Medal Bars
Awarded to German Colonial and Overseas Veterans

This page shows medal bars worn by colonial and overseas veterans. A lot can be told about the original owners of these bars from examining the medals on them.

The China and South West Africa medals of course indicate that the owner took part in these campaigns. It should however be noted that the owners of non-combatant medals rarely served overseas. Non-combatant awards were usually given to those employed in essential supply, support, organisation, shipping or training work back home in Germany.

Ownership of an Iron Cross indicates that the owner took part in the First World War (or Franco-Prussian War for 1870 awards). Ownership of the 1914-18 Honour Cross indicates that the owner took part in the First World War and was still alive in 1934 when the medal was instituted.

Having the 1897 Wilhelm I Centenary Medal shows that the owner was in Prussian or Imperial (such as the Schutztruppe, Navy and Marine Infantry) service in 1897. This would indicate they were born in or before 1878. Having other state anniversary and jubilee awards such as the 1908 Bavarian or 1902 Baden medals shows they were from that state and similarly shows their minimum age.

Having a Prussian Order of the Red Eagle shows the recipient was certainly an officer or high ranking official, as do most other high ranking Prussian and state orders. The Prussian Officers Long Service Award for 25 years service is another obvious sign of officer status. Likewise having the Prussian first, second or third class Long Service Medals showed that the recipient was a member of the other ranks (NCOs and private soldiers, though most likely an NCO after several years service).

Other awards all tell their tale. State medals often (though not always) indicate the home state of the recipient even when in imperial service. Foreign Medals often indicate having served in or alongside other armies. Many overseas veterans also had other campaign medals for the German Wars of Unification or semi-official medals for individual First World War or Freikorps campaigns.

For more on the individual medals and awards see the Medals Page of this website. Below are shown several medal bars worn by veterans of colonial or overseas campaigns. Click on the thumbnails below for larger pictures and full captions. Please respect the generosity of the owners of these bars in sharing their photographs with us by not reproducing them without prior permission.

 
     
     

Medal Bars with the Combatants China Medal

     

Officers Bar with the China Medal
 alongside Prussian Awards

Photo © JW Collection

 

Other Ranks Bar with the China Medal
alongside a Prussian Award

Photo © JW Collection

     

Other Ranks Bar with the China Medal
 alongside Prussian and Russian Awards

Photo © Private Collection

 

Other Ranks Bar with the China and South West Africa Medals
alongside Prussian Awards

Photo © Captain George Albert

     
Officers Bar with the China Medal
 alongside Prussian, Hamburg, Saxon, Austro-Hungarian and later German Awards

Photo © JW Collection
  Other Ranks Bar with the China Medal
 alongside Prussian and later German Awards

Photo © JW Collection
     
Other Ranks Bar with the China Medal and Clasp
 alongside Prussian and later German Awards

Photo © Peter Klein
  Other Ranks Bar with the China Medal
 alongside Prussian, Hamburg and later German Awards

Photo © Robert Pandis
     
Medal Bars with the Combatants South West Africa Medal
     
Other Ranks Bar with the South West Africa Medal
alongside Prussian and later German Awards

Photo © JW Collection
  Other Ranks Bar with the South West Africa Medal
alongside Prussian and later German Awards

Photo © JW Collection
     
Other Ranks Bar with the South West Africa Medal and Clasps
alongside Prussian and later German Awards

Photo © Private Collection
  Officers Bar with the South West Africa Medal and Clasps
alongside Prussian, Württemberg, Brunswick and Chilean Awards

Photo © Traditionsverband
     
Officers Bar with the South West Africa Medal
alongside Bavarian, Prussian and later German Awards

Photo © and Bar For Sale at Der Rittmeister
  Other Ranks Bar with the South West Africa Medal
alongside Brunswick, Prussian and later German Awards

Photo © and Bar For Sale at Der Rittmeister
     
Other Ranks Bar with the South West Africa Medal and Clasps
alongside Prussian and Mecklenburg-Schwerin Awards

