In response to a series of
questions I thought I would jot these thoughts down.
Janet was Air Guard and so we try to do mostly
reserve helmets but fail. Step 1 is to understand
that the proper title is Landwehr Cross not reserve
cross regardless of whether it was worn by reserve forces or Landwehr forces. Step 2 is to understand that there are a million variations on a theme
here. The Trawnik book diagrams of this issue are well worth having. Most
authors stay clear of reserve stuff because it is
too hard and not as well documented as active stuff.
So here goes a short dissertation. An American
auction house has put up a Baden reserve plate without bandeaux
and saying it is odd when in reality it is correct except
the color of the cross. In theory the motto was on
the Landwehr cross and thus no bandeaux on the wappen. There is no
difference between Landwehr and Reserve. The difference is in the motto on the cross and the wappen
itself. There are also differences in how they are attached.
Knötel had a plate of Reserve and Landwehr crosses in
his Das deutsche Heer-Friedensuniform bei Ausbruch des
Weltkriegs. This cartoon drawing is our starting point.
Ok so let's take a look at Prussian Eagles.
This is a reserve eagle in my collection.
FR on the chest, no bandeaux. Cross which has the motto Für
Koenig and Vaterland is on the cross. These crosses a standard
25mm width and height. I have seen smaller ones that are about
20mm. there was no enlisted version of this wappen.
This is a Landwehr wappen and you can see
no FR on the chest. The cross is mounted on that location.
A standard 25mm cross. Some but not all of these eagles had
an inset of the cross. If you look at the back of this plate
you can see several things. The impression of the cross and
the "prongs" that attached the cross. These prongs
were often soldered to the back of the cross and if removed often
broke. The cross was not always soldered to the wappen.
The holes that the prongs went through were pretty rough.
If you look at the one on the left you can clearly see it
is more oval. If you see machine drilled holes it is
This is the reserve helmet I mentioned.
Cross with Bandeaux. Incorrect but I have no doubt about
this being original. I have seen about a dozen of these. This
has a double motto. Why? I guess it was what they
had. If you were an active OYV that went reserve I guess you
could add a cross for 1 mark instead of refitting it for 15
Guard Reserve, Grenadier
Reserve and Landwehr followed a similar pattern with
Guard Reserve having the cross mounted in the lower
position under the guard star. New style grenadier
reserves had so many variations as to warrant a
Guard Landwehr were entirely
different with their own specific wappen as below.
there is enlisted form of this wappen that was used for both the Guard reserves and Landwehr both.
I have seen variations on position as well
as size of the cross. Baden followed the same concept except
there is no difference between Landwehr and Reserve. The cross
said "Für Fürst and Vaterland" so while
it looks the same at a distance from the Prussian it is indeed
different. Here is a picture of a Baden with both mottos.
Correct no. Original probably. Lots of Baden reserve
wappen had both mottos. Look at Stubbs and you find
they abound. Note the position of the cross. Baden crosses
seem to be here or mostly lower down between the leg and the
shield. Also some in the center had the cross impressed like
Prussian Landwehr eagles.
This shows the back of that
plate with 4 holes for the reserve cross. Two are
There an interesting Baden theory.
A senior collector and man of the cloth, has a Baden wappen
with a Koenig reserve cross. His theory is that it belongs
to IR 114. Those guys had a wacht company that guarded
the little Prussian enclave of Hohenzollern (the catholic
side). I have no other support for this theory and don't buy
it objectively but it is a real possibility.
Wurttemberg had no motto on their cross
like this example. This was also 25mm. While Würrtemburg
had no difference between Reserve and Landwehr it seems as
though their Landsturm units had Gilt crosses on gilt wappen.
One of these is on Hilsenbeck pg 163 but is not noted by Knötel.
Hessian crosses were different again. There
was no difference between reserve and Landwehr. Again a 25mm
cross. The motto said "Gott Ehre Vaterland". Positioning
seems consistently low.
Saxon crosses were different
with no motto and no difference between Reserve and
Landwehr. The crosses were supposedly 56mm.
Mecklenburg had a lot of size differences
and a Fürst motto. No difference between reserve and Landwehr.
They were supposedly 44mm and the one in the Herrmann book
is. However, many are about the size of Prussian crosses.
Strelitz supposedly had one that was 36mm but I have no example.
Stubbs on page 497 and Laine states that all Mecklenburg crosses
were silver not gilt but examples such as Herrmann and this
The very small vassal states
that had a Prussian eagle and a central wappen
followed the same general rules as the Prussians.
There were many variations like the Landwehr of IR
92 did not have the Peninsular bandeaux. This has
Fürst crosses mounted in the lower position. The
sole contrary example is Oldenburg which had a
The Hansiatic states followed the Prussian
pattern but their cross was different. The motto read "mitt
Gott Furs Vaterland".
Bavaria had no motto and no
difference between reserve and Landwehr. And a cross
that was 45mm wide and 55mmn tall.
There are also differences in
the decorations on the crosses. Wreaths, swords,
1813 date. Generally Prussia had the date 1813,
Furst crosses had a wreath. There were however
swords too. I do not think this is random but I will
get to it in other drafts.