Instituted in 1909 by Johann Albrecht, Duke of Mecklenburg (08.12.1857 – 16.02.1920) who reigned as a regent of the Duchy of Brunswick from 1907 to 1913. Peninsula Commemorative Medal was issued in conjunction with the centenary of the 17th Regiment (Death’s Head) Hussars (Braunschweigisches Husaren-Regiment Nr.17) who fought in the Napoleonic Peninsular wars of 1809.
The Duchy of Brunswick was absorbed into the newly created Napoleonic Kingdom of Westphalia in 1807 as a result of the Prussian defeat at Jena-Auerstedt on October 14, 1806. The Duke of Brunswick who led the largest Prussian army was wounded during the battle and succumbed to wounds two days later. His son Friedrich Wilhelm who also took part in the battle as a Major-General inherited the title. Initially he fled to Baden, then created the “Black Brunswickers” in 1809 and fought alongside the Austrian Empire against France. Following Austrian defeat, he took his force of 2,300 men to England and subsequently to Spain and Portugal during the Peninsular War where they gained a reputation for brave and disciplined fighting.
An obverse has the head and shoulders portrait of Friedrich Wilhelm in military uniform facing left. That image is the same as used on the Brunswick Waterloo Medal (1815). Bust is circumscribed “Friedrich Wilhelm, Duke of Brunswick” (“Friedrich Wilhelm Herzog Zu Braunschweig”). A small five-pointed star is situated at the bottom.
A reverse shows a skull with crossed bones underneath. A ribbon inscribed “Peninsula” in capital letters is placed below and superimposed on two branches – oak at the left and laurel at the right. Two dates “1809-
Circular medal with loop for ribbon suspension was
Peninsula Commemorative Medal was worn on a blue ribbon with two wide yellow stripes closer to its edges and thin yellow edges.