Photo © Peter Klein
  Other Ranks Bar with the South West Africa Medal
alongside Prussian, Austro-Hungarian and later Hungarian Awards

Photo © JW Collection
     
Officers Bar with the South West Africa Medal and Clasp
alongside Prussian and later German Awards

Photo © JW Collection
  Other Ranks Bar with the South West Africa Medal
alongside Prussian, Bavarian, Saxon and Austro-Hungarian Awards

Photo © JW Collection
     

Medal Bars with the Non-Combatants China and South West Africa Medals

     
The Bar of Marine-Oberingenieur d.S. Otto, a Naval NCO
with the China and South West Africa Medals
alongside Prussian, Hamburg and Oldenburg Awards

Photo © Karsten Herzogenrath
  The Bar of August Koehne, an Artillery General
with the South West Africa Medal
alongside Prussian Awards for the Wars of German Unification

Photo © Karsten Herzogenrath
     
Other Ranks Bar with the South West Africa Medal
alongside Prussian and Baden Awards

Photo © JW Collection
  Officers Bar with the South West Africa Medal
alongside Prussian and Hessian Awards

Photo © JW Collection
     
Officials Bar with the China Medal
alongside Prussian, Greek and Ottoman Awards

Photo © Heiko Grusdat
  Officers Bar with the China and South West Africa Medals
alongside Prussian Awards for the Wars of German Unification

Photo © JW Collection
     
Medal Bars with the Colonial Service Medal
     
The Bar of Wilhelm Souchon, a Senior Naval Officer
with the Colonial Medal
alongside Prussian, other German States and Ottoman Awards

Photo © C Dale from the IWM Collection
  The Bar of Paul Königs, a Cameroon Schutztruppe Officer
with the Colonial Medal and Cameroon Clasps
alongside Prussian, Hamburg and Lippe-Detmold Awards

Photo © Heiko Grusdat
     
Bar with the Colonial Medal
with the Samoa Clasp

Photo © Captain George Albert
  Other Ranks Bar with the Colonial Medal
with the Venezuela Clasp

Photo © Captain George Albert
     
Officers Bar with the Colonial Medal
with the East Africa 1905-07 Clasp

Photo
© Peter Klein
  Other Ranks Bar with the Colonial Medal
alongside Prussian, later German and Finnish Awards

Photo © Captain George Albert
     
Bar with the Colonial Medal
alongside Bulgarian and Hungarian Awards

Photo © Captain George Albert
  Other Ranks Bar with the Colonial Medal
alongside Prussian Awards

Photo © Captain George Albert
     
Officials Bar with the Colonial Medal
alongside Prussian and Portuguese Awards

Photo © Captain George Albert
  Other Ranks Bar with the Colonial Medal
alongside two Prussian Awards

Photo © JW Collection
 
     
Medal Bars with Other Awards for Overseas Service
     
The Bar of Mohamed el Zeini, an East African Askari
with German, Prussian, Egyptian and British Awards

Photo © Private Collection
  The Bar of Werner von Raven, a Doctor in Togo
 with Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Belgian Awards

Photo © Seeheld
     
Bavarian Bar with an Ottoman Medal
alongside Prussian, Bavarian and later German Awards

Photo © Thomas Millow
  Bar with Ottoman and Georgian Medals
alongside Prussian, Baden and later German Awards

Photo © Sascha Wöschler of Woeschler-Orden.de
     
The Bar of a Pascha I Veteran
with Prussian, later German and Ottoman Awards with a Gaza Clasp

Photo © Turkish Militaria
  The Bar of a Pascha II Veteran
with Prussian and later German Awards with a Palestine Clasp

Photo © Glen Davis
     
Bar of a Marinekorps Flandern Veteran
with Prussian and later German Awards and Clasps

