Order of the Black Eagle
The Order of the Black Eagle was the highest order of chivalry in the Kingdom of Prussia. The order was founded on 17 January 1701 by Elector Friedrich III of Brandenburg, in his Dutch exile after World War I, deposed Emperor Wilhelm II continued to award the order to his family. He made his wife, Princess Hermine Reuss of Greiz. The statutes of the order were published on 18 January 1701, membership in the Order of the Black Eagle was limited to a small number of knights, and was divided into two classes, members of reigning houses and capitular knights. Before 1847, membership was limited to nobles, but after that date, capitular knights were generally high-ranking government officials or military officers. The Order of the Black Eagle had only one class, by statute, members of the order held the Grand Cross of the Order of the Red Eagle, and wore the badge of that order from a ribbon around the neck. From 1862, members of the Prussian royal house, upon award of the Order of the Black Eagle, the badge of the Order was a gold Maltese cross, enameled in blue, with gold-crowned black eagles between the arms of the cross.
The gold center medallion bore the monogram of Friedrich I. This badge was worn either a broad ribbon or a collar. The ribbon of the Order was an orange moiré sash worn from the shoulder to the right hip. The sash color was chosen in honor of Louise Henriette of Nassau, daughter of the prince of Orange, the star of the Order was a silver eight-pointed star, with straight or faceted rays depending on the jewelers design. The center medallion displayed a black eagle on a background, surrounded by a white enamelled ring bearing a wreath of laurels. At meetings of the chapter of the Order of the Black Eagle and at certain ceremonies, embroidered on the left shoulder of each cape was a large star of the Order. From its founding in 1701 to 1918, the Order of the Black Eagle was awarded 407 times, subjects of the Prussian King receiving the order which was only given in one class were promoted to the peerage and received hereditary title. The Order was conferred upon Prussian queens, though other members of the royal family usually received the Order of Louise instead.
Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn – Kaiser Wilhelm IIs uncle, Prince Carl, Duke of Västergötland – Prince of Sweden Carol I of Romania – King of Romania, member of the Princely House of Hohenzollern. Louis XVIII – King of France, ludwig II of Bavaria – King of Bavaria. Emperor Meiji – Emperor of Japan, mozaffar al-Din Shah – Shah of Persia –29 May 1902 – during the visit to Berlin of the Shah Naser al-Din Shah Qajar – Shah of Persia
Order of Merit of the Bavarian Crown
The Order of Merit of the Bavarian Crown was an order of merit of the Kingdom of Bavaria established by King Maximilian Joseph I on 19 March 1808. The motto of the order is Virtus et Honos, the order was awarded in several grades, Grand Commander, Grand Cross, Commander and medals in gold and silver. King Maximilian I Joseph, founded the order to reward civil servants of the state of all classes and it was created as a civil counterpart to the Military Order of Max Joseph. Both the orders brought non-noble recipients in the collection of personal nobility with the title Ritter von, the Order of Merit of the Bavarian crown was initially founded with three grades Grand Cross and Knight. King Maximilian II added the grade of Grand Commander in 1855, for each grade there was a fixed number of members. Initially membership in the order was limited to 12 Grand Crosses,24 Commanders and 100 Knights, statutes of the order from October 1817 list the limits at 24,40 and 160. Adjustments to the statutes were made on 16 February 1824, on 12 October 1834.
The statutes were further modified in 1855 for the addition of the Grand Commander grade
Charles, Grand Duke of Baden
Charles, Grand Duke of Baden became ruler of the Grand Duchy of Baden on 11 June 1811 and ruled until his death. His father was Charles Louis, Hereditary Prince of Baden, the heir to the Margraviate of Baden and his mother was Amalie of Hesse-Darmstadt, the daughter of Louis IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt. He was the brother-in-law of the rulers of Bavaria, Russia, at the age of 15, Charles went on a journey to visit his sisters in their courts in St. Petersburg and Stockholm. He was on his way home with his father, when his father died in a fall from his coach on 15 December 1801, Charles was a witness to this accident. Charles apparently preferred the hand of his cousin Princess Augusta of Bavaria and it would be five years before the couple would produce an heir. Charles went to war in 1807 as head of the Baden contingent under Marshal Lefebvre, there he took part in the siege of Danzig. In 1808, Charles returned to the side of his grandfather and his grandfathers age was beginning to show and Charles became co-regent.
