Military Merit Medal


Military Merit Medal

The original Military Merit Medal, commonly known as the “Signum Laudis”, was introduced by Kaiser Franz Joseph on the 12th of March 1890 as a sign of His Majesty’s praise and recognition for outstanding achievements in war and as a sign of his satisfaction for excellent service in peace. The award was for commissioned officers and officials of similar rank and was in bronze. The obverse bore the picture of the Kaiser and the reverse the motto SIGNUM LAUDIS within a laurel wreath. The award for wartime achievement was worn on the ribbon of the Bravery Medal and that for service in peace on a red ribbon 3.75cm in width. Both were worn on the left breast.

On the March 26, 1911 a further award was sanctioned - a medal in silver for repeated actions worthy of royal praise.

A Royal decree of April 1, 1916 introduced bars for second and third awards of the Silver Merit Medal and further introduced a new grade altogether. This was the Große Militärverdientsmedaille which as its name suggests was somewhat larger and additionally had a laurel wreath around the Crown. The whole medal was in a gold finish. The Große was said to be an expression of His Majesty’s especial praise and recognition (besondere allerhöchste belobende Anerkennung) and was awarded to only thirty individuals including Kaiser Karl. None were U-boat commanders.

On the 13th of December 1916 the addition of Crossed Swords in gold were permitted for the Bronze, Silver and Große Military Merit Medals. In the case of medals without bars these were worn directly on the ribbon. If a recipient had a bar to his award, the Swords were affixed to the bar.

Unless otherwise indicated, the U-boat commanders listed below were awarded the Military Merit Medal in Bronze on the ribbon of the Bravery Medal.

Awarded just the medal in bronze on the red ribbon (peace-time awards): Lerch, Marchetti

Awarded the medal in bronze on the red ribbon and then subsequently on the ribbon of the Bravery Medal: L. Leschanowsky, Passerar, Zeidler

Awards in silver on the ribbon of the Bravery Medal in addition to an award in bronze: Attems, Csicsery von Csicser, Fähndrich, Gstettner, Hornyák, Hübner, Krsnjavi, L. Leschanowsky, Montecuccoli, Müller, Pfeifer, Prásil, Printz, Rigele, Rzemenowsky von Trautenegg, Singule, Skopinic, Sterz, Vio, Zeidler

Awards in silver with bar: Dürrigl, Hudecek, Pistel, Wolf

Award in silver with two bars: Sernetz

CommanderDate  Command
LSL. Attems, Albrecht Graf von1 Jan 1918  

LSL. Bezard, Klemens Ritter von1 Jan 1918  k.u.k. U23

Csicsery von Csicser, Ladislaus1 Jan 1918  

LSL. Dürrigl, Robert1 Jan 1918  

LSL. Eberhardt, Lüdwig1 Jan 1916  

LSL. Fähndrich, Friedrich1 Jan 1916  k.u.k. U15

LSL. Gstettner, Richard1 Jan 1918  

LSL. Halavanja, Nikolaus1 Jan 1916  
LSL. Holub, Josef1 Jan 1916  
LSL. Hornyák, Eugen1 Jan 1918  k.u.k. U11
LSL. Hudecek, Zdenko1 Jan 1917  
LSL. Hübner, Eduard Ritter von1 Jan 1916  

LSL. Jüstel, Hermann1 Jan 1916  

LSL. Kasseroller, Otto1 Jan 1916  k.u.k. U2
LSL. Krsnjavi, Johann1 Jan 1917  k.u.k. U11

LSL. Lerch, Egonlikely prewar  k.u.k. U12
LSL. Leschanowsky, Lotharlikely prewar  

LSL. Marchetti, Egonlikely prewar  
Oblt. Mellenthin, Hans von   
LSL. Molitor, Otto1 Jan 1917  k.u.k. U15
Montecuccoli, Alfons Graf1 Jan 1917  
LSL. Müller, Ludwig1 Jan 1917  

LSL. Nejebsy, Franz1 Jan 1916  

LSL. Passerar, Urbanlikely prewar  
LSL. Pfeifer, Wladimir1 Jan 1917  
LSL. Pistel, Hugo1 Jan 1917  
LSL. Prásil, Leo1 Jan 1917  
Printz, Othmar1 Jan 1916  

LSL. Rigele, Hermann1 Jan 1917  k.u.k. U10
LSL. Rzemenowsky von Trautenegg, Franz3 Jan 1917  

Sernetz, Alois1 Jan 1916  
LSL. Seyffertitz, Hugo von1 Jan 1917  
Singule, Rudolf1 Jan 1917  k.u.k. U4
LSL. Skopinic, Franz1 Jan 1918  
Sterz, Friedrich2 Jan 1917  

KrvKpt. Thun und Hohenstein, Emmerich Graf von1 Jan 1917  
LSL. Trapp, Georg Ritter von   k.u.k. U14

LSL. Ulmansky von Vracsevgaj, Johann1 Jan 1918  k.u.k. U2
LSL. Unczowski, Karl Edler von1 Jan 1917  k.u.k. U17

LSL. Vio, Gaston1 Jan 1917  

LSL. Wolf, Edgar1 Jan 1916  

LSL. Zeidler, Otto1 Jan 1918  

42 officers decorated with Military Merit Medal (Militär-Verdienstmedaille) located.

Note: This listing is still being compiled and some recipients might be missing.

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