Photo by Joachim Specht on WikiCommons
  Bar of a Marinekorps Flandern Veteran
with Prussian and later German Awards and Clasps

Photo © and Bar For Sale at Der Rittmeister
     

Bar of a Mecklenburg Overseas Veteran
with Prussian and later German Awards and Clasps

Photo © and Bar For Sale at Der Rittmeister

  Bar with the Lion Order
with Hamburg and later German Awards

Photo © Captain George Albert
     

Bar with Dutch Colonial Medals
with Prussian and later German Awards

Photo © Neerlandia

     

If after viewing the bars in this gallery you want to see more, there's plenty to be seen on the internet. Some of the best are listed below. You might need to join up to some of these forums to see the photos (membership is free, quick and easy).

Medal Bars with the China Medal
Bar with the China Medal and Clasp at the Gentlemen's Military Interest Club
Marine-Oberstabsarzt Dr. Conrad Bobrik's bar with China Medal at the Gentlemen's Military Interest Club
Bar with the China and Colonial Medals at the Orders and Medals Society of America
Bar with the Non-combatant China Medal at the Orders and Medals Society of America

Bavarian Bar with the China Medal at the Orders and Medals Society of America
Hessian Bar with China and South West Africa Medals with Clasps at the Wehrmacht Awards Forum
Officers Bar with the China and Ottoman Awards at the OMSA
The Curious Case of Max Looff's China Medal Clasps at Medal Net

Medal Bars with the South West Africa Medal
Several South West African Bars at the Wehrmacht Awards Forum

Trapezoid Ribbon Bars with the South West African Medal at the Wehrmacht Awards Forum
Bar with South West Africa and Franco-Prussian War Medals at the Orders and Medals Society of America
Bar with a South West Africa Medal with Two Clasps on the Gentlemens Military Interest Club
Bar with a South West Africa Medal with Eight Clasps on the Gentlemens Military Interest Club
Ribbon Bar with South West Africa Medal with Clasps and China Medal at Medal Net
Bar of a Medic with the South West Africa Medal and Clasps at the Orders and Medals Society of America
Bar with the South West Africa Medal and Prussian Awards at the Orders and Medals Society of America
Saxon South West African Bars at the Wehrmacht Awards Forum
Several German bars including a Baden South West Africa Bar and Non-combatant China Bar at Digger History
Hessian Bar with South West Africa and China Medals at the Wehrmacht Awards Forum
British Bar with the South West Africa Medal and Kalahari 1907 Clasp at the Wehrmacht Awards Forum

Medal Bars with the Colonial Service Medal
The Colonial Service Medal and Finnish awards at the Gentlemen's Military Interest Club
The Colonial Service Medal with Ponape and Samoa Clasps at the Wehrmacht Awards Forum
The Colonial Service Medal with Cameroon Clasps at the Wehrmacht Awards Forum
The Colonial Service Medal miniature ribbon with Venezuela Clasp at the Wehrmacht Awards Forum
The Colonial Service Medal variations at the Gentlemen's Military Interest Club
Colonial Ribbon bar at the Gentlemen's Military Interest Club

Medal Bars with Other Awards for Overseas Service
Bars with Ottoman Medals including an SMS Goeben Crew Member at the Wehrmacht Awards Forum

Trapezoid Ribbon of Oberstabsarzt Professor Dr. Paul Kohlstock with the Jerusalem Cross at the Wehrmacht Awards Forum
Post-War Colonial Veterans Elephant and Lion Orders at the Wehrmacht Awards Forum
Saxon bar with an unofficial Schutztruppe veterans award at the Gentlemen's Military Interest Club
Bar with Lion Medal and Flanders Cross at the OMSA

Saxe-Meiningen Colonial Bar at the Gentlemen's Military Interest Club

....and Finally
A Large Collection of Overseas Medals that were stolen at the Gentlemen's Military Interest Club

 

Please contact me here if you have more information on this topic or if you have a medal bar you would like to share. 

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