Men at arms

1st Corps

This is not a standard post because it is about a barely existing badge. In our wear photo, an unknown colonel put four cap badges on his officer’s hat. The first is a rectangular flag badge. It’s like the one I put on the photo: a badge that mimics the tactical signal of a corps. Behind that are army badges. First is the 4th Army, then behind the 1st and perhaps the 3rd Army badge. These are all fairly common badges, except for the first one.

Even enlarging the image can not make me absolutely sure what Roman numeral can be seen in the middle of the flag? Despite all the opposite expectations, I just see it as a Roman one. That is, it is the badge of the 1st Corps. The only problem with this is that I don’t know there would be such a piece in any collection today! That’s why I say it’s a barely existing badge: according to the photo, it existed, but I don’t know about any surviving specimen.

If readers of the post may know about this badge, please let us know!

The 1st Corps was, of course, an existing unit, and its cap badge was also made. A battle scene from the first period of this war around Sokal can be seen on the badge. The inscription: “We stood by Kirchbach”. The inscription refers to the corps commander, Cavalry General Count Kirchbach auf Lauterbach. Under his leadership, the 1st Corps took part in the persecution of the Russians after the May 1915 breakthrough in Gorlice. At the culmination of the operation, in June 1915, they crossed the Bug River at Sokal and built a bridgehead on the east bank of the river. After that, the corps broke further forward to the Ikwa River. Kirchbach remained commander of the corps until September 1916. He was then appointed Commander of the 7th Army.

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