Orders, decorations, and medals of the German Empire

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Orders, decorations, and medals of the German Empire covers those decorations awarded by the states which came together under Prussian leadership to form the German Empire in 1871. For convenience's sake, this category also covers the decorations of the various German states which were no longer in existence in 1871, mainly because they had been annexed by Prussia during the Wars of Unification or before.

German Empire[edit]

The German Empire consisted of 25 states: four kingdoms, six grand duchies, five duchies, seven principalities and three Hanseatic cities. In addition, the house order of the Hohenzollern principalities, although the states themselves had been annexed by Prussia, continued to be awarded in the imperial era. Each state awarded decorations for civil or military merit. The following is a list of the principal civil and military decorations of each state.

Kingdom of Prussia[edit]

Civil decorations
Military and war decorations

Kingdom of Bavaria[edit]

Kingdom of Saxony[edit]

Kingdom of Württemberg[edit]

Grand Duchy of Baden[edit]

Grand Duchy of Hesse[edit]

Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin[edit]

Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz[edit]

Grand Duchy of Oldenburg[edit]

Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach[edit]

Duchy of Anhalt[edit]

Duchy of Brunswick[edit]

Duchies of Saxe-Altenburg, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and Saxe-Meiningen[edit]

Principalities of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen and Hohenzollern-Hechingen[edit]

Principality of Lippe-Detmold[edit]

Principality of Schaumburg-Lippe[edit]

Principalities of Reuss, Elder Line and Younger Line[edit]

Principalities of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and Schwarzburg-Sondershausen[edit]

Principality of Waldeck[edit]

Free and Hanseatic Cities of Bremen, Hamburg and Lübeck[edit]

Former German states[edit]

The largest state to be annexed by Prussia was the Kingdom of Hanover. Other states which had ceased to exist by 1871 include the Duchy of Nassau, the electoral principality of Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel), the free city of Frankfurt, and several smaller states. The following is a list of the principal civil and military decorations of these states.

First World War[edit]

German decorations of the First World War were those medals, ribbons, and other decorations bestowed upon German soldiers, sailors, pilots and also for civilians, during the First World War. These special awards were awarded by both Imperial Germany and various German Kingdoms and other states and city-states of the Reich.

During the Second World War, First World War decorations were commonly displayed on Nazi Party uniforms of the period with such awards intermixed with the more recent awards and decorations of Nazi Germany.

Imperial German badges[edit]

Non-portable awards included the "Honor Goblet for Victors in the Air" and the "National Motor and Air Travel Commendation".[4]


  1. ^ German Daggers
  2. ^ E-Medals
  3. ^ Golden Medal
  4. ^ "Imperial German Decorations". jkmilitaria. Retrieved 2005-02-14.
  • Medals and decorations of Hitler's Germany (Robin Lumsden)