Charles was 25 years old when he succeeded his grandfather Charles Frederick upon the death on 11 June 1811. But this proclamation of Badens succession evoked international challenges, the end of Napoleon Is rule and the Congress of Vienna, which confirmed the territorial gains Baden had made during the Napoleonic era. Their children, Louise married her first cousin Gustav of Sweden on 9 November 1830, unnamed son Josephine married Karl Anton of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen on 21 October 1834. Hereditary Grand Duke of Baden Marie married William Hamilton, 11th Duke of Hamilton on 23 February 1843, as Grand Duke Charles did not have any surviving male children, upon his death in Rastatt, he was succeeded by his uncle Louis I. It has been speculated that the foundling Kaspar Hauser was his son, and therefore the actual hereditary prince
Military Order of Max Joseph
The Military Order of Max Joseph was the highest military order of the Kingdom of Bavaria. It was founded on 1 January 1806 by Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria, the order came in three classes, Grand Cross Commanders Cross Knights Cross. Individuals who received the order and were not already members of the nobility were ennobled, a Bavarian title of nobility obtained through the Military Order of Max Joseph was valid for the recipients life only. The order became obsolete in 1918 with the collapse of the Bavarian monarchy on Germanys defeat in World War I, the orders chancery continued to process outstanding award recommendations to at least 1922. The badge of the order was a white-enameled gold Maltese cross with balls at each cross point. The center medallion, in blue enamel and edged in gold, featured the monogram of Max Joseph on the obverse, above the cross was a gold crown. The badge of the Knights Cross was much smaller than that of other military orders. It measured 28-mm in width, compared to Bavarias Military Merit Order and it was worn from a ribbon on the officers medal bar ahead of other decorations or, separately worn through the buttonhole.
In 1951, wear of the Knights Cross around the neck, the badge of a Commanders Cross was somewhat larger than the Knights Cross, measuring 38-mm by 55-mm. It was worn from a ribbon around the neck, the Grand Cross was still larger, and had golden rays between the arms of the cross. The star of the order, which came with the Grand Cross, was a silver eight-pointed star. The center of the featured a badge of the order. The ribbon of the order was black moiré with inner white, for recipients of the order who were not already members of the nobility, receipt of the order conferred a patent of nobility. This patent was not inheritable, similar to a knighthood in the United Kingdom, when a recipient was ennobled, his surname name was changed by the addition of the title Ritter von. Thus for example the Field Marshal Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb was born Wilhelm Leeb, such a patent of nobility only applied to Bavarian subjects, non-Bavarians could receive the Military Order of Max Joseph but not use a title because of this.
Thus for example General Erich Ludendorff remained plain Ludendorff, although he was decorated with the Grand Cross of the order in 1916, note that not all Bavarian Ritter von were knights of the Military Order of Max Joseph. The Order of Merit of the Bavarian Crown, a high civil honor conferred a patent of nobility. For example, the 1920s-era Minister President of Bavaria Gustav Ritter von Kahr was a recipient of the Merit Order of the Bavarian Crown rather than the Military Order of Max Joseph
Order of Saint Elizabeth
The Order of Saint Elizabeth was an all-female chivalric and charitable order in the Kingdom of Bavaria. It was confirmed on the 31st of January 1767, by Pope Clement XII, the Catholic religion and the Seize Quartiers – the proof of noble descent running through sixteen generations of their own or their husband’s ancestors – are indispensable conditions for candidates. The nomination takes place either on Easter or on Saint Elizabeth’s Day, the entrance fee is four ducats. The badge is an enameled cross, representing on one side Saint Elizabeth dispensing charity to the poor, and on the other. It is worn on the left breast by a ribbon with a red border. No Member can appear in public without it, except by fine of one ducat, the King appoints the Grand Mistress. The Orders of Knighthood and Foreign, India, The Catholic Orphan Press,1884
Prussia was a historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg, and centred on the region of Prussia. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organised, with its capital in Königsberg and from 1701 in Berlin, shaped the history of Germany. In 1871, German states united to create the German Empire under Prussian leadership, in November 1918, the monarchies were abolished and the nobility lost its political power during the German Revolution of 1918–19. The Kingdom of Prussia was thus abolished in favour of a republic—the Free State of Prussia, from 1933, Prussia lost its independence as a result of the Prussian coup, when the Nazi regime was successfully establishing its Gleichschaltung laws in pursuit of a unitary state. Prussia existed de jure until its liquidation by the Allied Control Council Enactment No.46 of 25 February 1947. The name Prussia derives from the Old Prussians, in the 13th century, the Teutonic Knights—an organized Catholic medieval military order of German crusaders—conquered the lands inhabited by them.
