Again, a very common, yet puzzling badge comes up today. Together with the army badges, this Bosnia-Hercegovina-Dalmatia badge is one of the most common pieces. If, on the other hand, I try to explain to whom and why it was made in such large numbers, I am already uncertain. In appearance, it is similar to other “military” badges, manufactured by Gurschner, one of the largest manufacturers of Kappenabzeichen in Vienna. As can be seen made in a variety of sizes and materials, these properties are similar to badges made for all teams, not like propaganda-patriotic badges. This is okay, except that the area named on the badge, as shown in the map below, was part of the Monarchy, and there was no war on it except in the fall of 1914. In September 1914, when Serbs launched an offensive in Hercegovina to relieve their northern front, but it did not leave from the border region. Then why was it topical to produce such a large number of badges?
I can only guess. A significant number of forces were recruited into the Monarchy from the area shown on the map. They were the “Bosnians,” about whom the Viennese publishing house Militaria also published a voluminous separate volume, apparently given the importance of the troops. Maybe they got this badge. The idea is not supported by the absence of any Bosnian or Muslim symbol on the badge except the provincial coat of arms. The badge is dominated by the portrait of the ruler. On the other hand, there are other Bosnian badges of the troops that display Bosnian symbols. Could these be missing from the badge due to the ethnic diversity of the area? The Bosnians, Croats and Serbs living here were mainly assigned to the infantry. Most Dalmatians became sailors.
The issue is further complicated by the fact that the badges were not worn by locals, but by Austrians and Hungarians. So it does not appear that the badge was intended for the local army. It was worn by all kinds of nations. Presumably those who have turned around in this province. We may see people who have spent time here during training. This is because the mountain training took place here, and the separated mountain battalions of the infantry regiments were largely stationed in this province. Maybe that was the reason?