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

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

Civil decorations
Military and war decorations

Kingdom of Bavaria

Kingdom of Saxony

Kingdom of Württemberg

Grand Duchy of Baden

Grand Duchy of Hesse

Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

Grand Duchy of Oldenburg

Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach

Duchy of Anhalt

Duchy of Brunswick

Duchies of Saxe-Altenburg, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and Saxe-Meiningen

Principalities of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen and Hohenzollern-Hechingen

Principality of Lippe-Detmold

Principality of Schaumburg-Lippe

Principalities of Reuss, Elder Line and Younger Line

Principalities of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and Schwarzburg-Sondershausen

Principality of Waldeck

Free and Hanseatic Cities of Bremen, Hamburg and Lübeck

Former German states

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

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

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)