In 1308, the Teutonic Knights conquered the region of Pomerelia with Gdańsk and their monastic state was mostly Germanised through immigration from central and western Germany and in the south, it was Polonised by settlers from Masovia. The Second Peace of Thorn split Prussia into the western Royal Prussia, a province of Poland, and the part, from 1525 called the Duchy of Prussia. The union of Brandenburg and the Duchy of Prussia in 1618 led to the proclamation of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701, Prussia entered the ranks of the great powers shortly after becoming a kingdom, and exercised most influence in the 18th and 19th centuries. During the 18th century it had a say in many international affairs under the reign of Frederick the Great. During the 19th century, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck united the German principalities into a Lesser Germany which excluded the Austrian Empire. At the Congress of Vienna, which redrew the map of Europe following Napoleons defeat, Prussia acquired a section of north western Germany.
The country grew rapidly in influence economically and politically, and became the core of the North German Confederation in 1867, and of the German Empire in 1871. The Kingdom of Prussia was now so large and so dominant in the new Germany that Junkers and other Prussian élites identified more and more as Germans and less as Prussians. In the Weimar Republic, the state of Prussia lost nearly all of its legal and political importance following the 1932 coup led by Franz von Papen. East Prussia lost all of its German population after 1945, as Poland, the main coat of arms of Prussia, as well as the flag of Prussia, depicted a black eagle on a white background. The black and white colours were already used by the Teutonic Knights. The Teutonic Order wore a white coat embroidered with a cross with gold insert
Order of the Red Eagle
The Order of the Red Eagle was an order of chivalry of the Kingdom of Prussia. It was awarded to military personnel and civilians, to recognize valor in combat, excellence in military leadership and faithful service to the kingdom. As with most German orders, the Order of the Red Eagle could only be awarded to commissioned officers or civilians of equivalent status. However, there was a medal of the order, which could be awarded to non-commissioned officers and enlisted men, lower ranking civil servants and other civilians. The predecessor to Order of the Red Eagle was founded on November 17,1705 and this soon fell into disuse but was revived in 1712 in Brandenburg-Bayreuth and again in 1734 in Brandenburg-Ansbach, where it first received the name Order of the Brandenburg Red Eagle. The statutes were changed in 1777 and the Order named therein as the Order of the Red Eagle, the Order was conferred in one class, limited to fifty knights. The Kingdom of Prussia absorbed both Brandenburg-Bayreuth and Brandenburg-Ansbach in January,1792, and on June 12,1792, King Frederick William II again revived the order as a Prussian royal order.
After the Order of the Black Eagle, the Red Eagle was the second highest order of the kingdom in order of precedence, in 1810, King Frederick William III revised the statutes of the Order, expanding it into three classes. In 1830, a breast star was authorized for the Second Class, the statutes were further revised in 1861, and a Grand Cross was established as the highest class of the Order. By 1918, an affiliated soldiers medal had been available to commoners. The monarchy collapsed on November 9,1918, a new German constitution was signed into law, August 11,1919, effectually putting a legal end to the monarchy. Among these were, All classes but the Medal of the Red Eagle Order could be awarded with swords for distinction in wartime, the swords passed through the arms of the cross behind the center medallion. All classes above the 4th Class could be awarded with Swords on Ring, indicating that the recipient of that class without swords had earlier received a class of the order with swords. A pair of crossed swords were worn above the cross on the ring or above the medallion on the upper arm of the breast star.
