando Karpathenkorps, 1.Infanterie-Division (till 22.09), 10.Königlich Bayerische Infanterie-Division (since 10.09), 117.Infanterie-Division, 200.Infanterie-Division, 2.Radfahrer-Brigade, Landsturm-Infanterie-Regiment Nr.35, Landsturm-Infanterie-Regiment Nr.36 (7th Austrian Army).

01.10.1916 – 24.07.1917: Trench battles in the Carpathian.

1.Infanterie-Division, 10.Königlich Bayerische Infanterie-Division, 49.Reserve-Division, 117.Infanterie-Division, 200.Infanterie-Division, 2.Radfahrer-Brigade (7th Austrian Army).

25.07.1918 – 10.08.1917: Liberation of Bukowina.

1.Infanterie-Division, 200.Infanterie-Division (Austrian 7th Army).

11.08.1917 – 10.12.1917: Trench battles at the east frontier of the Bukowina.

1.Infanterie-Division (till 27.11), 4.Ersatz-Division (since 14.09), 8.Königlich Bayerische Reserve-Division (since 03.09), 16.Reserve-Division (07.09-16.11), 83.Infanterie-Division (07.09-28.11), 200.Infanterie-Division (till 16.09), Königlich Bayerische Kavallerie-Division (07.09-10.11.1917) (all under Austrian 7th  Army, since 06.09 under 3rd Army).

Officers, NCOs and enlisted men were eligible for the badge after at least two month service with the Corps starting from August 1916.

The Carpathian Corps Badge (34x50 mm) was worn on visor and peakless caps below the state cockade. Due to the low quality of the two or three pronged construction on the reverse the badges were often broken or even lost. This led to more secure method of fixing by sewing it directly to the cap.

Officers’ version of the badge was made of silver and carried “Silber” stamp on its reverse while that for other ranks was made of the silvered white metal. 

After the Carpathian Corps was dissolved in December 1917 its military personnel retained right to wear the honorary badge according to a decree issued on June 10, 1918.

Examples of the badges with replacement horizontal needle for the wear on a civil attire are known to exist but they obviously are related to the post-war era.

Karpathenkorpsabzeichen 1 GE_army_88 GE_army_95