Austro-Hungarian Bronze Bravery Medal

Austro-Hungarian Bronze Bravery Medal

The Austro-Hungarian Bravery Medal - Tapferkeitsmedaille - was awarded to non-commissioned officers (NCOs) and enlisted men for acts of courage in battle and had existed in gold and silver classes since 1789. In February 1915 the addition of a third class in bronze was authorised by the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I. Unlike the other two classes the Bronze Bravery Medal could also be awarded to the NCOs and enlisted men of Austria-Hungary's wartime allies. Thousands of these bravery medals were awarded to Austro-Hungarian soldiers during the First World War. In this and many other respects they were the Austro-Hungarian equivalent of the British Military Medal.

The medal displays a bust of the reigning emperor in military uniform, in this case a young looking Franz Joseph I, encircled by an inscription. The inscription reads: 'FRANZ JOSEPH I. V. G. G. KAISER V. OESTERREICH' (Franz Joseph I, by the grace of God Emperor of Austria). The reverse of the medal contains the inscription 'DER TAPFERKEIT' (For Bravery) over a group of crossed regimental colours surrounded by a laurel wreath.

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