All classes could be awarded with or without crown as an added distinction, the Grand Cross, 1st and 2nd Class could be awarded with oak leaves, indicating prior receipt of the next lower class of the order, and/or with diamonds, as a special distinction. Royal family members were awarded the Grand Cross with crown, the Maltese cross badge was suspended from a miniature of the Prussian crown, which covered the usual suspension ring. The Grand Cross was awarded at least once with crossed marshals batons, the crossed batons were worn above the Maltese cross badge of the Grand Cross, on its suspension ring. The 3rd Class could be awarded with bow, indicating prior receipt of the 4th Class, prussians who were Knights of the Order of St. John of Malta
Order of Theresa
The Order of Theresa was an order for noble ladies in the Kingdom of Bavaria. It continues to today as an honorary society to which belong the princesses of the House of Wittelsbach as well as other ladies from Bavarian noble families. The order was founded December 12,1827 by Queen Therese of Bavaria and she established an endowment which paid an annual pension to twelve unmarried noble ladies, six of whom received 300 guilders and six of whom received 100 guilders. Various other ladies held the rank of Ehrendame including all the princesses of the House of Wittelsbach, Bavarian ladies paid a reception fee of 55 guilders while foreign ladies paid 220 guilders. The insignia of the order is worn on the left breast and consists of a blue-enameled Maltese cross with a white edge. In the four angles of the cross are lozenges with the arms of Bavaria. At the centre of the cross is a gold bordered white circular medallion decorated with the letter T, on the back of the medallion is the year 1827 and the motto of the order “Unser Leben sey Glaube an das Ewige”.
The ribbon of the order is white with two sky-blue stripes at the edge, the inner stripe being narrower than the outer stripe, the sash of the order is a similarly-coloured broad ribbon, worn diagonally from the right shoulder to the left hip. Among the current Ladies of Honour of the order is the Hereditary Princess of Liechtenstein
Kingdom of Saxony
The Kingdom of Saxony, lasting between 1806 and 1918, was an independent member of a number of historical confederacies in Napoleonic through post-Napoleonic Germany. From 1871 it was part of the German Empire and it became a Free state in the era of Weimar Republic in 1918 after the end of World War I and the abdication of King Frederick Augustus III of Saxony. Its capital was the city of Dresden, and its successor state is the Free State of Saxony. Before 1806 Saxony was part of the Holy Roman Empire, an entity which had once aspired to be a single state. The rulers of Electorate of Saxony of the House of Wettin had held the title of elector for several centuries, the last elector of Saxony became King Frederick Augustus I. The Kingdom joined the German Confederation, the new organization of the German states to replace the Holy Roman Empire. This effectiveness probably allowed Saxony to escape the fate of other north German states allied with Austria — notably the Kingdom of Hanover — which were annexed by Prussia after the war, the Austrians insisted as a point of honour that Saxony must be spared, and the Prussians acquiesced.
Saxony nevertheless joined the Prussian-led North German Confederation the next year, with Prussias victory over France in the Franco-Prussian War of 1871, the members of the Confederation were organised by Otto von Bismarck into the German Empire, with Wilhelm I as its Emperor. Wilhelm Is grandson Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated in 1918 as a result of Germanys defeat in World War I, King Frederick Augustus III of Saxony followed him into abdication and the erstwhile Kingdom of Saxony became the Free State of Saxony within the newly formed Weimar Republic. The 1831 Constitution of Saxony established the state as a parliamentary monarchy, the king was named as head of the nation. He was required to follow the provisions of the constitution, and could not become the ruler of any other state without the consent of the Diet, or parliament. The crown was hereditary in the line of the royal family through agnatic primogeniture. Added provisions concerned the formation of a if the king was too young or otherwise unable to rule.
Any acts or decrees signed or issued by the king had to be countersigned by at least one of his ministers, without the ministerial countersignature, no act of the king was to be considered valid. The king was given the right to declare any accused person innocent, or alternately to mitigate or suspend their punishment or pardon them and he was given supreme power over religious matters in Saxony. The king was given power to promulgate laws, and to carry them into effect. He could not, change the constitution itself or the laws in this manner. He was permitted to veto laws passed by the Diet, or to them back with proposed amendments for reconsideration
Military Merit Order (Bavaria)
The Bavarian Military Merit Order was established on July 19,1866 by King Ludwig II of Bavaria. It was the main decoration for bravery and military merit for officers. Civilians acting in support of the army were made eligible for the decoration. The Military Merit Order ranked below the Military Order of Max Joseph, the design of the order was a Maltese cross of blue enamel with a center medallion. Between the arms of most classes were golden flames, the obverse of the center medallion had a gold crowned L cipher on the black-enameled center and the word MERENTI on a ring of white enamel edged in gold. The reverse had a gold Bavarian lion on black enamel with the date of founding,1866, on the white-enameled ring. Most of the classes of the order were of different sizes and worn differently, as sash badges over the shoulder, as neck badges. The Officers Cross was a cross worn on the lower left chest. 3rd Class - Smaller cross worn from a ribbon on the left chest. 4th Class - Same cross as the 3rd Class, except with silver flames and, the Grand Cross and 1st Class always came with a breast star, but the 2nd Class could be awarded with or without the breast star.
