Skip to content


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.

Button line, top to bottom:
Zähringer Lion, 1st class
Prussian Iron Cross
Zähringer Lion, 2nd class
Major Kolbe, 1919

Breast, left to right:
Order of Leopold
Order of the Iron Crown
Military Merit Cross
Silver Military Merit Medal
Bronze Military Merit Medal
Red Cross Award
Karl Troop Cross
Wound Medal
Bronze Jubilee Medal 1898
Military Jubilee Cross 1908

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: