Content - Richard Lundström
Layout - Sebastian Bianchi
This newly mobilized 1914 Guards Landwehr Gefreiter is wearing
the original style German ribbon bar, which became the officers'
Old Style in 1915, and was the only style authorized for
enlisted ranks until 1916. A veteran of the East Asian
Expeditionary Corps, his ribbons are for the Military Decoration
2nd Class, Prussian Reserve-Landwehr Medal, and 1900-1901 China
Medal with a battle bar.
This career medical Offizier-Stellvertreter is wearing a M1916
(for enlisted ranks, M1915 for officers) ribbon bar: Iron Cross,
Hamburg Hanseatic Cross, unknown, Prussian Long Service, and
1897 Centenary Medal. Note that period photos always turn the
light yellow of the last ribbon darker than colors that were
really darker. This is part of the problem in accurately
identifying Imperial ribbons in old photographs.
Hollywood to the contrary, even senior officers
did not always have huge ribbon bars. Major (Dragoon Regiment 18)
Gebhardt Graf von der Schulenburg-Wolfsburg had this photo taken
on his 44th birthday in November 1916. Note that while he
has Mecklenburg-Schwerin's Friedrich Franz Cross 1st Class, he had
yet to win a 1st Class Iron Cross, half way through the war.
Although also entitled to a Prussian Crown Order 4th Class and
1897 Centenary Medal, he is wearing wartime "short"
awards for only his EK2, Mecklenburg FFC 2nd, and Mecklenburg
Ribbon bars were often not worn at all. This sample of tropical
“slob chic” is a group of German naval officers in
taken between March and July 1916. Paymaster Ensign August Böning
is standing at far left: four other later Admirals can be found in
This photo of Duke Ulrich of Württemberg (1877-1944) in the uniform
of a Generalmajor of Uhlan Regiment 20 shows a sewn-on ribbon bar on
the right side, rather than the usual left. This practice was
peculiar to lancer uniforms. RN
This Saxon Feldpost Beamter in WW1 field gray is wearing an Old
Style ribbon bar of awards won in Southwest Africa 1904-1906: note the
three campaign Spangen on that war medal's ribbon.