The 3rd and 4th Classes could be awarded with or without a crown, these distinctions were based on rank, but in certain cases were used to permit a second award for further acts of bravery or military merit. Luitpold, Prince Regent of Bavaria - Received the Grand Cross in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, King Ludwig III of Bavaria - Received the Knights Cross 1st Class as a lieutenant in the Austro-Prussian War. Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria - Field marshal in World War I, prewar recipient of the Grand Cross, he received Swords to the Grand Cross in 1917. Max von Fabeck - Prussian General Erich von Falkenhayn - Prussian general and Chief of the General Staff, received the 1st Class with Swords in 1914 and the Grand Cross with Swords in 1915. Robert Ritter von Greim - Bavarian pilot, Luftwaffe field marshal in World War II, received the 4th Class with Swords in, wilhelm Groener - Prussian officer, Defense Minister of Germany 1928-32, received the Officers Cross with Swords in 1914. Franz Halder - Bavarian officer, Chief of the German General Staff in World War II, received the 4th Class with Swords and the 4th Class with Crown and Swords in World War I.
Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord - Later Chief of the Army Leadership, the Weimar Republic equivalent of Commander of the Army, franz Ritter von Hipper - Bavarian-born German admiral, received the 2nd Class with Star and Swords in 1915. Max Hoffmann - Prussian officer and strategist in World War I, received the 3rd Class with Swords, 3rd Class with Crown and Swords, Max Immelmann - German ace pilot, received the 4th Class with Swords in World War I
Grand Duchy of Baden
The Grand Duchy of Baden was a state in the southwest of Germany on the east bank of the Rhine. It existed between 1806 and 1918 and it came into existence in the 12th century as the Margraviate of Baden and subsequently split into different lines, which were unified in 1771. After World War II, the French military government in 1945 created the state of Baden out of the half of the former Baden. This portion of the former Baden was declared in its 1947 constitution to be the successor of the old Baden. The northern half of the old Baden was combined with northern Württemberg, becoming part of the American military zone, both Baden and Württemberg-Baden became states of West Germany upon its formation in 1949. In 1952 Baden merged with Württemberg-Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern to form Baden-Württemberg and this is the only merger of states that has taken place in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany. The unofficial anthem of Baden is called Badnerlied and consists of four or five traditional verses, over the years, many more verses have been added – there are collections with up to 591 verses of the anthem.
Baden came into existence in the 12th century as the Margraviate of Baden, in 1803 Baden was raised to Electoral dignity within the Holy Roman Empire. Upon the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, Baden became the much-enlarged Grand Duchy of Baden, in 1815 it joined the German Confederation. During the Revolutions of 1848 in the German states, Baden was a centre of revolutionist activities, in 1849, in the course of the Baden Revolution, it was the only German state that became a republic for a short while, under the leadership of Lorenzo Brentano. The revolution in Baden was suppressed mainly by Prussian troops, the Grand Duchy of Baden remained a sovereign country until it joined the German Empire in 1871. After the revolution of 1918, Baden became part of the Weimar Republic as the Republic of Baden, when the French Revolution threatened to overflow into the rest of Europe in 1792, Baden joined forces against France, and its countryside was devastated once more. In 1796, the margrave Charles Frederick, Grand Duke of Baden, was compelled to pay an indemnity, however, soon returned to his side.
Changing sides in 1805, he fought for Napoleon, with the result that, by the peace of Pressburg in that year, he obtained the Breisgau and other territories at the expense of the Habsburgs. In 1806, he joined the Confederation of the Rhine, declared himself a prince, became a grand duke. The Baden contingent continued to assist France, and by the Peace of Vienna in 1809, Charles fought for his father-in-law until after the Battle of Leipzig in 1813, when he joined the Allies. In 1815 Baden became a member of the German Confederation established by the Act of 8 June, however, in the haste of winding up the Congress, the question of the succession to the grand duchy did not get settled, a matter that would soon become acute. A controversy between Bavaria and Baden ensued, which was decided in favour of the Höchberg claims by a treaty signed by Baden