Josef Kolbe received many medals, orders and decorations during his service in the army. They are shown on the photograph below, with the highest award worn at the top of the button line of the tunic and nearest the middle where pinned to the left breast.
Although hidden away, none of Josef Kolbe’s medals survived the occupation of Vienna after the Second World War. Austrian medals are not engraved with the name of the awardee and can be freely purchased today. The certificates which accompanied each of his awards were left untouched during the war and remain as written proof and, to my mind, of greater value than the actual medals.
The following pages reflect the chronological order in which Josef Kolbe received his awards.
Museum of Military History, Vienna: http://www.hgm.or.at/